A Sucker For Flame Hawkfish

Although the memory of the $11 purple tang haunts me like a song by Erasure (oh shut up, you know you love that song), I keep getting that small ego-twinge that comes from depriving myself of something I want for the Greater Good.  Overall I’d stick that feeling on the midpoint between donating to NPR and refusing a plastic bag at the grocery store, so I’m very aware that the act of leaving a fish in a tank isn’t moving us any closer towards… oh, I don’t know, human enlightenment.  Still, I really wanted that fish.

On the other hand, leaving the tang for someone with a larger tank let me keep my wads and wads of gift certificates.  These were cashed in for a flame hawkfish ($59.99), a fanworm ($19.99), and 14 gallons of RO water ($6.75).  Total price?  Five bucks.

The Flame Hawkfish, image courtesy of Saltwaterfish.com, as my camera has gone the way of Vanishing Items.

The Flame Hawkfish. Image courtesy of Saltwaterfish.com, as my camera has gone the way of Vanishing Items.

With the exception of clownfish, I try to buy livestock that I’ve never owned so I can get a better understanding of how different critters interact.  And until today, I haven’t duplicated any previous fish, what with there being plenty in the sea and all that.  But I missed my flame hawkfish.  Brown bought me Floyd as a Valentine’s Day gift two years ago, and Floyd lived a very merry year before having his innards sucked clean out of his body through a freak filter accident.  I have no idea how it happened – I think it was rather like a freak combine incident, as you can go months and months without even the whisper of a combine tipping over into Christine-dom and then suddenly it’s all rarr! and gristle.

Anyhow, Floyd was a great little fish.  Charming, friendly, adorable, and a favorite with friends when they glanced in the tank.  While searching for those last few fish for the 65g,  the flame hawkfish never really got scratched off of the list.  Earlier today, there were three hawkfish at the store; now there are two.  She (it’s a she – this has been Decided) is smaller than Floyd and less vivid, but a nice reef tank and a healthy diet will perk up her coloring.  I’m a little concerned that she’ll sit on the SPS coral frags that are just beginning to fill out, but those are at the top of the tank and if she’s like Floyd she’ll linger near the middle.

The second purchase is a fanworm.  I had one of these in the 30g until it mysteriously vanished (AKA: something ate it).  This one has a frilly top that is almost snow white, with midnight blue threads running down the center of each feather.  Like the SPS, this is another filter feeder and should do quite well in the tank since they shares the same dietary requirements as the coral. The only downside of handling a fanworm is touching it, since its tube feels like a sodden toilet paper roll covered in folds of flabby skin.  Did that sound disgusting?  I hope that sounded disgusting.  I navigated it into the tank with a pair of surgical steel tongs and can only hope that it chooses a good location for its home so I won’t have to dig it up and move it.

Oh, the mandarin goby countdown is in the last few days – I have a big fat one on hold for me at a local store.  Its sitting in their seahorse tank and munching on the copepods in the refugium algae.  Just a few more weeks!

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~ by KBSpangler on August 28, 2009.

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