We always had an aquarium inside our house ever since I was young. I think it was the same aquarium because I clearly remember it being so big that I can in fact, fit in it, as was the case when my father jokingly put me in it when it was first bought years ago. He said that I was a mermaid and the aquarium would be my new home. I fancied the thought and I have been in love with that aquarium ever since.
We had so much fun decorating the insides of it both my older brother and I. First we put small pebbly sand on top of the base apparatus, the one that handles the air distribution and cleaning of the aquarium, making sure it was totally covered as it was ugly to look at when it was exposed. Then we placed the ceramic castle, the treasure chest with air coming out of it and the big rocks wherever we wanted them to be. I was in charge of where to put the little mermaid figurine, well, because it was me.
Dad did the rest of the setting up of the aquarium as it involved vast amounts of tubes and other wirings which we cannot really hope to handle. In come the water after that and also the plants. After about two hours of making sure everything was okay the fishes were brought in.
At first there were just goldfishes but when we saw that there was still too much space for a few more fishes, dad brought us to the local pet shop for us to choose some more fish to put into our aquarium.
What eventually caught my interest among the many varieties of fishes in the pet shop were these small and relatively fast fishes that seem to dart around the bottom of the aquarium. The color of their body was of a strange black, brown and white mish-mash sort of camouflage typical to their species, but what made them stand out from the rest of the fishes there were their two large mustaches on either side of their head.
Dad said that they were Pictus Catfish, a staple of most aquariums because of their uncanny ability to clean the bottoms of aquariums from the excess food particles and algae that are there. They are really gentle kinds of fishes that keeps to their own and generally just stays at the bottom most of the times, dad added. Much to my delight, we eventually did buy three of them.
Everything went well with our aquarium and it was a sight to behold. It really has a calming effect when you get to see it, especially when I come home tired from school. I just sit there in front of it and most of the times it puts me to sleep just by looking at it.
Most of the fishes naturally died with time, and they always sank to the bottom and the catfishes never hesitated to get to the seemingly free catfish bait that fell from the heavens. Those times I hated them because they are eating their friends. I just immediately call dad whenever anything like that happens and let him get the dead fish for proper burial or something.
I still love having aquariums even today. That old aquarium that we had is still there, but now it houses just a few fishes, and large ones at that. And that little mermaid is also still there.