A new tank is in the making. Its going to be a split tank. One side for Mysis shrimp, Chameleon Prawn, Mini Hermits and other fragile creatures on the other side Predators or other creatures that are too destructive for the other Tanks.
Basically how it works is as follows. My old tropical freshwater tank (Juwel Rio 180) got converted so I glued an acrylic partition to split it in two. Then I cut out an overflow section and a hole to drain it. The Partition splits the Tank in a 35cm section on the left and leaves a 65cm section to the right. The old internal filter in the RHS corner of the Rio is still in operation. A Tunze Skimmer 9004 is in the LHS corner of the 65cm section. A small pump 200lph (probably too small) pumps water from the RHS into the LHS. The water then overflows from the LHS to the RHS section. Basically its as if the RHS section is the sump of the LHS section. This allows me to have two tanks with only one skimmer etc. Here a few bad pictures of the build to make it more sense…
Here two pictures after two weeks running.
LHS Section (35cm)
Mysis Shrimp and Chameleon Prawns Hippolyte varians are housing in the LHS where I try to breed them and also hold some small and fragile animals like the four tiny hermits that are probably Anapagurus hyndmanni (Thanks to the Seasearch facebook group for help in ID). This guy below is only 2.5mm tall (without shell). I previously had those animals in a small 30l plastic tank but it was impossible to keep good watervalues so this new setup will surely improve things.
The Mysis seem happy and have already started breeding. There is currently 6 females and 4 males. Here a heavily pregnant female and a very nice looking male.
I have so far already seen about 6 Babies 🙂 very hard to get them on camera but I am happy that it seems to work. The young ones have a lot of shelter in the weeds which they need as the Mysis are extremely carnivorous so I am glad to see a few have made it. Here a picture of one on a the rock (top left)
The Chameleon Prawns Hippolyte varians are carrying eggs and I am yet to see how their breeding works as I couldnt find anything in the net about their breeding except that they breed all year around. There is about 5 females and 3 males. The amount of eggs on the females suggests that they will not be finished Prawns but rather larvae that have to go through many stages of molting before complete which could get very tricky. If anybody reading this has some advice that would be highly appreciated. Here a shot of a female where the eggs can be clearly seen 🙂
They are amazing creatures as they adapt to their environment in color and pattern which can be quite extreme. In complete darkness they go into a light blue which I have yet only seen when I collect them. The 30min journey in the boot of the car seems to be enough however I havent seen this blue coloration in the tank yet. This one below has quite an extreme coloration and blends in nicely. The yellow eggs can also be seen quite well.
Some nice action and live can also be seen on these rocks I introduced to this tank.
The barnacles (not on picture but in video below) wouldnt last 5 mins in the maintank as the corkwing always has a very close look at anything newly introduced and would surely nip them off very quickly. I really like those hydroids which I think are Clava multicornis. Unfortunately one of the cushion stars I have in there has grazed them off just after I made the video and pictures (thanks for waiting 😉
I am hoping the Delesseria sanguinea is growing under the 6500k LED lights. I found these in a specific pool luckily attached to a small enough rock. I also had some of it in the Maintank but the Seahares grazed it down within a day. More to them in another post.
Some more pictures and a video of the LHS section
Not very attractive looking but I want to keep it simple.
Here I put all the bigger hermits and prawns for the moment. Yesterday I was able to catch a shorecrab out of the maintank that came as a hitchhiker from the rocks, its now also in this section.
There is also a small Velvet Swimming Crab in there that looks deadly but is very camera shy. It only comes out for food. The injured spiny Starfish that I found in January only had two arms left that time. Now the three small “new” ones can be seen.
There is also a few Dog Whelk Nucella lapillus in there. One of them has been laying eggs after two days.
Next post will be a Maintank update…