AFMattH

Wanting Dive Partner For Collecting Fish

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AFMattH   

Looking for someone or anyone who wants to scuba dive with me at fort pickens, Navarre beach reef, or park east/Pensacola beach reef. I always hit up Navarre and Pensacola beach reefs to see what juvenile fish have decided to settle there. I've collected plenty of damsels (though they have all been promptly returned), Blennies (same return policy on these tank tyrants), tang (man this list just doesn't stop cause I returned all of these other than a juvenile blue tang that passed away), one juvenile spotfin butterfly (couldn't get him to eat before he wiped out my pod population so he passed), one Caribbean red spotted hawkfish (guess where this guy went back to...) and 2 juvenile blue angels (which sadly died in a tank move.) With all the variety and fun that the snorkeling reefs offer there are tons of fish that are out there and it's an absolute blast catching these little guys. please let me know if you'd be interested in going and when you are available.  Also please note that all of my collecting is done within legal limits set by the FWC and I am not illegally harvesting any fish or invertebrates.

Edited by AFMattH

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Yardboy   

While I'm too far away to be your dive partner on a regular basis, I would like to "ditto" most of what you said about the fun of collecting while diving. I still have a Doctorfish tang that has fared very well in my tank, all the rest you mentioned have had to be returned also.

The purplish gorgonians that are the only ones I regularly see over here I've not had any success with, and no one I know so far has had any luck with them either. Do you have a secret, or are you just going to see if your luck is better than mine?

I'm also afraid I'm too much of a wimp to dive right now. The water temps around the jetties is only 54, too darn cold for my wet-suited dives!

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AFMattH   

The purple gorgonias have been doing great for me. I've had them in a low flow low light tank and they survived just find. Then I moved them to my main where they have decent flow and plenty of light and they have done better and had noticeable growth. I've had my gorgonias since fall of last year so I must be doing something right.

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AFMattH   

58B2A333-CD28-4456-AF1E-608CA5EE355E_zpsgdwjhbhi.jpg

These guys have done great in my tank. I even had one get halfway burried under the sand and his flesh fell off but once I glued him to something he started growing flesh back over his bare skeleton. I'll take a picture of him when I get back home.

Edited by AFMattH

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kbass   

The one I got from you at the meeting seems to be doing good as well...good polyp extension. (low light / decent flow).

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AFMattH   

Well I will go ahead and open this back up so please read the first post. Also to provide an update, the purple gorgonias are actually non photosynthetic and can last a good while in your tank but without constant feeding they seem to wither off all together. I figure it comes with the tank water just being to clean.

Edited by AFMattH

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That gargonian should be photosynthetic. I used to keep one I fragged off an Atlantic reef and very rarely did I ever feed coral in that tank. Once they are established they grow almost too well but if you keep them trimmed they are great. Maybe it's a different specie but it sure looks the same. I would not mind diving some of those places just to get in the water. Been a long time since I have blown any bubbles. Have to wait till water warms up quite a bit before I can get in that water though, it's cold right now.

Richard

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AFMattH   

That gargonian should be photosynthetic. I used to keep one I fragged off an Atlantic reef and very rarely did I ever feed coral in that tank. Once they are established they grow almost too well but if you keep them trimmed they are great. Maybe it's a different specie but it sure looks the same. I would not mind diving some of those places just to get in the water. Been a long time since I have blown any bubbles. Have to wait till water warms up quite a bit before I can get in that water though, it's cold right now.

Richard

 

Yeah there are tons of gorgonias that look alike. I had to do a lot of research to figure it out but due to how small the polyps are and how thin the branches are, even on the larger ones it is more than likely that these ones are non photosynthetic. I have a larger one that has been sitting in the back with decent flow and plenty of light and it's literally been dwindling away into almost nothing. I pick up fallen branches off of it every other week. makes me sad to watch it happen but there isn't much I can do for it and once it has been in your tank you can't really rerelease them back where you got them.

 

On the bright side, I don't plan to dive for at least a couple more weeks till the air at least can warm up. But if you get out there in a 5mil before the water warms you can see tons and tons of peppermint shrimp living in colonies together, it's amazing! I usually get 5-10 before the predators come and get them all. sadly the dang things will just start killing each other and I end up with only one by the end of the year.

Edited by AFMattH

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Degan   

I'm not certified scuba but I do have a boat and love snorkeling if you ever want to go exploring with me.

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AFMattH   

What kind of boat do you have? I always love exploring and snorkeling places, sadly around here there are very few places to actually snorkel but it doesn't make it any less fun!

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Degan   

An 18' chaparral. I've pretty much made it into a fishing boat though.. I put an I pilot n stuff on it. I fish a lot but the compromise with the wife was a family boat.

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AFMattH   

Lol yeah them wife compromises will always get ya. I eventually want to get a bay boat for fishing but that's a long way out.

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I miss having a boat but do t miss gas and Maintenance. I bought two kayaks years ago and do a lot of trout and red fishing in the sound and bayous. Have had them in Gulf but need calm day with little to no wind.

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AFMattH   

I'm not too fond of kayaks, I've looked into one for diving and honestly it'd be better and cheaper for me to buy a zodiac I can dive off of than a kayak. I'd just want to get a few other supplies before I get to something like that, namely a good GPS and a good radio/beacon for safety and the other necessities.

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Mine are not good diving platforms but ocean kayak makes a couple. The trick to diving out of many small vessels, kayaks included, are to air up your Bc and toss it over the side then gear up in water. I just fish out of mine though they would be a great platform for snorkeling, just drag behind you. Zodiac is probably cheaper but nice thing about kayak is relatively easy transport, and no boat registration.

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Degan   

once the water warms up Im going to do the diving cert classes and get some gear.   its been on the list i just havent met anyone here yet that does..  diving alone sounds lame and dangerous.

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AFMattH   

It is dangerous and very eerie, I've done it a couple of times and as long as you communicate your intentions to people before you go off and do it and dive exactly how you plan then you will be fine, it's much more entertaining with others though and I can show you tons and tons of wildlife that most divers miss.

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Degan   

Its a Deal then..  we're diving this summer.     is there anything decent in pensacola?

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Always preferred to be by myself on the bottom when spear fishing. Much harder to sneak up on things with two people blowing bubbles. If diving for lobster or sight seeing always nice to have a buddy to share with or if you need a second set of hands with tickling a bug out of a big hole. I always carried a 13 cf pony bottle as standard gear for back up as well when by myself. Would love to get back into diving, it's been years.

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AFMattH   

Spear fishing is fun but it's difficult around here with the depths and sizes of fish it's ussually not worth it to spear most fish you see. Plus the hassle of the sharks just makes me worry of it. A great place to dive in pensacola is fort pickens and there is lots of cool stuff to see out there too!

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