The Admiral came to us mysteriously late in the night a few years ago. He’d been living in a 20-gallon tank in Nish’s bedroom for an unknown amount of time. But when they moved out of the apartment diagonal from us they decided it was best that we keep their 3 goldfish, 1 giant placo, dinosaur eel, and of course 1 enormous Pacu. When we got him he couldn’t have been more than 6 inches long. He was really shy at first, hiding behind the back end of the pirate ship. Eventually he even figured out how to turn sideways and get into it. He liked the tank since it was at least 3 times bigger than his old one, but I think he still ate the occasional fish just because they were smaller than him. We called him Admiral Ackbar… after the Star Wars character. He grew a few inches in the time we lived at the apartment probably to about 8-9 by the time we left.
Moving him was a pain because we didn’t have the right size nets, but he survived the 10-minute trip curled up in a bucket. When we set up the tank at the Vienna house we took out one of the sides of the ship to give him more room. He liked it, he took to swimming really fast back and forth in the tank. When not staring at people he enjoyed gnawing on little plastic skulls that were floating around the tank. After deciding that he probably wasn’t getting enough food from the flakes that I was feeding the other fish I started feeding him floating pellets… and baby carrots. It was awesome to see him tearing apart a carrot with his tiny little teeth. But I think that more food and more space gave him some kind of growth spurt. Because he grew about 6 inches last year, he was longer than the tank was wide.
Since he was having trouble turning around I started looking for somebody to give him to, but who would take a giant fish? The Zoo? But then at the softball party I remembered that I’d seen a big tank at Broghan’s house last year. Turns out I was right, a 125 gallon, with plenty of empty space. He only had 3 silver dollars, probably about 2 inches each. He was really excited about it and after confirming that I wasn’t just telling him he could have it because I was drunk we set up a time to capture the beast.
So Sunday came and Broghan showed up with a 10-gallon tank and a giant net. This turned out to be really easy, we just scooped him up in the net and slowly put him down in the tank. He was really calm about the whole thing, it was eerie. But then as soon as he touched the water in the small tank he freaked out and splashed water all over the room. But after he figured out that he was in water again he went back to just sitting there. I hope he has fun the bigger tank and I hope to see him in a few years when he’s doubled in size… cause they grow to 2 feet.
later we set up the tank again and went to the store to get replacement fish. I made sure to get another pacu. So this day marks the arrival of Ensign Ackbar Jr. He’s 1 inch long and hides in the boat, must be a family trait.