mcarroll1

Reefer
Hello everyone! This is my first post on reefs.org.....a question or two, actually. :)

Vermitid snails have shown up as hitchhikers. They seem to be capable of multiplying quite fast in a well-fed coral-only (no fish, shrimp) tank.

Even outside of this discussion I've been considering adding one fish to my tank...a Red Scooter Blenny. I know nothing about the Vermitid life cycle but is there a chance that having a predator like a dragonet, with it's constant picking at microfauna on the rocks, might reduce the number of young vermitids that survive? (Hopefully eating the vermitid young before they can build a spike/shell.)

Any thoughts on this or other suggestions for controls?

Thanks!
-Matt
 
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Anonymous

Guest
There are no sure natural controls for Vermetid snails, let them run their course or remove them manually.

Regards,
David Mohr
 
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Anonymous

Guest
davidmohr":1uchauoo said:
There are no sure natural controls for Vermetid snails, let them run their course or remove them manually.

Technically thats correct, since nothing is ever totally "sure" but....

Halichoeres melanurus will (very likely) remove them. But they also work over quite a few other things too so that might not be the answer for you.

-- May be worth looking into if you're game for an interesting new fish to add though...

I added the (very likely) disclaimer because you can't account for an individual fish's particular tastes.

As any other inhabitant, I would research this fish in depth before you choose to add it Matt. They're bright, colorful and have interesting personalities quite often but they're not for everyone by any stretch..

Edit: Ahh.. - Just saw I'm a bit late to this game and its a fairly old thread... Sorry.
 

mcarroll1

Reefer
I'm still watching tho...as predicted they've multiplied quite rapidly. Funny to watch my Monti. cap's encrust over them.

Thanks for the tip! :)



Will do some research on the melanarus and report back some thoughts.

-Matt

P.S. Since the original posting my reef picked up another type of vermitid..larger and non-spike building. It varies, but I've typically seen these growing in a simple spiral pattern up against a rock/clam/etc. Quite nice, really...esp. compared the empire of spikes that has been erected on the back of most of my rocks. :evil:
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Sorry, I don't have any experience with those fish so I can't really say if they would feed similarly or not.

It does seem the melanurus is intermittently available though, so that might be why you can't find them readily at this time. - I don't know why this might be (it doesn't look like its a CITES restriction) but reports from my LFS indicated they were only sporadically available over a short time about 2 years back when local demand was briefly heavy.
 

mcarroll1

Reefer
GratefulDiver":2kld1jkz said:
Sorry, I don't have any experience with those fish so I can't really say if they would feed similarly or not.

It does seem the melanurus is intermittently available though, so that might be why you can't find them readily at this time. - I don't know why this might be (it doesn't look like its a CITES restriction) but reports from my LFS indicated they were only sporadically available over a short time about 2 years back when local demand was briefly heavy.

Well, we've got an excellent shop here in the area so maybe I'll have to have them put the word out. ;-)

Looks-wise the other two Halichoeres I mentioned would be preferred....and 38 gallons is probably small for more than one fish from this Genus wouldn't you think? Hrm.

What is your experience with H. melanurus's compatibility with other fish? I'm guessing completely docile fish like (e.g.) dragonets and firefish would be "off the table" for future tank additions?

I guess on the other side of that coin, there's a strong chance he'd always be the only fish in the tank. Any guesses how one might get along in that circumstance?

Thanks again!

-Matt
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I'd think carefully before rushing in to getting a Halichoeres melanurus. They need loads of live rock to graze off and I'm not sure you could have enough in a 38g. Certainly incompatible with a Mandarin dragonet, if only for the reason that the H.melnarus would outcompete the Mandarin for the live food off the LR.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The Escaped Ape":1yz46rut said:
I'd think carefully before rushing in to getting a Halichoeres melanurus. They need loads of live rock to graze off and I'm not sure you could have enough in a 38g. Certainly incompatible with a Mandarin dragonet, if only for the reason that the H.melnarus would outcompete the Mandarin for the live food off the LR.

Good point. - If that Mandarin isn't extremely well trained for taking prepared foods it will starve to death fairly quick.

Heck, even if it is, Melanurus' have quite the voracious appetite and will even steal food out of the mouth of damsels. - It can be challenging to keep other fish fed with one in the tank...

Otherwise they seem to get along with everything except their own reflection! lol... - No kidding! - They'll beat themselves up pretty good with a well-kept tank in a dark room because of the reflection they'll see of themselves. - 2 things help reduce that: letting the tank walls get a bit dirty to keep it from reflecting or keeping the room its in very well lit on all sides so it doesn't cause a mirror-like reflection within the tank.

They definitely aren't a "set it and forget it" type of fish, thats for sure!
 

mcarroll1

Reefer
Excellent point!! :idea: :idea:

Well, of course it's not the live rock they're after, it's the pods/microfauna. The only predator my tank has seen in the 17 month since I set it up has been SPS coral. If I were to describe my tank honestly to someone it wouldn't be so much of a coral reef as it is an amphipod tank. ;)

Also, the Pukani rock I have (about 1 lbs/g) is extremely branchy, so provides tons of cover compared what might be "normal". Hundreds of baby Cerith snails come out every night, limpets are multiplying like the dickens and there isn't a hole I can look in without seeing pods (or mysids) of one sort or another. Lots (lots) of tiny bristle worms too. :D Adding to this, my plumbing is such that more or less my whole 30 gallon sump is a refugium. I'd say a net 10 gallons of water space as refugium - that's accounting for rocks, equipment, etc. that are also down there as cover.

The reality is that he'll probably be the only fish in this tank and , fwiw, I would be pretty comfortable putting him in my environment. I'm more curious about compatibility for the off-chance that I upgrade the tank someday to something larger. (Of course, these are not my only concerns. :roll: ...there's a reason it's a fish-free reef.)

Looks like Quality Marine stocks these guys, and I'm sure my LFS can order from them....still have more reading to do, but seems like this fish should be accessible if I decide to pull the trigger.

-Matt
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Sounds like it would be a very happy hunting ground for him. :wink:
 

mcarroll1

Reefer
The Escaped Ape":3kvx408m said:
Sounds like it would be a very happy hunting ground for him. :wink:

He's certainly the best "solution" I've got...well, only solution, actually. 8O


Here's another angle: The tank is an open-top configuration. I'm hoping/assuming that the jump risk should be significantly less with a single fish in the tank?

How do you guys feel about that?

-Matt
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hmm. My guess would be that, although conflict with other fish might be one major factor in fish jumping, it's not the only one, so it might be an idea to look into option for covering the tank. Here's one. However, it is possible that you could be lucky, but it is a bit of a craps shoot with wrasses.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Yes, I would recommend a cover of some sort too.

Also, if the melanurus takes to chasing the mandarin, no amount of hiding spots are going to help the mandarin. It will be chased until dead and then likely fed upon.

One other thing.... - The melanurus likes to sleep under the substrate. Bare bottom tanks (which it doesn't sound like you have) or ones with a shallow sand bed will stress the wrasse. Likewise, if your rock work isn't solid and rests on the sand bed at all (which isn't a good idea regardless) it will be even more prone to toppling from the wrasse's nightly burrowing habit.

Best of luck if this is the direction you decide to go in. :D
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I may be wrong, but I don't think a mandarin/scooter has been added yet, but was being looked as an option.
 

mcarroll1

Reefer
Indeed - still at a count of zero fish on this reef. :)

Excellent heads up on the H. melanurus requirements though - thank you!

Actually, you bring up another question: I think digging for sleep is pretty common amongst this genus. In your opinion, would you say that run of the mill "Seaflor Grade" Aragamax is adequate for them, or would the (pain in the neck) sugar-fine sand be an absolute requirement?

Thanks!

-Matt
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Any of the common commercial substrates should be fine actually. - Even the coarsest crushed coral should be fine I would think.

No need to hunt down the latest incarnation of the ever-elusive southdown. :wink:
 

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