Denizens of the Balcony

So some time last year we went to the aquarium store down Chan Road and we acquired an aquarium with a handful of guppies. The guppies proved to be surprisingly resilient, there were baby guppies, some of the guppies were eaten by birds, and now we have three guppies. They had names but I forget what they are. In January, we got an eel named Hannibal but then, as they say, a bird ate her. After that we bought a tiny turtle who was named Rosella – at many riverfront establishments in Bangkok you can buy various aquatic creatures which you then release into the river to make merit and/or feed the catfish. Rosella has not been eaten by a bird and has in fact thrived. She is a Chinese soft-shelled turtle, a species notable for its rather extraordinary plumbing.

We’re mostly feeding her turtle food. But we thought she might like a change, so we went to the aquarium store and attempted to buy five tiny shrimp, which appear to be the variety known as dancing shrimp. There was some confusion and we ended up with five baht worth of shrimp, which meant about twenty-five of them. So we dumped them in the tank and they terrified Rosella, who was not interested in eating them, and the fish, who felt like they’d already been through a lot with the introduction of Rosella. These sort of shrimp evidently like to jump, and many of them jumped out of the tank, and were presumably eaten by birds. But now we have about ten of them, who are getting bigger and bigger.

But after all of this, the tank started getting dirty, and so we decided to solve this problem by acquiring a sucker fish, also from the aquarium store, who has been named Mrs. Primrose. Here is the whole tank seen from above:


And here is Rosella and some of the shrimp:


And here they are again:


And here is Mrs. Primrose:


She is kind of terrifying, it’s true. We hope she does well and that we don’t have to clean the tank out so often now.

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