Mr. and Mrs. O, Aquarists

Some people have starter marriages.  Mr. O and I have starter fish.

It turns out that when one sets up an aquarium and wishes to purchase fish to live in it, one should not just purchase a fish tank and some fish that you’ve picked out. No, that would be far, far too easy.

Even goldfish, it turns out, are more complicated than you would think.  They have space issues.  This might explain why three out of four of my fifth-grade fish died within a week, and why Frank only lasted a year — though of course, it’s likely that Frank’s corpse lives on in the styrofoam container in which we buried him.  Poor Frank.

Anyway, Mr. O and I, learning about goldfish space issues, were talked into purchasing tropical fish. So there’s that. More on the decision to get fish in the first place in a later post (counterintuitive, I know).

First, one buys a tank and a filter and a heater and interior decorating materials.  Our aquarium reeks of taste.  Its main palette is blue.

Aquatic Environment

Then, one waits two days for the water to filter and oxygenate and what not, and then, unthinkingly, goes to buy the fish one has picked out.

Except: nope. Can’t buy those fish, because they will probably die. That’s right, folks.  You have to buy starter fish, which get the good bacteria in the tank going, and probably die (but if not, cheers!).  The lady at the petshop explained all of this to us, and also (a) recommended a particular species of starter fish (b) advised that we not name or become attached to our starter fish.

So without further ado, I present our completely adorable starter fish, which we have named (naturally):




Dunder is a Blackskirt Hifin Tetra, and Mifflin is a White Hifin Tetra, though we think Mifflin should be called a Blushing Tetra because of the red spot on his little fishy face.  (We neglected to ask the sex of our starter fish, and for now we’re calling them “he”.)

Ooops. Forgot about that whole “don’t get attached thing.”

If the starter fish live a whole week, hurrah! we get to buy the for-real fish. If not, we start over.  We really hope they live, because they are very cute fish with awesome names. But at least there’s a refund policy.

Here’s to you, Dunder and Mifflin.  Good night, and good luck.

Against All Odds: Hopefully the Dunder and Mifflin Story

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4 Responses to Mr. and Mrs. O, Aquarists

  1. Mr. O's mother-in-law says:

    Personally, I think the sign-off to Dunder and Mifflin should be “Courage.”

  2. The Os' Auntie N. says:

    I too have grown attached. I would make a Free Dunder and Mifflin t-shirt and protest outside your new appartment. But where would Dunder and Mifflin go? Actually I’m thinking that this would be quite the Star Trek episode. The rights of the starter population. They seed the planet, if they live fine – if not we send in another starter population. How many do we lose before we deem the planet uninhabitable?

    I also enjoyed Mr. O’s mother-in-law’s comment. Was I the only one who loved it when Dan Rather came up with that?

  3. Mrs. O says:

    I think Mr. O’s mother-in-law was being ironic with the “Courage” suggestion — I thought it was funny!

    Dunder and Mifflin’s situation would make for a good episode of Star Trek, except that (due to our outstanding water quality, approved by the pet store) our aquarium is the equivalent of an M-class planet. No excuses, Dunder and Mifflin! Play like a champion.

  4. AS says:

    If you were to make a little sign that says “Play like a champion today,” and I saw the fish brush past it, I’d be so psyched up.

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