Sunday, October 18, 2015

Good travellers

Here's how moving day went for my little community of intertidal critters. First, a new shipment of eelgrass and sea lettuce arrived, a double load; the tank was packed all the way from the surface to the sand underneath. That was fun; a wonderfully complicated labyrinth to play on for a couple of days.

Then, the water disappeared. Like water-changing day, except that the hermits weren't transferred to a bowl and given treats of shrimp or fish. And the water didn't come back. But the eelgrass and sea lettuce were still wet, so that helped.

And then things got weird. For half a day, there was a constant rumble and vibration, frequent joltings and sloshings of wet sand. And they couldn't see anything; someone had covered their home with a dark green roof. (Just a towel, to keep the ice packs in place and the road pollution out.)

And then, light! The roof came off, there was a bit more jolting and tipping, and then the blessed water came back.

And all was well.

A few minutes later, as I was adjusting the pump, a hermit came to the front of the tank, and stood looking at me for a long time.

"Is it over? Are you going to take care of us again?'

And then, as if reassured, he turned and went looking for something to eat.

And all survived the journey, and seem to be happier here. Maybe it's the water; although I filtered the Lower Mainland water, let it sit a few days, and then added a chlorine remover, it still may have been slightly off. Campbell River water actually tastes good.

I worry about the lone sand dollar; they so often die early in the tank, or maybe it's because I pick them up from the sand while they are already dying. This one seems ok, but was losing a few of his spines. Now, he's out and around, roaming, spines going busily, pushing him on his way. This afternoon, I saw him climbing over a discarded snail shell; I didn't know they could do that!

And two of the leafy hornmouth snails spent this afternoon mating. Life is good, they say, "Let's make babies!"


  1. Glad it all went well. That's a big journey for little critters, and you too. - Margy

  2. From your critters: "I was starting to think low tide would never happen!"

  3. This was a real low tide; mostly, they only have an hour or so with hardly any water, once a week.

    The "earthquake" was a bit beyond the normal low tide sequence, though.

  4. So happy to hear about the little sea critters and to see a pic of one - I enjoy them SO much. Also glad you are settled and home again.


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