Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Guppy Maternity Ward

Last month we did a fishtank-makeover. We had a very sad, lonely, aggressive shark who ate all of his fellow tankmates. The tank had become dark and neglected. We traded the shark in for a handful of community fish (tetras) and quickly added more and more until we had a healthy, thriving community tank. We replaced the hood and took a stab at cleaning up the algae. All in all, it became a tank to admire. I am once again enamored.

Our youngest is at a youth-group camp this weekend (Yes!). Prior to his departure I pointed out that at least one of the females was "expecting". When I realized we were about to have guppettes before the weekend was out, I decided I'd better invest in a guppy nursery. We introduced the nursery just in time - there were guppettes swimming around within minutes of trapping the mama putting the mama in the maternity ward. It is important to use a breeder (aka nursery, aka guppy maternity ward) because GUPPIES EAT THEIR YOUNG. I admire this trait, but we're not going to talk about that right now.

As much as I have fretted over my teens/young adults, maybe it is a temporary condition that leaves me fascinated by these little creatures whose sole ambition seems to be procreation and cannibalizing their young. Generally I let nature take its course (guppy babies are cheap fish food), but I promised my youngest ... so these fry were spared. As soon as mama quit birthin' her babies and started trying to eat them, I returned her to the general population. Here's a picture of the 2 guppy pairs in our tank. You can see that both males have their noses in their partners' "business":

Here's a video I put together of today's fun & games. If you watch the guppies that are outside of the floating breeder, you'll see that they are either hovering (waiting for a snack) or the males are in hot pursuit of the females.
Such entertainment. I could watch for hours.

1 comment:

ExMi (expensive mistakes and cheap thrills) said...

discovered your blog through the NaBloPoMo site - will definitely be back for more.

Here's wishing us blogging strength - we're halfway!