The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Monday, October 14, 2002

the new kids
I had a feeling when I bought my aquarium that it would be an interesting experience. While fish are somewhat lacking compared to more hands-on pets like dogs and cats, the behavior they display in the environment you maintain for them is a more than a fair trade-off.

Case in point: last week I decided to change things in my tank by removing the little school of danios I had (giving them to a friend) and replacing them with rummy-nose tetras. (I don't feel like hunting for definitions tonight; here's a referring post with links to a fish directory site.) The rummys made themselves at home rather readily. What surprised me was how the other fish changed their swimming and schooling patterns so dramatically. The glowlights and black neons are now ranging all across the tank, from top to bottom; before, they'd stick to one corner or the other, usually near the plants. I guess I never realized how much of a disruptive force those hyperactive danios were. Now that they're gone, the more timid tetras feel freer to spread out.

The bigger denizens of the tank--rainbow shark, apple snail, bristlenose pleco--haven't changed much at all in the transition. The shark's still the boss, the pleco hides from the light and the snail does his thing.