Marmaduke is swimming alone.
New and wiser Murdock died Monday night. When I turned on my office lights Monday morning, I was shocked to see very ill fishies in my aquarium. That ich is a white-spotted plague, I tell you. I bought the medicine cabinet Monday morning and began treatment. Murdock was not hanging in well. I'd thought he'd died many times during the day...since he was floating belly up, I thought it was a logical conclusion. As soon as I'd lift the lid, though, he'd swim back into the water and pucker up to something. This happened at least a handful of times that afternoon. I was pretty certain he was not strong enough to survive the night; unfortunately, I was right. Either my sense of smell has been very compromised by some recent stuffiness, or he hadn't been rotting long enough to emit the putrid stench of fish death for which original Murdock is memorialized. My fondness for this guy had really grown, seeing as he survived a couple weekends, but I believe he may have been tainted goods.
Marmaduke's taken to the treatment well - no more spots (QuickCure really does noticeable work in just 2 days) and coloring seems to be regaining its vibrance. Hopefully the secondary fin-rot infection will be on the mend in the next few days as well since there's already a bit of improvement showing.
I'm sort of thinking Petco might have gotten a bad batch of ich-carrying pleckos. When I bought first Murdock, he was one of plenty that filled two tanks there; he lasted the rest of the week but died over the weekend. Second Murdock was the only one left and in the same tank as the first; I'm sure he was the only one left because I spent several minutes, nearly long enough to give up, trying to find one of his kind only to finally discover him cleverly camouflaged, hiding in a cave. So, they may very well have been two from the same stock, possibly a stock that was carrying ich without symptoms - in case you can't tell, I read all about this ich stuff Monday morning. I may be shopping elsewhere when I look for the next generation Murdock just to be safe, even though that will be at least a month from now.