Hard to believe, but it was about four months ago when I harvested a big mess of zebra fish fry from my fish tank. There were about three dozen of the little wrigglers, each no more than a little line with a dot at one end. Only about 3mm long, not yet free-swimming, they were tiny.
The first month or so was hard on them, with a couple big die-offs, and then they were re-housed a number of times as I kept trying to come up with a better solution. Finally there were just two left when I set up a dedicated 1-gallon nursery ‘tank’, and then before long, only one of them was left.
That last one has held on though, and thrived in the nursery. With the advent of several clutches of snail eggs, the nursery was upgraded to a 5-gallon tank, and the solitary juvinile zebra fish has continued to thrive and grow.
Now, at age 4 months, he’s roughly one inch long and big enough to be a serious threat to any other fry that go into the nursery. (Did I mention my corydoras were breeding like crazy?)
So today is graduation day. Today the sole surviving zebra fry is graduating from the nursery and rejoining his parents in the main tank. He’s big enough not to get eaten, and he knows how to socialize with others. (For a week I put one of the adult zebras in the nursery with him to make sure he could deal with it.)
His name is Les, because he is a survivor.
After moving Les to the 23 gallon fish tank where he hatched from a tiny egg 4 months ago, I watched him for a while. He actually seemed happy and excited – swimming in the big tank, with the big fish.
I must admit, it made me feel proud.