2016 went like a breeze for this wild bunch... With a diet including no less than 5 species of Caulerpa, micro-algae, pseudo-algae, calcified algae, live mussels, 'Pods and SBMarine's own Marinara Puree... And our 3 friends faithfully meet around 5AM at the Sunrise meeting hall when the blue lights turn on. The Aegis tank is fully Stabilized and ready for more action !!
Snowball grew a few millimeters and has shown increased colour saturation... Quite an evolution for a White pincushion urchin...
The first planned additions this year were Finger leather corals that can become very large... There was a change in plan when NYX developped a sudden and intense craving for one of them on Day One...
Sinularia sp. - Topmost frag a few hours after being introduced in tank.
- Lower frag... NYX pulled so hard that you could see the elastic stretching... It was either the branch or the rubber band and of course a whole branch was ripped... NYX is a juvenile 2 inch Angelfish with a poweful grab.... This turned the frag upside down: you can see it's base now laying on top.
One upright... and an upside down coral in distress... So a drastic remodeling of two tanks went into effect !!!
Reshaping the tank's purpose started with Rhodactis. It takes several months for anemones to unseat themselves from cyanide glue on cookies. Though they move about extremely slowly: Rhodactis like to select their own spot (upcoming Special File: Notes on Frags and Shipments). This parent reproduced in July 2016 and started moving on it's plug. It's offspring has since moved to the rubble rock above. The mother has more than doubled it's size and both are starting to show their original color pattern ! Don't expect fast growth of Rhodactis until they finally detach themselves from ceramic plugs... and move on... This is why we never glue cookies on aquascaping: we like to be able to remove them once they have served their purpose.
The Aegis tank will display various species of small encrusting soft corals and Rhodactis anemones from now on... But they will be introduced on rubble or small rocks directly to their permanent destinations.
Why is the entire back panel free of rockwork from top third up
and always covered in bio-film and algae ?
It has to do with fishes, coral and anemone species: the SBMarine bio-filtration methodology that relies on 'Pods and maintenance... Let's start with Lieutenant and his needs as a Surgeonfish.
I recently took video tours of various public aquariums around the globe and couldn't help but notice a status quo that links them all. They are all more or less reliant on sterile tanks and some Berlin type method or variant... They all have marketing stunts such as friendly frogmen and women who feed some collections: those tanks usually have the most colourful species and all the fishes swim actively at such times. No doubt it is a great promotional tool that represents fun family entertainment and it's great as such.
But in all the other tanks what I saw was fishes swimming around with little energy and no interest in their physical surroundings... Of course they are fed at regular schedules but expect only this as their food source since sterile tanks are void of natural nutrients mostly... This is why, in my humble opinion, you start noticing famelic fish, colorless fish, some have bacterial or even infectious diseases... if you care to have a closer look. Those tanks are designed to display a maximum number of species and fishes to SWIM around. In a public aquarium visitors pass by those displays at a fast pace without taking the time to single out specimens for inspection and are pleased with the impressing array before them and move on unsuspecting. Some Aquariums do a good job healthwise while others are more like disaster areas... This is why Specific Tanks are so important to fish species: they all have different dietary requirements and even means of feeding vary greatly. When you notice a Surgeonfish swimming around that is not actively feeding in his captive environment but merely moving around waiting for the next scheduled food distribution: you know things can and should be better !!
Does Lieutenant swim about all day long and simply exist ???
(that's what we design, build, and maintain here at SBMarine)
The dreaded ugly but ever so purposeful back panel is the sole property of Lieutenant... As you will notice it is evenly spread with bio-film of all sorts and heavily vermiculated from Lieutenant's chew marks... The right and left panels are reserved for NYX who grabs amphipods and alga early in the morning usually next to the Sunrise meeting hall.
From one side of tank to the other: the top third of tank is unobstructed which allows free circulation of water and stress fee water changes for the eventual corals or anemones seated on top.
Surgeonfish enjoy strong water currents and love to swim into them quite often. It also coincides with a feeding frenzy that occurs several times a day.
Lieutenant systematicaly trims the whole back panel while grabing 'Pods along the way... But the colony of Copepods thrives no matter how many he takes away !! If you have a closer look you will notice them....
Lieutenant in action on one of his daily feeding frenzy's. He moves at the cadence of a - fast typewriter -
You have to see it to believe it :)
... and guess what...
I think Aegis and Nyx enjoy watching Lieutenant on his lightning fast expeditions as much as I do....