What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

July 2, 2010
Lefty and Digitalis have always been very aggressive when it comes to defending their brood.  They have consistently splashed water at me while I am feeding the youngsters eyedroppers full of newly hatched baby brine shrimp.  Yesterday, while feeding the hatchlings that have only been free swimming for a few days, I was surprised by a large splash and an adult angelfish atop the aquarium glass.  It had escaped the aquarium through an inch and a half gap between the glass and the rear edge of the aquarium where the filter pipes enter and leave the aquarium.  I have never thought I needed to block the gap as I did not think an angelfish would jump.  Apparently parental protection instincts allow they not terribly aerodynamic looking angelfish to go airborne.  It all happened so quickly, but I scooped up the fish and tossed it back into the aquarium.  It was Digitalis’s behavior that seemed noticeably changed after the incident, so I suspected she had leapt out.  About an hour later, I noticed a small wound on Lefty that looks like a scrape.  Perhaps it was caused by the glass, or perhaps my hasty handling of the leaper with dry hands.  I added 10 milliliters of Stress Coat to the water to help Lefty generate a protective slime coating on the wound.  Despite the leap, Lefty’s behavior continued to be very aggressive in defending the youngsters when I approached the aquarium.

The other pair of Angelfish, Boris and Medea Luna, who have not had a viable spawning since late last summer, have always defended the eggs against the tank mates by propelling themselves sideways through the water so that they look like manta rays.  I can’t help but wonder if there are other reports of Angelfish leaping out of aquaria.  I have a photo taken of the family the day before the jump.  Lefty appears to be recovering nicely, and both parents eagerly eat mosquito larvae I catch in the yard, but Digitalis stays close to the small fry.

Lefty (on left), Digitalis and Fry June 30, 2010

Update:  July 6, 2010
Lefty has recovered and is doing nicely.  The young fry are growing, but I am concerned what will happen if the adults spawn again.  In preparation, I took the twenty largest youngsters from the grow out aquarium and traded them for frozen and live food today.  I contemplated getting a Plecostomus to put in the community aquarium, but I don’t want it to eat the eggs that are laid there.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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