In order to get the best possible photos and video clips we decided
that we would have to set up an aquarium so that our
could settle down and we could get some clear photos of fish which
were relaxed and on full view. But we only had two weeks so rather
than risk trying to set up a tank with a pre-matured filter we decided
to use a small power filter set up to provide chemical filtration to
remove ammonia/nitrite and even nitrate. The filter media we chose was
BioMarine's Polyfilter which does all that we required it to do, we
also made sure that we had a nearby supply of them should we need
more. We also used artificial seawater because it presented fewer
problems with transportation and was less likely to have a bacterial
or plankton bloom. We have taken readings from the sea in this
location in the past and we prepared the water in our tank to match
this as closely as we could. Next day we collected a few loose
rocks with seaweed growing on them, mostly these rocks were also quite
artificial - one was a water worn brick (the orangey one) another was
a piece of concrete and so on. The substrate came from the local
beach in order to make things look as natural as possible but was
cleaned before use to prevent clouding of the water. Landscaping
was done quite quickly because things just seemed to fall into place
quite naturally and there were no awkward fiddly bits left over.
We used a single tube and starter unit for the lighting with an
homemade reflector made from the tubes box, some cooking foil and lots
of tape. We also used a plain black background to prevent any
The tank was then left to stand (running) but with no livestock in
order to allow everything to settle ready for the fish. Next day we
placed the first of the inhabitants in the tank and we were both very
surprised to see just how quickly they settled down. Only the mullet
fry showed any signs off distress when first captured by breathing
very rapidly around the surface but within three hours even they had
settled down and were the boldest feeders in the entire tank. They
would eat anything and everything offered to them including flake
We managed to collect quite a good number of species including the
1, Giant goby - this was a mistake, we thought it was a rock goby
until it was properly identified later. 2, Shanny. 3, Clingfish.
4, Worm pipefish. 5, Thick lipped mullet. 6, Two spot gobies
7. Sea scorpion 8, Sand smelt
Along with a variety of inverts.
Some of the fish were photographed and filmed and then released very
soon after due to the risk of them eating their tank mates. The above
list couldn't be kept together because the scorpionfish would eat most
of the others once settled and the mullet would quickly out grow this
tank which was just a 36 x 15 x 12 all glass tank.
For the longer term captives we used a variety of food but we were
very surprised to see that almost all of the fish were feeding on the
green algae on one of the rock, this algae looked very threadbare
after just a few days.
Not everything went as planned unfortunately, one fish was killed on
the way home by one of the other fish in the bucket with it, we
assumed that these newly captured fish would have more on their mind
than wanting to fight with each other but... Worse still was when
the shanny decided that the porcelain crab was put in there as a meal
for him!!! Luckily after a swift but brief fight the crab proved to be
to tough and escaped unharmed.
When our holiday was coming to an end, all the livestock was returned
to where it had been caught and mostly in better condition than when
we had found them.