The Ongoing Saga of the Saltwater Tank
Back in December (2007) when we got our tank I didn’t blog about it ’cause the tank was more for my husband. Besides, it was just before Christmas and I was overwhelmed with school, etc.
Then I fell in love with the tank, and discovered it was for me, too. My favorite date is to the fish store, and I’d rather study or write with the sound of the circulating water in my ear than anywhere else. Saltwater fish are actually interesting, and unique, unlike most freshwater fish I’ve seen. But it seemed a bit late to start blogging about it.
A few months passed, and our first (and only) fish disappeared. A mysterious clicking sound resounded from our rocks. Our hermit crabs started showing punctures in their shells, and little puffs of sand would appear out of the rocks, accompanied by more clicking.
We had a Mantis Shrimp.
Only instead of being bright and colorful and wanted, our Mantis Shrimp was drab and grey and unwanted. It was a murderous fish-eating hitchhiker that would prove truly obdurate to get out of our tank.
We tried the traps, both homemade from a two-liter bottle, and store bought. We baited them with various delicacies, including fresh whole frozen shrimp, but all we caught were our own snails and a few hermit crabs. We tried videotaping the tank at night using the infrared setting, to see if we could pinpoint where it was, but our mantis shrimp had scotophobia. We moved rocks around and generally disrupted the whole tank looking for the silly thing, to no avail.
Weeks passed, and by know I knew I should be blogging the whole experience, but still wasn’t. Maybe it just seemed a little silly. We had a tank, but no fish, because any fish we put in would just be a shrimp-snack.
Finally, we set up a container beside the tank and bought two big bottles of club soda. We’d read that you could pour soda into the rocks where the bugger was hiding and shock it out. Of course, it can also kill the stuff living on the live rock, but we were desperate. We pulled out any likely rocks, once again making a total mess of the tank, but got nothing. We were ready to give up, or maybe buy a shark and see which of them came out alive.
The next day, my dh was sitting in front of the tank, staring morosely. And out of the rock just in front of him poked a little mantis shrimp head. He called me in, and I went into berserker mode. In maybe two seconds, I had the container set back up, the long glove on, the tank open, and had yanked the rock out of the tank and slapped it down in the container.
We poured on the club soda, and sure enough, out came our dear little mantis shrimp.
Long story short (or somewhat shortened) we soon had our tank up and running again. We now have two lovely and personable clownfish named Izzy and Jeff, a Lawnmower Blenny named Moe, several mushrooms and corals coming along, and will be adding more over the weeks and months to come. As soon as we conquer the glare-on-glass problem, pics will follow.
It’s official, and I’m blogging it. We have a tank.