Friday, February 27, 2015

Species-Specific Aquarium Build: Clownfish and Bubble Tip Anemone Tank


Setting up a species-specific aquarium is something I have been wanting to do for some time. With the recent purchase of a new home, I finally found the room I needed for another tank and decided to set up an aquarium dedicated to Bubble Tip Anemones and Clownfish.

The tank I chose is the Innovative Marine 30L NUVO Fusion Aquarium. The long rectangular shape of this tank gives me plenty of space for a creative aquascape and easily fit into the desired location in my home.



Being impatient, I used live sand to help speed up the cycle process and decided to use the AquaMaxx Eco-Rock because it has copious amounts of crevices that are perfect for anemones to anchor into.

A single EcoTech Marine MP10wES will provide plenty of flow throughout the entire tank so I installed one dead center on the end of the tank. I kept the filter media that came with the aquarium which consisted of a coarse sponge, carbon pad and a phosphate pad in one of the media baskets. I dropped in some Chemi-Pure Blue and Kent Marine Nitrate Sponge into the opposite media basket. For a protein skimmer, I used the CAD lights PLS-50 Elite as it fit perfectly in one of the rear compartments and received rave reviews online.



I know my lighting choice may seem a bit of an overkill for a tank of this size, but a single Radion XR30w covers the tank well and will surely provide enough light for the 'nems. I also swapped out the stock lenses and replaced them with EcoTech's Wide Angle Lenses to provide even better coverage. Plus, the EcoTech RMS Tank Mount fits perfectly on the aquarium and looks pretty slick, too!

I let the tank cycle and later added the first inhabitants: a Rose Bubble Tip Anemone, a colony of Palythoa, and a clean-up crew.

Then I started to research clownfish. I definitely wanted something different for this tank: designer clowns, clarkiis, skunk, tomato, maroon—I changed my mind 100 times until a rare opportunity arose. I found out ORA had some Gold Nugget Maroon Clownfish on sale and I jumped at the opportunity. A rare clownfish that is sure to impress—and I could actually afford two!



The ORA order arrived in perfect shape. I was really happy because they actually provided two different size clownfish to help increase the chances of creating a mated pair without me even asking. A+ work, ORA!

As soon as placed them in the acclimation container, the smaller nugget swam right over to the larger one. I drip acclimated them for an hour then slowly scooped them in my hand to place inside the tank.

While I have not had luck getting them to eat flake or pellet food, they really seem to enjoy mysis shrimp and EZ Pods. The clowns are now paired up and getting along quite well. With a little luck, I am hoping to report back soon about their first clutch of eggs.