R.I.P. Spot

29 01 2012

My prehistoric looking pleco, Spot, left me for bluer pastures last night. A hand-me-down, pass-along pet from my friend, Rob, Spot was a sort of aquatic mascot at Rob’s office with Pepco Power in D.C. for many years. Rob estimated that Spot was at least a decade or older before he brought him home. After a major kitchen remodel where Spot didn’t match the decor anymore, Rob asked if I wanted to take over nurturing duties. I was up for the new challenge and you can learn more about Spot, “the $500 free fish,” here.

Spot came to live in my studio sometime in 2007, so I had the unique pleasure of caring for him for more than five years. Rob and I estimate he was probably more than 12 years old when I inherited him, so it would be safe to say he lived to be at least 18-20 years old, possibly even legal drinking age. (I just called Rob to tell him of Spot’s demise and he estimated that Spot was probably well into his 20s). Spot grew substantially in my care, measuring exactly 17″ long when he departed this realm last night.

Ah, Spot, suffice it to say that you will be missed. I’ll miss your gentle nature, imposing prehistoric presence, tank-sucking headstands, and robust swimming spurts when you thought I wasn’t looking.

Below is a photo I shot of Spot doing one of his infamous foraging headstands with a backdrop of goldfish, long since gone.

Decluttering with Jasper & Spot

10 11 2009

I should come up with a better name for the cleaning I am constantly doing in my office (and every other corner of the house). It’s not spring, so it’s not really spring cleaning. Let’s call it what it is—decluttering. Constantly. I emptied out a canvas and wicker basket late this afternoon. Jasper, who never turns down an empty box or basket, claimed it as his nap bed for the rest of the evening. I only had one of my point-n-shoots ready, so the quality of this shot is questionable—but I love it anyway! He’s watching Spot, our “sea monster,” as my friend Debbi calls him/her (we still don’t know what gender this pleco is). What we do know is that he/she is huge—a little over a foot long now. Spot is sucking algae off the tank (plecos are primarily algae eaters). Check out my posting here about how we inherited Spot, the $500 free fish.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Jasper & Spot


See Spot do a trick!

24 05 2008

Spot, our “$500 free fish,” gets into the oddest positions (such as his “Look Ma, no hands” headstand shown here) to hunt for yummy algae in the tank. There’s nothing to show you scale or size, but he’s over a foot long now! In the background, you see my other 55 gallon tank with two 59 cent Wal-Mart goldfish—Calico Joe (almost 11″ long) and Dorrie (8+” long). (Do you know how hard it is to measure a moving goldfish?) They used to be in the backyard pond, but we brought them in for the winter a few years ago. I’ve long since bonded with them, so in my studio they will stay.

Learn why we call Spot our “$500 free fish” here:


Learn more about plecos here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plecostomus

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Okay, now that’s just plain lazy, Cindy

20 12 2007

I’m trying to get out of town. And desperation to meet my “photo per day” quota is setting in. Fish are always handy. Not a great shot, but it will suffice. At least the composition has some merit. Please accept sincerest apologies for my laziness, Brian.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


What? Another fish?

19 12 2007

Yes. I confess. I’ve run out of time again today. So I turn to the ever-present fish for a last-minute subject. Shame at my lack of creativity today is enveloping me. MUST GET OUT TO SHOOT TOMORROW NO MORE FISH

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


The $500 free fish

7 12 2007

HERE’S THE SCENARIO: My friend Gina’s beau-friend, Rob, was remodeling his house over a year ago. He had this then-5-year-old pleco (and he is already about a foot long—the fish, not Rob) in a 55-gallon tank in his kitchen. Apparently Spot did not figure into the remodeling scheme and since we already had goldfish (and knew a bit about the fish world), he asked us if we wanted the fish—tank and all. We enthusiastically said yes!

And so, renamed Spot for obvious reasons (don’t recall his original name), said fish made his bumpy journey the 4-5 miles from Rob’s house to ours in a huge tupperware container. We already had a 29-gallon tank housing three goldfish in my studio. After heading out the next day to the aquarium store to buy a black metal stand for the tank (Rob had a homemade pine 2×4 contraption that just didn’t fit into my studio decor, so we politely declined that accessory), we assembled the free 55-gallon tank on the stand and inserted free Spot into his free home with his free pump and accessories. (While out buying the metal stand, Michael upgraded the pump and impulsively bought decorative items and such at the store).

Later that evening, after Spot’s big move was completed, Michael sits down to dinner and casually says, “the tank is bowing.” I notice there is no panic on his face, so I begin to do the freaking-out for him. He says, “oh, don’t worry, I braced it with vice clamps!” Ugh…men! The strut across the center (depth-wise) of the tank was broken, so the tank appeared to bow a bit front to back. I could just imagine it exploding in the night and Spot fending for himself on the Berber carpet….and water, water, everywhere! Knowing I would lose sleep from that point on (not to mention how unsightly bright orange clamps look on the tank), I sent Michael out to buy a new 55-gallon tank. While en route, he pondered the size of the (rather large) goldfish we had in the 29-gallon tank and decided they needed a larger tank, too…and why don’t we just buy another 55-gallon tank to house them? It would be a nice balance side-by-side to Spot’s new home. Of course it would…so I put my stamp of approval on that idea (I know, let’s blame it on my star sign, Libra, the scales—we’re all about balance, you know). Of course, that necessitated another stand, pump, accessories, etc.

A few months later, declaring that Spot “must be awfully lonely,” Michael adds in a few new gourami friends (four separate trips required to purchase these friends due to the fact that they all kept wanting to go to “rainbow bridge”) …now you can see why we call Spot our “$500 free fish.” Many thanks, Rob. 😉

(I must confess, though, that Spot has been a model fish-pet. I really have no complaints—other than the fact that he wasn’t really free after all.)

SIDEBAR: Wikipedia claims they can grow up to two feet long. Egads, this fish is going to end up costing even more than $500, if that proves true! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plecostomus