Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The New Tenant

As some of you know, I set up my little 3 gallon aquarium in June and managed to get two fish to survive in there until now. Rest assured that the two little Red Phantom Tetras are doing just fine, despite the abnormally high PH of the water. I've been trying to get it to go down, but haven't had much success even with the PH balancer I bought at the pet shop. Apparently the Tetras I have, have adapted to it which I was told was amazing. Usually they all die. This is what I get for living high on a mountain with water that comes from a dammed lake. Very hard water, with a high PH balance and added chlorine that makes it smell and taste like I've dived into a swimming pool.

All that aside I was told today by the fish guy extraordinaire that the water was fine and I could get some fish today. I could get just about any fresh water fish they had. Except Red Phantom Tetras, or Tetras in general because they're sensitive to high PH. *sag* Well hell... I think he noticed my immediate depression, and suggested I get a Cory Cat. "They're like roaches," (I'm add libbing) he told me,"When I moved up here, I had to give away my Corys. I had 4, but when I went to give them to the person, I could only find 3." So he emptied the tank, loaded it up in his car with all his worldly possessions and drove the 6 hours to his new home. Upon arriving he went to set up his tank, and started filling it. .. and out comes the missing Cory. It was just fine. Now that's a hardy fish. Hopefully I won't kill him. :P

So, I came home with a small Spotted Cory Cat! I'm not sure if that's right though, because all the pictures I find on the Internet don't look like him. Here he is!

There are all kinds you can get, but I liked the spots and the light eye color. It's hard to see, but he also has iridescent blue stripes behind his gills. They're so pretty flashing in the light. Did you know they blink? They don't have eyelids, but they can pull their eye down inside their head to clean foreign material from their eyes. Supposedly they do one eye at a time, but mine has been blinking both at the same time. I hope he's not smashing his brain matter into mush. And I found out they blink because I watched him for an obsessive two hours to make sure he was going to get along with the persnickety Red Phantoms. They have had a love hate relationship with each other since the one died some months back. I can't say I understand the mind of fish, but it would do them a world of good to have another three Red Phantoms in there with them. They're happiest in a small school. They've torn each others fins to splinters. I'd say shreds, but it doesn't look like shreds.

The little Cory has been very active since I put him in the tank. Actually I'm sort of worried he's going to kill himself from sheer exhaustion. The up side is the Red Phantoms are much more active since the Cory is so active. Usually they hide in the little treasure chest all day. Now they're being more adventurous and hiding behind a spindly fake plant. Here's the proof. I can actually take a picture of the little Red without him spooking. The Phantoms have been trying to school with the newcomer and its just not working, because his swimming pattern is too erratic. Makes for some good laughs watching them try and keep up with the Cat as he zooms all over the tank. Up, down, up to the surface to skim, then down again behind the rock... then he goes foraging in the gravel for a while and the Phantoms don't know what to make of that at all.

Now all I have to do is pray he doesn't drop dead on me. I like him too much already!



3 comments:

Little Messy Missy said...

Good luck...

Callie said...

Hope the water changes so you can get some more tetras... or you could just get some more and see if some of them survive. Maybe you could breed some hard water tetras and sell them back to the pet store?

Kristine said...

Nah. By all accounts Tetras are hard to breed to begin with because of their PH sensitivity. I don't want to breed them. I just want to enjoy a happy, well adjusted fish tank with a small but colorful crew of fish.

Still working on the PH in the tank...