It happened in the Thicket

I never seem to see everything there is to see when I’m looking into my 120 gallon community tank. The tank sets in the family room right next to my lounge chair and not far from the TV. So while watching the boob tube, I can also catch glimpses of the on goings in the tank. The tank is home to various Rainbowfish and several pleco types. There is a gorgeous pair of Pelivachromis nigrofasciatus that keeps disappearing into the Java fern forest. A trio of Geophagus labiatus forever change the landscape with their sand sifting. A six inch Clown loach goes swimming by. This is a rather rare occurrence because, more often than not the Clown loach is resting on its side, looking very much like a candidate for the trash can. But, after seeing this for ten years I have learned that most likely he is just tired. Every once in awhile , like twice a year, a four inch Botia hymenophysa makes an appearance, and I find myself once again saying to myself “I thought you died”. A pair of Bolontia hasselti act like they want to spawn but every time I try to catch them to relocate to a separate tank they disappear into the jungle of Java fern. Various barbs and danios chase each other through the tank. A six inch spotted Raphael catfish comes out but only if I feed worms and only if the Synodontis schoutedeni leaves any. I also seem to have a three inch Bitterling that I don’t remember buying. But perhaps that’s an-other story.

A few months ago I bought a school of six Diamond Tetras, one male, four females and one smaller fish I thought was a male. Sometime while I wasn’t watching this fish turned into a female. This school, one male (happy?) and five females would swim from one end of the tank to the other, in an out of the Java fern and generally have a jolly good time. After the lights were out I was searching, with a flash light, through the tank for other inhabitants that I rarely see, like a L121 Peckoltia, the flashlight played upon the Diamond tetras. What a sight. Instead of the limegreen/silver coloration the sides of the fish were a brilliant carmine. That doesn’t seem to happen when sunlight hits the fish. Perhaps it’s a night coloration the causes the shift in color.

Commercial time came for one of my favorite shows so I decided to feed the fish in the 120. That’s when I realized, just like Thumper telling friend owl in Bambi, it did happen in the thicket! Coming out of the Java fern was a couple of very small Diamond tetras. These were about a 1/4 inch long so I guess maybe one month old. I looked for more but two is all I found. The lone male evidently must have been busy. The next night while feeding FBS I spotted a few more fry about the same size and one larger one. Now after a few more feedings and a few more days I have a fry school of almost 20. Almost any fish in the tank could con-sider these “food” but none even put up a chase. I am just wondering how many eggs had to be laid to produce that amount for fry. And that L121…. never did show up, perhaps it died

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