I have been dreaming of fishes lately. I don't remember now what the one was last night, but a few weeks ago I dreamt of kuhli loaches twice in a row.
First I had a dream that I am visiting the house of a friend-of-a-friend, someone I don't know well. They are talking and I wander into another room, which belongs to a grown son who was away at college. There's a twenty-gallon fish tank installed into the wall, like a window straight into the tank. It's at eye level. It's nearly barren. A rumple of gravel on the bottom, not much else. But I see something moving and look closer- there are a few kuhli loaches in there, banded ones. And one is the biggest, fattest kuhli I've ever seen. It's so wide it looks gross, but I'm enthralled nevertheless. It looks to me like no one is taking care of these kuhlis and I really really want to rescue them and take them home with me, but I'm too shy to ask the host, they will think I'm being silly.
The second dream was similar- I go into an empty room and find a tank (this one better-cared for) with kuhli loaches in it. Here there are kinds I've never seen before- some very pale, their sides transparent like glass catfish- their spines visible, their stripes just pale gray bands. I'm fascinated. I know these fish aren't pale from sickness or stress- that it's a genetic anomaly. There are a few normal-looking kuhlis too, and some that are light tan with large black blotches near their front ends. I wonder if these two mating produced the clear ones, and if I did some selective breeding can I produce more. But then I think: they're so freakish looking, no-one will want clear kuhli loaches. I'd do better to breed like to like and get recognizable types. All this speculation while they aren't even my fish.