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And there she was... (no brevity, but attempted wit nonetheless)

Posted By: Tibor <tibor@tiborsrealm.com>
Date: Saturday, 30 September 2000, at 3:04 p.m.

Hi all!

Okay, so I decided that my 55 is gonna be a clown tank with a couple other peaceful bottom feeders and some neon rainbows for dithers. As such, and with this in mind, I hopped in the Dakota and cruised on out to the LFS a half hour away. My chief desire was a pair of bristlenose cats, or simply a handful of neon rainbows if that fell through.

I arrived and began perusing the back room. Found some interesting aggressive fish with similar color to clowns - very interesting. An LFS guy told me their three-mile-long name and their temperament, and I think I forgot the name after he was done saying it. Way too many syllables! Looked and looked and looked for bristlenoses, to no avail. Finally found neon rainbows. $9/each - OUCH!!! No school purchasing on THIS trip! One of the guys there was fishing out a huge, long eel for a couple women, so I asked him whilst he dipped the net if he would also grab four neons for me when he was done with them. He agreed to and I returned to my fishgazing. And then I spied some modestas. Oh, they were cute. VERY cute. They weren't like my clowns; they came right up the glass and said "Take us home, Tibor! This tank is WAY too small, and they don't bring food when we click!" I told myself this was not the plan, and tore my eyes from theirs, looking the other direction, suspecting I wasn't going to win this one.

And there she was. Beautiful, blonde hair cascading over her shoulders and down her back. Brilliant blue eyes. Very impressive, uh, build. Orchestrated music began to play as the flourescent lights carressed her beautiful face. And she was looking at a tank next to a tank with a good 4-inch clown in it, all alone!!!!!! I excused myself as I walked past her and investigated. Well, needless to say, I didn't get any neon rainbows and have no dates planned either...

Gretchin is a purty little clown, no doubt destined to be the head loach within the next couple days; she's twice as long as Hans, and makes Frans look like a tetra! She's a little skinny, though, just like all my clowns (well, except Wolfgang) when I first purchase them; that won't last long with daddy Tibor feeding at every bat of a clown eyelash. I grabbed a thing of metronidazole capsules on the way out, and am treating the tank at 3/5th strength as a precaution. The box listed corys in its recommendations, so I figured that clowns would probably be okay even at full dose. I wanted to drop Gretchin into the 20 as a quarantine tank, but I was afraid that she'd be very unhappy with one dither swordtail and no friends after the stress of living in a fish store and then travelling the half hour home in a plastic bag in my center console. Her coloration is excellent, however, and she's definitely a fighter from the way she sent that bag a bobbin' in the 55 when she wanted out! Very long erectile spines too, I discovered whilst netting her out of the bag (she didn't get them tangled or cut me, though - I was ready for her!)

In any event, it appears that Hans, Frans, Wolfgang and Sebastian have given her a warm welcome, and they're all doing the loachy dance now in the far corner of the tank. I'm $20 poorer (but $10 richer than if I'd gotten the four neons), and enjoying watching Hans display for her for some strange reason (probably realizes his reign is coming to an end). I have now reached the 5-clown happiness minimum I've read about, so I expect her now to whip them into shape and get the whole schooling thing going on. Sebastian will be the class clown and Frans the geek, and all will be well in loacheville.

You and your loaches all have a nice day!

Tibor.
 

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