Tis that time again. ANIMAL UPDATE!!!!!!
You may notice we have some new friends in the tank. We have a cucumber that can be seen munching our sand, cleaning it up and defecating it out. A secretive wrasse, 2 tail spot blennies, a variety or corals and sponges, and a tuxedo urchin!!!!! The tuxedo can be seen wearing various rocks, corals, sponges and anything else it can attach to itself. This is a means of camouflage and is very fun to watch. Some of the corals that have been added are very clearly unwell. What is wrong with and why would we bring them into our tank? You can see that some of them are very bleached and because of this some of them are dying. This is a stress response when the environment in which the corals live changes in a way that is outside of the conditions to which they are adapted. They will expel their zooxanthellae (the algae that lives in their tissues producing lots of sugar for them) and their tissues will lose their colors as the zooxanthellae is how they get their color. Our distributor was going to toss them so we decided to try to give them a new life. Some of them have had an amazing recovering. One of them was about 75% bleached and his since regained ALL of its zooxnthellae. What is really cool is that it has acquired obviously different zooxanthellae from its original symbiont and so it has splotches of different colors. (I have a really great book that touches on this phenomenon if anyone is interested in borrowing it).
Harley’s mouth does not seem to be bothering him even though we have only seen a little improvement. What concerns us at this point is that he has had worrisome bowel movements that do not seem to be regulating itself. We are currently going through a list of possibilities to narrow down what it could be. It could be as simple as he has been getting some water or foods that are upsetting his tummy or it could be as severe as parasites. Nothing seems to have changed his temperament yet, so I do not want anyone to panic!!!! He is still his loud, cranky self, just ask Katie and Esther haha. Both of the girls are on a diet as they are a little over weight.