The Musicorum Aquarium

Taking the stars into my hands, I start another new day. The rhythmic twinkling of dripping water is my lullaby and the melody of my day. This small aquarium plays such a lively tune as fish wisp all about, shrimp weave through the waters like fairies dancing on a wave, and the snail moves forth steadily like a tanker on the open sea.

A Betta named Sonata, one of Emerald Labyrinth fish

With the Musicorum being my very first aquarium, there were many tedious lessons, along with many wondrous and sometimes deadly surprises. It all began when a fully set-up five-gallon tank was given to me. At first, the elegance of long finned comet goldfish, caught my interest. However, with research I found that goldfish were not as easy to keep as they seem and so I set forth on trying to find a creature who could flourish in such a small tank.

The arrival of a small brown package marked the Musicorum’s very first resident. As little blue dream shrimp freckled the tank, I would soon come to realize their strength, determination, and sheer lack of any intelligence as they all found incredible ways in which to die. By the end of the week only one shrimp remained.

When failure follows you like a shark on the prowl, I have heard it’s best to give it a shove. Although I was not foolish enough to try my hand at the crazy little shrimp again, I had planned for one other resident from the beginning. A resident well known for its voracious appetite and hatred for all males of the species: the Betta Splenden Their expression is permanently marked with their spite for all those who have wronged their species, which put me off for a little while. However, in the store’s Betta rack, amidst the common red and yellow, there was an unexpected variety, my favorite variety at that time: a Black Orchid Betta. It was if moonlight sonata were playing across his fins and scales. Echoing the most vibrant blue through a pitch black void. His name wasn’t too hard to decide upon either, after all what name would ever be more suitable for him than Sonata?

Peace would not last though, for algae grew ever larger and louder like a heavy death metal. Threatening to consume even Sonata, the solution was Ballad, a Golden Mystery Snail, and Chamber, a Black Racer Nerite Snail. They became the aquarium’s main defense.

Peace would not last though, for algae grew ever larger and louder like a heavy death metal. This algae had become a threat to Sonata and reinforcements had to be called in. Ballad a golden mystery snail and Chamber a black racer nerite snail were recruited as the aquarium’s main defense.

A Betta named Sonata, one of Emerald Labyrinth fish

Around half a year later, Chamber passed away and more plants joined the Musicorum bringing in unexpected guests, making things a little too biodiverse. So, a tiny aquatic frog was brought in, with his sole mission to make the tank less biodiverse, and well, he did. That being only himself though.

To smite the squirmy ones, an orchestra of tetras were called in. Three Silver-Tips and three Glow-Lights. Unfortunately, the Silver-Tips decided they hated life, the world, and anything so ugly enough to even be out of their sight. I worried that Sonata would rip them in half to restore his peaceful harmony. They were swiftly returned and in came three more Glow-Lights, along with the cutest little catfish that ever decided to grace this beautiful world. Who apparently had Ich and spread it to all the Glow-Lights.

Sonata, strong and healthy, remained unaffected during the entire duration of the Ich treatment. Sadly, the catfish was not so fortunate and during the last day of treatment he passed away. At the end of all this chaos the perfect name for the Glow-Lights was clear as a cold mountain stream. These sweet little neon peaches were pronounced Harmony.

Glow light tetras named Harmony. Fish of the Musicorum. Emerald Labyrinth's fish

A year passed and the Musicorum was in stable composition. It was time for the Musicorum’s last residents for a good while, the little blue shrimp. The familiar brown package came again and in went a symphony of little shrimp. They did not merely survive this time, but began thriving in the Musicorum. Skimming through the water like dragonflies, they sword fight on Ballad, and cleave through the waters without a single worry. For all their strangeness and spirited adventures they were named the Jazzy shrimp.


I was never particularly fond of fish until I got an aquarium. At times I ponder, realizing if I had never been given this tank or decided to quit when I lost the shrimp,I would have never discovered that this was the key to one of my deepest passions. I had always been fascinated by how the world functions, this desire lead me into farming and gardening, neither of which quite sat right. However, fish tanks are an entire world within your very own room and when they flourish, their personalities shine through. You begin understanding what that excessive fin flicking means and why Sonata randomly poofs out bubbles. This always remind that if you search for something with all your heart, you will surely find it.

A blue dream shrimp on top of a golden mystery snails. Residents of the Musicorum. Emerald Labyrinth's creatures
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