Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Fight To Save the Fish

The freshwater aquarium

I'm completely attached to my fishtank. There. I said it. I hold no shame. I spend a lot of time on my tanks, and have gotten to know each and every one of its inhabitants. There's the reclusive catfish, who spend all day hidden away in a sunken ship, getting larger and larger. There's titan, the two inch long king of the ghost shrimp, who lords over the bottom of the tank with his claws, greedily steeling all the best bits of food for himself.

Titan the king of the aquarium

There's Max and Mona, the cowardly but sweetly dependant african drawf frogs, who dig into the gravel when they're scared and venture out to scavenge what they can.

Mona the african dwarf frog.

Among the fishies, there's also Tubby, the beer-bellied brown molly who flutters around up top and is the first to greet me when I show up with the food. He is the house favorite, and the 'pet' of the aquarium.

Tubby, recently has been terrorized by Cartman, the newest white molly who has decided that for some reason, Tubby will not do. Somehow or other, it is strongly suspected that Cartman ripped off half of Tubby's right fin. It completely destroyed Tubby's equilibrium, and having been Nemo'd, he can no longer swim upright, or even straight. He swims in circles, and it's painful to watch.

I decided to do everything I could to save the little guy, and so I bought him a breeder tank, isolating him from Cartman's cruel attentions.

Tubby the mollie

So far, the plan seems to be working. Cartman can't get to Tubby (though god knows he tries), and Tubby seems to find the lack of current a good thing. He's actually getting used to being Nemo-d and uses the little flipper in a way that, when he's not panicking, gets him up right and able to float a bit. I figure a few days in the holding cell and he might get strong enough to make it in the larger tank.

That still leaves the issue of Cartman, the bully, however. Who I strongly suspect is the one who chewed off Tubby's fin to begin with (My mother discovered him chasing Tubby, and was so annoyed found my net and grabbed Cartman and stuck him in a plastic bag in the water until I got home with the breeder tank). If Tubby does make it, I think Cartman might be going to The Aquarium, my local fish monger. They took my algae eater a while back when he just got two big for the aquarium (a good seven inches long).

The one downside of Operation Save Tubby is that I appear to have confused Max, the larger of the African Dwarf Frogs. He has inherited an acute case of cage envy and keeps trying to figure out how to get into Tubby's breeder tank. I installed a reef to help him get up to the surface faster, hopefully that'll keep him from tripping into the breeder tank. There's not much oxygen in there.

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