Escape From Petland

It’s well known that Disney is well known for popularizing certain animals. It actually benefits some of these animals, as for instance many kids would not let their fathers hunt “Bambi”. But if there is a potential for the animal to become a pet, then it’s a different story.

My wife told me that there was a huge demand for spotted dogs after “1001 Dalmatians” hit the big screen. And apparently Dalmatians are not low maintenance pets. So after a while there was a whole surplus of abandoned Dalmatians in dog shelters.

And now requests for the “Finding Nemo fish” are driving a pet store employee posting in nuts. Remember, saltwater fish are a maintenance nightmare (as the owners of the Amazing Netscape Fishcam which was once near the Tent of Doom would definitely tell you).

In any case, there will me a massive number of clown fish deaths in the following months. This is doubly ironic because in the cartoon the fish wants to escape from an aquarium.

WML: the Arch-Importance of Buckets and Lightbulbs

Hello, and welcome to the first edition of WML: What Michael Learned!

Today’s topic: aquariums. I am not going to talk here about not listening to the guy in the pet shop, about “cycling” the aquarium before adding the fish, about not overstocking the aquarium and overfeeding the fish. Everybody knows that, right? Well, I hope so.

What I am going to talk about two common problems.

Problem number A: water changes are hard.

Get a good big bucket. A 5-gallon bucket is perfect. First of all, you will know how many gallons there are in it. Unlike that tiny bucket you got in a drugstore, you will know it’s volume, so it will help you dose salt, chlorine remover, bacteria culture and medicine. Also you will make fewer trips to pour out and bring in new water.

Where to get a good bucket like that? I’ve got mine at my tackle shop, Bernie’s. It cost me $3. You can probably get it for free if you ask a manager in your local supermarket, but make sure that it held nothing toxic before.

Problem number B: Aquarium plants die.

If it’s not the fishes that do the dirty deed, it’s probably your lighting fixture. The one that came with your aquarium hood is crap. Go out and buy a new lamp, but leave the hood itself. What you need is a full spectrum, natural light fixture. I use Coralife Marine Aquarium 50/50 Daylight Bulb and it works like a charm, even though my aquarium is freshwater.