Different Strokes for Different Folks


My colleague, J, recently has caught onto an interest in keeping fishes, guppies to be exact… in the office. While the reason may be that she wants some pretty things to help her de-stress, I am not too sure about the fishes themselves. She started off with 13 and now has 6 guppies, all within a matter of less than two weeks.

While I am glad the fishes that have survived are going strong and alive, I don’t really understand the motivation for keeping fishes in the office especially with no prior experience and only for the pretty aesthetics of this endeavor. Yes, they have a nice looking tank with pretty decorations, time and effort is taken to clean out the tank and so on, but they are also starved intentionally over the weekend (as no one is in the office), let’s not even go on about the holidays.

Ok, so they can survive without food for sometime, but it is nonetheless a responsibility - one that the rest of us are not so keen on (who do you think ends up feeding the fishes when she is not around or the consequences if the tank is polluted with too much food or other pollutants?). It would be better if the fishes were kept at home and under her sole responsibility and watch.

What amazes me even more is the fact that a person can readily give up on any one fish because it is sick or injured, only focusing on the aesthetics rather than the mechanics and heart of such an endeavor. Just last week, a fish was almost flushed away just because it was weak, but still breathing. Fishes are quickly replaced as soon as they are gone and any factors contributing to their departure was of no fault of the owner of course, it was always the one that overfed them or because there was not enough oxygen in the tank etc...

Fishes may be small and are not like cats or dogs with emotions so apparent on their faces and body language, but it is still a life and a type of responsibility. It may not be as precious as human life, or as affectionate (cute) as dogs and cats, but still they are a life - life that is subjected to the whims and fancy of us humans. Unfortunately, that is usually how most people start on their first pet, on that whim and fancy at the spur of the moment only to discard or abandon the poor creature when they get bored or the responsibility gets too burdensome.

The rest of the people in the office take it as amusement (and perhaps pity for the fishes?) as she attempts to expand her collection or keep the fishes alive, but basically leave it at that. What can they do? The fishes are not their responsibility and neither are they mine, but I pity them and so I find myself doing what I can to help them survive. So now on my table are two recovering injured guppies which are recuperating well.


J says that when they give birth and her community increases she will pass me some of the fishes; it is something I am not keen on. Just because I help out, does not mean I am interested in fishes. If I want to keep fishes I can buy them on my own, thank you very much.

J, if you are reading this, you are a wonderful person and you know that I like you, right? Really I do. Just go easy on the fishies, don’t add any more new fishes just because you want to look at more pretty (they do need time to adapt to their new tank mates – they need time). Please think and look beyond aesthetics and your inspirations/aspirations whatever they may be. Spare my compassionate heart and the little fishes please.
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About TravelBytez

When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.
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