Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Fish madness

Interesting and stressful things have been afoot at the 'quarium. But how is that possible I hear you cry! Yes, I know it's hard to believe - that interesting things could happen is strange enough but stressful too! Oh and nothing to do with the semi-humans (except Colleen, she's a step up the evolutionary ladder for sure) employed as guides either. This is a real fish story.

To set the scene:

So we've got a few infection problems at the moment due to chiller units breaking down (during the hottest days of summer of course! Murphy was an optimist). But we're getting on top of them now (hopefully). After trying nearly every treatment and dosage in the extensive library of fish books that Dave owns, plus the set-back of discovering that formalin only has a shelf life of 6-12 months and the stuff we use is up to 2 years old. But we're fighting back and seem to be winning. Or at least forcing a stalemate.

Then yesterday we get a call from New Zealand Fish Guru Numero Uno saying could we hold a couple o fish he's having sent over from the Chathams, because he's out of the country for a month. Of course we say yes massa. He da man. Well, fishly speaking.

Stress levels rising now because the fish we've agreed to look after (sight unseen) are supposedly Chatham galaxias which, as everyone knows, are extremely rare and have been described only once (by aforementioned Fish Guru of course).

So yours truly spends a good hour making sure a nice wee tank is absolutely spotlessly clean and disinfected prior to their arrival. Some acriflavine added as a bacterial prophylactic. Plus making sure the water temp is (relatively) low because, as everyone knows, rapid changes in temperature are lethal to fish.

Jules brings the fish in, pH is ok so they're introduced to the tank. Little bit of fungus but not serious, bucket of salt water added to clear that up. All is hunky dory.

We look at fish. We look at (comprehensive, definitive, Bible) book on fish (also written by aforementioned Guru). We look up Chatham galaxias. We look at fish. We look back at book. We look back at fish quickly in case it's changed. It hasn't. We look at book again. It hasn't changed either. But the fish isn't in the book. Oh fuck we say, we have to babysit a previously undiscovered species of fish for a month in the middle of summer with no idea as to how to look after it.

Bags not! I say.

Bugger says Dave.

The saga continues tomorrow...

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