after a check of the pH (7.0 neutral), i finally decided it was time to relocate that one sick female guppy into the new 10 gallon tank. capturing her wasn't hard, as all the fish swarmed to the surface of the minibow, thinking it was feeding time again. with a plastic solo cup i dipped it into the water and the suction created by the filling water pulled in the guppy. inside the new tank, she swam around up and down a little bit before resting near the surface. i also buried some iron-rich fertilizing tablets in the hopes of helping the plants thrive since now i'm not using a carbon dioxide injector anymore.
while on the phone with my mother, i saw something horrible happen in the minibow. a fry was swimming near a male guppy, who was hanging out near the surface, hungry for food. suddenly it snapped at the baby fish, which either killed it or stunned it. the guppy then bit again, and swallowed the baby whole. i wasn't even listening to my mother at that point and just hung up the phone. i couldn't believe it. the guppies and fries were coexisting peacefully for the past few weeks, and i often see them swimming with each other. the fries became quite fearless since the adults posed no danger. the first batch of fries that were born, something must've happened to them because only of the original 10 only one survived. the adults probably ate them, but since i never saw it happening, and the thought is just too disturbing to be real, i sort of rationalized to myself that maybe the fries died on their own, maybe as a result of bad water chemistry.
however, after seeing an adult actually eating a baby, it drove me to action. i grabbed my fish nets and pulled off the hood, determined to relocate the adult guppies so the remaining fries can have a chance to survive to adulthood. this time around it was harder to catch them, since they learned from the previous occasion that i wasn't going to feed them, so they were all at the bottom of the tank. the first one caught was a male, easily netted and dropped into the plastic cup. the second was the other female, which carried on a spirited chase, darting from one side of the tank to the other, until i finally trapped it in a corner. i caught the remaining male using two nets. i put the males on one side of the 10 gallon (the side with the filter, i figured they could use the exercise) while the females on the other (the side with the heater). while the males were busy exploring their new home, the new female seemed to be in a state of shock, hovering near the surface of the water. she so was traumatized by the whole experience that i could touch her with my finger and she wouldn't swim away.
i sprinkled some freeze dried brine shrimp into the tank as a house warming present. while the males were happily eating, the females huddled in the far corner of the tank above the heater. after a few minutes though, they slowly reacted to the presence of floating brine shrimp and ate a little bit. that's when i noticed something different with the sick female i'd relocated earlier: she was missing her ventral (pelvic) fins, the fish equivalent of our legs. i couldn't tell if they were chewed off (there didn't seem to be any damage) other than the strand of while filament coming out of her anus, which after careful examination i believe is just a piece of constipated waste. if it was an injury, how did it happen? caused by the other guppies, or self-inflicted? maybe it's a genetic abnormally i never noticed. whatever the case, after the relocation, she seemed a little happier without the males constantly pestering her, but she still seemed kind of lethargic, preferring to hover either near the surface or down by the gravel. and when she swims, it's kind of this wiggling motion that uses just her tail fin. occasionally i see the males and females trying to touch either each between the tank divider (since they can see and smell one another), like a scene from a prison. i think the healthy female is also pregnant again, maybe i can expect more babies in the coming weeks.
the mondo grass in the minibow isn't doing very well. i pulled it out and all the blades fell off. i rinsed off the roots, which has a fishy rotting smell (is that normal?), and replanted it back into the aquarium. if nothing grows back i'll dig it up again and toss it. i also added one of the plastic breeding grass (AKA baby hideout) - it looks pretty trashy, but i'll leave it there until i can get some more plants. now with the adult guppies gone, none of the other fish will eat the plants, so they're going to have a pretty good chance to grow. the young adult male guppy is still in the minibow. he's becoming even darker than before. i think he's still too small to hurt the fries, but i have to keep an eye on him. once he becomes full-sized, i have to move him to the 10 gallon tank as well. i just hope with so many males on one side that they won't start fighting with each other.
in the evening after an tao came back from work we ate a prepared dinner while watching special unit 2 on the scifi channel.