We cleaned the tank tonight, pulled out our large piece of driftwood (seen on the left side of the tank in this intro entry
. I hadn't cleaned under the wood well in awhile, usually vaccuum around it as best as I can but it's pretty huge and hard to get in and out. We know to check the wood for the 2 whiptail cats and the stick cat/farowella (spelling?). The farowella once hung onto a piece of wood when we'd pulled it out of the tank and wasn't about to let go so we are really careful now.
The driftwood I pulled out tonight doesn't really have any hiding holes, it's smooth and no crevices. The closest we get to hidey-hole in it is a fairly thin bit of java moss we've got tied onto the top. Since it's pretty big we'd debated whether we should just dump it in a bucket while I cleaned under it or wrap it in a towel. Fortunately we went for the bucket idea. And fortunately we hadn't tried to clean the wood, just set it in the bucket. After I'd vaccuumed about 1/3 of the tank out and while my wife was filling the buckets to fill it I grabbed the wood to put it back in. And noticed something in the bottom. "Oh, must have gotten some rocks too".
One of the strata loaches had somehow hidden himself somewhere
in the crevice-less drift wood and was lying in a little bit of water in the bottom of the bucket. I panicked and dumped him in the tank. Fortunately the heater had been off for about 20 minutes so the water was a little cooler than it usually is. He swam around listing slightly to one side but seems to be fine now.
Whew. We'll keep a close eye on him over the next few days (that's easy, while we have 4 strata loaches he's the only one that is missing an eye) and dose the tank if he picks up white spot or some fungus.
That's the closest we've come to loosing a fish while we've been cleaning. Usually the fish stay IN the tank and we're careful to check for the sucker ones before we pull things out.
So, any other close call stories? What is the best thing to do if you've had that happen? I didn't think that I should have put a bit of water in with the fish to slowly bring it's temperature up instead of dumping it back in the tank until a few minutes ago. Fingers crossed the little critter makes it.