Catch-up on Last Saturday’s Wild* Discus Chase

So working backwards, we have the eight new 2.5″ juvenile discus and my older 5″ discus settled in after a week in their new home. The tank is definitely startling to anyone not familiar to discus. It seems the fish equivalent of prison. Concrete and a steel toilet.

Though it seems harsh, they are thriving. Discus evolved in the clean water of the tributaries to the Amazon River and cannot tolerate organics disolved in the water. Therefore in captivity they need their water to be replaced daily or near daily, especially while they are growing from juveniles. If they had gravel, it would collect their waste and uneaten food and quickly deteriorate the pristine water. Forced to choose, discus would go for pristine water over tank aesthetics, fins down.

Once they are full grown at 6″+ or the size of a saucer, substrate and plants can be added. Serious enthusiasts, however, stick with the traditional bare bottom tank. The thinking is that the art of the maximally flourishing fish beats the art of the planted aquarium with less flourishing fish. We’re talking minute degrees of distinction, but to the aficionado it is everything.

Last saturday, I left the Capital Area, braved the possible madness of the Saints’ game day furry and headed for New Orleans. The clouds were gorgeous above the causeway along Lake Pontchartrain with the city off in the distance.

I had to make a quick stop in Kenner at my favorite little coffee shop for lunch. Basking in the favor of the gods I enjoyed a huge bowl of shrimp creole and a cafe au lait. The shrimp creole: awesome. Creole spice stretches my notion of what food can be. Like I’m losing my innocence. Being opened up to a whole new world of beauty and sensation. The cafe au lait is a rich, deep coffee with chicory and steamed milk.

I’d never had the dessert before. The name was too alluring to pass up. Turns out, wasn’t for me. An almost solid too sweet custard center with an a flaky crisco feeling crust. Fun anyway. Looked up directions, got my fish, locked my keys in the car, paid the the vocally pissed-off tow-truck guy to miss the game and let me back in my car, drove the fish two hours, and acclimated them to their new paradise. Went to bed energized, excited, and more than satisfied. Now for the two years for them to reach maturity.

*Truth in advertising, it was actually a domestic discus chase.

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