I am very excited about my new pet Curious Wormfish. This fish has been on my fish wish list for many years, but I haven't been able to locate one until last Friday. I was very pleased that my fish has blue on it; some curious wormfish are more yellow and lack the blue stripe. Mine must be the true Gunnelichthys curiosus. I took more than two hours to acclimate him using the drip method. I take longer than normal because my tank's temperature is so low, and this is a delicate fish. Updates on this fish Here.
I took a top-view photo of him in the bucket, then transferred him to a specimen container to get a good closeup. In all my life, I've never seen a fish jump so much. Poor thing is too skittish to even photograph with the flash on. So I gently put him into my aquarium. Lucky for me, he decided to swim around for a few seconds before promptly burying himself in the sand, which is where he will probably spend most of my waking hours. I was able to get a couple half-decent pictures of him. You can sort of tell how he swims from the photos, undulating his whole body in an S-shape.
Curious wormfish are very shy and cryptic, but so is everything else in my aquarium. They have a poor survival record in captivity, mostly due to improper housing. These fish must be kept in an aquarium with a tight fitting lid. I'm using fine pond mesh to cover mine. They are so thin, they can fit through even the tiniest spaces.
According to wetwebmedia's FAQ, These fish are even more shy than seahorses, and shouldn't be kept with swimming fish, including wrasses. Almost any fish will easily outcompete them for food and harass them. They are surprisingly thin, and may be easily swallowed by all but the smallest, most peaceful fish. I put mine into my seahorse/Brotulid aquarium where he can be cryptic in peace.
When I came home from work today, he was swimming out in the open. I immediately thawed a cube of Hikari Mysis shrimp and put it in the tank. He ate with gusto! I tried to get a couple pictures of him, but he jumps every time the flash goes off. (I don't know how anyone could possibly keep one of these in an uncovered aquarium. The poor thing would only last 2 minutes.) And my glass has billions of Spirorbids on it from the phytoplankton feedings. I'll let him settle in more before subjecting him to the camera again. For now, check out this gorgeous photo by Keoki Stender. This is by far the best photo I've ever seen of a Curious wormfish.
December Update: my Curious Wormfish moved himself to my sump with the Brotulids a few months ago. I left him there because he seemed more comfortable in the dark with other lazy fish. He hides with them in their PVC tubes and comes out when he smells food. He is still an extremely skittish, shy fish. He seems to get along wonderfully with the Brotulids. There are several PVC pipes in the sump, but they all share one. Guess they like company.