A little about me. I was born in Switzerland in 1983 and moved to Ireland in 2009 because I fell in love with the rugged westcoast and the sea and wanted a change. Ever since I moved here I was drawn to the sea and try to explore it and learn about its flora and fauna with all its mysteries.
Since I was a child I am fascinated by aquariums and by the way you can just drift away into a world that is completely alien to us. Bringing a “rockpool” into my home was always one of my dreams since I have first gazed into one when I moved here and just recently I have finally managed to do the first step 🙂
In this blog I want to share my experiences and observations in this adventure of trying to create a rockpool aquarium with native irish marine species.
Absolutely everything in the tank is responsibly collected from the intertidal zone of the shores of the west coast, its very important to me that nothing is artificial.
I also have a YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-PHLNFJ4AdXysEKefepPXQ
20 thoughts on “About”
Two things 1) Congratulations on building an incredibly natural looking rockpool aquarium & 2) Thanks for telling us about the goose barnacles.
Wishing you every success!
Dr Anne Marie Power, NUIG
Thanks a lot Anne Marie! That means a lot to me from a specialist and thanks again for all the interesting info.
Absolutely love your tanks and site!
I am in the process of setting up a native marine tank for my area, the upper coast of Texas
around Galveston Bay.
I am intrigued by Dr. Power’s comment concerning the goose barnacles, as of course they frequently wash up here, but in the past I have not had any luck keeping them going. Have you addressed this somewhere in your blog, and I’m missing it?
Thanks for any info.
Thanks Jerry, nice to hear you like it 🙂
Native marine tanks are just great and I am happy to hear you are starting your own, let me know if you are publishing pictures etc online somewhere, would love to see it.
On the Goosebarnacles, great to watch them but its tricky because Wrasse’s nibble on them and others just want to swallow them whole 😉 depends on your setup. I had them high up right under the surface (which would be their habitat when on flotsam). Feeding big ones is easy just give tiny pieces of mussel etc, if they are smaller they can eat artemia shrimp which is what they do here in the university where they study them for their Glueing skills.
Its great to see them feeding.
I ended up having them in the sump as there was too much of the wrong interest in them by other habitants. You can feed artemia easily with a pipette individually so they get the most of it, dont need to be live artemia either if you do it that way.
They died off after a year but grew very well, I think they dont last much longer but I have to say i could/should have done better and fed them more.
Would be great if you could keep some, let me know how you get on.
I havent been active on the blog in a long while but will get back to it through the winter for sure, spending my time on the water during the summer (as you probably saw on my youtube channel) 😉
All the best and keep in touch
I am soooo glad I found your blog!! I’ve been doing the same thing as you for quite some time but on the west coast of the US! Loved it so much I now offer animals I collect for sale to the public, universities, and public aquariums 🙂 Theres not a lot of us keeping temperate marine life in home aquariums, but if you are interested in talking with others about it hop over to this facebook group 🙂 http://www.facebook.com/groups/ColdwaterOwners
Hi Stu, Its true there isnt too many of us even though its all in front of our doorstep 🙂 I am only very new to this, its a great adventure! Do you have a blog or website as I am probably to only one left that is not on facebook 😉 Thanks for the link though.
I have added your Facebook group to my links, might be a reason for me to join Facebook 😉
Only a news blog on my retail website
Some other good websites for coldwater are:
I would definitely hop onto facebookk just for the discussion groups 🙂 There is actuall a British Native Marine group as well. You might be able to organize some group collecting trips with these guys 🙂 I’ve love being able to do that out here with others that are as enthusiastic as myself about it 🙂
Oh, thats you? Funny, I have seen the site before. Very cool, its good to get people closer to the native marine species.
Thanks for all the links, will see about facebook 😉
Also, heres my Youtube channel that has a bunch of videos of the coldwater animals that we’ve collected, kept, or sold in the last few years 🙂
sehr interessanter Blog -schau mal rein unter http://www.trraquaristik.blogspot.de!
Vielen Dank, werde bei dir auch mal reinschauen.
Viele Gruesse von der irischen Westkueste
Delighted to find your site! Enjoyed every page ,post and picture. Am down the coast a bit (county Clare) and have a simple home tank set up which I stock from a few rocky shorelines around here. Usually though its just a case of lifting up rocks carefully and hoping to find something. Your stock gathering technique seems to be way more advanced?! Could you do a post with pictures of the hobby pot and net you use? Here is a rockling that I found yesterday (6cm low tide and sunny was the perfect day for this hobby!
Thanks Liam, glad you found me. Its great to see that there is others doing the same thing. 🙂
If I get a chance I might do something on how I gather but its very simple.
The rocklifting is definitely a good way of course always put the rocks back the same way and dont forget to inspect the bottom side of the rocks. What I do mostly is scooping under the seaweeds that are sort of hanging into the edges of rockpools with a net. You can use the normal aquarium nets you find in pet stores (dont last long though) but I have recently got a so called “Hair rig net”. Its a very fine rubberised net. Much larger as the aquarium nets. This post of AnBollenessor might be of interest if you dont know it already. The one I got has an aluminium rim to protect the net as otherwise it wouldnt last much more than a few sessions. Hope that helps.
The hobby pot I used is this type. Collapsible crab pot, you get them from ebay for nothing but they need a few mods for rim protection with an old garden hose and improving the opening etc. I also closed the opening with cable ties down to about 3cm so you dont get any congers and not too many crabs.
Hope that helps a bit and good luck with your next collection trip 😉
All the best
Thanks so much for your reply and info Marius.
I have kept native marine tanks in the past, but without the advantage of reef type equipment like skimmers and such. Yes, I see you kayak fish, as friends of mine and I do here. I know a lot of my collecting will be out of the kayak. I have my tank, a 58 gallon with 40 gallon sump, filled and running, now I am in the process of collecting substrate. I plan on trying my hand at growing our local sea grasses- turtlegrass, manatee grass, water star grass, and shoal grass, and algae. We’ll see!
Hi Jerry, sorry kind of missed your reply 😉
Hope you have advanced with your setup and it has inhabitants 😉
Yeah kayak fishing is a great hobby and so versatile, I am always inspecting local crabbing buoy’s for lumbsuckers they would be such nice inhabitants, anytime I found them I could keep them as i was too far away from home.
Do you have any publications on your tank?
Cheers and all the best
No worries, Marius, thank you for your reply. Been sort of busy myself, and therefore have not made as much progress on the tank as hoped. The little free time I’ve had recently has been devoted to flounder fishing, as they are running now in our part of the world. I have added rockwork to the tank, as well as sifting what we call “shell hash”, that is accumulated broken mollusk shells, to get a very fine, ~ 1 mm or less particulate, for the substrate for the front of the tank. From what I see that is what you might also be using for substrate? I still have to collect some sand/mud substrate for the back of the tank in order to be able to plant the vascular sea plants, I will get this from the one local bay in our area with good sea plant growth. The only macro organisms in the tank at the moment are a few amphipods, isopod gribbles, and small mud crabs that came in with the rocks. Hopefully after I get the rest of the substrate I will have time to get serious about collecting, and hopefully before winter really sets in. At this point, unfortunately, I am not planning on any publications for the tank, because honestly I am not very techno savy. However, I would somehow like to share images/info with others with similar marine temperate tank interests. I did not know what a lumbsucker was, had to look it up. What a neat and intriguing looking fish, hopefully you will be able to locate some again!
Cool Jerry, well progress is progress even if its slow 😉 plenty of time in the winter.
I am using all medium fine sand from a beach however i am not very happy as it is lifted up very easily whne fish move and if you want strong currents. When i move the tank next year I will start over with heavier/coarser sand/shells at least on top and maybe only use sand for the bottom 4cm for bacteria etc its better I read.
Well you could always just put them up on google+ or something like that. Its nice to share as since the group of interested people is small the ones that are into it love it! 🙂
yeah I love those lumpsuckers, so intriguing and perfect aquarium fish as their mouth isnt too big for a long while 😉
All the best
I am just over a week into setting up my first marine rockpool aquarium and am loving the encouragement from this blog! So far have a pretty basic but robust rock/shore crab gang, a couple of blennys (plus I think 4/5 baby ones too), three limpets that have survived from an original 15 (…?!) and a few of those little snail like algae eating things that have really pretty shells when theyre empty. Having a slight algae bloom which I believe to be part of the settling in process, have bubbles coming from 2 airstones (the blennys like hiding in the bubbles) and a filter pump that I mostly have set so it’s shooting back the water across the surface to add to the aeration. PH seems to be fairly stable at around 8, and did a 25% water change yesterday which seemed to get everyone excited!
Hi Joe, that is so nice to hear, I was the same as you and its great to hear that I could encourage you. Thats what this blog is all about! 🙂 Great you got into the hobby its just fantastic to watch our native creatures and go rockpooling. Blennies are one of the most entertaining and comical inhabitants I find but also a bit of a handful. They might very well be the reason your limpets “havent survived”, hehehe 😉 What size is your tank? Just be careful with the crabs as they can dig and upset your rocks, just make sure they wont be able to tip them against the glass. You will find most rockpool critters to be extremely hardy ph 8-8.5 I think is good but depending on your tank size without a skimmer waterchanges will be important. At least its free and ready available 😉 would be great to see some pics of you wanna send them on. All the best and good luck with your setup!