Chopsticks & Tetra Neons

When I was a child, our family had both dogs and cats. If I remember correctly, we even had a hamster at one time. We were definitely pro-pets. However, as I aged and my children grew up and married, I ended up alone after my divorce. One of my fellow teachers told me that I needed a cat, and she found one for me–“Trooper.” Since my last name is Cooper, Trooper Cooper was a good match. After Trooper’s passing, I decided fish would be the pets of choice. You didn’t have to walk them every day, and you could feed them with vacation food packets. One thing about fish, you didn’t dare name them as their lifespan, at least in my tank, was rather short. The last time I went to the barber shop for my hair cut, I discovered a fish tank as a new feature of my barber shop. In the tank were a variety of very appealing tropical fish of all sorts. When I asked the Vietnamese barber how often he fed them, he gave me some good advice–“Don’t touch the food with your fingers as it will kill the fish.” I responded: “Then how do you feed them?” Without hesitation, he walked over to the can of food beside the tank, picked up a pair of chopsticks and began to create a food frenzy in the tank. If only I had known, I would have gladly purchased a set of chopsticks and probably could have saved the lives of many of my fish.



About bobosbest

I am an 80-year-old retired English teacher whose writing goals are fulfilled by publishing these blogs. I have a wonderful married partner, Dimitris Tsitsiras, who is from Greece. Life is good and still an adventure.
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2 Responses to Chopsticks & Tetra Neons

  1. arcadian48 says:

    Fascinating info I never knew. Now I just have to convince myself that I need ANY sort of pet. I LOVE all the little doggies in my building, but only the petting and playing with them. I am not at all interested in the several-times-a-day walks that are required. Our family also had a hamster, and a fish tank too. Not long-term though, as I faintly recall.

  2. litzi2015 says:

    I keep and have kept any kinds of pets in my life–cats, birds, fish. Dogs and cats require more day to day work–feeding, walking or cleaning the cat box, grooming, socialization, not to mention vet care and vaccinations. With cats and dogs, they can basically live in any environment that humans can live in–from the arctic tundra to midwestern farms and New York apartments. With fish, their keepers are responsible for maintaining their entire life support system. To them, water quality is like our air quality. Problem is, fish deposit their wastes into their aquarium water and it doesn’t take much toxins from their wastes to kill them. Then there’s the whole water chemistry issue–stuff like acidity and alkalinity, hardness, nitrogen compounds, and carbonate hardness. And different kinds of fish can have very different water chemistry needs. Imagine if your dog or cat had to breathe a different kind of air than you! Or if you breathed one kind of air, your dog breathed another kind of air, and your cat breathed air different than that. I’ve learned more about chemistry from keeping fish tanks than I did in 12 years of school and 4 years of college.

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