Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Friends - Update on Lucy and the Monkey

Here is a recent phorograph of Lucy and her monkey. One arm has been torn off and the stuffing is out of his head, the result of an impromptu surgery. (Lucy wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thank You, Misaki

Special thanks to Misaki, the wonderful Alaskan Malamute who gave me this awesome award:

On behalf of my angelfish, I'm to tell you seven things you may not know already:

(1) Angelfish mate for life. When our mate dies, the surviving mate often dies of a broken heart.

(2) Angelfish can live to be ten years old with the proper care.

(3) Some of my angelfish are ten inches tall but none are more than half an inch thick.

(4) During mating season, they lay hundreds of eggs, sometimes just two weeks apart. This can continue for several months.

(5) Angelfish are exceptional parents. (At right: Stevie Fishnick with one of her babies.)

(6) The first three things angelfish think when encountering something new: (a) Can I eat it? (b) Can it eat me? (c) Can I have sex with it?

(7) When angelfish hatch, they are not much larger than a pinhead. It takes about ten weeks for their bodies to approach the size of a quarter.

Thank you, Misaki, for an awesome award!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Success in the Koi Angelfish Honeymoon Suite

While the babies continue to thrive in Lindsay Buckingfish's and Stevie Fishnick's maternity ward, the koi angels, Robert Redfish and Susan Saranfish, have laid hundreds of eggs in their honeymoon suite. This is the first time they've laid eggs outside the community tank.

The eggs were laid on the vertical, smooth side of the arch toward the back of the tank. I believe they chose that location partly due to its privacy from nosy people like me. The koi angels are much shyer than Lindsay and Stevie.

If all goes well, the eggs will hatch within another day or two and the parents will place them elsewhere on the arch or on the leaves nearby, where they'll dangle by their heads until they are strong enough to pop off and swim.

Since this is the first time they've gotten this far without predators in the tank, they might not be completely successful at raising new angels the first time around. But it's been my experience that if I leave them in this tank, they will continue to try every couple of weeks until they master the art of sex and parenting.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Baby Angels Swimming

The babies popped their heads off the amazon leaf sometime during the night, and this morning when I checked on them they were swimming all over the 20-gallon tank they share with momma Stevie Fishnick and papa Lindsay Buckingfish. There are two snails in the tank that will keep the glass clean but they are not able to swim, so the babies are safe from them.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Angelfish Squirmers

Lindsay Buckingfish and Stevie Fishnick have been at it again. Just two weeks after their last clutch, they have laid one of the largest clutches ever. There must have been more than 300 eggs!

They hatched yesterday and the parents dutifully carried each one (yes, each one individually!) to a new amazon leaf they cleaned just for their new babies. They will hang from that leaf by their little heads until they are strong enough to swim.

Here's the video. You can see them squirming by their little heads while they grow!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Friends - Lucy and the Blanket

Now that winter is officially gone and summer is here, I've been washing and putting away blankets and heavy comforters.

I washed one blanket and set it on the stairs so I could take it upstairs the next time I was going to the second floor anyway (why put myself through extra exercise?)

Lucy, the Jack Russell-Basset Hound mix, spied the blanket on the steps and tried to protect us from it. Notice how she starts to run away when she thinks the blanket has begun to move!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Friends - Lazy, Rainy Day

While I was busy cleaning my fish tanks (all seven of them) the dogs decided to spend their morning just getting some R&R.

Pictured here are Simone, the collie;

Lucy, the Jack Russell-Basset Hound mix (asleep on the top of the couch; she thinks she's also part cat and part monkey);

And Eddie, the Jack Russell (with the tri-colored head.)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

When Babies Grow Up...

I received some thrilling pictures earlier this week.

It turns out that two of the baby angels that found new homes have grown up - and will soon be a mama and a papa of their own babies!

The parents were Lindsay Buckingfish and Stevie Fishnick, shown below with one of their broods.

Their offspring are truly beautiful.

Here is a female, who has laid eggs on an amazon leaf in her new home (you can see them on the leaf - she's been busy!):

And this is the Papa, who has been busy defending the eggs:

They are obviously thriving in their new home. I think the Papa looks a whole lot like Lindsay, and it's fun to see the coloring on the Mama since she has both the influence of her Mama and Papa.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Blues

Meanwhile, in one of my community tanks, this couple, which are rare blue marbles, has claimed the corner of the tank with the amazon plant as their own, and they've been defending it vigorously.

The male is normally larger than the female. In this case, they are both large but the male is slightly larger.

Males can also have a hump on their heads, which the females do not get.

In this photograph, the male is on the left and the female is on the right. They had been busy attending the amazon plant before they spotted me; then they came to the glass to see what I wanted.

They've been cleaning the leaves and perhaps within the next few weeks, they will lay their first group (or clutch) of eggs.

In this same tank, I may have two pregnant tetras. They give live birth so that will be a new experience for everybody!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Some Couples Have Arguments...

Meanwhile, in the Honeymoon Suite, John and Christie McFish are not necessarily ready to make love...

In fact, they were having an argument when I fed them this morning. Their colors deepen when they are having a disagreement or they are protecting their eggs or babies. The silver fish, the male, gets very, very black stripes when he is upset.

The female is the blue marble and because she is higher in the water, it means she most likely has the upper hand (or fin).

In the video below, you'll see how they waggle their fins at each other. They also resort to pushing. But angels - even male, alpha angels - rarely hurt each other or do any real harm. Unfortunately, I had to take this video from a distance because once I get closer to the tanks, they stop to look at me!

You can also see the top of the tank below them. That is where Lindsay and Stevie are caring for their young. I keep the top partially open because I am constantly pouring baby brine shrimp into their tank for the young to feed on.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Newest Batch of Angel Babies

The angelfish babies have grown strong enough to pop themselves off the amazon leaves, where they have hung by their heads for several days.

It is hard to imagine that these tiny creatures with mouths only large enough for baby brine shrimp will grow into ten-inch-tall angelfish.

The poppa is the black marble angel, Lindsay Buckingfish. The momma is the platinum angelfish, Stevie Fishnick.

If any of the babies venture too far from the plant, one of them will suck them up into their mouths, carry them back to the plant and spit them out.

I have been feeding them baby brine shrimp (which I am growing myself) several times a day. You can imagine how tiny their little stomachs are so they can't eat much at a time, but need a lot to keep growing. They will remain on brine shrimp for several weeks before I begin to wean them onto dry fish flakes.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Friends - Monkey Man

While I was shopping, this monkey jumped right into my basket so of course I had to bring him home with me.

It has squeakers in each foot and several in the body.

I placed it into the toy box when no one was looking.

Lucy, the Jack Russell-Basset Hound mix, found it and has been carrying it around ever since. I think Lucy Loo (and that is not a typo) and Monkey Man are in love.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Playful Neons

I usually focus on my angelfish, but in another tank I have glowlight tetras and neon tetras.

Glowlight tetras have a gold or copper stripe across the length of their bodies. Neon tetras have half a red stripe and a blue stripe across their bodies.

Cardinal tetras have a red stripe down the entire length of their bodies. However, cardinal tetras, though they appear very similar to neon tetras, have slightly different water condition requirements.

In this 20-gallon tank, I also have four corydoras. Inside the log lives a miniature pleco that only reaches about 3 inches long.

This video was taken at feeding time, when they are their most active.

Neon tetras and glowlight tetras can not be placed in the same tank with angelfish. They are small enough to fit into the grown angelfish's mouths so they're considered tasty morsels.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Another Honeymoon Couple

Meanwhile, in the second honeymoon tank, John and Christy McFish are settling in.

When I am not near the tank, they move around freely.

But when they see me approach, they hide behind the arch. The arch has a smooth vertical surface, ideal for laying eggs (in the rear, nearest the heater.) There are also two amazon plants, one green and one orange, which angelfish love for laying eggs in the wild.

Last week, I noticed John McFish (the silver angel with the stripes) was hugging the heater and wouldn't eat or move away from it. That was a clear indication that the heater was not working properly. I checked the thermometer and it read 70 degrees. Angels prefer it to be warmer, between 76 and 82 degrees. I purchased a new heater, set it to 76, and John is now moving around freely and eating.

Christy McFish is a blue marble angelfish.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Protecting Helpless Babies

Lindsay Buckingfish and Stevie Fishnick are fabulous parents. They have raised several batches of hardy babies already. They are extremely protective of the babies, from the time they are eggs until they are able to take care of themselves.

Watch as Stevie Fishnick, the mother, protects them against my camera near the tank.

Monday, June 3, 2013

New Batch of Angel Babies

Lindsay Buckingfish and Stevie Fishnick have a new batch of babies.

The eggs were on another leaf of this amazon plant. When they began to hatch, the parents moved them to another leaf, where they spit them out. Their spit adhered them to the leaf by their little heads. They will wiggle and squirm until they grow large enough and strong enough to pop off. At that point, they will be ready for food.

Their first food will be brine shrimp. I brought out the shrimp hatchery today and added eggs. In about 36 hours, I will have the first of the shrimp hatching. They are the other things small enough for the tiny baby angels to eat. It will be their staple food for several weeks and will ensure they grow big and strong.