Oyster Reef Ecosystem Tank

  • Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1227181058 // Android version will be out soon!

Chasmodes

AC Members
Original poster
Nov 10, 2016
98
13
8
61
Well, I'm going to spam y'all with another video. I filmed this the other night to try and capture all of the life in my tank. I guess that I did, but after watching it on YT, it turned out better than I thought at first. I panned the fish first, then the invertebrates (barnacle, anemones, jellyfish polyps), then back to the fish. I hope y'all like it.

 
  • Like
Reactions: SnakeIce

Chasmodes

AC Members
Original poster
Nov 10, 2016
98
13
8
61
This was an exciting weekend in some ways. I went with some friends on a collecting trip. On the down side, record rainfall over the past 16 months reduced the salinity in the Chesapeake bay dramatically, so much so, that it's almost fresh water. Blue catfish are regularly caught throughout most of the Maryland section of the Bay. In the past, their range was about the most upstream Northern section of the Bay.

As you might suspect, our collecting results were tough. We managed only 9 benthic fish (2 tiny skilletfish, one huge female striped blenny stuffed with eggs, and a handful of naked gobies). We also caught one pipefish, a few small american eels, some grass shrimp, a bunch of juvenile mummichogs, silversides, mud crabs, a half dozen fourspine sticklebacks, and grass shrimp. Of what we kept, most of it went to our local public aquarium.

I kept a pair of sticklebacks for my 20g high (second video), a few oyster shells with live mussels, and 5 mud crabs. I also collected some Ulva and floating widgeon grass. Within the widgeon grass looked like strands of Elodea. I also collected another species of macroalgae that I have yet to identify (in the first video). Widgeon grass, some Ulva and Elodea, grass shrimp, amphipods, and the sticklebacks went into the 20g high (second video). Some Ulva and Elodea went into my 20g long fish tank, along with a couple oyster shells with mussels on them, and the mud crabs.

My friend that I went with also has an oyster reef tank, and gave me a small hermit crab and an oyster shell with barnacles on it. I'm not sure if the oyster is alive or not.

This video is my 20g long, my fish tank, showing the new additions.

This is the 20g high, featuring a ghost anemone and the sticklebacks.

Enjoy!
 

Chasmodes

AC Members
Original poster
Nov 10, 2016
98
13
8
61
Last night, I took another video of the fish tank, because the one that I posted yesterday was filmed when the water was still cloudy, and there were some really blurry scenes. The water in this video is much clearer, probably because the live oyster has been doing some filtering! Also, notice how fat the female striped blenny is. She is full of eggs. She has been laying eggs a couple times each week and is ready again.


And, that is the subject of the second video, the live oyster in my tank. When my friend gave it to me, I didn't realize it was alive until after I put it into the tank. It has a lot of small to tiny barnacles on it too, along with some other life. I was watching it with my magnifying glass, and decided that it was cool enough to deserve it's own video. Plus, a mud crab photo-bombed the whole thing.

 

Chasmodes

AC Members
Original poster
Nov 10, 2016
98
13
8
61
I made a short video to introduce everyone to the crabs that are currently in my tank. Enjoy!


By the way, the blennies killed one of my crabs. After filming this, I found a dead one, upside down, with the belly eaten out. I've seen them attack the crabs before. This one was picked on the most, because the last time I saw an attack, a male blenny lopped off the victim crab's claw. It's interesting, because they leave the hermit crab alone!
 

Chasmodes

AC Members
Original poster
Nov 10, 2016
98
13
8
61
Here's a quick update on the 20g high tank. I lost one of the two sticklebacks about ten days ago. Why? I have no idea, but, because it was eating fine. But, it hid all the time, and when it came out to eat, the other one harassed and chased it. My hunch is that the one doing the harassing killed the other one. The remaining one is doing well and growing. It eats at least 2-3 blackworms at each feeding. This video shows him eating blackworms. The last time that I tried to keep sticklebacks, I had a hard time finding food for them. This time, when they were small, I bought tigger pods and they gorged on them. Then, I bought the blackworms, and wow, they went after them with gusto.

Blackworms are sold locally, and pretty cheap, and easy to culture your own. I think that I spent $10 and these have lasted a month, easy. All I do is change out the water about every three days. If you cut some in half, both halves become new worms, and those are probably a better size for this stickleback. However, most of the worms are full size, and it's hard to separate out the smaller ones.

Hope you like the video:
 
  • Like
Reactions: dudley

Chasmodes

AC Members
Original poster
Nov 10, 2016
98
13
8
61
I hate giving updates about bad news, but I've had a few things happen in my oyster reef tank recently that I'm not happy about reporting. But, I have to tell it like it is.

First, my last skilletfish died. I had no idea it would happen. It was a hearty eater and full of energy every day. This was this past Friday.

Also, after fishing the skilletfish carcass out of the tank, I noticed that the female blenny, was being harassed by the males and was very stressed. She hadn't laid eggs in over a month now, and was extremely fat. I think she was eggbound. The males were still trying to get her to spawn, but, she wouldn't and avoided them. I think that all three of them were so worked up over her, that they wouldn't leave her be anywhere in the tank. So, I moved her out of the tank that night and put her into the tank with the stickleback. She immediately found a hiding spot in the oyster structure in that tank. I never saw her again until last night, when I spotted a mud crab feasting on her carcass. So, I fished her out.

While doing so, I noticed that the crab opened up her belly, and inside were thousands of eggs. At least my diagnosis was correct. But, that is no consolation. I loved that fish.

Also, the male blennies have removed all of the claws from all of the crabs in that tank. As I find the crabs, I try and move them to the other tank. Most disturbing was that they left the hermit crab alone all this time, until last night, when I saw his claws gone. So, I moved him out of the tank. The male blennies have killed mud crabs in the tank before and ate all of the grass shrimp. So much for that part of a clean up crew. I may keep only larger mud crabs in there from now on. The small ones will definitely get eaten if caught.

So now, I'm down to the three male blennies, and four naked gobies. Needless to say, I can't bring myself to post pics or videos right now, because this tank depresses me now. I'll have to revise my plan for the future with this tank to see if I can improve things. I have no idea if it was my fishkeeping that killed these fish, or, if it was just a natural progression of a combination of old age (skilletfish) and male blenny aggression. Maybe the larger tank will help. I'm working on that.
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store