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SC Coastal "Pest" Anemone Tank


Monochrome5

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FTS - 9/14/2011



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Meet the Pests:

 

Stonewall Jackson, the Blue Stone Crab (Menippe mercenaria)

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Warty Rock Anemone (Bunodosoma cavernata)

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Banded Aiptasia (Aiptasia sp.)

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Common Red Aiptasia (Aiptasia sp.)

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Bubble Tip Mojano (Actinaria sp.)

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Equipment:

5g AGA

500GPH Whisper HOB Power Filter

50W Tetra Submersible Heater

24W Finnex Power Compact Fixture

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Hey guys. I've got this crazy idea to design a species only pico tank using native SC "pest" anemones. To clarify, the tank would be stocked with various aptasia and small actiniaria anemones that swarm the docks around Charleston, SC. All anemones would be either collected by myself or graciously donated by people who want them out of their tank haha. And before everyone jumps on me about collection laws, etc... I am licensed! I am a marine biologist and well aware of the laws. I have a research collection license and can snag as much of these guys as I want down at the lab. I do have some equipment questions, though...

 

I don't really want to go more than a 3 gallon for this set up. How's the JBJ pico? I hear the stock lighting is crap, but I'm not too concerned with the lighting. I've kept a trio of aptasia alive in a two inch deep petri dish for over a month using nothing but the fluorescent lights in the ceiling of the lab, so I don't think lighting would really be an issue. I'm not sure about some of the other micro-nems we have around here, but the various actiniaria we have down in the lab are living in petri dishes and small specimen jars without anything special (other than some diced oysters every few days). Anyway, how are the JBJ picos? I've seen a lot of people on here with them and they seem to enjoy the setup.

 

My other thoughts are the Dymax IQ3, a plain old AGA 2.5g, or something from ebay/something someone on here is selling.

 

Any suggestions? I'd like to keep this as streamlined (and cheap!) as possible. Filtration/flow isn't too important to me, as these guys will live in just about any water conditions. Let me know what you guys think!

 

JBJ Pico would be perfect. My LFS has an aptasia they have kept alive in a specimen cup on the desk for like 3 weeks with zero flow, lighting or water changes. They are damn near indestructible.

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So I've been examining picos and the like, but haven't found something that really catches my eye. The price of the JBL is excellent, but it doesn't give me the look I want. I'm trying to recreate a dock pylon.

 

Tonight I had an idea... While drinking Mt Dew (I'm an addict) straight from the two liter I thought "Why not pico this?". And the idea took off. While putting a pico in the actual bottle would be rather silly, designing something with the same general dimensions sounds like a plan. I'm thinking roughly 14" or more tall, with 6"x6" length and depth. I'm trying to recreate a pylon, so I would mount a small, salt-cured wooden log in the center to mimic a pylon. Then add nems and enjoy... No real live rock (perhaps some rubble at the base) and a bit of sand. Since lighting/water quality doesn't really concern me, I could really get this tank to work (I think).

 

I'm thinking one or two of these lights would give it more than sufficient lighting:

 

http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/prod...=20601&s=lh

 

A little HOB filter converted to a fuge would provide heat/chaeto (heat from these dual 10W submersible halogens I have lying around). Easy, budget tank with potentially neat results. Now I just need to find someone good with acrylic... :)

 

I'll try to draw up a picture and post it tomorrow night.

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Can't wait to see how this turns out! I had some aptaisia on my liverock for a while and was debating on setting up a small tank to see how they grow while keeping them well away from my DT. Though later on I decided to throw a peppermint shrimp in the tank after the aptaisia proved rather difficult to remove and were bothering my zoas. :)

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I wish I still lived in Charleston! (well Ladson, by summerville) I miss that place terribly! I'll be back in July though!

 

Anyhow, back on topic, I am sure that instead of building a cylindrical container you could probably find a cheap vase with the dimensions you are looking for.

 

A quick google search found these:

http://www.eventswholesale.com/-strse-30/5..._7c5695_a_7cD55

 

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80175091

 

http://www.weddingflowersandmore.com/zinnia.html

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I wish I still lived in Charleston! (well Ladson, by summerville) I miss that place terribly! I'll be back in July though!

 

Anyhow, back on topic, I am sure that instead of building a cylindrical container you could probably find a cheap vase with the dimensions you are looking for.

 

A quick google search found these:

http://www.eventswholesale.com/-strse-30/5..._7c5695_a_7cD55

 

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80175091

 

http://www.weddingflowersandmore.com/zinnia.html

 

Hmm... Didn't think of a vase... Definitely a possibility. I worry about being able to mount a little filter on the back of a curved vase, though. I'll hit up goodwill this week and look around :)

 

Here's what I came up with... The only thing I worry about is it will be top heavy and a swift smack from my greyhound's tail may send it to the carpet. Maybe I could put some sort of lip on the bottom to keep it stable? And of course it would be rimless. What do you guys think?

 

PicoPrototype.jpg

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http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2753110

 

Thought about using this? You could drill a hole in the middle of the log to fit over the bubble pipe, and retrofit in some cheap lighting.

 

 

While definitely the right shape, they just don't really work that great. Undergravel filters suck. Literally. Which means tons of sand to clean out. Plus the tank is a bit pricey for what it is. If I went that route I would probably just get a cheap hex tank or something.

 

After some investigation and talking with other reefers, I'm thinking a log may not be a good idea. They tend to deteriorate in saltwater, and even more so in aquarium conditions. So new idea... Fake it :) The LFS has a PERFECTLY shaped piece of branching rock (nearly perfectly cylindrical, solid, straight branch). Tie some dock rope around the top for that "added touch" and we're looking at a neat centerpiece. Now I need to find a tank...

 

There really aren't many prefab pico tanks that are 14"+ high :(

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Lots of people have been throwing this around, I believe someone actually made one. Would be cool to see another one

 

 

Yeah I remember seeing the idea before, but I wasn't able to find the thread again to see if it actually came about.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Don't know why I didn't think of this sooner, but I just now remembered that I have a 2.5g acrylic bowfront sitting in the garage at my mom's house. I used to use it as a betta tank. It would be perfect for these nems! Hopefully I'll be able to pick it up in the next few weeks and get it going!

 

Don't remember the brand, but I know it's acrylic, has a hood with ~10w PC light and a Whisper HOB filter. I'll either mod the filter or get an AC70 for flow. I'll likely ditch the canopy all together and throw a clip on LED system or 12" Coralife on there. Nothing spectacular, but it should work nicely.

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That scape looks like an awesome idea.

 

 

Thanks AM! I'm toying with the idea of getting dry rock from reefcleaners.org and making a sort of rock pillar. I'm not sure if I should do liverock or dry with this tank. I may even just throw my wetsuit on and grab some from out by the lab... I dunno. Decisions are hard :blink:

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Mr. Microscope

I love that tank design. Do you think you'd run into problems having wood in the tank? BTW, if you don't want to make your own tank, try the high Fluval Chi. Get rid of the stock lighting of course. It's 10 x 10 x 16. I think 6.6 gallons or something. The Fluval Spec looks like a nice little AIO too. 'Tall and 2 gallons.

 

Also, I have the JBJ Picotope. I like it, but have been into tall tanks lately. I'd go with your log plan.

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I love that tank design. Do you think you'd run into problems having wood in the tank? BTW, if you don't want to make your own tank, try the high Fluval Chi. Get rid of the stock lighting of course. It's 10 x 10 x 16. I think 6.6 gallons or something. The Fluval Spec looks like a nice little AIO too. 'Tall and 2 gallons.

 

Also, I have the JBJ Picotope. I like it, but have been into tall tanks lately. I'd go with your log plan.

 

 

That's just the thing... I've been told by several people that logs = bad news in saltwater aquariums. I could always do a fake one, I suppose. My plan was to possibly imitate the log with a long, cylindrical hunk of live rock. I found a piece at the LFS that's perfect. I just don't know how the heck to get it to stand up.

 

As far as tanks go, I'm thinking I'll use my 2.5g bowfront that I have at home. It's going to fit in better with my budget right now haha. Unless someone with some acrylic skills wants to make a tank for me for <$100...

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Mr. Microscope

Good idea. Try it with the bow, breed up an army of aiptasia, and see how well it works. You can upgrade later to the tall tank. Then, you'll have a good start on your livestock with all the kinks worked out.

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Good idea. Try it with the bow, breed up an army of aiptasia, and see how well it works. You can upgrade later to the tall tank. Then, you'll have a good start on your livestock with all the kinks worked out.

 

That's probably what is going to happen. I'm collecting the aptasia and actinaria myself. The mojanos will either be LFS purchases or purchased from NR members. At this point I'm thinking I'm not going to run a heater. In lab we keep actinaria alive for months in petri dishes, so why invest in a heater? Haha.

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Mr. Microscope

Sounds like you'll need a chiller! :lol:

 

BTW, do you have any need for an awesome electron microscopist in your lab? I happen to know someone who loves reefs and microscopes. ;)

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could you just get something like these for the log and tip it sideways?

 

http://www.petfooddirect.com/product/15843...;utm_medium=cse

 

http://www.pet-dog-cat-supply-store.com/sh...p-flypage-44931

 

http://www.petmountain.com/show_product/11...rm=11442-524708

 

 

Edit:

 

This tank comes with a rock wall, and that first log link above is designed for this tank.

http://www.petsolutions.com/storefront/pro...FluvalShrimpKit

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Sounds like you'll need a chiller! :lol:

 

BTW, do you have any need for an awesome electron microscopist in your lab? I happen to know someone who loves reefs and microscopes. ;)

 

Nah. I keep my apartment ice cold (my ex hated it). No chiller needed :)

 

We have an awesome electron microscopist. At least 4, actually. South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources/NOAA owns and runs the lab (Hollings Marine Labs). You need FBI clearance to get in... so I'd suggest getting that first :ninja:

 

could you just get something like these for the log and tip it sideways?

 

http://www.petfooddirect.com/product/15843...;utm_medium=cse

 

http://www.pet-dog-cat-supply-store.com/sh...p-flypage-44931

 

http://www.petmountain.com/show_product/11...rm=11442-524708

 

 

Edit:

 

This tank comes with a rock wall, and that first log link above is designed for this tank.

http://www.petsolutions.com/storefront/pro...FluvalShrimpKit

 

 

 

I wanted the log to be vertical to represent a dock pylon. I don't think that's going to be possible... I could always try a fake one an super glue the heck out of it. Unfortunately doing a natural log in such a small tank would most likely result in super elevated nitrites/trates, plus it would need replacing every year or so as it breaks down. Saltwater and real logs = not a good combo in a small space.

 

I really, really like the idea of a rock wall built in... Anyone know an easy way to do it? I could mod the old tank I have now for a wall... What would I need?

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I wanted the log to be vertical to represent a dock pylon. I don't think that's going to be possible... I could always try a fake one an super glue the heck out of it. Unfortunately doing a natural log in such a small tank would most likely result in super elevated nitrites/trates, plus it would need replacing every year or so as it breaks down. Saltwater and real logs = not a good combo in a small space.

 

I really, really like the idea of a rock wall built in... Anyone know an easy way to do it? I could mod the old tank I have now for a wall... What would I need?

 

What was wrong with the tank with the built in rock wall I posted above? Then just get that first fake ceramic log and use the two part epoxy stuff people use to make rock walls and cement the log vertical to the rock wall. It shouldn't be any more/less messy than when people epoxy rocks to the back wall.

 

Rock wall info

http://www.nano-reef.com/search/q.php?cx=p...&sa=Go#1018

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