Its time for an update as a lot has happened in the tank.
I have been building the Hood and pipework in the back of the tank (see other post) so after I moved the tank back against the wall I was able to get started really filling up the tank with more rocks, seaweed and animals.
I made three rockpooling trips this weekend.
The first one was to Silverstrand in Barna, Galway. Nice place lots of sandybeach and rocky boulders at either side of the beach. The weather was seriously stormy the few days before so every thing was full of washed up seaweed and I didnt have much hope of finding anything alive 😉 Well the few rockpools werent very lively not even a lot of prawns around as the shore was beaten quite severly the last few days. But then my eye caught a silver shimmer and I went over to it and couldnt believe my eyes: a live Oyster! 🙂 And she was only trapped between two rocks so I could quite easily pick her up. Great start I thought. After about two hours I gave up on finding another live one, only found open shells but I got a few live mussel and a live cockle which was all a lot more than I had expected.
On the way home I went to Spiddal to check out if I can find some fish and seaweed and a few more hermits. I wasnt dissapointed at all. I found a what I think is a rock goby under a rock and also in the same pool a rockling but I left it there as I wasnt sure if its suited for aquariums I also left the broadclawed porcelain crab. Plenty more prawns a few hermits more rocks and a bit more seaweed.
The third location was south of coral beach. Its the edge of the bay, a good walk but it was worth it 🙂 I was fishing there about three years ago. I remember that time I was gazing in a rockpool for the first time. And I also remembered that the pool was huge. So I went there in hope of some fry fish, a shanny, blenny or a small wrasse. I also brought my LRF angling gear in case the pools where in bad condition after the storms.
I arrived at the first pool and couldnt believe it when I saw a large school, maybe 100 of very small fish. I thought they must be sprat or something. Anyway I got out my landing net and tried to catch some. It wasnt easy but I managed to herd them through a tight channel, then it was easy 😉 They looked very grey from above but when I had the first few in the net it was all silver and green and my thoughts screamed Mackerel! 🙂 Was delighted with that. But now a member of the irishfishkeepers.com forum pointed me in the right direction. They are actually Three-spined sticklebacks, thanks Bullfrog, The first pool and I had 16 fry fish already. This pool was also very high up, only a spring tide would probably reach it. The other ones lower down where very yellowish and full of weeds from the storms. These pools here are very deep so its very tricky. I spotted many two spotted gobies and a few tiny wrasse and something huge (20cm) darted away under a deep rock. Will definitely come back here and maybe try to get some of the gobies with a baited plastic bottle trap or a bigger net and some bait. The pools here really are huge and there is many. I tried a bit of LRF fishing with the smallest hook I had to maybe tempt a wrasse out of its cave and to my surprise after a few tries a shanny was very interested in the tiny little lure. It was too small for the hook but it was so greedy it held on to the lure so I could pull it close and then net it 🙂 So I was delighted, I found some fry fish a shanny and I know where to get a wrasse for next time 🙂
Here are some pictures of the the trips, rearranged tank and new inhabitants.