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Okay, so it has been a while

Posted 09/13/2018 at 09:03 AM by sacremon

I find myself with some free time and desire to start blogging again.

Lots of things have changed since that last post. The tank got upgraded to a 300DD I think later in 2011, thanks to a bonus at work. Zebra eel had a fatal run in with the fire urchin, which was painful to watch.

In early 2012 I got a Platax orbicularis (round or orbiculate batfish) along with another volitans lion. At some point Chris, the LFS guy who by that point was doing regular maintenance on the tank, brought over a Neoniphon sammara (Sammara soldierfish) from another client's tank that it was too large for, though it was maybe 4" long (by fish industry standards). His thought was that the lion would eat it.

Now in late 2018 both the P. orbicularis and the N. sammara are still around, but the volitans is long gone. The batfish is close to 12" in diameter not counting the fins and about 2" thick at the thickest point. The Sammara soldierfish is probably 7" by fish standards and close to 3/4" thick. They are definitely survivors. I have had a few crashes over the years, mostly due to nitrates getting out of hand but not realizing it because the test kit I or the maintenance person was using was out of date. Old nitrate test kits seem to consistently read real low. Now I am real careful about the expiration date on those things.

With a couple exceptions, my theme for the tank is for species that can be found in the Red Sea, even if those particular specimens didn't come from there. Just too hard to try to get fish that can be found in other, more accessible locations to be imported from the Red Sea.

In addition to the aforementioned batfish and soldierfish, the tank has a pencil urchin that a different maintenance guy brought over about five years ago because it had outgrown another client's tank, a Sargocentron diadema (crown squirrelfish) that is the lone survivor from a trio purchased from DD about 3-4 years ago, two Pterois radiata - one about 1.5 - 2 years in the tank, the other just over 1 year. The latter was real small when I got him and is only now about the size of what the other was when I first got him. The older one is adult size at this point. Siganus doliatus (Scribbled/Blue-lined rabbit) is the other specimen besides the Atlantic-born pencil urchin that doesn't fit in the Red Sea biome. Lastly, added a week ago, are Chaetodon semilarvatus (golden butterfly) and Chaetodon fasciatus (red sea raccoon butterfly). Both of those are endemic to the Red Sea and cost to match. I really wanted some fish that added movement and color to the tank. The batfish is quite active but just isn't colorful. The rabbit seemed content to just hang out in a cave complex where the S. diadema lives. Now with the butterflies the rabbit is often out and about swimming with them.
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