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Loaches! Bah!

Posted By: basher <craig@2cah.com>
Date: Thursday, 13 March 2003, at 1:35 p.m.

After I got back from picking up the sids and more plants. I started replanting my 75 gallon tank and I noticed I could not find any of my 5 clown loaches. Now I've got some healthy clowns, 2 of them are 4+ inches. So its not like they can really hide without at least a small part of them sticking out somewhere.

But nope, not a speck of orange or red in the tank. No where, Nada. I do a visual inspection around the tank, nope, no loach jerky, so they ARE in the tank somewhere.

I have two ornaments in the tank from the beginning days. So I decide to rip them out one at a time.

So I goes and grabs the first one. Turn it upside down, low and behold what do I see? Orange fins. Mind you, the ornament was buried 2 inches deep in the substrate.

I gently start to shake it, plop, booger (the 5 incher) comes out. That's 1! As he comes out, I see another tail fin, again a little gentle shaking. Plop, that's 2! I look into it and again, I see another tail fin. More shaking commences, plop, that's 3! I figured I should keep looking and sure enough, I catch just the tip of orange buried deeper in the ornament.

That ends the shaking the ornament part of the story. This little bastage has his snout firmly implanted into a nook inside the ornament and he is NOT coming out. No amount of rattling, banging on or shaking the thing makes him budge.

Sooo, I go get one of my water change buckets and put 2 gallons of tank water in it. I put the ornament in the bucket and yell for mom to go get the channel locks (slip-joint pliers). Gently as I can I start breaking pieces off the ornament. After about 10 minutes I've got all but his snout uncovered and he still isn't budging a millimeter. At this point in time I am starting to get frustrated, so I reach down, grab his caudal fin and pull him out. Net him and put him back in the tank. That's 4!

Guess what? I see the just the tip of the dorsal fin of #5 buried up deep in the last cavity in the ornament. So I goes about gently busting up more of the ornament with the channel locks. I get the cavity about 70% open and what do I see?? The MIA striata that I haven't seen in 2 weeks! I finished busting up the ornament, netted them both and put them back into the tank.

That's it! Loaches are ebil! Get out while you can!

BTW, here's the remnants of the ornament:

Moral of the story... It doesn't matter how deep you bury ornaments in the tank, if there is a hole in the bottom of it they WILL find a way to get into it.


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