Why Watching a Tank of Guppies Is Better Than TV
Written by Jules from Ikea Hacker.
So, fish can't do talk shows or save the world in 24 hours but they are surprisingly fun to watch. I know that sounds like I don't have a smidgen of life but I've just recently discovered the wonders of guppies.
And it all started when I gave up TV.
Okay, I still watch the news (and a wee bit of 24) but I don't feel the compelling need to crash in front of the tube every night and flip channels till I fall asleep. Not anymore.
1. Fish calm you down
According to this bit of research, people watching TV before bedtime reported "self-perceived, insufficient sleep". Now, watching guppies, or any fish, for that matter, is very calming and a perfect prep for bedtime. In my evening routine, I include 5 minutes to feed and just enjoy watching them fan their tails (see Zenhabits on establishing an evening routine).
2. Fish for the other side of your brain
Keeping fish and the activities involved in it (feeding them, washing the tank), triggers a different part of your brain which means, the part of your brain that has been at work the whole day gets to rest. This gives the passive area a chance to run, meaning you'll return to work more productive.
3. No such thing as too much fish
Unlike TV, there's no danger of getting hooked and overdosing on a whole season of 24 over a weekend. When I watch my fish, I may notice change like how they've grown, the female is pregnant, or there are new baby guppies. But you won't find me bleary eyed the next day because I just couldn't turn the fish tank off.
4. Fish look good
Some may find an LCD TV sleek and beautiful but itíll never beat a great looking tank of fish. When I have friends over, they never fail to look at my guppies, while ignoring the ugly one-eyed monster. Who can blame them?
I'm not a pro but I have kept my guppies alive and rapidly reproducing for the last few years. So, let me offer a few basic tips if you're interested in your own tank of fresh water fish.
- Get the right fish- Different fish have different needs. Some are very delicate and need lots of attention such as constant water temperature, special food, etc. I chose guppies because they are relatively hardy. A feed a day. A water change a week, which fits my schedule fine.
- Get a tank-
* Once you know the kind of fish you want to keep, get a tank suited to the fish. Different fish have varying needs for space. If you're a first time
aquarium owner, start small to keep your expenses low. Your fish shop may be able to advice you.
* Measure the space where you want to keep your tank before you head to the shop.
* Ensure there are power points nearby to plug in your pump, filter and lights, if any.
- Do not over feed fish- Drop in some fish food and see if they can finish it in 3 minutes. If they do, drop in a little more. If the fish doesn't bite, stop. Keep them a little hungry and they always do better. Overfeeding is one sure way to kill your fish. Leftover food also pollutes the water and creates an unpleasant environment for your fish.
- Change the water- Water to fish is like air to us. We find it hard to breathe in a polluted environment, same goes for them. Make it a routine to change the water at least once a week. Empty out no more than half the tank. Do not completely drain the tank. That will totally unbalance the existing ecosystem. Top up the tank with fresh water.
- Sit back and watch!
Enjoy the post? Then subscribe to the blog!