The Aquarium--Part II


Kockisek, when it has all the Czech diacritical characters on it, is a diminuitive of the word "cat." I basically named my fish "Kitty." But, hey, he's a catfish.

Kockisek is a Bumblebee Catfish. He's about three inches long, mostly yellow with black stripes, thus the reference to a bumblebee. I got him just before I got Vláda and Max, the newts. The day I went to get the new newts, the pet store was actually out of them. So, still wanting amphibians, and something unique, I bought water dogs instead. But that was right before I went on vacation, and when I got back from vacation one of them was dead and the other was sick. I took them back to the store, which now had newts again. Knowing that I could keep newts alive, I bought Vláda and Max to keep Kockisek company.

I don't see Kockisek very often. Like most catfish, he's a bottom-dweller. And considering all the objects I have in my aquarium, I usually see him only when I go to clean it. Besides the rock gravel, I have one really big rock in the aquarium. I also use to have three clam shells. I've taken one of them out because, while shopping for a new bulb, I found some aquarium decorations on sale.

I had Kockisek firmly in mind when I chose the decoration. I used to always find him hiding under one of the clam shells. He'd made himself a little home under there and I always had to drop his food at the opening he'd made in the gravel for a door. There were some wonderful decorations: treasure chests with skeletons, sunken ships,... and the pyramids.

Well, I'm intrigued by sunken ships and buried treasure, but I absolutely love history. The decoration I bought has two pyramids and a sphinx in front. There are holes in the pyramids and in the base of the decoration so the fish can hide.

Kockisek loves his new home. I almost never see him now. Every once in awhile I'll take a flashlight and look in the holes, just a make sure he's still in there.

One time he wasn't! Personally, I like to think he found himself a StarGate in that Sphinx or maybe just a small dimensional portal. Or maybe he's just a magic fish.

One fine evening, I went to feed my fish and noticed a lot of pellets lying wasted at the back entrance to the Sphinx. I thought, "He must be dead. I'll have to get him out of there." I got the net and picked up the Sphinx. No fish. Odd. I picked up the pink thingamajig decoration. Not in there. The big rock. Not under it. The plants. Nope. I looked behind and under the filter, not that he could fit there. No fish. I swear there was no fish in the tank. I couldn't figure it out. I didn't think the newt ate him as he'd had the opportunity (and even a fellow newt to share the meal with a few months back) for well over a year. Newts are known to espcape but not catfish and even if he had grown wings, there's a mesh top over the tank to keep the newt in. So puzzled, I went on with life. I didn't put fish food in the tank since there was no fish.

Three weeks later I went to completely change the tank water and clean the tank and everything in it. I turned off the filter and lifted it out. I took all the decorations out and lo and behold, there he was! Swimming around as fast as ever.

He hasn't taken any dimensional journey's lately, but I keep an eye on him now and then just to check.

UPDATE: Kockisek has left us. Quite awhile ago in fact. He had a good long life for an aquarium fish, I think. After him the aquarium is populated by guppies. Lots and lots of guppies. We eventually stopped that and let the aquarium go. But not before we learned a lot about baby guppies and had 3 aquariums going to handle them.


Or check out my Cats! page.

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