Aandtsociety field trips for reef life collecting.


17 Oct 2008
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Hi all,it’s been ages since I shared some our Auz adventures on your forum and if this is okay,here are some what’s been going on here.

Our pics are always water marked now as they are turning up all over the place.

The last month or so has seen some top trips by aandtsociety guys and gals to collect our own reef aquarium species, maybe spear a fish or two or just observe the wonderful life forms we seek out for our tanks in the wild to get a real understanding of how they live their lives.

This is where all our field trips are.

These days I don’t catch much at all,unless one of the clubbies ask for something, but then again we all do that for each other.

It has been cold at times and for the next month or so there won’t be many trips, the cold air is the issue, the actual ocean temp these days has risen by a degree each five years on average starting from just over the last 15 years back it became obvious.

From 16c down to 14c in winter, to what we have now.
On a dive two weekends back, in the past in this area now would be 17c at this time of year, it was 22c,we have certainly got problems with the ocean.

One good thing I suppose, the whales will settle around Moreton bay for their holidays,lol, here more now and the white pointers that were in the hundreds here in the eighties and their numbers all over are exploding, are not getting up here as much.

Of late from last years breeding season the most abundant types of fish have been the pyroferus mimic tangs,and many other acanthutrus species,not the hepatus,this years season with them failed,then there’s the femininus wrasse,quite a few of those around, both very popular fish for marine aquariums.

Each year there are varied types of reef tank species that are featured in abnormal abundance from the diverse planktonic dispersal, which is the way most ocean life move from being born near cairns as an example to Victoria and populate a reef, wreck or anything that is stationary in the ocean.

Of course that far south they always die as the temps drop below 16c,that’s the death temp zone for tropical species.

From Byron bay south, not much survives the winter that came from up here and a billion times billions times billions of tropical life go south from Q in the currents and near all die!!

These tiny transparent cod,crayfish,wrasse,chaetodons,corals,most marine life are amongst the plankton at their first part of life and they are plankton at this stage waiting to sense the sounds of reefs, like the clicking of crabs and the sounds of the waves powerful energy and head for the bottom or accidentally find it,99 percent don’t get a life and that’s natures culling number before any human interference.

We used to talk of a things like this in the eighties once we knew what was happening as the year of wrasse or pomacanthus angelfish, it really depends on what types of life that are going past under the cloak of transparentness at planktonic size feeding on the plankton around them as they grow.

If a strong wind comes into play at the time there is abundant dwarf angelfish in the east Auzy currents plankton out off us, then from February the next year as they start to become big enough to show them selves, that is a year of abundant dwarf angels.

On average wrasse are first coming past, then chaetodons, then pomacanthus and centropyge and many others amongst these have their time of anubundance going past us out to sea in the east auzy currents, we used to call them etties.

That’s how the ocean places life at sites originally void of life or had suffered a severe environmental disaster, all over the world, this is how reefs get life and the closer to the equator; this goes on all year round!

But now we have ocean temps getting a bit high for phytoplankton to exist in these zones and import our CO2 and convert by the sun to its silica based shell, that’s what the diatom algae need in our aquariums to make their silicon, this is from discarded shells as the plankton grow or die in your aquarium or there was heaps of silica in your new substrate from the beginning, weird algae the diatoms,lol.

These incredibly important life forms, phytoplankton and their past relatives gave us life and have been keeping us all alive, as with the life forms before us and the oceans alive for hundreds of millions of years!!

So acidity from the most valuable life form whittled down by a third in numbers now from our infestation will wipe out the more delicate corals and that includes anemones,morphs,etc, at reefs close to the equator over some time and that’s a shame for future generations.

One good part of this global certainty is the south east of Q will get the barrier reef life down here over time,lol.

We are seeing this already!!

That’s enough about what I can’t do anything about and society are not seeing quick enough for most to realise its coming and what I wont see that much of in my time,so here are some collected species.

One of the guys got this lovely lineatus, he had been trying them for months till this one made a mistake and home it went.


Because of the warmer ocean temps the peps are breeding all year round now, this is a juvenile and an adult female with ovaries in the ready for egg production and passing to its tail,that’s the green you can see in its carapace.


These are the dwarf lemon peel flavissimus angel fish and its mimic, the mimic is a little faded, they have been in together for a few weeks and the mimic has faded while living that close to the actual angelfish it would mimic in the wild, for it’s own safety.
The mimic is to young to have its substantial fighting tool as it would at adult hood at either side of its peduncle and the dwarf/centropyge has a nice sharp fighting spike on each gill from birth.


One of the guys has a nice latezonatus pair now,in these two the male is bigger then the female, his last partner must have been eaten and this one is his new chicky babe that would have arrived at the anemone ready to take on what sex was needed as a near transparent very tiny fish.



Mike,one of our members got his first blue tangs this day, he was wrapped!


Beautiful box fish these ones,and easier to keep then the dice box,


This one of many seen, the bi coloured blenny must have known no one wanted it, cocky little fish.



Some chunky rays having at look at us.


Shame these types of barramundi are illegal to collect these days, they eat every one in the tank any way.


As you can see there are not many fish around,lol,some sites are absolutely jammed with life because though the oceans temps are rising, it also means there are no winter die offs here any more, not for just over 9 years now, so the numbers of fish life are increasing more and more each year.
One god thing about the green zones is that predatory fish numbers of are increasing in these zones,( and the sharks as well, that’s one draw back to them),the predatory fish take out the chaetodons that could become abundant and severely affect the corals.
There has to be some green zones to populate other reefs via planktonic dispersal from those zones so that we can fish, spear and collect on the reefs down stream.
Personally, reef rotation would work far better.


A club member that is one of our more keen collectors didn’t really believe what was told to him,what we see on trips, know where to find them and have the chance to collect them easily and legally.
So a fish he really wanted and he was never expecting to find it, a white check tang.
The other day on one of our trips, as he said this was something he thought would never happen, this fish appeared in shallow disgusting waters and was collected by him.
They are there from each breeding season as with many other amazing life forms.

The same day he saw his first femininus wrasse, that’s why we go where we do and know these sites, needless to say he is a believer in what’s at these sites we frequent as a club and he is very happy now!

Here it is in his tank.



The grey nurse have been like flies this season so far and numbers are right up there, we see a few all year round now, they used to be only seasonal, the abnormal thermo clines and the green zones are bringing them back from remote sites, they thought they were nearly gone, no they were just else where.

There were a hundred spread over four sites last week end, oh they are rare,lol.


This is a very friendly big boy, show no fear and they are cool and will just swim with you as if you are one of them.
One thing though when I wanted a close up of the huge female there, she may have been pregnant, I got a tail slap by the big boy, that was a gentle hint to move away from her,lol,I respect gentle hints!!!


A tusker competing with the grey nurse at showing teeth,lol,the grey nurse wins!


Some speared fish from one of our trips, those wrasse are very good eating.



Always a ton of tube worms around, my tank has plenty already.


These saron shrimp are a pain in the neck in the aquarium, horrible things, I used to collect them many years back, but never again.


Now this is an unusual anemone?didn’t have the time that day to have a close look at what it actually was!
I have never seen one of these before!


Always many Latezonatus amphiprions around our area.



As usual, love and respect the ocean!!
1 Sep 2010
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wow these pictures are gorgeous
10 Apr 2012
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Cool. We have a very similar situation here, with tropical juveniles coming down in summer. Obviously different species, but they come in the same order. Wrasses/anthias then butterflies/tangs then angels quite late in the season.


17 Oct 2008
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Sounds very similar, we get the tangs and then the chaetodontoplus angels late in the season here and we are in the south east of Queensland not that far from the new south Wales border, we are based in Brisbane Queensland.

If you are coming to Auz just do a search for (aandtsociety.org.au),thats us over here and I still do a thread sought of once each month or so for our local forums to promote the club,but I will make sure I put it each time on your forum as well again.