An important update folks, as my blog becomes a more rigorous and scholarly platform for academic discussion and debate: I’m now keeping fish!

Ok look, it’s been a long time since my last ‘archaeoden update’, so I thought I’d try something new as a blog category: ‘Archaeofish’. In this and perhaps subsequent posts, I will provide updates in my new pursuit of keeping a small temperate water aquarium.

Now my family had tropical fish and later goldfish when I was a kid, but I haven’t lived with fish for c. 30 years. So this was a modest but nerve wracking decision. With great fish come great responsibilities, and I’ve grasped the aquatic nettle, tried not to think about Leslie Nielsen in The Naked Gun, and I have invested in an aquarium. I must now live with the worry and stress, and perhaps also some of the joy, of keeping this little watery colony going.

The aquarium: I think you can see Frodo swimming past in front of the skull, while Fili the snail is slithering along the edge of the filter base. Gollum and Gandalf like hiding in the plant stems

Having purchased and set it up the aquarium and gotten over the anxiety that the fish might be conducting late-night initiation and naming ceremonies (“shark bait hoo ha ha”), over 4 weeks I’ve built up the community. At the present time, they comprise of the following:

  • 2 zebra danios: Aragorn-Andrew and Bilbo;
  • 3 spotted danios: Frodo, Rosie Cotton and Laura;
  • 3 platys: Merry, Pippin and Samwise the Brave:
  • 2 shrimp: Gollum and Gandalf
  • 1 red spotted snail: Fili
  • 1 zebra snail: Kili

You might notice that, with the exception of Laura, and the disputed double-named Aragorn-Andrew, there is a Tolkien theme to the aquarium.

You’ll also notice a mortuary theme: I’ve submerged a skull ornament into the aquarium and the snails in particular like keeping it clear of algae. The kids chose the castle…

Sadly, the first month of aquarium has already seen disease and death. A fungus infection has already eaten away Rosie Cotton’s caudal fin, and Samwise the Brave’s right pectoral fin, although following treatment both are swimming on valiantly despite their impairments.

Meanwhile, I regret to report that the grim reaper has already visited our tank. Tragically, we lost our first Frodo: a grey platy who unexpectedly died last week. Rest in peace!