Aug 4, 2009

Almost Finished Renovations

I finally finished moving my aquariums around the kitchen. The 55 gallon with the 20 gallon sump is now home to all the reef fish, inverts, non-photosynthetic corals, and seahorses. The 25 gallon nano bullet tank is now a coral-only tank. The 37 gallon, which used to be the seahorse tank, is now a planted guppy and Limia tank. I usually go to bed pretty early, but some night I'll try to stay up past dark and get a shot of all three tanks with the lights off in the kitchen so you don't have to look at my refrigerator.

Allogalathea on Crinoid

I had to combine the two saltwater tanks and was nervous at first about how everyone would get along. So far, there haven't been any major problems. There was a squat lobster confrontation, however, on the first day. Darth Maul, the Galathea inflata, evicted Darth Vader, the Allogalathea elegans, from its favorite black Crinoid. In the wild, Darth Vader would have been eaten immediately without the protection of a Crinoid. So it felt that it had to move quickly to the nearest Crinoid, which happened to be my newest Crinoid, a purple one. It was obvious that Darth Vader did not like the purple Crinoid much, because it made its way to the nearest uninhabited black Crinoid soon after. Darth Maul, the Galathea inflata, does not live on the center of the Crinoid like Darth Vader does. Instead, it stands on the rock underneath the Crinoid's outstretched arms.

Purple Crinoid

What I found interesting is that the short, tufted antennae on either side of its rostrum were pointed toward the Crinoid the whole time it was travelling toward it. I wonder if commensal squat lobsters use those to chemically sense, or smell Crinoids. I wish I knew what those little antennae, circled in red on the picture at left, were called.

Pink Zoas

I found this pretty Zoanthus gigantus rock at my local store. Since I was good at the doctor and didn't hit the anesthesiologist this time, my husband let me buy it. For this photo, I tried out my new surface viewer while the coral was in acclimation. I think it turned out pretty well.

The light fixture I won from a raffle is kind of broken. Only some of the bulbs light up now. That's ok, since this is a non-photosynthetic tank now, and the hair algae is dying. Both the actinics light up, which looks pretty nice. Here's my sea cucumber under actinic lighting. It's still doing well and eats phytoplankton every day. It's difficult to tell since they change shape so much, but I think it has grown. It definitely hasn't gotten smaller. You can also see in the photo a small, white tuft coming out around the mouth. Since taking this photo last week, it has grown into a regular sized feeding tentacle. I don't think the animal hasn't lost any tentacles, so I wonder why it's growing new ones.

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