NANFA-- fish trials and travails

D. Martin Moore (
Thu, 25 May 2000 19:33:46 -0700

Well, of all my fish disasters this has got to be almost the worst. I
have spent the last few weeks trying to run down an elusive welaka
site in southern Mississippi. I have had no luck at all, even when BG
volunteered to help me scout out the target area. I found lots of
signipinnis, and several nice madtoms, which I added to my
collection. Now, my house is very small so I maintain only two
indoor tanks: a 110 which I have to share with my wife (silver
dollars and tiger barbs, plus whatever natives I can fit in between)
and a 34 which I use for smaller natives and darters. About a
month ago BG and I made the long trek to Chemin-a-haut Bayou for
some Pteronotropis hubbsi. We had tried earlier in the year and
netted only a single specimen. This time we went home with about
a dozen hubbsi each, but ALL females. Well, the next day I had six
hubbsi left and a very fat and happy longear. So the longear got a
free tour of the back yard and the remaining hubbsi diappeared one
by one. No carcasses, no nothin'. Somebody ate 'em. The culprit
didn't eat 'em very fast, but he had all day to do it (to quote
Charley Grimes). So then there were none. Anyway, on one of my
searches I went with BG to a known welaka spot in Louisiana, from
which I took home 2 pairs (gorgeous, in top condition) and BG took
several others. They were doing great - swimming happily, eating,
etc. A few days later I notice Ich in the small tank wherein the
welaka were (I wasn't about to make the mistake of putting them in
the big tank like I did the hubbsi). Geez, when was the last time I
had Ich? (No comments about quarantine, puleeze!). I dragged out
some ancient Maracide and started treatment. So far I hadn't lost
any fish; I had caught it before it got really established. But THEN I
do a water change. A large one, which is what I always do when
I'm treating a tank. I had filled the 34 and started on the 110, when
I notice all the fish in the 34 are doing death spirals and gasping for
breath. The ones in the 110 are starting to do the same (my wife's
beloved tropicals seem unaffected!), so I stopped refilling before
any more damage could be done. The water company claimed they
had made no changes to the water, and it had tested OK the week
before. Well, anyway I lost my welaka, most of my signipinnis, a
few madtoms, and I don't even want to think about what else. It
just makes me sick.

So, as I get home from a hard day's work, and prepare to net the
bloated, turtle-gnawed corpses out of my tanks, I just wanted y'all
to think of me, and be glad it wasn't YOU!


"Cry to it, nuncle. as the cockney did to the eels when she put
'em i' the paste alive; she knapped 'em o' the coxcombs with a
stick, and cried 'Down wantons, down!'"

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