“We’re cheating death now. That’s what we’re doing, and we’re having fun at the same time” said Dory and no one else in the marine fish world ever.  So, my romance with marine fish keeping is over thanks to the week from hell at the Abbots Langley Tattoo Studio….

Personally I think Nemo said it better – and I don’t mean the little cartoon Clown Fish (which incidentally can be nasty little buggers) – no, I mean the Captain himself:

“I have done with society entirely, for reasons which I alone have the right of appreciating.  I do not, therefore, obey it’s laws, and I desire you never to allude to them before me again”

So I guess it comes as no surprise to anyone that I prefer my little critters to people, which is nothing against people…well not all of you.

I think it was shock from the break-in that started the demise.  The big tank started going pear-shaped immediately.  It didn’t look like the tank had “crashed” : our fish started behaving strangely and territorially. 

I have been juggling the tanks for a while now.  They require a massive amount of work and with my diary as it is, keeping on top of them had been difficult.  At one point I called in an expert to help; that cost me a fish and an anemone.  Crisis point arrived with the fall out from last week’s events: I could not give the tank my full attention when it needed it.  It was very difficult to keep an eye on them and they know when you’re watching, which doesn’t help.

We lost a fish everyday for a week, across both tanks, through aggression.

To cut a long story short, when we lost the big female Clown “Ugg” it made a total of six fish.  At this point I realised the problem had escalated to something else and “white spot” was going to be our next problem.

I wasn’t going to take any chances with the last two fish.  They could not go in the second tank due to conflict issues.  I could not get a grip of the issue without a massive amount of work and running a 275ltr marine tank for two fish is crazy financially. 

We had to find them new homes.  Step in World of Water, Hunton Bridge.  Thankfully the guys down there have been really kind.  They have put our big old Sailfin Tang “Vale” (named after Valentino Rossi due to his yellow appearance and speed) in the display tank where we are sure he will prove a big hit.  It’s cool because we can also visit. 

Stuart our sad little Clown who has just lost his partner is looking for a new home in a well maintained and experienced tank.  Sad for us, but it’s the best thing for the fish.

I called a close mate Friday night, for a shoulder to cry on… “Fish??  Are you taking the p***?” he did not understand.  Very few do. 

I certainly didn’t when I got into it.  I am pretty sure the salesman never mentioned that they live on average for 17 years…or for that matter the cost or the work involved in maintaining them.  As much pleasure as they have brought to me it came with equal amounts of pain during a never ending learning curve…  Marine life is no different to real life.

No one told me that unlike tropical or goldfish, marine fish really interact with you.  I used to describe them as little underwater dogs.  They are already sadly missed in the Abbots Langley Tattoo Studio.

“Spot” and “Stuart” are still going strong in the nano tank and we will keep that one maintained.

But life goes on and we must celebrate the life and times of the I Aint No Saint fish tanks.  So, I am going to do a Tattoo special. 

We got some pretty good pictures of the fish over the years and if anyone would like any of these shots tattooed in colour then it would be my honour to do so.  Full colour realism for no more than £320 max depending on size and placement.


I have included a Dory and some “proper” Captain Nemo images which are also available to be tattooed at a special rate.  It’s only fair as I did quote them both! Get in touch if you like any of these images, all pieces will be fun projects to do.

Captain Nemo Tattoo Special Abbots Langley Tattoo Studio