Monday, January 19, 2009

Gettin' Busy

See the little white dots in the middle of the cleared spot? Those are eggs. Lots of them, aren't there?

We have a 75 gallon fish tank with three Oscars, a gigantic goldfish, and a plecto-something-or-other that's supposed to keep the tank clean.

Two of the Oscars are huge, and they lay eggs at least twice a month. Nothing ever comes of it, though. They clear a spot, lay eggs, guard them passionately for a couple days, and then eat them. It's been going on for probably pretty close to a year.

It's fun to watch the whole process, and it's a good exercise in animal observation. That's about all we get out of it. Which is probably for the best, because I have no idea what we'd do with a bunch of tiny ill-tempered fish. Oscars are notoriously aggressive.

The goldfish was supposed to be part of a meal, but was too big. It's a fluke that he's survived this long. He holds his own pretty well, and the other fish leave him alone. He's my favorite - any fish that can watch all his little fishy friends swallowed whole and survive without any emotional trauma, well, that's just impressive.

At least I assume there's no emotional trauma. That's my professional opinion.* He seems pretty chipper, swimming around happily with the rest of them. He doesn't seem too concerned about being eaten.

So between observing the fish and their egg-guarding behavior, watching the MLK, Jr. I Have A Dream speech on YouTube, and discussing said speech along with some of its implications, we've had a pretty decent homeschooling day. Tomorrow we're taking a field trip to the vet's office so Eva can get her shots, we'll do some math and some reading, and I will start school myself. I can't wait to get started.

*I'm not really an aquatic vertebrate mental health professional. I've taken most of my classes, but I haven't sat for the national tests yet. I'll be sure to let you know when to start calling me Doctor.

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