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stoney waters

DIY Jawfish House

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Is it possible to keep two burrowing fish in a Solana 34? Possibly a YWG and Blue Jawfish?

 

 

They are pretty territorial when it comes to conspecifics, the only time I've seen two BJF in a tank was a 120g and they were on opposite ends. YWG and BJFs may be distinct enough though that you wouldn't have a problem. I guess the only way to find out is to try, make sure you have a tight fitting lid though.

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Here is the one I made, I made mine with a back door so the little guy could have somewhere to escape to if he wanted. I used rock rubble since I couldnt find a barnacle

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How did you get the curve in that PVC? Did it come that way?

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How did you get the curve in that PVC? Did it come that way?

My guess would be... Heat. I may be wrong though!

 

B)

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Thats really cool :) You should find some smaller pieces and try to cover the parts of the pvc that are still showing.

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I put up a thread on my local reef club as to where to find a barnacle, and I got some valuable insight from a local fish store... The owner knows alot and runs an awesome, very respectable shop. Here's how the conversation went:

 

Me: "I need a barnacle to make a DIY Jawish home... like so:

http://reefcleaners.org/index.php?page=sho...t&Itemid=34

 

If anybody has some lying around, I'll buy a small piece. Where can I get one? If anybody is interested, you can split the cost with me :)

 

Here's the home I'm making..http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=172053"

 

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Him:"Not to be a party pooper, but I don’t like the idea of that jawfish condo. Jawfish do best living in sand and ENJOY constantly messing with their tunnels. With the PVC condo thing there is no sand and is thus very unnatural for jawfish.

 

I read every page of that jawfish condo thread you linked to here and was saddened by much of what I read by many of those handing out bad advice.

 

Jawfish like to build their tunnel homes exactly the way they themselves naturally wish to, not the way humans choose for them. At night jawfish like to cover the entrance with things such as half shells and rubble. The entrance to their tunnels is level with the substrate, not elevated such as is the case in many of those PVC condos.

 

I also noticed that in the first video clip with the Jawfish living in the barnacle covered PVC condo that the fish was moving very gingerly when trying to grab at passing food. To me it looked as if the jawfish could easily receive a cut to it’s body trying to enter that barnacle at the normal lightning speed they usually maneuver in and out of their natural constructed homes. That jawfish seemed very uneasy and on one attempt completely missed the barnacle entrance to his man-made PVC home. Viewing this made me feel sorry for the poor jawfish.

 

Another thing I fear with this sort of contraption is that too many people will want to jump on the bandwagon purchasing jawfish without being able to truly offer them a proper home. IMO if you can’t provide a good home for jawfish it’s best to just leave them in the ocean. I myself refuse to carry jawfish in the store. I only order these for people who have demonstrated to me that they have educated themselves enough to keep one or more.

 

Another thing of interest is that Jawfish often have to stay on guard keeping invaders out. For this reason they make their entrance just big enough for them to quickly swim in and out of. Fish such as blennies, basslets and others will often attempt to steal the jawfish’s home. Sometimes they are successful but only temporarily because these invaders don’t have the ability or the know-how to maintain a jawfish’s tunnel system. It’s only a matter of time before the invader will have to vacate as the walls to the tunnels keep collapsing. Then the jawfish can return to their home and begin the reconstruction. It’s inherent in a jawfish’s nature to constantly dig through the sand inside and around their burrows always trying to perfect their homes. This is what keeps jawfish active and happy. This is what jawfish are all about."

 

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Me: "What do you recommend for the minimum sandbed for a jawfish? If I can't have one, I can't have one. I don't like the look of a really deep sandbed. Is 3 and a half inches enough? I won't do the jawfish condo, the jawfishes in your display tanks are what made me want one and you know alot more about them than I do."

 

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Him: "I just went into the fish room and held a ruler up to the jawfish tank and 3 1/2 inches seems to be somewhere around the average depth of the sand in tank. The two jawfish whose burrows are on the ends are close to 5 inches, and the burrow in the center has been built up by the jawfish to maybe 5 inches as well.

 

I think 3 and a half inches wouldn't be too bad as the average depth in your tank as the jawfish will on their own collect more sand to increase the height around their burrows to somewhere more around the 5 inches.

 

With a little help by how you position a few pieces of live rock I think you could get away with having an average of 3 and a half inches in most areas of your tank. You might even be able to get it to where the sand is even less than 3 inches up against the front of the tank glass.

 

Back when I kept yellow headed / pearly jawfish the sand wasn't as deep as this one with the blue spotted. However it was probably nearly that deep where they built the sand up around their burrows. You cant tell with the center jawfish's home but under the sand is a few strategically placed pieces of live rock. In the aquarium,Jawfish most often build their burrows up against live rock. This is sometimes hard to tell as they like to cover their surrounding area with extra sand they collect from other areas of the tank often hiding the nearby rock under the sand.

 

In the wild Jawfish like to build their cave pockets beneath a large flat rock several inches under the sand. The entrance to their tunnels rises up over this relatively large flat rock. Perhaps jawfish in the wild looking for a new home originally locate a flat rock which had previously broken and fallen from the reef to the sea floor whereupon they diligently dig under said rock excavating the sand in such a way as to get it to slowly sink beneath the sand to the desired depth? This is a completely different environment than what we can practically offer in our relatively tiny aquariums. Next time you're in the store I'll try to explain to you how I constructed the rockwork under the sand, which of course is nothing like this. If I had a tank as big as the ones at Dallas World Aquarium I would probably attempt the above large isolated flat rock thing for jawfish.

 

Btw, I believe yellow headed ( pearly ) jawfish to be better builders than the blue spots. I don't recall having to offer so many pieces of rubble and puka shell to them in the 90's. Then again much time has gone by since then. I do well remember though how intricate the yellow head's caves and tunnels were as viewed from under the bottom of the aquarium glass. I used to keep a pillow and small weak flashlight under my tank stand just so I could lay under the tank sometimes for hours on end watching them working under there. Using the base rock they constructed several rounded pockets of around 3 to 5 inches in diameter which were connected by several tunnels. With today's tank I can't see what all they have built under the sand.

 

Just be sure that the live rock is built up on the glass bottom of the tank before adding the sand. You'll also want to include a mix of pieces of courser sand/gravel to give the jawfish good building materials with which to strengthen the walls of their caves and tunnels.

 

I'm much better at explaining these sort of things in person rather than in writing, though I do have a tendency to go off on tangents while speaking [ embarrassed emoticon here ]"

Edited by Nemo Niblets

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Definitely gives you something to think about.... :huh:

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OMG the jawfish police...

 

My fish were never forced to live in the house, they could build their own at any time. The simple fact that they chose the artificial home says alot. The same argument could be said about the artificial reef as a whole. It is after all an alien environment. Given its limitations it is up to us as responsible hobbyist to make every effort to insure the comfort and wellness of our inhabitants. While it is ok to critique new ideas as they come along to assume the state of mind or well-being of ones fish would lay in the realm of whispering and clairvoyance.

 

No need to feel sorry for my jawfish they are the most well tended to fish in my system. They have never been cut by the barnacle, it is in no way sharp. They also keep busy all day by rearranging the interior with pieces of coral and shell. BSJs are naturally skittish especially at feeding time with lights on. This might explain the uneasy appearance in the video.

Edited by stoney waters
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I agree with stoney waters. The jawfish has everywhere else in the aquarium to build his own home if they so desire. The fact that they have taken up residence in the 'condo' means they feel safe and secure in it and prefer it to anywhere else. I don't believe the LFS owner has any special window into the psyche of a jawfish that enables him to say exactly where they want to live that we do not.

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Jawfish condo is absolutely genius, ive always wanted a BSJF and this has pushed me over the edge. I also agree that no one is holding a gun to the fish making it live in the condo, if it lives in it we must have done a good job on constructing and placing the condo for it to feel safe.

 

Here is my condo

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Great job, ORayRay!

Edited by Bonsai

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I ended up pulling mine out of my tank -

My BSJ stayed in it for a while but then decided to make his own burrow at the back. I wanted the sandbed space back for corals :-p

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I have a yellow watchman goby, i was wondering if i could use this for them or do they live a certain way that they won't like this?

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this is an awesome idea. I just ordered a nice barnacle cluster on ebay so I can build one of my own. my bsjf will love this!

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Yes, I am digging up an old thread a friend of mine mentioned to me. Absolutely amazing idea so I wanted to try it out and wanted to let you all know if you are looking for a chunk of barnicle to make your own jawfish house, ReefCleaners.org sells them for $4.50 each. Piece I got was about small softball size and ABSOLUTELY perfect for it.

 

It has 4-5 small barnacle around one huge one which conveniently has the bottom cut of. Its about 1-1/2 diamerter so 1" pvc will be perfect.

 

So when you order your CUC, make sure you throw a chunk in with your order. I did not ask John for this kind of piece, I just got lucky, but if you email him and ask him. I might guess he may be able to send you a suitable piece for this project.

 

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