Irresistible flashing fins: A fish story

We returned from holiday to find one of Charli’s ‘Black Moor‘ fish had passed away in our absence. Naturally, a trip to the pet shop to get a new friend for the now lonesome Black Moor was needed. However, the trip turned into something a whole lot more expensive…

It all started because there were no Black Moors. We found ourselves having an enjoyable browse of all the fish and we (the girls – Dan was at work) couldn’t take our eyes off the tropical fish. I could feel the intention of our shopping trip taking on a whole new angle and I wasn’t feeling in control. In fact, I was quite ready to be persuaded. Before I could engage my brain any further I was perusing fish tanks and equipment for a tropical tank. We already have two fresh water tanks at home (one with the now single Black Moor and a larger tank with two goldfish who have been with us for more years than I can remember). The thought of the extra cleaning and maintenance did momentarily flicker through my mind but, oh, those bright colours and irresistible flashing fins were just taking all sense out of my reasoning.

So… too many dollars later we left the shop with all the gear. We excitedly rushed home to set up our tank and count down the days till it would be ready to introduce fish (five to seven days). I have to say we didn’t set it up straight away, as on the drive home the shock started to set in and I wondered what Dan would say. I waited till he got home and was all ready and willing to take everything back the next day.

    ‘Um, Dan love, we kind of got a little side tracked at the pet shop. You see, there weren’t any Black Moors and we couldn’t take our eyes of the most gorgeous Guppies… and, I’m really sorry but I got carried away and all of a sudden there was this bill for… I’ll take it all back tomorrow. Blame it on the pregnancy hormones.’
    ‘Sarah, it’s okay love. I had tropical fish when I was a boy and they are wonderful. We’ll treat ourselves. Tell the girls they can go and choose the fish next Wednesday.’

So, the next day we set up the tank and counted down the sleeps. The girls ran back and forth between the sink and the tank with bottles of water. They filled it up with such speed that anyone would have thought they were in training for the fire brigade.

Filling it up Loading up the tank

We literally did count down the sleeps, with Sophie saying the night before ‘Fish Day’, ‘Mummy, I’m so excited that I can’t sleep!’. I put on my best Mary Poppins firm but fair voice, ‘Well sleep will make tomorrow come all the faster,’ which I can remember being told when I was a child, but it never made sense till I was an adult wishing for more sleep.

Well, Wednesday came. It was a very wet and wild day. The girls were incredibly excited. At the pet shop we hand-picked four Guppies and discussed who would be holding them first on the car ride home. We had an agreed stop point half way home to swap the fish over, so that they would both get a turn. This was all done extremely amicably, with Sophie saying, ‘Charli, you can go first’. About half way home Charli piped up, ‘Mummy, I think it’s Sophie’s turn now.’ Ah, I love it when they work together so harmoniously. Sophie’s face was a delight to glance at in my rear view mirror. It is the first time she’s been given the responsibility of carrying a pet home. After a few gentle reminders not to shake the bag around or squish it she took her role with serious delight.

Sophie carefully transporting the guppies home

The Guppies have now been officially welcomed to our home and have settled in very happily. Tomorrow they will have survived a week with us and seem to be quite content. We chose only boy fish, as I wasn’t quite ready to enter the world of breeding guppies (the boy fish are much prettier too). They are very curious and entertaining fish to watch. We have all had our little quiet moments of sitting by the tank and making fish eyes with our new pets. They have been quick to find a place in our hearts. Here are a few photos (not exactly award winning, but you get the gist!).

As for our lonesome Black Moor, well that’s a story to come. A story that we hope will end with, ‘And they all lived happily ever after…’.


This is for Jenni…