Chesapeake Bay Oyster Reef Biotope Tank

AquaCave
Atlantik icon reef aquarium LED lighting

Peace River

Thrive Master
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
17,386
Reaction score
133,762
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Central Florida, USA
;Smuggrin

You know what is funny? If I take the same view from that spot through a magnifying glass, he's OK with that. But, push my iPhone up against the glass and he attacks! He hates phones!!!!

It looks like you may have to invest in an iPhone telephoto lens in order to be more discrete! ;Snaphappy
 
BRS
OP
Chasmodes

Chasmodes

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
524
Reaction score
626
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Maryland
It looks like you may have to invest in an iPhone telephoto lens in order to be more discrete! ;Snaphappy
You're correct. I'd need to purchase a macro lens too. I have a hard time pulling the trigger on spending lately, since my spending needs exceed my ability to pay for them :eek::D
 
OP
Chasmodes

Chasmodes

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
524
Reaction score
626
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Maryland
Time for a video tank update, shot the other day after my "monthly" water change. Monthly is in quotes, because that is what I've decided on for a schedule. In practice, it's more like every third month, LOL. The fish were all curious and poking their heads out. I thought that the tank looked nice and bright, so, I took a video. Hope y'all like it.


As far as news of the tank goes. I saw blenny larvae the last few nights, so it's good to see the eggs hatching again. Remember I found 3 or 4 anemones last week, then 20 a few days later? Last night, I found 30 of them. They are all in the sand bed, none stuck to the glass or oysters. There are good many jellyfish polyps in the tank too. The lone barnacle is still hanging in there. And, I was worried about my large male skilletfish that wasn't eating. Three of the last four feedings, he ate some. He used to eat like a pig. Now, he's picky. I don't get it. But, at least he's eating.
 
OP
Chasmodes

Chasmodes

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
524
Reaction score
626
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Maryland
Well, I'm going to spam y'all with another video. I filmed this the other night to try and capture all of the life in my tank. I guess that I did, but after watching it on YT, it turned out better than I thought at first. I panned the fish first, then the invertebrates (barnacle, anemones, jellyfish polyps), then back to the fish. I hope y'all like it.

 
AS

Peace River

Thrive Master
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
17,386
Reaction score
133,762
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Central Florida, USA
Well, I'm going to spam y'all with another video. I filmed this the other night to try and capture all of the life in my tank. I guess that I did, but after watching it on YT, it turned out better than I thought at first. I panned the fish first, then the invertebrates (barnacle, anemones, jellyfish polyps), then back to the fish. I hope y'all like it.

Spam? Are you kidding?! I am like a little kid at Christmas every time you post another video! Both the camera crew and actors did a good job in this one. I especially enjoyed the “introductions” as you panned the tank and everyone popped out an then retreated. I also enjoyed the interaction at 1:53 - thanks for sharing!
 
OP
Chasmodes

Chasmodes

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
524
Reaction score
626
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Maryland
This was an exciting weekend in some ways. I went with some friends on a collecting trip. On the down side, record rainfall over the past 16 months reduced the salinity in the Chesapeake bay dramatically, so much so, that it's almost fresh water. Blue catfish are regularly caught throughout most of the Maryland section of the Bay. In the past, their range was about the most upstream Northern section of the Bay.

As you might suspect, our collecting results were tough. We managed only 9 benthic fish (2 tiny skilletfish, one huge female striped blenny stuffed with eggs, and a handful of naked gobies). We also caught one pipefish, a few small american eels, some grass shrimp, a bunch of juvenile mummichogs, silversides, mud crabs, a half dozen fourspine sticklebacks, and grass shrimp. Of what we kept, most of it went to our local public aquarium.

I kept a pair of sticklebacks for my 20g high (second video), a few oyster shells with live mussels, and 5 mud crabs. I also collected some Ulva and floating widgeon grass. Within the widgeon grass looked like strands of Elodea. I also collected another species of macroalgae that I have yet to identify (in the first video). Widgeon grass, some Ulva and Elodea, grass shrimp, amphipods, and the sticklebacks went into the 20g high (second video). Some Ulva and Elodea went into my 20g long fish tank, along with a couple oyster shells with mussels on them, and the mud crabs.

My friend that I went with also has an oyster reef tank, and gave me a small hermit crab and an oyster shell with barnacles on it. I'm not sure if the oyster is alive or not.

This video is my 20g long, my fish tank, showing the new additions.

This is the 20g high, featuring a ghost anemone and the sticklebacks.

Enjoy!
 
REEFTIDE
OP
Chasmodes

Chasmodes

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
524
Reaction score
626
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Maryland
Last night, I took another video of the fish tank, because the one that I posted yesterday was filmed when the water was still cloudy, and there were some really blurry scenes. The water in this video is much clearer, probably because the live oyster has been doing some filtering! Also, notice how fat the female striped blenny is. She is full of eggs. She has been laying eggs a couple times each week and is ready again.
And, that is the subject of the second video, the live oyster in my tank. When my friend gave it to me, I didn't realize it was alive until after I put it into the tank. It has a lot of small to tiny barnacles on it too, along with some other life. I was watching it with my magnifying glass, and decided that it was cool enough to deserve it's own video. Plus, a mud crab photo-bombed the whole thing.

 
Last edited:
OP
Chasmodes

Chasmodes

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
524
Reaction score
626
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Maryland
I made a short video to introduce everyone to the crabs that are currently in my tank. Enjoy!


By the way, the blennies killed one of my crabs. After filming this, I found a dead one, upside down, with the belly eaten out. I've seen them attack the crabs before. This one was picked on the most, because the last time I saw an attack, a male blenny lopped off the victim crab's claw. It's interesting, because they leave the hermit crab alone!
 
Atlantik icon reef aquarium LED lighting
OP
Chasmodes

Chasmodes

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
524
Reaction score
626
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Maryland
Sad news...After work on Thursday, I found my largest skilletfish, the one that was guarding eggs in some of my videos, dead. It stopped eating for a couple weeks, but the last month has been eating heartly and was back to normal. I have no idea what happened. I'm down to one skilletfish now.

The rest of the fish are doing great.
 
OP
Chasmodes

Chasmodes

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
524
Reaction score
626
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Maryland
Here's a quick update on the 20g high tank. I lost one of the two sticklebacks about ten days ago. Why? I have no idea, but, because it was eating fine. But, it hid all the time, and when it came out to eat, the other one harassed and chased it. My hunch is that the one doing the harassing killed the other one. The remaining one is doing well and growing. It eats at least 2-3 blackworms at each feeding. This video shows him eating blackworms. The last time that I tried to keep sticklebacks, I had a hard time finding food for them. This time, when they were small, I bought tigger pods and they gorged on them. Then, I bought the blackworms, and wow, they went after them with gusto.

Blackworms are sold locally, and pretty cheap, and easy to culture your own. I think that I spent $10 and these have lasted a month, easy. All I do is change out the water about every three days. If you cut some in half, both halves become new worms, and those are probably a better size for this stickleback. However, most of the worms are full size, and it's hard to separate out the smaller ones.

Hope you like the video:
 
Top Shelf Aquatics
OP
Chasmodes

Chasmodes

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
524
Reaction score
626
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Maryland
I hate giving updates about bad news, but I've had a few things happen in my oyster reef tank recently that I'm not happy about reporting. But, I have to tell it like it is.

First, my last skilletfish died. I had no idea it would happen. It was a hearty eater and full of energy every day. This was this past Friday.

Also, after fishing the skilletfish carcass out of the tank, I noticed that the female blenny, was being harassed by the males and was very stressed. She hadn't laid eggs in over a month now, and was extremely fat. I think she was eggbound. The males were still trying to get her to spawn, but, she wouldn't and avoided them. I think that all three of them were so worked up over her, that they wouldn't leave her be anywhere in the tank. So, I moved her out of the tank that night and put her into the tank with the stickleback. She immediately found a hiding spot in the oyster structure in that tank. I never saw her again until last night, when I spotted a mud crab feasting on her carcass. So, I fished her out.

While doing so, I noticed that the crab opened up her belly, and inside were thousands of eggs. At least my diagnosis was correct. But, that is no consolation. I loved that fish.

Also, the male blennies have removed all of the claws from all of the crabs in that tank. As I find the crabs, I try and move them to the other tank. Most disturbing was that they left the hermit crab alone all this time, until last night, when I saw his claws gone. So, I moved him out of the tank. The male blennies have killed mud crabs in the tank before and ate all of the grass shrimp. So much for that part of a clean up crew. I may keep only larger mud crabs in there from now on. The small ones will definitely get eaten if caught.

So now, I'm down to the three male blennies, and four naked gobies. Needless to say, I can't bring myself to post pics or videos right now, because this tank depresses me now. I'll have to revise my plan for the future with this tank to see if I can improve things. I have no idea if it was my fishkeeping that killed these fish, or, if it was just a natural progression of a combination of old age (skilletfish) and male blenny aggression. Maybe the larger tank will help. I'm working on that.
 
OP
Chasmodes

Chasmodes

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
524
Reaction score
626
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Maryland
Just a quick update on the oyster reef tank. All of the benthic fish perished due to an outbreak of velvet that I didn't catch in time. I moved the fish into QT but it was too late. So, the only things alive are the inverts (oyster, mussels, barnacles, anemones, crabs, and grass shrimp). I have since collected some rainwater killifish and one sheepshead minnow that are in my QT tank, just to keep it cycled, if anything. I'm treating them with copper just in case. I may or may not add these fish to the 100g oyster reef tank later on.

It's getting colder outside, so my fishing trips shouldn't be as regular, which will free up time for me to rebuild my oyster reef in the 100g tank. I have a lot of work to do, but I'm determined to have it up, running, and cycled by the spring fish collecting season.

So, what have I been up to? I finished my FW stream tank. If you've been following this thread, I think that I posted a while back about the progress of this build. Well, I've finished it. It's up and running, and I've collected fish for it. You may remember that I created a faux rock wall 3D aquarium background out of styrofoam, spray foam, Drylok, and an epoxy clear coat. I also created faux roots out of PVC pipe, rope, wire, aquarium tubing, plaster wrap, grout, Drylok and an epoxy clear coat. I'm really excited how it turned out.

I wound up collecting more fish from a local stream about 40 minutes from my house for my FW stream tank this past weekend. This small stream has been one of my favorite smallmouth bass fishing spots over the years. It has a wide diversity of fish species, as much as any stream in the Western part of Maryland.
IMG_1904_zpsucnpdlbx.jpg


There are a couple species that I still want, but, for the most part, it's fully stocked now. I also found a beautiful red rock that I just had to put into the tank. I'm trying to find at least one rock to add to the tank from each fish collecting site. This tank is a Potomac River biotope tank, minus major predators.

The species below are currently in this tank:

Darters:
Rainbow Darter (Etheostoma caeruleum)
Fantail Darter (Etheostoma flabellare)
Greenside Darter (Etheostoma blennioides)

Minnows, Shiners and Dace:
Eastern Blacknosed Dace (Rhinichthys atratulus)
Spottail Shiner (Notropis hudsonius))
Silverjaw Minnow (Notropis buccatus)
Longnose Dace (Rhinichthys cataractae)
River Chub (Nocomis micropogon)

Here's a short video of the tank and the new critters:
 
BRS

Peace River

Thrive Master
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
17,386
Reaction score
133,762
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Central Florida, USA
I’m sorry to hear about your losses but excited to hear about your progress. Both the Sheepshead minnow (C. variegatus) and Rainwater killifish (Lucania parva) are neat fish. As a side note when I was working with the parva i was able to encourage them to breed regularly in a full salt 10g with a standard killifish setup including a spawning mop and water incubation (with Methylene Blue for the eggs).
 
Last edited:

vlangel

Seahorse whisperer
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
4,199
Reaction score
2,896
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Just a quick update on the oyster reef tank. All of the benthic fish perished due to an outbreak of velvet that I didn't catch in time. I moved the fish into QT but it was too late. So, the only things alive are the inverts (oyster, mussels, barnacles, anemones, crabs, and grass shrimp). I have since collected some rainwater killifish and one sheepshead minnow that are in my QT tank, just to keep it cycled, if anything. I'm treating them with copper just in case. I may or may not add these fish to the 100g oyster reef tank later on.

It's getting colder outside, so my fishing trips shouldn't be as regular, which will free up time for me to rebuild my oyster reef in the 100g tank. I have a lot of work to do, but I'm determined to have it up, running, and cycled by the spring fish collecting season.

So, what have I been up to? I finished my FW stream tank. If you've been following this thread, I think that I posted a while back about the progress of this build. Well, I've finished it. It's up and running, and I've collected fish for it. You may remember that I created a faux rock wall 3D aquarium background out of styrofoam, spray foam, Drylok, and an epoxy clear coat. I also created faux roots out of PVC pipe, rope, wire, aquarium tubing, plaster wrap, grout, Drylok and an epoxy clear coat. I'm really excited how it turned out.

I wound up collecting more fish from a local stream about 40 minutes from my house for my FW stream tank this past weekend. This small stream has been one of my favorite smallmouth bass fishing spots over the years. It has a wide diversity of fish species, as much as any stream in the Western part of Maryland.
IMG_1904_zpsucnpdlbx.jpg


There are a couple species that I still want, but, for the most part, it's fully stocked now. I also found a beautiful red rock that I just had to put into the tank. I'm trying to find at least one rock to add to the tank from each fish collecting site. This tank is a Potomac River biotope tank, minus major predators.

The species below are currently in this tank:

Darters:
Rainbow Darter (Etheostoma caeruleum)
Fantail Darter (Etheostoma flabellare)
Greenside Darter (Etheostoma blennioides)

Minnows, Shiners and Dace:
Eastern Blacknosed Dace (Rhinichthys atratulus)
Spottail Shiner (Notropis hudsonius))
Silverjaw Minnow (Notropis buccatus)
Longnose Dace (Rhinichthys cataractae)
River Chub (Nocomis micropogon)

Here's a short video of the tank and the new critters:
Kevin, the FW stream tank is so cool. I remember seeing it when you were still workimg on the faux back wall. You did a wonderful job on the scape and I love the variety of fish you have in the tank.
 
AquaCave

How close to perfect, for you, is your reef aquarium?

  • IT'S PERFECT NOW

    Votes: 13 4.2%
  • It's getting close

    Votes: 47 15.3%
  • It's about half way there

    Votes: 54 17.6%
  • It's slow but progressing

    Votes: 96 31.3%
  • It's not even close

    Votes: 89 29.0%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 8 2.6%
PremiumAquatics.com
Top