Friday, August 22, 2014

something fishy

Seriously fishy stuff has happened here and, Sherlock that I am, I think I've got proof of my theory.

You see, this past spring, when I was feeding the fish one morning, I noticed something someone new. There was a tiny, maybe one-centimeter-long fish in the tank. I am quite sure this fish hadn't been bought. This was a baby.  But not that tiny in fish terms, and not that new, and well, only one.

My knowledge of fish isn't extensive but I've had some experience with fish born in a small tank. A swordfish had babies once, and as she swam around with loads of teeny tiny (2mm) babies popping out of her hindside, other fish followed her around and had a fish breakfast.  I thought the fish in my tank were all tetras now, and I thought tetras laid eggs and were not live bearers. Google confirmed this.

I had previously been a bit concerned that this fish:

was picking on this fish:

by chasing it/him/her around.  (Or maybe the opposite, I couldn't remember who'd done the pursuing.) The striped one is probably a tetra, but I wasn't sure.  In any case, I suspected now that the attention was perhaps not unwanted.  (see above reference to Sherlock)

The result of this fish on fish attention had to have been this fish:

Bug named it/her/him Freddie. I told him it would probably be eaten by the end of the day, optimist that I am.  But yet Freddie thrived and has more than doubled in size since then. (Photographed now, at about 2.5cm in length)

The mystery of it all, other than the larger mystery of life, is just exactly how did Freddie live so long unnoticed without becoming a meal to one of the other fish? I'm not the most reliable at cleaning the fishtank, so I'm surprised it was healthy enough to hatch eggs or keep a baby alive. Really, even one baby tetra in captivity is pretty rare. Coming from an egg, they've got to be really small when they hatch.

Then, today I was doing that responsible thing, cleaning the nasty algae covered fishtank, and I noticed something interesting. (Again, see above reference to Sherlock)  this:

The little dots on the glass (I see at least six, maybe seven here) must be eggs!  Freddie's brothers and sisters!  Lots of brothers and sisters!

So, I'm going to keep an eye on these fishy happenings, and see if anything develops. Google tells me they hatch within as little as 48 hours!  I will be back with any news next week.

Well, no news. Maybe they are eggs, but caviar and not embryos. If tetra breeding conditions have to be as strict as what they say, Freddie was a miracle.