Posted by: Brenda Kula | March 27, 2008

More Fishy Tales

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This little beauty was found in my garden this morning. What a bright red burst of energy to wake up to!

And I have some other good news. We have added to our pet family.

Some of you will recall Georgie, my True Percula clownfish.

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Well, without further ado…

Now meet Porgie!

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At last little Georgie has a companion. Porgie arrived here, courtesy of the ocean, yesterday afternoon. As you can see, Porgie is not as vividly bright orange in color as Georgie. And the tail is shaped differently.

I’ve looked up some information on True Perculas to share with you. I have not identified their gender, because I don’t know it myself. Unlike other fish, Clownfish are born with no determined sex, meaning they can change sex. In a group of clownfish, the largest individual will become a female, and the second largest clownfish will become a male. If you remove the female from the school, the current male will change to female, and the next larger individual will become a male. Are we all confused now?

A pair will lay eggs along the base of the host anemone. (Which means I have to get an anemone if I want eggs, I’m assuming.) The anemone is used to protect the eggs. The eggs normally appear orange in color. (I’ve only seen orange eggs the Easter bunny brought!)

The eggs will normally hatch in 6-11 days, depending on the temperature.

Clownfish and Damselfish are the only species of fish which can avoid the stings of an anemone, which can be quite potent. No one seems to know exactly why, as that is up for debate.

Now, let me introduce Benny, the Lawnmower Blenny.

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No one has to say it. I know Benny is not very attractive. The kids in the schoolyard will likely make fun of him. But he has a very important job. The Lawnmower Blenny spends most of the day perched on rocks surveying their surroundings, followed by short bursts of algae munching. Then they go back to their perch.

They are primarily vegetarian. They have teeth that are adept at scraping algae from the surface of rocks and the walls of the tank. They reportedly chase or bully other fish in close quarters. So hopefully Benny can hold his own when teased by other mean fish. I’m told they have a personable nature. (When you’re a wee bit ugly, I guess you have to make up for it somehow.)

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My Benny seems a bit lazy and sluggish, as he seems to prefer the sand. Occasionally he swims quickly up to the top of the water, then falls back down as though he is a balloon and someone has just let his air out.

He is very shy. (Possibly because he knows he isn’t the best looking fish in the tank. Or is it the brightest bulb on the tree?) He blinks and you can see the whites of his eyes. His eyes roll around like a person’s, so you can tell when he’s looking at you.

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Possibly in Benny’s second photo, you could see long white whiskers just above him. That would be the new shrimp.

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There are two shrimp. I can’t tell them apart. Not yet anyway. So I’m just going to call them Shrimp and Shrimpy to make things easier. For a little trivia on the Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp: they act like the medics of the saltwater aquarium. In fact they will set up shop, so to speak, on live rock or coral outcroppings, and wait for fish to come and be cleaned of ectoparasites or dead tissue. Many fish value its services so highly, that they even allow the shrimp to clean inside their mouths without harming the shrimp. Isn’t that interesting?

The Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp is a peaceful creature. Well, I would think everyone in the tank would be friends with the shrimp. For no one has to brush their teeth or take a bath as long as they’re around!

All the new fish pets have just arrived from California, so I think they’re a bit weary from the ride. Jeff from http://lonestaraquariums.com set the timer for the aquarium, but told me to leave the lights off overnight to let the fish acclimate. Jeff and Andrea come once per month to properly clean the tank and change the water. (Otherwise I’m on duty full-time, as usual.)

This morning when the lights came on, Georgie and Porgie stopped being friends for about an hour, and Georgie could be seen chasing Porgie all over the tank at breakneck speed. So I think Georgie will probably be the female. Aren’t females always blamed for chasing the boys around?

But after a time, Georgie settled down. And they began to swim peacefully together once again. Georgie is very impatient for his/her food every morning (and evening), and is a little irritable until fed the frozen fish food.

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Here they are "clowning around" together. Further evidence that Porgie will be male: Males are always a little behind females when they’re young. Or that’s what I’ve always been told anyway. And here’s Georgie taking the lead.

Lest there’s any confusion; here, once again, is Georgie.

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And here’s Porgie, below.

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So happy together…

And on another note, hopefully there won’t be a shortage of photos from the spring gardens around here. It seems my camera is on its last legs. It is a Canon Digital Rebel, which I’ve had for about four years. I wear out a camera in that length of time. That’s what happened before this one too.

Due to my love of Kim’s blog at http://deardaisycottage.typepad.com, who takes wonderful photos of her lovely home, I decided today to purchase the camera she uses and posts on her blog. It is also a Canon, but a Canon PowerShot G9 Digital camera. I have ordered it and am awaiting its arrival. Hoping the one I have will make it until the new one gets here. (Just checked my email; it has shipped.) 

I’m really glad that this camera is only half the cost of what the Rebel was, since I may be replacing it within five years. (Which means I’m spending $500 instead of $1000.) It has over 12 mega pixels, and a 6x optical zoom. I’m very excited to try it out. If my photos come out half as good as Kim’s, I’ll be happy! Thanks Kim!

Skip on over to Kim’s blog and check out her cute dog Maggie, and her sweet yellow cottage. She has lots of beautiful eye candy to drool over. And she’s been featured in quite a few magazines lately too. So go see what everyone’s so excited about. And tell her Brenda said hey!

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Responses

  1. ahhhhh – thank you Brenda!! You are too generous!!! (((hugs)))
    I honestly am just about clueless with cameras – have not read this manual either! My sweet hubby did the research and felt this camera would suit my blogging needs. So far it has been a dream! I turn it on, set it at the highest resolution, turn off the flash and usually shoot in Portrait mode. With your amazing photographic talent you will take BEAUTIFUL photos and I can’t wait ’till you can teach me some tricks! Congratulations on your new purchase and thank you again for being so sweet!!!

    xo,
    Kim

  2. I love Kim’s site! beautiful

  3. I love Kim’s site! beautiful


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