Barside Mixed Reef Zoanthid Garden
Installed in 2008, this was our very first reef aquarium. It houses a collection of zoanthid polyps, a wide variety of stony corals, and a mostly-friendly group of community reef fishes from the Indo-Pacific region.
Yellow Coris Wrasse (Halichoeres chrysus) - This guy is a bit of a beast. The true "boss" of this tank, he emerges from beneath the sand early in the morning to cruise the tank looking for small crustaceans & mollusks to nibble on. He will not tolerate challenges to his status, but otherwise gets along with others well enough.
Ocellaris Clownfish "Wyoming White" (Amphiprion ocellaris) - These cute little buggers are your basic garden variety clownfish bred to be totally white! They hang out, laying around in the fleshy bits of stingy corals or anemones, hazing each other to enforce the pecking order, waiting for something good to come drifting their way.
Lyretail Anthias (Pseudanthias squamipinnis) - Not the smartest fish in the sea, but certainly very pretty! These fish live in small harems. They spend their time swimming high in the water column on the hunt for swimming zooplankton. The most dominant fish transitions from female to male & runs the show, exhibiting mild aggression toward his mates in order to maintain his status. Sound familiar?
Mandarin Dragonet (Synchiropus splendidus) - A show stopper, this fish cruises around on the rocks & sand waving his fancy fins around & looking for little bugs (copepods) to suck up with his kissy little mouth. Nobody much messes with the Mandarin. Bright psychedelic colors like those of this fish often indicate an unpalatable meal.
Pajama Cardinalfish (Sphaeramia nematoptera) - These fish are nocturnal & mostly pretty indifferent to the presence of other fish. They have big red eyes, spend a lot of time idling in one spot, & appear to be wearing polka dot socks over fishnet pantyhose. So they fit in at Moloko just fine.
Yellow Assessor Basslet (Assessor flavissimus) - "Is that fish ok? Why is it swimming upside down?" Yes, it is fine. Swims sideways/upside down because it naturally dwells under ledges & along cave walls. A good community fish, keeps to itself, not looking for trouble.
Zebra Barred Dartfish (Ptereleotris zebra) - This fish swims up high in the water column chowing on passing bits of macroalgae & small swimming invertebrates. It remains always within darting distance of its little burrow in the sand under a coral in the bottom of the tank. Best to be safe when you're just a little fish without much in the way of teeth or defenses.
China Wrasse (Anampses neoguinaicus) - If you listen closely, you can hear this fish clicking his teeth at you. He's always combing the crevices of the rocks, looking for little bugs to eat. Like other wrasses, he sleeps at night, buried beneath the sand.
Yellow Eye Kole Tang (Ctenochaetus strigosus) - This fish is a great little herbivore with a funny-looking mouth & bright yellow accents around its eyes. It is always nibbling bits of algae & film off the rocks & sand. In Hawaii, Kole tangs aggregate to set up "cleaning stations" where sea turtles come to be groomed & have the algae growths removed from their shells. If you see it poop, you'll notice that the poop is mostly sand, which they commonly eat for the algae film that covers it.
Magnificent Foxface Rabbitfish (Siganus magnificus) - Friendly & fancy, with attractive & useful venomous spines, this fish loves vegetables. She has been with us for some 7 years, & spends her day making friends & grazing on whatever algae she finds growing on the reef.
Arrow Crab (Stenorhynchus seticornis)
Emerald Crab (Mithraculus sculptus)
Electric Blue Hermit Crab (Calcinus elegans)
Micro Blue Leg Hermit Crabs (Clibanarius tricolor)
Polychaete Worms (Polychaeta sp.)
Mexican Turbo Snail (Turbo fluctuosus)
Astraea Snails (Astraea tecta)
Tiger Conch (Strombus sp.)
Nassarius Snails (Nassarius vibex)
Cerith Snail (Cerithiidae sp.)
Blue Tuxedo Pincushion Urchin (Mespilia globulus)
Tiger Tail Cucumber (Holothuria thomasi)
Serpent Star (Ophiura ophiura)
Micro Brittle Stars (Ophiuridea sp.)
Micro Asterina Stars (Asterina sp.)
Aiptasia Anemones (Aiptasia sp.)
Asterina Stars (Asterina sp.)
Majano anemone (Anemonia majano)