While it may not seem like it from the amount of fish-related posts lately, there are more things going on in our lives than these little creatures. However, they definitely provide the most writing material!
Today I got home from Playaway, looked in the fish tank, and saw a baby! I knew they were mating! And now I of course have no idea what to do with this baby. Who knows if there were more or when this happened. I immediately call Brian and ask him what on earth am I supposed to do with this baby fish? He, in all of his infinite wisdom, tells me to Google it. So I did. And, surprise surprise, keeping baby fish alive is no easy task! Not only do the other fish eat them, but they also require much cleaner water and more food and sometimes special food. I am still baffled as to how so many fish survive in the wild waters of ponds and rivers everywhere when they seem to require so much maintenance in a tank.
It seems that the best option is this little net/tank hybrid that you place in your existing tank and it keeps the babies separate from the adults. Just as I'm about to load the girls up in the car for yet another trip to the pet store, I realize that the baby fish is nowhere in sight. So apparently they eat their babies quickly. I then have to explain to Caroline that fish sometimes eat their babies. Making that sound normal and not depressing is no easy task. But she takes it like a champ and returns to playing in her room.
Well now I'm in my investigative journalist mode and trying to figure out which fish gave birth. Based on a variety of clues, I think I know which one it is. Which is super surprising because we kind of thought it was a boy fish. To our credit, we were undecided, but due to its chasing behavior we went with male. Now I think it was chasing the other fish away because it was pregnant and hungry! So which fish was it you ask? It was Cootie Car, Caroline's fish, who also by the way has ick or some type of fungus that we've been treating it for. Is this related to the babies? No idea. Is it just one more thing that makes fish high maintenance? Absolutely.
So after much computer research and analyzing here is what I learned about our fish today. Mollies and Platys (the two types we have) are live-bearing fish. Which is why we never saw eggs. The gestation period is about a month, which is about how long we have had them. Cootie Car did have a larger belly which I was suspicious of a few weeks ago before we decided that he was a boy. Apparently my suspicions were correct, and when I looked up what a pregnant fish looks like that was her. She's also been acting kind of strange and just hanging out at the top or bottom of the tank. I was originally attributing this to the ick fungus, but now think the girl was in labor! Also, Cootie Car looks much thinner today than yesterday. She and Jet Pack were the same size, and now she's noticeably smaller. Which means, you guessed it, I'm pretty sure Jet Pack is pregnant. So apparently there will be more babies to come. Help me now!
Update: When I picked Matthew up from school I told him about the baby. He was super excited until I told him it got eaten. Then he might have been a little disturbed. But, we got home and I spotted the baby again! That sucker can hide! It blends in with the rocks on the bottom. So maybe it will survive after all. We will probably get one of those divider things for the tank since I'm pretty sure Jet Pack will be having babies, and obviously we all know how much Banana loves Mandarin. Is it bad to take our one male fish to the pet store and trade it for a female? I'm not sure how much more of this I can handle!