I can't help it... more fishtank:

December 01, 2004

I've been restraining myself from posting about the fishtank because I feel like it's more interesting to me than to anyone reading, but I can't help it, the thing is too cool.

Leah and Ginger were laughing at me & Kevin last night for our watching chairs...

I wish I could say that we don't really spend all of our time sitting there, but I really can't. :-) We bought new lights the weekend before thanksgiving since our used bulbs really seemed weak and we weren't seeing much plant growth. The lights are JBJ Formosa DX which are two blue actinic and two white bulbs. The difference from the old ones is surreal, and our tank is so alive now. We also bought a dude crew -- hermit crabs and snails to clean our rocks, substrate and tank. They all seem happy and are doing a great job keeping all of our new plants in check. Here's a sample view of one of the most popular rocks (you can see three hermit crabs and a snail covered in purple algae -- I circled them in yellow so that they'd be easier to find):

Then we have this guy, who spends all of his time eating (as opposed to most of our snails who spend all their time looking asleep):

He delighted us (I'm serious. we were entranced.) last night by standing up and waving his antennae around. We couldn't decide if it was a king of the mountain display or gastronomic distress, but it was fun to watch.

We also have a neat little double fan which started growing on our rocks once the new lights were in place:

We don't know what it is (it's about 3/4" tall right now, and deep green), so we need to find some sort of salt water algae field guide, but i'm hoping that it continues growing. So neat.
Here are two other unidentified algae colonies:

The green algae on the left has globes between 1 and 4 mm, and sticks to the rock. We have several groups of it. I think that it's some sort of single celled bubble algae. The hermit crabs and snails munch stuff off of it, but haven't eaten any of the bubbles. I'm hoping that it spreads.
My favourite algae is the purple tubes on the right. When the lights are off or any animals come near it, it shrinks into itself and becomes a little purple tube. This blurry photo is of five of them, when they're open. The biggest is 2 or 3 mm across. The centers are a greenish/yellow, and the edges are surrounded by a very fine orange fringe. I don't know what they are, but they're amazing, and I get a lot of milage out of watching them.

It isn't so hard to see why I spend so much time sitting in the chairs watching, right? :-P

Our water quality is looking good, so we are looking at getting our first fish this weekend!! Maybe a neon goby or two?


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