View Full Version : Hooking up a Lysiosquillina satellite tank

05/16/2017, 03:59 PM
Several people have asked me how I set up a satellite tank for a Lysiosquillina. In case others are interested, here is a quick description. The dimensions given here are for a 10 cm animal, but it can be scaled up or down accordingly.

I start with a large tank that is stable. It should be at least 18 to 20 inches tall. Then I put together a tall, thin tank. The sides can be made from window glass but the bottom should be thicker. I have my local glass store cut two panes 15 by 12 inche, two tanes 15 by 4 inches and one thicker pane 12.5 by 4.5 inches. The bottom can be closer to 12 by 4, but I like some room to form an outside large silicone bead.

Once the tank has cured, I mount it to the large tank. I usually have the larger tank on a table with at least 4or 5 inches free on one end. I use wood blocks to support the small tank so that the top is the same or just slightly lower than the main tank. I fasten the two tanks together using double sided suction cups or double sided foam tape. I prefer the suction cups because it is easier to unfasten the tanks when the time comes to dismantle them.

I fill the satellite tank with fine coral sand to a depth of 10 to12 inches and make sure that the water level in the large tank is about two inches from the top. I then fill the satellite tank to the same level and connect the two tanks with a 1 inch u-shaped tube, I keep a large 100 cc syringe handy with a length of air-line tubing to suck out the air and start the siphon.

The last step is to establish flow between the to tanks. The first time I did this, I used a small pump placed in the main tank. Big mistake! The siphon accumulated air bubbles, quit flowing and the pump pumped about 20 gallons of water onto the floor - and then burnt out. Now I make sure that the direction of flow is from the satellite to the main tank. Rather than place a pump in the satellite tank I use a small powerhead in the main tank with the air intake connected with a length of air-tubing to the satellite. I use a suction cup to position the tubing a couple of inches below the surface. The flow is sufficient for a Lysiosquillina and if the siphon should break no water overflow occurs and the stomatopod can handle no flow for a day or two.

If you are establishing a very small animal that might swim through the u-tube, a little coarse mesh works well.

I'm sure there are lots of other ways to do this, but this inexpensive and has proved reliable. Of course I don't have a bunch of kids running around the lab, but I'm pretty clumsy and I have yet to knock one over.