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Old 12/07/2017, 07:39 AM   #301
Chasmodes
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I have some pics to share from last night. I will have videos later but still need to process them. But for now...

Skilletfish clinging to the oyster cultch:


Tunicates above, goby below:


Naked goby sitting atop a shell with tunicates and live mussels:


A photogenic striped blenny:


Grass shrimp feeding off detritus over some tunicates:


In the 20g high, a cluster of mussels feeding on a phytoplankton meal:


Also in the 20g high, a ghost anemone awaiting its next meal:



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Old 12/07/2017, 09:11 AM   #302
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Man, you take great pics! All but the last one look like they were taken in nature. Mad skills!

How many people in the world have live mussels in their aquarium? Unique! You are opening people's eyes to the reality that coral reefs are not the only beautiful places to model in our tanks.

I look forward to your next vids!


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Old 12/07/2017, 09:13 AM   #303
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Thank you Michael! I appreciate the feedback and support. I think that my tank is so weird that a lot of folks don't know what to thing about it. A lot of the fantastic beautiful reef tanks that people display on here are very impressive but also very sterile. My tank is the opposite of that, very dirty, just like the Chesapeake Bay, LOL.


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Old 12/07/2017, 09:17 AM   #304
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasmodes View Post
Thank you Michael! I appreciate the feedback and support. I think that my tank is so weird that a lot of folks don't know what to thing about it. A lot of the fantastic beautiful reef tanks that people display on here are very impressive but also very sterile. My tank is the opposite of that, very dirty, just like the Chesapeake Bay, LOL.
Nutrient rich never dirty.


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Old 12/07/2017, 03:04 PM   #305
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subsea View Post
Nutrient rich never dirty.


As promised, videos from last night.

This first video shows grass shrimp eating an unknown organism or object. I've wondered if it is a tunicate covered in other fouling organisms or a discarded stickleback nest (we did catch a stickleback the day that I brought this home, thinking it was a tunicate). It is kind of globby in texture. At one point, I thought that I observed a siphon, but now I'm not so sure. The grass shrimp has been devouring the attached material though. I've never seen a stickleback nest, so perhaps if anyone has seen one, they could let me know if this might be one or not. Thanks.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2DTcrYwppE

This next video is not exciting, but I find it interesting. It's a bunch of tunicates and a couple live mussels (opened and feeding, I guess). Around the 5 second mark, one of the tunicates ejects something from its siphon. Is it one of their tadpole larvae? I lost track of it in my tank when the current got ahold of it. I didn't observe any movement from it trying to get to a settling spot, but wouldn't that be cool?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnihR5E_md8

The next video is interesting as a blenny is foraging, checking out every nook and cranny around the macroalgae. But, around the middle of the video, decides to enter an oyster shell at about the same time a skilletfish enters, and a brief but harmless battle ensues:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEH_Q0JyHms

The last video is basically the same spot where several blennies decide to hang out and watch my camera watching them...the three amigos!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zPjp9BuSHg


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Old 12/07/2017, 05:21 PM   #306
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More great vids!

I wonder what that thing is. With no siphon visible, my guess is that it's not a tunicate. Also, I've never seen one covered in stuff. It does look nesty.

Love the speed metal musical chairs! Rockin'!

The last one has a down home, sittin' on the front porch kind of feel. Chillin'.


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Old 12/08/2017, 07:17 AM   #307
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Thanks Michael!

Here's a close up pick of that unidentified object or life form:


I love picking up my magnifying glass and examining my tank, looking for new life forms that I haven't noticed before, in addition to admiring the ones that have been there. I enjoy examining my fish close up, noticing their intricate color patterns and structural details that seem to blend together when viewed with the naked eye.

I have noticed bristle worm burrows in my sand bed against the glass, and though I have yet to see them, the burrows change daily, so it's a matter of time that I catch them in the act. I also found two other types of worms and perhaps a third unknown animal that could be a worm or maybe a tube amphipod.

One of the worm species that I discovered while viewing through my magnifying glass were ones that I've seen before but thought that they were hair algae. When I looked closer, I noticed that this "algae" didn't sway with the current as other algae normally does. They tended to bend and turn in opposition of the current. Then, when one just all of a sudden disappeared into it's hidey hole, that confirmed my suspicion. These worms are on a few of the oyster shells that I introduced into the tank long ago. I haven't found them anywhere else or in the sand bed, so it's a colony. At least, I think they are worms. I'll try and get a pic in the future. They are found in tiny holes in the oyster shell or perhaps the many tiny tubes that are on these shells, although I haven't been able to tell if the worms built the tubes or not.

I have observed the tubes, found in both of the pics in this post, but haven't seen the animal. However, I've seen waste pushed out of the tubes and into the current, so I know that something lives in them. They could be these worms or perhaps tube amphipods? I have no idea, but I'll keep watching. Here's a pic of the tubes:


Another type of worm, perhaps another type of bristle worm, builds soft tubes out of slime (perhaps) and sand, and they can be found when I pick up a shell and look underneath, and also on one of the tunicates. I'll get a pic of that one. I saw it move, so life is in the tube...

So, the diversity is expanding, building from the bottom up. I still need to take the Subsea and PaulB approach and add some mud to the tank to move that further along.


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Old 12/08/2017, 07:21 AM   #308
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I got curious about your tank so I decided to check it out. Very cool and certainly a unique tank. I love the livestock you have chosen and watching the blennies and skilletfish interact was so fun! You are absolutely right about ponies however, this tank is way too alive and natural for them.


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Old 12/08/2017, 07:54 AM   #309
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Thank you vlangel! I think that the fish might be too agressive for them as well. I may give a dusky pipefish a try if I catch another one. I've read that northern pipefish don't do well in captivity, so those I'll release. However, if I see that the blennies pick on the pipefish or it isn't doing well, there is a local public aquarium that would gladly accept the live fish donation. After reading your posts on Michael's thread about your experiences with seahorse captive care, I don't think they're a good fit for my system at all. I may try a tank in the future, but that's a much larger investment in money and time than I can make at this point. Until then, if I catch any, then I'll keep the local public aquarium stocked as they have a dedicated seahorse tank.


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Old 12/08/2017, 09:52 AM   #310
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Just as an FYI, as you may have noticed, I've been posting a lot of pics and videos and such along with the progress of this project. I like seeing and watching them too, and, I also like to document my progress and such. But, it's also to share information. When I was researching and dreaming of doing this project, there really wasn't a whole lot of info out there or even pictures of the species that I'm keeping. And there isn't much on the web or literature about the husbandry of these critters either. So, I feel obligated to post about it so if, perhaps, someone else wants to do this, that they can see what I went through and have a good idea of what to expect. There is other info out there but it takes a lot of searching to find it all. The only videos of these fish were pretty much about 10 seconds long. When I wanted to learn about them, I felt that I couldn't get enough. So, sorry if it's too much posting and such. I hope you all enjoy my tank almost as much as I do. That's why I share, because I can't wait to get back home and watch my tank.


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Old 12/08/2017, 10:46 AM   #311
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Post away! I can't get enough!

I'm the same way. My thread is also my tank journal, so I post some pretty mundane stuff sometimes. We are adding to the body of knowledge about our niche aquariums. It's all good!


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Old 12/11/2017, 07:40 AM   #312
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I woke up on Saturday morning, turned on the tank lights and found 23 of these on the glass that I've never seen before. My first thought was snails, but I've never had any snails in the tank, and they don't move at all. So, what sessile critters are they? Tunicates? Mussels? Barnacles? My guess is juvenile barnacles. I haven't scraped them off the glass yet and I wonder how many others are in the tank that I can't see. It is interesting how new life just pops up.



Also, I've been watching those tubes and found out that they're definitely the dancing worms that I saw. I've seen them stretching out from the tube in search of food. And, I caught them on video feeding after stirring up the tank (so it snowed in the tank as much as it did outside of my house that day):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ3YDAcDLKw&t=9s

Oh, and remember the sea squirts video, where I thought I saw a tadpole larvae? My daughter noticed at the 8 or 9 second mark that it appears in the screen again and looks like it swims off with the tail moving! It's hard to tell, but I'd like to think that is what it is. Here's another look:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnihR5E_md8


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Old 12/11/2017, 09:51 AM   #313
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Just another observation regarding the tube worm video. After watching this a few times, it appears that these are very efficient detrivores. Watch as they catch and pull detritus into their tubes for consumption. In addition, organic material that lands on the shell next to them also gets pulled into the tubes. I'm really amazed by this. It looks like time lapse photography, but it's regular speed. I kind of get the creeps watching it as I imagine 10' tall versions of this things in a sci-fi movie!


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Old 12/11/2017, 11:08 AM   #314
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That's so cool, getting those mystery critters on your glass. I wonder what they are! Are you going to leave them there? I'd be tempted to, to see what comes of them, especially since you can see them so well on the glass. The downside is not cleaning the glass, or trying to clean around them, making it difficult to see the rest of the tank. If they're on the glass, surely they are elsewhere too. Maybe you could leave a few of them in a corner untouched, and clean the rest off. Whatever they are, this points to good husbandry, Cheers!

Congrats on your worms-the unsung heroes! I didn't see the tadpole thingy, but I enjoyed watching the tunicates. Maybe its a larval fish? I also loved the snowstorm-so natural. This is why I advocate for no mechanical filtration. If live rock and live sand is good, why not live water? Trapping and removing the basis of all life on earth makes no sense to me.

I agree some of this stuff is creepy! Sometimes I wonder if some giant creature is going to burst out of the sand and pull me into the tank and eat me. I actually have had that happen on a very small scale-with cleaner shrimp. I had my hand in the tank one day and one of them jumped on me and started eating at a scab. Hows that for a metaphor!


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Old 12/11/2017, 11:25 AM   #315
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Thanks Michael. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the things on the glass. Maybe I'll remove most of them and keep a few of them to see what they grow to be. I'm not sure how long I could go without cleaning the glass..

The worms are pretty fun to watch. I used metal music on the video because the worms look like their head banging. It's amazing to me how they can pull in detritus that seem longer than they are, unless I'm only seeing a fraction of their real length.

The blennies stop by to watch me watching the worms, peering back at me through the magnifying glass as if to examine me more closely as I do them. I really like checking them out under the glass, to see the more intricate details of their anatomy as well as coloration.


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Old 12/11/2017, 11:30 AM   #316
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I love the magnifying glass too. I have two different ones-one that only works close-up, for big magnification, and one I can use for most of the rest of the tank. You find so much!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Old 12/11/2017, 11:42 AM   #317
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I didn't see the tadpole thingy, but I enjoyed watching the tunicates. Maybe its a larval fish?
If you check that vid again, at the 5 second mark, one of the tunicates on the right side ejects something that looks like a tadpole. The "tadpole" appears again around the 8 to 9 second mark on the right side heading down to the left and out of sight. I seems to be swimming, but I can't tell. It could be waste, but it would be cool if they did it all the time. It's the first one that I've seen if it is true. What I can't find on the web is if they fertilized eggs stay in the tunicate or if they are fertilized outside the animal (and then the tadpoles form). Or, so the tadpoles form inside the organism and then are ejected out? I have no idea but I guess I'll find out if I can keep researching. There is a ton of info on their anatomy, but almost nothing about their behavior, or even how big the tadpoles are.

I was worried about the snow because when I stirred up the filter, it poured into the tank like crazy, almost too much. But, I'm glad that I did because I wouldn't have seen them eat like that otherwise. Also, I posted a pic of the worm tubes in an earlier post and wasn't sure that the organism was, but I've since seen them come out and it's the same worms as in the video. Anyone know what species they are?


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Old 12/11/2017, 12:01 PM   #318
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OK, I saw it this time. I did not see it move or swim-just drift. My guess would be it was something that the tunicate sucked in, rejected, and blew out. I would think a tunicate baby (planula?) would be much smaller than that. It would be super cool if it was some free swimming stage of barnacles or something. Have you seen more than one?

Whatever it is, you appear to have some happy, healthy tunicates, and who knows what else!


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Old 12/11/2017, 12:11 PM   #319
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Yeah, you're probably right. It's most likely just a rejected piece of detritus, and just a coincidence that it looks like a tadpole shape. I need to learn more about these creatures. They seem happy for now. I hope that they stay that way. I'm actively feeding them now, so we will see.

I think that I've figured out the genus of my worms in the video, Spiochaetopterus. Their are 2 tentacles to each worm and they use them to catch organic material that drifts by. They tentacles are sticky, apparently. And what you see in the video of the worm is probably about 1/2 of the total body length. If these aren't the actual species or genus, they look a lot like these.

Yeah, who knows what else!!!!

It's fun to discover new life in there!


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Old 12/11/2017, 12:27 PM   #320
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Between your phytoplankton additions, marine snow, and pelagic bacteria, I would think your tunicates have plenty to eat.

I have a few worms species. I'm pretty sure one of them is called a spaghetti worm. The others, I don't know, but I'm stoked to have 'em!

The who-knows-what-else is the icing on the cake!


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Old 12/11/2017, 12:52 PM   #321
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I hope you are right. I'll just keep plugging along and hopefully they will last.

I found some info on the tunicate larvae, not so much the size but my impression is that they're tiny, much smaller than what we saw. From Chesapeake.net,
Quote:
The sea squirt spawns by releasing eggs and sperm into the water. After about three days, eggs develop into free-swimming, tadpole-like larvae. Larvae are fairly sophisticated: they have long tails, a primitive eye and backbone (called a notochord), a slender nerve cord, and a hollow, enlarged brain. Larvae eventually settle and attach to a hard surface using an adhesive mechanism on the head. In about 3-4 days, the tail, nerve cord and notochord are absorbed, leaving only a small mass of nerve tissue. The body and siphons, as well as digestive, reproductive and circulatory organs, soon develop.



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Old 12/12/2017, 07:36 AM   #322
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I thought today might be a good time to look back and compare my progress. I have a long way to go, but I've come a long way. The 20g long is a tease to what my 100g will be, but in the meantime, it has been fun. I hope you enjoy the recap:










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Old 12/12/2017, 07:37 AM   #323
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Old 12/12/2017, 07:40 AM   #324
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Thanks for following!



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Old 12/12/2017, 08:34 AM   #325
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Every time I look at your oyster clusters, I recall my first tank more than 45 years ago,
Galveston Bay biotheme. Your oyster cluster build is very realistic. Nicely done.

When I collected mine in the Intracoastal Canal, it had numerous filter feeders on it.


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