Tank reached 38 years old...in 2009!

Paul B

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This morning before the reef lights came on I decided to look in the tank for a new slug just to see what it was doing. It was gliding along the front glass looking for it's meal of spaghetti worms which unfortunately is the only thing it eats and won't touch real spaghetti or anything else as I have found out. But as I was searching for him I noticed my bluestripe pipefish all entwined with each other as they often do, I just didn't know they did it in pitch darkness. Anyway, I noticed something go floating by and I am pretty sure it was a couple of baby pipefish. I can't be 100% sure because there is a lot of things floating by in my tank, but it sure did look like two entwined baby pipefish. I am telling myself that's what they were anyway just so I can feel good about it. Of course it could have been slug snot.
The pregnant male is the top one.
 

Paul B

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Still practicing. I am trying to get very clear, sharp pictures but so far I have not mastered that. I took these on Macro or Super Macro with the lens right on the glass.


 

Paul B

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Early this morning I got out my flashlight and looked at the tank before the lights came on. I normally get up way before the rest of the world does and nothing is open so I look at my tank. I usually will see things swimming or floating by but it is so fast that I rarely get a chance to see if it is a fish fry, amphipod or UST (underwater swimming thing). This morning was no different but I did see about a dozen bristle worms and they seemed to be having a party while doing the Macarana. Bristle worms don't bother me much but there are so many of them so I sucked them out and flushed them. (they hate that) They get kind of big and I just don't trust the big ones.
As I keep saying, I have way to many fish and they are growing. I was surprised to see my clingfish yesterday because that is one creature that you will rarely, if ever see. This type of clingfish is not the cool looking one with the stripes that swim all the time. This one is brown, about one and a half inches long and looks like an elongated flounder. It sucks itself to the rock and becomes part of it. I only see it if a worm floats near it, then it attacks like a great white shark before again sticking to a rock. Very few people will want such a creature but to me, that is my main thing. People go into LFSs and I see them drooling over colorful wrasses, tangs and angels like they are looking at Supermodels while I am looking under rocks for some indiscriminate organism that no one ever wants or even knows exists. (Of course if there were a Supermodel there, I would be all over her) I can always get tangs, wrasses and angels and I can see them in any tank, but to me, they are boring. Of course I used to like them along with moray eels, puffers, jacks and all that, but now I go for the un-ordinary.
Today I was happy to be asked to be interviewed on a small Long Island Radio Station in April. It won't be about fish, at least I don't think so. It is a station that caters to "Mature" people (which is a nice way to say old) They discuss finances, pensions, investments and how people spend their time. I have a lot of hobbies including fish so I guess I fit the bill. For the last 45 years I have been SCUBA diving mostly in the Long Island Sound and this station is also into environmental causes so I think we will also be discussing the state of the Sound. I know they also have some Veterans from Korea and Vietnam so we will also be discussing my time in Nam. It should be interesting and fun for me at least. Maybe I can even put some people to sleep.
 

Paul B

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I am having a hard time keeping all my fish fed because I just have too many. You know that feeling when you go into a LFS not intending to buy anything. You promise yourself you won't buy anything because you just don't have the room. You swear to yourself you won't buy anything. Then you see it. You really must have it. It is a one of a kind. You convince yourself that you owe it to your body. Then as you are driving home with the new fish, you swear to yourself, that that is the absolute last fish you can possibly fit in there. My fish are now taking turns putting their heads underwater, that's how crowded it is. Their tails are getting a rash from hitting each other. Each fish is on a first name basis with each other.
It's terrible, but that's where I am now. For the last two weeks I can't find my male bluestripe pipefish, so I figure he is gone along with my clingfish, so that gives me the opportunity to get more fish. As soon as I put in the new fish, guess who shows up? Yep, the bluestripe pipefish and clingfish. The pipefish was doing what he always does, having babies in the back of the tank. My water is like sewage from all the food I have to put in. One of my bubble corals died, probably because my nitrates are 980 or so. I tested the nitrates once and the test water in the vial turned into tar. I don't know what I am going to do because the fish just won't die, they don't even jump out any more but they keep growing. One of my bangai cardinals uses a shoehorn to get in between the rocks because he got to large. That fireclown had a birthday, he is about 25 years old (but I could be off by a couple of years as I lost his birth certificate)
 

Paul B

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Today is a beautiful day so I figured I would powerwash the eaves of the house. To do that I had to turn on the hoses outside that I had off all winter. I tried to turn on the valve inside my house for the hose and it wouldn't budge. That figures, I never turned off this valve before but this winter it went to zero degrees and I figured I would turn it off so I didn't break the pipe. That valve was installed when they built the house in 1959 and generally you don't touch something that has had water flowing through it for so long. I put a wrench on it and tried it but I could see that I would probably break the valve if I turned hard enough so I shut off the water main in the house. Sure enough, just as I figured, the valve handle broke off. Great. But at least it broke in the off position. So I remove the bonnet nut and put a vise grip on the stem and get it to move. That valve is not in a place where I want to change it. Maybe 20 years ago, but not now. It is over the red central vacuum just to the right of the blue bucket that is my RO/DI top off and behind the float switch for that system. It is also right against the side of the house in a place I can just about reach with one hand. I would like to ask the genius who installed it what he was thinking as it could have been installed just as easily a foot away from the stone wall where it was accessible, but people rarely so sensible things. So I just put the valve back together, made sure it was open and not leaking and I cut a new ball valve in a place where I could get to it. This also happened a few weeks ago with another valve for a different hose. They are always in the stupidest places.
But now all is well again and I can get back to powerwashing.
 

Paul B

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As I was feeding the fish tonight I noticed a pipefish that I thought I lost a couple of weeks ago. It is a very plain looking pipe that crawls around the bottom like a dragon faced pipe. (You hear that Andy) I got him at Aquarium Village my favorite store.
He is crawling around hunting, and apparently finding pods
 

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