Does He Have Cooties? Yes/No

Blech, getting a skimmer to work consistently is such a bitch.  It’s like dating in high school – one day everything is working perfectly, the next a world-ending crisis, the day after a romp in a meadow filled with flowers followed by a knife twisted sharply in an eye…

Cereth snail laying eggs to the smooth, smooth stylings of Barry White.

Cereth snail laying eggs to the smooth, smooth stylings of Barry White's lesser-known remix, "Can't Get Enough of Your Asexual Love, Baby."

Skimmers have a break-in period before they work properly, which is slightly maddening.  The new skimmer itself is great – definitely the most effective one I’ve owned – but it will pull out a dark brown skimmate for two days and then the snails will have sex or something and their spooge changes the water chemistry and the skimmer will overflow.  That last sentence? I am not kidding.  Skimmers operate on the principle that the water maintains a specific surface tension, and when there’s a sudden change in certain proteins or chemical concentrations, the water changes surface tension and the skimmer backflows into the refugium.   Usually snail hanky-panky isn’t sufficient to change surface tension, particularly in tanks with larger water volume, but it’s a brand-new skimmer so anything is possible.

Research has shown the Flame Hawkfish has more attitude per ounce than a great white shark.

Research has shown the Flame Hawkfish has more attitude per ounce than a great white shark.

Speaking of crazy stabby relationships, I’m looking for another fish for the 30g.  The tank used to have four fish: a flame hawkfish named Floyd, a coral beauty angel, and the black clownfish pair. Well, Floyd kicked it back in early February.  Somehow he slipped into the hair’s width of space between the glass wall of the tank and the filter, and the filter sucked his innards clean out of his body.  I miss Floyd – everyone who met Floyd misses him.  And when Floyd went, the dynamics of the 30g changed from four semi-aggressive fish peacefully co-habitating to a clownfish pair that picks on an angel.  I haven’t been rushed to pick another fish because the angel has her territory and the clownfish have theirs, and they generally avoid each other.  However, the clownfish are starting to venture out into the angel’s territory and I’m thinking this won’t be good, so it’s time to replace Floyd with another semi-aggressive fish so the clowns can divide their attention between multiple targets  instead of beating on the angel all day.  Now it’s just a matter of (a) finding a fish that is comfortable in a 30g; (b) finding a fish that is reef-safe (and with SPS corals, this means no replacement Floyds); (c) isn’t a damsel or an angel but can put up with their nasty habits.  We might be looking at another pseudochromis here, but a subspecies that’s more of a scrapper than the Fridmani or indigo, such as the diadema or even set some money aside for a nice splendid.

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~ by KBSpangler on June 10, 2009.

6 Responses to “Does He Have Cooties? Yes/No”

  1. I love that Barry White song!

  2. Speaking of clownfish, did you manage to get a replacement for Hector in the 65 gallon tank?

    • Yes but he passed away too… poor little guy. I think that might be the topic of today’s post.

  3. Hmm… I myself am into Nano tanks… Maybe an Assesor or Basslet species?

    Tough part is that many semi-aggressive species either get to large or are simply to ‘aggressive’. Without knowing what species of clown (guessing black occelaris or onyx percs… maybe black clarkiis?) I might even suggest looking at the spotted, yellow or ‘pearly’ jawfish. They stay fairly small, but they certainly have attitude.

    Definitely bookmarking this blog!

    • You are correct, they are black occelaris, and are somewhere between two and three years old. They are getting a little set in their ways. By luck, I was at the store and saw the biggest, fattest royal gramma on earth, so he’s in the tank now.

  4. […] point of interest: a royal gramma has been added to the 30g to help curb aggression issues.  I was looking for an aquacultured pseudochromis at the store and came across the biggest, […]

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