The UX of Aquariums

Published 2 Comments on The UX of Aquariums

I have had a fish tank for a few years now. I have progressively increased the size of the tank over the years, but it’s still not huge, as fish tanks go. Its 29 gallons. Still, that’s actually alot of water. It’s very heavy too. You need serious furniture underneath it and it’s a real pain to move.

I have a love-hate relationship with my aquarium. When it works, I love it. Its beautiful and serene. It’s quiet gurgling is soothing and the fish inside swim gracefully and sometimes chase each other around. When the plants grow, I feel a sense of pride. I had created this little world.

When it doesn’t work, I hate it. When some bacteria get in the tank and start a sickness or fungus grows or a new fish freaks out and dies. I can’t stand it. What did I do wrong? Did I not put in enough medicine? Did I forget to change the water?

For the first few years, I swear, I killed every fish we had through sheer stupidity. I couldn’t get it right. New fish would die right away. Then things settled down. Plants started to grow. Fish started to survive. I became happy with it. But the other day, when I woke up early, I cleaned the tank and added a little bit of algae remover. I thought it wouldn’t hurt and I hadn’t done this in a long time. Today the fish tank is cloudy and one fish, “Shugo” has already died. Shugo had been with me for over a year. I was so angry and sad. I killed Shugo. I feel so guilty. Why can’t I get this tank right?? Maybe I am not meant to have a tank.

When things go wrong in a tank, it sucks. The UX of fish tanks is very bi-polar. Either your up or your down. I suppose there are other activities like this. Gardening comes to mind. What else?

This post is dedicated to Shugo. I am sorry that I killed you Shugo. You were my favorite fish. I loved you.


  1. I feel your pain. I used to date a woman who grew up with fish and was good with that stuff. When we split, I made her take our 150gal. tank that we had. I still had a 30gal. tank that was built into a basement wall (it came with the house).

    I’ve recently removed it and patched the wall. Killing fish wasn’t entertaining in any way. It just made me feel bad. And mortally (for the fish) incompetent.

  2. Poor Shugo. Keeping fish is hard, especially if you have a crowded tank. If one gets sick, they all get sick. And all the medicines are poison. I have had non-fluffy for almost five years and I would never expose him to some unknown fish (luckily he is a monk-like, philosopher fish who doesn’t mind the time alone). Fluffy III, which i had for a few years in collage was great, the prettiest fish I ever had and he dies because I put another fish in the tank who got him sick. Anyway, my heart goes out to you, your family, and your tank.

Whatya think?