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Thread: Chesapeake Bay Oyster Reef Biotope Tank

  1. #91
    DIYFK member FLDave's Avatar


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    Pardon my ignorance but.....

    Will you treat the display tank in any way? Are the parasites likely to have survived long enough in that tank as to cause new problems when you re-home your stock?

  2. #92
    DIYFK member Chasmodes's Avatar


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    No problem at all Dave, thanks for the question. Six weeks with the tank fallow should be long enough that all of the parasites will die off as they will starve and not complete their life cycle. If there are bacteria (the bad kind), my hope is that the immune systems of the fish can prevent infection, otherwise, I may be forced to treat the DT with an antibiotic. Time will tell. In the future, any new fish that I capture for the tank will spend 3 weeks in QT treated with copper.

    So far, day 4 of QT and the fish are doing well, and I don't think that they have a bacterial infection. I think what I was seeing was their slime coat giving off excess slime from two stressors, the parasites creating discomfort and also stress from being chased around by the dominant breeding male. Life it QT has quieted all that down now.

    I had to do a 50% water change as ammonia spiked (the QT is cycling) and add more copper to keep it at a therapeutic level. Last night, I had some leftover live bacteria in my fridge leftover and the expiration date is still to come, so I dumped it in the QT. It may work, but most likely the copper will kill the introduced bacteria. My hope is that it might speed up the cycling of the QT. I'd rather not do water changes so often so I can keep a stable treatment of copper. Testing for copper is crucial. Last night, ammonia was high and nitrite was zero. I have a sneaky feeling that I'll be doing another water change tonight.

  3. #93
    DIYFK member Chasmodes's Avatar


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    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.

  4. #94
    DIYFK member HillbillyHomer's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge...Glad to hear that things are working out!..Click here to enlarge

    i dont know anything about salty tanks. But will the tube anemone come out under moon/blue light?

  5. #95
    DIYFK member Chasmodes's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HillbillyHomer Click here to enlarge
    i dont know anything about salty tanks. But will the tube anemone come out under moon/blue light?
    That's a good question. I guess I'll need to check that out!

  6. #96
    DIYFK member FLDave's Avatar


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    Amazing........

  7. #97
    DIYFK member Chasmodes's Avatar


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    Thank you Dave.

    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:
    Click here to enlarge


    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.



    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.


    Here's another moon jellyfish polyp:

  8. #98
    DIYFK member Chasmodes's Avatar


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    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.

  9. #99
    DIYFK member Chasmodes's Avatar


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    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.

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