|1.5 inches of pure awesome.|
Whoever said you can't buy friends is mistaken, as I also bought some friends for Gobi Gaara. So he wouldn't be sitting here on my desk in a big aquarium all by his lonesome while I'm out of town. The plan was five neon tetras and a cory cat.
As an aside, neon tetras are a community fish, and should always be kept in small schools.
That said, I wasn't planning to put all five in Gobi's manse. I was donating two of them to my mother's tank. She used to have a small school of neon tetras herself, but lost all but one over time. So that one tetra was a nervous mess. Buying five tetras would give us each a school of three. However, when the clerk went to fish out five tetras she ended up scooping up six tetras and a ghost shrimp. Rather than try to put them back, she just gave the extras to me. No charge.
While five gallons is a considerable size it's still not that big, so I gave the extra tetra to my mother for her tank. I had not noticed, since her tetra had been the only one for so long, that its colors had faded so much. In comparison to the newly introduced fish, he was rather bland. Probably from the stress. Within ten minutes of being part of a school again, his coloring improved and he quit hiding under a rock.
Friendly tetras are friendly.
I then brought the rest of the fish to Gobi's manse and dumped them in. He had been all by himself for quite a while and wasn't sure what to make of the situation at first. Kind of peeking out at the new comers through the soft leaves of the plants before coming out to investigate. The three neon tetra formed their little school, the ghost shrimp played hard-to-see on the rock, and the cory cat took to whiskering about the pebbles for food.
Much to my surprise, my favorite newcomer was the ghost shrimp. The addition who ironically wasn't even on my list to begin with. He was very active, scooting about with his swimmerets and picking bits of algae off the rock cave. Gobi Gaara accidentally picked him up a couple of times and spit him back out, mistaking his hard exterior for a pebble. Pretty amusing relationship between the two.
I was even more surprised when after about thirty minutes the ghost shrimp decided it was time to shed his exoskeleton. As soon as I noticed he had done it, the thought entered my mind, "I hope Gobi doesn't accidentally suck him up again." Because, if he had been soft that first time it happened, he'd have been gone. He was practically invisible, though, and it was unlikely anyone would see him before his skin hardened into a new shell...
Ghost shrimp is a ghost.
I was wrong. Less than five minutes after he had shed, while I was musing the idea of naming him Benjamin Linus, the cory cat caught him by his head and sucked out his brains. Like a zombie. I should have known better. Ben always gets his ass kicked. Less than five minutes after that the cory cat had devoured his entire body. Ten minutes after that he had found Ben's old protective shell, and decided to eat that too. In under twenty minutes it was as if the ghost shrimp had never existed at all.
Perhaps he was merely living up to his namesake and will now haunt Gobi Manse. The only thing cooler than a mansion is a haunted mansion, after all.