Nemo And The Seahorses


One of my happiest childhood memories is the day that I went to a fun fair and won a goldfish. I can still remember the elation I felt when, after around 50 attempts (eye/hand co-ordination has never been my strong point) I eventually managed to throw the hoop and get it to land over the random object a few feet away. I was giddy with excitement as the burly fair man hooked one of the bags containing a goldfish down from the roof of his stand and handed it to me. I held the bag up proudly against the late afternoon sun and peered through the plastic at my fish, my first ever goldfish. I was 9 years old.

Many years have passed since that heady day, and goldfish have swum in, and out of our lives , some of them won at fairs by my talented and less cack-handed offspring but up until now, I have never kept fish in anything grander than a goldfish bowl. Imagine if you will a grown-up woman, a grown-up woman giddy with excitement on taking possession of her first ever aquarium. We are not talking any old fish tank here, oh no my friends, this is a seawater aquarium  – a tiny but perfect microcosm of the rich and diverse marine life that surrounds this island of Java. Complete with corals and shells and oh so many new, and beautiful varieties of tropical sea fish.

Indonesians love their fish and all over Jakarta there are shops and markets selling everything you need to set up your own mini ocean. There are even markets that trade all through the night for fish loving insomniacs so should I suddenly have a burning desire to go and buy some more Nemos for our tank at three in the morning, the world is now my lobster.

Irishman’s and my exotic fish come from a shop down the road in Pancoran. The fish and the tank were not expensive compared to what it would have cost us in the UK, but, and here’s the rub, this new aquarium and it’s occupants are high maintenance so we now have to pay a small fortune each month to get the water changed once a week, the tank cleaned, and all the other million and one things needed to keep Nemo and the seahorses happy.

and here is Mr and Mrs Betta fish who live on the kitchen table in their huge round fish bowl.

 

 

 

The parrot prawn.

9 Comments

    1. Au naturel! Most of these photos have been taken at night because that seems to be the time when the seahorses daily aquacise class starts – they twirl and spin and whizz all over the place much to our amusement. The corals are stunning and I hate to think what endangered reef they have been plucked from but they are much appreciated and have a good home here!

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  1. Like your beautiful, vibrant garden in Bali, I wouldn’t be able to tear my eyes away from the amazing, gorgeous world of your sea water aquarium.

    Your “tiny but perfect microcosm of the rich and diverse marine life” is incredible. I must say though, seahorses have always held a special place in my heart. They are magical creatures like dragons and unicorns. And we don’t get to see them (any of them) nearly often enough.

    Your post has made my day, Sis. xoxo

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    1. Very happy that the seahorses made your day. I wish you could see them in full Aquacise mode in the evenings. They really do play to the gallery and Im sure they know that we are watching them. Their class starts at around 8pm when they come out of their hiding places at the back of the tank and they then grab onto whatever it is they chose to wrap their tiny curly tails round. Then the show begins….they twizzle and twirl and swirl and swoosh and then suddenly shoot of around the tank at high speed and back to their original starting point. “Encore” we cry in unison and off they go again….like tiny dragon acrobats, it is positively enchanting.

      Ok so it’s taken me almost 40 years to go from having a goldfish to a seahorse but sometimes the best things are worth waiting for! xoxo

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  2. You have the most lovely pictures of creatures I so wish I could have! I have loved seahorses since I was a tiny thing. Here in Canada it is hard to find a good place to get even gold fish. Enjoy them and keep posting photos!

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    1. I’ve loved them too and I’m quite fascinated by them. They look quite different when they are swimming and their tails are straight out behind them. I love how they use their tails to anchor themselves and hold on to something. When they sleep, they wrap their tail onto a piece of coral or a shell on the floor of the tank and then off they go, into the land of nod. Their heads getting lower and lower and lower as they start to doze! Oh and another thing that I’ve noticed is that the lovely long nose they have is used for getting food out from the stones and shells on the tank floor. Thanks for your lovely comment and I hope that one day you can keep seahorses too 🙂

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