Sunday, December 7, 2008

Desperate Fishwives, three weeks later

I can't believe it's been 3 weeks already! Although the Infant Guppy Mortality rate was high, we're proud of our one surviving fry. He (or she - it's too soon to tell) is a chip off one of the old blocks. After returning to the general population Mama Guppy took up with a recently-widowed new fella. Papa Guppy had a dramatic and surprising recovery from an out-of-whack pH situation and a near death experience. Although Papa Guppy was nipped on a little bit, and his gait was a little wobbly for a while, within no time he was back at Mama's door to reclaim his position as alpha male.

Yesterday, our sole survivor from the first litter was ousted from the nursery to make room for a new brood of little 'uns. Isn't it rough for the oldest when they are displaced? Poor little guy was pretty bold at first, but I suspect he quickly realized he wasn't quite big enough to assume he could have his run of the place with the big boys. He now spends most of his time trying to be invisible in one of the dark corners of the tank.

Without much ado, Mama Guppy, who had grown extremely large in girth, was scooped into the nursery. The nursing staff watched carefully, waiting for some indication that she was, indeed, ready to bear more offspring. As the hours wore on, tension grew. At first, both of her beaux seemed unphased by Mama G's disappearance. They swam about minding their own business. Eventually, they noticed her in isolation and they began to spend all of their time trying to figure out how to get to her. Even in her "huge" state, they find her awfully attractive and a sure bet on a Saturday night. I'm not saying she's easy...well, maybe I am.

Saturday came and went. Sunday morning - still nothing. After a few hours of nail-biting tension, it was discovered that 3 little guppies were swimming around in the nursery! We all know that the 2nd time around may be a bit less of an *EVENT* and this was no exception. The visits from the nursing staff were few and far between, and the camera was never brought out to document the blessed arrival. In fact, Sunday morning church services took precedence and Mama G was left to her own devices...which by then included at least a dozen fry.

By the time anyone was back to witness the situation, there were over 2 dozen guppettes swimming around and Mama seemed to be beside herself trying to get back to her dirty business. Both males were pounding their heads on the nursery wall. Trying to pick out whose was whose (I suspect we'll see evidence of both Dads in this litter)? No. Ready to woo Mama anew? Yes!!! These guppies are the definition of "randy!"

So, this episode ends with Mama G returned to general population, Papa G and his competition (Boyfriend G) chasing Mama G all around the fishtank, oldest baby G looking a little nervous as he hides in a dark corner, and about 30 Baby G's merrily swimming about the nursery not realizing that...unless the nursing staff *really* figured out how to do this right, for most of them, their days are numbered.

Until next time....


{Editor's note: If anyone should want to object to the algae please remember a) the chemicals which control the algae nearly killed the inhabitants and b) these are some very happy fish right now.}

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