Thursday, March 13, 2008

Guppy love


Something wonderful happened last evening. The children and I witnessed a live birthing session. Now before you jump to conclusions and tick me off for exposing my children to too much too soon, let me hasten and clarify that it was our guppy that gave birth. For the ignoramuses guppies are beautiful fishes and one of the few fishes that are ‘live bearers’ which means that they do not lay eggs—but give birth to baby fish.

The excitement was palpable. After all the last time it had happened was more than two years ago and everyone knows what short term memories children have—two days are like twenty years in the life of a child! For a child there is no tomorrow—it is now and this very instant.

It was fascinating to watch her as she lay her babies. (I have posted an video here that I found on you tube. This is exactly how it happened) The process continued for more than 4 hours, by which time S too had come home and joined the fun. I had set up the aquarium only a few days back, just before S left for UK. Animals and any form of life has always fascinated me and I think having pets are really healthy for a child’s emotional development and also for developing values like responsibility, empathy, kindness, understanding, love and acceptance of loss. I have grown up with animals and have wanted the same for my children. (Just before we moved to this place we had hamsters and I have blogged about it here. We’ve also had kittens, rescued doves, puppies and even a bat! Any place I move to, I always find out the phone numbers of the animal shelters after the essentials have been taken care of. )

Anyway, to come back to my story, the babies have to be separated to prevent the adult fishes from eating them up. The Males seem to be more heartless than the females. Three of the babies got eaten up. Three we managed to transfer into another container. There are at least four more and they are hiding in the java moss. (A water plant that I have in my aquarium) They seem to be quick and agile and are managing to hide well, and also evading the net when I try to catch them. So I’m sure they will take care of themselves.


Many parents want pets for their children—but practical considerations like space, taking care of them and other pressures of modern living make them postpone it. If you are thinking of setting up an aquarium(Even if you don’t have kids and are living by yourself.)keeping fishes can be a great hobby. It is not too difficult to set up one and it is not very expensive either. Despite what the sites say, all you need is a good water filter cum aerator, a net, water, a few water plants, a few fishes (I am partial to guppies and mollies) and an inclination and some time to care for them.

The rewards are many. The Joy is endless. What most people say is right-- watching fishes does relive your stress levels.

And when they have babies it gets even better! It convinces you that life truly is beautiful.

59 comments:

  1. Hey! Ur keeping ur promise! U blogging more often! Nice!

    And 4 hrs??? Even the fishes dont have it any easy I say!

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  2. Pointblank: 4 hours is really quick girl!!I'd say they had it easy! My first lasted 48 hours and i dont even want to think about it!!
    And hey--a promise is a promise--and I always try to keep my words.

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  3. Wow! So damn interesting!!

    I have always wanted to keep a fish tank at home but I'm so scared of Anirudh that his curiosity might not kill those fishes!

    Plus I wonder what we will do if we go out of town..how will they survive, who will give them their food.. etc etc..

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  4. oh wow i just saw the video after reading your post. Beautiful decribes it. :)

    I love how you see kids and their abilities.

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  5. Wow amazing video, I had no idea that there are fishes which give birth to little ones. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. NM: We used to leave our fishes with a neighbour.Or we used to give them a key.They say the fishes can survive upto one week just by eating things in the aquarium.(And btw, over feeding kills the fishes.) As regards my kids--right from when they were very young they handled animals and harming them wouldn't occur to them at all--I guess if kids are exposed from a very young age,and if you teach them to respect life, they naturally become empathetic.

    Sweetsticky: Yes--somehow I am naturally good with kids (and i discovered this only after having my own!) :-)

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  7. Freelance Guru: They dont stick to you!

    Misti:It was amazing! My pleasure.:-)

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  8. hey ya even i hav heard that watching fishes helps to relieve stress levels...but as for me, i love having dogs and am a staunch animal lover who cries like hell and all if i see something ahppening to any animals..ohh boy i dont even have that kind of sympathy for humans...but since we do go away from home a lot and stuff cant keep any..and another prob is mom doesnt want6 them around :P hehe she siad she will walk out if i bring any home.....

    but i do plan to get a dog atleast some day and planning to volunteer my help at the animal shelter here...

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  9. Oh wow ! Saw the video..truly marvelous .

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  10. Lol! So I know a lot bout this!! Wonderful!!! But I thot fish had it easy! Like a plop!

    Ah!!! 48 hrs?!?!? My!! My!! I can imagine!Or I cant imagine. And I dont want to! *suddenly feeling scared*

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  11. have seen aquariams at friedns places - but never thought fo having one. now u r giving me ideas :-D and you had a bat? wow, exciting. i thought i was the only one who wanted a bat and snake as his pets... :)

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  12. haven't yet watched the vdo...yet...

    but wholly agree with you on keeping pets...my sis has a lil aquarium and its so soothing to watch teh fish swim...

    here in spore, the chinese believe in certain fish for good luck and teh condo ponds are full of bright colored fish...

    and congrats on teh lil ones...:D

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  13. tat ws really beautiful :)

    iv alwayz felt iv gt maternal instincts n luv babiez...hehe...But ofcourse, marriage comes first n therez quite a while for that!

    seein the birth of tiny baby fish ws juz awesummmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!

    n neither did i knw fishes gv birth to babies! :)

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  14. I can understand ur excitement, Having pets and watch them giving birth to their little ones will give you anxious moments and you will be thrilled to witness it. I also have an aquarium in my house with lots of tigerbarbs, rosiebarbs, Zebrafish and tetras. Maintaining an aquarium is very easy, If you have a bigger aquarium aquarium shop people will come and clean once in six months. You have air filters and temperatures controllers to maintain the aquarium with out much efforts. My wishes for you to have a bigger aquarium, watching fishes in the aquarium is a real stress buster.

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  15. Enigma:I am a dog lover too! I hope you get to keep some pet soon!

    Chitra: yes--amazng it was!

    Pointblank:Dont even think about it!!

    xh:Only for a short while--and I am PETRIFIED of snakes, though my kids have qualms touching them(A friend has a pet snake)

    Thinking aloud:yes--Those 'good luck' fishes are a rage here too.

    Preeti: Glad U liked it--BTW i am preeti too :-)

    Fruitu: Nice to know that you too have an aquarium.I have never kept tiger barbs.I have zebra fish.The female is pregnant--but since they lay eggs I really dont know if they will hatch.

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  16. You know I have nothing against animals but am little scared of having them as pets. The only ones I can think of having is fish. Seeing an aquarium is so soothing and calming....

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  17. Ps, my children thoroughly enjoyed watching this one. We have two white golds. Keep us posted on the developments of these little ones.

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  18. oh i've been dying to get my own pet... but guess we'll wait till we know where we're headed. just till this dec... max! then we get a doggie! :)
    the video's like 'wow!'... fish are an interesting pet option... i've never had them...

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  19. Neat!
    I had fish just like that but I don't remember them reproducing...What I do remember is your hamster story, it was beyond cute!
    I had an aquarium for many years but these days fish don't attract me, I don't know...I agree that it's wonderful for kids to have pets, even the little ones.

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  20. I had three goldfish. I overfed them and they died within days. I so know that I am not made for this kind of a thing..

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  21. congratulations!!! we had three gold fishes - tinkerbell, lightening, and cheesepuffs. The first two died :( I also had a beta fish called picasso - he died as well. so now we just have good ol cheesepuffs - he (or she?) has been with us for past 7 years :)

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  22. wow, how cute is that. notice those big eyes on the baby fish :)

    Always loved aquariums. Love fishes. maybe someday when i have more space i will set up one too. I can be such a kid when it comes to aquariums, the last time i spent about 40 mins watching fishes was with my niece and nephew and I guess i was as excited as them :)

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  23. We had an aquarium for a long time so we have seen it too. My husband loves fishes and although I prefer pets you can pet I agree fishes are kind of peaceful.

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  24. wow thats an AMAZING thing to witness!

    Keshi.

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  25. Whoa!
    I've got a huge aquariaum at home too with about 15 fishes! for about 5 years now!
    none of the fishes had babies! :(( they just keep dying thats all!
    ur so lucky to see it! :D

    -I

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  26. wow!!! surprisingly even though we used to keep fishes while we were kids, I had never witnessed a birth such as this..
    And its so true, how fish can be so soothing on nerves....
    I'm planning on gettnig my kids an aquarium soon, and also a dog, cos now they've promised to do the caring...and I think its time I trusted them

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  27. Keshi: It was!

    Marja:Given a choice even i like animals that you can cuddle and pet.But yes--fishes are easy and peaceful.

    Padma:I can imagine!Even I get excited for many such things! :)

    pink dogwood: :-)

    Solitaire:yes--overfeeding kills them.

    DM: :-) Yes--its good for kids :-)

    Rayshma: Good luck.I LOVE dogs too :-)

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  28. Wow, that's amazing, I had no idea that there were fishes like these! One more thing I learn from you :)
    In my childhood me and my sibs had many pets too: we've had 3 dogs, my brother's had a bird, my sister, a couple of rabbits, and I've had chicken and fishes too! Our lives would definitely not have been the same without them and all the joy they brought us (and sadness too, when they were gone).

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  29. Guto: very true--pets teach us so much.

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  30. Wow, that was one awesome sight... your kids must be so excited..

    for some reason, i was never successful in keeping fish.. they jus died one after another... :( and since then i stick to my doggie only,...

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  31. Hello Ma'm.myself tatsat- dropped in here from Adi's space.Well about the post-- I am amazed by your sense of 'educating' the kids about LIFE-something which is NOT synonymous to either sending them school at youngest-possible-age or to making them learn dances/singing ( for those stupid TV competitions ) at an age which is more for the installation of "human-value" softwares.To be honest, I was pissed off this summers,watching my cousins not paying attention to their kids as to what they were learning and what they were not.Its good to know about someone who cares about things more 'important'.

    Watching a fish give birth-- that has to be amazing.There could be no prosthetic for that.A new life form coming out from another life form !! amazing it is bound to be.I sometimes wish I was a doctor but fate, as it seems,is not without a sense of irony.Anyways,its really 'good' that you care for things like this- even though it seems 'fun', but as i see it, it will have some long term "positive" impact on your childrens' persona.
    Hope to listen more from you in times to come.

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  32. Pick up your tag here! Either do it for your kids or yourself :)

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  33. This is so incredibly cool. We have guppies too, but I don't think any are girls.
    It is so neat that you were able to catch this on film.

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  34. I cudnt watch the video :( ...got kinda woobly at the knees...looks like being with wifey in the delivery is not gonna happen..

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  35. wow I also like animals and have a dog, but no fishes as yet.. u 've inspired me to get one soon :)

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  36. Thank you for that...I had never any clue that guppies had live babies. That was so beautiful.
    xo

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  37. hey came back and finally managed to watch the vdo....that was fantastic...never knew it happened like that...

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  38. I like fish too (an not only with chips!)..we gave our daughter Annie a small tank and two Gold fish for her birthday last year..I agree with your sentiment about teaching children to care for pets..it has been a most rewarding experience so far!

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  39. Impressionist: Nice to know that you too have an aquarium. Maybe you should try keeping guppies? They breed fast.

    Aaarti:I too love dogs.

    NM: thanks--will do when i have nothing to write about!:P

    Gillian:Thanks! Nice that you enjoyed it.

    Thinking aloud:Yes--it was amazing.

    Rayne: This was a video i found on you tube--but this is exactly how it happened.

    Niall; my kids too love fish and chips.They like Gold fish too :-)

    Dhanya:Once a week you have to change 20% of the water---read a good site, or a book on caring for fishes.Once you know what to do keeping fihses is rewarding and easy.

    Tys: you are joking aren't you?

    Mishra: thanks! Hey--when i read your comment I thought you would be in your forties or something (the way you wrote) but when i checked your blog I was surprised.Thanks for stopping by.

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  40. Almost left silently until I read one of your previous post.Well..I came here through Point Blank's space.And I was at Point blank's through Eve's ...well long story.Anyway...Nice blog you have here.Lots to read and not get bored,eventhough I liked your silent Wednesday too.Its good to rest the words at times.
    The guppy video is my first time.Thanks for that.

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  41. Such amazing how nature works.
    Nice video!
    It's a good thing to have children develop good observation. ;0)

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  42. Cute video, we never had guppies but do have gold fish. Neat how they just plop right to the bottom, and move around! Isn't procreation the best! :)

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  43. i call myself a coward when it comes to pets.i love dogs but am not reallt sure how i'll be able to manage a dog,when i'm out at work.your post set me thinking...if you cant have something big...start with something small....a fish tank.

    btw i have two fishies at home in a bowl.

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  44. Hey, I came here through one of the links I read about the bloggers meet. Read a couple of entries and they were nice. I have been checking lot of mommy blogs lately through blogadda. did not find you there though. will keep coming.

    Ranjeeta

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  45. Just adding this comment to avoid being called a stalker :-)

    I'm a father of one, and that keeps me going! Got to know about your blog at the indibloggers meet on Saturday, so thought I'd drop in. Interesting stuff you have here!

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  46. I learn something new every day! I had no idea about these live fishy births. Is this where the idea for birthing pools came from?. Fortunately my wife wasn't tempted to eat our baby when she used one!She made do with a salmon sandwich.

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  47. Sree: Thanks for not leaving silently!(and glad you enjoyed the video)

    Reign:I absolutely agree!

    Gazal: Yes-- iread about the FBs--very sweet! Thanks for stopping by!

    Lovelyhumors:Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words.I guess I dont consider this a 'mommy blog'--and hence you wont find me under 'mommy blogs' category.

    Amit:Glad you decided not to stalk :-) Wonder which one was you in the blog meet--if u have a pic please send me or identify yourself in the pics that Renie has uploaded.

    Keith: LOL :-)(Very rarely --but i admit they exist, there are times, when i have wished i ate mine!!);-)

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  48. Impressionaist: dont know how I missed replying to your comment. Wow--5 years is a long time.What kind of fishes do you have? Guppies and Mollies multiply easily and fast.

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  49. hey preeti aunty, maybe u can help me and sandhya beg mum 4 a pet, we still have'nt succeeded!!!
    Deepti

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  50. we always used to have pets when we lived as kids in pune!

    and i think i can safely say that it does help shape us into better people...

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  51. Guru: yeah--they do!!

    Deepti:Oh yes--we shall beg together--No even better--I shall just order your mom to get you fishes at least.But I doubt if she will listen to me--so we shall rope in Satish Uncle as well!!
    Hugs
    Preeti Aunty

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  52. Indrani: sorry--Just realised I missed replying to you earlier. White Gold sounds exotic.Have never seen them( or even heard of them) Had heard of black Gold.

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  53. I do agree that interacting with animals go a long way towards making children more emotionally intelligent. Always wanted to have an aquarium, but then we have cats at home and I guess the twain shall never meet :).

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  54. Hi PS,

    Nice read!

    Talking about fishes,I had a friend long way back in my childhood who used to keep an aquarium.I used to present her guppies occasionally in exchange of few from her large collection of rare postage stamps which were a craze for me during those days:)
    And I even had a kitten which later ran away for some unknown reason!

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  55. The video wa svery beautiful.. so was the write up.. :-) Am so eager to get some guppies home..

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  56. I never knew guppies gave birth to their young. That was the learning for the day.

    I so agree that when kids grow up with animals, there is a love and empathy which comes about in the kids. They learn to take care of someone too and not just being always taken car of.

    My constant wish is that I will let my kids grow with many animals around them and even if that means that I have to stay at home with them. But I feel thats more important for their growth. There is no doubt a fear in me about the never ending effects of modernization, but this is one place where I do not wish to bend my head in defeat.

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  57. coooooollll. Had never seen something like this. Actually hadnt even thought about a fish delivering a baby and I watch so much of Discovery channel. Che ella waste.

    Now, even I want to have fishes as my pets but I guess I cant. my roomies are gonna fry and eat them wen I am not at home. Now I realise that I havent ever tasted a "GoldenFishFry". :drooool:.

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