For now, this is my "mini" oyster reef, a holding tank for specimens that I collect. Currently, it houses five juvenile naked gobies (Gobiosoma bosc) that are about 3/4" long and one small grass shrimp.
I'm going collecting this weekend, but won't add anything to the tank unless I get a juvenile blenny of about the same size. I may also add one or two juvenile skilletfish. I also hope to add some snails and greenery. I'll look for macros that I find or maybe some widgeon grass to add, so that I can have some added nitrate control and also improve the looks of the tank, along with food for the snails.
After cycling the tank, I added some of the smaller cultches (oyster clusters) of my oyster reef construction. I did this for a couple reasons:
- Added biological filtration value
- Cover for the fish
- Just to see how they look in an aquarium. So far, I'm very pleased.
The filtration for now is just a hang on back power filter. The substrate is play sand from Home Depot, washed and then seeded with Bio-spira. The tank cycled in about 10 days. Last night, ammonia was zero, nitrite was zero, and nitrate was about 50 mg/L. I'm very impressed with that product.
Regarding Bio-spira, there isn't much info on the web about using products like this for brackish water. Since the sg is about 1.015 in this tank, I went with the salt water product. I read somewhere that tanks under 1.007 will require the fresh water product, above that, the saltwater version. Well, it worked great so far. Ammonia was gone in two days, nitrite gone in three days. Nitrates have gradually risen since, hence the need for the macros or grass. Even after adding the salad, I'll do another 10% water change this weekend, especially if I'm adding any new critters.
I will transfer the inhabitants to the main tank eventually. After that, I'm not sure of the direction that I'll tank. They oyster structure will be moved to the main tank, but I may build some for this tank eventually. The shells on the bottom will remain. I envision this tank as a macro/seagrass tank housing either a few four-spined sticklebacks or perhaps a seahorse/pipefish tank. Time will tell.
Naked Goby (Gobiosoma bosc)
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More naked gobies, broader view
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Full tank shot
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All of the inhabitants are doing well. They are all fat and sassy, even eat out of my hand after a week in captivity. The fish pick on the shrimp some, but haven't hurt it. I keep thinking that they'll either kill the shrimp or it will die, but, it keeps on showing up and surprising me.
Up until now, I've fed them flakes and frozen brine shrimp, and the fish ate both from the start without issue. I also plan to catch amphipods to add to the tank to supplement their diet. I saved frozen oysters and will feed them some of that too from time to time.