I'm going to try keeping all my dumb questions in a single thread henceforth, so here it is. About two weeks ago I added 5 Elassoma Okefenokee to my 10g aquarium, 2 obvious males, 1 obvious female and two juvies. They get daily grindal worms and I have seen them eat, they have full bellies, and I have seen them poop. My two males are often colored up in full blue/black, and I have seen a bit of dancing. I assume this means I am doing something correctly.
My big female died sometime last night, I found her this morning. I inspected the body and it matched Erica's description, the fish looked healthy and fine apart from being dead as a doorknob. I feel absolutely awful about it and I am hoping to get some advice here. If there is anything about my setup that can be improved I definitely want to fix it. Basic stats of the tank: lots of plants, some driftwood, Miracle Grow organic potting soil with sand cap, sponge filter. Parameters have been 0/0/0 NH3/NO2/NO3, pH 7.5 for months, I check weekly. I kept the tank with snails only for a time to make sure it was stable. I know these fish have short lifespans and the female was big (comparatively) when I got her, about an inch long, so I know it's possible that it was just her time. But I don't want to assume that. I will test my parameters again after work today and report.
I also have a bunch of inane questions about Pygmy behavior.
1) How is my setup? Is there enough cover for the fish?
2) If males are colored/dancing, does that mean that the tank is suitable for them? This debate comes up about bettas often, where it is often argued that building a bubble nest does not mean they are in a suitable environment (they sometimes do it in the awful cups). Would my males be dancing if there was something off about the tank?
3) Is there any significance to the different combinations of black/tan and blue/not blue? Sometimes my males are all black, no blue, sometimes they are tan but showing lots of blue irridescence, and sometimes they are both black and blue.
4) What age/size is sexual maturity for females? My juvies have grown a lot and are both approaching 1/2", they look to have the distinctively curvy female appearance and if I squint I think one of them has an egg spot like the adult female did.
Thanks for reading, a bit worried about my fish at work. Post advice or pygmy sunfish pictures... Lots of dead links in these forums.