Jawfish burried in sand (not burrowed)

ironman187

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I ordered a jawfish at my lfs, they ordered two and they paired up during QT. So I bought both. Brought them home two days ago. The larger of the two went to work building it's den the smaller made a quick and dirty den and chilled out in it all day. Today I wake up and the smaller one burrowed out to the other side of the rock, right next to the larger one's den. Larger one wasn't anywhere to be seen...until one of my kids noticed it was burried up to it's eyeballs in the sand right next to the glass. What is going on here anything to worry about?

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Zack K

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Lets start with is he alive?
 
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ironman187

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They need smaller pcs of crushed coral/rubble to help build a sturdy shelter. just having sand will cause them to collapse sometimes.
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I have a ton of small rubble that a spread out in front of where they startted building their dens. I found out what's going on though. My Kole tang keeps chasing him. Not sure what to do about that.
 
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ironman187

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Well, he dissapeared. Meanwhile the smaller one has started venturing out to find a better place for it's den in the sand bed, although it too disapeared after the lights went out last night. It is digging pits, and seeing some other pictures, should I put a few larger pieces of rubbel out so it can dig under it or are the small pieces enough? I didn't expect either to dig out in the middle of the sand bed.

The Kole tang seems uninterested in both now. My only fear at this point is the larger one starving since I don't know where it is to spot feed it. Both are pretty small still.
 
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Dragon52

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When I first got mine I had already made a home for him by moving some of the sand underneath the rock in the picture then I put the rock over the dug out spot. when I added him to the tank I used a 3" diameter piece of clear PVC pipe & pored him in that way. Keep looking for the new burrows even around your rockwork. Mine decided to find a new home 2 or 3 times & I usually found him.
 

eatbreakfast

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It's not unusual for them to move around for the first few days/weeks. Give them a variety of rubble sizes to choose from to build with.

While it is unusual for a kole tang to be aggressive to different shaped fish, it is not unheard of. Put a mirror against the glass and the tang will be more preoccupied with its reflection than the jawfish.
 
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ironman187

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It's not unusual for them to move around for the first few days/weeks. Give them a variety of rubble sizes to choose from to build with.

While it is unusual for a kole tang to be aggressive to different shaped fish, it is not unheard of. Put a mirror against the glass and the tang will be more preoccupied with its reflection than the jawfish.
I did give them a variety, but nothing so big they couldn't conceivably carry it...unless I am grossly underestimating their strength.

As for the Kole tang, she's the tank boss and doesn't have an issue proving it. That being said, it's entirely possible she was going after algae on the sand bed and the jawfish was just collateral damage. She's pretty aggressive when going for algae.
 

eatbreakfast

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I did give them a variety, but nothing so big they couldn't conceivably carry it...unless I am grossly underestimating their strength.

As for the Kole tang, she's the tank boss and doesn't have an issue proving it. That being said, it's entirely possible she was going after algae on the sand bed and the jawfish was just collateral damage. She's pretty aggressive when going for algae.
Can you post a pic showing the rubble? Because based on the pics shown there isn't much.
 
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ironman187

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Burrowing fish will dissapear like that, but I understand your worry, this has an air of... unnerving... odd...
Right. No sign of the large one all day. The smaller one seems to be taking things in stride. It was, as I suspected, spending the night in it's origional den. It doesn't appear that any work was done on building a new den today. This is the smaller one's den on the right in that little cove. The larger one had been building its lt's den just to the left in the cove.
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This is the rubble I put down. I plan to add more as needed.
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The larger jawfish was also swimming around near the surface of the water, jumped and hit the screen top, and appeared to gulp air a few times before coming down to rest on the sandbed. About 30 minutes later it dissapeared and hasn't been seen since. Lfs said if they hit their head even lightly, it can mess up their spine and kill them. I did a good deal of research before we bought these guys and never read anything like that. The LFS is offered to credit half the price towards another one as well, but my gut says that would be a bad idea. This is a standard 75G, and if it isn't the opposite sex, my understanding is that they would fight. Either way, I'll probably wait a few days before writing this one off.

Thanks for the input.
 

eatbreakfast

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You could definitely add more rubble.

One of the reasons screen tops are better than glass is that they have a lttle 'give' if there is a jumper, so a spinal injury from jumping isn't likely.
 
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ironman187

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You could definitely add more rubble.

One of the reasons screen tops are better than glass is that they have a lttle 'give' if there is a jumper, so a spinal injury from jumping isn't likely.
Would you reccomend anything larger than what I have. The largest pieces I currently have are about 3/8" in diameter with most being 1/4".
 

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CARIBSEA was producing something similar. Just pyle it up in an area where you want them to stay
 
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If you don't keep your sand bed clean it will cause your tank to crash.

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