Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Put that Pet to Work!

What do the goldfishes dream ?

(Photo from Flickr, here.)


I had dinner with a group of old high school buddies last weekend. We had an absolutely fabulous time, and sat around the dining table for four hours eating jambalaya, chocolate pots and guzzling virgin Mint Juleps.


Our hostess was quite the domestic goddess, and has filled her apartment with beautiful things, and her balconies with beautiful plants. On her counter, I spied one lovely little goldfish, in a small simple bowl. When I asked about him, she replied that his name was Umm, and he was named by her two year old niece. He was also a rather productive member of the household. How? His tank water!


Apparently, the day he was bought went something like this:

Kate: Can I have a goldfish?

Clerk: Umm…yes? How many do you want?

Kate: How many can I have?

Clerk: *confused* How big is your tank?

Kate: *holding hands about nine inches apart*

Clerk: Ma’am, you can have one.

Kate: Oh, ok. Uhh…if I want to take water out of his tank, and replace it, how much water can I take at once?

Clerk: *more confused*

Kate: Like, can I take out half of his water and replace it? Two thirds?

Clerk: *blank stare*

Kate: See, I want it for my plants…



Eventually, she figured out that she could leave the fish in a small bowl of water while she removed the rest of the water, and then refill the tank with that bowl of water, plus fresh rested water from the tap. (She leaves the new water in a pitcher for a few days, to let the chemicals come out, before she puts it into the fish tank.)


The old fish water is then put into her watering can and used to water her gorgeous houseplants that week. Apparently, plants love nitrogen-rich fish water, and goldfish are particularly prolific in the poop department…resulting in particularly fantastic and nitrogen-rich water. Who knew?!


Now? You do. And I bet you can guess who’s going to go buy a goldfish soon…


(And hey! Christmas is coming! Go get your kids a pet that is USEFUL!)

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