Saturday, October 27, 2007

More Livestock

I had planned on going to the Morton Arboretum today to take some fall foliage pictures with our Canon XTi. However, the morning was cloudy and the forecast called for rain so I put those plans on hold. I suggested we head into the city to visit the Shedd Aquarium but my daughter turned her nose up at that idea since we were just there (in January). So, I decided that it was time to add more livestock to my tank and off we went to Beyond the Reef in Schaumburg, IL. Let me tell you, Beyond the Reef is a really nice LFS. All they stock is saltwater fish, corals and supplies. We probably spent an hour there admiring their wares. My daughter even said, and this is a quote, "Why should we pay to go downtown to the aquarium when we can come here for free."

We bought a Royal Gramma and an Emerald Crab. I bought the Royal Gramma because it is simply a beautiful fish. The emerald crab, well it's anything but beautiful. It's green and it's legs are as hairy as a french woman's. I bought the crab because rumor has it that it will eat bubble algae. I have some that hitchhiked into my tank on two pieces of live rock.

The tank seems to be doing great. The snails have eaten most of the non coralline algae off of my live rock and glass. These guys really work hard. Check out this picture of my glass. It is completely covered with snail bites.

The colors of the rock seem to be more vibrant now. I have some desirable looking macro algae mainly growing on one rock. This rock also has a lot of red coralline plate algae growing on it.
The only thing I'm not happy about is my peppermint shrimp. I haven't seen either of them for about a week. I can only assume at this point that they are no more. Edit: My son spotted one of them just as I was typing this. Weird.

I have two worm hitchhikers in this tank that I've seen. One is a small Christmas Tree Worm.

I've read that they are really not recommended for aquariums so we'll see how it does. It is really cool to see how quickly it can retract into its tube. If you want to see how quickly they can retract check out this video on YouTube.

I also have spotted what I think is a Spionid worm. It basically lives in a tube in an empty shell. It literally reels out two sticky antennae, sometimes one at a time, and snags the sand. It then reels the antennae back in and eats whatever plankton it happened to get. The shell eventually fills up with the sand that it reels in. Here is a picture of it. If you look closely you can seen an antenna sticking out of the white tube in the shell.

I can't wait to add to this tank. I would like to get a yellow tang, a six line wrasse, and one or two cleaner shrimp. I would also like to add some soft corals so I better not add too many more fish.