My first vertebrate!

A very, VERY small red-head goby, which is supposed to be a very good fish for nano-reef tanks. They’re extremely peaceful to everything except other gobies, they don’t get very big, and they eat readily.

I can testify to this last, as when he was finally released into the tank after acclimation, his first act was to spot a wandering ‘pod* and pounce on it.

Brooke also gifted me with three mondo coral frags, including some large and VERY pink zoo coral, which look sort of like this. Zoo corals will likely form the primary coral in my tank–they’re peaceful, hardy, and colorful. They don’t cause trouble, and they rarely have it, making them an idea inhabitant.

There is also a torch coral, which is something of a gamble–some people have no problems, some people find it attacking everything in the tank. (Torches are part of a family that has "sweeper tentacles" so if it’s feeling pissy, it’ll throw them out and start stinging anything in reach. I’ve got it high up and in the back, so it can’t really reach any other coral, but we’ll see how it goes.) It’s a wooble coral so it moves in the water and is very neat. It is also attached to a HUGE rock, and given the choice between trying to dremel it loose underwater and just finding a place for the rock, I went with the latter as less likely to result in the deaths of both me and the coral. So the torch is now wedged in with a truly enormous glob of tank-safe cement, and looks…well, that bit looks like ass, frankly, but it’s in the back, and god willing, some nice coralline algae will cover it soon enough.

I know, I’m an artist and all, but the fact is, I am really TERRIBLE with my hands. I’m a reasonably good painter, I can throw a pot, none of the males of my intimate acquaintence have complained, but you want me to do something neatly with cement and invertebrates? The fact that I wasn’t found dead with tank cement wedged into my mouth and a coral frag in my eye and the beagle peeing affectionately on my shoe  is a minor miracle.

*Copepods, amphipods…whatever. Teeny tiny little shrimp-like things that scurry around on the rocks. I have several zillion of them, which is supposed to be the sign that the tank is so far happy. Apparently some pods grow quite large in size. Otter has one that she may have to saddlebreak soon.

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