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Tharsis' 10 gallon soft coral tank


tharsis

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FTS 9/12/11

 

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FTS 5/30/11

 

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I have been keeping high tech planted freshwater tanks for awhile and I decided to make the plunge into saltwater tanks...mostly from the urging of my wife as she was fed up with seeing only green tanks. So I graciously obliged her and got to work on a spare 10 gallon.

 

I have been getting help on here (mostly identifying hitchhikers) for the last 3 weeks and am now going to start a journal. As this is my first time with SW please feel free to give me any opinions (good or bad) as I want to learn.

 

It is set up with:

 

4x18 watt Odyssea brand 20" fixture (2x10000 and 2 x actinics)

Marineland penguin 200 HOB

100 Watt heater

 

Crushed coral and live aragonite sand mixed

7 pounds live rock

2 pounds rubble

 

I am still playing around with the scape, not sure if I am happy with it. I was going for a peninsula type set-up tapering downwards, but the depth of the 10 gallon is somewhat limiting. I will probably move the the two pieces of rubble at the far left into the HOB. I also want to prop the large bottom piece up a bit to make a tunnel type structure. Any advice on the positioning of the rocks would be greatly appreciated.

 

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CUC: 4 nerites, 2 nassarius, 2 cerith, 2 , a crapload of dwarf ceriths, a crapload of periwinkles, a bunch of brittle stars and bristle worms as hitchhikers.

 

I added the CUC when I started seeing the diatom outbreak, and they handled that with ease. Now i am getting the green algae phase, and they are also making short work of that. Although the dirty glass is kinda driving me nuts...I want to clean it but I figure i will let the crew be happy. When I am through this initial phase i will likely get rid of most of the dwarf ceriths as they are an eyesore.

 

I just added a clown last week and he is doing really well. He decided to host the chaeto, and likes to sleep in the shower caddy.

 

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As for coral etc, I have what hitchhiked on the rocks that I purchased:

 

Some shrooms and majano.

 

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I really like the majano, very nice looking so I think I will keep it and make sure it doesn't get out of control.

You can see tons of bubbles on this piece of rock, i am assuming it is from algae photosynthesizing. In planted tanks, pearling like this can be a hard sought after thing...seems really easy in reef tanks :)

 

I hope the algae will go away with frequent water changes. I knew there was algae on it when I bought it, but it was free so I can't complain. The tanks in the LFS near my place are pretty rough, aiptasia and algae everywhere. A real bummer because his prices are really good.

 

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Here is a feather duster worm that hitchhiked in...pretty cool little guy.

 

So that is where I am at now. I think I will be adding the traditional soft coral stuff...some finger leathers, zoas, palys...

 

I will add a couple hermit crabs, maybe a shrimp (not sure what) and another fish (not sure what)... any suggestions about stocking would be great :)

 

Thanks!

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I have been keeping high tech planted freshwater tanks for awhile and I decided to make the plunge into saltwater tanks...mostly from the urging of my wife as she was fed up with seeing only green tanks. So I graciously obliged her and got to work on a spare 10 gallon.

 

I have been getting help on here (mostly identifying hitchhikers) for the last 3 weeks and am now going to start a journal. As this is my first time with SW please feel free to give me any opinions (good or bad) as I want to learn.

 

It is set up with:

 

4x18 watt Odyssea brand 20" fixture (2x10000 and 2 x actinics)

Marineland penguin 200 HOB

100 Watt heater

 

Crushed coral and live aragonite sand mixed

7 pounds live rock

2 pounds rubble

 

I am still playing around with the scape, not sure if I am happy with it. I was going for a peninsula type set-up tapering downwards, but the depth of the 10 gallon is somewhat limiting. I will probably move the the two pieces of rubble at the far left into the HOB. I also want to prop the large bottom piece up a bit to make a tunnel type structure. Any advice on the positioning of the rocks would be greatly appreciated.

 

IMG_5996.JPG

 

 

CUC: 4 nerites, 2 nassarius, 2 cerith, 2 , a crapload of dwarf ceriths, a crapload of periwinkles, a bunch of brittle stars and bristle worms as hitchhikers.

 

I added the CUC when I started seeing the diatom outbreak, and they handled that with ease. Now i am getting the green algae phase, and they are also making short work of that. Although the dirty glass is kinda driving me nuts...I want to clean it but I figure i will let the crew be happy. When I am through this initial phase i will likely get rid of most of the dwarf ceriths as they are an eyesore.

 

I just added a clown last week and he is doing really well. He decided to host the chaeto, and likes to sleep in the shower caddy.

 

IMG_5932.JPG

IMG_5933.JPG

IMG_6014.JPG

IMG_6012.JPG

 

As for coral etc, I have what hitchhiked on the rocks that I purchased:

 

Some shrooms and majano.

 

IMG_6004.JPG

 

IMG_6003.JPG

 

I really like the majano, very nice looking so I think I will keep it and make sure it doesn't get out of control.

You can see tons of bubbles on this piece of rock, i am assuming it is from algae photosynthesizing. In planted tanks, pearling like this can be a hard sought after thing...seems really easy in reef tanks :)

 

I hope the algae will go away with frequent water changes. I knew there was algae on it when I bought it, but it was free so I can't complain. The tanks in the LFS near my place are pretty rough, aiptasia and algae everywhere. A real bummer because his prices are really good.

 

IMG_5981.JPG

 

Here is a feather duster worm that hitchhiked in...pretty cool little guy.

 

So that is where I am at now. I think I will be adding the traditional soft coral stuff...some finger leathers, zoas, palys...

 

I will add a couple hermit crabs, maybe a shrimp (not sure what) and another fish (not sure what)... any suggestions about stocking would be great :)

 

Thanks!

 

 

Your going to hate those Alge Balls. Get a emrald crab

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Nanoreefwanabe
Your going to hate those Alge Balls. Get a emrald crab

those algae balls are 02 not algae, as he mentioned a product of the turf algae underneath it photosynthesizing... however he will hate mojano anemones...if that is what they are...there seems to many different varieties of majano...the ones i have commonly seen are pretty greenish brown with longer red tipped tentacles, but then i have also seen ones very similar to the ones pictured...one or two arent bad but they can quickly progress to plague proportions...

 

nice looking start to a ten though...clowns are funny like that too, they will host anything that moves...

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those algae balls are 02 not algae, as he mentioned a product of the turf algae underneath it photosynthesizing... however he will hate mojano anemones...if that is what they are...there seems to many different varieties of majano...the ones i have commonly seen are pretty greenish brown with longer red tipped tentacles, but then i have also seen ones very similar to the ones pictured...one or two arent bad but they can quickly progress to plague proportions...

 

nice looking start to a ten though...clowns are funny like that too, they will host anything that moves...

 

thanks!

 

yeah the algae on that rock is kind of annoying but there were so many goodies on it that I had to get it. There is even a small clam. I traded some plant trimmings from my freshwater for it so I figured why not, I just hope I can get the algae off.

 

I will monitor the Majano closely, there are actually two of them. I find them really nice looking, but... I am finding everything cool right now as this is all so new to me. i keep having to clean the forehead marks off the outside of the tank from having my face pressed up against it. Perhaps once i start getting other things in the tank they will appear mundane. I have read that they don't spread nearly as fast as aiptasia, but I will watch it like a hawk.

 

I moved the shower caddy down in the hopes that the clown would follow, but he now seems to have an affinity for the thermometer at the back. He really likes to hang out at the top back of the tank for some reason.

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The mushroom right next to the Majano doesn't look overly happy with it's neighbor. Looks like it is pulling away from it. It all looks great though. Really good job on it I think.

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^ I agree...it does that every time they touch (no surprise). I am trying to find out what is easier to move, the shroom or the majano. Ideally i would like to pop the majano off and place it next to its buddy, but I don't know how realistic that is.

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Not sure about Majanos but other Nems will move if they are shaded. Problem is getting it to move in the right direction. The shroom would come off easy . I have never done it so don't know the procedure but you would also have to reattach it.

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Not sure about Majanos but other Nems will move if they are shaded. Problem is getting it to move in the right direction. The shroom would come off easy . I have never done it so don't know the procedure but you would also have to reattach it.

 

I decided to rescape a bit during my water change, so I decided to either take the majano or the shroom off. As soon as i got near the majano, it just totally disappeared into itself...reminded me of when I jump into very cold water....so anywaaaays...

 

The shroom did come off very easy though, I sliced the sucker off with a razor blade as close to the foot as I could and set it in a bowl with the changed water. I rescaped the rocks...which I am much happier with incidently. I will post some pics later when the sun sets.

 

After doing a bit of reading, i decided to try to frag the shroom, so with the razor blade I sliced it into four pieces. I then stuffed the frags into holes in the rock to keep them in place. Looking forward to seeing what will come of it.

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You should have 4 new shrooms in not too long. It may also regrow from the spot that you cut it from too if there was anything left there. We need to see pics of the new 'scape!

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So this is what I will be sticking with I think, I may move some of the rubble around but I like how the big pieces are set-up.

 

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You can see where I pulled the shroom off/

 

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I put some rubble pieces near the top, may be a little hoaky but since i won't be having any stony corals i figured these will allow me to pretend.

 

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uh oh...starting to see some thread algae...

 

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Here is a close up of a clam, just to the right of the shroom.

 

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Here is a closeup of a hitchhiker, looked like a little snail type thing, it had antenae and was somewhat dimpled...no idea what it is.

 

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Like this setup MUCH more. The rubble up top isn't hokey I think it looks cool. Don't worry about a little hair algae, it is all a part of new tank syndrome. Your CUC should clean it up soon enough.

I have no clue what that last pic is. Does it move? Is it a snail? If so, it could be a Stomatella. I have a couple of them and they are really good cleaners. They look like a slug with a little calf circle shell on their back. Keep it up, it's looking good!

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yeah it might be a stomatella, i looked at some images on google, but I didn't see anything with the same coloration. But it was super tiny and it moved fairly quickly (for a snail/slug)...

 

I am a little dissapointed with the dwarf ceriths, they kind of just hang out on the glass and near the base of the glass by the substrate. It is rare for them to venture out onto the rocks. I was hoping they would mow all the algae down on the rocks.

 

The large ceriths are good but I only have a couple of them and only 4 nerites... I am hoping they are enough to prevent the algae from spreading.

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So I bought a kenya tree today:

 

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Looking forward to trying to prevent it from taking over my tank :)

 

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I like this pic, lots going on. First the huge ol' bristleworm is awesome...he is really long (close to 3"), I only ever see him when I feed the clown. He pokes his head out as soon as the first pellet hits the water.

Also the mushroom frag that I made seems to have moved on its own and found a happy place between the two larger shrooms. And thirdly, on the left, I see the first new coraline growth...yay!

 

I know all this probably seems mundane to the experienced reefer but to me it is fantastic!

 

Now for a question...what type of Algae is this and is it part of the normal cycle? I thought that green dust algae was normal but this is not what i was expecting. It is spreading fairly rapidly and my CUC apparently wants nothing to do with it.

 

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Any help would be awesome.

 

I have been using RO/DI water from a local store so I am not sure how pure it is. I am saving up to get an RO unit from Purewaterclub but in the mean time this is what I have to use. Would gallon jugs of DI water from Walmart/CVS be better than RO?

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I wish my coraline would grow... Your shroom looks like it is coming along OK. It picked it's own little space out there. Did the other pieces take too? The new Kenya looks nice too!

 

Are you getting already mixed saltwater from the LFS or is it plain RO/DI? If it isn't mixed yet, you can always test it with a TDS meter or just ask them to. Not sure what kind of algae that is. It sure doesn't look like the normal hair algae or the dust algae. If the CUC doesn't want it, you can always do it the old fashioned way with a scraper. Or a Blenny, they love algae.

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Nanoreefwanabe

what do you have for circulation and surface aggitation....the clown hanging around the surface concerns me that there may not be enough O2 in your tank...usually they will sit at the bottom and gasp...but hanging around the surface isnt that good either...i would stick a nano koralia or pump of that sort behind your rocks pointed to the surface of the tank...get teh water moving a little better...EVERYTHING in your tank will thank you for it...that bristle is still pretty small...i have 2 6" ones in my tank and i am sure they are still growing...

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what do you have for circulation and surface aggitation....the clown hanging around the surface concerns me that there may not be enough O2 in your tank...usually they will sit at the bottom and gasp...but hanging around the surface isnt that good either...i would stick a nano koralia or pump of that sort behind your rocks pointed to the surface of the tank...get teh water moving a little better...EVERYTHING in your tank will thank you for it...that bristle is still pretty small...i have 2 6" ones in my tank and i am sure they are still growing...

 

Thanks for the input, the HOB filter is rated at 200 GPH and there is a fair amount of surface agitation (some good surface rippling). There are some areas on the rocks where detritus has settled so while I agree that a koralia nano would certainly be good to help with circulation, I really don't think that the clown is in need of O2.

 

There is a constant stream of bubbles from the input of the HOB which gets circulated throughout the tank, and the fact that my algae is pearling about 3 hours after lights on suggests that I am close to saturation in my tank. Plus the clown is showing no signs of stress, he is not gasping at all. I have a pressurized CO2 system on my freshwater tank, and I spent a lot of time looking for signs of oxygen deprivation in fish as I was trying to dial it in to 30 ppm. He is eating healthy and takes a lot of excursions from his chaeto nest, he is certainly not listless by any means.

 

Man a 6" bristleworm in your 5 gallon tank? That would stretch across the entire tank! ha

 

I wish my coraline would grow... Your shroom looks like it is coming along OK. It picked it's own little space out there. Did the other pieces take too? The new Kenya looks nice too!

 

Are you getting already mixed saltwater from the LFS or is it plain RO/DI? If it isn't mixed yet, you can always test it with a TDS meter or just ask them to. Not sure what kind of algae that is. It sure doesn't look like the normal hair algae or the dust algae. If the CUC doesn't want it, you can always do it the old fashioned way with a scraper. Or a Blenny, they love algae.

 

Yeah the other mushroom pieces seem to be doing well as well. I am actually getting my RO/DI from a health food store in town. I will ask them how long it has been since the last maintenance. I have been buying gallons for 40 cents a piece (pretty sweet deal if you as me haha) and then mixing my saltwater at home 24 hours before a water change. I have been doing 2 gallon changes once per week.

 

As for the algae, I still don't know what it is, but some of the larger tufts disappeared over night so something decided that they like to eat it. My diatom and green dust algae blooms are almost done as well so things are going pretty well... crosses fingers, taps on wood, sacrifices first born son to the algae gods.

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So I added a another true perc yesterday...

 

They are getting along wonderfully. The new guy is a heck of alot more active, he explores the tank alot more and as a consequence my first guy is becoming much more adventurous. They are both roaming the tank together now. My 4 year old twins are calling them Nemo and Marlin, but I am still unsure what they will be officially called.

 

I also added 2 hermit crabs, these guys are pretty sweet. Very diligent indeed.

 

Also the bryopis algae seems to be on the way out, in fact most of the algae is receding steadily...I didn't notice until today but alot of the algae infested rubble i got when I first set the tank up is gleaming white now.

 

Also I just finished placing an order with Saltwaterfish.com:

 

1 cleaner shrimp

2 peppermint shrimp

orange ricordia

blue ricordia

metallic orange mushroom

green star polyps

bunch of zoas (green dragon eye, caribbean blue, assorted)

 

Very excited :)

 

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Haven't been around lately but it sounds like all is going well! Did you get your shipment yet? i have been wanting to get some ricordea so much! My LFS has a really nice blue and orange one I am thinking about. They are such cool corals!

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yeah the shipment arrived, but the cleaner shrimp was DOA and the peppermint shrimp died during acclimation...I was pretty annoyed. The package was sent overnight but the heat pack and all the contents were very cold when I received them.

 

The rics are pretty awesome, I am still trying to figure out where to put them though, and

i think i am really ####### them off with the constant movement. Same for the shroom and zoas.

 

Overall I am happy with what I chose, I am just surprised at the quantitiy I got for the price lol. Much different compared to freshwater plants. I was able to completely stuff my 75 gallon tank with plants for about $50...

 

EDIT: also my clowns are getting along famously, they are together all the time. They like to display for each other, not sure if it is a courtship or aggression thing though.

 

and it seems that my nerites have laid a bunch of eggs...atleast I think so. I will post picks later to get a confirmation.

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lots of pics...

 

FTS:

 

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Here are some of the zoas:

 

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One of the zoa colonies was only half opening so i pulled it out to check it out for bugs and it reeked like rotting flesh. I freshwater dipped it and removed what appeared to be dead polyps, ended up with 4 different frags which I put back in the tank...hope they will do ok.

 

Question about zoa placement...I had a bunch of polyps that were not attached, can I just stuff them in a whole in the rock and they will be ok?

 

Shroom and ric pics:

 

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Here is a pic of what i assume are eggs. They are right near where my nerites hang out during the day.

 

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I picture this as the garage where the snow plows are stored at night...they only start moving when the lights go out.

 

I want the GSP to spread over the little island.

 

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some pics of the clowns, they seem to be very pleased with each other.

 

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Nice tank!

My PC light just died recently so I am ordering the same light as you.

 

Also looks like that anemone is killing that mushroom next to it.

Time to can it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

FTS

 

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Random Shots:

 

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Things are going really great right now. The tank seems stable and all the inhabitants are healthy and happy. Doing weekly 20% water changes with RO/DI water (purchased from a local health food market).

 

I have been staying with softies for now but the lure of the LPS is calling. I am already addicted and have a bad case of collectoritis, I just want to add more and more and more. But corals are a heck of alot more expensive than aquatic plants haha, so I must keep my urges in check. Mostly in fear of my wife

 

I know it is not feasible for my little 10 gallon, but the LFS near my place is selling a bunch of rose tip anemones (~4-5") for $40 and I desperately want to get it....must show restraint!!

 

Anyways, thanks for looking, I look forward to sharing my progress with all of you.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here are some (lots of) pics that I took last night before lights out.

 

The clowns - This guy loves the new flow from the Koralia, here he is surfing the wave..

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Some of the other critters:

 

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Some softies:

 

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I haven't had much growth from the shrooms at all.

 

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The beginning of the end...the GSP is starting to spread!!

 

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This ric seems to be happier with the increased flow.

 

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A couple days ago the entire top of my kenya tree just plopped off. Is this how it propogates? The part that fell off is now behind the rocks.

 

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This guy looks like he is trying to move to a new spot...

 

FTS:

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Overall I am happy, the tank is going really well, no algae problems (knock on wood). I really want a few more colorful zoas though, I bought a big colony of the pink/peach ones and I fragged a bunch, but they are not terribly attractive.

 

I have also been thinking of getting a favia, it seems these are fairly easy to keep track of.

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