The Mad Scientist: Fish Are Friends

It is I, the mad scientist! Join me and my minions as we study some of God’s amazing creatures; learning tons of fun facts along the way.


Mad_ScientistDid I mention our fish, Gubbles, is getting lonely? My youngest girl, ‘Mouse’, is the resident veterinarian in training and she is adamant that our newest pet needs some friends. The problem? Gubbles will kill off pretty much any other fish you try to pair her with.

Last week, we spent a little time learning about crustaceans. This week, we are going to do some learning ‘in the field’ at our local PetSmart! Let’s see what they can teach us about fun friends Gubbles will enjoy and not tear to bits.

What tank mates would be best for Gubbles? There are several it seems:

  • Loaches
  • Ghost Shrimp
  • Zebra Snails
  • Bristlenose Pleckos
  • Neon Tetras
  • and African Dwarf Frogs

Based on some preliminary research we did beforehand, I think we are looking at a few ghost shrimp. We don’t have an exceptionally large tank, so we don’t want to overcrowd our creatures. For now, this will work.

We had thought about getting a crab to spice things up, but that appears to be a bad idea. From everything we’ve read, crabs are a great deal of work and could cause potential problems with our betta. Wanting to keep things simple and peaceful, we’ll go with the shrimp for now.

Ghost Shrimp

The concern with new friends will be whether or not they will survive. Gubbles has been on her own entirely, so we’ll see how she takes to new inmates. If she does well with these new creatures, we might upgrade next year to a slightly larger tank and invest in a few more friends for her to enjoy.

For now… this concludes our lesson on both fish and crustaceans. Altogether a fun learning experience for all of us!

Time to Chime In: Have you ever owned a Betta fish? Which tank mates did you choose?

The Mad Scientist: Don’t Be So Crabby!

It is I, the mad scientist! Join me and my minions as we study some of God’s amazing creatures; learning tons of fun facts along the way.


Mad_ScientistOur fish, Gubbles, is getting lonely. The girls can tell. It seems she might be in need of a few friends. Before mom is willing to fork over more dough to buy said friends, however, I think it would behoove us to learn a few facts about possible crustaceous responsibilities.

(Why crustaceans you may ask? Well, it seems that while Gubbles is getting lonely. She will attack anything else we put in with her. So crustaceans it is!)

To be consistent, let us take a quick look at the life cycle of our crusty friends. Just what do we have to look forward to?


After a quick overview of various cycles, let’s take a closer look at the inner workings of these fascinating beings.

Internal Crayfish

Like land loving bugs, crustaceans are pretty much the bottom of their food chain. Besides us, which natural predators are looking for a tasty dinner?

09-400 Aquatic Food Web

Let’s see… We’ve learned about life cycles, anatomy, and the food chain. What’s left? Oh, right; an activity! I confess, I had a really hard time finding something I thought my kids would enjoy. There doesn’t seem to be any clever crafts or hands-on activities designed for crustaceans. Hmmm… perhaps I should think about creating my own; another day. What I did find were several puzzles and videos on Learning Games for Kids. So in lieu of a physical activity, we spent a little time having fun online.

Always end on a tasty note, in my opinion. Crab Cakes were on the menu for lunch. Seriously easy and seriously tasty! Yummy, yummy!

Time to Chime In: Which do you prefer: shrimp, lobster, crab, or crayfish?