Since our return home from the Liverpool expedition both my beloved and myself had commented on Goldie’s apparent weight loss; he appeared to be a much reduced egg-shape, as if he’d sought a way to better display his long fringed fan-tail. Perhaps he’d taken a new sense of pride in his piscine image and, as a result, he seemed to glide around the aquarium in a much more elegant manner. Mind you, that seemed like an awfully rapid rate of transformation, we were only away for three nights! Perhaps, after our brief absence, we became more acutely aware of a change that had been occurring over a quite prolonged period.
Come late afternoon / early evening, today, cloud minnows, Borneo loach and the two other fantails were definitely in evidence but, no Goldie. Come feeding time Goldie still failed to materialize, a most unusual scenario, so I removed two lid panels from the tank, slid the lighting unit forward and looked behind the large ornamental log/rock but, no sign of this elusive fish. This was an even more remarkable transformation, reducing in size to the state of nothingness. As a further check, I dragged one of our nets behind the rock but, to no avail.
The only course of action left to me was to remove the ornament, no mean feat as it’s over 2ft in length and at least 18” in height. Having found a suitable container for this object, I turned the rock back to front and upside down draining all the water it held and apparently examining every nook and crevice. Still no sign of Goldie; how could he suddenly become invisible? At least, with the rock removed, it gave me a better opportunity to vacuum the gravel; it’s quite a while since I’ve proffered such a complete valeting.
As I lifted the rock, and shook it, prior to returning it to the aquarium, I heard a plop into the residual water in the plastic container and, there was an apparently lifeless Goldie. Within a few moments I noticed a slight movement of the gills and immediately removed him to the quarantine / treatment tank as he seemed to have lost a few scales during his adventure, acquiring a minor abrasion in the process. I’m just hoping that I’ve recovered him in time.