TetraFan

Do I Over-React? Meh.

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This is a Blog, so it's different from a Thread. It's not intended to be helpful necessarily, or even interesting. We hope that we are still interesting, even with online people. But it's hard to tell from here some days. And I want to put me out here a little bit just for personal interest to be honest about it but anyway a Blog being that, means nobody is obligated to read it unless they just want to. So that having been said I was wanting to explain me a little, and it's not about what you are probably thinking. It's about the animals that we are buying. These aquatic ones in our cases. These PETS.
I worry about these guys. I mean, genuinely worry about them.
I bought them, brought them home, plunked them in what is essentially a bucket of water and expect them to BE HAPPY in it. Expect them to not ever get BORED, in it.
Now, I'm a Veterinary Technician if you have to grab me and pin me down about it. I am specifically a Surgical Tech and Animal Anesthetist, and the work I've done for the D.O.D. makes me so just so freaking cool that nobody likes me. Even though all I've done is push beakers around. For real. haha Ahem. So I spend a lot of time with my pets. It's one of those things I understand about me and can't seem to do anything about.
So anyway, I have this empathy for these pets, these creatures as soon as, the minute as, I can see some kind of intelligence or something. Some smartosity of some kind. A personality. Like that.
Then, bam. They're a dog/cat/bird whatever and I can classify them in a way that makes them PETS rather than "These are my fish, or this is our cat". I get overly into their behavior, humanizing them by degrees. I know this. But I'm really an expert on it, Animal Behavior, a real one, and aquatics were wonderfully distracting until we dabbled in salt water and now we can never, ever go back... and they are incredible things just like all of your tanks I know, I know.
But so many of these things are easily as smart as our dogs, or cats, or birds. This terrifies me and fascinates me and I live and work and breathe this exact Study my entire career. All of it.
So I probably over-empathize because it sometimes keeps me up nights. Being aware of the fact that I over react doesn't make the emotion less real, less encompassing. And I never know how to react when they hit me. (shrug)
My Wife is the most amazing woman that you might never know and I will never live without. And it's not like I've named all fifteen of our Chromis it's more like are they -all- hungry, cold, hot, BORED. Stuff like that and it worries me a lot.
It's like, all fifteen of the Chromis come to me just because I'm close by. They go to the Wife too. She knows how to feed everyone, and backs me up when I'm unable to manage it for some reason. They're like PETS to us.
We have things with hilarious personalities that don't even have eyes to speak of and live filling up a pair of shells. We've got a Slug that does acrobatics and yoga all at the same time and does not seem to ever stop eating for longer than ninety seconds at a time. We wonder all the time what might be going through his little mind during those pauses.
So we've the bivalves, slugs and snails and crabs and a conch (or is that a snail too? haha) and some starfish and Chromis and nems and a Blenny and some other fish...
A lot of our pets are hard to keep, we'd researched and asked and visited and watched and sometimes never even tried.
But when we did finally get something I will worry about it day and night.
They all have their own personalities, their own ways to them and moods even. It's hard to explain and takes other Threads, not this one Blog thing. I'm trying to explain ME, today, on THIS Blog thing.
We keep a variety of fish and bivalve and leather reef foods... Octopus prefer Krill so far, Trevor eats that the fastest at least. Part of the freezer is only for the fish and my Wife's turtle. Parts of our tanks are for raising food for the other parts. The same for the shortest (thankfully) shelf in the door of our frig, it's taken up with Phytoplankton of differing kinds, copes and amphs and other things like that, to feed the smallest of the mouths that I worry about.
And oh I worry about them, I will (and have many times) stayed up all night long working on why I can't get his or her tank working/sounding/looking right. Why don't they look happy... enough.
So letting the tanks get dirty, just enough. That's your secret, man. Keep a fuge if nothing else. I don't use one single thing else, speaking for myself. But you can take that Fuge offline for a week so that your tank develops some good algae on that one side facing the Sunlight... then plunk Z (that's our Slug's name) in there and he's got Enrichment as well as fresh food. He's almost seven inches long, I measured him yesterday actually when he was all streeeeeeched out investigating his "new" 29g tank and the algae we'd let overgrow for him. He'll clean off our Snails and Hermits, too. Well for sure, the Snails. But stuff like that, is what I'm talking about. Lip prints on the walls we allow String algae to grow on, Diatoms going all by themselves on another one filled with lip prints as well because the Blenny is munching away and having a time. Stuff like that.
Life is good for them all, as near as we can tell.
See, I know what you're asking your screen over and over, assuming that you are still reading this. If I am so aware that I over-worry, over-react, over emotionalosify, lose sleep, go off my Feed, let my appearance go... then why am I buying these animals and taking them home and plunking them in these imaginary buckets?
My betters in this hobby ask me repeatedly why am I acting this way in regard to how these animals are making me feel that they're feeling, and these water parameters don't match yours. By very much. And that is what is worrying both of us, all at the same time.
Finally if I beg on my proverbial knees, I can get a grudging response resembling "Well if you had any HOPE of keeping one of those properly fed, your water would have to be SO murky that..." and I would praise whom I praise and keep right on keeping on with what I have been building for weeks and weeks now. Months, even. Sarcasm be damned. Man the liferafts and batten the hatches until they scream for Mary.
Scallop tank is only 12g, makes Target Feeding a matter of just pouring a few tablespoons of either Marine Snow or that green stuff into the thing every so often. Walls of the thing are dotted all over with Coralline, freckles on a cutie pie face of a tank.
And the simple fact is, that I really believe that now that these animals are here, there is nobody who would possibly care about them more than I do. Not even the Copes. Maybe even especially not the Copes, for all I know.
But nope. No more than a few, anyway. Not really. I think it's narcissistic (yes I looked up the spelling) and shallow as hell to write out something that way, more as a fact than a personal opinion. But yet again there it is. Am I reacting, overtly? haha most of the time. Am I over reacting? Meh.

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Updated 05-08-2015 at 06:07 PM by TetraFan (stuff like that)

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