Jan 2004

Orange Target Mandarin

By: melev | Tags: orange mandarin | Comments: 0

This first picture was taken in the LFS before I bought it: Orange Target Mandarin in a tank

These pictures were taken after the fish had been acclimated and lights were out. The color had faded slightly since it was in the dark, but I wanted to take pictures again before pouring it into the tank. (Just in case it swam right into a Flower Anemone accidentally!):

This fish was added to my 55g, where I already have a green Target Mandarin. The Green is definitely a male, as there is a spike that points up sharply - in front of the dorsal fin. I'm hoping this orange mandarin is a girl, since it doen't display the same spike.

I'm taking a chance adding a second Mandarin to my 55g, since I have a Six Line Wrasse as well, but there is over 100 lbs of LR in there, plus my refugium which is teaming with pods. I'm hoping the two fish will bond, and that I can provide enough food for them.

I got this cute little crab. If you've never seen them before, they are usually white with rust-colored spots on the shell and arms. They hang out near anemones, even getting in the tentacles, and extend fan-like appendages that catch planktonic particles that the crab eats. Amazingly delicate fascinating creatures. Here are two pictures of it before it was added to the tank:

My goal was to add it to my 29g, so it could live near by BTA and be safe. I've got two clownfish in there already and wondered if they'd put up with one more anemone dweller.

After careful acclimation, I pulled the bag out of the tank, drained all the water out (as you never know what is in the LFS water), and placed the crab in a small shallow bowl. I took this bowl and lowered it into the tank, trying to release the crab onto the rock next to the tentacles. I have a Coral Banded Shrimp that can be quite the carnivore, and wanted to make sure this little guy was safe and sound.

To my horror the porcelain crab quickly jumped right into the BTA's tentacles, which quickly retracted to enjoy this new morsel of food. The crab, on the other hand, was absolutely not ready to be eaten and immediately clamped down with both pinchers on two tentacles, arms and legs fully outstretched.

The crab was upside down, it's abdomen facing me, tentacles all around it. I tried to brush them away to help free my latest pet, but the anemone was very sticky and refused to give up its hold. I tried to nudge the crab out, hoping to set it free, but nothing worked. Sadly, I gave up. The anemone closed up more and more, and it was just a matter of tiime. :(

5 minutes later, I looked again, and the crab was visible again, still stubbornly holding out, all limbs spread eagle and determined to live. The female Percula was trying to get this thing out of her home, but she wasn't making much progress.

Ten minutes passed...

I looked again, and the anemone was fully opened. The clowns were swimming around as normal, and the crab was nowhere to be seen. I doubted the anemone could devour something so stubborn, so I looked very closely at the rockwork nearby, and there in a dark crevice was the porcelain crab -- happy, extending those filter fans to eat. Right beneath it was one of my Emerald Crabs, totally ignoring it.

With relief and joy, I watched my new reefling for a few more minutes. It is amazing what our oceans hold, and what these animals can do to survive. Several hours later, while peeking with a flashlight, I found both emerald crabs beneath the tentacles just hanging out, and the porcelain crab was around the corner nestled between the LR and the substrate. I look forward to seeing what happens in the near future.

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