Things I’d Want to Have in a Zombie Apocalypse: A Fish Story

Guppies. Pretty, reasonably hardy so long as they don’t freeze, and they love mosquitoes. What more could you ask?

Not to mention they have a knack for getting right up into the surface layer of water, where the oxygen is highest, meaning they can tolerate a lack of airpump when the moaning hordes eat whoever’s been maintaining the power plant.

A little aquarium of guppies gives you flashy, calming, swimming color, that’s fairly low maintenance. And did I mention they eat mosquitoes? Seriously; even if the zombie-bug can’t be transmitted by insect bites, plenty of known human bugs can, including (and definitely not limited to) yellow fever, West Nile, malaria, equine encephalitis… you get the idea.

And don’t forget the benefits to your four-legged friends. One thing the zpoc is going to impact is regular vet medications. Tapeworm, heartworm, other nasties – eww. Remember what it says in your vet’s office? “There’s no such thing as an indoor mosquito.” Anything that can lower the mosquito population around where you and your furry compatriots hang out is a good thing.

So. Guppies. They’re billed as tropical fish, but generally speaking, as long as you don’t need a coat to walk around inside, they’ll do fine. Put them in a small outdoor pot or pond, the mosquito larvae will do at least half the work of feeding them – and they’re likely to attract dragonflies to lay their eggs, which will hatch into water tigers that feed on mosquito larvae and tiny fish. I mean, water tigers. The name alone is worth it.

(Don’t poke the water tigers. They will bite.)

And if you’re worried about losing your fish to the water tigers, remember that guppies breed like… well, guppies.

In my experience, female fancy guppies do fine in regular water or rainwater with no expensive added aquarium salts. Male fancy guppies are a lot more persnickety. So if you want pretty but no messing about with salts, head to a pet store and ask for feeder guppies. (Kept to feed bigger fish, turtles, etc.) Those guppies are smaller and drab, much more wild-type, and can generally handle a plain freshwater tank. Toss some feeder guppies in with some fancy females, do some selection, and you’ll wind up with reasonably hardy hybrids that also have some color. Pretty.

Fishnet, anyone?

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2 thoughts on “Things I’d Want to Have in a Zombie Apocalypse: A Fish Story

  1. Maybe it’s because I’m in a fairly colder climate, but I’d go for koi/goldfish. You’ll have to dig a deeper pond so you don’t have to worry about them freezing, but they do well, and can grow bigger, plus carp doesn’t taste half bad. And they’re pretty.

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  2. Fish culturists I’ve read say, “If you think you have enough room for koi, stock with the same number of goldfish first. Just to be sure.”

    And those are very cool fish. They just don’t eat mosquitoes! You might want to look into adding a few native mosquitofish into your pond for that; they’re more cold hardy, they’re guppy relatives, and they’re native at least to the eastern U.S.

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