Vaillantella maassi Mystery

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Katy
Posts: 280
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:43 am
Location: Vermont, USA

Vaillantella maassi Mystery

Post by Katy » Sat Jan 30, 2021 2:09 pm

So about 10 years ago we got a Vaillantella maassi and added it to our 120 gallon tank. Nice sand substrate, good water flow, loads of hiding spaces. It was lovely, but after about 3 days we never saw it again. We kept thinking maybe it was still there, we know they need to hide, etc. Even as the years passed we thought there was some chance it was still there. The last 3 years we have had a series of serious unfortunate events leaving our tanks pretty neglected, fish getting fed but bare minimum water changes, pretty much no algae scraping, and not a lot of time to spend even thinking about our fish. Now that things have improved in terms of the serious health challenges at home (and the threat of COVID is keeping us at home except for absolute necessities like work, groceries and the dump), we have cleaned the glass, started paying more attention to our (remarkably healthy!) fish, and we improved the lighting in all the tanks and have a bunch of plants quarantining, and even got more fish to replace the shorter-lived species.

As I posted above, I am hoping to completely re-do our hillstream tank, which is currently a 55 gallon, when we paint our main room and redo the floors, which will mean taking the tank down and moving everything out to the back porch, in the shade. We have been thinking of adding to our hillstream stock as well. Meanwhile, a light that had previously been over the 45T became available to replace the light that had been destroyed by cats pushing it into the hillstream tank. And the other night when I had just gone upstairs to get ready for bed, Cloudhands called me back down, claiming he saw the Vaillantella in the hillstream tank! Of course I ran downstairs, and there was a VERY Vaillantella looking fish swimming in and out of the rocks! Now we spend a LOT of time looking at the hillstream tank, even during the worst of our challenges. Never seen it in there. Neither of us remember ever taking any wood over from the 120 to the hillstream at any point in which it might have been hiding.

What the heck?????? And of course we haven't seen it since! It seems to have realized that Vaillantellas have suddenly shown up on WetSpot again and we were discussing whether we should try again if they are still available when the weather warms up.

NancyD
Posts: 1522
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:17 pm
Location: SF bay area,US

Re: Vaillantella maassi Mystery

Post by NancyD » Sun Jan 31, 2021 1:04 am

Pretty cool Katy! Are the tanks close enough for a jump? Or did I misunderstand?

In MA I had 4 v. maassii in a 40g long with 2 pangio species. The "extra" smaller male didn't live for more than a year or so. I wondered if it might have been a similar but different species, I think there are a couple. The dominant male was aggro to it & the pangios, biting the backs of their necks/heads if it could. Like yours, mine were shy, but lots of wood & plants. When we tore down the tank to move west we couldn't find any of them. We'd had them as adults for ~7 or 8 years so guessing they died out, no "fish jerky" on the floor & no fry, the females were always nicely fat & gravid looking...
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Katy
Posts: 280
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:43 am
Location: Vermont, USA

Re: Vaillantella maassi Mystery

Post by Katy » Sun Jan 31, 2021 8:51 am

The tanks are all the way across the (large) room from each other! :lol: So it it a complete mystery! We have not had good luck in the river tank with any of the smaller hillstreams or any fry surviving. I think we have now discovered why!

And of course no additional sightings after the other night. Guess it is trying to hide for another decade :lol:

NancyD
Posts: 1522
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:17 pm
Location: SF bay area,US

Re: Vaillantella maassi Mystery

Post by NancyD » Mon Feb 01, 2021 10:27 pm

The V. maassii didn't seem to hurt their biting "victims" much except the "extra" male eventually. No pangios were damaged, but they learned to stay away from the fork tails territory...but maybe hillstreams were easier prey?

Did you move decor to the other tank? That truly is a mystery...or a ghost loach? Wishful seeing? We had a stiphodon goby reappear after a couple years 2 or 3 times...I'm calling it a really good hider & food finder...& hope to see it again maybe...
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