As noted in “Thoughts on Filtration in Opae’ula Tanks” (11/26/15), I deactivated some of my tanks to a manageable few. This is the note that I appended to the post on filtration:
[11/26/15] This past week, I decided to reduce the number of tanks by eliminating the two 5-gallons. I moved the colonies into the 18-gallon. Salt crusting had been an ongoing problem, and reducing the turbulence and lowering the water level didn’t seem to work.
Update 11/27/15: A couple months ago, I found a slow leak in the 2.5-gallon tank and used the small colony to start the Oblong 1.5-gallon tank. Thus, as of this date, I’m running 4 tanks: 10-gallon, 18-gallon, 1.5-gallon, and 1-gallon.
One of the tanks I reluctantly decided to eliminate was the 5-gallon Fluval Chi, my first opae’ula tank. After removing the coral condo and moving the colony to the 18-gallon, I decided to leave the tank running for a few days just in case I missed some of the juveniles. There were some berried females just before I decided to decommission this tank, so I decided to take this precaution.
I’m glad I waited before emptying the water out of the tank. I noticed a few tiny specks moving about in the tank (see the red circle in the photo below and enlargement below that) and realized some of the juveniles had been left behind. They were too small to catch with a net. Also, they hid within the gravel, and trying to capture them would mean also scooping the gravel around them, and that would definitely crush them. So I decided to wait until they grew a little bigger before trying to net and move them.
At first, I thought there was only one juvenile left in the tank. However, over time, I’ve seen two others. There may be others that I haven’t seen.
Even partially filled, salt crusting in this tank remains a serious problem, so I’m still planning to empty it out and use it for something else. In the meantime, I hope the little guys survive and grow up quickly so I can catch them and move them into a better environment.
These juveniles are special since I know they are “natives,” born in my first tank. The others born in this and other tanks are mixed in with the “immigrant” population so I can’t tell them apart. Thus, I may try to keep them together in a smaller container, perhaps a second Nishijima-type bottle.