Watching fish swim is quite therapeutic

Njeri Kimani poses with her four pet fish in her home in Nakuru.

Photo credit: Njeri Kimani

When Njeri Kimani was going through a difficult period sometime this year, she found that watching her pet fish moving around in the aquarium lifted her spirits. Her fish gave her so much peace that when one died, she replaced it immediately and named it Hope.

“Looking at ‘Hope’ as she swam around her small fish aquarium was a sight to behold. And to date, anytime I am feeling down, I look at her and feel better,” she says.

Ms Kimani got the fish as a gift from her younger sister earlier this year. According to her sister, Ms Kimani, who is child-free, needed to have a companion in the house. She welcomed the gift well and even gave them names, Hope, Coy, Merky and Angel. Now, just like babies, they have altered her life. She, for instance, cannot just up and travel. She has to organise how and when the fish will be fed. Her expenses have also changed a bit, with fish food and electricity bills being included in her monthly budget. The fish were the first pet Ms Kimani had ever kept. She needed to learn quickly how to keep them alive. The learning curve was easy as she had a nephew whose speciality is pet fish. He guided her on how to take care of the aquarium. But she got too concerned and overfed the fish leading to the death of one. Now she knows how much pinches of fish food flakes are enough for a day.

Cleaning the aquarium

She also learnt how to clean the aquarium which involves removing all the fish and putting them in a water bowl. Then pour out all the water after removing the decorations inside the aquarium. You also need to remove the small stones at the bottom and clean everything thoroughly. Rinse everything out until the water is clear. You then add the stones, decorations, and water back, and add a pinch of salt to maintain the pH of the water. Lastly, you dip the fish back which usually enjoy having a fresh home to play and move around in.

“When I look at the aquarium and the fish are not moving and enjoying the bubbles as they usually do, I get worried and wonder if they are unwell. Taking care of them gives me so much joy.”

Maryanne is a pet owner. Send your pet story to [email protected]