When I looked in the tank yesterday I was a bit shocked to see two of the three-spined Sticklebacks having kind of reddish chins. Very hard to make a sharp shot of them with the phone but the color can be seen.
I thought it could be some disease or parasites. A quick google however revealed that the males can get this coloration when they get broody or territorial. So I was quite glad to hear that not only are they healthy they really seem to be quite happy in the tank by showing natural behavior. I havent observed any fighting between them or separating of females. They have fattened up a good bit since I got them and also grown a bit but their max size is 60mm which I think most of them have reached now.
I am very proud of this shot of the two-spotted goby. Think I have about 50 shots of him all blurry and this is the first proper shot that shows how beautiful these animals are. He is actually a bit darker orangy than on the picture. When they go broody the blue will get even more pronounced, hope to find a mate for him…
The Tank has gone very clear now with the addition of some filterfoam pads between the baffleplates of the sump and 24h skimming.
This beadlet Anemone that was one of the first inhabitants has never moved but is very regulary making sure no one else comes too close by probing in all directions with their blue abrasive warts. Looks quite weird. This link to the fantastic series of “BBC – The Secret Life of Rockpools” shows their fairly aggressive battle moves between individuals. Its quite stunning the amount of different shapes these animals can form themselves into when you can observe them daily.
The Corkwing Wrasse is great to watch when cruising through the weeds and rocks always scanning and probing everything for food. He looks well fed even though he doesnt accept the flakes and pellets but likes the cooked mussels. Can you see him in the weeds?
The fifteen-spined Stickleback is still a bit a question mark on whether I can hold on to him as he doesnt eat anything but live tiny prawns or mysis shrimp. He is more settled than a few weeks ago and doesnt look unhealthy (fins in good shape). He is not fat though but I added lots of tiny prawns to the tank now which he is casing after during the night. Such a stunning fish. I wonder though how these creatures survive in the wild. He is so slow (or maybe just not as hungry as I think) and I have to be very careful when dropping a few tiny prawns (that I caught and keep in the sump for him) because the three-spined sticklebacks are extremely fast. I keep a close eye on his condition. What is also very weird for a fish is his behavior when I have my hands in the aquarium. He immediately comes to my hand and touches or almost strokes it with his flank like a cat?? Its quite difficult to clean the glass as he is always in the way 😉 When I curl up my hand he sometimes kind of rests in it and I could nearly lift him out the water, he is so not bothered and not afraid. Very weird and interesting I find.
The cockle has either died (which I doubt) or has been preyed upon by the recently reappearing common starfish (5cm). This guy wasnt seen since introduction a few weeks ago and has disappeared again now.
Some more pictures here…