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More Cucumber Tricks!

Posted By: Martin Thoene <martin.thoene@lakenheath.af.mil>
Date: Tuesday, 9 February 1999, at 10:56 a.m.

I've previously reported some of the crazy antics that my fish get up to when fed slices of Cucumber, but today was the best yet.

Normally the Clowns and striatas leap upon the half-inch thick slice (weighted on one side, so that it sits vertically), and attack it in a wild mass of fish. Shortly after this my 6" long Pseudanthicus sp. Plec arrives and scatters them. He will clamp onto one side of the slice, whilst one or two determined Clowns try to attack the other side. He tends to thrash his tail and force the slice downward, usually trapping at least one Clown, (who won't give up) under it. This is very funny to watch. After an hour or so, the slice will have a neat hole through it's centre. The loaches will use this as a short-cut to the other side, so it looks like Circus tricks.

Today, a new entertainer decides to get in on the act! I had not long fed some flake when I put the Cucumber in the tank and the only fish that really took much interest was my 6" Black Ghost Knife-fish. He has looked at the slices before, but never eaten any. Today he wants some, so places his blunt nose against the flesh, and revs up his long belly fin to drive himself at the slice, supposedly so his smallish mouth can grab a bite. This seemed to work, as he backed off, chewing. Then he rams himself into it again. It slid towards the front-glass, and skipped over a stone on the bottom. He then drove it up the front of the tank at high speed, his fin waving frantically. The slice came halfway out of the water, until his nose broke surface. At this point he got off the throttle, and the cucumber plummetted back to the gravel.

A slice of Cucumber weighted with a plant weight is quite a considerable mass for a fish to shift 20" vertically!............I was impressed. He did it again later, but only moved it 8" up the side before dropping it this time.

Now I'm wondering if I can teach him to throw it out of the (uncovered) tank.


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