Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OR367NrpkU
Some have been asking for an update on my nerite snails, which can be seen in my new video swishing their little antennae around in the current. They're doing well and finally starting to help out with the diatoms. Back when I first added the plants to the tank they underwent a long period of time in which they were absolutely covered in diatoms (aka brown algae); it was horrendous! So I got a group of 12 horned nerite snails to help clear it up. At first they barely made a dent, but now they do seem to help. I see them on the leaves periodically, eating up the diatoms and algae. Honestly though, what helped the most is just waiting it out and also manually scrubbing off as many of the diatoms as I could during water changes. I believe the new Tahitian Moon Sand I added to the tank was leaching silicates, which can lead to a diatom bloom, and now that the sand has been in the tank for some time it's finally improving. In any case, I'm just happy that the plants look green now instead of brown!
Clyde and Sophie are losing their black color at a faster rate every day! Soon Sophie will no longer be a tri-color and Clyde will no longer be a panda... they'll both be red/white. It's looking like Sophie will be mostly red with a white face and a little red spot on her nose (Side note: one of her adorable fry has the same exact red nose!) Clyde will be mostly white with red eyes and reddish fins - pretty! I'm sad to see their black color fading, but I always knew it would happen. Fish with the tri-color, panda, or apache (red base with black on their dorsum) color patterns always lose the black color eventually.
|Sophie and Clyde - color change well under way|
Little Asha grows slowly, but even still, he's probably about doubled in size in the past 6 months. He's also developed a "droopy" tail which is caused by a low tail set. It's not a trait that I particularly like to see in a butterfly telescope, but every fish has its flaws, and he looks great otherwise. I used to have a one-eyed butterfly named Monocle who also had the "droopy" low-set tail as well, which leads me to think he could have fathered Asha.
|Minai (Asha's mother) with Monocle|
Now for some sad news. My new fish, Navi, has passed away. Near the end of her 4-week quarantine period, I noticed she had become extremely bloated. Suspecting egg-binding (which is almost impossible to cure), I began her on a 4-week treatment protocol. At the end of her treatment, there had been no improvement and she was clearly suffering, so I had to make the gut-wrenching decision to euthanize her humanely with clove oil. This actually happened a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't feel up to talking about it until now. It just goes to show that anything can happen and that there are some things you can't prevent no matter how hard you try. I'm still not sure if she was indeed egg-bound, or whether she was suffering from organ failure leading to extreme fluid retention. I'm glad I was able to care for her the short time that I did and I'm sad we didn't have more time together.