I suspect he's been dying for awhile. I fed him a dead bee. That was a mistake. A few weeks later, he stopped eating. I suspect that the bee's venom slowly poisoned this fish.
Then, my algae eater came and started nipping at his fins, making him swim even worse. Imagine having someone eat your body, all because your sick.
Then one morning, I saw him floating at the top of the water, still alive and struggling. I thought I should put him out of his misery. So I got some ice, put it in a cup with water, and put him inside. But even after all the ice melted, he was still alive. The fish's will to live was something else. The whole episode reminded me of a long and difficult discussion I had my mother about euthanasia, when my last cat was dying. I won't get into the details, but let's say my mother and I had very different ideas about what was right about the last rites of the dying.
Believe me, I felt bad I couldn't save this fish. But in this whole scene, I watched with great interest at this algae eater. It's not the first time I've seen him attack a dying fish. He ate the eyeball out of the last one. Funny thing enough, he also likes vegetables - where as the other fish don't. I was fascinated by his ability to hone in on the dying and the weak.
How does he do it? I suspect it's smell. The dying must give off a kind of smell, but the other fish don't smell it as keenly as he does. I once read about a grim ripper kitty who was anti-social with humans. Eventually, a retirement home adopted him, and he would visit a person two hours before his or her death. Apparently, grim ripper kitty could smell death on them, and he would stay with them until they left this earth.
And why doesn't this algae eater let these suffering fish be? Perhaps they would recover and be reintegrated with the community.
Nope. He goes in for the kill.
He's really the cannibalistic sociopath of the aquarium.
I've thought about getting rid of him, but at least so far, he hasn't attacked the healthy fish. Only the sick and dying.
For some strange reason, I've developed a relationship with him, as Will Graham and Clarice Starling have with Hannibal Lecter. I watch him and study him to see if I get clues into the defendants on my other cases, who I also suspect to be sociopathic. The only insight I have from watching the algae eater is what I've already told you: Sociopaths seem to be attracted to the weak and sick.
I went to the pet store to replace my dead fish. And there, I found a beautiful blue crayfish. I was like a kid at a candy store. I ended up buying four things, when I really should've only bought one.
When I put him into the tank, this blue crayfish immediately scurried around and through the crevices and cracks of the rocks. He knew exactly where to go.
After his journey through new lands, this crayfish pulled out part of a fish's body and started tearing it apart and eating it. He looked back at me with his black eyes.
Believe me; this primitive animal was fully aware I was watching him, and he was looking back and telling me something. He was so proud of what he found, and he wanted me to witness his catch.
We have a new member in the community that I suppose has his own unique role. I would've never found or fished out that carcass. Who knows how long it's even been there? It was eerie to see how happy this crayfish looked munching away at his catch.