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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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    I have some new additions to the oyster reef system in my holding tank shown in the video below. On Saturday, I brought home two small four spined sticklebacks, Apeltes quadracus, two species of Ulva macroalgae, a few more sea squirts and a cluster of mussels, and two beautiful large ghost anemones. When I say large, I mean about as big as they get, about 1.75" wide at the tentacles, and about the same length for the base. These are also not pure white like the others in my display tank. Rather, they have a pinkish hue to them. Here's the video:


    The sticklebacks are feeding on small copepods and amphipods, but ignore my offerings. I guess I'll have to start raising some baby brine shrimp or buy copepods until these fish are big enough to eat the frozen foods. My plan is to keep them in this tank for a while, but move them into quarantine and treat them with copper. At that point, the holding tank (my 20g high), will be for invertebrates and macroalgae, and will remain fallow. After 6 weeks, then I'll move stuff to the display tank. If I go collecting and bring more stuff home, then that clock resets. The point is that I don't want to introduce ich to my display tank.

    Eventually, this summer, I hope, I'll have my big tank set up and all of the fish and invertebrates will move to that tank, except for the sticklebacks. I will keep the 20g long as a stickleback tank, with macroalgae as the dominant aquascape, with perhaps an oyster cultch or two (to be made later).

    After this weekend, all of my fish that are in quarantine will move to the display tank. I had a tragic death on Friday night, however. One of the female blennies went carpet surfing. I have no idea how she got out. My guess is that she jumped through the egg crate top that I had, because there weren't any other openings large enough for her to fit though. Now I'm down to 5 males and one female blennies in the tank.
     
  2. Chasmodes

    Chasmodes AC Members

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    I have some new additions to the oyster reef system in my holding tank shown in the video below. On Saturday, I brought home two small four spined sticklebacks, Apeltes quadracus, two species of Ulva macroalgae, a few more sea squirts and a cluster of mussels, and two beautiful large ghost anemones. When I say large, I mean about as big as they get, about 1.75" wide at the tentacles, and about the same length for the base. These are also not pure white like the others in my display tank. Rather, they have a pinkish hue to them. Here's the video:

    The sticklebacks are feeding on small copepods and amphipods, but ignore my offerings. I guess I'll have to start raising some baby brine shrimp or buy copepods until these fish are big enough to eat the frozen foods. My plan is to keep them in this tank for a while, but move them into quarantine and treat them with copper. At that point, the holding tank (my 20g high), will be for invertebrates and macroalgae, and will remain fallow. After 6 weeks, then I'll move stuff to the display tank. If I go collecting and bring more stuff home, then that clock resets. The point is that I don't want to introduce ich to my display tank.

    Eventually, this summer, I hope, I'll have my big tank set up and all of the fish and invertebrates will move to that tank, except for the sticklebacks. I will keep the 20g long as a stickleback tank, with macroalgae as the dominant aquascape, with perhaps an oyster cultch or two (to be made later).

    After this weekend, all of my fish that are in quarantine will move to the display tank. I had a tragic death on Friday night, however. One of the female blennies went carpet surfing. I have no idea how she got out. My guess is that she jumped through the egg crate top that I had, because there weren't any other openings large enough for her to fit though. Now I'm down to 5 males and one female blennies in the tank.
     
  3. Chasmodes

    Chasmodes AC Members

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    The fallow period is over and my fish are not out of QT and back into the display tank. While in QT, they were pretty much doing the same territorial chases that they've always done, defending their favorite piece of PVC pipe. But, after a few days in the display tank, the males established homes in their favorite oyster shells and really colored up into their spawning colors, pretty much like the one that I caught last week. Not only that, they're defending their 6" of space, all the while chasing, flashing, and harassing the female, I guess, to breed. It's weird though, like a love-hate relationship. They get all fired up and flash when they see here, then they both display side by side and shake (mostly the male), then he chases her away. Only, all of the males are after her like this. Her tail has been pecked a lot, and at one point was almost down to the caudal peduncle, but has since grown back some.

    The male spawning coloration includes a bright blue spot on the dorsal fin as well as a dark stripe and a yellowish/orange stripe along the front half of the fin. Also, they darken up their entire bodies almost to the point that their stripes fade away, their fins become tinted with orange, their pelvic and anal fins darken up and are trimmed with a white and black border, and their cheeks become and orange or peach color. You can really see this in the video that I'm posting below. That bright blue spot is quite pretty. The males are about 3.5 to 4 inches long now. In the six weeks that they were in QT, they grew quite a bit. It's hard to believe that it was less than a year ago that all of the fish were less than an inch and a half long.

    The female remains in the juvenile coloration, mottled with vertical bars and faint horizontal variable stripes. She is the smallest fish in the tank at 2.75 inches, but she is tough as nails.

    In this video, there are two scenes of a pair of males sparring over territory, presumably over a potential place to spawn and guard eggs. The first battle begins at the 3:30 mark, and the second one at the 5:02 mark. The video finishes showing the object of their affection, a female striped blenny.
     

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