Alex Camacho
Crosby, TX, United States
Born in Houston, Texas and raised all over living the life of an Army Brat. I Went to eight different schools (three elementary, one middle school, four high schools) and have one little brother who’s not so little anymore. I’ve been married for nearly fourteen years now to a woman who rocks my world and I've been blessed with two wonderful children. Our dog, Sally, is a big black lab saved from a local shelter.

Friday, April 23, 2004

I Wanna Piranha

I've been a little down in the weather I guess and I'm sure not being able to get restful sleep doesn't help any. Dosha and Kathy got me all revamped bout my main fish tank again. It feels good to be making progress on that project. I even emailed the guy who inspired the whole thing and he's a really cool guy. I've just felt so restless lately. I guess I could put that energy to good use by doing laundry, dishes, mowing the yard, etc. but instead I stay up til four or five in the morning playing canasty with Lana, Kelly and Dosha. Restless.

Speaking of restless, I've decided I need a J-O-B. Not like a real job with responsibilities but something I'll enjoy doing for a few hours a day after I drop Marcel off at school. I've decided to try and get a job at Petsmart. I'll enjoy the job, take what I've learned to the job and the discount would be great. I've owned ferrets, hamsters, gerbils, sugar gliders, turtles, cats and dogs. I enjoy having pets. That's why I've become an aquarium guy now. I'm not allowed pets in our current rent house so I found a way around the lease that's acceptable to our landlord. I think my wife is secretly grateful bout the no pets thing. Anyway, I'm looking to get a job at Petsmart. Something fun, educational, and will pay to support my habit-er hobbies.

Speaking of fish, did you know it's illegal to own piranha in the state of Texas? It's a B Class B Misdemeanor. What does that mean? A maximum fine of 2,000 dollars and/or confinement in jail up to 180 days. I understand the state not wanting to introduce this type of animal into the wildlife but a Class B Misdemeanor for something that is so readily available if you know where to look? Sound familiar? Marijuana possession of two ounces or less carries the same penalty. So why not make it a Permit Only fish? Say a five hundred dollar permit cost paid annually to the Wildlife Commission with a minimum (but not maximum) number of inspections per year. Should the inspector not be satisfied with the environment, the animals could legally seized for neglectful care (just like the laws for sugar gliders) if a set list of conditions aren't meet (proper housing, feeding, care, etc.). For the really cautious, upon death the owner has to provide the carcass to the Wildlife Commission and to insure no misunderstandings or confusion, each fish has to be measured, weighed and tagged upon each inspection. Sound a little out there? Not really when you consider these laws already exist for other animals such as sugar gliders which are considered hazardous to local Texas wildlife as well.

So lets examine this. The current law bans and punishes dedicated aquarists from owning an understudied animal and treats them as criminals and the state makes a maximum profit of 2,000 per offense. Or the law could be changed as follows to allow these dedicated individuals to care for this understudied unique animal in a controlled environment and the state makes a profit of five hundred dollars a person. It may seem like a hefty cost but when you consider that the tank required house such fish is going to cost a minimum of two thousand dollars, to the serious aquarist it isn't a lot (they require 20 gallons of water per fish on average and are schooling fish with the recommended number being around six). The State wildlife makes more money, learns more about the fish for educational purposes from independent responsible sources, and has the right to revoke and seize the animals if requirements aren't met and aquarists get to house a fascinating fish in their home. Everybody wins.

Back to folding laundry.

For those of you in Texas, here's the link to the Texas Park and Wildlife's list of Prohibited Exotic Fish, Shellfish, and Aquatic Plants.

On a side note there's a certain phrase which I will never EVER utter again. I never meant it and it'll prolly bother me for a while so here's another heartfelt apology. :(

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