Diary Four

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6/7/04 Wow, guess the hard part of this is keeping the diary up to date.  It's gonna take a long message just to get up to date.   First, we lost our big girl Kuda.  I was doing a major clean - cloudy water and all and she was fine, curious, coming to check out what I was doing.  Right after that Wally saw her snick food off the sand and get a big snoutful.  She seemed to have a hard time getting the sand out and she was never the same after that, just quit eating and died in the hospital tank two days later - so very sad.
I finally did get the hatchery set up for the ocean shrimp with the colander in the rubbermaid, but no babies yet.  Rotifers are doing great.  Copepods and green water not so good.  Reset up the mysis as their water had got bad and I lost most of them, they are doing better now.
We lost one of the tigertails... literally lost.  I came home from work and the filter was knocked over and sucking sand so I snatched it out and dropped it into a bucket right in front of the tank.  When I counted the tigertails I could only find four.  We never have found the 5th one... Wally combed through the sand... nothing.  I thought maybe she was on the filter cord and came out of the tank with the filter but she's not on the floor.. true mystery and so very frustrating.  The rest of the tigertails have been having a growing spurt... getting pretty good size now.  Just in the last couple of days they have been showing "courting" colors and behavior... but no pouches are visible yet!
We bought a new female erectus from a local woman who only had the one horse and was moving.  The erectus was CB, she had kept her for about a year but had lost the male about 4 months ago, the two had had several broods.  She's a pretty thing.. I'll post pics.
Ten days ago I finally got my order from Florida Collector.. 9 adult dwarfs (a couple are more like juvies) made it and two died on the way.  At my office, an hour after they arrived one male delivered 34 babies - everyone in the office was amazed.  That was the Friday of Memorial weekend.  Anyway.. brought them home and put everyone and everything going in the dwarf tanks through a panacur bath, put the adults in the 3 gallon silver tank and the babies in a big fishbowl set up just like for other fry with greenwater, rotifers, and bbs.  Snails, hermits, peppermints, plants, sponge, etc, etc went mostly in the reef but a few in the seahorse tanks.
That same weekend, on Saturday, we went down to Seattle and bought a female barb from WaGuy.  She was a wildcaught but eating frozen food.  She's very, very thin but appears healthy and does eat mysis and brine - loves live brine and ghosts too.  She's the most active of all the horses.
That first Saturday night we had a fry disaster... the dwarf fry started convulsing, spinning and dying.  I could see just the smallest amount of cobwebby stuff... HYDROIDS!  I guess a 5 minute bath isn't long enough exposure to panacur.  I dosed with panacur and moved the remaining fry to the adult tank.  Immediately they were fine again... managed to save about 17 of them.
A week later (last Saturday) we went shrimping in the tide pools (not much luck) and when we got home, the second pregnant dwarf and given birth.. I think about 30 babies total now.  He had two tails sticking out of his pouch and I watched him for a long time.. the tails were twitching but daddy wasn't even trying to push them out, he was calmly eating dinner... sheeeesh.  I thought it was best to let nature take it's course... I had the best of intentions.. but when the tails slowed the twitching I just couldn't stand it.. I held Daddy and gently pulled the tails.. both fry came out and swam away.. just fine.
I had intended to raise the dwarf fry separate from the adults, but the are doing very well where they are so I think I'll let at least these wildcaught fry stay but the next batch will be CB and I will likely separate them.
Last Saturday, I put the new erectus and the new barb into the main tank from the quarantine maybe not the best decision but I feel safe because they have been in good homes for quite some time.  I had been exposing them to our tank water the whole time.
I haven't had any "big horse" fry as Jade has had some bad luck and lost a couple of broods to tank equipment before she could get them out of her main tank.  She thinks one is expecting now so we could have fry anytime.  This is too long.. but that's most of the news and I'll try to make more frequent shorter entries.  Promise.


10/22/04 Never promise what you can't deliver.  So this time I'll only say I'll try to do more frequent updates.  Hard to even catch up now but here goes.  My four Tigertail babies are now A YEAR OLD.  They are wonderful - one is a male (Nigel), the other three females (Lady, Kali, and Kiara).  I was also fortunate enough to adopt a male Tigertail (Lumpy) *Thank you, Bruce!*. Had to do a pouch evac on Nigel, then infection set in, we cured the infection with Nitrofurazone, but it looks like he might need another evac soon.  Lumpy and Kali are courting heavy... may be fry soon.   We almost lost the erectus girl (Bubbles) she had a swollen tail, probably Vibrio and went through several treatments, cured that then she got bubbles on her tail (that's when she got her name) still has a couple of bubbles but they are receding at this point.  I also bought a pair of Kuda from a girl getting out of seahorse keeping.. WC but eating frozen.  I'm pretty sure they did the egg transfer thing last night.  Those 8 seahorses are all in the 37 gal tank and REALLY seem to enjoy the group setting.  We sold the barb girl to a local seahorse keeper who had a male but no female, better to have the pair together.  We lost all the dwarfs.. my own fault - I was checking ammonia regularly and doing at least 10% water changes daily and it never dawned on me that the nitrates could possibly go up.. not until it was too late.  But I'm going to try again, I guess I'm just stubborn.  I have the silver 3 gallon set up for them with black sand, sponge filter, two fake plants. Twelve dwarves are scheduled to arrive next week from Aqualand.  We have decided to treat all my tanks and cultures with Panacur to ward off hydroids - with dwarves coming and possibly fry soon I'm not taking any chances.  We won't treat the reef tanks (we have 4 now) so will have to be careful not to transfer stuff back and forth anymore.

Two days ago we got a pair of Sunbursts (erectus) from Ocean Rider along with Vibrance, Vibrance II, 200 red shrimp, and 3 macroalgaes.  They are small 2.5 - 3 inches but very cute.  Appear to both be females but they may not be old enough to sex yet.  Hopefully I'll have pics posted tonight.  We are planning to go with tigertails and erectus for our breeding.  We cleared out the second bedroom, pulled up the carpet baring the linoleum and that will be the "fish room" for nurseries, cultures, etc.  Wally has big plans!  We have already set up a deal with Dan U. who breeds erectus and he wants to expand to kudas so we will send him our pair in exchange for a few of his juvies.  Not sure yet if we will keep the kudas here for the first fry to be born or send them to him now.

Cultures are doing ok, phyto, rotifers, pods, marine ghosts (I have a set of babies about 1/4 grown), red shrimp, amphipods, mysis.  Wally has two batches of baby peppermint shrimp.

Guess that's all the news for now.

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