Chesapeake Bay Oyster Reef Biotope Tank

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chris85

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Yeah i have the watch box checked I don't know whats up with it!!! I did get a notice this morning.

I have noticed that if I collect just water and let it sit for a couple weeks the pods explode in there, you could try that. Or they make a coffee strainer with a brass mess and plastic frame, but anyway I use that to sieve the water for pods also. You get a few hundred with about 15gallon here. Just a thought.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/10-12-Pe...rWEuE5OfxkG8EELQEI8mXbhggVE3HTCIaAomHEALw_wcB
 
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Chasmodes

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Thank you sfin52!

Yeah i have the watch box checked I don't know whats up with it!!! I did get a notice this morning.
I have noticed that if I collect just water and let it sit for a couple weeks the pods explode in there, you could try that. Or they make a coffee strainer with a brass mess and plastic frame, but anyway I use that to sieve the water for pods also. You get a few hundred with about 15gallon here. Just a thought.

That's a great idea! It would be a great food source once the blenny larvae are large enough. At first, pods are too big for them, hence the need to feed them rotifers, or something that same size. Another plus about your suggestion is it's a good way to restock the display tank with pods to feed the other critters.
 
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chris85

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The pods I get have napulli that are tiny if you could get a smaller seive for them they might not be optimum, but I believe they would be an ok size. I have used this for moll y millers and peppermint shrimp.

I was working with the orange spotted blennies but my drain tank busted a seam. I am in the process of setting it back up and hopefully the way I set it up this time i can produce more than one species with very little effort. It is not a commercial level yet. I have a while of testing it out before I scale up.
 
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Chasmodes

Chasmodes

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Here's a vid from last week, not the best quality, but all of the critters poked their heads out to say hi:

My FW build is moving along, slow but steady. I used spray foam to fill in some gaps and add some bulk (posted last time) and have since carved and sanded the foam. I got rid of a good bit of the expansion, to improve the look and texture, and to reduce the amount of foam overall to help keep them from floating.

Here is a before carving/sanding pic:
IMG_0483_zpsd5lqrowm.jpg


Here are some pics after carving/sanding:
IMG_0499_zpsfuh6yhn8.jpg

IMG_0502_zpsapfhcxj7.jpg


Fitted in the tank:
IMG_0495_zpslhslwfgc.jpg


The next steps will be to first, cover the pipe with plaster wrap to give the grout something to hold on to. Then, apply the grout for the final bulk and root shaping, including more carving for realism. After that, I'll paint the structure with Drylok mixed with cement dyes to get the coloration that I want.
 
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Chasmodes

Chasmodes

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I love winter time and the outdoor activities that go along with it. But, I'm also anxious to get out and do some collecting again. I'd like to restock macro algae and give seagrasses another go, if I can find them. I'd also like to add one more female blenny. If all goes well, if I can get the larger tank up and running, I may add a few more of each species. I'm going to be picky about the species that I add, but it would be nice to collect a fish that fills the middle water column more. I probably will add some sheepshead minnows, but what I'd really like, especially for the larger tank, is to collect a small burrfish, hogchoker and, if possible, a spotfin butterflyfish. Those additions would really complete the tank. I wouldn't add the burrfish or hogchoker until the larger tank is set up.

I have a lot of work to do for the larger tank. But, I'm getting impatient. I may set it up sumpless until I can get the infrastructure issues solved. I never would have thought of that when planning this build, but, my success with the 20g long has made the idea realistic to me. This system really doesn't need a sump, although, it would be nice. So, the only thing to do would be to complete the stand...and I may not need to do that to set the tank up. I was tossing around the idea of creating a facade for the stand that I could add even while the tank is up and running. Thoughts?
 
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chris85

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Maybe think about some jenny's
537.jpg
. I do like me some sheepheads minnows, but they tend to nip fins. Killifish are always a good option just becareful of which ones!! Those naked gobies must taste good!!

What kind of stand do you have, steel?
 

chris85

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I would also say if you have the room do a fuge with glass shrimp and macro to keep a constant supply on food. I like it this way because my fish treat me like a fish instead of a buffet. They will come over and see what I am doing, but they don't jump out of the water thinking I have food.

I will have to get a video of my grouper, he tries to punk me. At night his favorite hunting spot is next to where I sit, he will bark at me, i guess you would say and open his mouth and shake his head. We get into a battle about once a week!!
 
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Chasmodes

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You know, I thought about having some jenny's or mojarras. They're interesting fish. I was worried that they'd get large and aggressive. Eventually, I'll plumb the sump in for sure. I'd like the extra water volume, plus, maintenance would be easier. And it has a nice size fuge area. Truth is, the entire thing would be used as a fuge, since I don't run a skimmer.

Cool about your grouper. Look forward to a video of him! Lots of personality!

Here is a pic of my stand right now, made of 4x4s, 2x4s, and plywood, so far. I have laminate that I want to glue to the sides and doors. I need to make the face frame and hang the doors first. That is, unless I do a facade instead. I'm still debating what to do. Lately, I've been using it as a workbench for my FW build, LOL.
blennystand09.jpg
 
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chris85

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I go for access and function.... I would just have the sticks, but mine is in the garage!! To make it look nice I would suggest cutting access into the plywood. Then just make a piece that just slides around the whole thing. What is the dimensions of the stand?


Have you tried a phyto. drip? I have also noticed if you do like the donovan nitrate destroyer(thread on here somewhere) or something like it the sea squirts and stuff will stay alive.
 

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You know, I thought about having some jenny's or mojarras. They're interesting fish. I was worried that they'd get large and aggressive. Eventually, I'll plumb the sump in for sure. I'd like the extra water volume, plus, maintenance would be easier. And it has a nice size fuge area. Truth is, the entire thing would be used as a fuge, since I don't run a skimmer.

Cool about your grouper. Look forward to a video of him! Lots of personality!

Here is a pic of my stand right now, made of 4x4s, 2x4s, and plywood, so far. I have laminate that I want to glue to the sides and doors. I need to make the face frame and hang the doors first. That is, unless I do a facade instead. I'm still debating what to do. Lately, I've been using it as a workbench for my FW build, LOL.
blennystand09.jpg
I am excited to see your larger upgrade getting closer. Nice stand.
 
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Chasmodes

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Thank you Dawn. I'm going to get this tank set up sooner rather than later!

I lost one of the male naked gobies last night, found it dead in the front of the tank. There are no disease symptoms now, or in recent past. I ran water tests and everything looks good, zero ammonia and nitrite, for example.

I'm confused because the other day, the fish was eating out of my hand, and was very active. I have lots of dinoflagellates in the tank. Could that have been a problem if he'd eaten any of them?

I don't know their lifespan. This goby is a full adult, and we collected him as a 1" juvenile about a year and a half ago. Could it be just old age? Anyone know how long these gobies live?

All of the other fish and inverts are doing great.

I go for access and function.... I would just have the sticks, but mine is in the garage!! To make it look nice I would suggest cutting access into the plywood. Then just make a piece that just slides around the whole thing. What is the dimensions of the stand?

Have you tried a phyto. drip? I have also noticed if you do like the donovan nitrate destroyer(thread on here somewhere) or something like it the sea squirts and stuff will stay alive.

Thanks Chris. That's what I meant by a facade, one that I can just slide around it so that I can get the tank up and running with the stand as is. The stand is 36"x36"x36".

I haven't tried a phyto drip, but I've been feeding my filter feeders Reef Nutrition Oyster Feast. I'm curious about your set up for that. That sounds like if I can get a good culture going, it would be way cheaper than what I'm doing. Plus, I'd have food for rotifers and pods for when I set up my blenny grow out tanks.

Most of the sea squirts lived about 8 months then died off, but I find one now and then when cleaning my tank, so they reproduced in the tank. I got all excited about one that showed up about a month ago near the front of the tank, but the next day, I saw a mud crab feasting on it. I think that their lifespan is less than a year. Have you noticed that too? I have one big barnacle in my fish tank that is doing well now. My 20g long, the fish tank, has a dino plague that I have to do something about. I also have a good amount of red cyanobacteria, but that's because I feed heavily and have a large bioload for the tank. Ammonia and nitrite is zero. I was going to use Chemiclean, but every time that I pick up the bottle, I change my mind and decide to let nature take its course.

The barnacles, grass shrimp, mussels and anemones are doing well in my invert 20g high tank, and of course, the bristle worms! When I turn on the light, at least two species of amphipods are feeding on the algae around the tank and glass, but soon head for hiding spots within minutes. Both tanks have a good many copepods. A new species of algae showed up in the tank this month that I hadn't seen before, and I haven't added anything to the tank in almost 8 months now. I kind of like it and hope it outcompetes the green cyanobacteria in the tank.
 

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Thank you Dawn. I'm going to get this tank set up sooner rather than later!

I lost one of the male naked gobies last night, found it dead in the front of the tank. There are no disease symptoms now, or in recent past. I ran water tests and everything looks good, zero ammonia and nitrite, for example.

I'm confused because the other day, the fish was eating out of my hand, and was very active. I have lots of dinoflagellates in the tank. Could that have been a problem if he'd eaten any of them?

I don't know their lifespan. This goby is a full adult, and we collected him as a 1" juvenile about a year and a half ago. Could it be just old age? Anyone know how long these gobies live?

All of the other fish and inverts are doing great.
I am sorry Kevin to hear about the goby. I just don't know anything about that specie of goby and couldn't guess what its lifespan should be. Its always puzzling when one of our aquatic pets seems active and fine and then we find they have unexpectedly perished...puzzling and painful. I am sorry for the loss.
 

chris85

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Try grinding up some ulva and dump the juice in for the dinos.... There is a thread on here somewhere. Please don't use chemiclean!! You can also use live oysters to filter the water instead of the skimmer. I pick up a few and throw them in the drain tank and just get one every now and then and feed it to my fish, so they don't die in my system. You can also get them this time of year and toss them in your tank and make them spawn from the temp difference. Sorry getting off track....

I have had a naked goby for I think close to three years. Sorry for your loss.

The phyto drip... I had a shelf above my tank with a small light resting on it with just 20oz and 2 liter bottles. Just put a 1/4in hose in with an airline valve and drip it into the tank and refill with fresh water.

Not sure about the seaquirts anything that I have a ton of rock and usually anything that is easy to reach gets eaten!!
 
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Chasmodes

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I am sorry Kevin to hear about the goby. I just don't know anything about that specie of goby and couldn't guess what its lifespan should be. Its always puzzling when one of our aquatic pets seems active and fine and then we find they have unexpectedly perished...puzzling and painful. I am sorry for the loss.

Thank you Dawn. After doing some research, there seems to be some info that their lifespan is 4 years, but I'm not sure how accurate that is. They're a very hardy fish. Since it was wild caught, perhaps it had an internal parasite or something, who knows... All I can do now is do my best for the ones that are living. They look and act great, still laying eggs and fish larvae show up every four or five days or so. It is troublesome though...was it destiny? Or was it something that I did, or didn't do?
 

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Thank you Dawn. After doing some research, there seems to be some info that their lifespan is 4 years, but I'm not sure how accurate that is. They're a very hardy fish. Since it was wild caught, perhaps it had an internal parasite or something, who knows... All I can do now is do my best for the ones that are living. They look and act great, still laying eggs and fish larvae show up every four or five days or so. It is troublesome though...was it destiny? Or was it something that I did, or didn't do?
I suppose when you are keeping fish not commonly kept you are a pioneer of sorts. Pioneering always includes some bumps in the road since there is a learning curve. You are paving the way for other aquarists however.
 
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Chasmodes

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My fished posed again for me, so time to share some pics again.

Male Striped Blenny (Chasmodes bosquianus):
IMG_0548_zps867cx6ev.jpg


A pair of male striped blennies challenging each other's territory:
IMG_0550_zpsqxoxldvo.jpg


A skilletfish (Gobisox strumosus), blending in:
IMG_0553_zpscnc1nr4d.jpg


Side view of a skilletfish:
IMG_0554_zps4sxphysv.jpg


Another angle of a skilletfish, and a female naked goby (Gobiosoma bosc) inside an oyster shell:
IMG_0556_zpsvgdpf7yo.jpg


Another male striped blenny peeking out from a crevice:
IMG_0557_zpszcskyknj.jpg


The queen of the tank, a female striped blenny:
IMG_0559_zpsd5jtvrrv.jpg


A handsome male naked goby.
IMG_0562_zpsthhwvwu4.jpg
 
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Chasmodes

Chasmodes

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I don't have any pics or vids this time, but the tank is doing well. My basement doesn't have heat, and we're having a cold winter, so my water temperature has been just below 60F degrees for a while now. It was 58 yesterday. I think someone needs to shoot Punxatawny Phil and hire Punxatawny Bob to predict winters from now on. I haven't seen fish fry in a few weeks. My guess is that the 60 degree mark is about as low as any of these species will go to lay eggs. The male blennies are loosely guarding their shells, and some have changed their favorite shell. The gobies hang out in any shell that the other fish don't chase them out of, and are not defending any of the shells except against each other. The large male skilletfish still hangs out in his shell, defending it all the time, but is not guarding eggs now, and probably hasn't been guarding them for a while now. I have not seen any eggs laid in several weeks now. It could also be that the fry won't hatch below 60 degrees, so why would these fish waste all that energy? Instead, they're all getting nice and fat. We've seen such nature in other fish species, females fat with eggs in late winter and spawn when the temperature is right. This is especially true with walleye, musky, bass, and yellow perch this time of year.

Anyway, I'm guessing the spawning routines will once again go full swing when my basement temps heat up in spring, just like in the wild. After all, when planning this tank, I was hoping this type of cycle would happen. Now, it's a bit disappointing to not see fry swimming around...kinda selfish of me, right? But, it's more like nature, I think.
 
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