I rose early this morning and found a horrific little domestic scene. First I discovered a dead kuhli loach. I haven’t seen them eating or swimming about and honestly think all those tiny guys are long gone from the ich infestation, as susceptible as their equally scale-less larger cousins. They tend to cannibalize their dead overnight, before I can find their bodies, so that may well have been the last one.
The three clown loaches were inside their favorite decorative hideout. That could have been a good sign, which I told myself before spying the silhouette of a dwarf clown plecostomus within. This is not normal behavior.
Holding my breath, I reached into the tank and lifted the decoration dubbed ‘skull mountain’. It lived up to that nickname, for out tumbled the bodies of Frick and Frack, my two smaller clowns. I burst into instant tears. Then things got worse.
The impressive Ms. Pacman, also deceased, remained wedged inside. I called for help and, sobbing, at last managed to dislodge the weighty corpse into a bucket.
After many years with me, these fish should have lived another decade or so. Even worse is my culpability over the loss. I just had to bring home some new pretty top dwellers.
Well, these newbies alone appear asymptomatic. How weird is that? They must have been the unwitting hosts (!), yet seem fine. So now I’ve broken down and will use a chemical supposed to eradicate the parasites.
Perhaps I can still save my two plecos. My sole, meager comfort is the fact a quarantine tank may have proven useless if these Dalmatian mollies and guppy are healthy as they appear. What do I know? I never had this happen before.
I know this is small in the scheme of things, but right now my eyeballs feel like they served as fill-ins at a golf driving range. Once the snow stops, I guess I’ll bury my fish in the garden and put skull mountain atop as a memorial. No way can I look at that item in the tank anymore.
At least these victims are no longer suffering.
Guess whose done trying to raise long-lived fish?