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Piscine Politics

Fer gawds sake.

So, no sooner have Rapido's offspring emerged, than we have new drama. Are aquariums really supposed to be like this? I mean, I thought they were just fish, calming, pretty to look at. Apparently not. Everything has personality. Lots of personality.

The most stunning fish in the aquarium is Rory Rumblefish aka Siamese Fighting Fish aka Betta Splendens. Afishonados* will tell you just never to keep these boys together cos they will kill each other, simple as that. Rory is magnificent and scarlet plus he built a bubblenest for eggs, which I destroyed before realising what it was - it just looked like dirty foam. Guilt forced me into buying two girlfriends for him. First he glowered hopelessly at them, now he ignores them. Maybe it was as cyanidemigraine suggested and he felt emasculated by his lack of bachelor pad. The girls meantime, are meant to be less aggressive than the boys. Ha ha ha.

It is said their aggression is kept for each other. Ha ha ha.
That they will work out their pecking order and be sorted. And the jokes just keep coming...

If anyone out there watches America's Next Top Model, you know there's always one mean girl who stalks the house going crazy, bullying all the others yet somehow always making it to the next round? Well, we have our finned equivalent. She hovers over the corydoras stealing their food. This morning she raced off with an algae wafer the size of her head. And she has attacked Rapido twice, the second time giving the poor snail's tentacle such a nip, I fear part of it may have come off - I haven't seen any evidence of the wound. But poor Rapido hid for the rest of the night.

I phoned the fish shop, where an expert shed light...'What you have there is a very healthy betta. They are meant to be curious predators full of personality.' The voice was slightly tinged with disapproval, as if the word personality actually means psychopathic disorder, and everyone except me knows that.

'Will she calm down?' I asked.

'That's unlikely. She's discovered that the snail is alive and a possible snack. All healthy fish look for food. She will probably just keep going for the snail until she tears something vital off, or the snail gets a bad wound and dies of a secondary infection. I would move your snail if I were you.'

The voice seems to think that there is no such thing as a one-off aquarium keeper. I keep fish, therefore I inevitably have a tank condo in my front room for just such occasions as these.

I am not moving Rapido, she's peaceful and happy. But I hate to move the girls cos they are too; and both have to go cos they look very similar to each other, so I have no way of guessing which one belongs in Bates motel.

The trouble with living things is that they are inevitably horrible.

*See what I did there?


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 16th, 2011 11:09 am (UTC)
I think what you need is probably some wire netting suspended in the tank, floor to water surface. Rapido and perhaps even poor old Rory on one side and the girls on the other.

Far be it from me to suggest some kind of aquatic Berlin Wall (though you could have search lights and plastic frogmen, which would be cool), but perhaps some sad piscine DMZ may be the only answer...
Feb. 16th, 2011 11:35 am (UTC)
Plastic frogmen and spotlights would be cool! But the wire would get in the way of the cories and the snails...I fear the girls must go back to the shop. I am very sorry for it, especially when they are exhibiting such interesting behaviours. I was told that Golden Apple snails were great tank mates for bettas, now I learn it depends on the individual fighting fish. Not so much politics as piscine psychotherapy...
Feb. 16th, 2011 01:13 pm (UTC)
We had upside down catfish, supposedly peaceful community cleaner fish which hang around upside down under leaves.

We returned them to the shop after they slaughtered about five other fish, all whilst swimming the right way up. Bastards.
Feb. 17th, 2011 12:22 am (UTC)

Fish are fiercer than dogs, less consistent than cats and hungrier than rats. Now I'm just waiting to discover they smell worse than weasels.

Swear to jehosaphat if I'd known I'd never have bought this house of icthyoid horror
Feb. 17th, 2011 08:38 am (UTC)
And just when you think you're getting the hang of it, they all up and die on you.

Honestly, if you want a relaxing pet, keep alligators.
Feb. 16th, 2011 09:36 pm (UTC)
I love Rapido!

Things are always just that bit extra complicated aren't they? I wonder if fish are like rats in the minds of experts? You can't just have ONE cage's worth....
Feb. 17th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
From what the expert told me, her house is a proper one, i.e defined by a tank in every room. But if I am to live this one-tank-worthy-of-derision existence, it seems my lot will be easier if I adopt an accoutrement usually found in cages. Rory the fighting fish will be very joyful if I can somehow hang a budgie mirror in the tank. Apparently he will flare his fins, deepen his colour and get very excited about chasing his reflection away. Or, with my luck, I'll find he has mammoth strength and smashes the mirror with a headbutt.

I love Rapido too:-)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )



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