Sunday, March 16, 2014

Surprise arrival

When Dave got home from the cottage this evening. I mentioned to him that one of our angel fish was dying. He had been up in the corner of the tank all day. His tail was shredded and the day before, I noticed that one of the other angels was chasing him.

Dave looked over at the tank, and noticed that the other two angels were acting a little odd. Well not odd really, it was a behavior we are quite familiar with. They were pecking at one of the pumps, something they do when they are preparing the surface to lay eggs.

We know this, because we've had angel fish lay eggs before. This isn't the same pair, sadly, that pair died a few years ago. This pair I bought just after we moved here.

Anyway, as Dave got up to take a closer look, I noted that if they were laying eggs, it would explain their aggressive behaviour to the other angel.

Then all of a sudden Dave said, "You don't have to worry about eggs... you've got baby angels." Flabbergasted, I jumped up and sure enough...
The pictures aren't great, because I couldn't use the flash (too much flash glare), but all those little light specs are babies.
Mama angel was surrounded by them. I quickly dug out my floating breeder (a little contraption that floats in the water, but keeps the babies safe from hungry fish.) The things were so tiny, they swam right through the net as I tried to catch them and get them in the breeder. I grabbed a glass and started scooping them out.
Sadly, Mama and Papa were gobbling them up just as fast. (In the wild, Mama will protect them, but in captivity, they usually just eat them). I managed to save about 10... and was hopeful for a few minutes. Even though I had them in the breeder, the chances of all of them surviving are slim.

And then I noticed, the little things were small enough to slip through the vents in the breeders. Eventually, they all headed back out into the tank and were quickly eaten. Sigh.

I'm going to look into getting a different breeder. Chances are, these two will lay eggs again. It's funny - angel fish are suppose to be one of the tougher fish to breed. They are very particular about their surroundings and if things aren't perfect - they won't do it. But in the 11 years Dave and I have been together, this is the third mated pair we've had.

Now, we've never managed to get any babies past fry stage, but I think it's still pretty darn cool!


Minding My Own Stitches said...

Well you did your best to save them ... what else could you have done? At least now the mystery is solved.

Delusional Knitter said...

I love angel fish. I had them in the past. That's too bad you couldn't save any, but they are super tiny, I don't know of any compartment hangers that don't have holes they could fit through.

Nancy Kay said...

Oh, I wish the wee little ones could have been saved. Odd how they would have been protected in the wild. Sheesh. I hope you find a way to keep them safe next time around.

Araignee said...

Wow. Such drama. We had that happen a while back with some orange things my son had in his tank (that I have been babysitting since 2009). I did get one baby out of the deal and it just died after a pretty long life. I spent $30 trying to save the thing with no luck. We now have a big tank with just one fish in it. I can't say I won't be happy when it goes to fishy heaven. I hate cleaning the thing out.

kathy b said...

That is very very cool. I recall my son's fish doing this..and they all perished…:( Better luck to you!!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry you didn't get to grow the fry, but now that you know what you need, it should go better next time.

elns said...

I remember this as a kid. The parents eating the baby fish. Shudder. I'm SO telling my kid about this tonight, mwahahahah!