Strange but True – stupid fish

Dogs – thick as 2 short planks? Cats? They aren’t in the Einstien league as well, but fish must have the smallest brain there ever was. Of course thats not usually a problem, all they do is swim, eat, and breed, but I encountered a Dwarf Gourami the other day that blew my mind – the most stupid fish in the world of aquatics, although I am sure that some people have encoutered its cousins.

Shall I explain? Right, I have 2 aquariums, one is reasonably small. With its small capacity for decor and fish, you have to make a compromise on decor. Small tank, small fish, small decor – its simple. However, when you go to the shop you can only choose from what you see and I came home with a decent, natural looking rock with a few holes in it. Fine for most, but there are 2 small holes that a Gourami or Betta could not get through, and surely they would never try to squeeze through there. They must encouter small holes in the natural world, they must instinctly avoid.

I have Gouramis. I like Gouramis. I check on the progress of my Gouramis every day, and they are happy little souls. But the other day, my top Gourami seemed to be a bit inactive. Hey, whats he doing, I thought, why is he just sitting there with his head poking through a hole in my one of my rocks, is he trying to hide away from me? Umm, strange. I will come but in 10 minutes or so, to check. I did, and the nutter was still there. Oh dear. Whats next, I thought, surely the divvy hasn’t got himself stuck!!!? Bloody right mate, he was stuck like a pig, I even picked up the rock, and up came the fish in tow. What the hell do you do when a fish is stuck through a hole, and theres no way of him helping himself? Urm, not much really, I wasn’t ready for this, this had thrown me big time. I decided to see if he could help himself, and I left him for an hour or so. Bugger, he’s was still up the creek. So I came back in another hour, still in that way. I had to do something, this fish would obviously not survive if I didn’t help him. How? You can’t pull him out with his fin, it would rip. Push his mouth? I bet he would enjoy that. I scoured all my tropical books, and of course there is no helpful article of “how to pull a fish out of a hole”, so it was up to me. With the pressure mounting, action had to be taken. I gingerly pushed his mouth, and the pressure on his body against the rock was massive – I would have to push pretty hard. With his delicate mouth, it would definitley injure his gob, so I had to come up with a different idea. He has a sloping forehead and jaw, maybe if I make a pinching motion with my thumb abd fore finger…..I had to try. I readied myself, and pushed. And pushed. And pushed, and finally he popped out, and of course hid himself away. I checked for injuries, and he had missing scales to say the least on the top and bottom of his body, but no real open wounds though. Funny, the other gourami seemed to have his chance to dominate in this tank , and attacked him briefly, but not for long luckily. He is obviously in shock, and has not eaten after the event (2 days). I have changed the rock to an earlier piece of decor with bigger holes. Will he incur infection? Will he survive? Find out as I update next week.

Update: To my suprise, the Gourami seems to be fighting fit (touch wood). He has stringy faeces, but thats to be expected after such an ordeal, and I will just have to wait and see if he has sustained internal injuries. His scales are growing back already though, and what a fighter!! Hopefully he has learnt his lesson, but I doubt it some how.

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One Response to Strange but True – stupid fish

  1. Zhap says:

    It is becoming coommn place to use sand in the tank. Sand provides for a natural, clean look and the fish absolutely love it. My fish spend half of the day grazing for food and the other re-arranging the substrate. Because of the density of the sand, debris tends to collect on the surface making it very easy to clean. Sand, like gravel, is available in many different colors. I’ve seen everything from pure white, to gold, tan, brown and even black. You can even supplement the sand with crushed coral or shells to improve the look and PH buffering ability.There are 2 basic compositions available, Aragonite and Silica. Aragonite has the added advantage of buffering your PH and I have read several times in various forums that Silica based sand tends to harbor algae growth but have not found that to be the case.If you choose to use sand there are a couple of considerations to keep in mind. First of all be sure that the grains are fairly uniform in size and not too fine. Secondly, if your tap water is low in PH, it may be worth it to find Aragonite based sand to aid in buffering the desired higher ph that your cichlids require. And perhaps the most important advise I can give you, clean it extremely well prior to placing it in the tank and when your sure you have it clean, clean it again. How much is the right amount of sand? To have a uniform 2-3 inches of sand, you will require about 1 pound of sand per gallon of tank capacity. A little more or less depending on the shape of your tank.

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