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Howl's Mushroom Forest


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#1
nathanq.inc

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Mushroom Forest.

I am planning on turning my current setup (7 months old) into a dark (in the metaphorical sense) and mysterious mushroom forest. I have always enjoyed mushroom corals and how much variety there is in that one species. They way they reproduce, feed and cover the rocks, and sway in the current is brilliant. So I thought, I want my tank to show off as many mushroom species as I can safely fit in the tank.

FTS last month
P1070138.JPG
Howl
P1070150.JPG
Mushrooms
P1070184.JPG

Currently I have some small Indonesian Purple/Blue Tonga mushrooms (that look more Burgundy when they swell up) and some green hairy mushrooms. I also have a GSP which Iím unsure about keeping in my setup. Itís very temperamental and Iím not sure if it will fit in with what Iím wanting to create here. The shape of the rock is also very difficult to work with (maybe if it starts spreading over more rocks I could use it to mimic the grassy look I was wanting to have in some places).

Other than those corals I have a pair of common clowns (Sosuke, the small male and Mononoke, the fat greedy female), a skunk cleaner shrimp (Howl, he owns the tank), a peppermint shrimp (Calcifer), a blue tuxedo urchin (Totoro), and a midnight feather duster worm (I have a lime one as well but I think itís about to die because Howl wonít leave it alone so it never comes out its tube). I also have three brown legged hermits, a blue legged hermit and an antillean hermit. And if you are wondering, my little sister gets to name all my critters and she is a Studio Gibli fanatic which explains the names.

Hereís some info on the tank everything is in:
...Boyu TL450 - 10gal
...Lighting: 2x 10000K(18W) Fluorescent Lamps
...Circulation: Submersible pump + Hydro Koralia nano = 2320lph (submersible pump set the the lowest setting though so my mushrooms donít get blown to bits).
...Filtration: Live rock (10lb) and Sand (1Ē deep, less in some places), protein separator (going to upgrade to the protein skimmer that is designed for the TL550 when I can find one), activated carbon and filter wool.
...Temp - 79F (26C)
...Salinity - 1.022-1.024 (sometimes my LFS doesnít get the salt levels right but I get it back up by topping up the evaporation with saltwater)


I donít think Iíll be rearranging the rock work much I quite like how it is sitting (Iím sure Iíll change my mind though along the way). Iíll just need to replace some of the rocks that wont fit when I need to put more coral in. Plus Iíll need to find somewhere for my GSP to go.

So here are some things that Iím looking to put in my tank:
...Some more midnight feather duster worms (the deep red/purple colouring of the plume is ideal for creating that ominous look).
...A feather duster cluster or pulsing xenia (need to do more research on the xenia before I make my decision)
...Some florida and yuma rics (deep blues and reds like the red caribbean rhodactis), bubble mushrooms, green stripey mushroom, one thatís red with white dots, etc. Basically a whole host of numerous mushrooms.
...Iíd also like some types macro algae if I find it anywhere.
...Possibly an elephant ear mushroom or a larger bullseye mushroom specimen (not sure if I want to risk that though with there being the chance that my clownfish will try to host in it and I wake up with two dead clownfish and a very fat mushroom, plus they can grow a wee bit too big for my tank)
...Iíd also like some suggestions from you lot as well. Any other types of mushroom that are a wee bit out of the ordinary to take centre stage. Any other low to medium light corals that remind you of forests/magic gardens of despair?

So far I have suffered a few set backs, the major one involved melting mushies. The first shipment of green hairy mushrooms was a disaster, they came a day late and were in a terrible condition. I tried to rescue them but they practically melted into a brown gloop. I noticed that it started on the most shriveled mushroom and then spread VERY QUICKLY to the other three. I didnít know what it was at first and thought they were bleaching or something but eventually I sucked one up and realised it had fallen apart and had large mushy holes in it. I sucked the rest up and phoned the company. They sent me out another one which had 9 massive mushies on it for compensation. These ones arrived on time but I noticed one was slightly shriveled, I kept an eye on it and then saw the brown stringy gloop of death appearing on it, I quickly hovered it up and tried to save it by cutting of the infected section. Unfortunately the mushroom was too far gone as the dissolving brown stuff had began at the base of the mushroom. However my quick actions were able to save the rest of the colony.

After that fiasco I have decided never to order online again and I am currently trying to persuade my LFS to take orders for me. They are actually a garden shop with a small marine aquarium section (LFS are very difficult to find in Scotland!) I have heard of a place in Glasgow but itís about an hour and a bits drive away...

So Iíll try and keep you all updated with pictures and info on how everything is coming on quite regularly! Oh and if you have any suggestions on how to recreate the look Iím after let me know as well!

Iíll add some pictures once my green hairy mushrooms have settled down and Iíve found somewhere appropriate to place them. For now here is a picture of some mushrooms I found in my garden.

Garden_Shrooms.jpg

#2
bwoodward0012

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you may want to check reefgardener.net in the organic frags section and check out the magic mushrooms. they seem fitting for your setup. i also like supermans (red with blue spots), blueberry explosions (blue with light blue spots) and lots of other random mushroom types. i have been pretty successful with most but have had a hard time keeping orange yumas. i don't know why but i just can't seem to keep them.

also, not a mushroom but dark none the less, check out black sun coral. it requires some attention (mostly feeding) and likes to be in shaded areas (under an overhang), but would go with the dark theme.

good luck

#3
nathanq.inc

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I'll definitely have a look into them, cheers. Wow the black sun corals look incredible! I even have the perfect shady over hang for it. The only problem will be feeding it without my skunk cleaner shrimp going mental and stealing all the food or nipping my hand from leaving it in his den too long.

#4
Lee Van Reef

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I like the Miyazaki name theme going on here ;)
Can't wait to see it develop!

#5
nathanq.inc

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July Update

So it took me about an hour to settle on one lay out and it ended up being very similar to the one I began with, just a wee bit more towered towards the back to try and set the back drop for my forest.

Here's the FTS now:
FTS_July_2011__update_.JPG

The green hairy mushrooms put my indonesian purple/blue tonga's to shame! I very happy with the way they look, exactly what I was looking for. Almost looks like moss! With the shape, colouring and texture.

here's a close up:
Lime_Feath_Duster_Worm_and_Green_Hairy_Mushrooms.JPG

(The lime feather duster worm likes pretending it's a green hairy mushroom to hide from my shrimps)

I also checked out The Reef Garden. I'm very up set that I'm not in America! Shipping to Scotland would be impossible however I did make a list of things I want from the website so I can go hunting for them over here:

...Magician Palythoa
...Magic Mushrooms
...Blue Lagoon Mushrooms (they colours might not fit in though...)
...Flaming Kedds Redds
(too name a few!)

Anyway, more updates to come!

#6
.Newman.

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those are greenish rhodactis shrooms...
nice tank and dusters. tell us how they do.

Edited by .Newman., 07 August 2011 - 06:54 AM.

Posted Image

#7
nathanq.inc

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Thanks man! So far the tanks doing good. Waiting on my September pay before I buy anything else and get a good proper update. They only thing I've changed is the position of the mushies, I swapped them about because the rhodactis (thanks for the I.D.) wasn't enjoying the flow over where it was.

Is the rhodactis in the same sort of family as the elephant ear mushroom then? I've heard the ones I've got can grow to about 12" (which would be amazing!)

#8
nathanq.inc

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August Update

Ok so the new rock that entered my tank caused some sort of mini cycle of sorts and buggered my parameters. I've got a new test kit coming on Monday to test the levels but for now it's a 20% water change today and a 20% water change on Sunday. I hope my urchin makes it as I've heard they don't tolerate these conditions very well!

Things that don't look too good just now - midnight feather duster worm (doesn't open up fully) and rhodactis mushrooms (slightly shrivelled). Also my GSP is suffering from algae growing on it which is thriving in the extra nutrients.

On the other hand my lime feather duster worm looks fantastic and has had a good couple of cm growth in the last month, and my Indonesian tonga's are sprouting babies everywhere.

I've also noticed my clowns looking a bit nervous. It seems that they want to hide from me when I go over to the tank and any sudden movements sends they skittering into their hidey hole.

Hopefully everything sorts itself out though as I was looking to pick up some xenia on thursday and maybe a scarlet hermit or two to replace my blue legged one that got de-homed by the antillean hermit and then eaten by Calcifer...

EDIT: my stomatella also passed away, I've never been able to keep snails and I have no idea why. They always end up at the very top of the water line in my tank and then they fall off and die within the week.

Here's some pictures because everyone loves pictures!

Howl_and_his_minions.JPG

Totoro_Munching_Some_Carrot.JPG
(He actually looks fine! I'm just being a worry worm! Oh and I managed to get him eating as well. He even knows to come to the surface when he wants fed. He's like my under water puppy dog!)

Edited by nathanq.inc, 19 August 2011 - 06:49 AM.


#9
Paigee

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Very cool concept! Can't wait to see how it turns out!

I hear you about wishing you were American... I can't get these things shipped to Canada either, and there are so many more choices of websites to order corals from down there!

#10
nathanq.inc

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Very cool concept! Can't wait to see how it turns out!

I hear you about wishing you were American... I can't get these things shipped to Canada either, and there are so many more choices of websites to order corals from down there!


I know! It's very frustrating. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person in the hobby down here. That's not good news then as I was thinking about moving out to Canada once I had finished my apprenticeship over here! (6 or 7 years away though) Nicer weather, nicer people, more reef shops (that one needs to scored off the positives now!)

#11
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It was my Nitrates that got a bit high! That's what brought about the cyano, it's all started clearing up now and I've decided to replace my skimmer with some cheato and small LEDs to give it its light. I'll be running these on a reverse daylight cycle. Also putting some light in my live rock chamber as well on the same cycle. Hopefully this will keep my nitrates in check!

Water changes have helped as well but I fear I'm loosing the midnight feather duster worm

However I did find on ebay a new addition to my tank - http://www.ebay.co.u...#ht_2942wt_1005. hopefully coming on Friday or Saturday. Thought it would go well with the foresty effect! Also my Indonesian Purple Tonga Mushroom started firing out babies! Two took hold in the rock work and one got stuck in a wee nook, hopefully he can get himself out.

Full update later with pictures once the back chambers and my macro have all been sorted out!

#12
nathanq.inc

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Howl_Eating_Dinner_in_a_Caulerpa_Fern.JPG

Howl doing his job and cleaning up while hanging out in his new favourite place (yes that is my midnight feather duster worm sticking out his mouth...)

Astrae_Snail.JPG
This is the snail that got me all my free frags! (£3.20 for him and with him I got all the loose frags they had in their main coral tank - two mushies, not sure what they are yet, two button polyps - unidentified and a strange coral that I have yet to identify)

Pictures are proving difficult because they aren't right up at the glass but I found somebody who couldn't get closer to the glass!
Sea_Star.JPG

(EDIT: One mushroom might be a watermelon one but it's hard to tell because it haven't fully opened up and the other one is the same style as a superman mushroom but its green/violet with orange dots. The other coral might be an acropora or a very small colt coral (I'm really not sure - hope it's colt as they seem easier to care for). Still not sure what kinds of button polyps I have but they look mental anyway (noticed that each one has a wee baby one on the stalk now as well)

Edited by nathanq.inc, 27 August 2011 - 06:40 AM.


#13
nathanq.inc

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September Update

A disaster of sorts... came home from a hard day of macro excel programming and my macro algae Caulerpa Sertularioides got all horny on its fronds and went sexual! jeeez louise! anyway I took it out and boiled it and then put it in the bin in a plastic bag all of its own... it doesn't seem to have affected my tank too much (no cloudy water or that) but I did a water change and changed the activated carbon just in case.

The Cheato is doing fine though with the 1W LED bulbs shinning on them in the back chamber and all my new coral frags have taken pretty well. The tree looking coral is a Kenyan Tree Coral and it's already doubled in size!

I have saw some pretty nice corals on a website for a uk based coral frag seller and the way they package them looks pretty good as well so hopefully no more shipping disasters! Going to wait until the cyano gets itself tae first then get some. Going to get a Gorgonian Cream or a Tubipora Musica or a Archelia Horrescens or Cyphastrea or oh man there are so many I want!! but I can only afford one a month... two if I'm lucky

Edited by nathanq.inc, 07 September 2011 - 10:22 AM.


#14
nathanq.inc

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My Duncanopsammia axifuga arrived to day! very excited and I can't wait for it to open up. Unfortunately my antillean hermit crab ate my banded trochus last night so that's me back down to no snails again - decided that I can't keep snails because of the crabs so I'll just get some more crabs instead. Also decided that I'm going to upgrade my lighting with a D.I.Y retrofit L.E.D array to try and fix this cyano bacteria that pops up every time my lights start going (three months after I purchase them).

Anyway here is me with duncan...

P1070639.JPG

P1070642.JPG

P1070640.JPG

#15
castiel

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I really like duncans. Please post when it opens up!

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#16
nathanq.inc

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P1070653.JPG

There she is, not quite fully opened up yet but the colours are looking very promising! pastel green to the eye mmmm i think it should be fully out by tomorrow :lol:

#17
gena

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Love your mushroom forest. I'll be following along for sure :D

#18
nathanq.inc

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Thanks! I see you like your shrooms as well :wizard: lol. Your red ones look pure magic, was hoping to pick some up next time I see them on reefworks. Do you find them to be very fussy? my mushies are incredibly fussy, basically any amount of flow over them makes them curl up and cry :( which is limiting me to keeping them on the sand bed (apart from the stray one that is right in the middle of my rock work - a few more have sprung up as well, i'd like to update with a picture but the cyano bacteria is shameful)

#19
gena

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Thanks! I see you like your shrooms as well :wizard: lol. Your red ones look pure magic, was hoping to pick some up next time I see them on reefworks. Do you find them to be very fussy? my mushies are incredibly fussy, basically any amount of flow over them makes them curl up and cry :( which is limiting me to keeping them on the sand bed (apart from the stray one that is right in the middle of my rock work - a few more have sprung up as well, i'd like to update with a picture but the cyano bacteria is shameful)


Those red ones have all scattered. They hated where they were and there was nothing I could do about it. All of my unhappy mushrooms are located in mushroom corner. The far left back side of my tank. That's their happy place now. It's where the current has taken them. Mushrooms are so fussy!

#20
nathanq.inc

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January 2012

That's the tank over a year old!

FTS Jan 2012
FTS_Jan_2012.JPG

Quite a few changes have happened over the last few months. The first major change was my lights. The cyano problem was doing my head in, it wasn't huge or anything but the patches that were there really annoyed me so I did a DIY LED retro fit for my Boyu TL450. So I know run 12 Cree LEDs 4 cool white and 8 Royal blues. The lights have been great and I love the moody atmosphere they give the tank as they are dimming down (as shown in the above FTS). I also saw a huge boom in coral growth when I installed them. Ran them for 10hrs a day at full whack (after slowly increasing over 3 weeks) but that brought problems of it's own and caused an out break in Dinoflagellates). Now I run them at 85% for 7 hrs a day (12 o'clock till 7 o'clock). This along with my spot application of H2O2 has killed off my dino problem and feel confident enough to post a picture of it!

Not had any fatalities in a while (apart from my hermit crabs who started killing each other one week... my antillean got killed and only one big brown legged survive. I bought 3 more blues for company.

I bought some new coral in December as well - Pulsing Xenia (which split with a week of entering the tank and looks to be splitting again), Euphyllia Ancora which is now hosting Sosuke and Mononoke it's still quite small so they look funny lying in it but still at least they have a home together now! Sosuke is properly obsessed with it though and never ever leaves it. I also got a Seriatopora Hystrix (Pink Birdsnest) but the dinoflagellates got to it and it's bleached and points of irritation but with good care it should be back to normal.

One of my mushrooms (the water melon looking one) and my Kenya Tree have found homes in the dark recesses under my rocks. They've been there for a while and don't look like they are bothered by haveing practically no light. I have also noticed that because Mononoke always used to go for my feather duster worm whenever it reared it's bright green head it has taken to being nocturnal, so when She's alseep he comes out, it's a little annoying though because I never see it in the light! but at least it found a survival method. Howl's also doing fine. He got stung pretty baddly off the Hammer Coral but he has learned not to sit on top of it now.

P1100267.JPG

#21
iball1804

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I love your tank! :wub:

#22
nathanq.inc

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I love your tank! :wub:


Thanks! Your's is pretty neat as well :) I'v got myself some mushrooms coming on the 14th. 1st time i'll have used this guy so hopefully the stuffs as minted as the pictures

Posted Image

I love the creepy colour scheme it's got and the texture... ooooooh i'm far too excited to wait this long for it!

#23
Old Gregg

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Cool tank! The rockwork is awesome

#24
Weetabix7

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Thanks! Your's is pretty neat as well :) I'v got myself some mushrooms coming on the 14th. 1st time i'll have used this guy so hopefully the stuffs as minted as the pictures

Posted Image

I love the creepy colour scheme it's got and the texture... ooooooh i'm far too excited to wait this long for it!


I used to have some of these!
They are cool, should look good under your lighting.
I've actually always wanted to do a Mushroom Tank like this.

#25
nathanq.inc

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Cool tank! The rockwork is awesome


Cheers! I jumbled the rock work around for ages before I finally settled on a set up, really pleased about the wee cave I managed to create which my sea serpent lives in, he skuttles out when the lights start dimming.

I used to have some of these!
They are cool, should look good under your lighting.
I've actually always wanted to do a Mushroom Tank like this.


what happened to them?! lol