09 December 2016

impulse buy

I have a new fish that I didn't mention yet because I feel guilty for buying it. It's one I've known about for a while, but in pictures online it just never appealed to me. Looked weird. Two weeks ago in the pet store I overheard a few teens talking in front of a tank: "what's that thing?" and "I don't know, it looks like a horseshoe crab"
Of course I was curious so I stepped over when the girls had moved on. It was a little butterfly hillstream loach! I kept going back to that tank to look closely at the flat, spotted fish. In person it fascinated me. It flits along the glass much quicker than my otocinclus.  It has very broad flat paired fins, to hold onto stones in its natural stream habitat.
I thought: hey, my big tank has better flow, more algae and cooler temperatures than the other one. Maybe I can keep this fish. I asked about diet and mature size: they eat algae and grow to 3". Feeling positive, I brought it home. It seems to have settled in fine. But I have done further reading on the species since I got it, and I think I have doomed it to a short life, no matter how good it looks right now. The hillstream loach originates in mountain streams where the strong flow of water has very high oxygen content. Apparently they can suffer a slow death in aquariums from oxygen depletion in the bloodstream. I don't have a specialized tank for this fish. But I can't bear to take it back to the store...

It only occasionally rests on leaves- here on the crypt wendtii.
The kids named it Freckles.
This last picture was taken a week later- hillstream loach on the back wall.

1 comment:

MOM said...

Cool fish. How could you not like him?