Catfish tunnel seems to be a hit.
I finally got around to putting my new driftwood piece into the tank last night. I was going to plant it with all the baby java ferns I have, and I will, but I wanted to make sure that it worked in it's primary function first.
I have been having an issue with catfish not doing well, OK, any number over eight seem to die. I put a pepper cory in from the office and that made number nine. Shortly afterwards I saw one of the established catfish not doing so well, lethargic, not reacting to me near the tank (they are usually quite jittery) and looking rather pekid (I like that spelling rather than peaked... seems more phonetically correct).
The only thing that came to mind was bottom hiding space. There seemed to only be space for them to all hang out with eight and the 9th and 10th were somewhere else. Low leafy plants seemed to bring them out a bit so I put the driftwood piece in to provide a hidden raceway or tunnel across the rear of the tank between their favourite corner spot behind a vertical driftwood and the larger driftwood pieces.
Here's a pic of them using the tunnel this morning. The vertical piece is on the left and the new piece is resting on a small white rock and resting against the glass. I will see later today if they all congregate together in that space now. If they do, I'll get the driftwood properly planted and I'll pick up 2 more pepper corys to bring that group op to three... i saw that they had some at the LFS while there on the weekend.
Funny thing, I barely had it in there and one adventurous shrimp was out exploring the new piece.
Nice shots! I remember your previous posting on this issue - hopefully this solves the problem, and they'll all be happy. Please keep us updated on how things go. . .
They do congregate in more numbers now that there is a larger space for them to all fit. This morning I managed to peak around the corner and see 6 together. Of course they are hard to count when they are together like that and if I move too quickly (think sloth... think sloth...) they scatter.
I may have lost the lethargic fellow as I have not been able to count 8 together at any one time, only 7... but having said that the pepper doesn't come out while I am counting so I can't say for sure if I am down one catfish or not. I wouldn't see the ammonia spike, with the snails I might not see the carcass after a day or two and with all the plants, wood and hiding places, I might not see it anyway.
Hope he's still in there somewhere, alive - and that they lose some of their shyness now that they're (hopefully) feeling more comfortable. Having to sneak to observe your fish can't be very much fun!
They scoot around a lot, only if we walk close to the tank do they disappear. The tank is in the main living area of an open concept home so it's not like we never see them. They do spend more time in that tunnel now than they did in the corner under just the driftwood. I consider that a good sign as their colour is slightly brighter and more reflective now... hard to measure that but it seems so.
The driftwood is not the only factor though, I am testing the betta factor now. Oscar is in a separate isolation tank again as I wanted to see if that made any difference to the catfish. I plan on putting him back in the main tank this weekend and closely observing everyone for a few days. I know that changing two factors is not a very scientific method but I was hoping to help out the lethargic catfish.
How is Oscar doing? I should probably go find that thread and ask there, sorry. . . did he eat while in isolation?
Nope, no eating and still in isolation and still looking the same. I've lost track of the days now.... 25 maybe.
Kierstyn was certain that she counted eight cats this morning. I'm not so sure.
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