Dayle and I bought an aquarium over the weekend. I know what you’re thinking: the cats are gonna love this. You’re right. They do.
We had discussed adding fish to our pet family a couple of times prior to this weekend, but we decided to make a sincere effort to learn what would be required logistically, aquatically, and financially from a local aquarium that came highly recommended. After spending an hour asking all kinds of questions about tank maintenance and the order of operations for introducing new fish to our home, we decided to make the plunge.
All of a sudden we’re balancing pH levels and arranging plastic foliage in a hopefully visually appealing manner in a 20-gallon tank.
Right now we have four (4) fish in our tank: a platy, molly, sword tail, and gold barb. If any of those names mean anything to you, please get in touch.
The one thing that struck me as I stared off into the abyss of our new aquarium, watching our fish indulge in their morning meal, is that people with diabetes are ideal pet owners. Now, stick with me on this one.
Diabetes is all about routine. If you’re going to take an insulin injection, there are steps required for each injection. Insulin pump set changes happen with a great deal of regularity from what I’ve read (I’ll be joining the pumping contingent this fall, so I’ll have to report back on that one). Placing a new Dexcom sensor follows the same steps every time. The routine is what I’m talking about. The order of operations and regularity of everything lends itself well to taking care of animals.
Every morning I empty the litter box. Every evening before I go to sleep I empty it again. Cats are fed at (or around) 5:30. Cuddles happen as needed.
Based on our instructions, once our tank becomes stable for the long haul, there’s a surprising amount of regularity in aquarium maintenance, too.
Clean the filter every 2 weeks. Replace the filter every 4 weeks. Check the pH every 4 weeks. Clean the glass every 2 weeks. Clean the rocks and dispose of the fish…ick every 1-2 weeks. It should take the fish 30-45 seconds to finish the food you give them. It’s possible I’ve gotten some of that timing wrong – we’ll be going back to our friendly neighborhood aquarium again this weekend to hopefully get a new group of fish to add to the fun and I’ll be reviewing everything again. And possibly taking notes.
My point is that all of the routine and regularity that comes with managing diabetes almost directly translates into the routine and regularity that is required to keep a pet happy and healthy. I suppose that’s one more thing for which I can ironically thank diabetes.
Just keep swimming!