Emma and I went on an excursion to Catherine Creek State Park yesterday afternoon. We had fun hiking a bit, splashing in the creek, and looking at the pebbles and various critters.
In addition to the water striders, which Emma found fascinating, we saw lots of Variable Checkerspots (New for my Life List! The ones I saw looked like the "chalcedon" form/subspecies/population/variety), and several of what I think are rainbow trout juveniles. Please correct me if I'm wrong!
Speaking of fish, The Panda Cory Show has a redecorated set.
On our way back this afternoon, I picked up a handful of coarse sand from Catherine Creek (not from inside the State Park, farther downstream in a field). I've been reading up online about raising cories, and one thing most sources say is that it's better to keep fry (and adults, for that matter) on some sort of substrate. Even with cleaning, bacteria, fungi, and other nasties can build up a film on the bottom of a bare tank that can erode the cory's barbels and pectoral fins, since they are bottom-dwellers and are basically resting on it constantly.
I was going to use the gravel I have in the main tank, but decided the grain size was too big and the little babies would get down in between the grains and risk getting crushed. So I added some sand. I didn't want really fine sand, because it's a pain to clean, but at the same time I wanted smooth grains because sharp sand is too abrasive. Catherine Creek is a fairly high energy stream, so the sand is well polished.
This was taken yesterday afternoon, when the babies were 10 days old. Can you find him? The fry are much harder to see now, but I think this will be better for them. They probably feel more secure on the dark substrate, as well. They are starting to get more pigmentation, and have the eye band just like the adults now.
I also put in another rock from the main tank. I lost two of the fry on Tuesday night, and I wanted to be sure the tank had enough good bacteria to keep it healthy, so I added another rock.