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World's Toughest Fish


gabe3eb

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After over a decade in this hobby I saw something today that I still don't fully believe!

 

Backstory: Not having a tank lasted about 2 months before I started scheming. Enter a sick deal I saw on the Atlanta Reef Club Classifieds. I was planning on a pico but after seeing one of my favorite tanks of all time, the Solana 34G Starfire All-in-One, I pulled the trigger. I went to Atlanta on Sunday the 15th to pick this tank up.

 

The tank was taken down on the 15th when I got to the sellers house (shoutout to Nate - great guy with an awesome tank). We threw the tank in the back of my car and I drove 2 hours home with the tank sloshing a couple of inches of water I left in the rear compartment. By the time we got home, it was too late for me to fuss with setting up the tank and getting everything in working order, so I put the tank in my garage...

 

Today I decided to go ahead and clean the tank out and get it full of water. Keep in mind that the tank was sitting in my garage that got up to around 95 degrees during the day for the past week. I used my dolly to take the tank out to the backyard for it's vinegar rinse. I also spilled a bit of water getting onto my patio from the house (don't tell wife please).

 

I saw a flash in the rear compartment and after a closer look, this is what I saw:

 

Yep...

 

So this little guy has been living in 2 inches of water in my garage for almost a week (at 95+ degrees, seriously high salinity, no food, and the water he was in was seriously nasty). I obviously don't have a tank set-up right now, so while panicking, I grabbed a sandwich bag grabbed him with my hand and took off to my new LFS.

 

This was my second trip to the fish store today, because I had already picked up some water and other goodies to get my tank started. Coincidentally, I was talking to the owner about Helfrichi's today too and how much I loved them...

 

Obviously the Helfrichi's was pretty stressed out when I got him to the LFS. We floated him for a bit to get the temperature matched up and figured that a drip acclimation wouldn't do much good because he was in some absolutely horrible water and would probably be better off in some good water ASAP. His tankmate in the 40g was a lone Yellow Watchman Goby.



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Acclimating by gabe3eb, on Flickr

I stuck around for a little while and the Helfrich's was surprisingly calm. His breathing slowed down and was more or less normal.

 

The plan right now is to keep him at LFS (such an awesome guy - Kevin at Neptune's Reef in Columbus, GA) until my tank is cycled. Then I will bring him back to my tank and hold him until his original owner gets down to this neck of the woods and gets reunited with his awesome (and badass tough) Helfrichi Firefish.



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Sooooo much room by gabe3eb, on Flickr

 

TLDR Version: A Helfrichi's Firefish stowed away in a tank that I bought and lived for a week in less than 2" of water without food in my 95+ degree garage in the rear chamber of a 34G Solana AIO and seems to be recovering well at the LFS.

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That's awesome. Good thing it survived, that's an expensive fish :D

No joke, right?? I meant to test the water back to there to get the full extent of how nasty it was but forgot to when I got home.

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FishFreak77

That is one tough fish! I thought my black clown goby was tough for surviving a 3 foot fall onto my LFS's floor when the man helping me dropped the container he had caught him with. He gave me a 50% floor discount for the little guy. I still have him now a month later. :)

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Maybe you'll luck out and the original owner will let you keep it fingerscrossed

 

Lol, I told him that assuming the fish makes it through the week I will gladly buy him. I almost feel a connection to the little guy.

 

That is one tough fish! I thought my black clown goby was tough for surviving a 3 foot fall onto my LFS's floor when the man helping me dropped the container he had caught him with. He gave me a 50% floor discount for the little guy. I still have him now a month later. :)

These guys are resilient for sure. Makes me really wonder how bad I must have screwed up in the past when I had a fish that died.

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This sorta reminds me, back when I kept leopard geckos a man gave up his hobby and stowed away all his tanks into his garage. A year laterhe decide to try breeding again and in the one tank was a real skinny, yet still alive and active gecko. It survived the whole summer and winter with no water and assumingy ate crickets and spiders that he managed to catch.

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nor_cal_nano
This sorta reminds me, back when I kept leopard geckos a man gave up his hobby and stowed away all his tanks into his garage. A year laterhe decide to try breeding again and in the one tank was a real skinny, yet still alive and active gecko. It survived the whole summer and winter with no water and assumingy ate crickets and spiders that he managed to catch.

 

Ha! That reminds me....about 15 years ago when I was a kid, I took out my gecko and forgot him on the kitchen table when I went to school. Needless to say he wasn't there when I got home.

 

Jump ahead 5 months to Christmas time. My mom pulls out a roll of wrapping paper and he falls out! He was really skinny too, tail shrank way down, but he still seemed all there.

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My friend had a 4 stripe damsel that he completely hated. One year coming home from college he got tired of trying to catch it so he drained the water to about 2 inches threw the tank in the trunk and left. It was December so the temperature was <32 degrees and it survived the 4 hour trip. Same fish had to go through heat too. AC went out on them while they were away on vacation so it spent 4-5 days above 90 degrees. everything in the tank died but that fish. He wasnt happy about that.

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Ha! That reminds me....about 15 years ago when I was a kid, I took out my gecko and forgot him on the kitchen table when I went to school. Needless to say he wasn't there when I got home.

 

Jump ahead 5 months to Christmas time. My mom pulls out a roll of training paper and he falls out! He was really skinny too, tail shrank way down, but he still seemed all there.

Since this time last year a 4 foot corn snake is still somewhere in my girlfriends house that her parents don't know about. They never open their windows and the only way for it to escape is the door. I think somebody would have noticed a big ass snake squirming through their feet. If it dies the house would have smelt horrible, especially if it crawled in the vents.

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nor_cal_nano
Since this time last year a 4 foot corn snake is still somewhere in my girlfriends house that her parents don't know about. They never open their windows and the only way for it to escape is the door. I think somebody would have noticed a big ass snake squirming through their feet. If it dies the house would have smelt horrible, especially if it crawled in the vents.

 

Ewww. Sleeping in that house would creep me out.

 

Oh. And my mom still has that gecko at her place :lol:

 

Just realized how old that thing must be now...

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Deleted User 3
Since this time last year a 4 foot corn snake is still somewhere in my girlfriends house that her parents don't know about. They never open their windows and the only way for it to escape is the door. I think somebody would have noticed a big ass snake squirming through their feet. If it dies the house would have smelt horrible, especially if it crawled in the vents.

 

thats creepy. I once lost a hamster in my moms house. It escaped (it was a damn conartist!), we still haven't found it, or a smell.. and it was a black bear hamster so rat sized... I also once lost some frogs in a house we lived in's basement lol

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nor_cal_nano
I feel like these lizard/hamster posts are kinda missing the point here lol

 

Dude, that's a pretty epic story....but there isn't a whole lot left to discuss. :lol:

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I had a ball python that escaped from his tank a week before I was going to go on a two month trip to Spain. I scoured my apartment but couldn't find him. I had a cichlid tank at the time, and when I came home, I found my snake wrapped around the heater in the fish tank, since it was the only source of heat in my apartment. It's great you have such an accommodating LFS. Congratulations on the tank! It's a beauty.

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You drove all the way from Colorado to ATL to pick up a tank?

WOW you musta really got a good deal on that thing huh?

 

Wait AND your holding onto the fish to give him back???

WOW nice guy you are man, seriously

 

Although if I was the guy that sold you the tank I woulda just told you to keep the fish just for the simple fact that you had even considered holding onto it for me

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Nice save. But you have to buy him for full price again??? Yikes, that will set you back ahah.

Ha, na. I haven't talked to his owner about that yet. I wouldn't have thought to put such a nice fish in my set-up, but hell, after spending $1K on the basic hardware I might as well go for the gold on a fish. He is worth full price to me anyways, so its all good.

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You drove all the way from Colorado to ATL to pick up a tank?

WOW you musta really got a good deal on that thing huh?

 

Wait AND your holding onto the fish to give him back???

WOW nice guy you are man, seriously

 

Although if I was the guy that sold you the tank I woulda just told you to keep the fish just for the simple fact that you had even considered holding onto it for me

Ha, I haven't changed my location yet. I live in Columbus, GA now. I suppose I'm just in denial at having to leave the best state in the union to go to a place that doesn't think they are apart of the union. Still, it was a 2 hour drive from Atlanta back to my house.

 

Its not really a moral dilemma though. The fish is 100% owned by the guy that sold me the tank. We talked about it last Sunday and my guess was that it somehow jumped through the mesh he had put on the tank and that his dog got a nice expensive dog snack. He knew it was missing and he paid for the thing originally, and it turned out not to be dead. Still his. He even offered to sell them to me (he had 3 originally) when I went to his house! I told him that I probably couldn't afford the $300, or at least my marriage couldn't, lol.

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Rollermonkey

Helfrichi should only be about $100 - $120 right now, but a proven survivor like that might command a premium.

 

Awesome story, I have one in QT right now. I hope it proves to be even half as badass.

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