I have just returned from a week in Cornwall collecting new specimens. I collected from four locations -
Fowey Harbour - approx 50 2 spot gobies, 1 Goldsinny.
Wallace Beach, Looe - 3 mackeral fry, 75 periwinkle, 3 juvenile Ballen Wrasse, 2 brittle star, 1 beadlet anemone.
Porth Mawgan - 14 Sprat (?) fry, 1 Strawberry Anemone, approx 100 mussels, 4 dog whelk. Treyarnon Bay - an amazing beach, fabulous deep rockpools - 1 Lesser Sandeel, 1 Shore Rockling, 3 Golden Mullet, 1 Spiny Starfish, 1 Montagues Blenny, 1 tiny Shanny, 1 Warty Anemone, 2 Sprat (?) fry.
I kept the animals for up to a week in a 60 litre 'really useful box' with an airstone and carried oput daily water changes. I fed them on frozen garlic enriched artemia. All fed well and there were no casualties! It took 3 1/2 hours to get home and there were no motalities during transit.
All are now installed in the aquarium and have settled in well. They are feeding and seem to be behaving naturally. I originally intended to collect about 6 2 Spot Gobies, but wherever I found them they occured in large shoals so I decided to collect 50. Male to female ratio is about 1:2. They were exceedingly numerous, I fished for them in one spot only and I would guess that there were many hundreds along a sea wall only 30 feet long.
I wasnt sure about the Spiny Starfish - but my wife and children loudly convinced me! If it proves too destructive I'll release it. Its about 10" across and according to all literature I could find on it is a voracious predator! I'll offer it frozen mussels and clams, hopefully that will reduce its grazing upon my live mussel beds.
I found a crab net baited with squid to be the most effective way of catching fish, all the gobies and the Goldsinny were caught using this method.
The Shanny was an unintentional catch, we caught many dozens of shanny at all locations, however, I have found them to be too destructive to barnacles, snails, hermit crabs and prawns to be desirable as captive reef inhabitants. I didnt even see it til we got back to Bournemouth, my 6 yr old son proudly claimed to have added it to the bucket! Its about 4mm long and unlikely to be a problem for a while yet.