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Thread: Chesapeake Bay Oyster Reef Biotope Tank

  1. #121
    DIYFK member Chasmodes's Avatar


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    It's been a while since I posted about this aquarium. I had one sad set back. One of my male blennies all of a sudden became blind about three weeks ago. I discovered that he wasn't swimming out to accept food, and the other blennies were terrorizing him. And, after observing him for a while, I determined that he was blind. So, I moved him to my 20g high, away from the other blennies that picked on him and outcompeted him for food. From that point on, I fed him using a turkey baster, and he was much happier, just blind. That is, until a couple nights ago, where he acted very sick, swimming near the surface and breathing heavily. I suspect that some sort of disease overcame him, probably the one that I quarantined him from before, suggesting, perhaps, that his immune system was compromised. So, I euthanized him. I didn't feel much like writing about this, because I was pretty emotional about it. The other fish in my 20g long are all doing well and healthy.

    I don't understand why this happened, and I may never know, but usually, this happens to fish that become malnourished. I think that the blindness was the result of that, but I have to wonder if an internal parasite may have been the root cause of the malnutrition, especially since, prior to this, the fish ate readily everything that I offered. I feed them quality food, either fresh or frozen. I don't feed them flakes or pellets at all, except when I'm on vacation. However, included in the mix of food were meals of frozen brine shrimp. I fed them frozen brine shrimp every third meal. I haven't heard of any studies on this, but some have suggested that, over the long term, fish that eat frozen brine shrimp sometimes become susceptible to blindness. Has anyone experienced this before? So, the only change that I've made over the past three weeks was to give up on the brine shrimp. I feed my fish frozen or fresh sea food now. The fish love it, but my wallet doesn't, especially with the food purchased at my LFS.

    As far as the tank goes, all three species spawn about every three days to a week, depending on the species. All seem healthy and eat well. My attempt with the cage failed, not because of the cage, but probably the fish starved and need live food, not just frozen baby brine shrimp or oyster eggs. So, I'm going to set up a system to raise these fish soon, once I get some free time.

    To keep this from being a depressing post, I included a video that I shot from a while back, showing my fish doing their thing. About 2/3 through the video, you'll see that two male blennies will have an encounter. The blenny that the camera is tracking changes coloration, one that is common after or during aggression with another blenny. You'll notice that the dorsal half of the fish, from the eyes back, becomes very dark, almost black. This is an indicator of an aggressive mood in these fish. I haven't seen anyone document this before, so, there ya go, now it's documented Click here to enlarge This was after a feeding session, including a dose of Oyster Feast. I hope you like it.

  2. #122
    DIYFK member Chasmodes's Avatar


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    Last night, when I went to feed the fish, all of the blennies came out to feed aggressively except one of the males kept hiding in his shell. This is the blenny that I dubbed, "King", because at one time, he was king of the tank. He no longer is, as the other males caught up to him in size and can hold their own against him while defending their piece of the rock. "King", staying hidden and not eating reminded me of the behavior of the one that went blind, so I was quite concerned.

    After I finished dispersing the food, I decided to shine a light in the shell and see if he was OK or if I could find signs of disease. Just as I picked up the flashlight, he came out to feed, so I shined my light into the shell, and lo and behold, I found eggs. He was guarding eggs! This confirms my thoughts on a question that I had, that one female will breed with multiple males. I've seen two other males hiding out like this, the first was the one that I filmed guarding eggs a couple months ago. The second male blenny acted the same way, but I couldn't verify if he was guarding eggs or not, because his territory is in the back of the tank. This blenny was right in front. How convenient!

    So, I went upstairs to grab my phone, brought it down and set it up on my tripod and waited for him to leave his shell and catch a vid of him guarding the eggs and also a good shot of the eggs. It took about an hour, and he came out to fight off a rival male, and gave me the opportunity to get a shot.


    I have two videos, and I'll post the other one tomorrow. This is the second video that I shot, but it has a close up of the eggs, so I thought that I'd share it first. It also features what the other fish in the tank are up to. Hope you like it.

  3. #123
    DIYFK member Chasmodes's Avatar


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    Here is the other video that I promised. I didn't have time to finish processing both of these yesterday:

  4. #124
    DIYFK member HillbillyHomer's Avatar


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    Farewell "King".
    Sorry about the loss.




    Your wishes. To be placed in the goldfish graveyard.
    Click here to enlarge











    Your Wife!
    Click here to enlarge

  5. #125
    DIYFK member Chasmodes's Avatar


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    "King" is still there, using the same shell, guarding the eggs last night (as in the last video). Although I'm sad, he is happy! One less male competing for the lone female's attention!

    The goldfish graveyard, that is funny! Funny toon also!

  6. #126
    DIYFK member Chasmodes's Avatar


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    I don't have much of an update, so I thought that I'd post another video update.


    Many of the fish are hunkered down in their oyster shells, guarding eggs, some out of sight. The hidden ones only come out to eat, then right back to their egg guarding duties. Toward the end of this video, two males encounter each other and look like they're about to fight, but both of them decided that it wasn't a good idea. Notice how dark the back of the head on the blenny to the left gets...that's an aggressive coloration.



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