Feb 3, 2011

Overlooked Gems at the Hidden Reef

My husband and I recently moved to Philadelphia, PA from Rhinelander, WI and are finally starting to settle in. While it was really hard for me to leave Liveaquaria's Diver's Den, my husband was offered a job here that we couldn't refuse.

A couple years ago, I read an article about Philadelphia area's largest aquarium specialty store, The Hidden Reef in TFH magazine. I remember thinking how cool it would be to live near an amazing LFS like that one! If you are an aquarium hobbyist living around Philadelphia, come say hi.

My favorite fish right now is the Hawaiian Red Leaf Fish Taenianotus triacanthus. This fish has been in the store since before Christmas and is very well acclimated to aquarium life. It doesn't seem to fear humans, but is always sure to act like a leaf swaying in the current so as not to blow its cover to potential prey. This species is an ambush predator, so a little teamwork helps get the job done during feeding time. We've got a system - I encourage the prey to swim close to the Leaf Fish while it slowly "leafs" toward the area I'm corralling the prey. This fish is slightly venomous like other members of the Scorpaenidae family.

Red Hawaiian Leaf Fish

This Snow Onyx Clownfish has been in the store for quite a while, as well.

Black Ice Ocellaris

This next fish is another venomous fish and a bit of an odd rarity - the Cross Eyed Squirrelfish, aka Cardinal Soldierfish Plectrypops retrospinis.This fish is very tame and eats anything, including flake food from the fingers of doting employees.

Cardinal Soldierfish Plectrypops retrospinis

Reefers and Acro fanatics will be interested in this fantastic Acropora loripes. It's been in the store for a couple weeks and is coloring up nicely.

Acropora loripes

Fat, healthy Copperband Butterflyfish Chelmon rostratus are hard to find, but look no further. This one is eating live and frozen brine shrimp like a pro and showing interest in other foods as well.

Copperband Butterflyfish

Engineer Gobies aren't rare, but their behavior is really interesting, and I just really wanted to show off this macro shot.

Engineer Goby

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