Native marine aquaria are pretty scarce. Little information exists on how to be successful in maintaining healthy coldwater marine systems in domestic aquaria.

Hopefully this record of my failures, triumphs and ideas will assist others interested in keeping some of our fascinating, beautiful and often little known sea denizens in aquariums.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

May 2012 Update

OK - its been a while, and there has been a flurry of activity recently what with the good weather and all. Firstly the spiny starfish has eaten everything in the tank that it could catch and algal growth has rocketed smothering every surface to the extent that the front of the tank grows over in a few days.

Today he went to his new home at the Bournemouth Oceanarium.

About 400 snails were introduced over the weekend and have already made great progress in cleaning up. A few more may be needed to get things the way they should be though. No limpets survived the starfish ravages and next trip will hopefully furnish a few.

Today saw a large water change - the 1st in 12 months. Water has remained good over the year despite frequent feeding with NO3 at below 5ppm. A yellowish tinge has been noticed however and a change was long overdue. It seems apparent that the live sand bed does assist in the nitrogen cycle and the experiment can be judged successful by my standards anyway.

Water changes will now be carried out at more regular intervals. The introduction of fresh seawater has many benefits - mineral replacement, plankton introduction and simply the exporting of 'aged' tankwater from the system for a start.

Only 2 2-spot gobies remain. They fall easily to anemone predation. An edible crab about 3" across the carapace and a similar shore crab are often seen. They came in as tiny juveniles and have grown to this size from around 10mm in a year.

The wrasse's and mullet are doing well, growth has been strong and no mortality has been noted.

Snakelocks anemones are doing very well but beadlets have been shrunk. New water usually revives them tremendously. I'll keep an anxious eye out for them. An apparent 'Daisy Anemone', Cereus pedunculatus has appeared in the left hand corner in the sand. It looks similar to a tropical 'mushroom' soft coral.

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