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Old 10/09/2017, 04:11 PM   #1
StAiden
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Fish ID help (and yes, this is a true story)

I swear this is true. I have people who can vouch for this story as I was freaking out today trying to figure out how this happened. This is one of those cool stories about how things can take an unexpected turn and why some days this hobby is so much fun.

Here's the back story.

I ran a 250 gallon system for about 4.5 years before we moved in April this year.
In order to move our tanks, we set up a new temporary system in the new place that was a series of tanks, not just one.

We moved some of the rock from our old tanks into the new system, and then over a period of two months, moved the fish and corals.

Which left me with about 50 pounds of rock that did not fit in the temporary system.

So I put a few pieces in a 15 gallon tank, added a small pump, a tiny heater, and a crappy desk lamp in order to keep some chaeto alive. That was April.

Here is what the 15 gallon tank with just a few pieces of rock looked like.



Between April and today (October 9) I did nothing to the tank. Didn't feed it, no water changes, maybe I topped off the water a couple times, but honestly, that was it. I took the chaeto out three weeks ago to put into a reactor, but as far as I was concerned, the tank had nothing alive in it except the rock, and probably some pods.
No fish, inverts, maybe a mushroom, but nothing else.

Today, I decided to move the rock into an empty quarantine tank in order to use the tank for acclimation.

I moved the first large rock into the new tank and as I lowered it into the water, this black thing went flying out.

"F***" I thought, a freaking mantis has been living in the freaking rock since the move."

Except it wasn't a mantis.

It was a fish.

And I don't know what kind cause I never added it to our old system.





This is not a fish I bought. I don't know how long it has been in the old system, as I had never seen it in the 4+ years we had our old tank, and I never once saw it in the 15 gallon tank it's been living in for the last 6 months.

After the initial surprise I put the fish back into its old home, with the 75 degree water that hasn't had a water change in 6 months.

This is the only photo I got of it while I was panicking and trying to get it back into the original tank.



I think I have it narrowed down to the basslet family. The fish has a pointed nose, is about 2" long, has a very long dorsal fin, some white flecking on the sides, but is pretty much all black.....

Question is:
What to do.
If it's a basslet (Belonepterygion fasciolatum?) then it's good! But if it's going to turn into a monster sport fish that will eat my right arm, not so good.

Just looking for some help with an ID, please!


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Old 10/09/2017, 04:54 PM   #2
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Wow! Just came by to say: crazy story and awesome looking fish!

Good luck!


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Old 10/09/2017, 05:06 PM   #3
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Wow, I can't help ID, but what a great story!


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Old 10/09/2017, 05:08 PM   #4
Smokey Stover
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Cool, Must be full grown by now.


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Old 10/09/2017, 11:06 PM   #5
StAiden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokey Stover View Post
Cool, Must be full grown by now.
I think you are probably right that it is full grown. So that means I don't have to worry about loosing my right arm. An ID would be helpful, though.

I have a cryptic tank with all my nps so am thinking it may go into that tank, but I have 2 Mowberyi basslets in that tank, so still hoping for some help with an ID. Would be good to see this fish more than once every 5 years!

I've been racking my brain about when we added what or how it might have come into the system. Still no idea.


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Old 10/10/2017, 09:14 AM   #6
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I'm guessing it came in with some rock. Must have been tiny and feeding on pods from the chaeto. Looks like a basslet to me for sure. Now that you know it's there, you have got to get a positive ID on it. :0)


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Old 10/10/2017, 11:16 AM   #7
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Cool story!

Hoping to eventually see our two 1" ruby red dragonnettes.
But not expecting that anytime soon as they have enough rocks to keep themselves happy and hidden.

We see the geometric Hawk Fish about once a month late at night.

Rare sightings make it almost as much fun as scuba diving, as long as the fish are happy and thriving.

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Old 10/10/2017, 11:36 AM   #8
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Cool story. I think you were right with your id or at least that is what I thought it was after looking (I knew I had seen it before but couldn't think where) then seeing you'd already wrote it.

My guess would be a female going by this picture

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...c5efa7a707.jpg


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Old 10/10/2017, 11:49 AM   #9
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I think your ID in your original post is correct.


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Old 10/10/2017, 01:12 PM   #10
Bongo Shrimp
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Definitely Belonepterygion fasciolatum.


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Old 10/10/2017, 06:11 PM   #11
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Thanks all,
I found a reference on wet web media where someone posted the same scenario with the same fish. It was a store in Australia that hadn't seen the fish in 5 years and they found it when they dismantled the tank.
I'm thinking this is not a common fish in the hobby because of how cryptic it is.
If there was an award for "most cryptic fish" this fish would win.
And if there was a second award for "most impossible Latin name to pronounce" this fish would be up for top honours, too.
But it is also top 5 for hardiest fish.


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Old 10/11/2017, 12:41 AM   #12
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Crazy story...


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Old 10/11/2017, 12:13 PM   #13
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I think your ID is spot on. Very cool story!!!!


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Old 10/14/2017, 09:16 PM   #14
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Today I moved the long finned basslet (confirmed ID) to my NPS tank that has other cryptic small fish. It's a perfect fit, I hope.
Even though I knew she was in a 15 gallon tank, it still took me an hour to find her. Not bad, considering I didn't know she was in that tank for over 6 months.
I tried to get some better photos of her before she disappeared into a 50 gallon tank, but didn't want to spend too much time with her in a small container as I didn't know what shape she was really in.







And once in the tank, she disappeared into the rock. I found her at the back of the tank, so hopefully she hangs out here cause it would be nice to see her more than once every six months.




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Old 10/15/2017, 07:57 AM   #15
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Good on ya. Got pics of that nps tank you can share?


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Old 10/15/2017, 03:56 PM   #16
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My nps tank is **** right now. Everything is temporary, as we bought a property that we are in the process of renovating and had to set up a new temporary system in order to move all our tanks.
My yet to be built future nps tank will be 140 gallons which is almost 4times the size of my old one.
For fun, here is a photo of the old one I had to take apart in April. Lost some fans, but all the dendros moved well.

This is before the dendros spawned in 2016



This is the current temporary very sketchy tank. My gyre cacked a month ago and am having trouble getting parts. So I have a bunch of nuisance crap hanging around that doesnít blow off easily. Itís starting to affect some of the corals, so I have to get on a repair.



Itís not a completely nps tank, maybe 60/40


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Old 10/15/2017, 03:57 PM   #17
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Sorry, it wasn’t the dendros that spawned, it was my tubastrea (sun corals). Brain cramp.


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Old 10/18/2017, 04:41 PM   #18
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Very Very Very cool story and such a nice fish too ... Reefing is so awesome. I had a watchman goby that disappeared from the DT for almost a year ... I never even thought that I would see it again ... and wow, what a pleasant surprise it was to find him in the fuge ... alive and kicking. Amazing feeling it was.


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