Tuesday 24 January 2006

Seven years ago today I acquired my brown sailfin tang, Zebrasoma scopas, and my black anemonefish, .

Both fish were purchased from Strictly Aquariums in Yagoona along with another A. melanopus. The tang was initially 50 mm TL and the anemonefish were both 25 mm TL. Both anemonefish were captive bred. The fish were kept under observation in my 4' quarantine tank for one week (my quarantine was not as rigorous back then) before being moved into their current home, my 6' Tank. At the time, the tank was just Fish Only with no live rock and a wet/dry filter in the sump.

All three fish settled in well to the 6' tank and had no issues with the other inhabitants. At the time, the tank had 4 blue tangs, 2 red firefish, a bicolor angelfish, an eiblii angelfish and a mandarin dragonet. I also had two anemones, Heteractis magnifica and H. crispa.

The anemonefish in November 2000

Over time, the other anemonefish grew much faster than the current one and it was soon obvious the larger one was a female. In fact, right up until the females death in April 2003, the male had hardly grown at all.

In February 2002, I added a Entacmaea quadricolor anemone, one of four that had been given to me. It settled in the centre of the tank on a large old Acropora skeleton. The anemonefish took to this almost immediately, although the female got to spend the most time in the anemone. The male only got close at night.

In September 2002, the pair of anemonefish started spawning. They kept this up on a regular basis right up until the female died. I never saw any larvae, so I have to assume the male was shooting blanks.

As mentioned previously, the female anemonefish died in April 2003 due to unknown causes. It had been healthy right up to the last few days when it stopped eating and lost stability. Since that time, the male anemonefish has grown to 60 mm TL, not quite as large as the female when she died. I suspect this anemonefish is either already a female or becoming one.

In September 2003, I added another A. melanopus in the hope it would pair up with the existing one. To date they have kept their distance but I am ever hopeful.

The tang's experience for the last 7 years has been uneventful. It is a peaceful fish and has not been a problem at all. It has only grown to 80 mm TL, but appears to be fat and healthy.

The tang in November 2000