Alright you have to picture what happened today. It is amazing.
2 weeks ago my wife talked me into getting one of those Ocean Lab acrylic tree stump decorations since we couldn't find any real driftwood and we wanted something in the tank. It is as real as plastic can look but it is HOLLOW with several long narrow passages inside.
Right after we got that we bought 2 Clown Plecos. They are always hiding right? So we didn't worry that we couldn't find them. A few days later I needed to take everything out to rearrange and vacuum. I thought, I would get to see both of them in the bare tank but I only saw one. I turned that stump upside down, shined a light all up in there and shook it every which way but only a piece of gravel came out. I leave it out for a day an put it back in about 24 hours later.
So we are down to one Pleco and no idea where the other went. I buy ANOTHER Clown Pleco and put it in the tank. Two days ago we saw both of them in the tank at the same time.
Yesterday the UPS man brought my driftwood and I boiled and soaked it for about 12 hours and put it in the tank today. Of course I had to take that plastic stump out again (this time for good). Same thing, I saw the same Pleco but not the other one and I looked EVERYWHERE!
I shined the light all over that thing, shook it so violently that a leg broke off. Guess what fell out... a Clown Pleco that had been dead about a week. (my first mystery solved).
But still no idea where the 2nd live one was... I mean I just saw them about 2 days ago.
So I rearranged the tank with my new real wood and did a water chance, etc. All this time the stump is in the sink as dry as a bone.
Get ready for this....
NINTY MINUTES LATER, I am in the kitchen checking on the tank after the water change and I decided that I better see of that Pleco was in the stump again and try to get it's body out so it wouldn't stink up the garage or wherever I ended up storing it.
I shined my light in all the holes and this time saw the tip of a brown fin. I shook it and it fell out the hole made by the broken piece and into the dry sink.
I picked it up and it WIGGLED!!! I immediately took him to the tank and without missing a beat, he swam straight to the bottom and sit next to my new piece of wood!
10 hours have passed and he is fine apparently.
I thought that was amazing. That think lasted an hour and a half out of the water and if I hadn't gotten up to at that moment AND gotten lucky enough to find him, he too would have been a goner and I never would have known what happened to him.
I wanted to share this amazing story but at the same time, warn people with Pleco type fish that hollow decorations with narrow dead ends like that thing are deadly.