Tuesday, November 14, 2006

All Things Fishy

My Reef 11-6-06
This is my beloved Residence Hall Reef. I've been maintaining it for about three months now. It's fully stocked now with about 18 invertebrate species and two fish. I'm planning on removing the chromis before thanksgiving break to try and reduce the bio-load a bit. I'm currently running a Skilter 250 and an Aquaclear 20 power filter for Filtration/Water Movement/Oxygen Exchange. Some people will say that Skilters don't skim, but I think it does fairly well for just a 10 gallon. My late concerns are the proliferation of hydroids, and the upcoming Christmas break. The hydroids haven't become such a large threat just yet, but I've been noticing them more and more on the rocks. The main concern is the Christmas break. I'll be out of the dorm for over a week. Feeding isn't so much of a problem, the big problem is evaporation. I lose about a liter of water a day... If I don't find a way to counter that quickly, there will be BIG PROBLEMS.

The tank has been a joy in my life over the past months, giving me something to do when I should be studying or doing homework. It has been a fantastic educational tool as well. I have a good many people coming in to see the aquarium, asking "what is that!; Is that alive!?". The negative impact that our hobby has on the reefs can somewhat be offset by just introducing people to what is out there, and even more so if we try our best at propagation of some of the rarer corals and anemones. Anemone propagation has become big business in the Aquarium industry since Anthony Califo has published his articles detailing the process.

I'm hoping to get invited to go on another fish collecting trip with Dr. Stallsmith in the next week or two (Assuming that it isn't raining for once). I'm just now realizing why I enjoy such things so much. A.) It's doing something. B.) It's doing something that I might potentially like to do for a life. C.) There is so little information on our native species--Research Opportunity Galore! Speaking of which, I don't have classes on Fridays next semester, and I think that would make a particularly awesome day to throw in some research credits. If I can ever summon up enough gall to talk to Dr. Stallsmith about that again. I don't have a clue to what I would do, I just know that I want to do it. If I'm going to be anything, I really should get to work on it now. Research work this early in the game would be a fantastic opportunity for me. It's just one of those things that many undergraduates don't get out and do. I don't know if it's laziness, intimidation, or what...but I want to do something like this before I have to for a living! College shouldn't be job training, this is our time to learn about anything and everything that we have an interest in.

That's it for me tonight. Time to get some work done while it rains for the next two days.

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