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Oyster Reef Ecosystem Tank

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

  1. Chasmodes

    Chasmodes AC Members

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    Thank you Mark!

    OK, remember the jellyfish budding polyp (scyphistoma)? After a week or so of me discovering it, all of the larval medusas were released and I never saw them again. The base of the polyp remained but seemed to wither away to almost nothing. Well, last night, I noticed that it budding more larval medusas! These things keep on going! I'm amazed. This is really a cool event because the local aquarium is starting up a jellyfish tank, and I promised them that if I saw this again, that I'd donate them to their tank. How exciting!

    Here's the old video again in case you can't visualize it from before:
     
  2. Chasmodes

    Chasmodes AC Members

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    Not much to update, everything seems to be going well. A couple of my gobies have been scratching a little bit, so my paranoia kicks in each time. But then again, they've always done that to some extent. I saw the largest blenny scratch and its gills were really pumping a lot more than normal one evening, but since then, it's back to normal. I think that when I set up the big tank, I'm going to quarantine all of these fish and treat them with copper before adding them to the bigger system. I'll set the tank up fallow for six weeks at the same time. So, that is on my to do list, to set up a quarantine system.

    Now, this video creeps me out...
     
  3. Chasmodes

    Chasmodes AC Members

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    Last night, after feeding my fish, I watched them so long that I was way past my bed time, LOL, so I'm a bit tired today. I discovered another live barnacle that I never noticed before. I'm sure that it's been in there for several months.

    Also, I'm pretty sure the worm that was feeding in my last video is a clamworm (aka ragworm). From what I've read, even though they get large and creepy, that my fish aren't in any danger.

    In addition, I have a new critter, but I have no idea what it is. It kind of looks like an anemone, but could be the head and tentacles of another type of annelid. It doesn't go after the brine shrimp like the other worm does, and I have yet to see the tentacles pull anything in. That is why I doubt it is an anemone.

    If you look to the left edge of the video below of the feeding worm, you can see the tentacles, and they move about 1/2 way through the movie. Has anyone seen this before?
    Here's a link to the video again:
     
  4. Chasmodes

    Chasmodes AC Members

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    I was able to get a better video of the newly found critter. I have no idea what it is, but I suspect it is some kind of annelid. It doesn't do much, just sits there, waiting for detritus, I guess. Anyone know what this is? This is magnified 6x.


    Also, I have another anemone, as it turns out. I think this is a ghost anemone, but it much more pink than my other one. This is magnified 6x.


    This video is just a video update of the tank. The fish aren't very active as this is about an hour after they ate and stuffed themselves silly. The blennies and gobies are pretty much just hanging out in their hiding spots. Last night, I was kicking myself because the fish were really active. I'll catch them more active on the next video. Sorry for the glass not being clean, I forgot to do that before shooting the video. But, you can see all of the pods on the tank.
     
  5. Chasmodes

    Chasmodes AC Members

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    Some recent pics:
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  6. Chasmodes

    Chasmodes AC Members

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    This barnacle in my Chesapeake Bay biotope aquarium is trying to breed. Normally, their probing male reproductive organ will find a suitable mate and the process is complete. However, in this video, you can see milt released into the water column. An interesting note, barnacles, in proportion to body size, have the largest male reproductive organ in the animal kingdom!

     
  7. Chasmodes

    Chasmodes AC Members

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    Here's a video update where the fish are a bit more active (shot last week).
     
  8. Chasmodes

    Chasmodes AC Members

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    It's been a while since I've provided an update, so here is an update in case anyone is still reading this thread. I'm probably the only one, LOL. No pics or videos this time, unfortunately.

    Ever since I set up this tank, off and on, some of the fish have shown signs of parasitism, in particular, scratching themselves on the oyster shells or substrate. Until recently, mostly the gobies have been doing it, with a blenny doing it once in a rare while. But now, All of the gobies and several of the blennies have been scratching much more frequently. And, three of the blennies have visible signs of parasitism or disease of some sort, mainly a loss of overall color on their sides (faded, a bit whitish but not solid white), and on Friday, I noticed one of the blennies frequently cowering in the corner, which is another sign of disease (and I'll add a but...later), and, this blenny is showing some cysts (like ich, larger, so I don't think it is velvet) around the head. It is a male blenny, and has also been biting his tail, as if to attempt to remove something. I also noticed my largest male with similar symptoms, and he would only show up for a few bites of food, then hide again. Only a couple blennies didn't show any symptoms, and neither did any of the skilletfish. All of the fish ate well, even showing up to feed out of my hand (which is comical as I try and spread the food around the tank, skilletfish and blennies chase my hand and try to intercept the food from my fingers). So, I don't think I'm too late.

    So, I had to take action, not wanting what happened to my other tank where all of the fish died. I suspected flukes and/or ich. I set up a 20g long quarantine tank and began the process of catching my fish for treatment. Well, as you might suspect, blennies, gobies and skilletfish aren't ones to come to the net. So, remove all of the cover (my oyster reef and shells) and left the invertebrates in the tank. It took me quite a while to coax the blennies and skilletfish out of the many hiding spots in the oyster cultches. Some of the fish were in the individual oyster shell (matching pairs, connected and open). And, within one of those shells was my largest male that was always hiding except for food, and infected with the disease. And in his shell, were eggs.

    MY FISH WERE BREEDING! He was guarding eggs, hence, the reason that he wasn't coming out for food. It also might have been part of the reason that the other large male was cowering in the front corner of the tank. So, this is great, because it was a goal of mine to breed these fish, but, at the same time, it stinks because I had to remove them from the display tank.

    After setting up my quarantine tank treated with Cuprimine (a copper medication) to kill ich and/or velvet, I brought the fish in and gave each of them a freshwater dip for 5 minutes. I was happy to see that this didn't stress out the fish much at all, and after each one, put them in the QT. I noticed some external parasites falling off, but the main reason to do the dip was to look for flukes. There may have been a few, but, not many at all, and certainly not enough to cause a fish to be sick and stressed. There may have been a bunch of smaller parasites that I couldn't either see or ID with my magnifying glass. So, maybe that wasn't a total bust, because FW dips can provide some relief of the symptoms, albeit temporary.

    So, this is day three of QT and they are now being treated with a full dose of copper. 27 days to go. The display tank is fallow, save for the invertebrates, and will remain fallow for 6 weeks. After the QT period is up, I'll keep the fish in there for observation until they are ready to go back into the DT.
    A friend of mine suggested a possible bacterial infection, so if the whitish film doesn't go away, I will try treating them with antibiotic. Anyone know if I can use antibiotics and copper at the same time?
    Once I'm done with this process, then the QT tank will remain my QT tank for future collections. I plan to use the other 20g tank as a holding tank for any new macroalgae, invertebrates, substrate or shells that I collect for my display tank, with the idea that keeping them in observation for 6 weeks serves the same purpose as keeping a tank fallow, to make sure that they are parasite free for the most part.

    Until then, it will be a challenge to control ammonia and nitrites for a few days while keeping the dose of copper at the most effective level. I took out a sponge filter from my other tank to aid in the cycling of the QT. The QT has a bunch of PVC pipe pieces and parts for the fish to hide in, and they're taking to them. They're scared to death of me now, understandably, and also very spooky. They don't like their new home much at all, but, they are eating. I reduced their feeding to once per day and half of what I've been feeding them until the QT cycles.
     
  9. SnakeIce

    SnakeIce AC Members

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    That's cool what you discovered. Hope you get them all healthy so things can continue. Sounds like a fun tank to watch and feed.
     
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  10. Chasmodes

    Chasmodes AC Members

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    Thanks SnakeIce. This is the third day of QT, and although the fish are skittish, they're eating, which is a good sign. The copper concentration is 0.5 ppt right now, which is therapeutic strength. Some fish are sensitive to that and stop eating, but so far, so good for my fish.

    With the DT being fishless, it's amazing what invertebrate life does. The crabs come out more often, the shrimp are roaming the tank without fear of getting eaten, and lots of worm and other life is showing up. The tiny anemones (or some sort of polyp, not hydra) are multiplying, and I think that the white anemone like creature in the hole in the oyster shell is a type of tube anemone, which is kind of cool too. But, it is kind of sad not seeing the fish in there. With luck, I'll have them back home in about 6 weeks!
     

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