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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Fish Loyalty

Fresh water tropical aquarium fish are generally small and only live a couple/few years.   I have a 30 gallon tank, so there are about 2 dozen small fish in it (mostly tiger barbs, cherry barbs, and serpa tetra).  So it is no great surprise to me to see a dead one every so often.  Yesterday, I noticed that the male dwarf gourami of my pair had died and was lying in a corner of the aquarium.  I knew I would have to get it out soon but I was a bit busy.

What surprised me was that the female was within a couple of inches of the dead male each time I passed by.  I glanced at the spot each time I passed for a couple of hours and she was always right there!  So I just watched her.
It's not like I always saw them swimming around together, and I certainly never noticed them trying to build a nest or mate.  I'm also not inclined to ascribe complex emotions to a fish.  But she was staying between him and the other fish in the tank.  I think she sensed something was wrong with him and may have even been guarding him.

Pretty impressive for a "just a fish".


Katie Isabella said...

That is interesting and I would say you are right. Glad you blogged on this. I used to have tropical fish but nit after the kids turned 8 months or so. Fearful of tank turnover.

Shaggy and Scout said...

I think you are right too. They were a pair for a long time. She knew.

Andrea and the Celestial Kitties said...

Interesting. I wonder if she was keeping the other fish from deciding he was dinner..

William said...

Poor fishie.