Fish Lab & Marine Aquaria
The small arms of our regenerating starfish (Linckia laevigata) have grown 2-3mm over this past month, whereas the long arm continues to shrink (down by 6mm). And we now have a new starfish arm to study, which has only recently started to grow. The newly regenerated arms are currently less than 1mm in length, growing from an original 38mm arm.
The diet of our Clownfish breeding pairs has been supplemented with Mysis, a type of zooplankton that we recently collected from Voavah reef and stored in the freezer. This seems to improve laying rate, egg fertility and the survival success of the Clownfish larvae.
Our plankton production has been increased to satisfy the appetites of the adult Artemia to provide live food for our juvenile Clownfish and also the seahorses. We currently have 6 seahorses (4 male, 2 female) with the largest male having a bloated pouch. We thought he was carrying eggs, but his state has not changed for 3 months so we now suspect ‘gas bubble syndrome’, a common problem in aquarium seahorses.
In our marine Aquarium 2, we have spotted a natural coral recruit attached to some red coralline algae. It appears to be a Mushroom coral (Fungia fungites) that perhaps arrived in planula larval form via the water inflow, or maybe from spawning within the aquarium. Juvenile Fungia polyps (called acanthocauli) attach to the substrate via a stalk, which later dissolves and detaches the free-living polyp (S. Goffredo, N.E Chadwick-Furman). Rather than forming colonies like most other corals, mature Mushroom corals are solitary and remain unattached to substrates.