This morning I had a light schedule at church, so I decided to free my fish from their murky waters and stop pretending that the visitors to my office "didn't mind'' looking through sweet-tea colored water to admire my golden lovelies.
I had attacked the small tank yesterday. Simple bucket-and-syphon tactics to replace 40%-ish of their water and a paper towel to the inside glass did the trick for those guys... no problem. And today was the 20 gallon job.
I wish now that I'd taken pictures.
Allow me to paint the scene:
Me - grey dress pants and a startlingly white polo shirt
The tank - the color and (light) scent of an accidental pond-puddle that swells up in your backyard this time of year. Especially here in Ohio... oh wait, that's just the pool that's been too wet to properly collapse and put away.
Same approach - a couple of buckets worth of water out, taking things down to 65% full or so, swipe the sides pretty thouroughly, and check the filter for gunk...
Bucket fills - check
Wall cleaning - check
Filter maintenace - ... oh my goodness gracious!
As I pulled the carbon filter up from the basin, it became apparent that there was a LOT of gunk. Enough that one of the ladies here in the office said, "I think they're growing that stuff for alternate energy sources now, you should give someone a call." It was quite a harvest.
But not the strung together sea-weedy kind, no this was like old green paint.
(I'll take this moment to remind you of my "startlingly white polo shirt"... yeah.)
Needless to say, the job took a slight bit longer than initially anticipated - but amazingly, the shirt remained clean.
The deep thought for today; How could I have known that there was that much gunk, when the water only looked a 'little'* bad???
* little being a relative term
I've had opportunity to talk to some of the little ones as well as the new members here about sin recently. And I think that my fishtank holds a good illustration for this.
You look at yourself and see some algae on the walls, maybe the water is murkier today than yesterday, but you can generally convince people that "I'm not that bad, really."
But open up your heart - where everything flows through - and on our own there is just an unimaginable amount of gunk. Sin. Grossness that cannot be removed without some major intervention.
So you get in touch with some guy in a white shirt... except unlike me, He does a really thourough job and gets every speck out of the water, the filter and he even scrubs the plastic plants clean (which is annoyingly difficult, and never undertaken by me personally... I contract that out to snails when they're in town.). He puts in the effort for you to clean things up, and wouldn't you know - His shirt doesn't stay clean. He has to go home wearing YOUR gunk... and you're left with crystal clear water.