Small But Poignant Tragedy
Here's something I'll bet no one has had happen before.
I had a beautiful 15 cm/6 inch Royal Farlowella (best guess I can make
is a Sturisoma sp.and not Farlowella) Rather a stout body, so I'm
guessing a female; active, voracious and a nice community member. My
tank is heavily planted and I have a Tetra CO2 bell.
[for those on the catfish list who don't know what this is, plant
enthusiasts often use supplemental carbon dioxide to feed plants; the
bell is basically just an inverted cup connected to a CO2 source and
therefore filled with CO2, which then dissolves into the water].
The Sturisoma stuck his head in the CO2 bell and didn't get it out
fast enough. I had the bell close to the sand surface so the the
water pressure would dissolve the gas faster, and the fish apparently
couldn't back up fast enough to extricate itself in time. It probably
was dead in a few seconds.
This leads to a question: This fish never was able to navigate
through the dense plants well, and looked, well, very clumsy. Does
anyone know what type of biome these fish come from? Do they live in
fast currents and not in habitats with a lot of obstacles to navigate
through? Farlowella spp. appear well adapted to hang vertically on
plant stems, but the Sturisoma had that lovely high dorsal fin which
obviously impeded his/her movements.
This fish had wide range of food sources, unlike Farlowellas, which,
as I understand it, will only eat soft algae. I'd like to hear some
other folks' experiences with Farlowella, because I've tried keeping
them on several occaisions without success. They live for a week or
so then die...I've never seen one try to eat, even though there is
enough soft algae to keep a squadron of Otocinclus fat and happy for
the last year. My impression is that they don't adapt well, and that
if they adapt and figure out how to eat then they are quite robust.
Bob Hoesch in Ashland, OR, where it is snowing even down here on the