So I’ve recently become a mother of three fish.

What happened was that my kids met a friend in the playroom who was looking for someone to take over his fish because his family is moving away, and they volunteered (without checking with me).

So one Sunday morning, I come home from grocery shopping to find a Filipino lady in conversation with my helper at the door. Turns out she had come over to drop off the fish. She brought them in a large distilled water container cut in half. I explained that I knew nothing about rearing fish, and I was not inclined to invest in the apparatus required. She said that the fish had been alive in said container for the past two weeks and that she could give us the food she had left. She seemed kind of desperate – because her son was attached to the fish and therefore wanted to find a new ‘home’ for them. So even though I said that I’m not sure we could keep them alive, she was happy to hand them over for us to try.

So that’s how we landed up with Goldy and Feedy (yeah, these are the names the kids chose. How literal could they get). It was quite simple to care for them, and I was inching towards getting a tank, though I decided to wait at least a couple of weeks. The kids lost interest in a couple of days – which confirmed my belief that any pet we get should be purely because I’m willing to look after it.

Alas, one day, V tried to be smart and changed all the water in their bowl. Now, the previous owner had told me not to do that because a) they can’t survive in the chlorinated water from our tanks b) they find completely new water disconcerting (further research has taught me that’s it a bacteria thing – their existing water had the good bacteria needed for them to survive). That evening Feedy died.

I was surprised at how sad I felt. The thing is I’ve always found fish kind of creepy. So they were the last pet I’d be inclined to keep or imagine I’d develop affection for. But there you have it.

Since our fish food was running out, I found out about a shop nearby where we could get supplies. We went for Alice Through The Looking Glass that weekend …very nice, but the Mad Hatter scared Mimi, so V took her out and I urged him to go buy the fish food in the meantime. When Nene and I exited the theatre and met V in the mall, turns out he had bought not only a tank but five other fish. Two goldfish, two black moor goldfish, and one companion to Goldy (whose species we are still unsure off). Turns out the fish shop guy was super nice and V got carried away. I’m not complaining – I was in love with the fish.

We named the orange ones Donald and Trump and the black ones Hillary and Barack. The new Goldy-companion was named Feedy II.

Unfortunately, Goldy and Feedy turned out to have a piranha complex and started attacking the goldfish. Also, one day V decided to feed them peas (which all sources say are good for them) and one of the fish died. Since them I’ve told him to butt out of the fishcare – the problem is he’s too proactive. Unfortunately, since then three fish have died, even though I moved Goldy and Feedy into their own bowl, where suddenly Feedy is ruling the roost, and I’m starting to feel sympathy for Goldy although I hold him responsible for the death of at least one goldfish.

The fact is that I think our tank was too small for the number of fish we had although the fish shop owner told V it was the right size. I think two fish in that tank is ideal. Unfortunately, right now we only have one – Hillary or Barack (depending on whoever wins the election) – in the tank and he seems quite happy on his own and has grown ginormous. Mimi’s friend’s mum gave me a huge goldfish bowl which I’m keeping Feedy and Goldy in for now.

Do any of you have fish? Rookie tips on their upkeep are welcome.

Below are the kids enthralled by the tank at its zenith.