Everybody seems happy in the tank at the moment. When I come in and flip on the light, the snails wake up and begin noshing across the rocks, the ball anemones are fully extended, and the mushroom is blue.

He’s not blue all the time. During the day, he spreads out, the better to maximize his photosynthetic surface, shading the zoo corals directly under him, (aka zoanthids) and increasing his surface area by a good 50%. When he’s fully flopped out, he’s no longer blue and more of a deep maroon with a faint blue iridescence. He’s still pretty, but the maroon happens to be the exact color of the purple coralline algae that covers many of the rocks, so if it’s not just a stress coloration (and he’s only been there for two days, so it certainly might be!) at some point I may have to pick up a blue-green mushroom frag as well, to get away from the color uniformity in the tank.

I don’t see much of Crab Bob–he’s fond of hiding in rocks, and the tank is constructed in such a way that he’s got a lot of hiding space. Every now and again I’ll see him clinging to the underside of one of the big rocks. Hopefully he’ll get started on the bubble algae soon–that stuff is comin’ up like gangbusters. I see how it can take over a tank. Unfortunately, it’s sufficiently small that it’s really hard for me to get out–I’m a little too macro, and if you bust open a bubble, you get MORE bubbles (I suspect the latest crop is due to my own clumsiness.) 

On the algae front, the snails are kickin’ butt. The top of the big rocks in the back were a little forest of algae, and while it’s still a little forest, it’s a forest with paths cut through it, bare stretches of rock a snail-width across that are scoured absolutely clean. Given a few weeks, I’m guessin’ the little guys will have mowed through the bloom in fine style.

Tonga Bob, the Super Tonga Nassarius snail, is buried in the sand most of the time, although I can usually catch a glimpse of his little siphon and the side of his shell. It’s true what they say about food, by the way. I dropped in a flake of food just to see what would happen, and five seconds later, he was sliding up the glass like a glop of bread dough. I made Kevin come in and look at him. Kevin allowed as how he was a pretty cool snail.

"And look!" I said. "You can see his anal vent!"

"…I don’t need to see that."

"Sure you do! Look!"

Kevin dutifully inspect the snail’s backside.

"Now don’t you feel more well-rounded?" I said.

He made a maybe-yes-maybe-no wobble with one hand. "Ehhh…"

In other invertebrate news, there is still a Pest Bob somewhere in the tank. I saw him last night, made a note to kill him in the morning, and the little bastard picked up and moved somewhere. I see why people hate them. They’re annoyingly persistent. I’ve killed a bunch of them, but they have a remarkable ability to return from the dead.

I still haven’t identified my one mystery…thingy. I suspect it’s some kind of coral, but I’m not sure. It’s definitely split into two since I’ve had the tank–when I first saw it, it was a single disk with maybe a slight doubling in the middle, and it has slowly seperated into two distinct little stalks with a fringe of green lace, which have moved as far apart from one another as their limited space will allow. A kind of clove coral is my best guess, but it’s at such a bad angle that I can’t really tell. It’s been three weeks and some change, and reproduction in that time qualifies a coral as "fast growing," but it can also retract at astonishing speed, like a tube worm, which is what I originally thought it was . Unable to get a photo, I’ve drawn a little image in hopes somebody on a board can ID the sucker…

Leave a Reply