Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I also added a Flame angelfish yesterday. It is such a beautiful fish I had to try it. It was still hiding behind the live rock this morning. I did get a glimpse of it. Some people say they are absolutely reef safe other say they are not. I'll see how it does in mine. Hopefully, it doesn't pick at my corals.
Many would say I am overpopulating my tank at this point. Perhaps I am. I am planning on setting up another tank this year that will be centered around a Picasso Trigger. My Blue or Yellow tang can eventually move into that tank. I tested nitrates last weekend and they were at 5ppm. Still nice and low.
There are two more fish I want to add to this tank. A Scooter Blenny and a Six Line Wrasse. I will wait several weeks before adding anything else and keep an eye on the nitrates in the process.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
I went to my LFS to buy some food and have my water tested. I noticed that they had fire shrimp on sale for $29.99. I've seen these before for $55. Although I have always wanted one I didn't want one that badly. At $30 I wasn't leaving without one.
One of the things in this hobby that fascinates me the most is the amount of symbiotic relationships that can be observed in the tank.
The example above is the cleaner shrimp and pretty much any fish. The fish allows the cleaner shrimp to eat parasites off of it. The shrimp gets a tasty meal.
Then there is the clown fish and anemone relationship. The clown fish gets protection from the anemone and the clown fish feeds the anemone food scraps. This isn't occurring in my tank but maybe it will some day.
Then, of course, there is the relationships between corals and the zooxanthellae algae that lives inside of them. The algae gets a place to live and the coral feeds off of the photosynthetic byproducts of the algae.
Probably the most basic relationship is between the denitrifying bacteria in the tank and the animals. The animals produce ammonia as waste which is then broken down to nitrite and later nitrate by bacteria in the tank. The bacteria get to thrive and in tern the animals get cleaned water and also thrive.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
My 5 gallon bucket of Instant Ocean salt is running low so I decided to do some price shopping. I went to Petsmart and they had it for $48.99. I then went to Petco just down the street and had it for $62.99. What a rip off on salt. However, Petco does have a limited selection of saltwater fish so I decided to look around. Their fish are always much cheaper than the fish at the independent fish stores. I've always worried about the quality. Indeed, one of their yellow tangs looked absolutely awful.
They did have a small blue tang that looked remarkably healthy and was a very rich deep blue. For some reason these fish usually look absolutely terrible in the local fish stores. They are usually very pale with a white cast over the blue. For this reason I always told my kids we can't get one because they never look good. Rumor is these tend to be frequently caught using cyanide. I decided this one may be good enough to bring home. The only problem was the price wasn't marked anywhere. In fact they had lots of fish that didn't have prices. When I asked for assistance from the girl with no less than 8 piercings on her lips and nose she had to go get her boss. Her boss then came over and yelled to someone else and asked "How much is the Dory Fish?" It doesn't bother me when kids refer to species of fish as Dory and Nemo. It doesn't bother me when adults use these as the species names when talking to their kids. However, I draw the line at adult employees using these names when speaking to other adult employees at a pet store. They should know better. Call it a Blue Tang, call it a Regal Tang, call it a Blue Surgeonfish or Paracanthurus hepatus. But whatever you do, don't call it Dory. OK, my rant is over.
Whatever you want to call it I bought it for $34.99 and it's in my tank getting along with all of its tank mates. It's interesting to note that my yellow tang ignores it. Usually similar species will fight but the yellow tang isn't interested in the blue tang. He's much rather harass the fire fish which aren't tangs at all. Go figure.
So you may be thinking what did your kids say when they saw your new Blue Tang? You know the answer. "Dad you bought a Dory! Yeah."
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
A few days after this was originally posted I spotted another slug type thing. It looks different and was bigger. It's body is more visibly segmented in what look like plates.
I also purchased two Firefish. I can't publish my own photo here because they are in hiding. They were out and about for the first evening I put them in. However, I didn't see them yesterday until about 1:30 in the afternoon. Until I saw the first one I thought they had died. Perhaps prey to a Mantis Shrimp. I watched them bolt under a rock right at the substrate. They are still there. I occasionally see their heads emerge from their retreat. When they did come out yesterday they were chased around a bit. The Yellow Tang and Royal Gramma seemed to harass them the most.
Friday, January 18, 2008
I have noticed that it tends to move after I feed it. I can take a hint. I'll stop feeding it and see what happens. They say if your anemone wanders its not happy. All my water parameters seem good so I don't know what to change. I'll leave it be and see what happens.
Monday, January 14, 2008
The algae grows in clusters and was a lot firmer than I imagined it would be. Supposedly, the large bubble pieces are full of spores so I needed to be as careful as possible to avoid breaking open the bubbles. I then started picking off the bubble algae. Some pieces came off in chunks very easily.
Then suddenly it happened. I got squirted in the eye. Now, you probably have never been squirted in the eye by the reproductive spores of an algae before. Let me tell you it wasn't very pleasant. I now also had a bucket full of spores ... allegedly. So, what was I supposed to do?
Beats me. I decided to leave the rock in the bucket of water for now. I can't put it back in the tank as is since I would risk contaminating the rest of the tank. Plus there are small colonies all over that rock. The rock was a really nice weighing about 8 lbs and had a lot of surface area. Lots of branches of former coral skeleton. It probably cost close to $50. However, if I put it back in the tank I risk an infestation and a much bigger loss.
What have I learned? Once you see even one bubble remove it! Don't wait and see if it will stay under control because chances are it won't.
For now, I'll leave it in the bucket until Mermaidman and Barnacleboy show up to defeat The Dirty Bubble. Or, I can think of something else to try.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Also, my green bubble anemone decided to move to the front of the tank for all to see. It had been hanging out in the back of the live rock near the left filter lift tube. It moved overnight to its new location a few days ago. Unfortunately, in its new location it partially obscures the rock with the Christmas tree worms. However, that rock can easily be moved.
Today - January 13, 2008
October 17, 2007
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Green Bubble Anemone