Blue Spots Arrive

Blue Spots Arrive

Postby bajabum » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:37 pm

This is my third attempt at establishing a breeding colony. I am getting old and have way to much time on my hands. So for those of you that have to go earn a living instead of watching your tanks I have included a link to my web page where I try to document what is important.
http://users.commspeed.net/~bajabum/RCI ... erview.htm
Before you can get eggs, you have to be able to keep a male and female alive in the same tank. Why are they expensive at the retail level? Because they have a high shipping mortality rate. Is that mortality part of the species? I don't think so, I currently believe it is due to lack of knowledge and an inherant problem in the fish trade, lack of success by the hobbiest leads to repeat business.

So if I had to pick the two most important things today, they would be:
1: Protect their slime coat, keep dark, no easy task in transport and holding facilities.
2: They love worms, tend to ignore shrimp. Good canidate for all those extra clown fish and sea horse fry.

Jan 12
I will get a tripod for my camera and begin taking pictures this week. I will post them on my web page. Maybe somebody with better eyes can spot a difference. They play musical chairs with burrows so the only way I can tell them apart is size. The camera has enough resolution we can identify something which will help me keep track of them. Right now I have one smaller, one larger and 2 the same size. One the same size had stayed put in his burrow, but moved today.
They appear to be too smart for mirrors. They use the tank reflection to get food. They will look at the glass, spot food and turn and go get it. The tank they are in has mirror on the back and they ingnore their reflection. Drives a powder blue tang crazy though.
Jan 8 09
Evening behavior was interesting. Three of the BSJ became dull in color losing most of their body blue. They were parading across the tank in one direction at midwater, then would dart back to their den. The forth developed a brilliant blue body and remained in his den watching.

Jan 5 09
All is quiet on the Bluespot front. Four have settled into a colony in the 120. The 2 larger maintain static dens while the other 2 which are smaller move between the 2. I am assuming the 2 larger static fish are males. The larger fish tolerate the smaller ones close by. Only the 2 larger gill flare or display regularly. Only the largest spends time in the water column. The fifth which was seperated due to aggression succumbed to a disease that came in with the original shipment of fish. The disease was contained to 2 tanks which was not hooked to the colony system. I am considering using sea horses as cohabitants, so I can feed heavy on fresh frozen krill. The sea horses have been trained to eat the krill and may teach the jawfish to retrieve food from the bottom. Feeding and waiting for spawning now.

Dec 15
Target feeding with tube. They are pigs. Food consumption is much higher with target feeding than drift feeding. I turn circulation pump off to stop current. Mouthfuls of food are dropped vertically until they stop feeding and begin blowing food away.. Any that is missed is retrieved with the tube and moved to the next one.
Two of the group seem to wander at night, two stay put. All have ignored the mirror on the back of the tank, they don't react to their image. So much for using a mirror to sex them.. All initial behaviors have remained consistent between tank moves. Two maintain multiple den sights. One of the two is using a flat rock on the frag rack, 6" below surface as it's observation post, retreating through the grid to a sand pit 8" underneath with several den sites to retreat to. It has maintained this sand pit in spite of me removing all den material from its vicinity.
Dec 9
The 4 have paired off in 120, lone separated male is happy. Peace reigns for now. Everything is consistent with initial observation of 3 males and 2 females.
Dec 8.
All have been transferred. 2 fight with the larger taking the smaller ones borrow, but they are never far apart. Third stays put and the 4 roams and visits the third. Fifth is not in the mix often and has taken up residence in the rock pile in the dark third of the tank. Other 4 keep in the light or at the edge of the light. Tank has a frag rack under 4' T5. Bangahi appear to have decided to spawn having eaten all the black worms while the Jawfish ignore them. Jaw fish only accept food from the baster once a day.

Dec 6:
Transfer began to 120 setup. One fish at a time over next 2 days.

Dec 5 :Bottle feeding training continues.
Most will already sit at their borrow entrance with mouth open waiting to pull food from the end of the turkey baster. Food consumption is up an order of magnitude from drift feeding. Food type is irrelevant with this feeding technique. Waste is almost zero and even the shrimp will not venture into the waiting mouth. Eliminates the need for a deep tank to solicit feeding.

Arrival Procedures:
Dec 3 10:00am arrived at wholesaler
Dec 3 7:30 pm Shipped air freight
Dec 3 11:45 pm Picked up at terminal 1 DOA
Dec 4 3:00 am Bags opened and set in holding system acclimation started 1.017 to 1.022, Temp 69F
Dec 4 5:00 am Acclimation completed, Fish released into holding system, second heater started to raise temp o 74F
Dec 4 9:00 am Fish refuse small mysis
Dec 4 11:45am Some of the fish accepted frozen bloodworms
Dec 4 12:00 pm Most aggressive male moved to larger chamber with 2" sand bed, oyster shell in corner and small rubble
Dec 4 1;30 pm Flow stopped BBS added, Firefish all feed, some BSJ become "feeding alert". Larger mysis target fed, 4 accept, 1 doesn't but it had previously accepted bloodworms.
Dec 4 2:00 pm First female placed in with first male in large chamber. Oyster shell house moved with her and placed in opposite corner from male
Dec 4 3:00 pm. New oyster shell house placed in corner between male and female. Out of 5 I have 3 males and 2 females. The chambered tanks make it easy to move them around and determine sex by their behavior.
Dec 4 5:00 pm Lights turned on and first attempt to train them to be target fed from a turkey baster successful. All 5 passed with an A+
Dec 4 7:00 pm House shell placed between male and female corner house shells. This allows dens to be established within inches of each other. A fifth shell will be placed between the abandoned male corner shell and occupied male corner shell. This process is bring the 2 together with safe dens to retreat back to when aggression occurs. I do not place any structure in the middle of the tank. This preserves opposite corners as safe den sites. Safe travel is restricted to the 2 sides of the tank. The male is moving towards the female. The female has the option to dash across the open center if needed. In the past, The aggressor seems to always focus on the den as long as the subject of aggression has a safe place to bolt to they tend to settle down. Having them establish multiple den sites from the beginning seems to eliminate casualties in boundary disputes.
Last edited by bajabum on Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:57 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Postby DThom » Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:30 pm

Nice amount of detail you are keeping. Keep up the good work!
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Nice

Postby lance » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:28 pm

I agree your on the right path keep up the good work can't wait to see your first successful larvae
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Postby FishboyBT » Fri Dec 26, 2008 8:57 pm

Looks like you are on the right track. How did you sex them?
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Postby bajabum » Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:25 pm

I buy 6 at a time. I start by placing them in my fish holding system that has 6 chambers. I watch behavior. When I can place 2 together without them killing each other, I figure I have a male and female. If they spend a lot of time gill flaring at each other through the dividers, I figure they are males. It is a best guess until spawning time at which time the males spend a great deal of time displaying. One of my suppliers says he goes by head size.
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Postby mpedersen » Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:31 pm

So it's been about a month since your first detailed post - how are things going currently?
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Postby bajabum » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:32 am

Jan 5 09
All is quiet on the Bluespot front. Four have settled into a colony in the 120. The 2 larger maintain static dens while the other 2 which are smaller move between the 2. I am assuming the 2 larger static fish are males. The larger fish tolerate the smaller ones close by. Only the 2 larger gill flare or display regularly. Only the largest spends time in the water column. The fifth which was seperated due to aggression succumbed to a disease that came in with the original shipment of fish. The disease was contained to 2 tanks which was not hooked to the colony system. I am considering using sea horses as cohabitants, so I can feed heavy on fresh frozen krill. The sea horses have been trained to eat the krill and may teach the jawfish to retrieve food from the bottom. Feeding and waiting for spawning now.
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Postby KathyL » Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:47 pm

Fabulous report! Tell us more about your larvae catch tank adaption. The one to collect shrimp larvae!
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Postby Chelsey » Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:43 pm

Awesome! I have a BSJF (Kermit) and he's a great critter. There is an instance of a hobbyist having BSJF courting in her tank and has done an excellent job of getting pics and video. Here's a link:
http://www.reefsanctuary.com/forums/blu ... isses.html
100 gallon cube
25 gallon mantis tank
~750 gallon (and growing) broodstock system
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Postby bajabum » Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:10 am

I use a tank, biggest is 20 gallon on my high flow 300, smallest is a hang on the back fudge for my 20 gallon firefish/cleaner shrimp tank. They are plumbed on the overflows of main tanks. I have 2 main systems with multiple tanks that hold about 500 gallons each.
I am trying different filter methods.
Filter through paint strainer bag accross bottom
Filter through paint strainer bag verticle in front of drain
Filter through fiber material at bottom
Filter through fiber material at top (low flow)
100 micron filter sock hang on discharge to sump.

LED night lights are installed above drains. They have photoelectric switches to turn on at lightsout. That was the hard part 5 for $5 and extension cords.

Catching fry/eggs is the easy part. Keeping the filters from plugging is the problem. That and I am trying to let food like baby brine shrimp pass through to the next tank. I think the paint strainer bags on a bottom setup will let food through without plugging to quickly, but it may become a BBS collector. If so, then verticle will be the way to go. My plankton load in the systems is pretty high and likes to collect in filter media. If filters start plugging, water overflows the divider and continues draining. All filters and dividers are removable for cleaning or reconfiguration.
Nylon stockings are cheap if you are not concerned about food passing through.
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Postby FishboyBT » Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:12 pm

Could you post pics of the ones you think are pairs? It would be interesting to see the male/female differences.In your link you can clearly see the pair in acclimation(dark face and body on the male) however are all males like this? You also say you sexed them from observing weather or not they gill flared through the tank divider. Do you think mirrors would be a reliable way to sex them? Also how do you know that one of the pairs is not 2 females? Wouldn't they tolerate each other too? Sorry for all the questions.
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Mirrors

Postby bajabum » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:52 pm

Jan 12
I will get a tripod for my camera and begin taking pictures this week. I will post them on my web page. Maybe somebody with better eyes can spot a difference. They play musical chairs with burrows so the only way I can tell them apart is size. The camera has enough resolution we can identify something which will help me keep track of them. Right now I have one smaller, one larger and 2 the same size. One the same size had stayed put in his burrow, but moved today.
They appear to be too smart for mirrors. They use the tank reflection to get food. They will look at the glass, spot food and turn and go get it. The tank they are in has mirror on the back and they ingnore their reflection. Drives a powder blue tang crazy though.
Last edited by bajabum on Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby FishboyBT » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:56 pm

cool, that would be awesome if you could get pics. Interesting with the mirror...They must be pretty smart then. I know mine likes to watch things going on outside the tank. They have so much personality.
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Re: Blue Spots Arrive

Postby FishboyBT » Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:37 am

Any update on this?
-Blake
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Re: Blue Spots Arrive

Postby bajabum » Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:15 pm

Update:
Late May, as summer arrived, the BSJF developed the tattered fins/skin and quit feeding. Definitly a disease.
This fall if I try again, I am making the following changes:
Stand alone tank.
Low Flow
Low Light
Low salinity 1.014
Low Temp 60-75 F
No other fish.

4" sandbed with rubble/gravel pile for den's
I am considering no sand, only course rubble.
I am concerned the sand becomes septic and infects the fish.
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Re: Blue Spots Arrive

Postby Midnight Angel » Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:45 pm

I have wondered the same thing about the sand. I like the way you are thinking. I also have wondered if what I have thought was damaged from fighting was just sickness and nothing else. I had suspected that one of my males had got a secondary infection from fighting but I wonder if that was the case for certain. And I've had a couple die for no reason. So maybe my temp. was to blame for the loss of my fish. I have no idea. But I want to say thanks for really examining this further. I've been wanting to encourage people to get these guys because of the success I had. But I fear that some folks may experience a few losses. But I don't know much about why they die so I really can't tell people anything. I just read for the first time all the old post about bluespots last night. I had no idea of the trouble some folks were having. Thanks again for this post and I hope you find some answers. I was going to get more bluespots this week and set them up different ways but there were no more on the list. :(

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Re: Blue Spots Arrive

Postby tcmfish » Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:14 pm

Why low salinity?
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Re: Blue Spots Arrive

Postby bajabum » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:24 pm

Mine will come directly from the wholesaler in LA. They hold them at either 1.007 or 1.014 depending on which one I get them from, less stress. I have had no problems at low temp, light and salinity. I will match the wholesaler conditions initially.
I am assuming it is a protozoa that is causing the problem. Low salinity favors the fish
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Re: Blue Spots Arrive

Postby tcmfish » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:56 pm

I think that is a myth and IMO might be used to save money. I have always had good success with high salinity ~1.028, doesn't hurt the ocean is that salinity here too. Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Blue Spots Arrive

Postby bajabum » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:32 pm

Somebodies idea of a joke was to add a pair(I think) of bluespots to my last fish order.
Once more into the breach for number, hum, seem to have forgotten how many years ago I started this project.
Back to the pair.
#1 aggressive, big, body lighter than other, big den builder, big jaws.
#2 passive, smaller, smaller jaws, body darker than other, not into building.

Interesting behaviour. Big boy built the dens for both. They play musical dens. Each is capable of jaw wrestleing the other out of its den. Dens are 2 1/2 fish lengths apart.
Tank motif was changed from reef/rubble (hideing in caves) to sand at the edge of the reef (Den building in sand under rock/shell).
helfrichs Firefish (caves) used as midwater signal fish. Plenty of shrimp and small blennies to clean up. 6 unknown hover/dart fish (den builder) to give them competition for the food. The threadfin hoverfish have been a good choice. They seem to make the jawfish feel safe and help extend the feeding range.

Have 4 more arriving which will go into a colder system as spares and another feeble attempt to develope an easy way to culture them.
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