Saturday, April 28, 2007

One of my other distractions

As well as work and vacation distractions over the past month, we also have the distraction of a new marine fish tank. This has been a great experience for the whole family. A new pet store had marine kits on sale and we have always wanted a marine tank - we gave away our freshwater fish tank when we moved in 2004. We decided we really wanted a reef tank because of all the beautiful corals so we picked up a couple of books when we purchased the tank. My older daughter has read the books through a couple of times now so she is the expert in the house.

The first thing we learned was that making space in one place requires moving many other things when your house is at capacity. The shelf we moved to make room for the tank stand had to go in the guest room/library and the desk from that room had to be moved to the art studio/garage for the sewing machine, and the shelf for backpacks that was displaced by the desk had to move to the other side of the doorway where it displaced a metal shelf which was moved to the attic where it displaced a small chest of drawers which luckily fit in the guest room/library that really did need a chest of drawers anyway. This all took several hours to accomplish since drawers and shelves had to be unloaded and loaded.

The next thing we learned is that marine aquariums require patience, lots and lots of patience. After conditioning the water we put live sand in the bottom of the aquarium which had to sit for a few days. Then we had to get live rocks (from Tonga and Hawaii) and let them site for a while - luckily this was while we were on vacation so it wasn't too bad. Otherwise we would have been watching this for a week.
Then finally we put in a few corals and a shrimp and hermit crabs and two snails and a fish. Later that week we added another fish and then later another coral. Now we have to let things balance again before adding a few more corals and one or two more fish. We also put a blue backing on the outside of the tank to highlight the colour.

As you can see there is now some colour and movement in the tank.

I'm very fond of this rock with yellow polyp and green button corals.
This is Zipper (I know it is blurry but it is really hard to get a photo). He is a six lined wrasse. We also have a Hippo Tang (blue fish like Dorey in Finding Nemo) and of course her name is Dorey.

They sun polyps aren't open much yet and the Kenya Tree leather coral is sort of floppy although the polyps all come out each day. We are now getting some algae build up on the glass and rocks but I understand from the books that this is all part of the mini-ecosystem we are trying to create. Luckily there is a very good marine aquarium shop nearby that has been most helpful in answering all our questions and recommending the easiest and heartiest fish and corals. It is fun to visit the shop with all the beautiful aquaria filled with colourful and amazing fish and invertebrates. There are a couple of giant tanks, one with a giant clam, that are truly spectacular and I can't even imagine how much they would cost to set up and keep. For now I am quite happy with our 29 gallon tank and the interesting creatures we have so far.

1 comment:

annetteb said...

This was great to read through, we have an aquarium bay with 6 tanks in it. My middle son likes breeding fish, especially fighting fish. We have often talked of setting one up as a salt water tank, but it's exspensive as well as time consuming. Annette