I bought the tank at a yard sale for a buck. I’d thought it would be a good way to give me some relaxing company. I have six fish and a stowaway snail (he snuck in on a plant). I got the fish two at a time in pairs (I figured even fish don’t want to be the odd man out). The first pair are Fan-tail Barbs named Floyd and Dot; they’re the most active and amorous. Gremlin and Volare’ are Headlight/ Taillight Tetras; they’re kind of mechanical. Thing One and Thing Two are a type of Chinese Bottom Feeder. Snail is, well, a snail. I introduce them as the players in this little world.
Last week I had the brilliant idea of getting a Sponge Bob Square Pants pineapple house. I had vision of the fish enjoying the heck out of a new piece of equipment in their underwater playground. In my mind, they swam in and out of the windows and door playing endlessly. Yeah, right!
Change came to this ten gallon world, when I rolled up my sleeve and gently submerged the pineapple house into the tank. I sat and waited. Surely they would welcome such a fun hang out. I waited and waited and waited some more.
The fish eddied in the corners of the tank far from the glowing bright fish architecture. They were not happy.
Late the first day, I saw the first encounter. Dot was swimming by the windows and slowed to look in each. Floyd made several nose-butts to the structure. They were exploring it in their own way.
The real explorer of the pineapple though has been Snail. He (I’m assuming…but one can never tell with a snail) seemed in snail heaven gliding over the lines of the exterior, over the top, through the windows and sometimes the door. If there is a tank occupant who loves the pineapple, it is Snail.
One of the Things has taken to lounging inside of the house. I think the Things have decided it’s a good addition to their Universe. The other fish have come to tolerate the new obstacle. I wonder if I will ever see the vision I once had.
And what have I learned from making a change to the ten gallon world? First, I know I have little right to think I could properly assess what a fish wants in their space (I once had cats and it was similar…I’d buy some sparkly, feathery toy and they’d choose to play with the wrapper it came in). Secondly, it is a metaphor for change in general. I go through similar stages in accepting change to my world.
Change is inevitable I’ve often heard said. If we accept it as natural and inevitable, isn’t the acceptance a kind of stability? You see, change in a ten gallon world may have a profound effect.