Well my wonderful view of the Whitecap goby and pistol shrimp partner has been somewhat short-lived. Lurch the conch came bulldozing over their newly constructed burrow this morning and proceeded to fill it in whilst performing his routine clean-up duties. Normally I'm thrilled to see him cruising around keeping the sand clean looking but not today. Doesn't he realise that area is now off limits? I'm betting the shrimp will be burrowing somewhere else tonight, somewhere that I can't see I'm sure. :o(
Talking of clean-up duties my eldest recorded a time-lapse video of the tank with his GoPro Hero4. At that time the tank just contained snails and a couple of hermits. I feel exhausted just from watching how busy the 'crew' are, they work so hard.
Breaking news, both fish and pistol shrimp are alive!! I am so overjoyed that I feel the need to crack open a bottle of bubbly right now to celebrate and it's all over a fish less that a couple of centimetres long. My family think I have finally lost all my marbles.
After my posting yesterday I heard a single shot from the tank so I was fairly confident that the pistol was still alive and then this morning I discovered a new hole had appeared in the sand right in front of the rock pile. He couldn't have picked a better spot really because if I peer down at an angle I can partially see into the burrow. After a few minutes peering into the hole I thought I saw some movement, a pale object that could have been the fish but equally could have been the shrimp. Looking through glass at an angle really distorts objects and before long spots were starting to dance before my eyes. I could have been staring at a bit of sand wafting in the flow for all I knew, lol! Anyway I decided to pull myself away and prepare the first meal of the day, a delicious mixture of PE mysis, Omega-3 brineshrimp, cyclops and Calanus. I was in two minds as to whether I should try and drop food directly into the hole or not in case I scared whatever it was in there away. In the end the need to know was too great and I gently pipetted some food towards the hole. As luck would have it a small piece of mysis stuck in the sand on the lip of the hole, shortly after that a beautiful Whitecap goby poked it's head out and ate it. I also saw the antennae of the shrimp. Boy, am I a very happy reefer today. :o)
Sadly there's still nothing much to report on the new fish and shrimp additions. I've not seen the Whitecap since Monday night when it came out and swam around after the lights went out. I did add another dose of live copepods last night in the hope that they might tempt the fish out to eat, but no joy. I can't deny that I am fearing the worst for the little fish now. With regards to the shrimp I did catch a tantalising glimpse of an antenna poking out of a tiny hole at the base of a rock on Tuesday morning, it was a blink and you could have missed it moment. Gosh, what I wouldn't give for x-ray vision right then (and indeed now!!). Who knows what's going on underneath those rocks? The shrimp has been oddly silent since the first night and there's not much in the way of observable digging activities either. Having said that a hole has re-appeared in the sand at the back of the right-hand rock pile today which I can only assume is the pistol shrimp's handiwork. Unfortunately there was a T. nudus goby sitting at the top of the hole and not the much longed for Whitecap, argh!
Lets start with the bad, it seems I didn't locate and remove all of the nudibranchs from the zoanthid rock last week, I can't say that I'm really that surprised to be honest. So, yesterday out came the rock again (it's good job it's not stuck down!) for another thorough inspection. This time 3 of the little blighters were flushed off. If I discover any more at a later date then I'm going to have to break out the Reef Primer and dip the rock. I know that I should probably have done this as soon as they were first discovered or, even better, as preventative measure but I really hate killing the cool harmless stuff just to nuke the (possible) bad hitchhikers.
Now for the good news. :o) As soon as I knew that I was setting up another reef tank I knew that I HAD to have a pistol shrimp and goby pair. I have never tried keeping a symbiotic pair before and would really wanted to observe the interactions between the fish and shrimp and, most particularly, admire the shrimp hard at work digging. Anyway to my very great surprise my wonderful better half came home yesterday with a Whitecap Goby and Red Spotted pistol shrimp pair. I had tried to purchase a pair before but on the day before I was due to visit the shop the shrimp went missing from the tank in which it was being kept in, I was so gutted as they are not commonly available. Luckily for me the shop was able to obtain another pair and unbeknownst to me, my husband drove over and picked them up. The pair are absolutely beautiful! Upon introduction, the shrimp separated from the goby and headed for the back left-hand corner of the tank whereupon it promptly started digging a hole in the sand. The goby however remained in the open water at the top of the tank which is not a good place to be considering the size of the fish (tiny!!) and the strength of the water flow from the Tunze Nanostream pumps, but more worryingly it is small enough to take a dive through the weir comb to the depths below. I decided to switch off the circulation pumps for the time being to give the little fish a fighting chance to settle but there’s not much I could do with the size of the gaps between the comb. Will I still have a goby/shrimp pair tomorrow who knows? I expect a sleepless night ahead for me worrying about the poor things.
Hi, my name is Lisa and I live in Derby, UK. I am a self-confessed reefaholic!