Posted: 2006.11.27(Mon)23:06 Post subject: Another disappearance *sighs*
OK, for those that read my last post... another one of my fish has gone missing. As of yesterday, my Lizard Blenny was nowhere to be seen. This was particularly devastating since I've had him since I first started this tank, and he had the most amazing personality.
All of my other fish are swimming around as per usual. The water parameters are fine and there are no aggressive fish in the tank. The anemone has doubled in size since I first bought it, although I feed it a chunk of white bait every 2nd day, and my lizard blenny never went near it. He has been happily living with the anemone since I introduced it almost a year ago. He was such an intelligent fish too, so I just know he wouldn't have gone and swam into the anemone. He was so fast as well.
After the disappearance, there was a clicking noise coming from the back of the tank. So, I'm really concerned that I may have a Mantis shrimp. At night there are often clicks as well. This was something that I noticed after Roger's (my mimic valentini filefish) disappearance as well.
The thing is though, I have 2 x redline cleaner shrimps, 3 x peppermints and 2 tiny coral gobies, so if I had a mantis, wouldn't it have killed these first? I just don't understand it. These are the smallest inhabitants of the tank. The other thing is, Blenny never went out the back of the tank. He spent all of his time out the front searching for new shells or rocks to hide in. So, I wondered if he didn't pick the wrong rock, and have a run in with the mantis?
I've also checked the floor - everywhere! He definately hasn't jumped. I just can't understand it. I'm so disappointed by the whole situation. I've even considered buying a new tank - letting it run for 4 weeks - and then moving one rock every week into the new tank. That way I could make sure that there were no mantis shrimps hitching a ride. (I'd have to wait until the tank has cycled because I have little crabs and tiny white brittle stars living in the rocks - which I don't want to kill).
Has anyone had anything similar happen and how would I know if it were a mantis shrimp? I've never seen one in the tank, but I've heard clicking. Theres a possibility a pistol shrimp could have hitchhiked in when I bought my new live rock about 4-6months ago, but I don't know.
Also, could it have been old age? He just wasn't that big though. Does anyone know how long lizard blennies live for?
Last night I noticed some pretty big bristle worms under the rock where he usually lives, and he often swims in the area that they live. Do you think they could have caused the disappearance? I was feeding the peppermints and hermits when I saw the worms. They crawled over my hermit to try and get his white bait, and I was actually a little worried they were going to hurt him.
So here are the options:
1. Old age (doubtful because he wasn't that big)
2. Jumped (but he wasn't on the floor and this wasn't really in his nature)
3. Mantis shrimp
4. Bristle worms
5. Anemone (highly doubtful though)
Anyway, this is my dilemma. If anyone can offer any advice it would be very much appreciated.
Last edited by sunshine84 on 2006.11.28(Tue)12:52; edited 1 time in total
Do you think it could have been the bristle worms? This is my main concern at the moment. I'm trying to work out what my next step will be, in order to avoid any more disappearances.
Also, I just read that article... thats really beautiful. I will certainly look into that. Also, the claw of the pistol shrimp looks very similar to the claw I've been feeding white bait too. I figured it must have been another crab in the live rock, although it was significantly stronger than a crab. So, you may be right there
Bristle worms... doubtful. Any Green serpent stars?
How big are the hermit crabs in there?
In my opinion hermit crabs are responsible for many "mystery deaths."
(they hunt at night while the fish are sleeping)
Crustaceans can be fish killers; hermits, even shrimps and arrow crabs have been known to take a weak, small, or sleeping fish if hungry.
other than that...maybe the aliens? _________________ Keepin' marines happy for 25 years
The hermits are really small - they're about 1 inch. My little Blenny was usually the one harassing them! He'd sit next to them and give them a nudge to see who was inside. He was such a curious little guy I only moved them into the main tank about a week ago, because I don't have a chiller on the other tank (it's too small), so it's getting harder to stabilise the temperature.
Thankfully though, the hermits have been well-behaved. I was worried that they were going to go on a rampage and knock all of my corals over! But instead, they've taken to eating all of the coralline algae! Oh well, it could have been worse
There's no serpent stars... my one and only serpent star has a tank all to himself - apart from a few white brittle stars and an elusive white crab that I haven't been able to find to move him into the main tank
If its not bristle worms, and its not a mantis... then its ruling out my options. I don't know whether the hermits are big enough to kill Blenny? I hope not
my bet is on the clicking sound of the mantis/pistol shrimp. They can venture out especially at night and considering the size of the fish, it would have been simple. a brittle star also could have slipped in with the rock, and they grow fast. You could have one of them hiding in there. They have traps for mantis shrimp you can get at some saltwater fish stores and online.
OK, I thought it might be time for an update on what's happened:
1. When I got home today, I noticed a head sticking out of my Blenny's old hole... a big, fat, furry head covered in bristles Not impressed! It appears as though the bristleworm has burrowed up through the rock and is now living in the hole. It's pretty big too, which makes me wonder whether it didn't catch my Blenny off guard one night. After about an hour of trying to encourage the worm out of the hole with a piece of fish, the only thing I had was a headache! They're pretty fast when they want to be!
2. Biggles - my big lawnmower Blenny was nowhere to be seen today... Hopefully, he has just been grazing on a nice, big clump of algae in a far corner of the tank... although, I guess I'll have to wait and see!
Well, it could be the bristle worm, especially if it's a big one... keep in mind there are different types and the more aggressive types are in the minority. These creatures are praised by some and cursed by others... personally I have had some big ones oever the years and never had a problem... below you will see two articles; one author has them as gentle giants and the other as fish killers. Since you're worried then why not go ahead and remove it with a trap? Thing is, even if you saw the worm feeding on a dead fish, it doesn't mean the worm killed it. They are natural scavengers. My money is on the 1-inch long hermit crabs.
Yesterday my smaller Golden Headed Sleeper Goby decided to hide under a rock for most of the day. I think she went there to die, I'm not sure what was wrong though, because she was healthy prior to this. I've had my pair of GHS Gobies for almost a year, and feed them chunks of whitebait and marine green twice a day, in addition to the pellet food, brine & mysis they eat with the rest of the fish.
This morning I found one of my hermits eating her... it was awful I know hermits are opportunistic feeders, so I think it probably started eating her either while she was dying or once she was already dead. Either way, I'm taking your advice FloridaBoy... the hermits have been moved into a seperate tank until I can find someone that wants them.
With regards to the big bristle worm... it's still in the tank! I wanted to move it into the other tank to be safe. But unfortunately, it seems to have eyes in the back of it's head! It always sees me before I can sneak up on it... and then makes a quick getaway *sighs* So, I have a feeling that moving this elusive worm will be a very time consuming process!
Also, thankfully Biggles (my big lawnmower blenny) turned up again. He must have decided to just disappear for a few days... no doubt found a patch of algae out the back or somethin! So, thankfully that story had a happy ending... he is however, getting pretty fat though
Thanks to all those who have offered advice... I really appreciate it
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