March 20, 2008

Phytoplankton and zooplanktons

Posted in Plankton culture at 10:57 pm by tomokoschum

I have been culturing phytoplankton and a few different zooplankton for a number of years.  It’s quite easy to culture phytoplankton and rotifers. 

This is what my culture stand looks like:

I have three different types of phytoplankton: nannochloropsis, tetraselmis, and isochrysis.

I use a wide mouth 1-liter water bottle with a rigid air line for an individual culture bottle:

I have six pairs of culture bottles. Every morning I take one of the pair and divide the content into two clean culture bottles. I top off each bottle with salt water (s.g.: 1.021) and add 0.4 ml of Micro Algae Grow fertilizer. Then I put the cap on the bottles and insert two rigid airlines to aerate the bottles. I then feed my zooplankton by pouring the content of the other bottle from the pair into their culture containers.

Here is my rotifer containers:

The containers of my tiggerpod (tigriopus californicus) culture looks identical to the rotifer containers.

Feeding baby cardinal fish

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:15 pm by tomokoschum

My baby cardinal fish are getting really big now.  They have been eating brine shrimp for a while.  I was very surprised when a baby took an adult brine shrimp when they were not even three weeks old.   Back on February 28th, an adult brine shrimp got into the fry tank accidentally.  I was watching to see if the babies recognize an adult brine shrimp when one of them came and took it into his mouth.  His mouth was stuffed with the brine shrimp and the tail of the brine shrimp was wiggling out of his mouth.    The baby managed to eat the brine shrimp, sucking the tail up like spaghetii. Since then I have been feeding adult brine shrimp to them in addition to frozen Cyclopeeze.

Here’s the picture of the baby cardinal fish eating brine shrimp:

March 5, 2008

Mandarin gobies

Posted in Fish at 6:38 pm by tomokoschum

My blue male Mandarin goby

My orange female Mandarin goby

The courtship dance:

The male kissing the female:

Here’s a video of their courtship dance:

My new Leopard Wrasse

Posted in Fish at 3:03 am by tomokoschum

I added a Leopard Wrasse to my tank on February 23rd.  It was an impulse buy.  He was so beautiful that I just could not pass him up.  I understand that this fish is not an easy one to keep and a lot of people lose it to starvation.  I am hoping that my other fish will help me train him to eat pellets, but so far he only eats live brine shrimp, live Tiggerpod (Tigriopus californicus) and frozen zooplankton (Hikari brand). He looks pretty healthy right now, even getting a little fatter.

When I put him in the tank, he looked really disoriented.  It took him a couple of minutes to start swimming normal.  Then when the light turned off, he got really spooked and tried to dive into the ground.  In my panic I turned the light back on, but then he started banging into the glass surfaces.  I quickly turned off the light again and he disappeared into the darkness. 

Here he is with his tank mate:

February 28, 2008

A new arrival

Posted in Bangeii cardinalfish at 6:31 pm by tomokoschum

On February 11th, the first baby cardinalfish arrived.

Then on the next day 6 more arrived. On the following morning (13th) the male surprised me with 18 more fry, making the total to 25!

I moved the male to the other side of the tank divider I installed, leaving babies behind with the sitter. With all the commotion I made trying to catch the male, the sitter ran away leaving all the babies behind. Bewildered babies were all huddled together in a corner of the tank. It took me a few tries, but I managed to get the sitter back to the babies. Then I fed the babies with baby brine shrimp (bbs). Again the sitter tried to ran away when I showered it with bbs. So the chase started all over again. I am beginning to wonder about the value of having a live sea urchin for a sitter. Not only does it try to leave but it poops a lot, too.

February 9, 2008

Baby dillema

Posted in Bangeii cardinalfish at 3:49 pm by tomokoschum

My male cardinalfish has been holding babies for at least 29 days now. I can see babies in his mouth. They are rolling around, peeking out of Daddy’s mouth, and acting really cute. I can see at least three of them moving in the front part of his mouth.

I have read that Banggaii cardinal males incubate eggs and hold fries in their mouth for 26 days on the average. So his babies are almost over due now. I am wondering if I have to play a midwife here soon.

January 31, 2008

Bangaii cardinalfish

Posted in Bangeii cardinalfish at 1:03 am by tomokoschum

My Bangaii cardinal fish pair seems to have spawned earlier this month. I don’t know exactly when this happened, but I noticed that the male stopped eating and started hiding around the first Saturday of the month.

The expectant father in the center

The future babysitter

January 30, 2008

Frags from Nashville Frag Swap on a frag tray in the display tank

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:40 am by tomokoschum

Frags I got in Nashville Frag Swap are now on my frag tray in my 120 gallon display tank. I moved them to my display tank on January 24th after observing them in my quarantine tank for about 4 days. They are brightly colored and seem to be free of parasites.

They stayed on the tray until I finally found spots in my already crowded tank this past Sunday. One acropora STN’d this morning. The rest of the frags are all doing very well.

My make-shift quarantine tank

Posted in Coral at 1:29 am by tomokoschum

Here’s my make-shift quarantine/observation tank for my coral frags. I placed all my frags in this tank in the evening of January 19th. It’s nothing but a small 2.5 gallon tank with a heater and a powerhead. Frags were first treated with iodine and Acropora frags were dipped with Fluke tabs prophylactically against Acropora eating flat worm.

Here are some pictures of my trade/purchases at Nashville Frag Swap.

January 26, 2008

Nashville Frag Swap

Posted in Frag swap, Uncategorized at 2:59 am by tomokoschum

My husband Reilly and I visited Middle Tennessee Reef Club’s 4th annual Nashville Frag Swap on January 19th. The frag swap was quite a success. There were so many people there trading, selling, and buying coral frags and supplies. I saw a number of members from North Alabama Reef Club (NARC) that I belong to and others whom I came to know through the past frag swaps. It was great to see all these familiar faces. Needless to say it was fun meeting some new people, too.

Here are some pictures from the swap. I don’t know how many people attended the meeting, but it was rather crowded as you can tell from the picture.


Here’s Harry from NARC with a bunch of frags for sale.

People were busy checking out the frags for sale.

I had a number of them for sale as well. Next to me is Reilly, and next to him is another NARC member Steve (Mariner.)

There were a lot of nice raffle prizes and door prizes, including some yet-to-be-released ORA corals, some high end reef equipment and a complete Red Sea Max set up.

I was lucky enough to win Baensch’s Marine Atlas, $10 gift certificate from a reef store in Nashville area, and a very nice colony of green Ricordia yuma this time.

I also attended the lecture by Dr. Ron Shimek on the state of world’s coral reef. He took us through the evolution process of corals and talked to us about what we hobbyists can do to help preserve them. It was a great presentation. Unfortunately something else started just as his Q&A session started and I had to leave the lecture to attend the next event.

Later in the fragging workshop MTRC members fragged a large leather and a lime green table acropora colony. I was very happy to receive a very nice frag of the table acropora since I wanted to try my hand at a table acropora ever since I saw the pictures of beautiful table acropora colonies growing in a few Japanese reef enthusiasts tanks.

All in all, it was a fun-filled wonderful day. I believe everyone had a great time. I hope the next one in June in Knoxville, TN will be as good as this one.

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