Here is the first animal update of 2018!!!!! We are starting the year out with a bang!!!
Water quality finally seems to have stabilized with monthly water changes. Our sarcophytons appear to have been munched on by nudibranchs. Many of our corals continue to grow and our Diadema (long spine urchin) has completely regrown their spine and has gained lots of confidence. You can seem them all over the tank throughout the day.
Most exciting however, this week we will be having some new friends join us in the tank!! We are getting our mandarin gobies back, 2 spot tail blennies, some algae, nudibranchs that wont eat our sarcos, caspitularia (coral), a bubble tipped anemone (wish us luck!!!) and an abalone!!!!! Welcome them as you walk by the tank.
William makes a much anticipated return to the floor!!! She has made great progress since her surgery in September. Leigha, her handler, has been feeding her weekly and her weight is almost back to normal!!!! As of her surgery she only weighed 494g. As of this week she now weighs 520g and you can no longer see the dorsal spines of her vertebrae. Yay!!!! Since being put on the floor she has been very active. Every time I see her she is slithering about or in her water bowl. She is really enjoying being back at work. Mocha is now also on the floor. He, on the other hand, has been hiding by his bowl and does not seem to have acclimated to the hustle and bustle of the gallery yet. AC staff will be working with him to get him settled. This is always a stressful time for the snakes but once they get settled they return to normal.
Harley has been a little under the weather. He went to the vet on Tuesday 12/19 because he had diarrhea for almost 2 weeks and had inflammation of his lips. This made me think that was mouth rot, a bacterial infection caused when changes in the temperature gradient is not correct or if humidity is off. This weakens the immune system and then the animal is not able to fight off normal bacteria that are found in their mouth. Upon taking him to the vet, they said they cannot definitively say that it is mouth rot. To be cautious, we put him on injections of antibiotics and daily mouth swabs. He has finished his antibiotics but we continue to do mouth swabs until our next vet visit. His bowel movement shave returned to normal however he still has the scab looking inflammation around the mouth. The vet has been contacted we just await a return.
It is always a sad day when we have to do a cull to our hisser population. To limit the amount of needless death, we have established a small (only 5 roaches) colony in a local high school. We also will begin harvesting the juveniles to feed to the bearded dragons. I spoke with a herpetologist colleague of mine at a zoo and he said the hissers are very nutritious. We will do our first harvesting this week some time. This will keep population down while still using the insects in a productive manner.