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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

December 3, 2011 @ 12:33 AM.
We have been experiencing technical difficulties.  On Wednesday afternoon, the Santa Ana winds began to pick up and by 6:30 PM, we noticed transformers blowing and lighting up the sky.  During the night, the power went out four or five times, and shortly after 1 AM Thursday, the howling wind twisted and snapped a large tree near our offices.  Around 8: 40 AM, shortly after leaving for our day jobs, the lights went out at our Mt Washington offices for nearly 36 hours.  Without power, we were unable to answer any emails or to post any new content.  The power returned at about 6:30 PM on Friday, December 2, about an hour before we returned to the offices.  Our first priority was to check on the aquaria and remove the quilts they were wrapped in.  With no electricity and no heat, the aquarium water dropped from the Amazonian 80s to the low 60s despite our having boiled some rain water the night before and adding it to raise the temperature to about 70.  We did that a second time at about 1 PM today, that time boiling about 2 1/2 gallons from each aquarium that was returned hot, again raising the temperature to about 72.  This afternoon the warming was accompanied by the quilt wrap.  Boris and Medea Luna, Lefty and Digitalis’ 16 fledgelings, and the summer spawns all survived.  One small fry in the bathroom died, leaving five siblings from a very small brood.

Boris and Medea Luna July 2011

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

The Aquarium Update
July 28, 2011
Sixteen of Lefty and Digitalis’ most beautiful children, 12 silver and black and 4 gold, are living happily in the 40 gallon tall aquarium with a small plecostomus.  They are gorgeous fledgelings and I expect they may begin to pair off in the near future.

Fledgelings July 28, 2011

They may get a new roommate.  Boris has become a bully.  I may need to split up him and Medea Luna.  She nips his tail and he bites her pectoral fins.  Boris is a biter.  Look what he did to poor Lefty 2 1/2 years ago.  Adding Medea Luna to this aquarium might not be a good idea.  That might upset a balanced aquarium.  Perhaps one day I should just move her and a new clutch of eggs to the window aquarium.  But what about the plecostomus?  Such decisions.

Boris (left) and Medea Luna and an old Cardinal Tetra

Boris has also gotten considerably larger than Medea Luna.  He has become a bull Cichlid.
The stories of Boris and Medea Luna’s two recent broods will continue tomorrow.
I moved 5 fry from the bathroom nursery aquarium to the new grow out aquarium near the window.  Then I moved 8 more.  I keep trying to catch the biggest fry.

Update:  Next morning
July 29, 2011
I have six more fry acclimating for transfer.  Any doubts I had about the 2 1/2 inch Plecostomus eating the fry seem to be dispelled by this Aquarium Forum posting.  There are so many places to hide in the new grow out aquarium.  I only saw 11 of the 13 fry this morning.

July 30, 2011
I moved 11 more fry today and I noticed one got trapped in the filter intake.  I reduced the filter flow to keep that from happening again.  Since I had moved the largest fry from the nursery aquarium, I decided to move the second batch of fry, just about a week old, into the nursery aquarium with their older siblings.  At around 1 week of age, I tend to have a significant die off of the weakest of the fry, and the same happened today, with the weaklings being picked on by their older siblings.

Update:  August 8, 2011
I know I moved 16 more fry today.  If I did not lose count, I have moved at least 46 fry.  When I moved the younger fry into the nursery aquarium with their older siblings, I had a major die off, probably losing almost the entire second batch.  Boris and Medea Luna laid more eggs the other day and they hatched last night.  They are guarding their new fry and I will give it a few days before removing them.  I would really like to get all the fry out of the nursery aquarium this time.

Update:  August 11, 2011
After the fiasco of losing so many fry by combining generations, I made sure to empty the entire nursery aquarium of fry, transfering them to the growout aquarium this afternoon.  There were at least 33 of the smallest fry, but they are all now too large to be severely compromised by their larger siblings.  Previously, over the past few days, I moved 11 other fry.  That would make close to 90 growing fry in the growout aquarium.  Then I removed the newest wrigglers as Boris and Medea Luna attacked the turkey baster.  I should consider moving the couple back to their original aquarium and then moving the fledgelings into the community aquarium.  Then Boris and Medea Luna will be able to raise a family without fear of predation by the tetras.  That is just a thought.  The wrigglers are now in a small container with aeration that is floating in the nursery aquarium.  The now empty nursery aquarium, except for one large snail, is awaiting their arrival.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Monday, July 4, 2011.  11:24 AM
On Thursday, June 30, Boris and Media Luna laid eggs on a piece of slate I placed in the aquarium.  I noticed that they were preparing to lay eggs and they were cleaning off a lower horizontal surface, so I decided to provide a taller surface to keep the eggs away from the Rummynose Tetras and Cardinal Tetras in the aquarium.  The parents did not seem real attentive, though they weren’t interested in eating much.  The eggs hatched hatched in the late afternoon on July 2, and the pair started moving the wrigglers to the horizontal surface they had cleared earlier.  I took out a healthy turkey baster full of wrigglers and transferred them to a small plastic box suspended in the now vacant (except for a Plecostomus) 29 gallon aquarium where Lefty and Digitalis lived for 2 1/2 years and raised many broods.  I placed an airstone in the box to keep water moving.  Meanwhile the pair continued to guard the remaining wrigglers in the community, formerly grow out, aquarium.

Boris and Medea Luna's wrigglers 1 day old

More details after lunch.

Ed. Note: Country Ham Lunch
Susan Lutz of Eat Sunday Dinner (or something like it) invited me for an Independence Day lunch of Country Ham because her parents were visiting from Virginia and they brought a ham.  Seems the newest ham isn’t documented on the website yet, but here is an older posting for Country Ham.

And now, for the rest of the Aquarium Update.  On the morning of Sunday, July 3, I watched Boris and Medea Luna doting over the remaining wrigglers in the community aquarium, and they did an admirable job of warding off the tetras, until the light came on at 2 PM.  I watched the tetras swoop in for a hatchling a few times before I took Drastic Measures for a Desperate Situation, and I decided to remove the remaining wrigglers with the turkey baster.  The parents did not take to kindly at having their brood removed, but if I wanted the fry to survive the day, I had to act.  Now the entire batch of hatchlings is in a small plastic container floating in their future home.  I want to make sure they are free swimming before releasing them, and I do have some concerns that the Plecostomus may try to eat the fry once they are introduced.  Introducing the young Angelfish will also require shutting off the filter while the fry are small enough to get sucked up.  It should be noted that the last batch of fry that Boris and Medea Luna had a brood in February, and most of that brood had unattractive mutations, including many with only one ventral fin and a few with no ventral fins.  Hopefully, this batch will not have the previously mentioned mutations.  Finally, I have a photo of Boris and Medea Luna taken immediately after I removed the last of the wrigglers and right before the camera stopped working.

Boris and Medea Luna

As a final note, the most beautiful fledgelings from the final batch of eggs that Lefty and Digitalis laid are currently about the size of a quarter, the body that is, and 16 of them, 12 striped and 4 golden, are living together with a single Plecostomus in the 40 gallon tall aquarium.  I hope to raise a second generation pair of breeders that can move to the 29 gallon aquarium.  I’m not certain what I will do with the Plecostomus if that happens.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

June 29, 2011
Two days ago, Lefty suddenly began to exhibit symptoms that something was wrong, including staying near the bottom of the tank motionless.  Then he would rest on the bottom upsidedown with labored breathing.  Yesterday morning, there was no change, and then in the late morning, Lefty died just a month and a half after his mate Digitalis died suddenly.  Though it seems this was not a very old age for Angelfish (see Angels+), Lefty and Digitalis produced many batches of eggs.  The cream of the crop from their most recent brood are growing nicely in the 40 gallon tall aquarium.  There are 16 fledglings in the aquarium now of which four are gold.

Lefty Died Yesterday

One of the most surprising events in Lefty’s life was the day he jumped out of the water and landed on the glass cover of the aquarium while I was working in the water.  He was trying to defend his brood.  He and Digitalis were excellent parents who cared for their young.  Lefty lost most of his right pectoral fin when I originally brought the pair along with the other mated pair of Angelfish, Boris and Medea Luna, home in March 2009.  The four fish came from the same pet store and they had already begun forming relationships.  Seems Lefty was rejected by the other three fish and he needed to be boarded for about a month at my local store, Tropical Imports.  Lefty had a real personality and he will be sadly missed.  Here is a photo of Lefty in happier times.

Lefty and Fry May 2010

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

May 15, 2011
When I promised an aquarium update this weekend, I had no inkling that the news would be so sad.  Yesterday I realized that Lefty and Digitalis did not look well, and I took all their remaining fry and all the fry from the growout aquarium, 26 in all, to Tropical Imports to cash in for store credit.  The decision to remove the remaining 8 fry that were still in the aquarium with Lefty and Digitalis was instigated by my desire to major tank maintenance.  The decision to remove all the fry from the growout aquarium was instigated by my horror at watching Boris grab one in his mouth and spit it out.  Since Boris and Medea Luna were moved from their aquarium in a Drastic Measure for a Desperate Situation, I realized they seemed agitated by the offspring of Lefty and Digitalis.  I had already moved 17 or 18 of the most beautiful and largest fry to the 40 tall aquarium after thoroughly cleaning it and letting it season for a week.  Once I was sure that two fry survived the move and were fine, I decided to use that aquarium to grow some fry to a larger size. With Lefty and Digitalis in apparent distress, I changed some water and turned on the filter.  I was in the habit of shutting off the filter whenever they had small fry to keep the fry from being sucked into the filter.  I added an air stone and Lefty started acting more normal.  Digitalis was keeping to the back of the aquarium, but both ate live worms this morning.  I thought to move the couple to the 40 tall aquarium with their fledglings, but the couple seemed to be doing better.  A half hour after eating, Digitalis was up-side-down at the top of the aquarium.  I reverted again to Drastic Measures for a Desperate Situation and quickly moved both Lefty and Digitalis, but alas, Digitalis was dead within minutes.  Lefty seems to be doing well 12 hours later.  I have doubts about my caretaker abilities and can’t help but to wonder if Digitalis might have survived if I made the move the night before. Digitalis’ symptoms included a ragged tail, but I never know if that is just rough play.  Both Lefty and Digitalis seemed to open their mouths wide and shake slightly.  Things didn’t seem quite right, but they did not seem dire.  Now I have thoroughly cleaned that aquarium and I’m not sure what to do.  Watch for additional updates.  I would like to illustrate this posting with a photo from last spring of Digitalis with a brood of fry.  Interestingly, though I took photos yesterday, they do not appear to be on the camera.  Seems the very old digital camera I have been using has died as well.

Digitalis with Fry March 16, 2010

Update: May 22, 2011
I found the photos on the camera.  It is bittersweet, but I do have a last photo of Digitalis with Lefty taken the evening before she expired.

Digitalis (left) and Lefty on their last afternoon together

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

April 29, 2011
Daniel had to drive to work yesterday because he was so late he could not take public transportation.  After spending the morning posting many of your wonderful letters, he noticed Boris and Medea Luna obviously distressed at the top of the aquarium.  The two remaining Cardinal Tetras they share the 40 gallon aquarium with were gasping at the top as well.  The last remaining two year old Blue Ram was dead.  This followed two partial water changes in two days.  Upon returning to the home office after Spring Break, Medea Luna’s pectoral fins did not look good.  The suspected love nips from Boris appeared to be a fin rot fungus and internet research suggested frequent water changes, so first 15 gallons, and the next morning 10 gallons of water were changed and Stress Coat+ was used.  Next morning, just as Daniel was about to leave, the distressed fish looked bad.  Daniel couldn’t skip work, so he quickly scooped up the four survivors and transferred them to the Grow Out aquarium.  There wasn’t time to make sure the transfer would be successful, so Daniel drove off to his morning lecture.  Thursday is a very long day, culminating after an evening lecture ending at 10:15 PM.  Throughout the day, Daniel couldn’t help but to worry about the state of affairs with the mated pair of Angelfish that have been under Daniel’s care for two years.  Upon returning home at nearly 11 PM, Daniel was relieved to find the four distressed fish well and hungry, though there are also 11 Rummy Nose Tetras and about 50 Angelings only a few months old also in that aquarium, not to mention a Cory Cat that always hides under a rock.  The largest Angelings will have to go to Tropical Imports this weekend and Boris and Medea Luna’s home will need some major attention.  Looks like a busy weekend.  Sorry no new photos, but here are the couple before the averted tragedy.

Medea Luna (left) and Boris kiss or fight in November 2010

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination