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Brackish 20 Long Chesapeake Bay Aquarium


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#141 Chasmodes

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 05:11 PM

This barnacle in my Chesapeake Bay biotope aquarium is trying to breed.  Normally, their probing male reproductive organ will find a suitable mate and the process is complete.  However, in this video, you can see milt released into the water column.  An interesting note, barnacles, in proportion to body size, have the largest male reproductive organ in the animal kingdom!

 

 


Kevin Wilson


#142 dsuperman

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 11:14 PM

Very nice updates,thanks. 

 "Once you go barnacle ......."



#143 Chasmodes

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 09:56 AM

 Thank you dsuperman!

 

 "Once you go barnacle ......."

 

This cracked me up!

 

Here's a video update where the fish are a bit more active (shot last week).

 

 


Kevin Wilson


#144 littlen

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 10:46 AM

Was at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, VA and took these photos of an artificial oyster reef tank they have.  It is 250 gallons.  Although there are none of the little fish that you are currently enjoying--Skillet, Goby, Blenny--they have some larger species in there that seek refuge around the reefs as juveniles.  They do have another exhibit called, "Piling" that has all those mentioned above, plus more.  I should have gotten you some pictures of it as well.  The VLM does some conservation work in the Chesapeake Bay with transplanting S.A.V.'s and oyster work.  The first picture is a 'before' and the second picture is what a growing or established reef would look like after a few years.  Both pictures come from the same tank.  Note: no living oysters in the system.

 

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Nick L.

#145 Chasmodes

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 08:02 AM

They do have another exhibit called, "Piling" that has all those mentioned above, plus more.  

 

Thank you Nick.  Very cool stuff.  The VLM has a nice blog where they've posted about this exhibit along with some cool videos, including blennies.  I need to do another tank video, but my front glass is covered with algae and tons of pods, so I need to do some cleaning first :)


Kevin Wilson


#146 mattknepley

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 05:05 PM

This barnacle in my Chesapeake Bay biotope aquarium is trying to breed.  Normally, their probing male reproductive organ will find a suitable mate and the process is complete.  However, in this video, you can see milt released into the water column.  An interesting note, barnacles, in proportion to body size, have the largest male reproductive organ in the animal kingdom!
 


You sir, are not right. Just what kind of environment are you providing for those creatures?! :P Apparently a very good one. Keep it up!
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#147 Chasmodes

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 08:10 AM

It must be the mood lights  :D/

 

Thank you Matt!


Kevin Wilson


#148 Chasmodes

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 12:48 PM

Ever since I set up this tank, off and on, some of the fish have shown signs of parasitism, in particular, scratching themselves on the oyster shells or substrate.  Until recently, mostly the gobies have been doing it, with a blenny doing it once in a rare while.  But now, All of the gobies and several of the blennies have been scratching much more frequently.  And, three of the blennies have visible signs of parasitism or disease of some sort, mainly a loss of overall color on their sides (faded, a bit whitish but not solid white), and on Friday, I noticed one of the blennies frequently cowering in the corner, which is another sign of disease (and I'll add a but...later), and, this blenny is showing some cysts (like ich, larger, so I don't think it is velvet) around the head.  It is a male blenny, and has also been biting his tail, as if to attempt to remove something.  I also noticed my largest male with similar symptoms, and he would only show up for a few bites of food, then hide again.  Only a couple blennies didn't show any symptoms, and neither did any of the skilletfish.  All of the fish ate well, even showing up to feed out of my hand (which is comical as I try and spread the food around the tank, skilletfish and blennies chase my hand and try to intercept the food from my fingers).  So, I don't think I'm too late.

 

So, I had to take action, not wanting what happened to my other tank where all of the fish died.  I suspected flukes and/or ich.  I set up a 20g long quarantine tank and began the process of catching my fish for treatment.  Well, as you might suspect, blennies, gobies and skilletfish aren't ones to come to the net.  So, remove all of the cover (my oyster reef and shells) and left the invertebrates in the tank.  It took me quite a while to coax the blennies and skilletfish out of the many hiding spots in the oyster cultches.  Some of the fish were in the individual oyster shell (matching pairs, connected and open).  And, within one of those shells was my largest male that was always hiding except for food, and infected with the disease.  And in his shell, were eggs.  

 

MY FISH WERE BREEDING!  He was guarding eggs, hence, the reason that he wasn't coming out for food.  It also might have been part of the reason that the other large male was cowering in the front corner of the tank.  So, this is great, because it was a goal of mine to breed these fish, but, at the same time, it stinks because I had to remove them from the display tank.

 

After setting up my quarantine tank treated with Cuprimine (a copper medication) to kill ich and/or velvet, I brought the fish in and gave each of them a freshwater dip for 5 minutes.  I was happy to see that this didn't stress out the fish much at all, and after each one, put them in the QT.  I noticed some external parasites falling off, but the main reason to do the dip was to look for flukes.  There may have been a few, but, not many at all, and certainly not enough to cause a fish to be sick and stressed.  There may have been a bunch of smaller parasites that I couldn't either see or ID with my magnifying glass.  So, maybe that wasn't a total bust, because FW dips can provide some relief of the symptoms, albeit temporary.

 

So, this is day three of QT and they are now being treated with a full dose of copper.  27 days to go.  The display tank is fallow, save for the invertebrates, and will remain fallow for 6 weeks.  After the QT period is up, I'll keep the fish in there for observation until they are ready to go back into the DT.

 

A friend of mine suggested a possible bacterial infection, so if the whitish film doesn't go away, I will try treating them with antibiotic.  Anyone know if I can use antibiotics and copper at the same time?

 

Once I'm done with this process, then the QT tank will remain my QT tank for future collections.  I plan to use the other 20g tank as a holding tank for any new macroalgae, invertebrates, substrate or shells that I collect for my display tank, with the idea that keeping them in observation for 6 weeks serves the same purpose as keeping a tank fallow, to make sure that they are parasite free for the most part.

 

Until then, it will be a challenge to control ammonia and nitrites for a few days while keeping the dose of copper at the most effective level.  I took out a sponge filter from my other tank to aid in the cycling of the QT.  The QT has a bunch of PVC pipe pieces and parts for the fish to hide in, and they're taking to them.  They're scared to death of me now, understandably, and also very spooky.  They don't like their new home much at all, but, they are eating.  I reduced their feeding to once per day and half of what I've been feeding them until the QT cycles.


Kevin Wilson


#149 elting44

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 01:36 PM

Good luck and keep us posted


Tyler Elting -  Intersection of the Saline, Smoky Hill and Solomon Rivers, Kansas
"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" -Matthew 4:19
Avatar photo credit Lance Merry

#150 Chasmodes

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 02:50 PM

Thank you Tyler!


Kevin Wilson


#151 littlen

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 10:36 PM

Thats awesome. Happy for ya. The good news is if they were happy enough to breed with some level of active infection, they should have no problem doing it again once they clear up and settle back in the main tank.

The white film could be abrasions from constant flashing or fighting and damage to the slime coat/underlying tissue. Im guessing once you get the irritants off the skin with your copper treatment the rest should heal up just fine. Eating is always a good sign expecially with infected fish. So I think youre doinf things right.

Not to be a negative Nelly but you may have a bigger problem on your hands in the future....what to do with all the blenny fry! Good luck.
Nick L.

#152 Chasmodes

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 08:07 AM

Thanks NIck.  That's a good problem to have, but maybe not for my wallet or free basement space!  I guess I need to build a tank rack!

 

This is the third day of QT, and although the fish are skittish, they're eating, which is a good sign. The copper concentration is 0.5 ppt right now, which is therapeutic strength. Some fish are sensitive to that and stop eating, but so far, so good for my fish. 
 
With the DT being fishless, it's amazing what invertebrate life does. The crabs come out more often, the shrimp are roaming the tank without fear of getting eaten, and lots of worm and other life is showing up. The tiny anemones (or some sort of polyp, not hydra) are multiplying, and I think that the white anemone like creature in the hole in the oyster shell is a type of tube anemone, which is kind of cool too. But, it is kind of sad not seeing the fish in there. With luck, I'll have them back home in about 6 weeks!

Kevin Wilson


#153 Chasmodes

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 01:01 PM

Quarantine is boring when it comes to watching my fish.  Plus, my worry gauge is double what it normally is.  That said, the fish are all doing fine.  They look healthy, they're eating, they establish and maintain pecking orders, and defend territories, albeit zip tied pieces of PVC pipe.  They were very skittish the first week and a half, but now respond to me during feeding time and don't flee during that time or during water changes, testing or treatment of meds.  I guess that they're used to it.  I have to wonder if any spawning activity will occur.  Has anyone had that happen in QT while treating diseases?

 

Regarding the treatment and disease status, the fish have completely stopped scratching since about the fourth day of treatment, and the white film and spots on the fish are gone.  They all look fat and healthy, breathing looks normal.  So, to be safe, I'll have them at least in QT for 2 more weeks with copper, then another two weeks for observation after I get rid of the carbon.  By that time, the tank should be parasite free, as it would be fallow for six weeks.  I'm 1/3 of the way there, and so far so good.

 

The display tank is also a bit boring, although it is interesting to see more of the invertebrates than when fish are in there, specifically the crabs and bristle worms.  The white thing is definitely a tube anemone and only fully extends after dark.  When I turn the lights on, it draws back into a hole in the oyster shell.  More jellyfish budding polyps have shown up on the same shells as the small anemones, if that is what they are.  They could be another jellyfish species budding polyp, but I haven't seen any long tentacled jellies swimming around the tank.  I have seen the short tentacled ones from what I know are the budding polyps, floating around in my tank.  It's pretty cool, but I think that my power filters kill them off.

 

Some of the tunicates died off, but about a dozen of them are still alive and feeding.  The mussels are still alive as are the barnacles and open up to feed when I add plankton.  But overall, the DT is a bit boring without the fish, although the grass shrimp constantly cruise the tank without the fish in there.  I had one shrimp commit suicide as I found it on my tank top glass.  I can't figure out how it jumped out of the only tiny hole, but it did.  

 

I only put the lights on for 4 hours a day, and cyano and other hair algae species have died way back, as have some of the other light dependent life, perhaps dinoflagellates?  So the tank water is gin clear and the tank looks really clean.  One month to go, and all will return to normal.

 

So, what happens then?  I will work on the big tank for sure, but also keep the 20g long QT tank set up just for that purpose, with the mummichogs to keep the tank bacterial population going and use it for new collections.  I will use the 20g high for invertebrate collections as an observation tank, keeping it fishless and fallow, so that any invertebrates, shells, or anything else becomes parasite free before adding it to the display tank.  And once the 100g is set up, the 20g long DT will become a macro tank, most likely for sticklebacks and other weed loving bay critters.  All of my current fish will go into the 100g oyster reef tank.

 

Future stocking list additions to the fish that I have now will include a hogchoker, a few more striped blennies, maybe one to three feather blennies, maybe some sheepshead minnows, perhaps a porcupinefish, and hopefully a tropical stray spotfin butterflyfish.  My goal is to catch them all, but, I may have to purchase the last one if I don't have any luck finding any.  

 

I'm so happy that the QT process is going well so far.  My nerves will be much more calm when I can return all of the fish to their oyster reef home.


Kevin Wilson


#154 Chasmodes

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 10:58 AM

Here is the display tank, fishless (fallow) as it looks today.  I keep the lights off but save a few hours each day and have reduced feeding to a tiny bit of flakes each day plus bottled plankton 3x per week, so much of the hair algae and cyano has greatly reduced:

IMG_9319_zps6oqsz71n.jpg

 

Video updates:

First video of the QT, fish are doing well, doing what they do but in a pretty much sterile, copper treated environment with PVC pipes zipped tied for hiding spots:

 

I'm pretty sure that this is a small tube anemone.  It is bigger than the jellyfish polyps but smaller than the Ghost anemone.  This guy is growing though, about 2x the size that it was when I first found it.  It retreats to hide when I turn on the lights, so it is light sensitive.  I may flip the oyster shell over once so it stays out when the lights come on, not sure yet.  I doubt it is a worm, because it has too many tentacles, and don't seem feather like as most filter feeding worm tentacles appear.


Kevin Wilson


#155 Chasmodes

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 11:00 AM

With the fish out of the display tank, the invertebrates and far less shy.  Bristle worms come out to play a lot more these days.  I believe that this species is commonly known as a clam worm.  Here is one out foraging.  I have yet to see one attack anything.  They have a pretty nasty proboscis and will bite if handled (like bloodworms) but they seem to be very skittish.  Even grass shrimp spook them, as you can see at the end of this video.  I find them quite fascinating to watch.  I'd say that I saw perhaps a half dozen different ones out at various times.  There are many more tough, because there were at least a dozen that I could see along the edge of the tank glass in their burrows that never came out.
 
Remember the tiny anemones that I thought that I had?  Well, they never seem to grow any bigger than what I can see enough of with a magnifying glass.  So, I have been observing more and more, looked at this video, and then researched, and found that they also are moon jellyfish polyps, just a different stage (before budding).  So, I'd say I have about a dozen either budding or non-budding polyp moon jellyfish in my tank.

Kevin Wilson


#156 Chasmodes

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 11:01 AM

Here's another moon jellyfish polyp:


Kevin Wilson


#157 Chasmodes

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 08:25 AM

Update on my brackish tanks:

In the 20g Long display tank, which is fallow, I finally got a good video of what I was trying to ID earlier, and I'm pretty sure it is a ghost anemone, but still could be a tube anemone.  I'll have to study more about both to determine this.  But, it's not a worm, definitely a cniderian.  I am also ruling out that this is a jellyfish polyp, because it's much larger than those, and is growing, and has not changed to a budding polyp.  It has been there for a long time also.  Also, in the video, I found a small tunicate that I hadn't seen before just to the left of the anemone.  I think that my tunicates are reproducing.  This is the second one that I've found.  I need to go back and look at older pics and vids to determine if this was there before or not.  

 

Also, the ghost anemone wasn't doing well in the 20g high.  All of a sudden, it wasn't attached to anything, its tentacles were withdrawn, and it looked a bit withered.  I did a water change and it looked a little better for a while, but then became detached again.  So, I took the opportunity, since it wasn't attached, to move it to the 20g long display tank.  It is attached to a shell now and is doing much better.  The tentacles haven't fully extended yet, but the main body and overall health looks much better.  I've wanted to move this creature to the display tank for a long time.  

 

The fish are in their last week of copper treatment, and are doing well.  They're eating and look very healthy.  After the last day of treament, then I will do water changes and add carbon to get rid of the copper.  After that, I'll observe them in QT for a few weeks until the display tank fallow period ends, and then they get to go home.


Kevin Wilson


#158 Chasmodes

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 10:23 AM

A couple more videos:
 
The fallow display tank:
 
A couple Harris Mud Crabs (Rhithropanopeus harrisii), one of two species in the tank.  I always thought that these were a nasty muddy brown when collecting them in the field, but in a tank, they "clean up" really nice, and I find them quite attractive.   They are very secretive though, but during the fallow period, when the fish are away, the crabs will play.

Kevin Wilson


#159 Chasmodes

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 02:20 PM

 

"Hello?

Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone at home?
Come on, now,
I hear you're feeling down.
Well I can ease your pain
Get you on your feet again.
Relax."

 

 

The fish in QT are doing well, eating nicely. Copper treatment is over, so tonight I do my first water change, 25% and I'll add carbon to the filter to begin removing the copper from the system. In a few weeks, I'll move them back into the display.
 
Meanwhile, in the display tank, the invertebrates are having a party and doing math (multiplying). There are more bristleworms than I can count, so I hope that the fish have a good time eating some of them when they get back. The bristleworms are not aggressive toward anything in the tank, except each other now and then. If two of them meet, sometimes one will attack the other with a quick attacking motion. It resembles my Mom when I was a little kid smacking my hand when I tried to sneak a fresh cookie off of her baking sheet...lightning quick, as was I getting the heck outta there.

Kevin Wilson


#160 Chasmodes

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 04:19 PM

I had a minor setback the last week in QT.  I saw one of the gobies scratching.  I used to think that this behavior was at times due to an itch in general, not necessarily a parasitic symptom.  But, I've since reconsidered that philosophy, and I now think that it's almost always because of a parasite.  
 
I've been using Cuprimine, and at the time that I purchased it, I also bought a copper test kit from API.  Since then, I've read that the API kit doesn't accurately measure Cuprimine for some reason, but I went ahead anyway and dosed based on the directions, and tested with the kit.  The kit has been measuring consistently the same thing after my final dosing of Cuprimine, and until the other day, parasitic symptoms disappeared.
 
As a result, and based on what I read about the API kit, I went out in search of kits at local fish stores and the only one most of them carry is the API kit.  The info that I had was that the Seachem and Salifert kits are better, and the best is an expensive test kit that you can only get on line.  I'd rather not go expensive, and I thought it would be faster to find either of the other kits at a LFS...not so easy.  
 
Well, last Thursday, I found the Salifert kit at a LFS in the Baltimore area after a doctor's appointment that I had up there.  I got home and measured, and sure enough, the dosage was a bit below the therapeutic level, so I upped the dose by adding 5 drops a day, and just reached the therapeutic level last night.This time, I'll keep them at this level for three weeks.
 
They're still eating and active, so far so good with that.  I haven't seen any more scratching, so that is good.  The QT is also more than 10' away from the nearest tank.

Kevin Wilson




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