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Our temporary aquarium

Rockpool aquarium

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 Clingfishsubjects 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 distractions.

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 food.

We managed to collect quite a good number of species including the following:

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.

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