Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Fishes & My aquarium...

I am a great Nature-Lover. I love birds, animals, flowers, insects etc. And it was my strong desire to have an aquarium at my home. I fulfilled this wish few days ago. I have a small aquarium at my place now which is home for three lovely cute fishes!

Actually the count of fishes should have been eight. But I have to share my grief of loosing my five little cute pets and also have to confess that I was responsible for the loss of the lives of these small lovely creatures. Hereby I also intend to share the lessons I learnt to have an aquarium at your home. My this blog will give you some very important tips for the maintenance of an aquarium at your home.

I had set up a small aquarium at my place in the small water-tank made up of transparent glass. I had filled it with water and decorated it with the shells and conches I had collected in the past. I had a small water-bubble-pump also placed inside the mini-aquarium. I had done this two-three days prior to bringing my first four fishes home. I bought them finally one night and brought them in a small plastic bag. I feared they should remain alive till I reach home from the shop and put them into my mini-aquarium. They did! I had bought four fishes. A pair of Tangerine and another pair of zebra. Tangerines were beautiful reddish orange in colour with a niddle-like tail protruded and zebras were grey coloured small and thin types. I cut the plastic bag carefully and slid them into their new home. They started moving fast in zigzag manner, getting acquainted with their new home perhaps. I loved watching them. I had a feeling of great satisfaction having fulfilled my wish of bringing home my own little cute fishes! I gave them some fish-food which I had purchased from the store. It was fun watching them galloping their food hungrily. I had read somewhere that it is good for Blood-Pressure patients to watch Fishes in an aquarium for sometime daily. I thought my mother should everyday watch my little cute fishes to keep her blood-pressure under control.

The red tangerines were calm in nature while the zebras were pretty agile and were constantly moving very fast here and there. I was happy to have indulged in one more new hobby by bringing my new pets home.

Next morning, I checked my aquarium first thing in the morning after waking up and was shocked to find one zebra-fish floating upside-down at the surface of water in my small aquarium. It was actually the dead-body of my first lost fish. I was in pain. When a fish does not move at all and floats upside-down, it is dead. I took out the dead-fish in my hands and tried to examine its smooth little lifeless body. I found a scar on the stomach and took no time to realize that the good-looking conch with needle-like thorns must have hurted my little cute fish and had costed her life. I felt sad for realizing this so late that I had already lost one my fishes till then.
Never keep anything needle-like or thorn-like in your aquarium which can actually hurt your fish and take its life away. I immediately removed the conch with thorns on its body out of my aquarium. I threw the body of my first dead-fish on the roof of my home so that a bird can eat it and my fish-dead body can be of some use after its death. The sight of lone zebra left now in my aquarium was disappointing.

In a few days, I bought another pair of Orange and black Mouli fishes. They were very small in size and looked beautiful with the orange body and black tail and a few black spots on the body. My total five fishes stayed well with each other in their little abode.

After ten days time, I had to replace the water as it had become dirty. This shall be normally done in a fortnight’s time on regular basis. I had not consulted anybody before doing this routine thing for the first time with my aquarium which was my second biggest mistake. I took some water in a bucket from the running tap and after removing my fishes from the aquarium with the help of a handheld fish net, kept them into this bucket. All the five fishes seemed scared and were moving in frenzy into the bucket. Little did I know that after 20 minutes or so I would find only four of them in living state. I cleaned the water-aquarium-tank thoroughly. Also cleaned the stones, pebbles, shells and conches and kept them back in fresh tap water filled tank. As soon as I saw the bucket where I had kept my fishes, I got second shock upon finding another zebra fish dead. I was sad and thought there were no objects which could hurt any fish in the bucket. Then how did it die? But I didn’t know the very source of life for a fish could also kill it.
You shall never put fish into fresh tap water as it is chlorinated and little fishes can not consume it to breath. I threw the other zebra fish dead body on my roof top to be eaten up by a hungry bird. I had not yet realized the reason why this fish had died. I kept a close observation on my other four alive fishes. None of them were as energetic as before in spite of me putting them into fresh water and offering them some food. One of the Tangerine’s was also on the verge of dying. She could not remain steady and swim. Her body turned automatically upside-down. But yet it was alive. I was restless. I didn’t want it to die at any cost. I consulted a neighbour who used to keep fishes at his home in the past. He suggested that fishes shall never be kept in fresh tap water. Water for the aquarium shall always be kept idle for a day or two so that all the fluorine content in that water diminishes and finally it becomes chlorine-free and fit for little aquarium fishes. He also advised me to buy liquid solutions called De-chlorinator and anti-fungal liquid for better and healthy living state of fishes. I immediately purchased them and put a few drops of both into my aquarium. Luckily the tangerine fish that was sinking sometime ago was still alive. After putting the drops of these liquids, the fishes were feeling little better and were in a better state. Yet they were not fully energetic and agile as before.

The next day I found two Mouli fishes dead. I felt helpless and sad. Same process of throwing the dead little fishes on my home’s roof was followed. Now there were only two Tangerine fishes left in my aquarium. It looked empty. I bought another pair of Hockey fishes which were again very cute and unsteady! They constantly moved here and there in my aquarium making it full of life! The speciality of this breed was that they had a transparent grey body with a black long patch across their body in the center and this patch turned at their tail to make it look like a Hockey-stick. That is why I guess their name was so. The black patch was changing its colour. That was another surprising thing about Hockey-fishes.

The four of my fishes stayed happily. This went on till a month or so. And one day a strange mystery took place. Upon returning from office that evening I checked my aquarium to find only three fishes inside. Two Hockey ones and one Tangerine. One tangerine fish was missing. Now this fish was not very small in size. So if it had somehow managed to jump out of the water then I would find its body lying nearby the aquarium. But I couldn’t find anything near or far from aquarium. I was surprised and shocked. I tried hard to find it. A though occurred to me. A lizard could have come from the nearby wall and some how managed to eat my lovely tangerine fish. It seemed very very difficult but not impossible.
I asked my wife, my sister but nobody had any clue where my tangerine fish had disappeared. I inspected the water tank thoroughly. Checked the conches carefully. In a large conch, many times I had found my fishes resting but it was open enough to hide a fish. Another few conches were having long bodies but very small opening on their head. I shook all the conches well to check if the fish had gone inside any of them, but could not find anything there. Now it had become a mystery where my little cute dish could have gone?

Another four-five days passed. I shared my disappeared fish-mystery-story with most of my friends-colleagues and everybody was surprised but nobody could suggest me where my little cute fish could have gone.
Finally the day came when I decided to replace the water in my aquarium. My wife was also helping me this time. Before removing my three lovely fishes out of the tank, I started taking out the conches from the aquarium tank. I don’t know why but I shook each conch thoroughly before removing it out. Third or fourth conch which was a very long and slender with a pointed head and a small opening came in my hand and as soon as I started shaking it, some orange coloured substance fell out of it into the water with very bad stench. There was my cute not-so-little tangerine fish. Why it had to go inside that conch? I felt a shock upon seeing that orange mass which was not even solid now, falling into the tank. That sight still haunts me. That orange thing falling into my water tank from the conch. How did a big fish go into that conch through a very small head, is still a puzzle. I had shook all the conches that first day my fish got missing but I could not find it there. I had even taken that conch inside which my missing fish was entrapped, into my hands and had shaken it with the fish present inside that conch but it didn’t, rather couldn’t come out. Perhaps it had already died then or was it alive? Whatever be the case, I could not save it. Lesson number three is never ever keep any object in your water tank where your fish can go into but can not come out. I lost my beloved fish due to this silly mistake. I had not thought at all that fish would like to go inside the conch. That sight and stench made my wife also ill. She got a headache and vomited the whole day. I was sad and disappointed too.

It is easy to have a hobby but difficult to maintain and give justice to it. Also you should do your homework thoroughly before taking on any new hobby.

Now my three fishes are living happily in their tiny aquarium. I lost my five fishes but now would not loose any as I have learnt my lessons.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Eco-friendly 'Ganpati' Bappa Morya...!!!

I am Happy as Ganesha, my favourite God has come to my home today, on account of 'Ganesha Chaturthi'. He will stay with us for a day and a half. I am happier because he is in his 'Eco-friendly' avataar this time! If you wish to have his Darshan please come to my place before 04:00 PM tomorrow(24-Aug-09). After 4:00 we will take him for Visarjan. And if you can't make it to my place, no worries as I am uploading his picture in this Blog. Here it is :

We had brought Sumukh (Ganesha) home for three years in a row some years back. Usually people bring Ekdanta(Ganesha) home for odd number of years:1 or 3 or 5 or 7 and so on.
But after my marriage last year, my father had a wish to bring Kapil(Ganesha) one more time to my home. So this year he proposed to celebrate Ganeshotsav at my home. I don't know why but I was not very very keen and enthusiastic this time. There are many such things I feel in my life now which I used to love before a few years, but for which I am not very enthusiastic now. Earlier we used to celebrate Janmashtami also with great zeal at my Granny's place. We used to decorate the jhula and make a jungle for Krishna-Janma. But since 2-3 years I haven't attended the Janmashtami celebration there. Same way on all earlier occasions, I had thought about some themes and had decorated my place with lot of creativity and enthusiasm. This year I was not sure whether we would do any such decor.
We had to decide what kind of idol we would buy this time. I and my sister were discussing about it since a week. But I was so busy during whole last week that I could not go and check out the idols being sold near my place. I didn't even send a formal invite mail to my colleagues whom I wished to invite to my home for GajKarnak(Ganesha) Darshan. On Friday eve I checked my office emails and saw a couple of invites for Lambodar(Ganesha) Darshan and I realized I could not send it to anybody and Saturdays are holidays for us.
2-3 days back I had gone to 1-2 shops to cursorily check the prizes of Vikat(Ganesh) idols. They were very costly and bigger in size too, for my home. I am a strong recommender of Eco-Friendliness and wished to go for one such idol this time. But there is not much awareness about this kind of issue in the market and I had heard a friend saying most of the shops or idol-makers were not even aware of any such thing called 'Eco Friendly Idol’. Saturday morning I went to see VighnaNash(Ganesh) Idols finally and upon reaching the Ganesh Art Shop near my place, found many cute Vinayak(Ganpati) idols there of varying sizes and shapes. People have a crazy tendency to see DhumraKetu(Ganesha) in various forms : like GanaaDhyaksh(Ganesha) in Shankar Mahadev swaroop or BhaalChandra(Ganesha) in Hanumaan swaroop or in Vishnu or Saibaba swaroop. Infact some weird artistes make Gajaanan(Ganesha) in human forms also, like one idol I saw in Shivaji Maharaj's swaroop! I personally don't like this trend of giving some other form or swaroop to VakraTund(Ganpati) other than his own. Though I like creative idols made out of marbles or chocolates or dry-fruits or fruits or any other such articles/objects. In Ganesha Art Shop, I was browsing through a couple of KrushnaPingaaksh(Ganesh) idols and I found three idols separately kept. These were moderate in size. Neither too small nor very big. I wanted to buy a small idol not costing too high as I feel one wastes money if he spends too much in buying the bigger size idols for home. But I got curious to know why those three moderate sized Gajvakatra(Ganpati) idols were kept separately. The girl on the shop counter told me that those were Eco-friendly VighnaRaj(Ganesha) idols. Wah! I had forgotten also that I wanted to buy an eco-friendly idol when I came to this shop and here I accidentally found a few such idols! I was happy. I asked about the prize. They were costlier than the small size idols one of which I would have bought had I not came across these eco-friendly ones, but I wanted to go for one of these eco-friendly idols only now. I asked the girl at the counter why these eco-friendly ones were very less in number. She explained me that due to these types of idols being made from Mitti (soil only) and not using Plaster-of-Paris (which is very harmful for environment), they can not be coloured very brightly as people like them to look. People prefer gaudy and bright colours only and also there is not much awareness also about the harmful effects of immersing the normal plaster-of-Paris idols into sea water. Thus people do not prefer less attractive eco-friendly idols. Now the whole concept of Ganeshotsav is based on faith in God then why this attractiveness concept? But that is reality. Infact idol-makers also have to earn and sell the idols so if they don't find buyers for less attractive eco-friendly idols why would they make it in bulk? But I wanted to buy eco-friendly DhumraVarna(Ganpati) only and I did that! (And felt very happy and satisfied even though I had bought it for three times the higher prize than what budget I had in my mind!)

I decorated my place also with 'Eco-Friendly' theme. I used all the items available at home - different colours and size Duppattas and Chunris. See the pictures:

Also I decided to put all the different Ganesha idols and pictures already at my home gifted by somebody or bought by us.

Ganesha is the only cute and lovely God who is liked by artistes and creative souls alike! Which other God you would be able to see in so many different forms (liking singing Ganesha, Sleeping Ganesha, Dancing Ganesha or playing some musical instrument or in some latest urban avataars two-wheeler driving Ganesha!)
Ganesha is my favourite God!
Please come to my home before 4:00 PM tomorrow (24-Aug-09) if you wish to have darshan and if you can!

May Ganesha bless all of us...!

Ganpati Bappa Morya..!!!Mangal Moorty Morya..!!