June 17, 2011

Tang

I have a nice 29 gallon aquarium that Carolyn got me for Christmas.  I used to keep ornamental goldfish until all of them died quite suddenly.  It bothered me enough that I kept the tank empty for a couple years.

Last year I decided to re-establish the tank and this time I went with some African Cichlids.  We have five of them of varying colors and sizes.  The largest we named Tang.  He is yellow and seems to have a swim bladder problem.  His stomach has been distended for months but it hasn't slowed him down.

Until today.  Technically we've noticed for a week or two that he has not been so aggressive with the other fish.  Tang would often chase the others with such fury they'd splash water out of the tank onto the underside of the lid.  I had to explain to Carolyn this is just how Cichlids are.  We once put Tang in an isolation tank and the dynamic changed dramatically.  One of the other fish quickly moved into the role as tank bully and he was worse that Tang for a while.

When I got up this morning I fed the fish and noticed that Tang isn't swimming around so much.  His fins are tore up.  It is obvious, at least to me, that he won't be around much longer.  The other fish can sense he is sick and dying and they are tormenting him, literally running him ragged.

It won't be much longer now.

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