Some Actual Catfishing

No, not the scam way. An actual aquarium catfish, Seldom Seen. He’s in the group of squeaker catfishes, a group where the males have fin spines and females do not, so yes, we’re sure he’s a he.

We got him sometime before 2004; the precise date we’re not sure of, because he apparently hitched a ride as a tiny little fishie on some aquarium plants. The plants got eaten by snails eventually, while Seldom has made it through everything up to and including three-week power outages from hurricanes when it was impossible to run the air pump. Amazon River catfishes tend to be pretty hardy to oxygen and water quality, so long as the water pH doesn’t get too acidic too long.

(Tip: If you see your catfish breathing hard, or swimming up to the surface where there’s usually a thin layer of more oxygenated water, check the pH. Too acid and they can’t dump carbon dioxide as carbonic acid from their gills.)

That hardiness made us a little more confident we could move him ourselves to the new place. A bit. We didn’t want to try and net him out of the tank, because that would stress him. Also because netting a 5”+ catfish with spines is a lot more tricky than it looks. I’ve already been to a clinic about squirrel runover scratches this year, I didn’t want to add “spines in hand” to the list. So we drained down the tank as far as we could and hoped for the best.

The first trick was moving the tank at all. Even mostly empty of water, a 10-gallon tank with gravel and air tubes set up is 1) heavy and 2) hard to grip. Roommate and I very, very carefully got our best grips on it and lowered it onto our fold-up handtruck. One of us held the tank on, the other pushed, and we may have gained a few gray hairs bumping over the doorstep, down the porch, over to the car, and carefully lifting it into the trunk.

…Hey, it’s a roomy trunk, tall enough not to worry about the tank getting lid-bashed. And I felt more confident of the tank staying put there (with stuff packed in around it) than on the back seat.

(I picture Seldom side-eyeing the plastic containers of pots and silverware and wondering what the crazy humans were up to now.)

We drove as smoothly and carefully as possible, unfolded the handtruck again, got it into the new apartment… onto the kitchen counter, temporarily. We’d just run out of energy to get the aquarium stand built, and we had to get the fish in that trip. (And it required tools it didn’t list on the outside, we had to make another trip to get them!) So temporary setup it was.

Tuesday we finally got the stand put together and topped with a waterproof layer and finally moved the tank. That stirred up a lot of debris, unfortunately. Wednesday the pH was acid, and (around other errands) I had to titrate it with baking soda. But the water’s clearing now, the fish is breathing well, and hopefully everything will work out fine.

So. Yeah. Moving is tricky; the little details after, even more so!


9 thoughts on “Some Actual Catfishing

  1. Moving a 10g is pretty easy. If you pick it up just right, and it’s empty enough. I’ve moved 10gs, at pretty much empty, quite a ways. A 10g can fit in a lot of places. A counter, a desk, a nightstand. Whatever works, just make sure that it fits, and it’s made of solid wood and not particle board. Catfish can survive a very long time out of the water, as long as their moist. I’ve heard of a bristlenose pleco being wedged into a damp piece of driftwood during a move, for 12 hours, and it was perfectly fine once it was in a tank.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And now I’m envisioning someone hearing “Seen” as the non-Irish popular way to say “Sean” (have met three guys use see-n, not shaw-n) and getting entirely the wrong idea about you two dragging “Sean” into your trunk.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I was reminded of the animated movie “Rango”, in which a pet gecko’s terrarium gets catapulted out of a car during moving, and the rather surreal experiences/events he experiences as he makes his way in the new world he finds himself in.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Okay, I’m posting this off-topic item here to avoid interrupting on-going threads again. Someone very kindly provided me with links to Russian translations of Kabaneri no Koutetsujou – Ran: Hajimaru Michiato. These include a character list, a history (via dialogue/monologue, primarily) for the main playable character, an introduction (with a fascinating interview from the director/creator, Araki Tetsuro!), and the dialogue for the prologue and the first three chapters:

    List of game character names:


    Kaname’s story:


    First chapter:

    Second chapter:

    Third chapter:

    The chapter dialogue makes more sense, I find, after viewing the game’s story in the original Japanese. The YouTube videographer noco seems to have recorded all the game chapters, and number one is here:

    I understand that more translations are forthcoming. The translator says these may not be entirely accurate translations, but from what I can fit together, they *are* mostly correct. (Though I don’t know why Google translate insists on identifying kabane as “wild boar” nine times out of ten….) I definitely recommend giving these translations a view. They really help! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

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