Blue Spotted Jawfish, Too cool for reef?

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Sven The Elder

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I have been lusting over a blue spotted jawfish for almost 40 years now. Would love to get one, but concerned about their temperature requirements. Anyone here keeping them in a reef tank with SPS? Would love to have one, but not if I have to dedicate the whole tank to it's climate.
 
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Jubei2006

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Beautiful fish. My wife and I look at them everytime they pop up for sale. Everything Ive read does lean towards the being a colder water species with the most succesful keepers usually running a chiller on the species specific tank (keeping the tank in the 60s). In addition, the like deep burrows, and require a deep sand bed, so there's the hydrogen sulfide issue with the deep sand beds. And Ive read they can adapt to reef temeratures, but it does greatly decrease their lifespan.
 
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Jbell370

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I have had mine for about 2 years now, love the fish, its character hate the mess. He will move around typically 1/2 weeks and make a new burrow. He does fill in the old spot as if he was never there. Accepts all food without issue, I run about a 3" sand bed, he moves what he wants and where he wants.

IMG_20210919_194820.jpg
 

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I love these guys but figured their survival rate would be so much better in a species only tank.

Not just temp really but because of thier sand requirements, not liking boisterous tank mates and wanting more sand and less rock then our tanks typically have.

@ThRoewer has a trio I think in their own set up.
 

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there's the hydrogen sulfide issue with the deep sand beds
Not looking to derail this thread, but thought I'd address this because I think it's a huge misconception.

Yes, the whole purpose of both DSB and Plenum systems is to remineralize the nutrients as a way to create a more natural and lower maintenance ecosystem. And yes, hydrogen sulfide is a byproduct of that process. Unlike a Plenum where a breach in one area can expose the entire protected water area to exposure (think: condom), any burrowing creature will only affect a very isolated area.

Case in point, let's consider some volume calculations.

Let's say you have a 6" DSB in a 72"x24" tank. That's 10,368 cubic inches of total sand volume. Now, introduce a burrowing animal into the equation... watchman goby, jawfish, whatever. What are the dimensions of such a hole... maybe 1" square x 4" deep? So that's a 4 cubic inch area out of a massive total area volume. Just to play devil's advocate, let's double it since there's a 'gray area' or 'buffer' that has 'diluted' the anoxic zone created by that hole. Now we're talking about 8 cubic inches of exposure out of 10,368 cubic inches total volume.

Assuming my math is correct; 8 / 10,368 = 0.07716%, less than even 1/10 of 1% of the total sand bed area. That's a pretty small number and I don't imagine that any quantity or combination of burrowing creatures in any given tank would be enough to tip the balance and create a chemistry catastrophe; your tank would likely suffocate from active bioload first.

Just my two cents, but open to hearing differing viewpoints.
 
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Jubei2006

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Not looking to derail this thread, but thought I'd address this because I think it's a huge misconception.

Yes, the whole purpose of both DSB and Plenum systems is to remineralize the nutrients as a way to create a more natural and lower maintenance ecosystem. And yes, hydrogen sulfide is a byproduct of that process. Unlike a Plenum where a breach in one area can expose the entire protected water area to exposure (think: condom), any burrowing creature will only affect a very isolated area.

Case in point, let's consider some volume calculations.

Let's say you have a 6" DSB in a 72"x24" tank. That's 10,368 cubic inches of total sand volume. Now, introduce a burrowing animal into the equation... watchman goby, jawfish, whatever. What are the dimensions of such a hole... maybe 1" square x 4" deep? So that's a 4 cubic inch area out of a massive total area volume. Just to play devil's advocate, let's double it since there's a 'gray area' or 'buffer' that has 'diluted' the anoxic zone created by that hole. Now we're talking about 8 cubic inches of exposure out of 10,368 cubic inches total volume.

Assuming my math is correct; 8 / 10,368 = 0.07716%, less than even 1/10 of 1% of the total sand bed area. That's a pretty small number and I don't imagine that any quantity or combination of burrowing creatures in any given tank would be enough to tip the balance and create a chemistry catastrophe; your tank would likely suffocate from active bioload first.

Just my two cents, but open to hearing differing viewpoints.
If a powerhead shifts or falls by accident? If you get overzealous by accident with sand maintenence? If your aquascape falls due to adhesive failure or your burrowing critters destabilize it? Just playing devil's advocate here.
 

Rovert

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If a powerhead shifts or falls by accident? If you get overzealous by accident with sand maintenence? If your aquascape falls due to adhesive failure or your burrowing critters destabilize it? Just playing devil's advocate here.
Point taken. Never had that happen to me in either case, but I suppose it can and does. But even so, again, I suspect the area affected might not cause a total crash. Will things be affected? Perhaps. Will it wipe you out? Not sure.
 

Jubei2006

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Point taken. Never had that happen to me in either case, but I suppose it can and does. But even so, again, I suspect the area affected might not cause a total crash. Will things be affected? Perhaps. Will it wipe you out? Not sure.
Im not sure either. A well maintained DSB seems like a reasonably safe prospect. I think more people don't run one due to the fact if you see it through the front of the tank, they're not the most attractive tank item with all the life running through it and especially if not well maintained. Most people also don't want to take up 6 inches of swimming room, rockscape, and coral space out of their tanks for just sand.
 
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Rovert

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Im not sure either. A well maintained DSB seems like a reasonably safe prospect. I think more people don't run one due to the fact if you see it through the front of the tank, they're not the most attractive tank item with all the life running through it and especially if not well maintained. Most people also don't want to take up 6 inches of swimming room, rockscape, and coral space out of their tanks for just sand.
I suppose 4" of contact paper on the bottom perimeter of the tank would fix that.
 

Rovert

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Im not sure either. A well maintained DSB seems like a reasonably safe prospect. I think more people don't run one due to the fact if you see it through the front of the tank, they're not the most attractive tank item with all the life running through it and especially if not well maintained. Most people also don't want to take up 6 inches of swimming room, rockscape, and coral space out of their tanks for just sand.
I suppose 4" of contact paper on the bottom perimeter of the tank would fix that.
 
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ThRoewer

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I love these guys but figured their survival rate would be so much better in a species only tank.

Not just temp really but because of thier sand requirements, not liking boisterous tank mates and wanting more sand and less rock then our tanks typically have.

@ThRoewer has a trio I think in their own set up.
Temperature is not an issue with these, less actually than with true tropical reef fish, as they can handle a temperature range that spans from 16°C (winter) to 30°C (summer). True tropicals usually go belly-up when the temperature drops below 20°C, and temperatures above 28°C can also become problematic.
As sand zone fish, BSJ just don't have any business being in a reef tank. A biotope tank is the best solution, especially if you want to keep them in a group.
 
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