Dr. Sanjay Joshi’s incredible reef tank is a Smörgåsbord of goodies ranging from amazingly matured and colorful SPS corals, to an incredible collection of exotic reef fish. You may recognize the Joculator angelfish from the classic spawning footage of the pair, and indeed, it is the same specimen. However a lot has changed since then and the tank now plays host to a couple of other really cool and really unique fish. The SPS corals have really grown and matured nicely as well, and blends in naturally with the assortment of reef fish.
Apart from the beautiful assortment of SPS, Sanjay’s tank is home to various other LPS, soft corals and invertebrates. Of particular interest is the extremely beautiful and healthy colony of purple photosynthetic sponge, Collospongia auris, seen around the one minute mark of the video. The sponge has a growth form similar to that of Montipora capricornis, but is soft, rubbery and takes on a lustrous bluish purple coloration.
Sanjay’s reef tank is also host to a really fantastic collection of fish, worthy to make any fish lover worth his salt jealous. Especially if you’re a wrasse person. Perhaps the most strikingly curious looking fish to get your attention first would be this spectacular specimen of Xenojulis montillai. This wrasse is a Philippines endemic and is not found in the typical reef setting like your average Cirrhilabrus or Paracheilinus.
Xenojulis montillai typically inhabits shallow and dense seagrass or sargassum beds, and the uniform army green coloration helps it to blend in with its surroundings perfectly. Sanjay could very well be one of the few, if not the only person to own this fish and this video and picture is definitely the best, if not the only ones out there, apart from the holotype picture.
Another impressive but more widely known wrasse to grace Sanjay’s tank is the Lennard’s wrasse, Anampses lennardi. The australian endemic was once never seen in the trade but in the past year or two, started taking the reef scene by storm – and understandably so. The brilliant combination of alternating cyan and yellow horizontal stripes rivals the beauty of the closely related Anampses femininus, but the Lennard’s wrasse is bigger, broader and more sought after. Sanjay’s tank is home to more than one Lennard’s wrasse.
Apart from these two, the reef showcases a healthy mix of fish spanning different groups including tangs, angels, butterflies, damsels, cardinals and many more. Some of the more noteworthy species include his spawning Joculator angelfish pair, a pair of Bellus angelfish, a Margin coral fish and candy basslets. There’s really nothing more spectacular than a healthy reef tank loaded with beautiful coral and healthy fish; Sanjay’s reef is a perfect example.