What I did wrong with my first gig – second one is doing well


New member

This is my second gig which has been in the tank for 10 days now. In this video, the gig is a bit over 12 inches wide. It wasn't initially looking healthy in the fish store but after a week there, it was looking too good to pass up. I did not QT or medicate it. I placed in on a rock that had an indention about the size of an orange and the gig immediate settled its foot in the indention. Within minutes, my adult female Spotcinctus started nesting in it. It is very sticky and the clown feeds it every chance she can. She doesn't let the male play in the gig and visits him occasionally in his BTA group like in this video. They tend to their eggs about every 10 days.

Living dangerously, a pair of diamond gobies has made their next under the rock. Guess if you want to keep predators from your eggs nesting under a gig might be a good defense. The gig is sitting under a 250W Radium 20K MH lamp. There is also a BML super actinic LED strip across the tank. This gig has a sister at the fish store that is looking healthy, but like mine was initially, has very short tentacles. The tentacles on this one have really starting extending themselves.

My first gig ended up melting. I am pretty sure I did many things wrong with the first one. It came from a different store out of a very shallow tank under low level LED lights. The tank also contained another very distressed gig. The gig I chose was healthy looking and butted up to a small rock. Seeing that I asked the store if this type of nem preferred a sandbed or to be on a rock. They said defninitely a sand bed.

When I brought the first gig home I dug a hole in my substrate right next to my rock wall. The gig was healthy looking for a few days and stayed in that location. Eventually it started crawling up the rock wall which is loaded with BTA's and Zoas. It could never find a good spot and started looking droopy, lost its stickiness and its mouth was staying open too wide. My clowns never tried to next in it even from day one when it looked its best.

I put it in a QT tank with Cipro but also picked up a Haddoni from the fish store that had a gaping mouth and I volunteered to treat it along with mine. The heater was overpowered for the 15 gallon tank and would shoot up to 81 degrees really fast. I was changing water every 24 hours but instead of using freshly made water, used water from my main tank. It started looking better but the water would cloud up in about 15 hours probably because I was using "œused" salt water. When it looked well, I put it back into my reef tank in a new rock pile. It was happy for a day and then one of my BTAs decided to let go and get chopped up in my power head. I did a big water change and refreshed my activated carbon. The next day it slid under a rock and shrank down very small. A day after that I picked up the rock and it was pretty much a sinky jelly mess which I removed. There was no saving it this time.

So this is where I think I went wrong:

Taking a healthy looking gig from a tank where there was very sick one next to it.
Placing the gig near a rock structure that would be difficult for it to find a place to land.
QT the gig in the same tank with an unhealthy one.
Using an overpowered heater that overshot the temps too quickly.
Using "œused" water instead of "œvirgin" water.

I am very happy with the new gig and am sad that I lost the first one since I hate to see anything die that we are keeping for our own amusement. I sort of wonder too if the clown has instinct on whether a nem is healthy or not when it decided to rush in to next or just ignore the gig like my clown did with the first one. I also wonder too it a mixed reef is good for a gig since I don't think I have ever seen them associated with zoathids. My intention over time is to slowly take down the zoathid-bta wall and maybe setup one or two other sections in this tank for an addition one or two gigs. My flows are a bit too violent for the BTAs so they don't open up as much as they did before I kicked up the pumps. I have my eye on the IM lagoon for my zoas and BTAs in the future. I also have the equipment ready to add a refugium to the system soon. I think the additional water capacity will benefit the gig and overall system stability. This tank is 36" wide 30" front to back and 26" tall. If I started over with gigs in mind I would probably would have made a 48" by 30" by 18-20" tall tank.

I have 2 MP40's on each side of the tank and run then in clockwise and then counterclockwise flow for a couple of hours at a time. I also have a Rossmont MX2600 pump in a short bust mode pointed at this gig.


New member
Honestly, it's probably luck that this one is doing well and bad luck that the other died. I've dealt with a decent amount of these now. What I have found is that some can look great at some times of the day and then crap shortly after. The first was probably sick when you got it but you probably bought it at one of the good times. I've had some arrive and look incredible only to have it look like death with hours of going into qt. At least for me it's incredibly rare to find one that will survive without treatment and even with following the treatment protocol to the T I'm at less than 50% saving them.