Fish Story

Monday, February 03, 2020

A distasterus fungus got into my small freshwater aquarium, and before I caught on, it had wiped out several beautiful fish. My lost goldfish had been large, maybe five or six (or more!) years old, and had thrived a long while. The tragic event also slammed a couple of recently-added young catfish.

Those lost goldfish, while tiny, were destined to become “feeder fish” for others, flesh-eaters. Instead, they came to live in my watering troughs. They thrived in the horses’ drinking water for years, living on algae and mosquito larvae. During one very cold winter, a malfunctioning trough heater overheated and the resulting too-hot water nearly destroyed all the fish. I found some floating, nearly dead and struggling to breath. Happily, goldfish are tough and those I rescued survived. They recovered inside the house, living in a big fishbowl for a long time, until I installed an aquarium, air pump, and heater.

If you look closely, in this photo is a little fish. It’s on the aquarium glass and sucking algae. That’s a baby plecostomus, a catfish-type algae-eater that can grow to about 14 inches in length. I didn’t realize this until later. After three years in the tank, this pleco has grown to about six inches long. It’s been struggling through the bacterial attack, and hopefully, will survive.

Besides the pleco, this tank has one other surviving fish, a female Fantail Beta. She hasn’t seemed bothered at all by the rampant disease, has continued swimming and going after food even as nearly all the other fish shut down.

The tank has been medicated. If the two remaining fish survive, after a while it’ll be restocked. A problem with having pets is becoming attached emotionally, and so frequently their too-short lives.

Dear Friends: Who ever thought it possible to feel so highly connected to fish! Diana

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