Kingsley's Rein


Kingsley's last night in the tank - 5 October 2022

I’ve just said farewell to one of my longest cohabiting pets, Kingsley the Bristlenose Catfish—at age 17 years (2005-2022). That’s a record, as their normal life-span is typically anywhere from 5 to 15 years.


I purchased a 90 litre fish tank in 2005, with my very first publishing advance—for Blossom Possum the Sky is Falling Down Under (Scholastic, 2006). Kingsley was one of my first fish. From a juvenile, he grew to about 14 cm, in his heyday; he shrank a little over the past year or so, down to about 12 cm. He even survived a tank-poisoning event some 7 years ago, when an exuberant/inebriated young party-goer treated the fish to a Jack Daniels (all died apart from Kingsley and a pregnant swordtail).


In later life, and for about two years, Kingsley had a partner, Queenie (2020-21). Together, the royal couple had two batches of baby catfish (so cute). As is the male’s role, Kingsley dutifully guarded the young inside the tank’s castle statue for about a week each time. Sadly the nippers did not go on to survive tank life.

Kinsley and Queenie - March 2021

Kingsley definitely was ‘King of the Tank’ and did not put up with the other fish getting in his way (mostly swordtails, neon tetras, mollies, and a couple of smaller pepper catfish)—although he secretly liked having them around. He will be muchly missed—by fish and humans. We salute you Kingsley, and your record reign!

22 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All