Here are a couple of pictures of this summer project with the kids (and hopefully a long-term one).
See, my kids, especially my daughter, have been wanting pets for quite a while. And until now, the answer from the adults in the house was always no. Some pets we don’t want to have, some pets we can’t really have. From its layout, it turns out that my house is not really pet-friendly. For example, she asked for a guinea pig before and I’d love to have a guinea pig, but the only place where its cage would be alright is a room where we don’t often spend time, so… Not good.
However, we’ve finally found common ground with some medaka!!!
If you don’t know what these are, let me explain. Also known as Japanese rice fish, medaka are native to Japan, and they’re one of the most common pets in Japan.
So we ended up buying not one, but two bowls (mini-ponds? containers?), a few plants, and a few fish. As they live in groups, we got 14, but one died after a couple of days (it’s a shame, it was the most beautiful one, probably the most fragile too, those things often go together, because you know… inbreeding).
Anyways, we’ve put them on a balcony, in an area that’s partly in the sun and partly in the shade, and I like what I’m seeing so far.
My only concern is the heat. It probably was a mistake to buy plastic containers, especially black ones (but they have a siphon system that makes them easier to clean). However, on sunny days, in the early afternoon, the water temperature easily reaches 35°C!!! Wikipedia (see link above) tells me that they can handle it, but I’m not sure if they can handle it daily in the long term. I may have to think about moving the containers to a place with more shade (there aren’t many, though).
It should be noted that I do have a lot of experience keeping fish in tanks indoors, as well as in large outdoor ponds, but it’s the first time I’m dealing with outdoor containers this size. So some things are familiar, some are not.
For example, I’m discovering that I bought too many plants. It turns out that water hyacinths grow and multiply very fast (now I remember hearing about that), and the other plant (not sure of the name) too. The pictures were taken two days ago and they’re already taking up more space in the containers. Something I’ll have to monitor.
My daughter is very happy, and so far has been even feeding them daily (I know that sooner or later, that task will fall on me, but so far so good).
My son is mostly very happy being allowed to play with water. He’s also been guilty of moving some fish from one container to the other (with the orange cup in the picture above). I’m not sure how safely he has proceeded. While they’re hardy fish, I’m not sure how well they handle this kind of operation, especially performed by a seven-year-old…
That’s all for now… I’ll give you updates… Or not… I’m already way overdue for a crow update. I’ll try to write it as soon as possible.