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Death of a modesta :-(

Posted By: Iris <Iris6@aol.com>
Date: Thursday, 7 September 2000, at 11:29 p.m.

Yesterday I had 7 eating, squabbling, tank-rearranging modestas. This morning when I put the food in, I noticed a distinct lack of activity. That is, the fish came out for the food, but didn't squabble as they usually do. The formerly biggest modesta - only recently ousted from the prime tube by Linda Loach (now the biggest) - was lying on her side near the front. I assumed this was "loach behavior" and told her to cut it out. When she still didn't move, I told her this wasn't funny any more. Then I reached in and picked her up! She only wiggled a little. Didn't even try to spine me. No spunk at all.

And she was Really Swollen in the belly. Her chest almost had the profile of a hatchet fish and the swelling went around both sides up to the lateral line. She was always a fat loach, and appeared to have been "pregnant" - and then resorbed the eggs - several times before. This looked more like dropsy, but other than a drooping dorsal fin, no energy, and understandably labored breathing, she had no other symptoms (good color, nice slime coat, clear eyes, no spines sticking out, no mouth or barbel problems, no fungus or rot, no inflamed gills.) I've seen tetras die of dropsy (not in this tank) and I've never seen it come on this fast or without eye or gill symptoms.

It looks for all the world as though she developed eggs overnight - I remember Kamphol saying that modestas do this - and then got a blockage of some sort.

Since her breathing was labored I upped the aeration by removing the bubble wand and letting the air bubble straight in from the air tube. This causes a LOT of disturbance of the water surface - quite like a nice stream. Now, all the other modestas are reacting to the extra oxygen as though this is some kind of field day...

But (formerly) boss modesta died about an hour later, leaving behind a beautiful corpse except for the swelling.

Another thought - could the stress of having been ousted from the boss position have added to her plight? That only happened in a final way about 2 days ago. Linda Loach simply took over the boss tube. No fight injuries other than a few minor nips.

All of the others appear to be fine.

Iris - a somewhat sad Modesta Girl
 

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