My faux-anemone experiment

LightBrownPillow

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I was recently inspired by CHJ 's post about yarn mops. Since I have a 10 gallon saltwater with an ocellaris, I've decided to see if I can make an acceptable mini-mop for it to host in. I picked up some 100% acrylic yarn, cut them into short strips, and am giving them a soak (minimum 12 hours, maybe longer) in water from the tank to first ensure no dye bleeding/material unraveling.

The exact arrangement is subject to change, right now I've got 50, ~4" pieces bundled up in a clamp to try and make a little nest area. We'll see how well the fish like it, and also if I have to make adjustments to protect the peppermint shrimp from getting tangled.

Attached is a (bad) pic of the clown in its current hosting spot, just floating at the top corner of the tank. Also a pic of the mop soaking in a bowl.
 

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LightBrownPillow

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The soak ended up being 36 hrs, and saw absolutely no degradation/dye seeping from the fibers. Just put the bundle in as pictured below, and the fish is not a big fan right away. He's hanging out on the other side of the tank. I'll give it 24 hours and if I don't see him return to his normal area or investigate the bundle, I'll shift it lower and away from his normal spot to give him more space.
 

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LightBrownPillow

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24 hours later, Mr. Ocellaris is back in is usual back-of-tank spot, so I'll leave the mop where it is. Now it's just a waiting game to see if he hosts!
 
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LightBrownPillow

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Update: Last Friday I decided to get a 2nd clown fish to give the current one a friend. They were immediately interested in each other and now are exploring and using the full tank space together (yay!). Still no particular curiosity about the mop I've seen, but good to see them more active.
 
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LightBrownPillow

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Update: fish have thusfar not shown much interest in the mop. However, they also don't seem to mind it's presence and have swum right around it without stress. So even if they don't ever host, the mop can become an accepted part of their environment.

Peppermint shrimp has shown zero interest in the mop, and I'm not seeing any of the pest critters in there either.
 

MomeWrath

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I've had Clarkii clowns host a silicone anemone, and I've had Ocellaris host in a couple kinds of coral before. I would guess the yarn to be a little rough on their slime coats, wouldn't it? Or get too occupied with algae and microfauna? Is this something you've heard of working before? I am genuinely curious.
 
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LightBrownPillow

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MomeWrath said:
I've had Clarkii clowns host a silicone anemone, and I've had Ocellaris host in a couple kinds of coral before. I would guess the yarn to be a little rough on their slime coats, wouldn't it? Or get too occupied with algae and microfauna? Is this something you've heard of working before? I am genuinely curious.
I've not heard of ocellaris hosting in yarn before, that's why I'm making this an experiment. Perhaps the yarn will develop a softer slime coat of its own, perhaps not and they never go for it.
 
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LightBrownPillow

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Well, after 1.5 months with the faux anemone in, I've decided to remove it due to 1) zero interest from the fish and 2) it was growing algae. So I conclude this experiment with the result that clown fish did not like my yarn anemone.
 

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