Here We Go Again – Part 2

Well the tank is still going strong but some of the things that came out of the rock have disappeared but new stuff is still making an appearance. My cute small brown mantis shrimp has turned medium size little over an inch peacock mantis shrimp. May have to find a trap. Most of my bristle worms are gone. Shrimp food? My St. Thomas false coral has budded. The “bud is about a 1/4 inch in diameter and is a light green in color. It has just started showing some sort of tentacles. The Zoanthids (Protopalythoa sp.) are starting to spread and multiply. My two peppermint shrimp turned into a pair and the female was carrying about 100 eggs on the underside of her tail. The eggs hatched after ten days but I didn’t find any baby shrimp, but then again there are many hiding places and also, then again there is the mantis shrimp. Again with the trap idea. A few weeks ago we added a burnt orange mushroom coral, Actinodiscus cardinalis, and a stand of button polyps, probably Protopalysthoa vestitus. Under the blue actinic light this polyps edges are a bright green with a purple center.

We took another trip into the Reef Creations, just for the ride, because we didn’t really need or have the room for any more animals. Well, a $150 later, we walked out with a very nice hairy mushroom rock with many green tipped hairy mushrooms, some pink centered Protopalythoa sp. and a neat Zoanthus pulchellus, another button polyp. I am a great one for buying and reading books on all the animals , whether fish or inverts I buy. Something in the back of my mind kept bothering me about the animals just bought, but I just couldn’t remember. After getting home and acclimating the corals I started to find room in the tank for them. I moved some rock around and took some more none interesting ones out but we finally got every coral in just the right spot. The pink centered, because they were not anchored to a piece of rock didn’t want to stay were I wanted them so I had to put my hand in the tank and move them into place a couple of times with the last time I wedge them between two rocks and changed the water flow on my weir.

Only then did I refer to my book on Corals by Eric Borneman to properly idenify what we just bought. I opened the book to the Zoanthids section and in a highlighted section I noticed the word “Neurotoxin warning!” Well, it seems that the really neat pink centered Protopalythoa sp. Produce a chemical called palytoxin in their mucus and gonads. The indigenous Pacific tribes use this neuromuscular agent to dip their spear points in order to paralyze animals and their enemies.

If one chooses to keep these animals, one should were protected gloves when placing ones hands in the aquarium. I also read that there’s an aquarists in Washington that after handling some polyps became very ill for a few days and ended up with a Vibrio infection. Things started to sound bad. I started to get tingles in my arm that radiated up toward my neck. I was almost hoping that it was the onset of a heart attack but I remembered it was the left arm and not the right. My heart started to pump hard and I thought a cold sweat broke out on my forehead. Did I also mention that times my mind runs away on me! Suggestion is a powerful thing. False alarm and I live to see another sunrise. God, this hobby’s fun.

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