Metro Pets

By Sharon Gomes Thomas

Ever had one of those days where your Inbox is full of unanswered emails, you have countless phone calls to return, and deadlines are looming? For me, this is almost every work week. In the words of Charlie Brown…aarrgghh! Where is Lucy the psychiatrist and her 5 cent wisdom when you need her?

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To make my days more balanced, centered, Zen or anything but the urge to start my smoking again, I got a desktop aquarium and it has surprisingly calmed my days. The Tetra Water Wonders Disney’s The Little Mermaid Aquarium Kit is a mere 1.5 gallons, fitting snugly into a corner of my space starved desk. It comes complete with air pump and Ariel figurine, even has an LED light and a storage drawer for fish food, which also comes with the kit.

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Amazingly quiet, with the soothing gurgling of water cycling through the pump, the Tetra Water Wonders Aquarium Kit also has a plain white or Nemo version. But Ariel is my girl, with her fashion-forward cute shell bra showing, how very Carrie Bradshaw!

The initial set-up aquarium required a little patience, it needed a few days to stabilize (water conditioner in kit too) before I could add fish. I signed up with Tetra Care www.TetraCare.com which offered useful advice, e-minders and a #800 phone number with direct access to the Tetra Care team. Resist the urge to get one of those Bettas (Siamese Fighting Fish), beautiful as they are, especially if you have a cold office. They are from the tropics after all, and require a warmer environment. The Tetra Care site recommends the Platy for beginners.

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The Tetra Water Wonders Aquarium Kit is available at most larger pet stores, as well as -
Petcowww.petco.com
Petsmartwww.petsmart.com
Online at Drs. Foster and Smithwww.drsfostersmith.com

My fish didn’t actually reduce my workload, darn it! But taking a break every now and then to watch him swim serenely actually did make me more Zen. This is probably the reason that hotels like The Morgan and The Kimpton give their guests a goldfish in their rooms.

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If caring for a desktop aquarium, minimal as it is, will be adding to your workload, then why not opt for a complete world on your desk! The Ecosphere Pod is a self contained system that requires no maintenance, with small 4 inch round and 6 inch oval versions. It needs only light to keep the hand-blown glass sphere of seawater in a perfect plant-and-animal balance: algae and bacteria are eaten by the red shrimp. Not as fun as my Rover (yes, I named my fish) but hopefully just as relaxing to watch.

Pick up your Ecosphere Pod at Brookstone stores www.brookstone.com or in New York City at The American Museum of Natural History at 79th St & Central Park West

Originally published May 2008
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