Back in May (which seems a lifetime ago to me now) we went on holiday for two lovely weeks (snorkelling videos to follow) and as is usually the case something untoward always happens to the tank. In this particular case there was no equipment malfunction, but one of the fish decided to go on hunger strike, why remains a bit of a mystery but Tinker the male pintail wrasse, decided to stop eating 3 days prior to my return. I tried everything I could think of to get him feeding again, first I harvested live amphipods from the refugium which he ignored and then I tried live brine shrimp from the LFS which he also ignored. I also tried live copepods from the LFS with no joy (it was a long shot as they are too small gain much notice by him anyway) and delicious raw king prawns from the fresh fish counter but still he refused to eat. I went as far as to order a fish trap with the intention of catching and removing him to a separate tank but since he was not feeding the chance of success was limited. I agonised over what to do for him but could not bring myself to subject the tank to a strip down just to try and catch a single fish. I kept hoping that he would begin to eat again but sadly on the morning of the 21st June, after a month of refusing food he passed on, I honestly feel like I failed him.
Also when I returned from holiday I discovered that Jaffa the Crinoid Squat lobster was on the move. He'd spent the last 8 months content to live in amongst the Utter Chaos zoanthids and been fed by hand. I can only assume that as he'd not been fed as regularly whilst I was away he decided a move to better pastures was required. He was spotted in various different positions around the tank (sometimes riding on the back of a snail) but then vanished on the night of the 30th May 2019. The same thing happened to the first squat lobster I kept. It seems like when settled these crabs do OK but when they start to roam the tank they fall prey to the pumps/weir or some other undetermined sad end. Sorry Jaffa.
Lastly after Tinker passed on, the remaining Pintail seemed somewhat subdued but was still eating. This continued for another 6 weeks more but then on the morning of the 31st July I found that she had too passed away. I cannot explain what caused her demise; the remaining fish and corals showed no signs of anything untoward. I will not be replacing them, they were beautiful and peaceful but to be honest were too big for this tank and Belle (mainly) was a practiced jumper. I lost count of the number of times she would startle and bounce off the net cover.
Not a good update to have to post sadly.
Apologies for the lack of updates. My tank is still running and approaching its third birthday in a couple of months time. There have been a few changes/losses since my last update, I'll post in stages as I have quite a bit to report.
Firstly my lovely Bruun's cleaner shrimp passed away in February after 2 years and 2 months in my tank, she just vanished one day and I am assuming (hoping) that she just died of old age. I think 2+ years is the average lifespan of cleaner shrimp in aquaria and she appeared to be fully grown when introduced. Sadly I never saw her clean any of the fish but neither did she irritate any of the corals as the more commonly available cleaner shrimp are inclined to do.
I really missed having a shrimp roaming around the tank so when I discovered another of the same species for sale (from the same online supplier that I had purchased Crystal from) I did not hesitate. However when my order arrived I was somewhat shocked to discover that the new shrimp was absolutely tiny, less than two centimetres long. I thought well surely that's going to be an expensive snack for a wrasse.
After acclimation I carefully introduced the shrimp into the tank hoping that it would take refuge in the mass of zoanthids. Unfortunately the little guy thought otherwise and ignored the safety of the zoas/rocks by swimming right down to the bottom of the tank and rested on the sand. Luckily as it was so small (and practically see-through) the fish didn't even seem to notice it was there. However all good things must come to an end and the shrimp decided to move on and swam right into the path of the rather large Yellow wrasse who immediately took chase, scaring the life out of me and the shrimp. Luckily it managed to dart out of the way towards the right side of the tank but as I moved round to get a better view I lost sight of it, I did however discover a Pintail wrasse swimming casually away from its last known location. A goner for sure I thought, but no! After lights out I was gobsmacked to discover the plucky little shrimp swimming happily around the tank.
For weeks after that the shrimp would sensibly only come out at night to hunt for food but then after a month I discovered it out and proud on the side of the weir, exactly where the original shrimp used to reside and she (he?) has been there every day since. It must be the best spot in the tank for a Bruun's cleaner shrimp to hang out.
To date Crystal #2 has been with me for 6 months and has grown some but still is quite small, she is now totally ignored by all the fish. I am hopeful that I may discover her cleaning them one day but at this point it seems a tad unlikely.
Hi, my name is Lisa and I live in Derby, UK. I am a self-confessed reefaholic!