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Only in a Loach-keepers House

Posted By: martin thoene <martin.thoene@lakenheath.af.mil>
Date: Monday, 31 August 1998, at 7:17 p.m.

********DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE AN ACTIVE IMAGINATION*****************

Well I went back and bought the 3 Botia modesta I saw the other day on Saturday and put them in the 30" tank in my bedroom. They dissapeared under the Bogwood as I would expect them to.....no problemo. That night I went to bed and sat up reading for a while. After about 10 mins, they apeared and started patrolling around the tank. I was startled by a splash, looked up and still saw 3 fish zooming around. They kept going up and down the glass, occasionally picking at the surface with load popping noises, although there was no food floating. I heard another splashing sound, and thought, " What the heck are they playing at?" I carried on reading, but became aware of another sound apart from bubbling of the aeration. A sort of wet, flapping sound, kinda like?....................... OH HECK, A FISH OUT OF WATER!!!!.....Realising a fish had jumped out of a small gap in the hood, I had to act quick. The tank stands on a 4 foot high Chest of Drawers which goes about 300 pounds loaded and has a half inch gap at the back. If the fish gets down behind that it could be dead by the time I've drained the tank and shifted the chest! So, I leap Butt-naked out of bed, figure I should not put on the room light 'cos the fish might be startled and leap behind the chest. I leap onto a chair and try to look behind the tank in the half-light from the bedside lamp to see the fish. I can't, so I figure, I have to get my hand in and feel, hopefully preventing the fish making that fatefull flick down back. I found him! A tail flicks against my pinkie, followed swiftly by a Sub-occular spine impaling the side of my hand! Now I have a 2" loach attatched to my person, and IT HURTS! I quickly opened the hood with my left hand and whipped my right out from behind the tank (complete with impaled loach), into the water, where the loony fish released itself, and swum off none the worse for the experience. Me however, is now dripping blood everywhere, so I rush to the Bathroom, wash my hands and apply a Band-aid. I return to the bedroom and proceed to block off every possible hole, and drain the tank by about 1". I don't usually do work on my tanks in my Birthday suit but all I really want to do is get back to bed, so I really don't care at this point! I figure,when I get back in bed that I'll watch the tank and see what happens. A few minuites later, they're splashing about again near the surface,but at least I now know they should stay where they are supposed to be, so I switch off the light and drift into dreams of a world where fish are sensible and stay in the H2O like they're s'posed to!

Q. Are loach owners mad or do their fish make them that way?

A. Probably both!

Martin.
 

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