Sometimes when crafty women want something from our menfolk we will manipulate and plot and plant seeds so that, in the end, the man thinks it was HIS idea.
I think I was duped by my own crafty techniques. I think my wily woman skillset was used against me.
Somehow, not sure how this happened, we ended up with two saltwater tanks in our apartment. Yes, I said apartment. Not house. Not mansion. Not ranch or sprawling estate. Apartment.
The man says it’s my tank. We put coral and fish in it and when guests come over he says, “This is her tank – this is mine.”
Only. . .
He picks out the coral, he tells me where to landscape, says which fish I should probably not get, cleans it, feeds the fish, feeds the coral. I have no idea how the stinkin’ thing works.
One fine morn’ the man got sick. He got that nasty flu bug that went around and he was bedridden for a week. In that short time, the lack of daily maintenance and babying he applied to the tanks caused a disruption in our water world that was near catastrophic. It was then that I argued, vehemently, to be able to take care of, control, maintain my own tank.
It was literally a battle over the tanks. And I won!
I thought I won.
The first task he gave me was to clean some gawd awful filtering mechanism that smelled like putrid rotting fish and salt decay. He stood casually by, kicking back while instructing me on how to scrub the scum from this part or that. I was disgusted. I’m pretty sure he thought it was great. I might have gagged once but I would not be deterred. If this is what it takes to maintain my tank then this is what must be done. I’m a mom, I’ve cleaned baby poop off my leg and vomit out of my hair for gawdssakes. What’s a little fish waste and scumbucket?
I was instructed on how to properly dose my tank with nutrients for the corals, how to clean filter pads, how to change the water, how much to feed the fish. It was saltwater aquarist 101 and I’m pretty sure I got an A.
Just as an aside – I haven’t had to clean that filter thing again since then. I’m pretty sure that was my punishment for WINNING. (Thanks Charlie Sheen)
Not long after, The Man casually mentions a third tank! Are you fishing kidding me?! I saw right through that ploy. I said, “Oh no. No Way! We are not getting another tank! There is no way we are having three tanks in this apartment.”
So, now we have three tanks.
One tank for him, one tank for me and one for anemones and our clown fish, Archie.