New Aquarium: Red Sea Reefer 170

I replaced my old Red Sea Max 130D tank last December with a new Red Sea Reefer 170 tank. I was not entirely happy with the design of the old tank (see this old post) and I was thinking of a new aquarium with a sump, and then my retrofitted LEDs stopped working: I was practically forced to buy a new aquarium! It is much better to have a sump to have a large skimmer in, the glass is much clearer and the (separately bought) AI prime LEDs are great (with seven different individually adjustable colours). I had a long day switching tanks and found three clingfish alive and well. I released my ballan wrasse as it was before the christmas break and I did not want to let it go two weeks without food. In the following weeks, I managed to collect some more anemones, I now have Snakelocks, Strawberries, Beadlets, Daisies, Redspeckleds and Dahlias. It is my aim to collect maybe ten or so more species this year when rockpooling and diving and turn it into a proper anemone tank. I probably won’t add any fish or big inverts as they could fall prey to the anemones. I have added some snails to help keep the algae under control, unfortunately after a a superclean first two months some green hues are starting to appear so I will add some more. These are two hasty shots; a proper update is soon to follow!

Aquarium Update 17

I started this blog mainly to document keeping a temperate marine aquarium; browsing back I see that that was more than four years back already! (see this introduction). Over time, I became more passionate about rock pooling, snorkeling and diving, specifically about seaweeds and photography, and blogged less and less about my aquarium. The aquarium had its ups and downs, as coldwater aquariums tend to be a bit more trial and error (coldwater marine aquariums do not consist of relatively slow growing stony corals as in tropical marine aquariums and house much more (higher order) diversity than tropical or cold freshwater aquariums). Also, I am a lazy man. The last aquarium update was from last November and the aquarium did not look that great, but I have lately spend more time on it and it looks much better now, so here a quick new post.I bought an upgrade Red Sea Max pump (much better) a while back, and more recently a Tunze 9001 skimmer (MUCH better than the stock skimmer, removedĀ  years ago as it was so noisy). The only problem is that the pump is so powerful that the water does not get sucked fast enough in the back compartment and it starts to run dry, I need to think how to fix that. The water is very clear though. I only have Cornish suckers as fish at the moment, and it might not be safe to add other fish as there are quite a few anemones at the moment. I have collected a bunch of Daisy anemones Cereus pedunculatus whilst diving (these are very common here in Flushing). I feed all my anemones small pieces of defrosted prawn by hand, these little ones respond very well to that and I hope they will grow much larger. I also collected some more Redspeckled anemones Anthopleura balli (below). David Fenwick kindly gave me an oyster with many Jewel anemones Corynactis viridis attached (crappy pic, sorry). These did relatively well for a while when feeding fine dry foods (sold for reef aquariums) but they were bothered by the squat lobster and cushion stars and I put the oyster back in the sea (I was also worried the oyster might die and cause a huge nitrogen spike). As an experiment I removed a few jewel anemones with a scalpel and superglued them to frag plugs but they did not survive. Ah well, that might have been a first, so worth a try. With a smaller, dedicated aquarium with better filtration (to deal with many small food particles) it must be doable to keep these. At the moment there are several species of gastropods, a cute little clam, mussels, Snakelocks- Dahlia-, Beadlet- and Strawberry anemones, a small Hairy crab, Cushion stars, green urchins and a Common starfish. The echinoderms seem easiest to keep of all. I actually put the common starfish back as it was picking of all my snails which I need to keep algae in check (and are interesting in their own right of course). I added a Cushion starfish with six legs though (‘Dave’). Hopefully I can find some more anemones when diving over the summer and who knows experiment with seaweeds again.

Mevagissey Aquarium

IMG_9615Mevagissey is a nice little fishing port to the east of Falmouth, across the Roseland Peninsula. It also can boast of an aquarium, which of course needed to be checked out! The Mevagissey Aquarium is housed in the old R.N.L.I. Boathouse and so it is tiny. No coffee/gift shop or educational posters but just some tanks with local fish; just the way I like it.IMG_9632There are just seven tanks, but they are quite big. The focus is on fish, with crabs, lobsters and starfish as the only invertebrates (probably because the aquarium is supported by the fishing community and that is what they know best). Large Seabass and Mullet:

IMG_9619

IMG_9620The tanks are not the prettiest in the world; a lot of blue paint and haphazard rocks. I have no idea why somebody thought that plastic plants and wood were a good idea for decoration. It would be nice to also have included some different habitats and (smaller) organisms. Having said that, the tanks are impressive in size and harbour quite a range of different fish, which all seemed well cared for. I should also mention that entrance is free, which is great, and donations alone will of course not be sufficient to cover fancy LED lighting etc. All in all highly recommended for a visit when you are in the area, which by the way is pretty stunning. Below a Ling and some Boarfish (or Zulufish, a deeper water species, see here for more info):

IMG_9627

IMG_9626

 

A fresh start

After having the aquarium almost empty over summer, I finally got round to start it up again. I reinstalled the Tunze nanostream, went back from the finer, brown Maerl gravel to normal, coarse gravel and collected some new rocks (slate I think). I looked for these on the middle shore; on the lower shore they are covered with the barnacles and limpets that I do not want and on the high shore they have not yet been eroded by water and have very sharp edges. Still have to get used to the new look. Now on to collect some animals!

IMG_6139