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Thursday, January 19, 2012
Fish are like little boys?
Last year my husband and parents gave me a nano aquarium for my birthday.
The first inhabitants were four fire tetra's. Two of the fire tetra's unfortunately only lasted for one day... I was told that these fish are very suitable for a nano tank. But, as I found out later that day, they tend to crawl between the stones when they are frightened, to never come out again. No one told me that!
The first few days, I assume they needed time to adjust, they hid out between the plants and were nowhere to be seen. That's a shame. And not very exciting. That's not the reason to buy an aquarium, no matter the size. Right?
After a few days four neon tetra's came to live with the two survivors. I was also told that they would form a school with the fire tetra's. Exactly the reason I chose all tetra's. I was happy to see the neon's were a bit more lively from the get go and were swimming, alone or in formation, through my little tank. And yes, success, the fire tetra's made contact. Hesitantly, but still.
The smallest of the fire tetra's let himself float, in stealth mode, to the neons and kept hanging around at a respectful distance. As soon as one of the neons moved a fin, the tiny one fled the scene. To return after a while, oh so carefully. There came a time he was courageous enough to go swimming wíth the neons. At the far end, but still, he made a connection. He grew: I have friends! The first time he really swam between his big cousins (a neon is at least 1 cm larger than a fire tetra(!)), he was swimming with his chest high. He made it, he was the man, he was part of the group!
While I watched all this, I told my observations to my husband. The tank was at our kitchen table, where we sit a lot, so it is an easy subject. (The fish moved house since then, but still.) I compared the little fish's behavior to a group of friends at a school yard. And the new kid on the block trying to fit in. You see exactly the same kind of behavior: first the new kid tries to come closer to the group, looking like it all is just a coincidence. Just in case they are going to reject him. The next move is to stand right next to them and drop a remark now and then. At that point you are much more vulnerable but, hey, chances need to be taken! And then there is that moment: he is being accepted and can come over and really hang out with them. At that point you see his chest rising! He made it! He's the man!
You see, that with the high chest, I saw that happening with that tiny fire tetra. At which moment my hubby tells me my imagination is limitless. Really, the idea!!!