macropharyngodon choati - so far, so good


Reefing newb
i posted this up in my build thread but thought it merited it's own attention as it's a significant journey for my stocking list and small success on that road.

ok the choat's wrasse is out of QT. it's been about 36 days to today. it's been in my display for two days now. upon introduction it surprisingly didn't dive into the sand which most of my wrasses have done. it meandered for about an hour and was under the sand for the next 24 hours. the next day it was "awake" around 3pm and only out for half hour and back under the sand. today, it was out for three hours swimming calmly in a slightly larger than the day before but still not exploring the 7' fully.
for those that aren't familiar with this species, a quick search will describe how so many are filled with dismay and bad luck trying to keep these guys alive in captivity - it is one of the most difficult leopards there are. the fish isn't one of my favorite aesthetically despite its gorgeous coloration and sheer stature but the allure of doing something that very few can do was instantaneous and i just had to try. being as successful as i've been thus far has increased my interest in the fish a million-fold. seeing it come out the very next day and not spend an extended siesta in the sand napping away brought so much excitement to the house and had me running all over the place trying to find a video camera. most attempts start with successful qt or acclimation and the introduction where the choat will dive the sand and never be seen again so you can imagine the goosebumps i got seeing it the next day swimming about it's new home.

it ate a few enriched blackworms without much excitement, but did eat. ate some PE enriched mysis and hikari mysis and spat a few pieces back. his activity and length of life thus far has me excited as i hear that the two week to 1 month mark is the life clock on this species in captivity. once after that hurdle everyone i talk to that has one has kept them successfully long term.

i'm feeding small amounts as many times as i can while he's awake to take advantage of those few hours but so far so good. no aggression from the other tank inhabitants and he does seem more active and willing to search more of the tank every day.

here's a quick video of him a minute or so after waking mid afternoon in my tank for the first time:

the choati is still alive! eating better but still not eating blackworms with any interest really. goes through brine, mysis, squid, etc very enthusiastically. still not staying awake beyond 4 hours but hopefully that'll increase more in the next weeks.