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Nano Sapiens 12g - Ye Olde Mixed Reef

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Nano sapiens
1 hour ago, vlangel said:

Gourgeous as always.  Is your remaining GBG sad that it has no one to fight with?  Didn't the 2 of them beat the tar out of each other?

 

Thank you.  The remaining GBG seems to be quite happy and even a bit perkier.  The constant battling had to have taken it's toll on both of them...

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Nano sapiens

A Bit of Trouble in Paradise...

 

Seeing that this little tank has been up and running for over 10 years, troubles have been relatively few.  However, as with any aquarium that has been set up for a long time and is doing ok certain issues are bound to crop up.

 

Over the last couple months I've been trying to control a very beautiful, but really large Rhodactis.  Kind of hard when the 'shroom expands to over 8" in diameter in a 12g cube and is potent enough to take out all it's neighbors (even other Rhodactis show stress when this one touches them).  The only way to control the expansion (without continually snipping the edges) was to aim flow at it since it has very thin and light tissue at the margins.  Since I've actually lost a few Rhodatis over the last year, I decided to deal with this once-and-for-all by scraping and chiseling this 'shroom off it's perch and banishing it to the sand bed.  What's left is not so pretty (note the bleached and obviously irritated remaining Rhodactis cf. inchoata).

 

20190112_115655.jpg.915501247be15d99572e001796392ca7.jpg

 

I can now redirect flow away from the remaining Rhodactis and hope to see recovery and improvement over the next couple months.

 

Other issues at present are encrusting stony corals starting to eliminate nearby Zoanthid colonies (and each other).  This one is a lot more difficult to deal with and attempting to project into the future, I predict that within a year or two they will have taken out all local Zoanthids.  If I let this go undisturbed, I foresee a tank that will eventually have a much reduced variety of encrusters, too, as just a few will dominate.  At this point I'm going to let nature take it's course and see where this all goes...

 

20190112_103521.jpg.fb2925e9a009d59925cd1ffbdfb9d0ad.jpg

 

"Molten Lava' Leptoseris (steel blue with bright blue-green eyes) encroaching on Pavona maldivensis (top right) and orange Zoanthid colony (middle, slightly left), Leptastrea coming up from below and starting to overgrow the orange Zoanthid colony.

 

Maintenance wise, I've reduced my water changes from 2x/wk (10% total) to once/week (5% total).  Nearly two months now and I haven't seen any negative changes to the system (I don't expect any since the tank runs naturally low PO4 and NO3).  Saves a bit of time,  water and salt  :)

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WV Reefer
14 minutes ago, Nano sapiens said:

A Bit of Trouble in Paradise...

 

Seeing that this little tank has been up and running for over 10 years, troubles have been relatively few.  However, as with any aquarium that has been set up for a long time and is doing ok certain issues are bound to crop up.

 

Over the last couple months I've been trying to control a very beautiful, but really large Rhodactis.  Kind of hard when the 'shroom expands to over 8" in diameter in a 12g cube and is potent enough to take out all it's neighbors (even other Rhodactis show stress when this one touches them).  The only way to control the expansion (without continually snipping the edges) was to aim flow at it since it has very thin and light tissue at the margins.  Since I've actually lost a few Rhodatis over the last year, I decided to deal with this once-and-for-all by scraping and chiseling this 'shroom off it's perch and banishing it to the sand bed.  What's left is not so pretty (note the bleached and obviously irritated remaining Rhodactis cf. inchoata).

 

20190112_115655.jpg.915501247be15d99572e001796392ca7.jpg

 

I can now redirect flow away from the remaining Rhodactis and hope to see recovery and improvement over the next couple months.

 

Other issues at present are encrusting stony corals starting to eliminate nearby Zoanthid colonies (and each other).  This one is a lot more difficult to deal with and attempting to project into the future, I predict that within a year or two they will have taken out all local Zoanthids.  If I let this go undisturbed, I foresee a tank that will eventually have a much reduced variety of encrusters, too, as just a few will dominate.  At this point I'm going to let nature take it's course and see where this all goes...

 

20190112_103521.jpg.fb2925e9a009d59925cd1ffbdfb9d0ad.jpg

 

"Molten Lava' Leptoseris (steel blue with bright blue-green eyes) encroaching on Pavona maldivensis (top right) and orange Zoanthid colony (middle, slightly left), Leptastrea coming up from below and starting to overgrow the orange Zoanthid colony.

 

Maintenance wise, I've reduced my water changes from 2x/wk (10% total) to once/week (5% total).  Nearly two months now and I haven't seen any negative changes to the system (I don't expect any since the tank runs naturally low PO4 and NO3).  Saves a bit of time,  water and salt  🙂

It’s always interesting to see who wins the long game in a coral war.  

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Nano sapiens
44 minutes ago, WV Reefer said:

It’s always interesting to see who wins the long game in a coral war.  

Yes, it's like a bar room brawl in very slow motion and one knows that only a few really tough and ruthless hombres will be left standing.  

 

The 'Molten Lava' Leptoseris is my pick for eventual stony coral domination.  Personally, I have my doubts that it is a Leptoseris since this genus typically has sweeper tentacles, but the Molten Lava does not.  Whatever it is, its crafty trick is to completely suppress the other encrusters' sweepers (how it does this is likely with chemicals, but I haven't seen any studies on this type of coral warfare) and then overgrow the competitor.  I think that the only other stony coral with a chance against it is Leptastrea since it relies on direct contact to sting its neighbors, not sweepers.

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teenyreef

Now that the corals are really growing in the 40g, I've been enjoying (sort of) seeing which corals overcome and which corals succumb. And the strategies they use. The monticaps give way to the acropora at first because they can't tolerate being touched by them. But it's all a devious ploy because the just start growing up and over the acro encrustation, and seem to win in the long run.

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Nano sapiens
10 hours ago, teenyreef said:

Now that the corals are really growing in the 40g, I've been enjoying (sort of) seeing which corals overcome and which corals succumb. And the strategies they use. The monticaps give way to the acropora at first because they can't tolerate being touched by them. But it's all a devious ploy because the just start growing up and over the acro encrustation, and seem to win in the long run.

Speaking of Monti Caps, I had one way back in my 55g that kept doing that to a Leptastrea.  The Lep would grow forward and kill the Monti, but the Monti would overgrow from behind and shade/kill the Lep.  These two went round-and-round the same rock like this for years  :)

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Nano sapiens

Rescue Mission (Zoanthids in distress)

 

Mission of mercy today to save what was left of my Zoanthids from the SPS Encrusters:

 

1799251620_12gZoanthidRescue_021619.jpg.77a454d23261e6c23680fe6f0aa00537.jpg

 

I had hoped not to have to intervene and that they would offer up more resistance, but unfortunately they were on their way to oblivion (Ultimate Chaos, Vampires, Hawaiian Ding-Dangs).  The plan now is to let them recover and then check every week to make sure that I didn't accidentally transfer any of the encrusters along with the Zoanthids (any encrusters will be smothered under super glue).  They have to stay on the sand bed since I don't have anywhere else that's suitable.  The challenge now will be to keep them at a safe distance from all the Rics...

 

Other than the inevitable turf wars and the Rhodactis still in the process of recovery (previous post), things are going along as usual.

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Christopher Marks

How's the zoanthid rescue project going @Nano sapiens? Any signs of new growth? I'm glad you decided to move them away from their impending SPS encrusted doom, they didn't stand a chance!

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Nano sapiens
1 hour ago, Christopher Marks said:

How's the zoanthid rescue project going @Nano sapiens? Any signs of new growth? I'm glad you decided to move them away from their impending SPS encrusted doom, they didn't stand a chance!

Thanks for asking!  The only ones doing good are the Vampires.  The Hawaiian Ding-Dangs just sit there closed up like bumps on a rock and the Chaos...well, looks a bit funky.  I suspect that the Vamps will take over the rock eventually.

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Nano sapiens

A few events worth mentioning...

 

Donated my largest 'Ric Rock' to a local LFS a few weeks ago.  I wanted to free up some sand bed space to make it easier to move the LR when I clean without removing anything from the tank..  On a whim, I took a sample of tank water in recently for testing (I haven't tested NO3 and PO4 in a few years) and got 20 ppm NO3 and .01 ppm PO4.  I attribute the relatively high nitrate at least partially to the removal of the large Ric rock (reduction in denitrification sites) and the low Po4 is typical for this system (at least partially due to the exclusive use of Kalkwasser).

 

Have been dealing with an outbreak of the dreaded 'brown algae/cyano/dino/WHY' on the sand bed. for the last 8-9 months which is most likely related to the NO3/PO4 imbalance.  Performed a full sand bed cleaning today.  Over the last couple months I have noted that there are virtually no smaller organisms present like Bristleworms, Brittlestars, etc.  So looking for the possible cause, I went back in my notes and checked the timeline and I believe I've nailed the issue down to the introduction of my Callogobius hasseltii fish.  Around 2 months after the introduction of this fish is when the SB problem took off.  Since it is a nocturnal species and is very adept at finding worms, pods and such, it made quick work of anything edible.  So it's been donated, but it''s a bitter/sweet thing as it was a favorite fish. 

 

And so that leaves me with three small fish, and most corals looking good and doing just fine (despite the elevated Nitrate).  The only exceptions are the Rhodactis mushrooms, surprisingly, which have been struggling for the last few months, but other Ricordia mushrooms are doing very well (especially the R. yuma).

 

The long term plan at this point is to keep feeding the tank as normal and continue with the weekly SB vacuuming and see if the N03 will eventually drop back to the more typical 2-5 ppm levels.  If not, I might try adding a bit of PO4 additive to rebalance the NO3/P04 ratio.

 

After the thorough SB cleaning:

 

 

 

 

 

12 FTS_041319.JPG

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WV Reefer
6 minutes ago, Nano sapiens said:

A few events worth mentioning...

 

Donated my largest 'Ric Rock' to a local LFS a few weeks ago.  I wanted to free up some sand bed space to make it easier to move the LR when I clean without removing anything from the tank..  On a whim, I took a sample of tank water in recently for testing (I haven't tested NO3 and PO4 in a few years) and got 20 ppm NO3 and .01 ppm PO4.  I attribute the relatively high nitrate at least partially to the removal of the large Ric rock (reduction in denitrification sites) and the low Po4 is typical for this system (at least partially due to the exclusive use of Kalkwasser).

 

Have been dealing with an outbreak of the dreaded 'brown algae/cyano/dino/WHY' on the sand bed. for the last 8-9 months which is most likely related to the NO3/PO4 imbalance.  Performed a full sand bed cleaning today.  Over the last couple months I have noted that there are virtually no smaller organisms present like Bristleworms, Brittlestars, etc.  So looking for the possible cause, I went back in my notes and checked the timeline and I believe I've nailed the issue down to the introduction of my Callogobius hasseltii fish.  Around 2 months after the introduction of this fish is when the SB problem took off.  Since it is a nocturnal species and is very adept at finding worms, pods and such, it made quick work of anything edible.  So it's been donated, but it''s a bitter/sweet thing as it was a favorite fish. 

 

And so that leaves me with three small fish, and most corals looking good and doing just fine (despite the elevated Nitrate).  The only exceptions are the Rhodactis mushrooms, surprisingly, which have been struggling for the last few months, but other Ricordia mushrooms are doing very well (especially the R. yuma).

 

The long term plan at this point is to keep feeding the tank as normal and continue with the weekly SB vacuuming and see if the N03 will eventually drop back to the more typical 2-5 ppm levels.  If not, I might try adding a bit of PO4 additive to rebalance the NO3/P04 ratio.

 

A quickie cell phone pic after the thorough SB cleaning:

 

 

12g FTS 041319.jpg

 

Looks great! 😀

 

Sorry that you had to let your favorite fish go. Are you gonna replenish the missing critters?

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Nano sapiens
5 hours ago, WV Reefer said:

 

Looks great! 😀

 

Sorry that you had to let your favorite fish go. Are you gonna replenish the missing critters?

Thanks.  I've always had the view that the tank health as a whole is more important than any one animal in it, but sometimes it's not so easy to let go.

 

I'm going to see what develops naturally over the next few weeks.  I know that there are at least two Bristleworms left, a Cyclops or three, a few Mysids in the sump and maybe a few Brittle stars hanging out where I can't see them.  I added some TigerPods today, but I think it very unlikely that they will establish considering that they are easy and tasty treats for my Barnacle Blenny.  The tank also has some strange Amphipods (much smaller than the hunch-backed Gammarus type), so I know those will 'multiply and be fruitful'.  If I see a few sand bed worms eventually, then I'll know things are really looking up :)

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DutchNanoReefer88

Looks very clean and mature, love the look of it!

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Nano sapiens
46 minutes ago, DutchNanoReefer88 said:

Looks very clean and mature, love the look of it!

Thank you.  The corals started off as tiny frags and grew into what you see now over the last ten years.

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debbeach13

So great to see this tank still up and running. Your doing some thing right.

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yoshii

Sad to see you had to part with your favorite fish, but hopefully it will be worth it when the SB fauna recovers. The tank still looks good! 🙂

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Nano sapiens
2 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

So great to see this tank still up and running. Your doing some thing right.

Thank you, I try  :)

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Nano sapiens
On 4/14/2019 at 10:40 AM, yoshii said:

Sad to see you had to part with your favorite fish, but hopefully it will be worth it when the SB fauna recovers. The tank still looks good! 🙂

Hi Yoshii!  Thanks and luckily it's still chugging along okay.  I think having a decent Bristleworm population again to work the top of the SB will help with the brown algae/cyan issues.

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Nano sapiens

11th year FTS:

 

1901563276_12gFTS11thYear_080419.jpg.331f91e5ccbd4107d528f2afa6aeca4d.jpg

 

Alrighty then, so here we are at the 11th year mark.  Had some ups and downs this year, but all-in-all everything is doing okay.

 

Dealing with sand bed dinos/diatoms still, but luckily not the type that negatively effect corals and not enough of a bloom to smother anything.  Raising PO4 to .08 - .1 ppm did little to curb their growth and my past experience has been that they'll subside come winter if I keep the tank stable.

 

Removed a large green Ricordia over-grown rock to allow easier cleaning.  Bought two new fish, a Tangaroa Goby (Ctenogobiops tangaroai) and a Saddled Blenny (Malacoctenus triangulatus), but only the Blenny survived (the indo-pacific Goby was attacked by all my other exclusively Caribbean fish, so looks like they got together and planned the assault on the 'foreigner')  ☹️

 

After 2-3 days of torture, the Goby ended up in my largest Yuma (nom, nom...):

 

1448533275_TangaroaShrimpGobyBeingConsumed3_070619.jpg.ae4ea967d47e50d0048e1bf95d90ab74.jpg

 

'Down the Hatch':

 

1152135669_TangaroaShrimpGobyBeingConsumed6_070619.thumb.jpg.fdb99bcce98f0a7155abd2e08f890ec4.jpg

 

..but in the end the Yuma spit it back out (I would have been really surprised if it had actually succeeded in consuming this over 1" Goby).

 

Saddled Blenny:

 

2056050024_SaddledBlenny_070619.jpg.f8acc6fe3cfaaf9648b4d088ec24ab92.jpg

 

This is the most intelligent little reef fish that I've ever come across.  Very observant, and can quickly solve problems such as what do you do when a Goby with sharp teeth confronts you? (sneak around from the rear and grab the tail).  Or how do you get food from a coral that is being protected by the aquarist's pipette? (come at the pipette from all possible angles until you find one that the aquarist can't protect well and steal the coral's food).

 

Still have the ancient GBG brusier:

 

1382195142_OldGBG_070219.jpg.25cc11979047c8523717324e7290ee45.jpg

 

GBG and Tangaroa Goby (RIP) facing off:

 

616361905_OldGBGTangaroaGoby__070219.jpg.2753ac60dc7d92695e449f90ce728f54.jpg

 

'Chunk' the GBG is getting a bit slow these days, but he's learned to beg for food from a pipette at the water surface since he can't compete with the younger, faster fish.  The even older 'Yellow Striped' Cleaner Goby is still bopping around and the Eyebrow Barnacle Blenny is doing it's darting thing.

 

Bought a couple new Acans to replace a few Rhodactis that didn't like flow conditions on this rock slope:

 

1090170117_12gRightSideAcanWall_070219.jpg.8786fef0234fea82d376c1ffa929d378.jpg

 

So far, they are doing really well with 3-4x week feedings and I already see 4-5 new little heads popping up.

 

Where to go from here.  The plan moving forward for the upcoming year is to let the resident colonies grow out and keep the 'shrooms happy and hopefully multiplying.  I'd like to see if I can get the two Acans to fill up the entire inclined side wall and have the encrusters completely fill in the area previously occupied by the invasive ''Molten Lava Leptoseris' that I removed.  And have a clean sand bed again one day...

 

Thanks for looking!

 

Ralph.

 

 

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ninjamyst

sorry about the goby but the tank looks fantastic still!

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allesluge

11 years, that’s a benchmark very hard to reach; beautiful tank

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Nano sapiens
1 hour ago, ninjamyst said:

sorry about the goby but the tank looks fantastic still!

Thanks.  It's still chugging along and perhaps it'll make it to 12 years  :)

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Nano sapiens
51 minutes ago, allesluge said:

11 years, that’s a benchmark very hard to reach; beautiful tank

Thank you.  A smattering of persistence and a bit of luck  :)

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Elizabeth94

Beautiful beautiful tank. 11yrs? Gosh its been around for almost half my lifetime XD 

 

No issues between the rics and yuma? For some reason I thought the yumas were a bit more aggressive. Didn’t know they played well together. 

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WV Reefer
2 hours ago, Nano sapiens said:

11th year FTS:

 

1901563276_12gFTS11thYear_080419.jpg.331f91e5ccbd4107d528f2afa6aeca4d.jpg

 

Alrighty then, so here we are at the 11th year mark.  Had some ups and downs this year, but all-in-all everything is doing okay.

 

Dealing with sand bed dinos/diatoms still, but luckily not the type that negatively effect corals and not enough of a bloom to smother anything.  Raising PO4 to .08 - .1 ppm did little to curb their growth and my past experience has been that they'll subside come winter if I keep the tank stable.

 

Removed a large green Ricordia over-grown rock to allow easier cleaning.  Bought two new fish, a Tangaroa Goby (Ctenogobiops tangaroai) and a Saddled Blenny (Malacoctenus triangulatus), but only the Blenny survived (the indo-pacific Goby was attacked by all my other exclusively Caribbean fish, so looks like they got together and planned the assault on the 'foreigner')  ☹️

 

After 2-3 days of torture, the Goby ended up in my largest Yuma (nom, nom...):

 

1448533275_TangaroaShrimpGobyBeingConsumed3_070619.jpg.ae4ea967d47e50d0048e1bf95d90ab74.jpg

 

'Down the Hatch':

 

1152135669_TangaroaShrimpGobyBeingConsumed6_070619.thumb.jpg.fdb99bcce98f0a7155abd2e08f890ec4.jpg

 

..but in the end the Yuma spit it back out (I would have been really surprised if it had actually succeeded in consuming this over 1" Goby).

 

Saddled Blenny:

 

2056050024_SaddledBlenny_070619.jpg.f8acc6fe3cfaaf9648b4d088ec24ab92.jpg

 

This is the most intelligent little reef fish that I've ever come across.  Very observant, and can quickly solve problems such as what do you do when a Goby with sharp teeth confronts you? (sneak around from the rear and grab the tail).  Or how do you get food from a coral that is being protected by the aquarist's pipette? (come at the pipette from all possible angles until you find one that the aquarist can't protect well and steal the coral's food).

 

Still have the ancient GBG brusier:

 

1382195142_OldGBG_070219.jpg.25cc11979047c8523717324e7290ee45.jpg

 

GBG and Tangaroa Goby (RIP) facing off:

 

616361905_OldGBGTangaroaGoby__070219.jpg.2753ac60dc7d92695e449f90ce728f54.jpg

 

'Chunk' the GBG is getting a bit slow these days, but he's learned to beg for food from a pipette at the water surface since he can't compete with the younger, faster fish.  The even older 'Yellow Striped' Cleaner Goby is still bopping around and the Eyebrow Barnacle Blenny is doing it's darting thing.

 

Bought a couple new Acans to replace a few Rhodactis that didn't like flow conditions on this rock slope:

 

1090170117_12gRightSideAcanWall_070219.jpg.8786fef0234fea82d376c1ffa929d378.jpg

 

So far, they are doing really well with 3-4x week feedings and I already see 4-5 new little heads popping up.

 

Where to go from here.  The plan moving forward for the upcoming year is to let the resident colonies grow out and keep the 'shrooms happy and hopefully multiplying.  I'd like to see if I can get the two Acans to fill up the entire inclined side wall and have the encrusters completely fill in the area previously occupied by the invasive ''Molten Lava Leptoseris' that I removed.  And have a clean sand bed again one day...

 

Thanks for looking!

 

Ralph.

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Reef!! 🎉

 

That fat GBG is the best. 😃 

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