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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

April 3, 2011
Lefty and Digitalis just finished a meal of mosquito larvae that are growing in the bird bath.  They enjoy eating Mosquito Larvae more than just about anything.  I am not certain exactly how old these Fry are, but it is somewhere around four weeks.  They don’t all grow at the same rate.  Last weekend, after taking all the Angelings to Tropical Imports, I transfered 52 of Boris and Medea Luna’s fry to the growout aquarium, but I can only account for twenty, and they are all larger.  I fear the smaller fry were eaten by the RummyNose Tetras, really just a school of tiny Piranhas.

Digitalis (left) and Lefty with Fry

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

March 28, 2011
Boris and Medea Luna chose a fortuitous time to spawn.  Yesterday I took 24 small angelfish to Tropical Imports and traded them for food and two Rummy Nose Tetras.  I then moved 52 Angel Fry from Boris and Medea Luna’s last successful spawning, the first in 2 and a half years, into the grow out aquarium.  I kept the smallest of the previous brood, that of Lefty and Digitalis, to raise with the newcomers.  Lefty and Digitalis laid eggs a few days ago and I cannot find them.  I’m not certain if they are gone or if they are hidden.

Boris (bottom) and Medea Luna with the spawing from earlier today

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

March 18, 2011

Boris (top) and Media Luna two years later

Boris, Medea Luna, Lefty and Digitalis are about to celebrate their second anniversary since moving to Mt. Washington shortly after the nitrates dropped in the aquarium we had set up two weeks earlier.  Boris and Medea Luna with Digitalis laid a batch of eggs four days later on March 31, 2009.

Boris and Blue Ram

Boris and Medea Luna laid a batch of eggs about a month ago.  The young were removed with a turkey baster just before they became free swimming.  They are living in the bathroom in the nursery aquarium.  The parents moved them about and chased away the single Blue Ram and the two Cardinal Tetras, the last remaining fish from the originally stocked aquarium from March 2009.  Lefty and Digitalis have a brood of 2 week old fry right now.  This is the largest brood ever I believe.

Boris (top) and Medea Luna

Boris and Medea Luna are paler than usual tonight.  I will photograph Lefty and Digitalis tomorrow when there is daylight.

Rummy Nose Tetras and Angelings

These little beauties are the offspring of Lefty and Digitalis and they were born quite a few months ago.  I cleaned out the filter in the growout aquarium.

Breeding Stock Fledgling

This guy is from two broods ago.  I saved the prettiest of the brood.  This fledgling is the pick of the litter.

11 Rummynose Tetras and some Angelings

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

November 28, 2010
Boris and Medea Luna have hatched a small clutch of eggs in the past week.  Several days ago I counted 21 wrigglers.  The community aquarium in which they reside has a drastically reduced population since last year.  The tanks was most likely overstocked and the ecosystem could not handle the numbers.  Now, other than the pair of Angelfish, there is a single Blue Ram and a pair of Cardinal Tetras (down from 6 and 10 respectively).  I fear for the lives of the wrigglers the minute they start to swim, though nothing has been quite as bad as the bands of marauding fledgelings that for only short periods of time resided in the community aquarium.  The hatchlings may get sucked into the filter, or eaten.

Boris (right) and Medea Luna lock jaws

This afternoon, Boris and Medea Luna began to lock jaws.  The bottom line is that though aquarists have long witnessed the jaw locking of Cichlids including Angelfish, and though it is commonly associated with mated or courting pairs, it is uncertain if this is aggressive behavior, romantic behavior or dominance behavior.

As an aside, Lefty and Digitalis have a small brood that hatched the day before the fry of Boris and Medea Luna.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination