So, I'm sitting here watching Mr. Tickles do his thing and it occurs to me that fish make for extremely good pets in college. The best thing about fish is the ease of taking care of them. I feed my fish two or three times a day and then every few weeks I have to change some of the water or change the filter. Compare what I have to do to what someone with a dog, cat or rodent has to do. A cat owner has to change the kitty litter frequently, feed the cat, train the cat to use the kitty litter and make sure that the cat never manages to get away. The owner of a dog has to house train it, take it for walks, pay attention to it and so on. Rodents are much closer to fish as far as attention needed to keep them alive, except that their cages need to be cleaned more thoroughly and more frequently.
There is, however, one slight problem with fish, notably, it's harder to get a fish that's interesting and has some personality than most other types of animal. The solution to this problem is found in one of two ways: selecting your fish very carefully or getting lucky; I managed to latter. So, as might have been inferred from the beginning of the previous paragraph, Mr. Tickles is my fish. Tickles (as I refer to him when I don't want to bother with many syllable) is a Tiger Oscar (Astronotus Ocellatus), of the family Cichlidae (the cichlids). The noteworthy thing about Oscars is that they're large aggressive fish. Right now, Tickles is about 6"-8" and will grow to about 10"-15" eventually. His personality would be hard to classify as he's got quite a bit of it for a fish (I got lucky), but suffice it to say that he's a rather fun character and I've really taken to him.
That Tickles is aggressive and big means some amusing things in the future. Supposedly, his breed of fish will not only eat most things (living or otherwise) but will also eat creatures up to slightly larger than himself. This of course will be great when I get off my lazy ass and hunt down some other fish for him to eat. I would have done so before, but difficulty arises in that many fish carry dangerous parasites and the feeder fish at the local PetCo™ carry fatal ones to oscars. He does eat sushi, leftover Chinese, hotdogs and all sorts of other such things.
All in all, I'm quite fond of Tickles and very glad that I got him.
Oh yeah, this one time he bit Kurt; that was funny.