Deb Susan’s Gone Fishing

In keeping with this week’s “when I’m not writing” theme, I’m taking you … under the sea. A little sea. (Sea minor?) This one, to be exact:

As I mentioned last week, I have a sixty gallon marine aquarium just to the right of my writing desk and I spend far more time watching (and photographing, and tweeting about) it than I’ll admit. Let’s just say “it’s a lot” and leave it at that. In addition to a variety of colorful corals

(believe it or not, they’re animals, not plants)

the tank is home to a number of spoiled lovely pets. The stars, of course, are Cygnus, Ceti, and Ghillie, the seahorses:

Thing 1, the banded pipefish, entertains with her constant hunting.

In an unusual cross-species friendship, Emo the clownfish hangs out with Ghillie the Seahorse (and that’s Wilson the blue tuxedo urchin sneaking into the frame on the lower right).

And yes, the clownfish really is named “Emo.” This is what happens when your teenage son is allowed to name your pets.

Flappy the green-spotted mandarin provides a constant source of movement and color. Even if he can’t tell his own reflection from another fish.

And finally, last but certainly NOT least, we have Max the watchman goby. Or more properly, Emperor Maximus Angryfish I, who disapproves of any and all shenanigans.

The tank also has a full complement of blue-legged hermits, cleaner shrimp and six different species of aquatic snails, but more on those another day. I think you’ve pretty much got the idea – when I’m not writing, I’ve got my nose to the glass or my hands in the water, playing with the fish.

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25 thoughts on “Deb Susan’s Gone Fishing

    • So true, Amy. This helps keep my butt in the chair (I’m too busy watching to leave) and really helps my stress level. It’s a lot cheaper than therapy too!

  1. Love your aquarium–it’s like a living painting. And “Emo” is a fabulous name for a clown fish–kudos to your son. 🙂

    • Thanks Lind – I love the painting analogy. It is like a moving painting in so many ways – and there’s a lot of movement and activity so there’s always a lot to see.

      I’ll pass on your compliments to Christopher about the clownfish name too. He cracks me up with his fish names.

  2. This is so fascinating – I love your pics and the names you give your fishies. I have a rescue goldfish – named Survivorfish – and manage to keep him alive. I could never, ever, do the detailed and meticulous maintenance required for an amazing tank like yours. I’m impressed.

    • Survivorfish is a fantastic name, Kerry. That cracked me up. I love goldfish too. When I was little, I won some at a carnival (to my mother’s dismay) and although two of the three only lived about a year the third one lived for six years. I named him “Methuselah” – which horrified my mother but which I found pretty funny at the time. (Still do, actually.)

      I appreciate the compliment about the tank – but honest disclosure requires me to say that keeping salt water tanks is far easier now than it used to be. I actually buy my water pre-mixed from the local fish store/coral breeder, and though I do need to do some chemistry to match the salinity to what I like for my tank, it’s a lot easier than mixing salt water myself!

    • Thanks Joanne! I’m a big “under the sea” fan myself. I never get tired of watching aquatic creatures. My family knows better than to even say the word “aquarium” around me. The last time I went to the big Aquarium of the Pacific, my son spent half the day pulling on my arm and saying “MOM, SERIOUSLY … we’ve been standing here for 20 minutes. Let’s go see something else.”

      Sadly, the object that had me so facinated was a shark egg. Not even a “real” fish. In my defense, though, they had a light behind it so you could see the baby shark developing and wiggling inside the egg, and I could have stood there all day.

      • See, I knew we could be besties IRL – I’d be with you watching that shark egg and all the other fascinating sea creatures. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a mermaid when I grew up.

        • I think you’re right Joanne, we’re cut from the same cloth. I suspected as much when I was laughing my way through SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE. My husband actually came into the room twice times while I was reading it (yes, I read it in one night) and said, “That must be really good. You keep laughing.” I told him it was great, because you and I have the same sense of humor.

          PS: Love the embarrassing bra scene. You know the one I mean. I won’t spoil it for the rest of the readers.

  3. WOW! Your aquarium is amazing! I love exotic sea life. Have you every seen the BBC series “Planet Earth” (I think it aired on Discovery Channel here as well)? A few segments go underwater, and I always find that footage totally captivating.

    • I love Planet Earth!! There were a couple of amazing episodes with undersea footage. One involved a frozen icicle that went all the way to the ocean floor – they shot it in time lapse. It was unreal. Freakish and compelling – the kind of thing you have to watch a couple of times. Well, I did anyway!

      And thank you – I love my little reef, and I love sharing it. One nice thing about seahorses is that they’re kind of needy so you have to structure their environment pretty carefully – but that also means getting to have a bunch of very benign fish and corals that most aquariums can’t have because the other inhabitants are too aggressive for them.

  4. That’s so amazing! I love oceanic things and going to aquariums particularly. Earlier this year I was lucky enough to be able to go snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. It was remarkable, I would love to have a piece of that around me. If that was near my writing area… I’d be very distracted. I’m pretty jealous of yours right now. I would love that. I’d actually like to get some jellyfish someday.

    • The Barrier Reef must have been amazing!! I’ve always wanted to go there. I’ve only seen it on TV but I bet it’s even more amazing in person.

      I do sometimes have trouble with focus when I’m at my desk, but I’m learning to stay focused on work despite the distractions! I’ll keep sharing photos, so everyone can enjoy it!

      I actually had a teensy jellyfish come in on a piece of live rock about six months ago. Sadly, I couldn’t keep him because he would have stung the seahorses but it was neat to see him swimming around. I took him back to the local reef keeper/store owner, who had a tank where he could live. I was kind of sorry to see him go!

  5. Nice fish and so colourful and I can see why you can stare at it for hours it really can be fasinating. My Doctor has one in her office, and when I am waiting my turn it is so so smoothing to just watch, not to mention it keeps the little ones from screaming (just until they go in the room)
    A Mermaid Joanne????,

    • Thanks Marcia,

      I used to watch the tank in my doctor’s office when I was little. It definitely kept me entranced. I’ve always been fascinated by fish, especially the salt water ones, and the other things that live in the reef.

      And I’m so glad you’ve stayed on as Deb Mom this year. I love seeing your comments!

    • LOL! (Laughing out loud, for those who aren’t quite as up on textspeak – Hi Mom…) I’m just blessed and happy to be here with all these amazing authors and their hobbies. It’s really neat to see how all five of us have such different activities – and yet we all get along so well!

      Big thanks, Eleanor and the other debs for creating such a great place for authors to write and chat and get to know one another and interact with readers! We are all winners because you and the other Debs who went before us were generous enough to keep the tradition going and to choose us to participate!

      • We’re glad to have you in the family, but I can’t take credit for founding the Ball – that was the brainchild of lovely folks like Eileen Cook and Kristy Kiernan, long before I came along!

        • It’s true that we all owe Eileen and the founding class for making the Ball a place we could come and dance, but I also credit all of you who kept the music going in the years since! I’m grateful to each and every one of you!

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