More pics will be here tomorrow or the next day, as soon as it stops snowing long enough to let me run to the LFS on my lunch break. The inside of my glass is a mess of smudges and I need to take a Mag-Float to it before anyone else sees it.
I'm ramping up into the second stage of the cycle! After four days of the ammonia being frighteningly dark at 4.0, today it's suddenly dropped off to a much lovelier shade of pale green, returning to a blessedly lower 1.0. Meanwhile, nitrites are increasing over the last two days (0.25 to 1.0), which is terribly exciting as it means that things are progressing accordingly! I'm also getting much better at reading the colors on my test kit!
Current parameters are as follows:
pH: 8.2 (dropped off to 7.8 when the ammonia was high, now back to normal)
The hitchhikers that came in on my rock are fascinating. I got a better look at the crab, and he's definitely a rock crab, which means Operation: Crabtrap goes into effect tomorrow - just need to wash out my salsa jar and grab a shred of shrimp to bait him in. I'm keeping the little pencil urchin for now - he pretty much sticks to one area, and I'm quite fond of him anyway. I've seen at least seven feather dusters, of three different varieties, and they continue to be a highlight for me (and a reason that the crab needs to go before he discovers them!). A patch of tall, milky-clear tubular tunicates have set up base on top of one of the rocks, and the white honeycomb-style patch from an earlier picture has now been discovered to be a beautiful orange (mini-)field of encrusting porites. I've also found two spaghetti worm "dens" crusted under some rocky overhangs, and it's a delight to watch them stick out their long feelers and pull stuff back in.
Had a minor near-catastrophe today, though!
My boyfriend forgot to turn off the actinics before he left for work, which means the tank had a full day's worth of extra light. The formaniferans closest to the top have lost all their pretty red and are now brownish-yellow, and the coralline closest to the top of the tank is much, much darker than it was before. The temperature was also a little high (only a degree, but still...) and I noticed much more miniature algae patches than I had before. It could have been worse, but I'm hoping nothing else has suffered too greatly. Time to get a more reliable light timer, I guess.
This is all tl;dr but PICS SOON! I promise!!
Edited by meganistkrieg, 16 February 2010 - 07:40 PM.