Last week my husband accompanied me on my regular trip to the fish store. He likes to go from time to time, to look at the fish and the corals. A seahorse tank has strong restrictions on species compatability, so many lovely specimens will never come home with us–we have to enjoy them at the store.
This trip, my husband saw a brilliant purple pseudochromis (sometimes also called a purple dottyback or a strawberry gramma) swimming around in the reef store’s tank. The fish’s brilliant color caught his eye – in part because he used to have a Yamaha FZR motorcycle in almost that very color.
A check of seahorse compatability came up 50/50 – fast-moving fish that spend a lot of time in the water column tend to irritate or frighten seahorses, making them poor tankmates for a seahorse reef. However, a single active fish can sometimes work, especially when the seahorses know their surroundings well.
We took the chance.
The chance paid off.
My female seahorse, Ceti, eyed the pseudochromis until she realized she couldn’t eat it. After that, she pretty much ignored it. The male seahorse, Ghillie, ignored the new inhabitant from the start, perhaps because the pseudochromis took up residence on the opposite side of the reef, in an area where Ghillie never goes. He sees it from time to time when it goes out swimming, but Ghillie doesn’t care what passes by as long as it doesn’t threaten him.
We christened the new fish “Yamaha” – and of course, I wanted to post some photos of him here and elsewhere. Unfortunately, the fish lives up to his name.
In some of my photos, Yamaha looked blurry due to a rapid change of direction:
In others, he almost escaped the frame completely:
Halfway through, I realized (with ironic delight) that the pipefish, Thing 1, was following Yamaha around the tank–she finds him fascinating, for reasons I don’t fully understand. He doesn’t scare her, and she doesn’t try to eat him … at this point, I’m assuming she’s attracted to his color and darting movements:
It took several hours and more photos than I’d like to admit, but I finally managed to get a decent, true-color photo of Yamaha ….
And there he is! Our new little purple rocket.