While my seedlings are growing and the weather has given some indication that it remembers whatÂ spring is, I still find myself itching to get some real gardening in.
Case in point, I was at Goodwill the other day (I love Goodwill. It is even better that my Goodwill is also next to a Marc’s – which sadly for all of you non Clevelanders, is an awesome but only local chain) and found the coolest old bottle. The cap says Gallo (as in the wine maker) but the bottle is shaped like an apple, with a window.
For some reason, when I saw it I thought “that would make a reallyÂ neat aquarium.â€ Yeah, logic and my bright ideas don’t really mesh sometimes.
But I was determined and I plunked down the $4 for the bottle (Goodwill is getting pretty pricy these days) and brought it home. My husband, the supportive, dream crusher that his is, immediately informed me that with no way to aerate the water and only a narrow opening at the top, my fantasy fish would be dead in a week.
Plus, he reminded me of another issue that I have. (If you are a member of PETA, skip to the next paragraph) I tend to forget to feed small animals that don’t make noise of some kind. Which thus far, has only been fish. We are an anti-hamster household and the dog, cat and children get pretty noisy if I don’t feed them.
But, for the record, while I have not been able to keep fish alive in the house, I have been very successful at keeping them alive in my small pond. My secret to keeping them alive is to simply forget that they are there (which means that I get to be delighted every time I look at my pond. Oh lookie — FISH!)
So how do the feral fish do it, how do they survive summer and winter in my pond that has no aeration system and no fish flakes?Â Because I have pond plants.
I then started thinking about these spheres I saw as a kid that were marketed as self contained world. There was a plant and a fish. What happened after the fish died was a mystery to me, but in theory this tiny aquarium had all that a fish needed to survive.
So off to the pet store I went. I bought a $2.50 fish and $25 in aquarium plants. Such is the addiction that afflicts a gardener.
What I found odd was that a great many of the “aquaticâ€ plants they had there were in fact houseplants that had simply been submerged. Luck bamboo, what I would swear was hosta and peace lilies to name a few.
But they also had genuine aquatic plants. As a matter of fact, a significant portion of my plant costs came out of the fact that I bought a marimo — AKA Japanese aquatic moss ball. It looks a little like a tribble that was exposed to too many gamma rays.
So, thus began my experiment in enclosed aquatic gardening. So far Castle (the fish — as in Little Plastic) is a happy and productive goldfish. I bet this week she has swam around the bottle at least 300 times and has yet failed to be amazed that there is an angryÂ tribble in the water with her. I think now that a week has gone by, and Castle is not dead or swimming upside down (as I have told my children in the past that fish are apt to do) that this experiment looks to be successful.
Now, if I could just train my goldfish to grow some underwater tomatoes, I would really have an amazing aquarium terrarium.