Food Hunt, Holy Grail and Cancelled Holidays

Another lesson learnt with how rockpooling trips never turn out the way you plan them, so far always in a good way 🙂

The Plan was to escort a few holiday makers  back to where they came from as they got a bit cheeky and/or greedy so their holidays got cancelled. The main culprit was the Rockgoby (obviously inevitable to be a problem at some stage) as has been seen stuffing his face (literally) with all the small prawns I am catching for the fifteen-spined stickleback (hereafter called 15SS). He was so full at times that he wasnt sitting on his tail but on his belly 😉 Other evildoers where the three largest hermits that where taking turns in harassing the Dahlia-anemone and obviously bossing around the smaller hermits. Five of the largest prawns (up to 6cm) where also removed just to reduce stock a litttle as I am adding lots of tiny prawns and some might survive.

In his memory…

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So while acclimatizing them to their origin rockpool I was using the scooping-under-seaweed-with-hand-net method to try and catch some tiny prawns for food for the 15SS. “Peter” recently commented on an earlier post that with this method is good to catch Gobies and wrasse etc so hopes where higher than usual to have a nice by catch. I have never caught anything other than prawns and snails that way but that was until now. After a few scoops I had plenty of tiny prawns and even a few Mysis shrimp that should be enough food for a week or so. It started to drissle but I had the urge to do some more scooping especially in the lower pools. I wasnt disappointed. 1st scoop in my favorite very low pool in Spiddal and a two-spotted Goby (male) turned up. Beautiful colors and a nice blue line on dorsal fins (big smile on my face). 3rd scoop resulted in a tiny little common Blenny (bigger smile on my face), 7th scoop and something greenish was wiggling in the net and I knew straight away from the dorsal fin it had to be a wrasse 🙂 wasnt sure whether Ballan or Corkwing yet but huge smile on my face as this was kind of my holy grail of fish I wanted in my aquarium 🙂 So extremely happy with the session and once again a lot more than expected I headed home. Thanks again Peter for the tip, it made me try this method a bit harder and what a result 🙂

The Day after I could clearly identify (as the distinctive spot just before the caudal fin appeared) the wrasse to be a Corkwing, one of my favorite fish. Very happy. He is cruising around in amongst seaweeds and all the crevices and doesnt give way to anybody else. The color is fairly greenish with lots of reddish and blueish spots coming up around head and back and the dorsal fin has kind of a red shimmer, beautiful. Their movement is very smooth and not jerky mostly only using pectoral fins which is what I really like about the wrasse. Very nice to observe. He seems happy enough but will obviously cause problems to snails and barnacles or even hermits once he grows.

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The Two-spotted Goby is also a very nice looking addition. Its a male so very brightly colored and currently has a fine iridescent line across his dorsal fins (I thought this is only present during breeding in spring). Completely different swimming pattern of course, more like the jerky twitching of a bird. He is usually twitching  around the same area about 10cm off the sand but once he buried himself in the sand. Hope to find a mate for him soon.

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The tiny common Blenny wasnt seen again yet after being acclimatized and released into the aquarium on Saturday. Hopes are still up he is somewhere as none of the anemones looked to have been feeding but could have happened during the night.

Other finds where a fine red seaweed with lots of Hydroids on them that I couldnt identify. Unfortunately they didnt last more than a day.

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However a Fucus that was previously colonized by a Bryozoa (which was eaten) was recolonized and has also spread over to a bit of Sea lettuce. I think its Flustrellida hispida.

A hydroid colony on Seaweed? was gone (probably eaten) the next day

The velvet horn I thought was growing is actually not its thinning its branches very slowly. The Horned Wrack? is still growing well. Also red furry microalgea appearing in various places will see how long until its a pest. Skimmer is running 24h since a few days now and removing since very smelly green gunk.

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few more pictures here…

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