Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Horror Show in the Fish Tank

A guppy my daughter bought for her tank this weekend had babies this morning. My daughter netted all
I realize this is not a guppy.
© V-strelok
Stock Free Images &Dreamstime Stock Photos
the ones she saw and put them in a clip-on tank meant for guppy babies.

You see, guppies, who give birth to live young, will eat them if given the chance.

But when I took a look mid-morning, I saw five babies, hiding around the tubes and wires for the tank’s filter and heater, where I couldn’t get them with the net.

When I tried, I flushed them out of hiding and the big fish got all excited. (Some of these guppies chase each other in little whirlwinds all day long. The fish-store guy said they were “playing.” I thought – and still think – they’re fighting, though now I think maybe they’re also thinking about eating each other.)

I fed the other fish at the other end of the tank, hoping to keep them occupied, but was horrified to see the currents in the tank flush the food toward the babies, who came out to eat it, even as the big fish bore down on them.

One bright-yellow guppy started chasing down a baby. It was like my own private “red in tooth and claw” nature show. He didn’t catch it.

Speaking of bright-yellow, some of my daughter’s fish have been genetically modified, one with squid DNA, to make them colors not found in nature. If you can make a fish purple, why wouldn’t you make a fish that can’t have babies, the guppy equivalent of a mule? Seems like fish breeders would benefit. The only way you could get more fish for your tank would be to buy them at the store.

Psst, if these babies aren’t there when my daughter gets home from school, mum’s the word.


  1. Be nice to the baby fish!

  2. I'm trying! I think they're safest if I leave them where they're hiding.

  3. UPDATE: Mum is, indeed, the word. :(

    Still got the other babies, though, nine of them. My daughter's science teacher promised to take them AND further promised, at my daughter's insistence, not to feed them to the turtles.