The tao of fish


Keep swimming

Why the tao of fish?

My star-crossed love affair with fish started with an impulse buy about a decade ago: a starter kit aquarium. The pet shop owner recommended that I put in zebra danios and mollies, the two toughest fish breeds in the universe. Yes, the first fish that the new aquarium owner acquire will not become those legendary pets that will grow old with them. But really, those fish were tough. Everything else I added I killed off but those danios… they would have probably grown legs if I forgot to top up the water for long enough. The mollies just kept on breeding, probably in fear of almost certain evolutionary extinction.

A blink and a sigh (from my credit card) and the amusement went from an experiment to a full blown hobby with three massive tanks, complete with sunken ship, breeder cages, underwater forests and industrial strength waterfalls. The interest lasted a year or so before all were given away rather enthusiastically.

I will always recall the lessons those damn fish taught me. Eat little and not too often (a fat fish is a dead fish). New water needs time to find its balance (also known as “time heals”). Nitrites are bad (’cause “shit happens”) and bacteria are good (they are the “friends that will eat up your shit”). A bit of salt at the right time can negate world peace. The way of fish is the way of us.

Above all, you must remember to breathe. And to do that, you must keep swimming.