Scientists recently discovered that one species of tropical fish can live months out of the water. This article reminded me of a couple of things.
My son has a fish tank in his room. We initially got him an aquarium as a way of having a night light without admitting that he was afraid of the dark. A year or two ago, he stopped really needing to have a night light. However, our younger cat LOVES the fish tank. The only reason that my son pays any attention to the tank at all is because the cat likes it.
Sadly, my son doesn't really pay much attention to the tank at all. We keep looking for someone to take the tank off our hands since I feel bad for the neglected fish. My son leaves the light on all the time, which causes massive algae blooms. And, he only feeds the poor fish about once a week. I think he keeps hoping that the fish will die of neglect. There are only two left at this point in the twenty gallon tank.
My son's neglect of the fish tank reminded me of the aquarium Change Junkie kept one year when we were in college. It got pretty green in there sometimes. Once it got so bad that you couldn't even see the fish. One of her roommates, E, decided to take matters into his own hands. He cleaned the tank one weekend. Change Junkie was both amused and horrified. She mockingly protested that E had ruined her experiment in evolution. She said she was purposefully not cleaning the tank to see if the fish would evolve, sprout legs, and walk out. I think there was some sort of evolutionary thing going on there. After E cleaned the tank, the fish died. I think they'd grown used to the pollution. Then again, who knows what E used to clean the tank.