21 July 2017


I made a few mistakes which could have cost me my fry.

Too many mosquito larvae. I got excited to see the fry could actually eat them, so last time collected larvae I took all the teeniest ones out of the main jar, and then after letting dirt settle, got the even smaller ones out of the stuff that went through the shrimp net. It was over twenty tiny tiny larvae. I could only see them because they wiggled. I thought the fry wouldn't find them all, some would escape the mesh box or elude the little fish and get eaten later.  But I guess that fry is good at hunting them down, or it only takes a few to fill its tummy.

Later I looked in the box and to my alarm saw the fry hovering very still at the top of the water column. Its stomach was twice as large as I've ever seen. It obviously ate too much. I didn't know what to do besides a water change might help it feel a little better, so I did that. And didn't feed pulverized foods that evening, let it just pick stuff off the subwasser if it needed.

Next morning fry looked normal again, moving around constantly on its search for food. It is getting better at swimming, movement more smooth not so jerky. I will only give it five or ten larvae at a time now.

Another day I started to get concerned about my cories. They have been looking pale and a bit pinched, especially the smallest one. I have not kept cories since I was a kid, and back then I wouldn't have known what to look for, so it's hard for me to tell if they are underweight or not. When they swim up against the glass it looks like there is a slight keel shape underneath just behind the head, that doesn't look right to me. And their tummies are not very rounded- not sunken, just flat. The other day the smallest one was sitting very listlessly on the bottom and I swear it looked like a snail was moving in on it.

Two things could be wrong- recently I put a piece of pantyhose over the filter intake. I thought this would keep out little trumpet snails, and when I release my serpae fry into the tank, ease worry at it getting sucked into the filter. But I think it hindered the flow too much, I noticed the current across top of water very slowed down. So I took it off and the flow back up immediately the little fishes are swimming around frisky again. I will just have to be sure the fry is big enough, and I'm sure a healthy one can stay clear of the filter.

But today filter was overflowing, problem again. This didn't seem to be affecting the fishes yet, but I gently rinsed out the media, lots of hornwort needles clogging it. And then when I started it up again there was a rattle. I had to disassemble again and tip upside down and rinse to get it out. A tiny trumpet snail had got down into the bottom of the filter, sigh. All is running smooth again. I worried these filter disruptions would affect the fry, but it looks okay.

Also having issues with feeding. It's the opposite of my prior problem. Now it is Fabio who hogs the food. When I drop in three or four shrimp pellets at night it doesn't help, Fabio finds them anyway and in the morning he looks engorged, the cories pinched. The cories don't seem to like the soaked betta pellets so I went and bought some sinking Hikari wafers made specially for catfishes and loaches, and some NLS pellets- both among the best fish foods you can buy. Fabio hogs this too, of course and it's not the best food for him. I slightly overfed last night in hopes Fabio would stop with a tummy ache and the cories get some. This morning my cories look plump and happy, Fabio sits motionless and fat at thè substrate. It's not good for him. I don't know how to keep him away from the food not meant for him.

~ Wrote that two days ago. Hornwort still shedding like crazy, but only half the stems- the others seem to have adjusted and are holding their needles. I cleaned the filter out again- decaying needles clogging the flow- and removed all the unhealthy stems. Also decided to only do the small wc once a day- maybe that will ease the stress on this plant.

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