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Fish make ‘demands’ in fanciful aquarium assemblage
Carolina Meadows

During the past year with my wife’s hospitalization in the Health Center, one of our favorite destinations for a wheelchair visit was watching the fish cultures in the aquarium in the hall outside the clinic. We were surprised last summer to observe an aquarium meeting, and I was asked to take the following minutes:

Minutes of the ad hoc aquarium 8 meeting, Carolina Meadows Health Center. In attendance, the Goldfish family: Goldie, Fantail, Fernando and Lionhead; the Comets and junior Comets 9-15; and the Shubunkins, Fern and Reginald.


Tank Temperature and Oxygen

There was general agreement that everyone’s fins are freezing at night when tank warmth decreases as the Health Center temperature is lowered.

A participant in the fish assembly, as photographed by Joe Mengel

A second dedicated conduit for air bubbles with increased O2 saturation is required. Both Goldie and Fernando need more O2 for their chronic obstructive gill disease (COGD). This has developed from long years of swimming and making acute turns when excited. Gill flexibility has been decreasing even with the use of steroids.

An increased O2 supply would enhance everyone’s aerobic activity. Lionhead pointed out that all fin movement would increase with more O2 as well as Fantail’s fanning. The physical plant will be called about both issues.

Tank Clouding

Tank Clouding held over from the last meeting was discussed again. The Pisces section of the EPA had been asked to study the problem. Their report emphasized that the current diet of fish meal, dried yeast, ground brown rice, and crude fat had no place to go after digestion but into tank water.

The senior Comets thought this was a too delicate a subject to discuss in front of their progeny who have been the worst offenders. Fernando, who swam for OWASA in the past, said he would look into pure mineral water (Aquafina) and better filtration for the tank.


The Shubunkins who are now 60 fish years old stated that a generational divide was developing. The junior Comets felt strongly in order to relate to their peers in other aquaria they needed body ornamentation. This includes fin stretching, piercing and tattooing. A discussion followed led by Lionhead about the safety of piercing. He said he had avoided all fish hooks in the past. He was not sure underwater piercing instruments would be safe.

Concern was also expressed about the tattoos that would appear. The American flag being acceptable but a dagger through a two chamber fish heart was not. Tattoo pigment contaminating the tank water was also a concern.

Goldie said she had read in the Pisces Times Sunday Styles that Parisian matte swimsuits have now been adapted for piscine forms. The suits have multi-colored prints or spaces for tattoos. They could be slipped on and off behind the tank’s rocks, be much safer than tattooing and no pigment contamination of the tank. The hour being late further discussion of the issue was postponed until there was a larger quorum.

Respectfully submitted, J Scatliff


A fish tale from Dr. Jim Scatliff, member of the resident PR Committee

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