Tuesday, July 17, 2007


A Flame Angelfish, Centropyge loricula [Gunther, 1874]
This Flame Angel is about two & one half inches long, but may grow about one more inch, at full maturity in the wild.
As with many of my specimens, this one was brought to me by a, tank maintenence, friend.
The tankmates he was introduced to, weren`t taking kindly to him, so he brought it here for my tank.
There is always a chance that a new fish may not act, according to the shared knowledge, of other reefers, or chronicled observations in the wild. This is a slightly marginal "reef safe" fish.
In other words, depending on what other species are in your tank, that you are very fond of, this may not be a good addition. Some people keep large clams, but this fish will pick at it`s mantle.
It may also pick & nibble on your beautiful collection of Zoanthids, or snack on large polyped corals.
This one turned out just fine, maybe because it remembers the nice home it came to, after being bitten & harrassed, but then sometimes I wonder why a coral disappeared.
I`ve had this fish for about five years.
One thing I must address, to any one who think these fish are held captive in a small enclosure, respectively.
The fish or any other creature that is motile, in my tanks, would not inhabit a space any larger than what I offer, in the wild.
This also allows the fish to have a longer life, away from predators, & other possible pitfalls that are innumerable in the ocean of the fittest.
There are two exceptions to fish habitat size, that I have. Although they are rescued fish, I do not turn any fish away.
I will place the fish in friends larger tanks or accomodate them in mine.
These two are both Tangs, & normally range a larger area, but are very comfortable, where they reside, in seperate tanks.
Flames & Blue Tips.


NDD said...

Yep, nice one! Fire and Water sure fits that one. He looks like a glowing ember in a campfire, with the breeze blowing on it.

I'd have guessed larger than 1.5" that for sure... so...almost a macro shot then?

Ms needs me to send the link to this here blog, so I'd better go do that.

Knucklehead said...

I had to double check, but I did say 2 1/1 inches.
The extremely apt metaphor used in your comment is one I`ll remember.
I also wanted to personally thank Ms. NDD for her participation on "Ladies Night"

NDD said...

ooops, I stand corrected! It's been a long hot muggy day here. Soome of that must've seeped into my brain, and short out some of the synapses.

Still 2.5" ain't much compared to the average pickerel.

I'll convey your thanks as she does not always have time to peruse the comments sections.

Knucklehead said...

It`s strange, that most people perceive the fish in my images, always larger, never smaller.
Another aspect most do not consider is movement.
Taking shots of fish, is like trying to take a picture of a fly. They are almost always in motion. To try & focus on a moving object through a layer of water with a reflective glass between you & the subject, takes getting used to.
Here`s a trick I use.
I observe the movement & pick a spot where the fish eventually passes. This might be between coral outcroppings or across a section of the reefcrest that`s an established escape route to safety.
I then pre- focus on that spot, & wait for my prey, very very patiently. Jumping the gun, results in an image of half of the front end of the fish, not to mention that it may not want to go through that part of town again, soon. And lagging, will show you what fishtails look like.
Patience for the most part, will result in better images.
There are those times though, that without quick action, will leave you short of bagging your prey.
In cases of birthings, killings, moultings, & other such occasional events, patience be damned, keep shooting.
I usually shoot with the lens directly against the side of the tank, preventing that non-removeable flash reflection, which also must be guarded against, from it being reflected on the far side of the tank, beyond your subject.
Those are the, "Get Tips From Head".

AndiF said...

I was trying to think of a comment I could make that would lead to another wonderful rant but of course these things can't be planned.

Another gorgeous shot. I'll miss them while I'm gone but ... woo hoo! vacation!

And what a perfect opportunity to say ... so long and thanks for all the fish.

Knucklehead said...

Like my mom said,
"Don`t encourage him!!"
I wish you the best vacation ever, & in turn, I get the opportunity to say...I hope you see a cat/fish in a pond.
That would be rare.
woo hoo to uuu 222

dada said...

fascinating head

aside from the patience and, of course chance, that you have with respect to capturing these images...not to mention the hundreds of shots required to achieve one worthy of display...l am much impressed by your awareness of colour theory and it's uses in composition...whether by accident or skill [my preferred interpretation], or primarily a product of the subject/situation/environment.

l have always found colour in nature to be a fascinating glimpse into the underlying, oft neglected, recognition of the organizational structure of what appears to be random diversity.

very tasty.

Knucklehead said...

Patience, I acquired from raising my daughter, after my wife died, leaving our daughter`s care to an impatient father of a nearly three year old. I became a fast learner.
Chance is the next rquirement, but if I`m not waiting patiently, I don`t get the chance.
For a reason I still don`t understand, some of the fish I have, cannot be captured with the natural color I perceive them to be. It`s maybe a quality of their skin, that reflects some of the light in a diffused way, that washes out the details on their surface.
I have only a few presentable shots of some of these fish even though I`ve shot them hundreds of times. I`m still trying to figure that one out.
Trying to isolate a fish in a particular shot when speaking of composition is at times an almost futile endeavor.
All the other fish seem to want to get in on the action. I study each fish & it`s habits & how it interacts or reacts, with all the others, or any other individual one, respectively.
The shooting time is important because of their different activity as the light intensifies, to a high noon peak, then diminishes towards dusk. This gradient, a result of having timers controling the photoperiod of the tank, offers an opportunity to shoot a certain fish at one point in this period, while denying the same opportunity for another fish.
This Flame Angel, is best photographed in the "dusk" period, when the extremely harsh tank lights are off.
The flash from the camera, lighting up only the subject, if shot at high speed, allows the muted colors in the background, to not interfere with
center stage, yet be lit by the dusk lights , creating depth & context. There is no random diversity, you`re right again.
For example, one must be careful when introducing a fish into the tank.This gets strange.
A certain fish may not allow another fish of the same colour & size to go unchecked.
It may be a perceived mating rival, even though they are not of the same species,
A fish with a long snout will do likewise to another
fish with a similar appearance as it may be a food rival.
The long snout; to better reach into crevices in the rock, regardless if one is an herbivore, & the other a carnivore.
While some may think that a mistake was made when handing out colors & snouts [two examples of many], one must realize that in the wild, juxtaposition of any of the fish of which I speak, rarely occurs, as they do not normally inhabit the same lateral level in the ocean, or if so, do not live in the same ocean environment. Nature has made sure that mistakes are taken care of naturally, but we can be sure, if mistakes are made, they are made by man.
dada, that sure was a thoughtfully written comentary, one that requires a sharp mind & will never have to do with chance. Words don`t happen, you use them well.
And thank you.

James said...

I would like permission to publish your lovely shot of the Flame Angelfish in our CORAL Magazine email newsletter.

Thank you.

James Lawrence, Editor