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A Time to Kill? LM

Posted By: Iris <iris6@aol.com>
Date: Wednesday, 21 February 2001, at 6:03 a.m.

I've been reading the recent messages of increased loach aggression - Sybil marking up Basil, Spotz' unusually aggressive striatas, assorted modesta posts, etc. Also, I note that Bob's large yoyo is gravid. So, I assume that it is just that time of year - the time for territoriality and mating - loaches obeying natural urges even though they rarely DO anything in a home tank. (BTW, I find it interesting that it seems to be "that time of year" regardless of hemisphere.)

However, it appears two of my modestas got more serious than usual, and one killed another. I found a modesta lying in the tank, bitten all over the face, throat, and gill covers with little suction-like marks that went deep. I suspect the gills themselves may have been bitten at least once, killing the fish. The belly was untouched, the eyes were uneaten (but bitten over), and the rest of the fish looked fine - nicely shaped, no shredded fins, so I don't believe it was sick or that the bites occurred after death.

There are no other fish in the tank except the modestas and some feeder guppies.

They've been squabbling and clicking more often and more loudly over the past few days, and my neighbor's modestas are doing the same.

I saw this one in a fight with another modesta, but figured it was business as usual (no modesta has never seriously injured another before) and left the room. The damage must have occurred after that - assuming that's what actually happened.

Sigh. At least this doesn't seem to be a common occurrence, or I'm sure someone else would have reported it.

Iris - down to 4 modestas :-(


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