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sapling

Did I go crazy

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36 minutes ago, sapling said:

I feel like this fish must be juvenile Because I do know not of any fish that could be that small as an adult, what do you guys think? 

Its possible it's a juvenile, but there are a lot of tiny reef type fish at an inch, or less. For example, the pygmy seahorse tops out at around 3/4". What I'm assuming are the female gressingeri gobies are no bigger than an inch, usually under. Some clingfish top out at around an inch. 

 

The only aspect of that fish you have, that MIGHT indicate it's an adult form, would be the eyes. Usually immature creatures, fish especially, have big eyes. By what I can see in your pics, that fish has tiny, beady eyes. That alone doesnt mean much though. 

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14 hours ago, sapling said:

So update, I have a picture that’s better than before, I had just almost given up to take the picture when I saw it again. I already had the lights to all white. I could not get the phone to focus better before it left. The angle I usedC01C5395-3966-43CE-9FF9-D96F7EA0EEA1.thumb.jpeg.bf58e55281f0524342f96f4c970e09b0.jpegC2EC9C49-A908-4C0A-929B-498B533614F7.thumb.jpeg.7f627085ae07d4becb4601a10eb09d1d.jpeg to get a better view causes distortion as well 

It *almost appears like a brotulid but if you can get even clearer pics or a vid or two, that'd help. 

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It’s just very difficult, this fish can see me like 2 feet away from the aquarium. Begins to move away from the opening when it sees. To top it off with the issues from before, because I have to angle the camera the glass causes distortions the more I try to look from an angle into the cave

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It’s been a busy week so I haven’t had a lot of time to watch the tank but so far I have not spotted it since last. I still carry out my normal maintenance and feeding routines. It’s made me wonder though since I couldn’t spot it this week if it could have hidden somewhere else in the tank/has died?

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Update I’ve spotted it again, and even better news, I have better pictures

18A61D50-BCA1-4C73-AC30-E6D7AE352BAD.thumb.jpeg.ce0a755390b8f9dd697aa66b26f5d315.jpeg

 

AB2AC444-0DDC-45A5-9054-03E212B06490.thumb.jpeg.5b9cb831f7f3893a4d804cb1b9d64e39.jpeg

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Great pics! How big is it? Love these mystery creatures that appear in our tanks - but a mystery fish is the best one ever.

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Fin structure looks like it could be a stickleback. Obviously not a definitive ID, just an observation.

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It’s larger than before I want to say 3/4 in

 

i have literally never heard of anything like this situation. 

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Hmm. I did a quick search on stickleback reproduction. There is a definite possibility of eggs being carried in on macros. Also, it seems they a born fully developed. This would make survival more than just possible. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stickleback

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5 minutes ago, sapling said:

It’s larger than before I want to say 3/4 in

 

i have literally never heard of anything like this situation. 

I haven't either - and I stalk the ID forum here and on another list because I love the weird and surprising things that can show up in reef tanks. But never, never have I heard of a fish appearing!

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I’m just not sure what it eats, I’ve never seen it eat, it is always cryptic and will dart then hide when I spot it usually. I can’t tell you how incredibly lucky I had enough time to get the shots of it before it moved. 

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This is so cool! I hope you figure it out soon.

 

Think it might be a good idea to try and pop a small piece of food into one of its hidey-holes right before your next water change? Just to see if you catch it eating.

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15 hours ago, MrObscura said:

Just a guess, but maybe a small Cardinal of some type?

That's what I thought of, but when ray says a species even on a hunch, I basically take that as gospel.  

Last week it was a brotulid, today it is a stickleback.  (Not that I've ever even heard of either of those)

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All though, @RayWhisperer doesnt the tail look a little thick compared to the other stickleback on the wiki you linked?

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I'm not feeling the stickleback theory. Body is a bit deeper and shorter than what I've seen. Especially in the tail...

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It was just a possibility seeing the dorsal and anal fin structure. I threw out brutolid because of the beady eyes and reclusive nature. Both had a possibility of coming in as either a juvenile, or eggs, and surviving. Obviously, without a quality photo, any ID is going to be a guess. It could also be a juvenile cardinal, just as easily. Given there are probably half a dozen species that are found around the south east coast, and they are mouth brooders. 

1 hour ago, patback said:

when ray says a species even on a hunch, I basically take that as gospel.

This made me lol.

 

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Interesting.  When you first mentioned finding a fish my first thought was marine killifish - I have kept freshwater killi’s for many years and have always lived along the coast and used some of the marine Fundulus species as bait.  What makes this a good potential is that killis lay adhesive eggs on plants and the eggs hatch several weeks later.  The fry grow very quickly since they have relatively short lifespans.  Since you received a shipment of macros that originated in the Atlantic the most likely species would be Fundulus heteroclitis, the “mummichog.”  There are other species as well. Now that your fish is larger it has the typical killifish shape.  If it is, then it will begin to develop stripes soon.  They grow to 3” commonly and can get to more than 4 “ - if it is a female the stripes will be faint and irregular.

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1 hour ago, patback said:

All though, @RayWhisperer doesnt the tail look a little thick compared to the other stickleback on the wiki you linked?

 

21 minutes ago, Sparty said:

I'm not feeling the stickleback theory. Body is a bit deeper and shorter than what I've seen. Especially in the tail...

You both have good points on the tail. As I said, just a guess, but given 16 species, all which lay eggs in macros, it seemed a good fit. I don’t really agree on body depth, though. Considering, all 3 species I’ve personally seen were built more like tiny tuna. Very deep body and tiny tail.

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3 minutes ago, OldManSea said:

Interesting.  When you first mentioned finding a fish my first thought was marine killifish - I have kept freshwater killi’s for many years and have always lived along the coast and used some of the marine Fundulus species as bait.  What makes this a good potential is that killis lay adhesive eggs on plants and the eggs hatch several weeks later.  The fry grow very quickly since they have relatively short lifespans.  Since you received a shipment of macros that originated in the Atlantic the most likely species would be Fundulus heteroclitis, the “mummichog.”  There are other species as well. Now that your fish is larger it has the typical killifish shape.  If it is, then it will begin to develop stripes soon.  They grow to 3” commonly and can get to more than 4 “ - if it is a female the stripes will be faint and irregular.

I thought about killies, I don’t know their lifecycle, though. Given many FW species hatch out super tiny, and are difficult to raise, I figured SW would be similar. Maybe even having a larval stage (which would make the likelihood of one surviving almost nil.) It does have the body and tail of a killie, though. If we could see the mouth, I’d be sold on that.

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43 minutes ago, RayWhisperer said:

 

You both have good points on the tail. As I said, just a guess, but given 16 species, all which lay eggs in macros, it seemed a good fit. I don’t really agree on body depth, though. Considering, all 3 species I’ve personally seen were built more like tiny tuna. Very deep body and tiny tail.

I have always wanted to get a tank of sticklebacks in my classroom. I have used them as examples/activities for gene regulation for years. The way their "stickles" or spines disappear and reappear from generation to generation based on salinity changes is a great example of all sorts of AP Bio topics.

 

I have struck out even with the Michigan DNR... if anyone has ideas on how to get my hands on some it would be greatly appreciated.

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My guess is a juvenile anchovy.  It looks very similar to the broad striped anchovy.  

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As far as full saltwater species, I have no idea. There are plenty of collectors that might be able to get you some. If the species doesn’t matter, three spines show up in live bait at just about every bait shop. If nothing else, it’s a long shot, but you could contact a local hatchery. I have the number for one in Richmond IL, but that doesn’t help you much. Shoot me a PM if you think they would be of any help to you. I’ve bought from them as a private customer before.

 

Edit. At sparty

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