A Fish That Does in Fact Need A Bicycle

Old Town Aquarium

While Hurricane Irene was barreling up the East Coast of the United States over the weekend, we had beautiful blue skies and sunny days both Saturday and Sunday here in Chicago.  Great days for riding your bikes in the city. We had a few errands to run in Old Town on Sunday, so we grabbed our bikes and headed out for Wells Street. I left ahead of the guys and stopped at The Spice House to restock our supply of their Ukrainian Village Spice blend (we use it on everything!) and peppercorns, and I made my first stop ever at Old Town Oil. Old Town Oil is a shop that not surprisingly, only sells vinegar and olive oil. Well, I think they sell some Walnut Oil too.  I made it out of there with just one bottle of their Balsamic Fig Vinegar. Yes it is delicious.  After I had that shopping done I met up with Andrew and Little Ding at our main stop of the day, Old Town Aquarium.

We have a 30-gallon tropical fish tank at our house, and the recent addition of some new fish caused our only remaining Black Phantom Tetra to turn into a bully – we discovered he chomped off the tail of another fish. We immediately put him into solitary confinement and decided we would buy another small aquarium to keep him in, along with a few more Phantoms that we would pick up at the store.

Once at the store we talked to the awesome staff and determined that truthfully, our Phantom Tetra was probably acting out because he had no other Phantoms to swim with anymore. Who knew? The consensus was that if we added him back into our big tank with some more Phantom Tetras that he would probably quit bullying the other fish.  However, we had already sketched out a plan with LD that we were going to get a new aquarium for his room.  So we went ahead with the plan and bought a 5 gallon tank and let Little Ding pick out some rocks, decorations, and two guppies for his tank.

Fish On A Bike

I loaded the two bags of fish – one with 4 new Phantom Tetras and another with 2 guppies – into one of the panniers on my bike. The new 5-gallon Aquarium box fit into one of the Go-Getter panniers that fit on the Yuba Mundo (!!) , and the rest of the supplies (rocks, extra filters, a heater, some decorations, etc) fit into the other Go-Getter pannier.

loading up the bikes

Once we were loaded up, Andrew got on the Yuba, LD climbed on behind him, and off we road back home. We headed north up Wells Street to Armitage, and took that west through Lincoln Park towards Wicker Park.

Riding west on armitage

We were definitely not the only folks out on bikes – the favorite bike routes were full of cyclists all day long.


We got home with no loss of fish life and proceeded to set up the new tank for LD’s room while the new Phantom Tetras got acclimatized slowly to their new home.  I have to say that LD picked out some great stuff for his tank. He chose black gravel with some extra multi-colored pieces that we mixed in,  a skull, a Buddha, and some nice fake plants.

Up close with the Buddha

Up close with the Buddha

As of today all the fish are doing swimmingly well. The Phantom Tetras spent about 5 minutes figuring out the pecking order in their new group while the other schools of fish in our big tank looked on. All are now are playing nicely with each other.  The new aquarium meanwhile, looks freakin’ cool in LD’s room.  And we now know we can carry live fish and an aquarium home on our bikes. Great Sunday, eh?

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