Remember the time I told you guys about the parents who ate their kids?
You don’t? Here it is again. Read it, go ahead, I’ll wait.
Now that you know what I’m talking about…turns out I owe said parents a public apology.
The pair of are very much in love, and they’ve laid eggs thrice since then. And yes, the eggs have disappeared each time.
So this time, I had the (brilliant, if I say so myself) idea of plucking the large leaf on which they had laid the eggs and putting it in a mini-floating aquarium. So now the parents could see the eggs, not reach them.
After two days, the first tadpole-tail emerged from one of the eggs. Very soon it became a writhing mass of minute tadpoles attached to the leaf.
Research on the internet revealed that these ‘tadpoles’ will detach themselves in a day or two and become free-swimming. Problem was, my mini aquarium had holes big enough for them to wriggle through and get eaten by the parents.
So, I went to my aquarium shop and got me a ‘breeder net’….feeling all kinds of professional, of course! A breeder, imagine that!
Then came the tricky part of transferring the leaf with the wriggling ‘tadpoles’ from the aquarium to the net, without losing any.
I tried, but despite my feeling of professionalism, I had unfortunately not overcome my clumsiness, and managed to lose a bunch.
A few minutes later, sitting beside the aquarium in utter doldrums (my husband said the net held a few, so look at the bright side, but I’m not naturally gifted with a bright disposition), I noticed some wriggly bits on a leaf.
‘Wow, they managed to land on a leaf!’ I squealed to my husband, who by this time had had enough of me, my fish, and their wriggly bits.
Being the patient man that he is, he came over to have a look, and with slow horror we watched the parents gobble up the wrigglers, one by one.
I wanted to strangle them. My husband went back to watching television, and I went back to aforesaid doldrums.
A few minutes later, one of the parents spat out a stream from its mouth, and lo and behold, there were the wrigglers, back on the leaf! The other parent did the same. Of course I squealed even harder, bringing my irate husband to the aquarium, but this time even he had to smile, the parents sucked up and deposited the young…and were every bit as solicitous as parents ought to be.
I’m no ‘professional’, or I’d have known that when articles mentioned that parents ‘move’ their young, this is what they meant! These parents rescued their kids from certain death by catching them and depositing them on a leaf
when I managed to drop them!
So I went and removed the remaining egg-demolition suspect, the Pleco fish, which I thought was a vegetarian and ate only algae that grew on the glass of my aquarium. Shows how far I have to go in learning about fish.
The wrigglers have survived, both in the net and outside, and the parents are ‘moving’ their kids every now and then.
So, in this rambling, incoherent post, I hereby apologize to my pair of black angelfish (who, of course, don’t have a clue about my entire dilemma).
In the coming days hopefully at least a few of the wrigglers would actually become fry, and some of the fry become angelfish.
And all those things I implied about my fish…monsters, cannibals etc. etc.? I take that all back.
P.S: Just wanted to write an update on the anthology Stories for Sendai edited by the awesome partnership of J.C. Martin and Michelle Davidson Argyle. The book is now available on Amazon in the print version, and tomorrow it will be released on Kindle! They would like everyone to buy their kindle books on the 30th June, so it can hopefully get some exposure on the bestseller lists. Go buy a book and help a good cause!
A friend of mine who raises fish for pet stores said:
“Tell her she needs to siphon off the babies and put them in a separate tank with no gravel or decoration. The babies sink to the bottom and get stuck in gravel and things. She needs to pulverize the fish food into powder for them because they have such tiny mouths. And she needs to keep their water really really clean.”
So, next time the angels have babies, you might try those things.
Nature is a complicated place, Damyanti, and endlessly instructive. And so is your blog — anything but rambling and incoherent.
Thanks, Charles. You always make me feel I’m wiser than I am.
Oh wow, that is really something with the fish moving the babies. I wouldn’t have realized what they were doing. I’ve only had beta fish (one at a time) and a pair of goldfish someone left on our front porch when I was young.
Claire, I was pretty clueless too 🙂
Damyanti, pat those good parents on their skinny little heads for me. They are truly ANGELfish, after all. Boo on the false vegetarian Pleco fish!
Did both, Marian, and thanks for stopping by and actually reading through my nonsense!
Great story. I’d never thought having fish could be so exciting. 🙂
Me neither, but it is!
I’ve given you a BLOG AWARD and you can drop by anytime you’re free to get it. Hopefully it helps to brighten up your day. 🙂
Thanks, it did! I’ll have to work on passing it on!
Glad you solved the mystery! You were dedicated to saving those baby fish, weren’t you?
Yep, mystery solved….I’m getting to be quite the detective 🙂
Well! Nothing like a happy ending, eh? All’s well that’s not eaten. 🙂