A Tropical Fish Collector’s Tale

I found the following article by my late husband, Jim, on how we got started on our fish keeping activity.  It appeared in the FIN FUN bulletin of the L.E.R.C., Aquarium Society of Lockeed Employees Recreation Club in Burbank, dated October 1965. Here it is:

TANKS A LOT by Jim Denyer

There is a time in everyone’s life when the togetherness urge turns into madness.

Just such an event occurred to me during the month of January, 1964. About the middle of the month, my son, Jim Jr., 15, came home from a visit to the local discount store with a ten-gallon tank, a pump, a filter, and a small paper covered book on how to keep fish in the home.

The trouble was that he had run out of money before buying any fish. My wife, Marylou, said that the store had a “lot of very pretty ones and they aren’t too expensive”.

I felt generous, so we all got into the car (this trip included our two daughters, Circe and Jennifer) and went back to buy fish. A pair of guppies, platys, mollies, angel fish and kissing gouramis are the ones I remember buying. However, in the next few weeks I started looking at ads and visiting various Fish stores in the vicinity.  A trio of convict  cichlids, a pair of paradise fish, some neons, and catfish were added.

I also started visiting the public library for books to read on the subject and to find out why it was getting harder to see the fish through the murky water.

About that time, Jim Jr., came home one day and announced that he had made collections and wanted to buy his own fish. He pointed out that they wouldn’t fit with the selections of Marylou and myself, so would I please get another tank so that he could have his back?

At this moment, Marylou registered a protest that my fish were biting hers.’’

The result was two tanks.

The population explosion, both by immigration from the local fish stores and by the first exciting miracle of live birth by the mollies soon caused further overcrowding.

In fact, despite the fact that I now have about 20 tanks, most of these are still overcrowded. The days of “one large tank should take care of all of our problems” have been replaced by “why don’t you get rid of some of the fish you don’t want?”

But we still enjoy them, that is, after the filters have been cleaned and they are fed and no new problems crop up and if I don’t have to figure where to put any of the new friends won at the raffle table and . . . . .
End of story
I copied this verbatim. Didn’t change a word. Although there are some things that are not quite correct. And the number of tanks grew to 45. There are lots more fish stories that I want to tell.
MizMlu
Owner MizMlu’s Etsy Store
http//mizmlu.etsy.com

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