News / Species Spotlight / Species Spotlight - QM's Top Fish For Back to School (09/08/16)

Species Spotlight - QM's Top Fish For Back to School

Species Spotlight - QM's Top Fish For Back to School
Its that time againback to school! Try showcasing some of these suggestions to celebrate. Bring some back to school excitement to your marine aquariums!

Get on your teachers good side by bringing them a (sea) apple! The sea apple will help clean by filter feeding. They are an awesome cleaning crew member, but are not ideal for beginner hobbyists. The sea apple is very sensitive, so they need pristine water quality. Since they are so sensitive drip acclimation is recommended to get them used to their new water conditions. Also be sure to protect these guys from intakes on any pumps, so they do not get sucked in. Another reason these little guys are recommended for hobbyists that have experience is because sea hares have the ability to release a purple cloud of toxins when they feel stressed or threatened. That toxin is very dangerous to the other tank mates. It is a good idea to always run carbon in the filtration to help remove the toxins.

Pencils are a necessity to get through the school day, but this Pencil Urchin is a great option for controlling algae. This invertebrate has thick spines protruding out in all directions from its central disk that resembles pencils. It is essential to make sure the rock is sturdy since the urchin is known for dislodging them as they graze. Never try to forcefully remove the urchin from its hiding because you will break the spines. These little guys are sensitive to poor water quality, thus keep copper levels and nitrates low or there will be spines shed across the aquarium. Sea Urchins are fast grazers, so be sure to offer dried seaweed and frozen/live foods.

Be the star of the class with the Starry Blenny! This fish is enjoyable to watch, and is also a cleanup crew. They can be seen perching on live rock and hopping across the substrate, while also grazing on algae. Even though this blenny is relatively peaceful, it is recommended that only one blenny be kept in an aquarium unless it is a mated pair. Add this fish to a reef tank with caution because they have been known to nip on small-polyp stony coral and clam mantles. Even though these guys will eat algae found throughout the live rock, the blenny should also be offered a diet of vegetable matter and other herbivore preparations.

You better scoot to class before youre late. Hopefully, the Scooter Blenny can help making getting to class a little enjoyable. These little guys are known as the Scooter Blenny, but are actually not a blenny; they are a dragonet (part of the same family as mandarins). They are reef safe and should be placed in tanks that have live rock and sand because it serves as protection and provides a natural food source. The live rock and sand act as a refugee for copepods to breed, which the Scooter Blenny will feed on. Their diet is what makes this fish difficult to keep. They will only feed off of live copepods and amphipods unless they are trained to feed on frozen prepared diets or pellets. When feeding, since their mouths are so small, make sure their prepared foods size are very small like baby brine shrimp.