Friday, February 02, 2007

Hoping they can all just get along...

Since getting Marmaduke as an early Christmas present, I've expanded my office aquarium. He's gotten a bigger (and oh-so-pleasantly quieter and cleaner) tank with live plants and a little pass-through cave in addition to a heater so that the water will stay warmer rather than colder in my not-very-stabilized office climate.

This week, he also got some friends: Murdock (meaning "sea man") - the plecostomus & Morwenna (meaning "sea wave") - the corydora

Murdock's introduction caused a bit of a scare. As I was trying to get my keys in position to lock and secure my car in the office parking lot, his bag rolled out of my arms and onto the ground. It didn't break open (had that happened, I probably would've dropped everything else in my arms and come running frantically into the building, crazily shouting for a cup of water...pronto!), but he didn't exactly enjoy the ride, either, obviously, since he immediately flipped over to his back and became deathly still. I rushed into my office as quickly as possible, trying not to jostle him any more than necessary, and got him out of the bag and into the tank after seeing that his sucker-mouth was still going. Looking back, I understand this certainly couldn't have helped relieve his shock. He remained very still for the rest of my day. I saw flinches a few times, so I dropped an algae wafer next to him before I left for the evening, knowing that these fish are nocturnal feeders, hoping he'd perk up overnight with some food.

The next morning, I was crushed to see him still in the same spot as I'd left him, still not moving, the wafer seemingly untouched and just a mush of tan stuff. I resigned myself to his death and got the net out to remove him and send him on his way to fish hades via the porcelain boat, but when I went to capture him, he began to move quite normally. I still suspected that it was perhaps just post-mortem twitches and so attempted to get a better look at his underside. Sure enough, his sucker-mouth was still in motion. A co-worker and I moved him to a more open spot, and I let him be for the rest of the day. To my delight he moved that day, noticeably moved, even though not a ton.

Yesterday, he was acting as normal as could be, sucking on gravel and the walls in several different places in the tank. However, he wasn't the fish I'd originally wanted as Marmaduke's companion because the pet store I went to on Tuesday didn't have any corydoras, so I decided to go ahead and get another fish. There were no life-threatening incidents with Morwenna; "she" (who knows if "she's" a "she" at all...I don't, but it seemed time to throw a girl's name into the mix) was busily exploring yesterday afternoon and ate quite well.

Marmaduke seems to be doing okay with his tankmates. The fish I bought are supposed to be non-threatening to him (not colorful or long-flowing-finny or aggressive and feed from the bottom, completely opposite to where he feeds), so he should be able to live peacefully with them. So far, he's been fascinated by Murdock. He seemed to be trying to figure out how to suck on the walls earlier yesterday and then looked like he was sniffing him as though they were dogs. That's been amusing. He's more intrigued by Morwenna since she actually moves a little bit, although most of her larger movements are as a direct result of his curiousity. It does seem to be more curiousity than aggression; he's not flaring at her and doesn't seem to be trying to nip at her, and I think he'd be satisfied if she would just let him "sniff" her. I figure they'll eventually determine whose space is whose and not swim around in circles, him behind her, so frequently. He even sort of listens to me when I tell him to take it easy on her by wagging my finger at him, shaking my head.

I think I'll be extra generous with Marmaduke's feeding this afternoon to ease any back-of-my-mind thoughts of him eating Morwenna over the weekend, though;>


briliantdonkey said...

Fish! I LOVE fish....I have been wanting a fish tank for years and years but still haven't gotten one. I keep saying 'wait till I move so I don't have to move it, plus I need more space. Are they fresh or salt water? I have always wanted salt cause they are so much more beautiful looking(to me at least) but have heard numerous times the warnings about how much more work they are as well.

:::Murdock (meaning "sea man")::: Don't tell the other fish that or he is SURE to be picked on in school...... (end corny joke phase here)

I am guessing the playing dead game was just to get back at you for dropping him...I am also guessing he did it just to impress morwena as much as anything. See? girls .....always causing trouble.


Apostol said...

Ok, I'm commenting. That fucker Beck...:)

Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

bd - This tank is freshwater. I'd love to set up a saltwater one at home, but like you I'm waiting until I move into a house and have the space.

apostol - Thanks for the comment;>