Welcome to AquariaCentral.com

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. You will be entering into a wonderful world of aquatic information, for all aquarists, no matter what their experience level.

Our members will do their best to help you in your aquarium endeavors. We have a vast assortment of Forums to dive into:

-General Freshwater
-Marine and Brackish area
-Terrarium and Vivariums
-Coldwater
-DIY, Classifieds, Members Tanks Photographs and more.

We even have a general area, that is just as much fun as the rest of the Community, for off topic discussions and a real-time chat room for instant advice!

Joining Aquaria Central has numerous benefits, but the best, is our 112,000+ members, helping one another in this fascinating hobby!

Register now, and be sure to check out our scheduled contests with exciting prizes!

Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today! !

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Welcome to the Internet's friendliest aquatic forum!

- Team AC

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

Oyster Reef Ecosystem Tank

Discussion in 'Brackish' started by Chasmodes, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. Chasmodes

    Chasmodes AC Members

    Real Name:
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Last Seen:
    Yesterday at 8:45 AM
    Last night, I dropped the sg from 1.015 to 1.010 in the 20g high, since that tank had the most scratching. The fish behavior changed big time in many ways. First, all of the blennies and gobies went into hiding, including one blenny that spent the night against the glass at the filter intake. All of the other blennies hid in oyster shells. The skilletfish either hid or stuck to the glass, not much different than before. The killifish pretty much behaved the same and even kept feeding.

    I think that it had an immediate effect on the parasites, maybe not killing them, but agitating them because all of the fish scratched even more than before (and that was a lot of scratching before). I have no proof of that other than watching the fish behavior.

    This morning, nothing changed, all of the fish still hiding and the killies doing the same thing. I was a bit concerned about dropping it too fast that I might have hurt the fish. So, this morning, I tried to feed them thinking that if they perked up and ate, all should be OK, and if not...not sure what I'd do.

    So, I fed them a block of frozen mysid shrimp. All of the fish perked up and ate, and many of them took the food right from my hand. They foraged a bit and then they went back to hiding.

    The grass shrimp seem unaffected.

    So, I'll continue at this sg for a week and I might drop it one more point if all goes well.
     
  2. Chasmodes

    Chasmodes AC Members

    Real Name:
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Last Seen:
    Yesterday at 8:45 AM
    Very quick update with the 20g long. One thing that I noticed last night, for the first time in months, a piece of Ulva was floating around the aquarium. Somewhere in the mass of red macro, in the middle, I found a little bit attached and growing. That made me smile, Ulva can survive in this tank. After a closer inspection, I found another piece tucked between the oysters. It isn't a lot, but, it's something, surviving, without me adding a bunch more.


    The Ulva in the 20g high tank of death is surviving, a lot of it too, along with three mummichogs, an unknown number of mud crabs (between 1 and 5, because they almost never come out), and about 8 grass shrimp. Oh yeah, I moved the last small mummichog, a male, from the 20g long to the 20g high tank of death, because, he would have been killed anyway by the blennies. I caught them chasing and biting his tail and it was shredded. I suspect the smaller killi was killed the same way. He was eaten by the gobies and blennies, nothing left of him now. The killi that I moved started courting the two females right away. I misidentified one of the females last month as a male because it started courting behavior. Apparently, mummichogs get even more confused about their own sex as I do trying to ID them. They are all doing well, although, I suspect that they are carriers of the disease that killed my other fish (at least one of them was a carrier). I hope the 20g long is OK, so far so good, no signs of disease (scratching, etc.) by any of the fish.

    Here are a few videos of the 20g long. Hope you all like them. So these videos show an hideous amount of cyanobacteria. Since I shot them, I've reduced the lights on to about 2-3 hours after I get home for work. Today is the third day. So, it is dark in the tanks for most of the day and night. The result is that most of the cyano has died off. I will continue until it's gone. Hopefully, at that point, the macros and other green algae can get a better foothold. Other than the cyanobacteria, the 20g long is doing well. Water parameters are perfect.








     
  3. Chasmodes

    Chasmodes AC Members

    Real Name:
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Last Seen:
    Yesterday at 8:45 AM
    I've added a couple more vids to my YT channel. I have an update since then though, as follows:

    Update: I purchased some bottled phytoplankton to feed the barnacle, tunicates and mussels that are in both tanks. The bottle directions state that it is concentrated and you only need to add one capful per 50 gallons twice per week. Since I have a good many filter feeding organisms, I'm going to do this three times per week and see how it goes. I may have to look into culturing my own. I also purchased some ChemiClean to eradicate the cyanobacteria, but haven't applied it yet. The longer dark periods seem to keep it at bay. I don't care too much if I see a little of it, but it was getting nasty and taking over the tank. I have this product in my back pocket if I need it.

    Rather than ramble on, I figured I'd post some more Chesapeake Bay Brackish eye candy...In the 20g long, I moved a shell with tunicates and a couple mussels on one side of it up and wedged it tightly to the right cultch. I think it looks great, plus, it's easier to observe them. This goby found it to be his favorite hang out:
    [​IMG]

    Here's a view of the cultch with the new addition:
    [​IMG]

    Full Tank Shot:
    [​IMG]

    A few blenny pics:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Can't forget the skilletfish:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I thought that this was a tunicate, and until I inspect it closer, it could still be one covered with unknown material or organisms. But, it occurred to me that it could be a stickleback nest. We did catch one stickleback during that last collecting trip. That fish currently resides in QT at the Glen Echo Park Aquarium:
    [​IMG]

    And guess what showed up in my 20g high tank of death? I was excited to find new life! I believe this to be the ghost anemone, Diadumene leucolena:
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Chasmodes

    Chasmodes AC Members

    Real Name:
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Last Seen:
    Yesterday at 8:45 AM
    I have some pics to share from last night. I will have videos later but still need to process them. But for now...

    Skilletfish clinging to the oyster cultch:
    [​IMG]

    Tunicates above, goby below:
    [​IMG]

    Naked goby sitting atop a shell with tunicates and live mussels:
    [​IMG]

    A photogenic striped blenny:
    [​IMG]

    Grass shrimp feeding off detritus over some tunicates:
    [​IMG]

    In the 20g high, a cluster of mussels feeding on a phytoplankton meal:
    [​IMG]

    Also in the 20g high, a ghost anemone awaiting its next meal:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Chasmodes

    Chasmodes AC Members

    Real Name:
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Last Seen:
    Yesterday at 8:45 AM
    As promised, videos from last night.

    This first video shows grass shrimp eating an unknown organism or object. I've wondered if it is a tunicate covered in other fouling organisms or a discarded stickleback nest (we did catch a stickleback the day that I brought this home, thinking it was a tunicate). It is kind of globby in texture. At one point, I thought that I observed a siphon, but now I'm not so sure. The grass shrimp has been devouring the attached material though. I've never seen a stickleback nest, so perhaps if anyone has seen one, they could let me know if this might be one or not. Thanks.


    This next video is not exciting, but I find it interesting. It's a bunch of tunicates and a couple live mussels (opened and feeding, I guess). Around the 5 second mark, one of the tunicates ejects something from its siphon. Is it one of their tadpole larvae? I lost track of it in my tank when the current got ahold of it. I didn't observe any movement from it trying to get to a settling spot, but wouldn't that be cool?


    The next video is interesting as a blenny is foraging, checking out every nook and cranny around the macroalgae. But, around the middle of the video, decides to enter an oyster shell at about the same time a skilletfish enters, and a brief but harmless battle ensues:


    The last video is basically the same spot where several blennies decide to hang out and watch my camera watching them...the three amigos!
     
  6. Chasmodes

    Chasmodes AC Members

    Real Name:
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Last Seen:
    Yesterday at 8:45 AM
    Here's a close up pick of that unidentified object or life form:
    [​IMG]

    I love picking up my magnifying glass and examining my tank, looking for new life forms that I haven't noticed before, in addition to admiring the ones that have been there. I enjoy examining my fish close up, noticing their intricate color patterns and structural details that seem to blend together when viewed with the naked eye.

    I have noticed bristle worm burrows in my sand bed against the glass, and though I have yet to see them, the burrows change daily, so it's a matter of time that I catch them in the act. I also found two other types of worms and perhaps a third unknown animal that could be a worm or maybe a tube amphipod.

    One of the worm species that I discovered while viewing through my magnifying glass were ones that I've seen before but thought that they were hair algae. When I looked closer, I noticed that this "algae" didn't sway with the current as other algae normally does. They tended to bend and turn in opposition of the current. Then, when one just all of a sudden disappeared into it's hidey hole, that confirmed my suspicion. These worms are on a few of the oyster shells that I introduced into the tank long ago. I haven't found them anywhere else or in the sand bed, so it's a colony. At least, I think they are worms. I'll try and get a pic in the future. They are found in tiny holes in the oyster shell or perhaps the many tiny tubes that are on these shells, although I haven't been able to tell if the worms built the tubes or not.

    I have observed the tubes, found in both of the pics in this post, but haven't seen the animal. However, I've seen waste pushed out of the tubes and into the current, so I know that something lives in them. They could be these worms or perhaps tube amphipods? I have no idea, but I'll keep watching. Here's a pic of the tubes:
    [​IMG]

    Another type of worm, perhaps another type of bristle worm, builds soft tubes out of slime (perhaps) and sand, and they can be found when I pick up a shell and look underneath, and also on one of the tunicates. I'll get a pic of that one. I saw it move, so life is in the tube...

    So, the diversity is expanding, building from the bottom up. I still need to add some mud to the tank to move that further along.
     
  7. Chasmodes

    Chasmodes AC Members

    Real Name:
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Last Seen:
    Yesterday at 8:45 AM
    I woke up on Saturday morning, turned on the tank lights and found 23 of these on the glass that I've never seen before. My first thought was snails, but I've never had any snails in the tank, and they don't move at all. So, what sessile critters are they? Tunicates? Mussels? Barnacles? My guess is juvenile barnacles. I haven't scraped them off the glass yet and I wonder how many others are in the tank that I can't see. It is interesting how new life just pops up.
    [​IMG]

    Also, I've been watching those tubes and found out that they're definitely the dancing worms that I saw. I've seen them stretching out from the tube in search of food. And, I caught them on video feeding after stirring up the tank (so it snowed in the tank as much as it did outside of my house that day):



    Oh, and remember the sea squirts video, where I thought I saw a tadpole larvae? My daughter noticed at the 8 or 9 second mark that it appears in the screen again and looks like it swims off with the tail moving! It's hard to tell, but I'd like to think that is what it is. Here's another look:
     

Share This Page

zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store