The tank and the 20″ glass canopy are Tetra products. The undergravel filter and three 5-pound bags of aquarium gravel are Petco products. The Resun lamp — picked up via Craigslist. The fluorescent tube died shortly after purchase, and the replacement is temporary until I can find a better one. The pump, which isn’t visible in the photo, is a Stellar W-60 with twin outputs, one for each of the vertical exhaust tubes. I bought this (and two other models, S-30 and S-10) years ago and don’t see them for sale anymore. The S-10 is on a 2-gallon tank, and the S-30 was on the temp. Both can be seen here. They’re extremely quiet, powerful, and reliable.
In the process of starting this new tank and moving the opae ‘ula from the temporary tank into the new, I carefully removed the sponge filter from the temp to make sure none of the little guys were hitching a ride. I then bailed water, using a small plastic container, from the temp into the new until about an inch remained. I picked up the temp and slowly poured the remainder, with the opae, into the 10-gallon.
I use this bail and pour method because netting isn’t very effective. The opae are quick, and their small size makes them vulnerable to injury caused by the net. Thus, it’s a lot easier to simply pour them from one container into another.
That was last night. I had left the sponge filter and the temp tank on the counter next to the sink to dry. This morning, when I ran the sponge filter under the faucet, an opae washed out and landed on the sink floor. I quickly placed my hand between the drain and the opae to keep it from washing into the drain. When I lifted my hand to see if I had saved it, I found it clinging to the edge of my index finger. If it hadn’t, I had no idea how I’d pick it up.
I opened the glass canopy on the 10-gallon and flicked the opae in. When I looked to see if it was alright, I couldn’t distinguish it from the others and assumed it was. About an hour later, when I lifted the canopy hatch, I found the opae stuck to the bottom of the hatch, trapped in a water droplet and held there by the surface tension. I quickly splashed some water from the tank onto the droplet to wash it into the tank.
Again, when I looked in to see if it had survived the ordeal, I couldn’t distinguish it from the others so assumed it had. I made sure to check to see if any bodies were floating around or lying on the tank floor. Negative.
So, how tough are these little guys? If this survivor is any indication, then s/he survived out of the water for at least 10 hours. I didn’t see her on the surfaces of the sponge filter so she much have somehow gotten inside. How, I’m not sure because there are no visible openings anywhere. If she was inside, then the small amount of moisture remaining in the sponge must have kept her hydrated.
She survived a drenching in tap water and a landing on a sink floor that must’ve had some detergent residue. She had the survival instinct to cling to my finger. When I flicked her into the 10-gallon, I inadvertently sent her flying onto the bottom of the canopy hatch, where she remained trapped in a water droplet for another hour or so.
If I don’t see her corpse on the tank floor in the coming days and weeks, then I’ll know she survived the ordeal.
Now that’s tough.