Aquarium, – a healing during study –

by Loren

It has been an ice-breaker question for Abe lab members if they are dog lovers or cat lovers. This topic lightens up the mood, makes way for us to ask more interesting questions, and tells us more about everyone’s preferences and other interests. Are you a dog lover or a cat lover? This year, however, there is another category: do you like fish?

Most lab members have pets in our hometowns or home countries. Having a pet is something that we long for while studying away from our families. Pets can lighten the mood and give us distraction and relaxation after a long day. Since having dogs and cats can be a little difficult in our situation, we have the next—even though we can’t touch them—thing: having fish in the lab. It has been months since the topic of potentially having fish in the lab has been brought up to Abe sensei, and now we finally made it happen.


Figure 1: Initial tank set-up. Water is still very cloudy.

We researched the potential kinds of fish we may take care of. We wanted fish that are hardy and easier to take care of. Before we welcomed them, we needed to prepare the fish tank first. We bought the basic things needed to set up the fish tank like filter, light, aquatic plants, and water conditioner. We set up the tank first and left it for one week to make sure that the water cleared, and other conditions would be proper to put the fish in. While waiting, the lab members voted for the kinds of fish. This led us to pick the top three fish: guppies, platies, and cardinal tetras. Additionally, we needed tank buddies that could help clean the tank like janitor fish and shrimp.

After a week, the tank cleared and ready for the fish. We finally decided to get three guppies, five platies, five cardinal tetras, two janitor fish, and three shrimps. The fish and shrimp look like they are swimming well in their new tank! I hope that they all live well and long. Thank you very much for reading, please enjoy the pictures!

Figure 2: Acclimatizing the fish.

Figure 3: Final tank set-up with the fish


Figure 4: The sound of water from the filtration system is soothing.

Figure 5