Fish have brains and feelings too!
The story of "Greenie" my Lawnmower Blenny
Greenie resting on her clam
I spent two years learning about reefs and salt water fish. It was time well spent as I soon realized that without the knowledge I acquired I probably would have been in and out of the hobby within six months. I am ever so grateful to the members of various forums who patiently answered all my questions, and, to those of you interested in reefkeeping, I highly recommend spending some time, a lot of time, on Reef Central in particular. You soon learn who the experts are and can tap their knowledge at infinitum. Back to Greenie; Greenie was one of my first fish. I had algae problems as many new tanks experience. A Lawnmower Blenny was recommended to mow my lawn. Greenie had been at the fish store for many months, mostly because she was hiding in a large shell and therefore no one saw her. Shortly after coming home, Greenie's personality began to emerge. My reef tank was across from my desk and Greenie would come to the corner closest to me and "sit on her tail", as I called it, watching me work for hours at a time. Lawnmower Blennies are not very good swimmers and when she saw me coming down from the upper floor, she would jump up and down, treading water, waiting for me to either feed her or sit at my desk. I knew this was all meant for me because she totally ignored my husband to his great dismay. All my clients knew Greenie and inquired about her many years after she passed. She had a long life and I'm sure she is waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge.
Truffle was my very first fish. She was full grown when I brought her home in December 2000. So, she must be around
14 years old by now. Before we installed a full house generator she survived a couple of power failures which killed some of the other fish.
Truffle is a Cinnamon Clown. She has a cave she calls her own and a flower anemone she defends fiercely. She has mellowed some with age but her alias was well deserved when she was younger; she ruled the tank. She wouldn't even let me clean near her cave or anemone and she would bite my hand if I defied her. She never drew blood but it was close. The only fish who stood up to her was my Yellow Tang pictured above. He would stick out his scalpels located on either side of the base of his tail, as you would a pair of switch blades, and turn his rear toward her as a warning of things to come, and, she would back down.
Why do I call her a "she"? Well, if you have time I will tell you the story of the clown fish family: All clown fish are born "its" with the ability to become first a male and then possibly a female. This is a one way street, no turning back. In the wild the clown fish live in an anemone for protection. The fittest and most dominant will become a female, the only female of the colony. She will choose her "male to be" from among the "its" and the others will remain "its" unless the male dies. If a female dies, her male will then become the ruling female and she will choose her mate from the other "its", fascinating!
In an aquarium setting with only one clown fish, that fish, if it stays alone for a year or so, will become a female if it wasn't one already when caught.
Men, be glad you were not born a clown fish. Your mate would be extremely demanding. She would lay her eggs and make you do all the work of taking care of the eggs and fanning them, she would boss you around and beat you if she deemed it necessary, oh, and you'd eat only if she let you.
* I have had my cleaner wrasse for years. It cleans my fish and has no problem finding food in my mature aquarium. However, I must say that I made sure it was eating at the fish store before I bought it.
A N D N O W F O R S O M E E Y E C A N D Y
Okay, Fish & Chips, hmmm. I'm certainly not going to eat my fish, so what's this about chips? We're talking about "chips off the old block" in a way.
You see, corals can be propagated by cutting fragments from a mother colony and attaching or gluing them to pieces of rock. They in turn grow to become colonies themselves. This is called "fragging". Examples of "frags" or "chips" of zoos below:
Pictures from my 75 gallon tank and my two 20 gallon long tanks