Recently, some new fish and inverts arrived in livestock shipments that we haven’t seen before. I thought I’d take a moment to highlight a couple of the most intriguing.
First up is the Comb Goby (Paratrypauchen microcephalus). There is very little information available on this species of fish, but what we know is that they generally inhabit intertidal lagoons or brackish estuaries in the Indo-West Pacific. They have elongated bodies which helps them burrow down into the mud or sand. When we got these fish in they were fighting each other within minutes of being kept in the same styrofoam acclimation container. They should probably not be kept with each other in a home aquarium, unless the tank is very large and has plenty of space where each individual would be able to set up a territory. They are rather cryptic so far in our tanks, remaining hidden under rocks here in the fishroom.
Another first for us is the Japanese Basslet (Liopropoma collettei). This fish is a small fish that reaches a size of about 2-3 inches. This fish is also cryptic, hiding in rock work and claiming a small area for its own. They can be slightly aggressive with other fish that come into this area, but shouldn’t harm tankmates. It will eat small meaty foods like plankton and krill and may pose a threat to small shrimp like Sexy Shrimp or similar creatures, but will generally leave larger inverts such as cleaner shrimp and arrow crabs alone. The Japanese Basslet has a slender body and an elongate snout used for picking copepods and other small inverts from nooks in the rock. Here in the store the fish hides in a coral ornaments or in the PVC tubes we keep in the tanks. When placed in a home aquarium this fish will most likely keep this shy behavior, only coming out at night to look for food. If kept with smaller less aggressive fish, there is a better chance of it showing itself. It may be an ideal candidate for smaller reefs or nano tanks.
We also received an invert, the Zebra Thorn Crab (Zebrida adamsii), for the second time. These are very interesting little crabs that will live symbiotically in the spines of some urchins. They are very small and striped with black and white, so they camouflage against their host urchin. Their carapace is a very unique shape and they have specialized hooks on some of their legs which alows them to hold onto the urchin’s spines. At such a small size, usually less than 1 inch, they are also a great candidate for a nano tank where they can be more easily found and observed. These crabs will eat small meaty foods such as brine or mysis shrimp, but have been known to occasionally eat soft coral tissue and polyps, so beware if placing in a reef. We have the crab housed with an urchin, and we have yet to see it leave the urchin’s spines. It seems pretty secure and does not hide when a hand is placed in the tank.
Stop in and check out our interesting new critters! Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to take one home to your own tank!