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msscha

msscha's 24 gallon office cube

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Crabs, 'Nems, and Algae

Found another nimble spray this morning, about 1/2 again as big as the one I killed last week. Also, definitely saw the black tips on end of mystery crab, which pretty much IDs it as a gorilla of some type. Will put together a trap tomorrow and see if I can trap them -- the LFS can feed them to whatever eats them. Or, could be that someone will want them.

 

The thing moving along the bottom rock was indeed an anemone and it has taken up residence next to the yellow ball sponge. Given its tattered appearance, I suspect this is one that survived my attempt at culling last week. Hmm.

 

Way more algae growth over the weekend. The snails are slowly cleaning up the walls, but the bottom sand is positively lush with growth. I did my first water change this morning -- and ordered a phosphate test kit, too. I may do a couple more small water changes this week to get the water in better shape.

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Algae Be Gone and Some Pics

 

Was experimenting today with taking pictures through a magnifying glass -- worked surprisingly well, and I was able to get better pictures using the same camera settings with the mag glass than without.

 

Decided to pull some of the hair algae -- it came up easily, in matted sections. I shook out the sand, blew off sand that had spread about the rock, and waited for the dust to settle. All the parameters came back beautifully, so I'm guessing there's phosphate in the system; I'll check that when the kit gets in.

 

Before Weeding

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After Weeding

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Sponge and Limpet

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Elongated Sea Pearls, aka Bubble Algae

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Nimble Spray #2

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Tube Coral, partially open

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Baby 'Nems

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Blue Green patches on Macro

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Small Feather Duster and Coralline

feather_rock.bmp

 

Bivalve

bivalve.bmp

Edited by msscha

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Crabs, 'Nems, and Algae

Found another nimble spray this morning, about 1/2 again as big as the one I killed last week. Also, definitely saw the black tips on end of mystery crab, which pretty much IDs it as a gorilla of some type. Will put together a trap tomorrow and see if I can trap them -- the LFS can feed them to whatever eats them. Or, could be that someone will want them.

Since I was feeling confident on the ID of the gorilla, the LFS suggested 2 means of capture: 1) a crab trap using a small plastic bottle (cut off top at point it gets wide to match the body; punch a few holes to allow water/odor to travel; place bait in bottom half; invert top and push inside the bottom half, forming a tunnel to the food that the crab gets in through but cannot get back out of); and 2) take out rock and place in small bowl with water (it has a sponge, so I was trying to keep the sponge in the water), then douse the hidey-hole with club soda. All in all, method 2 is supposed to be safer for the tank, so I tried that first. It worked! At first, I couldn't find the crab I was looking for but did find a smaller one, so removed it. Then, after a minute of searching, I trimmed the halimeda and bubble algae and thought it had failed when I spotted it -- the color of the body made seeing it quite difficult. I removed the crab and since nobody wanted it back, simply killed it quickly. The rock went back into the tank, I did a 10% water change, and gave the tank its first bit of food (a flake product -- will move to higher quality stuff shortly). I still have the silverside, so can grind little bit of it up for feeding, too. All in all, I am pleased! The LFS said the nimble spray could hang out for right now, but we didn't want to chance fish until the gorilla was gone.

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Budding Yellow Ball Sponge?

 

This little nubbin has formed off the side of my bigger yellow ball sponge. Maybe a bud?

 

sponge_bud1.bmp

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Two tank additions on the "wait" list!

 

Well, I was all set on adding a Barnacle Blenny to the tank after I'd removed the gorilla crab BUT while I was casually browsing all the cool holes in the rock for the blenny to choose from, I noticed movement...and trained my little flashlight into the hole to find some kind of crab with a massive front claw! It isn't as hairy as the gorilla and may actually be a red mithrax, but it not a safe bet for a fish that wants a burrow. Damn. Barnacle Blennys do not come in often!

 

On the other hand, one of my nassarius snails is laying eggs! I've got a nice trail of them along the water line already. I know that most will likely not make it past the larval stage (if that's the correct name for it), but it makes me happy nonetheless.

 

In the meantime, I'm going to set a trap for the crab. Maybe I can get it soon enough to nab a Blenny before they are gone!

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On the other hand, one of my nassarius snails is laying eggs! I've got a nice trail of them along the water line already...

Nassarius Snail Eggs

nas_eggs.bmp

 

 

In the meantime, I'm going to set a trap for the crab. Maybe I can get it soon enough to nab a Blenny before they are gone!

 

Baited Crab Trap -- made with 4 oz glass after suggestion on ID thread

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Nassarius Wants In! (fortunately, she gave up and went back under)

nas_wants_crabbait.bmp

 

Now, I wait. If I don't catch anything by tomorrow morning, I'll take the rock out and use the club soda method that worked last time.

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Now, I wait. If I don't catch anything by tomorrow morning, I'll take the rock out and use the club soda method that worked last time.

Ack! Came back from class to find nassarius in crab trap -- it found its way out (okay, I am growing besotted with watching the nassarius move about). There's still a bit of silverfish left and the crab has moved, but has not gone in. I may have done something wrong with the trap. I don't want to leave it longer than overnight and wonder if it didn't make it in already, than I may have to try something else? The crab is bigger than the other 3 I've removed. I haven't gotten a good look at the claws -- it seems both reddish and whitish, has bigger front claws than the nimble spray, and seems hairy, though lots of crab seem hairy.

 

The nassarius do leave a pretty hefty slime trail wherever they go. What sort of impact does that have in a closed system? I've done a 15% water change this week. Params were okay this morning (slight ammonia and slight phosphate, both at .25; everything else at 0). Maybe change a bit more tomorrow?

Edited by msscha

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I'm pretty sure Janet and Kurt will let you pay for a blenny and hold it for you until your tank is ready. :)

That would be great -- I didn't see the blenny in their list yesterday, but I'm not in a hurry. I've got new anemones this morning, including one which pretty much appears to be aiptasia (glass anemone), so I have more tank management to deal with. No luck capturing the crab, either. Oh well!

 

Epic fail on crab trap. Sigh. There's so much more life on this chunk of rock -- hidden cup corals, feather dusters (including what think is a christmas tree worm!), cool black sponge -- I hate to mess with it.

Edited by msscha

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Sorry for getting angry at you earlier. I hate sally lightfoots too. I shouldn't have acted all superior and all that jazz. Enjoy your tank!

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Sorry for getting angry at you earlier. I hate sally lightfoots too. I shouldn't have acted all superior and all that jazz. Enjoy your tank!

Not a problem! Your wisdom vastly outstrips mine:-), and I enjoy being the student for a change. I located at least two more yesterday -- could be sally's, could be gorillas, don't think they're emeralds. Baited trap didn't work (though the snails loved it). Need to decide if I'm ready to risk fish or coral...have anemones to clear out, so you can chuckle "told you so on that one"!

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Nah I won't do that, it's all good. I think my rant came from within the confines of my own conscience. When I first started the reefing part of the hobby, I too senselessly murdered a crab. I thought an emerald crab was eating my dragon eye zoanthids. I foolishly introduced him to the In-Sink-Erator. (garbage disposal)

 

I had been drinking that night and was mad that my new 50$ rock was dwindling. So I took it out on the 8$ crab.

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Evil Beauty

 

What else to call a glass anemone?

evil_beauty.bmp

 

There's a caterpillar in my tank

 

I didn't know there were caterpillars on the reef :o -- clearly, this is some kind of ribbon worm? The white "antlers" look to be antennae, not mandibles, but I could not get a clear enough shot to tell!

 

greenworm.bmp

Edited by msscha

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I just recently caught a crab in my tank. What I did was cut a piece of raw shrimp and held it in tweezers. I coaxed the crab out of the rockwork...he just couldn't resist the shrimp. I held a clear cup below him and led him to the rim of the cup. I somehow managed to get him to fall in the cup. Not sure what he did, but lost his grasp and fell right in. I made a jubilant squeal and very quickly grabbed that cup right out of there.

 

Maybe you could try that :)

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I just recently caught a crab in my tank. What I did was cut a piece of raw shrimp and held it in tweezers. I coaxed the crab out of the rockwork...he just couldn't resist the shrimp. I held a clear cup below him and led him to the rim of the cup. I somehow managed to get him to fall in the cup. Not sure what he did, but lost his grasp and fell right in. I made a jubilant squeal and very quickly grabbed that cup right out of there.

 

Maybe you could try that :)

I like that idea, too. The crab was very interested in the piece of fish yesterday -- but the nassarius beat him to it. Or, maybe he couldn't climb the plastic wrap? I'm going to get a hemostat from a nursing friend. Should make getting into tight spaces easier.

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Well I went in to OE yesterday and sat and observed the Barnacle Blennies, They are absolutely adorable and are so funny! I usually really dislike things with red eyes, but those little guys are just so cute! I thought about bringing a few home, but I have my heart set on the tailspot blenny.

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Well I went in to OE yesterday and sat and observed the Barnacle Blennies, They are absolutely adorable and are so funny! I usually really dislike things with red eyes, but those little guys are just so cute! I thought about bringing a few home, but I have my heart set on the tailspot blenny.

I'll check them out tomorrow!

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Friends, Foes, and Frustration

 

Sigh. Aiptasia X treatment didn't take out either the glass or bigger anemone. I must have done something wrong. Found another (?) crab this morning, which I am 99% certain is a red mithrax (red emerald). It was definitely red, had the right shaped pincers, smooth claws with somewhat hairy/spiky legs. I failed utterly in trying to trap it; instead, just fed the nassarius which came out of the sand in less than 10 seconds of food entering the tank. I really, really want to start adding some corals and fish, but feel strongly that patience would be wise since I still think the crab I was going for last week was a Nimble Spray (Sally Lightfoot) and not the red emerald.

 

The tank is one month old today! I am beginning to control a bit of the obsession insofar as I spent most of today working instead of staring and taking pictures. It was quite cool this weekend, and the tank was down to 72 F when I got in. Thus far, the heat from the lights has kept the water temp pretty stable at around 75 F, give or take 1 degree either direction. I put in the glass heater from a freshwater aquarium in the back to heat the water up -- it did so very nicely, though quite quickly, too.

 

Off to LFS tomorrow -- yeah!

 

I just ordered this shrimp trap from amazon, maybe it might work on a crab too:

shrimp trap

Yeah, I think I will. My attempts so far have not been good (other than removing the rock altogether). May still try that with the club soda if I cannot succeed otherwise. When I mess around inside the tank, the big bivalve on the bottom keeps shifting the rock around which worries me. Maybe I should just re-set the whole thing?!

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Keeping the Red Mithrax

 

I finally got a really good look at the crab I've been chasing and it is a red mithrax (red emerald) -- you can see it hanging upside down in the picture below. I went to LFS yesterday to double check since they've got emeralds for sale, and it was definitely that! Now, there may be other types of crabs in there, but I haven't seen any others for the last two days (well, I did see something really, really small that looked crab like, but I couldn't tell.

 

Red Emerald Cleaning Yellow Ball Sponge

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This was really interesting to watch! Sometimes, it would pick at the sponge directly, but often seemed to be grooming off its hairier back legs, much like a cat grooms its face.

 

What is the creature in the picture below?

 

I've had a hard time getting a picture of this because my camera does not like translucent figures. I know the pic is a bit fuzzy, but it has eight tentacles, a tiny but clear mouth part, slight feather-type structures on its arm, and has feeding behavior a lot like an anemone. I haven't seen a tube body, and don't know whether this is a kind of worm or a type of anemone. Any ideas?

 

Very Pretty Mystery Critter

anemone_or_worm.bmp

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Still envious of your colorful, full of life, rock! Red mithrax crabs are ok, I think????? Does it have small claws? When they have the giant claws you have to worry. I had an emerald before (few years ago) that had tiny claws. She was a model citizen of my tank.

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Still envious of your colorful, full of life, rock! Red mithrax crabs are ok, I think????? Does it have small claws? When they have the giant claws you have to worry. I had an emerald before (few years ago) that had tiny claws. She was a model citizen of my tank.

Yes, it's claws are still small! There are reports of emeralds becoming troublesome when they get bigger, so may have to trap it later, but for now, I'll consider her a member of Club CUC ;) . I'm going to add a gold banded coral shrimp this afternoon and maybe a fish -- but I cannot decide which fish I want :huh:

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I see a Firefish fitting in perfectly with the colors of your reef. Whatever you choose first, make sure it's a passive fish. Add the aggressive types last. Can't wait to see what you get :)

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