EndlerCollector - Member SpotlightOnline Aquarium Fish Magazine | Member Spotlight - EndlerCollector
It was a very pleasant surprise to get an invitation to write a member spotlight. I write so much about Endler's that I would have thought everyone would be tired of my monomania, but apparently, some are not ... yet ...
It was just automatic to choose the username Endlercollector when I first got onto Fishlore. The Endler's come first, of course, and then a vague reference to a person. I've kept gouramis, barbs, tetras, cories, otos, Boesemani rainbows, guppies, mosquito fish, micropoecilia picta, Girardinus Metallicus, and a few bettas, but the Endler's are the ones that I've found the most adorable. It sounds ridiculous, but they make me feel loved and important even though I know it's because I feed them.
Apart from taking care of Endler's, I think a lot and write. I've published a few stories, poems, and articles, and I finished drafts of a couple of novels that are too awful to show anyone. The Endler's have been consuming most of my time lately, so I haven't gotten any work done on my third and fourth novels in nearly a year, but I've begun thinking about a non-fiction book. So my writing consists mostly of Fishlore posts these days, but I enjoy it a lot because it's part of a global party centered on a common love of fish.
I didn't always have Endler's though I did start with several feral guppies who appeared in the house without any explanation when I was in the first grade. Despite (or perhaps thanks to) 100% water changes, enough fry survived until I was given an extravagantly hued fantail when I was 11. Then he was stricken by a wasting disease, and they all died off one by one. I only found out several decades later that it must have been TB.
As an adult, I've seen fish wiped out by columnaris and TB with the unbelievable finishing touch of camallanus worms. I am the self-proclaimed queen of mycobacteria, and they are truly the bane of my life, especially since my 3rd and latest collection of Endler's are from a lab where the remaining fish were all euthanized after an outbreak soon after I got them. I live with the constant anxiety of losing them in a similar way. My recent big project was separating newborn Endler fry and thus (hopefully) avoiding the unchecked population growth that leaves them open to disease in tanks. Currently, I'm waiting on the first generation to finish out before I move onto the next phase of breeding only individuals that prove their hardiness by making it to 6 months of age. I'm not sure if this experiment will work in the end, but so far, the 2nd and 3rd generations are healthier and have had very few fatalities.
At the moment, I have 12 tanks, mostly 2nd hand, using random equipment and lots of plants with the exception of the QT's. 7 have eco complete, 2 use Flourite, and 3 have gravel. Nerite snails also live in most of them. They are as follows:
1) 40-gallon breeder, remains of aging Boesemani shoal and 6 cory cats
2) 10-gallon QT with 4 Trilis
3) 10-gallon male Endler 1st generation
4) 20-gallon female Endler 1st generation tank; Marina S20 (perfect current for Endler's
5) 29-gallon male Endler 2nd and 3rd generation tank
6) 20-gallon male Endler tank with more 2nd and 3rd generation boys
7) 29-gallon female Endler 2nd and 3rd generation tank
8) 10-gallon Endler 3rd generation girls that may breed in the future
9) 20-gallon QT with Girardinus Metallicus
10) 10-gallon with neons, golden pristellas, and oto
11) Evolve 8 with my daughter's betta,
12) Evolve 8 QT with Trinidadian micropoecilia picta
I am still trying to choose a level 1 UV Sterilizer and canister filter, as I've been reading about the use of the former in the successful reduction of fish TB. Hopefully, both will appear on the breakfast table along with waffles instead of earrings and roses for Mother's Day. I only have 2 ears, and we have some 40 rose bushes, so I really don't need more of either.
I would like eventually to get the number of tanks down to 6 or 7 and house Endler's and Girardinus Metallicus in the 40-gallon when the Boesemanis finish aging out. After all, I promised my husband that I'd decrease the overall number of tanks - I just didn't tell him that it might take 5 years. That will mean the cories will have to get used to competing with the voracious livebearers for the Repashy Community Plus.
If the following generations of Endler's do consistently live longer, I'm going to return to my original plan of re-homing most of them. If they don't, I will let them age out and then start a 4th collection with new stock. That is, unless I get too exhausted and have to let other people carry on the mission of spreading their joy. I'm not at all sure about what I'll do with the Trinidadian Pictas and Girardinus Metallicus. They were gifts, so I think I may send them on to other people who would like something less easily found in the US. I'm looking forward to discovering what the Picta males look like once the first batch of fry are done growing up as there appear to be no photos of this type on the Internet.
I must first thank my incredibly patient and brilliant husband who just got back from the lab and is now getting ready to head off to Poland and then Germany. He is part of a large experiment that works with an accelerator and studies the trajectories of particles, and yet I must make sure that his pants aren't stuck in his socks. I must also thank our 12-year-old daughter who often has to wait for dinner until after the fish are fed and thinks it's completely normal to croon to hundreds of teeny tiny Endler's. Our 6 remaining dogs believe I owe them canned cat food for banishing them after 1 of them decided to hunt the fish, but they will have to settle for fish-shaped cookies. Our friend in evolutionary biology has been incredibly gracious, giving me Endler's as well as other fish, and answering many long questions. Naturally, I am very much indebted to all the Fishlore members who provide fascinating stories, advice, and photos. With your help, I can show my family that my multiple tank syndrome appears moderately normal and under control. And last but not least, I am grateful to the Endler's for wriggling their way into my life.
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