28 May 2017
Meanwhile thought I ought to catch the skinny one with popeye, to see if I could treat it. I gave it an epsom salt bath and moved it into QT. There were four new serpae tetras in QT- I've had them almost a week now. They are younger, smaller than my adopted tetras, and curiously have distinguishing marks. On the first six, the spot near the eye is oblong, a flame shape. On these newer fish, is a small faded blot, almost just a dot. I wonder if all the individuals from that certain spawning have this smaller mark, or will it change when they grow up. Of these new four, one I got from PSmart- it was in the "adoption" tank for a dollar, but looked so much healthier than the gang they had in the sales tank I got this one. The other three came from Congressional, a lfs that is a forty-minute drive away, just over the boarder into Maryland. I don't go there often but it is a real treat- that place is well-maintained with beautiful tanks and a wide variety of great-looking fish.
So these four were settling in, a bit nervous still, I've kept a bit of cloth draped across the back. Same day that I lost Blank and took the popeyed tetra out of the main tank, I saw that the two smaller ones in QT were getting beat up by the bigger two- chunks out of their dorsal and tail fins. Sigh. It reminds me of when I tried to get otocinclus- they would always die in quarantine because I couldn't keep enough algae going to feed them. How can I keep these fish in QT where they get harassed so? I thought four would be enough to have a relatively peaceful space, but no. They all have great color, though.
They're starting to learn, too. One will come up to investigate when I open the lid. I'm teaching a signal- I do a gentle repeated tap on the support bar of the frame just before feeding. Most of them come out of hiding at that signal, now. They are kind of picky about food, though. I found the refusal of dandelion leaf was just because it had been in the fridge a few days- next time I offered that fresh prepared from the garden and it was gobbled up. Today I offered them aphids and other assorted tiny bugs from the garden- however the insects had been in the fridge a few days (cold enough to start a film of ice, so still ok in terms of freshness I think). The serpaes bit and spit, didn't really seem to like the bugs this time. I dumped a clump of the same bugs in the window tank next door, and those cherry barbs swarmed all over it in a flash. They don't refuse anything!
I have noticed one downside to feeding so much fresh foods, though. The suction cups holding heaters and things onto the back tank wall have gotten awfully scummy with that white biofilm- in every tank. The betta tank especially- he is getting more live food right now, too. It's ugly.