30 July 2012

Corals, Fish & Invertebrates!

After 2 months of tank cycling and steadily improving water quality, we made our first additions to the tank.  On our way back from camping in Acadia, we stopped by AquaCorals in Fairfield, Maine.  Peggy, the owner was absolutely wonderful!  After giving us a tour of the nicest reef tanks I've ever seen, she worked with us to pick out a collection of 6 soft corals to start with:
This is a red colt coral, a specimen I really enjoyed in my last tank.  It waves beautifully in the current and can get quite large.
Metallic green neon polyps are also a carryover from our last aquarium, where they did very well and spread like wildfire.
The cabbage leather coral is probably one of the hardiest corals out there and can also get quite large.
This is a new one for us….the orange ricordea which fluoresces orange with a green mouth under out blue LED lighting.  I placed it low in the tank, away from strong currents and hope it will spread up the coral slope.
Here is another first for our tank, green zooanthids.  These corals and their related palythoas contain palytoxin, one of the most toxic substances known.  For my fellow chemistry friends, its structure has been solved as:
Apparently, some Hawaiian Islanders with serious anger issues, discovered smearing paste made from these corals on a spear tip would ruin your enemy's whole day.  

Finally, I added a striped Xenia to the collection.  We had a pulsing Xenia in our old tank, which was a favorite.  Peggy also introduced us to a skunk cleaner shrimp which we brought home.
This interesting little fellow actually sets up a little "service station" for the fish where he picks dead scales and parasites from the fish.  I saw him actually stick his appendage inside of the gill slits of a fish to remove something from the fish.

We also decided to add some very small livestock to the tank a couple of days later when we saw some good looking livestock at great prices at the PETCO in Nashua, NH.

Our first addition is this Canary Blenny, also known as a fanged blennie due to the venomous fangs in the fish's lower jaw.  A docile fish, it apparently bites the inside of the mouth of the larger fish swallowing it, inflicting enough pain to have the predator spit the blenny out unharmed!  I've noticed our swims around peacefully except for nipping at nassarius snails in the tank.  It leaves the nerites and ceriths alone, but goes after the nassarius.
3 extremely timid pajama cardinals were added to our tank.  They seem to like to school together, suspended motionless in the upper water column.
Finally, we added this tiny fellow, a sharknosed goby.  He is another cleaner fish who is already spending his time sucking stuff off of the Canary Blenny.  When not engaged in these activities, he perches on rockwork throughout the tank and at feeding time is an absolute pig in gobbling brine shrimp close to his size.

Now we wait for a while to watch how the water quality responds to new additions and I will slowly turn up the LED lighting over the next couple of weeks to acclimate the corals.

No comments:

Post a Comment