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billygoat

18g Gorgonian Garden - One year already!?

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billygoat

There are a lot of cool things in my tank and I promise I am going to get around to photographing more of them before long, but for the time being you guys are going to have to put up with a lot of jawfish shots because I am in love. 😍 

 

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Christopher Marks

What a beautiful fish! Did it burrow right against the glass there?

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melson

The new addition looks excellent! 

 

You're going to love your jawfish. I have always liked mine. EXTREMELY hardy so long as your tank is covered. I'd say jawfish and chalk bass are the most interesting AND hardy Caribbean species one can add to a tank.

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billygoat
8 hours ago, Christopher Marks said:

What a beautiful fish! Did it burrow right against the glass there?

Thank you! The fish has burrowed underneath of the chunk of live rock right there, which is quite close to the glass. When I got home from work this evening I peeled off that green mushroom underneath the fish in the shot above and placed it elsewhere (the mushroom was not happy about this but it'll get over it) so that the jawfish can have more room to work. I'm vaguely concerned about the jawfish destabilizing that piece of rock, which is just sitting on the sand and is not secured, but I think that even if the rock shifts a bit it shouldn't cause any serious problems.

 

5 hours ago, melson said:

The new addition looks excellent! 

 

You're going to love your jawfish. I have always liked mine. EXTREMELY hardy so long as your tank is covered. I'd say jawfish and chalk bass are the most interesting AND hardy Caribbean species one can add to a tank.

Thanks @melson! I'm definitely loving the jawfish so far. Funny that you mention chalk bass; since my blenny jumped (rest in peace) I have been considering getting one. I definitely want to have four fish eventually and something that would swim around and add some movement would be a welcome addition. Perhaps simply getting another blenny would be the best course of action though. My previous one did very well until he decided to go carpet surfing.

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billygoat

It's been a busy week and I have slacked off on updates, but the tank has not been forgotten. 😊 Did my weekly maintenance today and refreshed the carbon. The jawfish moved across the tank for about a day before moving back to his original burrow. I crushed up some dry rock with a hammer to make rubble bits for him to build with and he seems to like that very much.

 

I'm noticing a bit of bubble algae cropping up here and there as well as a slight uptick in cyanobacterial growth. I think this might be due to a combination of higher temperatures (it's been hot this week) and higher nutrient inputs from increased feeding. I've been feeding more to make sure my jawfish can bulk up a bit, but I think I might start dialing it back down to once a day.

 

Anyway, happy Wednesday! I hope you reefers are all doing well. Here's a top-down shot for your trouble.

 

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billygoat

This little guy was up at the crack of dawn this morning, expeditiously excavating just as soon as the blues turned on at 7:30am. What a hard worker! 😁

 

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In other news, it seems I've lost my micro decorator crab. I saw its body being hauled in by the Terror Star yesterday afternoon. Could be that it was just a molt (it's super hard to tell with decorators) but I haven't seen the actual crab since so I think it might be the real deal. That little crab lived for a pretty long time so I am not too beat up about it. Nothin' lasts forever, after all. 🤷‍♂️

 

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Ratvan

Love that Jawfish, looking at its finnage in the pic at top of page I would never have guessed this was a burrower 

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billygoat
5 hours ago, Ratvan said:

Love that Jawfish, looking at its finnage in the pic at top of page I would never have guessed this was a burrower 

Yeah jawfish have beautiful wispy fins that kind of remind me of a ballroom gown. 😄 And they are definitely very serious burrowers! This guy has so far caused a fairly significant shift in the rock he is burrowing under. I'd say the front end of it has sunk maybe 2-3 cm or so into the sand. That's not been a huge problem so far, though I did have to do some minor readjustments to the rockscape today just to make sure the other rocks in that pile remain stable.

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billygoat

Alright here are some non-jawfish shots from around the tank, as promised. 😁 Red grape algae in the back left corner is really taking off, and the green and blue zoanthids at the center have quintupled in number since they were first introduced around six months ago.

 

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billygoat

Been a busy week but here's a quick jawfish update! The little guy continues to dig, and the rock he is under continues to sink. 😂 It has started to list considerably to the left. So far this has still not caused any casualties or structural problems save for some buried coralline algae. Hopefully it won't end up being much of a big deal.

 

Gotta run to work but here's a bad morning pic under deep blues!

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billygoat

I've got the day off today, and it's a good thing because the jawfish went into a construction frenzy this morning and built a giant mountain of sand in the middle of my tank. 😂 I had to smooth it down because it was burying some of my livestock (I did this without bothering the jawfish or his burrow) so I took the opportunity to make some adjustments to the center of the tank, including removing my mermaid's fan. I'm a bit sad about this because it was one of the original macros that I introduced to the tank and it was doing fairly well (though not growing at all), but it was blocking the view and I wanted more space on the sandbed to arrange my Ricordea and gorgonians.

 

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Good bye little algae! You were my biggest fan. 😥🤣

 

The middle of the tank does look better now though. Sorry for all the glare but this is the general idea:

 

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The jawfish is still quite timid and likes to barricade himself inside of his burrow for most of the day. In the morning he tends to come out and do some building, but by 11:00 or so he is generally out of view. I figure he is still adjusting to his new environment and will probably start to show himself more in time. I noticed a few spots on one of his pectoral fins, but he's eating well and doesn't appear stressed at all so I am not too concerned about it.

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billygoat

A few more angles. I cleaned the glass for the first time in weeks and it looks fresh. 👌

 

Left side: (these days the green mushroom at bottom right is constantly dusted with sand, courtesy of Mr. Jawfish 😂)

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Right side:

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Pjanssen

Looking good. What did you do with the mermaid fan?

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billygoat
2 minutes ago, Pjanssen said:

Looking good. What did you do with the mermaid fan?

Thanks! Unfortunately I had no place to put the fan, so I just composted it. Kind of a waste, I know. 😥

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Pjanssen

^Bummer

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Wonderboy

Well, you have more control than I do; knowing me, an entirely new setup would have to be put together just to keep the fan for no reason 😅  lol ...everything's looking very happy still. Hopefully the jawfish finds some contentedness with the shape of his borrow soon lol. That piscivorous mushroom is kind of huge - super cool!

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billygoat
11 hours ago, Pjanssen said:

^Bummer

I agree. It was kind of stunted anyway though. It hadn't grown for more than three months, I think because I changed the flow pattern quite a bit in there.

 

6 hours ago, Wonderboy said:

Well, you have more control than I do; knowing me, an entirely new setup would have to be put together just to keep the fan for no reason 😅  lol ...everything's looking very happy still. Hopefully the jawfish finds some contentedness with the shape of his borrow soon lol. That piscivorous mushroom is kind of huge - super cool!

If it had been a fish or other animal and not just an old and rather gnarled macro I think I probably would have had to do something like that too. 😅 I still feel pretty bad about just tossing it tbh, especially since I do still have this 4g Waterbox cube sitting around dry... but I don't think I'm up to keeping more than one tank right now and I know that if I got the cube going it would be a whole new thing for me to immerse myself in (and spend money on). So I decided against it.

 

As for the jawfish, he seems to be settling in! I smashed up quite a bit of dry rock with a hammer and piled it nearby for him and he has incorporated almost all of it into the walls of his burrow. It looks a lot more like a permanent residence now. Sand with a variety of different particle sizes all mixed together seems to be the ideal substrate for jawfish, so I will take note of that for the future.

 

And that mushroom is... weird. It actually moves around quite a bit, attaching and detaching parts of itself from various rocks in that general area. And it's certainly not getting any smaller... it must be something like 10cm across by now. 🤷‍♂️ I'm quite attached to it despite the fact that it is a legitimate threat to the safety of my perching fish. The gobies at least seem to have gotten the memo that the Doom 'Shroom is not a good thing to be hanging around... probably because a few months ago it ate one of their buddies. 😅

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billygoat

I had the pumps off this morning to apply some Aiptasia X and got a few good pictures of the jawfish. He seems to come out a lot more when the flow is off. You can clearly see a few spots on his left pectoral fin, which is a little worrying but hopefully they won't amount to anything. He's still a bit skinny too but I am slowly fattening him up.

 

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Here's a top down view of the other half of the tank showing the big mushroom too.

 

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Wonderboy

What temps are you running things at? You could bump the temp up 3 - 4 degrees (not over 84) for a few days to give his immune system a boost. You might have to feed more during that period because this will also increase his metabolism and activity level (you probably didn't need to hear that last part).

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WV Reefer
4 hours ago, billygoat said:

I had the pumps off this morning to apply some Aiptasia X and got a few good pictures of the jawfish. He seems to come out a lot more when the flow is off. You can clearly see a few spots on his left pectoral fin, which is a little worrying but hopefully they won't amount to anything. He's still a bit skinny too but I am slowly fattening him up.

 

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Here's a top down view of the other half of the tank showing the big mushroom too.

 

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That’s such a good pic of him up like that!

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billygoat
45 minutes ago, Wonderboy said:

What temps are you running things at? You could bumb the temp up 3 - 4 degrees (not over 84) for a few days to give his immune system a boost. You might have to feed more during that period because this will also increase his metabolism and activity level (you probably didn't need to hear that last part).

Good idea on increasing the temp! For the past few days the tank has been around 80 in the daytime, as it's been pretty hot here. The hottest I saw it was 82 during a particularly hot day. That's about as high as I want to take it I think, just for the sake of the rest of the livestock. Today and yesterday have been slightly cooler (the tank is currently at 78, which is the proper setpoint of the heater) but the forecast calls for some more hot weather starting tomorrow, so I will probably just leave it as-is and let the ambient temperature do the work.

 

43 minutes ago, WV Reefer said:

That’s such a good pic of him up like that!

Yeah the jawfish is such a ham! He only does that when the pumps are off though. Most of the day he just hides in his hole and barricades the entrance with rocks. Perhaps there is too much flow in there for him? I'm running a 160 gph return pump and a single MP10 on 25% power, which is something like 500 gph total or thereabouts. Doesn't seem like a lot but it could be too much. 🤔

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billygoat

Well there's been a lot of jawfish in here recently, but I do have some other fish too. 😊 Here's one of my masked gobies. I have two of these guys; one is secretive and lives in a burrow, the other (this one) is more free-swimming and shows no interest in burrowing. I've always thought it pretty strange that they have such different habits.

 

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Edited by billygoat
Edit: it's a masked goby, not a neon goby
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Pjanssen

Yeah, masked gobies don’t usually burrow. That is odd

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billygoat
2 hours ago, Pjanssen said:

Yeah, masked gobies don’t usually burrow. That is odd

It's definitely weird. I had never read anything about them burrowing and did not expect them to do so until I saw them doing it in my tank. The one masked goby is like a miniature jawfish though, moving sand around in its mouth and everything.

 

I have the day off today so here are a few more pictures from around the tank. 😊 Don't mind that middle gorgonian - it's all closed up because it's going through a shedding cycle.

 

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billygoat

Been another busy week, but this tank turned 9 months old yesterday! 😁🎉 Well on the way to that one year mark! I can't wait to see what it looks like when we get there.

 

I have off tomorrow so more pictures are forthcoming, but in the meantime here is a quick top-down shot from yesterday's feeding time. Halimeda opuntia is going nuts in the back of the tank. I will probably have to trim it down a bit soon.

 

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