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2 Interesting Things...

Posted By: Mr Leadfoot <leadfoot@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Friday, 25 October 2002, at 2:24 p.m.

1) I ended up moving my prize Cactus Leopard Pleco to another tank 3 days ago because he was upsetting the other bottom huggers. Now, this leopard is only 3 inches (SL) and my 4 clowns are between 3.5 and 4.25 inches. The clowns are also thick! The pleco is very tough, and a description of the characteristics of the species also says they are territorial from a young age.

At feeding time, the leopard gets right in there with the clowns and fights for food. If he's eating and another fish gets even close, he thrashes about to get them away. He has short spines along his sides (hence the name, "cactus"), so I'm sure it's not pleasant to get whacked by him.

The leopard also likes to share the prime real estate in my loach hotel with the clowns. It's here that the Alpha clown says, "No way!" I've seen alot of pushing and shoving here from the clown, and I've even seen the leopard jump on the side of the clown, cling with his sucker mouth as if he's clinging to a rock in a fast-moving current, and while the clown shoves him and thrashes, the leopard starts rasping on the clown. It's wild!

Over time this conflict started to wear on the other clowns, who never even got close to a skirmish with the leopard. Even though the majority of streetfights were only with the Alpha clown, the other clowns started hiding...ALOT. So much so, that they stopped eating. They actually looked weathered. They just laid about. They'd come out to eat when bloodworms were fed, but they just wouldn't eat. My cories started hiding in corners, too. Surprisingly, Alpha Boy wasn't phased a bit. He's HUGE now. Maybe the fights gave him a better appetite, and since the other clowns and cories weren't eating, he'd scarf!

The most interesting thing about this is that although the fights sometimes seemed very violent (never any injuries, though), none of the clowns ever used their James Bond spikes on the pleco. In fact, I've never seen my clowns use their spikes to intentionally cause any other fish harm. Clowns sure must be really nice "people"! :-)

2) While netting the leopard to move him to another tank, I inadvertently split the lower part of his tail...OUCH, that's gotta hurt! It actually looked like a forked tail when he "spread his wings". This fish has a majestic tail, so the split between rays was nearly and inch long! Well, today, 3 days later, I noticed that the tail has already repaired itself completely. You can't even tell it was ever damaged. Amazing!

OK, your turn. :-)


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