Monday, October 1, 2012

Mick Fleetfish

In the early 1970's, I owned three gorgeous angelfish in a community aquarium. Unfortunately, a short time later an angelfish epidemic swept the world and they were almost eradicated from pet shops. It would be more than 30 years later before I would buy another. But this time, it surpassed anything I might have expected.

Angelfish are often difficult to find in pet shops because they need precise water conditions. While tetras can fare well in a range of water conditions, angelfish are more sensitive to fluctuations. It results in a high mortality rate unless you buy direct from a breeder.

Which is precisely what I did.

My first group of angels consisted of four: a smoky leopard, a black marble, a golden and a platinum. The platinum angel stood out like Mick Fleetwood on the drums. He was huge. I was expecting an angel with height of three inches from fin to fin. This one was easily double that. The top fin was bent in such a way that he looked like he was always leaning forward. He dwarfed the other angels. Yet he was so gentle and so shy, eager to stay in the background while others took the spotlight. So I named him Mick Fleetfish.

Mick would go on to have affairs with both Stevie Fishnick (the golden angel) and Christie McFish (the smoky leopard.) But in the end, Stevie always returned to Lindsay Buckingfish and Christie always returned to John and poor Mick was left the odd fish out.

In the picture on this page, he is with Christie McFish, the smoky leopard.

p.m.terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 16 books, including the Black Swamp Mysteries series (Exit 22, Vicki's Key, Secrets of a Dangerous Woman and Dylan's Song) which feature two CIA operatives using an angelfish breeding business as their front. For more information, visit