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New to ARC, Longtime Marine Aquarist


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Hello ARC community, I'm new to this forum and new to Austin. My family and I moved here last Summer. I'm off to college in College Station this Fall and getting rid of my indo-pacific reef, with the hopes of starting up a more simplistic native jetty habitat similar to the picture below that I found on another link. I have been incorporating my kids into this hobby when possible, to plant in them the seed of interest in aquatic habitats. I used to collect things on the Texas coast (mainly Rockport's Saltwater Pool and Port A. Jetties) when I was younger, but it has been some time since I was last down there. I would love to find a safe shallow (less than five feet deep) area where I can collect some really interesting things with my kids (one is 7yrs and the other is 6yrs). Both of my kids have learned to swim and dive under water with masks and snorkels, so we're not afraid to get wet if need be. They just can't hold their breath very long. Bellow is a list of things my kids and I would really like to get. We'll only be able to go down for a day, so if it is at all possible to get all/most of these in one place that would be amazing. Also any tips/tricks to collecting these guys would be greatly appreciated. The last time I tried to catch a spot fin butterfly was while scuba diving using a mesh back pack (which I would've been successful had it not been for all of the boat traffic's wake blasting me against the jetty). We're also open to traveling down with other people as well. Thanks for all of your help.

  • Warty Rock Anemones (assorted colors: see picture below)
  • Flower Rock Anemones
  • Corals (Sea Pansies, Sea Whips, cup corals, et cetra)
  • Sponges
  • Porceline Crabs
  • Sargassum Fish
  • Tessellated Blennies
  • Juvenile Spot Fin Butterfly
  • Juvenile French Anglefish
  • Damselfish (assorted brightly colored species)
  • Assorted Macro Algae
  • Assorted cleaner invertebrates (starfish, cucumbers, snails, hermits, et cetra)



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Hey there! Welcome to the club. I know there are some folks who visit the coast and collect things, so hopefully they will see this and give you some good tips!

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Welcome to the club! Your tank sounds like a great project to do with your kids. Lots of members collect things at the coast so hopefully some of them will chime in with details. You can also search the forum and dig up some of the old threads. There was even an ARC coast collection trip one year.

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Howdy, welcome, and Gig'em!

There are quite a few previous discussion threads about collecting on the coast. Take a look at these:




From memory you can find rock anemones, sargassum, various blennies and damsels, and even seahorses and pipefish. The most common critter people bring back are peppermint shrimp, which they say are easiest to collect on the jetties at night with a flashlight and a net.

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I appreciate the warning, but sharks are the least of my concerns. I've been in the water with sharks large and small. I think the most startling encounter I've had was almost plowing through a box jelly.

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