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NanCrab

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So, we got some new additions today. The lawnmower blenny I really wanted, a scooter blenny and a fire shrimp. Spent about an hour at the ghost town lfs hemming and hawing. The guys there thought they were good choices for now. Shrimp is in the DT but blennies are in the QT.

I feel fairly confident these are healthy fish but gonna do copper power anyway since I have a nice QT that for a good cleaning and 40% water change yesterday in preparation for new inhabitants. Just wondering if you all follow the dosing instructions on the bottle of copper power or do less? My clowns and chromis and corals were in QT for 2 months but really only because the DT wasn’t ready. How long should I keep these guys in there to be safe? Our next additions will be tangs I guess because there really aren’t that many reef safe fish to choose from and we want a nice coral reef. Once I’m done making additions to the big tank the QT will be converted to FOWLR tank.
 

appaloosa1224

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Was the scooter blenny eating at the store? They have very similar diets to mandarins and may only eat live foods, although I have had decent luck with them eating frozen and sometimes pellets in the past. Since your tank is newer, just want you to be prepared that you may need to add some live copepods to seed the tank for a while for him! Or maybe you’ll get lucky and he eats frozen :)
 

ActiveAngel

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Was the scooter blenny eating at the store? They have very similar diets to mandarins and may only eat live foods, although I have had decent luck with them eating frozen and sometimes pellets in the past. Since your tank is newer, just want you to be prepared that you may need to add some live copepods to seed the tank for a while for him! Or maybe you’ll get lucky and he eats frozen :)
I was going to suggest this question also. This is because Scooter blennies are not Blennies (nor are they Scooter Gobies, which you also will find them named). They are Scooter Dragonets. Like all dragonets, they can be very picky eaters.
 

NanCrab

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Was the scooter blenny eating at the store? They have very similar diets to mandarins and may only eat live foods, although I have had decent luck with them eating frozen and sometimes pellets in the past. Since your tank is newer, just want you to be prepared that you may need to add some live copepods to seed the tank for a while for him! Or maybe you’ll get lucky and he eats frozen :)
I have added 4 jars of live copepods to the DT directly into the section that will eventually be the refugium. It has sand and matrix cubes in it. I added them at least 2 weeks ago. What I’ve done is take a cup of sand and one of the matrix cubes and put it into the QT tank so there will hopefully be copepods available for it. Now with that I’m assuming I can’t add copper power? Or maybe they can survive that. I have frozen mysis and that is what they told me it has been eating but I can call today and double check. They said the lawnmower eats regular fish food and I did feed them some mysis yesterday afternoon but the scooter didn’t seem interested. Hmmm...I wish the lfs ppl would tell you these things.
 

NanCrab

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I was going to suggest this question also. This is because Scooter blennies are not Blennies (nor are they Scooter Gobies, which you also will find them named). They are Scooter Dragonets. Like all dragonets, they can be very picky eaters.
Again, we asked a ton of questions before our purchase, this was not brought up and I specifically asked. Sheesh. I wonder if I should return it and ask if I can exchange for one of the others you suggested
 

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When buying any fish, ALWAYS ask “Can I see the fish eat before I buy it?” They will feed the fish. If it doesn’t eat, don’t buy it.

Lawnmowers can sometimes be picky and only wish to graze on algae, and therefore won’t eat fish food. And Dragonets can oftentimes (98% of the time) be picky and only eat live food.

Again I wouldn’t recommend buying any fish that isn’t readily eating prepared food in the shop. As for the pods; you did good, as that is probably a required step for your Dragonets long-term health. However, it may or may not be enough. Generally, I don’t recommend Dragonets for any tank less than 1-2 years old, at least 50 gallons, has an established refugium, and visible breeding populations of copepods... which takes time.

The problem is that Dragonets are awesome hunters and eat a lot! Let’s say they hunt down 1,000- 3,000 pods a day.... Buying pods all the time to keep them fed is expensive and not feasible, what is needed is pods already in the tank breeding up the numbers.

Your dragonet may be fine with what you’ve already done. But if you want to go buy more pods, and dump them into a refugium every week for a little while, with some chaeto algae for them to hide... it wouldn’t hurt.
 

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When buying any fish, ALWAYS ask “Can I see the fish eat before I buy it?” They will feed the fish. If it doesn’t eat, don’t buy it.

Lawnmowers can sometimes be picky and only wish to graze on algae, and therefore won’t eat fish food. And Dragonets can oftentimes (98% of the time) be picky and only eat live food.

Again I wouldn’t recommend buying any fish that isn’t readily eating prepared food in the shop. As for the pods; you did good, as that is probably a required step for your Dragonets long-term health. However, it may or may not be enough. Generally, I don’t recommend Dragonets for any tank less than 1-2 years old, at least 50 gallons, has an established refugium, and visible breeding populations of copepods... which takes time.

The problem is that Dragonets are awesome hunters and eat a lot! Let’s say they hunt down 1,000- 3,000 pods a day.... Buying pods all the time to keep them fed is expensive and not feasible, what is needed is pods already in the tank breeding up the numbers.

Your dragonet may be fine with what you’ve already done. But if you want to go buy more pods, and dump them into a refugium every week for a little while, with some chaeto algae for them to hide... it wouldn’t hurt.
Do you think it would be best for the fish if I ask to return it in exchange for an urchin (though it may wear my frags as hats!) or see if they have one of the others you recommended? I really don’t want it to die.
 

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If you look at it's belly does it look tucked up and skinny? Or does it look nice and plump? Dragonets often come in very skinny and at a disadvantage for survival because they just won't eat. But if he looks like he's been eating maybe he will eat frozen. Try again today. These guys are much more likely to take to frozen than other dragonets in my experience. I kept an adult pair that vigorously ate frozen for a long time, but ultimately gave them up because they still needed more pods than my tank could give them even with frozen 3x per day. But even if he does you will have to commit to feeding him frozen several times a day for a while. Your tank will also have an easier time establishing a good pod population without a fish that consumes a ton of them. It's up to you what you decide to do with him, and it can work, but it's not a fish I would suggest for a new tank. There are tons of other reef safe fish that would probably be a better choice at this time.
 

NanCrab

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If you look at it's belly does it look tucked up and skinny? Or does it look nice and plump? Dragonets often come in very skinny and at a disadvantage for survival because they just won't eat. But if he looks like he's been eating maybe he will eat frozen. Try again today. These guys are much more likely to take to frozen than other dragonets in my experience. I kept an adult pair that vigorously ate frozen for a long time, but ultimately gave them up because they still needed more pods than my tank could give them even with frozen 3x per day. But even if he does you will have to commit to feeding him frozen several times a day for a while. Your tank will also have an easier time establishing a good pod population without a fish that consumes a ton of them. It's up to you what you decide to do with him, and it can work, but it's not a fish I would suggest for a new tank. There are tons of other reef safe fish that would probably be a better choice at this time.
Ok thank you. He does not look skinny and I did direct feed him (with a feeder thing) some frozen mysis. He got more active but I couldn’t really tell if he was eating. Wasn’t obvious like with the fish. I don’t have a ton of money right now to throw at adding a ton of copepods. Maybe I’ll just exchange him.
 

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Ok thank you. He does not look skinny and I did direct feed him (with a feeder thing) some frozen mysis. He got more active but I couldn’t really tell if he was eating. Wasn’t obvious like with the fish. I don’t have a ton of money right now to throw at adding a ton of copepods. Maybe I’ll just exchange him.
@appaloosa1224 had the best response. How does the stomach look? And is he eating frozen?

If both those are good (most importantly the second question), then I’d keep him. Otherwise, if the place will accept him back, and you are able to catch him easily, then you may wish to return him. In the end though, it is a very personal choice and I could see it going either way for you.
 

NanCrab

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@appaloosa1224 had the best response. How does the stomach look? And is he eating frozen?

If both those are good (most importantly the second question), then I’d keep him. Otherwise, if the place will accept him back, and you are able to catch him easily, then you may wish to return him. In the end though, it is a very personal choice and I could see it going either way for you.
Well it is active and looks well nourished. I sincerely cannot tell if it is eating. I’ve tried mysis shrimp and now baby frozen brine shrimp and also some phytoplankton. It doesn’t scoot away or anything but I can’t really tell if it’s eating. I really just don’t want it to die. I would never bring an animal to my home that I felt I couldn’t take care of. Still deciding. I tried to call the store where I got it but no answer so I’m not sure if they’re there today with the lockdowns
 

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Do you have any garlic guard? You can try soaking the frozen in that to see if it gets him to eat a little more. But remember that he's been through a lot of stress recently and it may take him a bit of settling in before he'll vigorously eat. Honestly, if he's looking plump, I'd assume he's been eating something and keep trying for a couple days. He probably has a better chance with you than back in a fish store tank.
 

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Here’s a video I found on YouTube of one of these guys eating. Fast forward to around the 0:40 mark, You can see him picking at seemingly invisible micro-critters every few seconds.

I don’t know anything about this YouTube channel; just wanted to give you a visual reference for what eating looks like.

 

NanCrab

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Here’s a video I found on YouTube of one of these guys eating. Fast forward to around the 0:40 mark, You can see him picking at seemingly invisible micro-critters every few seconds.

I don’t know anything about this YouTube channel; just wanted to give you a visual reference for what eating looks like.

Awe thank you! You are so thoughtful
 

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So the little dragonette already died. And I did call the lfs I bought him from to see about returning him but they told me not to worry, that it would be fine. Not so much eh? Lawnmower and fire shrimp are doing well. When I have money I will be adding a fairy wrasse and one or two tangs next. Probably will get them all at the same time, QT them together and introduce them all at the same time. May add another shrimp sometime too. Thanks for trying to help us, no more dragonettes for us. Cute but not worth the stress
 

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Dragonettes/Mandarins can't survive copper treatment. They are naturally immune to most parasites we're concerned with as hobbyists as they've got a toxic (not to us - don't be alarmed) mucus layer. That's most likely why he died. They also require a drip acclimation. I'm sorry for your loss.
 

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I’ve never used copper. I have some but have been a little worried about trying it.
I mentioned that because you said you were gonna do copper power. Did you have any chemical treatments in your QT? And did you drip acclimate the fish over an hour or so?
 

NanCrab

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I mentioned that because you said you were gonna do copper power. Did you have any chemical treatments in your QT? And did you drip acclimate the fish over an hour or so?
Yeah I said I was going to do that but I never did, not this time and not with the clowns. I like to observe first and see if the stress of being purchased and moved causes anything. If not I just continue to observe and give some focus. Never even got a chance to do that cause it wouldn’t eat. Well I feel bad that it does, definitely not what I ever want. I don’t have a drip acclimated, generally I add a little tank water to the store water every 10-15 minutes, removing an equal amount of the mixed water before each addition of tank water. Like 1/4 cup at a time or so. Then once I feel like I’ve exchanged most of the water I float them in the container for an additional 15-20 minutes no lights.
 

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Yeah I said I was going to do that but I never did, not this time and not with the clowns. I like to observe first and see if the stress of being purchased and moved causes anything. If not I just continue to observe and give some focus. Never even got a chance to do that cause it wouldn’t eat. Well I feel bad that it does, definitely not what I ever want. I don’t have a drip acclimated, generally I add a little tank water to the store water every 10-15 minutes, removing an equal amount of the mixed water before each addition of tank water. Like 1/4 cup at a time or so. Then once I feel like I’ve exchanged most of the water I float them in the container for an additional 15-20 minutes no lights.
Thats basically the same thing as drip acclimation. So you did everything right.
 
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