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Old 08/14/2010, 03:20 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: southern Illinois
Posts: 52
Happy 20th Birthday Marilyn

Happy 20th Birthday Marilyn!

Introduction: I’m writing Marilyn’s life story as I believe she deserves some recognition, and a birthday is the best time to do so. That she survived all my mistakes and careless acts over the course of 20 years is, at least to me, quite an accomplishment.

I believe Marilyn (formerly Marlin) is an Ocellaris Clownfish. I acquired Marlin, and another equally sized juvenile clown, when my son was born in September 1990. It is likely they were 6 months old. Marlin did not get his name until several years later, when my kids wanted to name him Nemo, as in the Disney movie. I insisted upon the name Marlin, after Nemo’s father.

Marlin’s first home was an 18 tall tank. In those days I would not refer to it as a “reef” tank, just some rock and dead coral, with a helping of Caulerpa. In a short period of time both clowns exhibited a parasite. I removed them from the 18 gallon tank, treated them with copper and hoped for the best. Marlin survived the ordeal. I returned him to the 18 gallon tank where he lived for most of the 1990’s.

In 1999 my divorce saw Marlin move to a new home in an established 10 gallon mini reef tank. It had a “live rock” which had a small hard coral head growing when I first obtained it. There is a very small clam on that rock which I believe is still alive today. Marlin lived in that tank for a few more years.

In 2002 I left a friend in charge of feeding Marlin while I went diving on the Palancar reef near Cozumel. It turns out I left him the wrong door key. Marlin went 14 days without being fed. Upon my return, he was skinny for sure, but back to normal in a few days.
Later that year I set up a 55 gallon reef tank. Marlin finally had room to move around, which he rarely uses!

I’m not sure what year I introduced a pink tip bubble anemone, but after a few months Marlin moved in. Interestingly enough, I currently have 8 bubble anemones, and have sold off 8 more, all descended from that one.
In 2004 I introduced two juvenile Ocellaris Clowns to Marlins’ tank. At first the three schooled and it was a lot of fun to watch. After a few weeks, it became apparent that Marlin paired with one of the two juveniles, and they believed “three’s a crowd.” They started hitting on the other juvi, so I removed him to a different tank. Some time following this Marlin disappeared into the rock structure, and would not come out even to feed. I could see him back in his cave, so I knew he was alive. After about 10 days he made a brief appearance in the open and ate something. The only physical change I could see was shortly after he emerged from his rock cave. There was a tiny white piece of skin (?) aft of the pelvic fin, hanging loosely. It looked like a piece of the skin of a pea. I believe it was gone within a day or two. Slowly (s)he returned to his/her former bubble hang-out and habits. A year or two later someone offered that I had witnessed a sex change, as these fish are sequential hermaphrodites. We renamed him Marilyn.

All is well in the tank these days, but Marilyn is slowing down. She is not as aggressive and does not attack me with vigor during tank cleaning as in the old days. She spends more time hiding in her bubbles, and does not wander the immediate vicinity as much. Appetite is still very good. She is enjoying her retirement years. Happy 20th birthday Marilyn!

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