It’s A Darned Good Thing Clownfish Look The Same

I regret not having better photography skills, as I’d like to take you on an illustrated tour of the 30g and the 65g.  Thus far the 65g continues to be FOWLR, as every time I get a little money set aside for coral, some unforseen expense rears its hideous head (Yay, I got paid! Let’s drive to the store to buy … why won’t my car shift into fifth gear?).  Whatever.  I’ve long ago come to terms with the fact that being an adult is a bag full of angry suck-filled cats.

Two excellent examples of Royal Grammas... what?  It's been a BAD WEEK.

Two excellent examples of Royal Grammas... what? It's been a BAD WEEK.

That’s not to say there haven’t been any changes in the tanks.  The 65g has, and I kid you not, a pure black stomatella.   The stomatella is a common hitchhiker that will accompany your live rock, but almost all of them are white with a (very understandable) mother-of-pearl shimmer on their shells.   Every so often you can find a yellow stomatella, and even less often you stumble across a green or a blue one.  The black ones are one in a thousand.  Stomatellas are by far my favorite gastropod and I’m very proud of my rare mutant snail.  And upon re-reading that last sentence, I am again reminded that this is an extremely weird hobby.

Second 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, fattest, healthiest royal gramma I’ve ever seen in captivity.  Matt, the fish guy who set up the plumbing on the 65g, named him Carlos.  A royal gramma seems to be a good choice, as Carlos likes to hang out in the rockwork and when the clowns try to catch him, he ducks into caves in the rocks.  The coral beauty also seems to be happier.  I was feeling pretty good about the whole arrangement until I read some opinion pieces over at Wet Web Media that mentioned how a 30g is too small for two clowns, let alone two clowns, a dwarf angel, and a royal gramma.  I don’t know about that – I’ve seen many healthy 30-35g tanks with twice that number of fish and paired clowns are frequently recommended for nanoreefs of 15 gallons or less – but the WWM guys have been doing this sort of thing for years and their views are definitely worth considering.

Third point of interest: another baby clownfish was lost.  Slagathor suicided last Friday night… the 65g is an open-topped tank and the little fish decided to take her chances on the carpet.  I’m not as broken up about this as I was when Hector went to that big sushi roll in the sky, as it wasn’t my carelessness that did her in but her own desire to see if the dust behind the aquarium really was as tasty as it looked.  We only found her thanks to the flexible optical camera that Brown uses to guide cables through drywall.  She has been replaced with an even smaller clownfish, and it’s just right now that I’ve realized neither of these new clowns have names.  Crap.

June 16… The 65g has been set up for two months, so we are at T-minus four months to Mandarin Goby!

~ by KBSpangler on June 16, 2009.

2 Responses to “It’s A Darned Good Thing Clownfish Look The Same”

  1. I’ve also heard a great deal of varying opinions on what size of tank is needed for marine fish. My own experience and that of my LFS owner (with over 10 years of personal experience) as well as many other hobbyists is that it really depends on what animal, how crowded the tank is and your filtration (or nutrient export) mechanisms.

    I have personally found that ‘swim room’ and filtration make up the more important aspects of the tank.

    I’ve also found that a great deal of ‘experienced’ hobbyists tend to quote outlandish figures based on the “mine’s bigger” principal. Meaning “You can not keep X unless you have a tank that is Y large and you have Z accessories. Just like me.”

    • Oh, I know! The hobby-geek mentality is a killer. It would be wonderful if it didn’t get in the way of providing accurate information – I agree that some fish, like tangs, shouldn’t be kept in small tanks because they like to swim but that black clownfish pair hosts in a crack in the rocks and only pops out to see if food is coming.

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