Heliofungia and Friends

Built along the same lines as the previous two tanks, this model design showcases the fascinating mobile coral and the delightful sexy shrimp.

Heliofungia, known in the aquarium trade as plate coral, was once thought to be extremely difficult to keep. Now that we know what it needs, many aquarists exhibit it successfully. Looking like a large anemone, the coral is unique in its ability to move slowly about the bottom. It needs regular feedings in order to thrive.

Aquarium Capacity 20 gallons (long)

Life Support live rock, live sand, hang-on filter with built-in skimmer

Lighting two fluorescent lamps

Background deep blue

Decoration none

Special Requirements reef water conditions and moderate current

Fish none Invertebrates

Algae snails 2

Brittle stars 1

Heliofungia 1

Thor amboiensis 3 to 5

Arrange the live rock along the back of the tank, extending it down the sides toward the front. Leave the majority of the bottom area open for the coral to roam about. Add the sand after the rock is in place. Let the aquarium mature for two or three weeks, then add the algae snails and brittle star. Wait another two to three weeks before adding the coral and shrimps. The two can be added simultaneously. Seaweeds are omitted from this model design because they can exude organic matter that irritates the coral.

Sexy shrimp, by the way, are s or may not be forgiven for pla

named because of their habit of raising the abdomen and shaking it. You may /ing a recording of "Shake Your Booty" while showing off this tank to friends.

Goby and Shrimp

MODEL DESIGN 39

A twenty-gallon tank can become home to any of the many species of gobies that associate with certain snapping shrimps. Always purchase the shrimps and gobies together, if possible. Known matches are included in the species list.

Among the most fascinating relationships in the sea, the partnership between certain gobies and certain alpheid shrimps makes a great subject for a small aquarium exhibit. The shrimp and goby (or a mated pair of gobies) live together in a burrow excavated by the shrimp. Because it is unable to construct a burrow, the arrangement permits the goby to exploit areas of the bottom that otherwise would remain unavailable to it. With real estate on the reef in high demand, this gives the goby an advantage over competitors restricted to hiding in natural crevices in the reef. The shrimp may benefit from the habitual digging by the goby, which stirs up small organisms on which both can feed. More important from the shrimp's point of view is the role of the goby as a danger detector. The shrimp is blind, giving it an obvious handicap in terms of avoiding predators. When the two venture forth from their shared quarters, the shrimp keeps one antenna perpetually in contact with the goby. When the fish senses a possible threat, a flick of its tail signals to the shrimp that it is time to seek shelter, and both retreat to the burrow. Both the shrimps and their goby partners are attractively marked in bright colors, making them a hit with observers.

Aquarium Capacity 10 to 15 gallons

Life Support live rock, live sand, hang-on filter with built-in skimmer

Lighting two fluorescent lamps

Background black

Decoration none

Special Requirements reef water conditions and moderate current

Cryptocentrus cinctus

1 or a

mated

pair

Or Amblyeleotris guttatta

1 or a

mated

pair

Or Amblyeleotris randalli

1 or a

mated

pair

Or Amblyeleotris wheeleri

1 or a

mated

pair

Or Stonogobiops nematodus . . .

1 or a

mated

pair

Invertebrates Algae snails Brittle stars.

Or Alpheus ochrostriatus (see text) Or Alpheus rapicida (see text) Or Alpheus randalli (see text)

Arrange the live rock in two stacks on either end of the tank. Make one stack larger than the other to create asymmetrical balance to the composition. Add a thick sand bed, and scatter small live rock pebbles on top. With luck, the goby and shrimp will build a burrow in the open area between the two rock stacks.

Follow the instructions given for the previous model designs: add utilitarian invertebrates two weeks after the rock and sand, followed by the goby and shrimp after another two weeks. If you prefer, small hermit crabs, such as Clibanarius tricolor, can be substituted for the snails.

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