(I'm currently working on an observational learning thesis which looks into the capabilities of bimacs in Middlebury, VT)
We've had the tanks up and running since about April, and we obtained two bimacs about two weeks ago. The animals are doing great and have readily adapted to our feeding schedule. One question I that I'm starting to work through:
What exactly do people think is the minimum amount of non-clear housing that a bimac needs to be comfortable and still behave "naturally?" (objective term, I know, but you know what I mean...non stressed). We're going to begin observational learning trials by allowing some animals to watch other animals perform a task that has been taught to them by a researcher, and documenting the difference between the two learning pathways. The problem is live rock isn't exactly clear, and the dens our animals have constructed don't allow them to see each other through the clear membranes. I know that for some marine animals a clear tube works just as well as a rock cave, is this also true for bimac's in people's experiences? We're running VERY dim lights (it looks like a dark room in there!) so do people think we could substitute a majority of the rock for clear plastic containers and the like. We obviously don't want to ruin an otherwise stable system too, the plan CAN change!
Thanks for your help!