A UNBC Reef Tank update

Shrimp goby news. In my last blog I wrote that the orange spotted goby that was partnered with the Randall’s pistol shrimp appeared to have passed on, and as a result I added a yellow watchman goby to the tank. A few days ago, the missing goby was back on its post in front of the burrow they share, which explains why the yellow watchman never managed to pair up with the shrimp. If you are at the tank at the right time, you may see the pair at the left end of the tank between two rocks right next to the Hawaiian feather duster tubeworm. This is an example of the ever changing scenarios in the tank. Organisms that seem to have disappeared suddenly reappear.

Major refurnishing. Over the Christmas break, I decided that the orange plate Montipora coral had gotten too large, as it was right up to the surface, and also shading many of the smaller corals. Consequently I removed about ¾ of it, which amounted to ¾ of a 5 gallon bucket full of coral pieces. Plate corals, because of their growth pattern, provide an incredible maze of chambers where small creatures can live in relative safety. Along with numerous small brittle stars of the genus Amphiura (more about them in a future blog) I found the porcelain crab, Petrolisthes sp., which promptly vanished after its introduction to the tank last fall. Right after the pruning, the corals looked a little worse for wear, but they now have recovered and are growing nicely again.

Photo of Reef Tank from 2013, showing the Montipora plate coral in the back. At the time of this photo it was about half the size it was when pruned in December.

Prince George Reef Tank Tour. The Annual Prince George Reef Tank Tour will kick off its 8th season at the UNBC reef tank on Sunday, January 19, 2014, 12 noon to 4 pm. This event is open to anyone interested in reef tank keeping. Meet experts and beginners, view the tank, ask questions and get advice on aquarium keeping. Usually we have “frag” sales, i.e., reef tank keepers will bring in pieces (frags) of coral for sale at extremely discounted prices for other reef tank keepers. The Tour continues with home visits to reef tank keepers on February 2, February 16, and hopefully March 2. For picture highlights from last year’s Tank Tour see: http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=93326

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