From last night. I wish I had written this down sooner, because now I can't remember most of it...
In the dream I'm at some kind of fish convention, responsible for a display tank that has live plants, driftwood and a few various species including some really large cory catfish and kuhli loaches. It's a glass open-top, oddly shallow and square. I'm walking around just as the public comes in the door and passing my own setup glance over see that one of the catfish is upside down in a gap between two pieces of decor, the fins sticking up straight and stiff. I think Oh crap a fish died I have to get it out of there before a visitor notices, but I don't want to grab it right in front of people (someone is looking at another part of their tank with a kid) plus I really abhor touching dead fish with my bare hands so I hurry over to my supply cart to get a pair of long-handled aquarium tongs, picture myself grabbing the dead fish by its fin with the tweezers to lift it out but I really don't want anyone to see me doing it and know a fish died on me so I'm anxiously waiting for a gap in the steady stream of visitors-
then stuff happens and I go back to the tank instead of getting out the dead fish I'm going to move two live ones into another tank but I don't have any equipment with me I have to do this fast so I scoop them up with my hand, put them side by side on my forearm held carefully level, cover the startled fishes with my other wet hand so they don't jump or fall off, and dash over to the other tank drop them in!
Then I'm walking through the venue looking at all the displays and on a corner there's a huge tank installed it's taller than I am. Three or four huge gorgeous white angelfish with those pearly scales and flowing fins drift a foot or two above my head, their bodies at an oblique angle to the tank wall, leisurely looking down at us. They're more than a foot across (not counting the tail), giant fish. I stand stock still and stare up at them in awe, then I notice something that horrifies me. Their eyes are blank. Flat, silver reflecting blank. Blind, I think. I look very hard and can barely make out a tiny pupil like a little pinprick. It's creepy.
I glance down and see a placard in front of the tank that explains in great detail with numerous illustrations, how the breeder had a some fish with a genetic mutation that had smaller-than-normal pupils. It made them look perpetually startled and to his surprise people found that intriguing, so he kept breeding them like that and got ones with even smaller pupils- people thought those looked like "zombie angelfish" so he kept going with it. And now these beautiful, gorgeous, horribly blank-eyed freaks.
I woke up at that point.
I must note: in real life, I have never been to a convention having to do with the hobby, though I would like to someday. (However, I have been to numerous mineral-related shows with my husband so I think my brain filled in some details about what it's like to run a table at a show, from that).
I've never kept an open-top aquarium.
I do have an aversion to touching a dead fish with my hands. (Unless it's one I'm cleaning to cook. It's a pet one in the tank that just yesterday was alive and now is dead that I can't stand to touch)
I would never transport a fish on my forearm!
I saw tetras with completely black eyes (iris and sclera same color as pupil) at a store a few months ago, I'd never seen anything like that (before or since) and kept going back to that tank numerous times to stare at them. Maybe the angels with flat blank silver eyes relates to that memory. It's really stuck with me.
I do love angelfish. I am often taken aback by new shapes fish take on with breeding- the excessively long fins, the balloon bellies... I guess blank eyes was one step further my dream came up with! Ugh.
Real angelfish don't get that big, either!