msscha

msscha's 24 gallon office cube

906 posts in this topic

My cloves are one of the fussiest corals in my tank. Hope yours have rebounded!!!!!! New pictures yet????

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A few new pics, but none all that inspiring ;) .

 

I was inspired by Gena's top down pics, so tried one today. I have to change the whole lighting set up to get good shots, I think. Too much reflection from overhead lights, too much from within tank, and none really seem to be the colors I see. I've pretty much "wasted" today doing minor office tasks and not getting much done. It's rainy and nasty outside, which is not a good excuse, yet is the one I'm offering for today's lack of productivity.

 

I noticed two things while changing the water today. First, a brown mushroom is trapped and/or living inside the bottom grate. I thought I could reach down and get it out, but there is some kind of bottom there that I didn't know about. Next time, I'll see if I can reach down with a hemostat and nab it. Second, the acan on top is sprouting many new heads, but it seems as though it won't really have room to spread b/c of the little yellow ball sponge, tube coral, and halimeda. I don't want to move it because it really, really likes that spot! Any advice from ye far more experienced coral keepers?

 

I have also spotted several little feather dusters. I think getting rid of the crabs is allowing them to make a comeback. Rain has dug himself a huge tunnel under the back piece of base rock. And there is some kind of critter with translucent arms under a ledge that is very hard to see and could be a hidden cup coral or an anemone. Time will tell, I guess!

 

Top Shot -- too much reflection to be a good picture, but the perspective is interesting.

topshot_jan2012.bmp

 

Inhabitants gathering during water change -- they always do this, but I don't know why!

the_crew_on_cleaning_day.bmp

 

Peppermint under ledge with sponges/tunicates

peppermint_cave.bmp

 

Blasto -- still trying to get a good picture-- when it is totally puffed up, it looks soooo cool!

blasto2.bmp

blasto3.bmp

 

Hidden Cup with a couple of small feather dusters -- it is very difficult to get pictures of translucent arms

hiddencup2.bmp

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Love the top down!!!!! I fight with the light reflection too. Not much I can do about it since my hood only goes so far back before it hits the wall.

 

As far as the acan.....unless you move it, it will most likely just take over any surounding coral. I've come to accept the fact that over time I will lose coral colonies from things growing too large. I actually look forward to seeing what will dominate my tank in a few years :) I can tell you it won't be Kenya tree (cuz I know it will want to) unless I really like how it looks :lol:

 

I love those blastos so much!!!!!

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Love the top down!!!!! I fight with the light reflection too. Not much I can do about it since my hood only goes so far back before it hits the wall.

 

As far as the acan.....unless you move it, it will most likely just take over any surounding coral. I've come to accept the fact that over time I will lose coral colonies from things growing too large. I actually look forward to seeing what will dominate my tank in a few years :) I can tell you it won't be Kenya tree (cuz I know it will want to) unless I really like how it looks :lol:

 

I love those blastos so much!!!!!

Thank you, Gena! The blasto is so much fun to watch. Sometimes it gets so big it looks like it will burst! I'm going to look up the possibility of moving the yellow sponge. The acans are so happy in that spot, I'm loathe to move them.

 

Sunday night and I was just thinking about the tank...haven't seen Bozette and Rain for two whole days!

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Monday Update

This was a sad weekend in my family, but a fun day at the fish store yesterday! I brought the kids LFS-shopping and Kurt was sooo nice. They got to hold a starfish and an urchin -- Kurt even gave me the baby urchin he found hiding on a piece of live rock. It is hiding in a hole in my tank now, barely visible. The kids helped me pick out three new coral: neon green ric, tubipora with fantastic white polyps, and my first zoa (just your basic zoa!). I also added a fire shrimp. I was going for the skunk cleaner (which also would've been cheaper), but the kids talked me into the very cool red one, with spots, which they thought was "just weird" -- hence, the shrimp's name, "J.W.". I love the pop of white from the tubipora. There is a HUGE pink mushroom behind it, but none of the polyps are retracting, so I think I'll leave it there for now. Rain has been out a lot today, so I've got a few new pics of him, too. Lots of pics today! Two FTS b/c the one with the flash shows some of the coral contrast better but the one without shows the color how I see it. Also just spotted a molted skin of either a really small shrimp or really big copepod!

 

Dumb Mushroom -- living in the grate behind the false floor in chamber one

dumb_mushroom.jpg

 

New Ric -- neon green color

ric_neongreen1.bmp

 

Fire (Blood) Shrimp

fireshrimp1.bmp

 

Tubipora

tubipora1.bmp

 

New Zoa (garden variety zoas, I think)

zoas1.bmp

 

Ric Garden with Snail (before addition of new neon green one)

ric_garden.jpg

 

Rain, and more Rain with Corals

raingoby4.jpg

raingoby5.jpg

rain_zoa1.bmp

rain_coral1.bmp

 

Clown

clown_action.jpg

 

Buddies (not really -- but it's really hard to get a picture of the peppermint shrimp!)

buddies.jpg

 

Duncans, close-up

duncans_closeup.jpg

duncans_closeup2.jpg

 

Two FTS

fts_2_6_2012_flash.bmp

fts_2_06_2012.bmp

Edited by msscha

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Looks awesome. Bright and colorful. Your duncans and blastos are huge! Are those welsi or merletti blastos? Mine are the same color but smaller. Duncans are very high on my wishlist... and now so is a ball sponge.

Subscribing :)

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Looks awesome. Bright and colorful. Your duncans and blastos are huge! Are those welsi or merletti blastos? Mine are the same color but smaller. Duncans are very high on my wishlist... and now so is a ball sponge.

Subscribing :)

Thank you, ScubaEthan :happy: ! I am really happy with how the tank is looking right now. I had planned something with more "wavy" motions to it, but am really appreciative of how the colors are turning out. As for the blasto, I wish I had more specific info! They only called it a "blastomusso" which I think is the species name, so not very specific! My blastos open and close throughout the day. When I first got them, they stayed pretty tight for a couple of weeks. Then, one day, they were all puffed out -- I'd never seen them like that! I've also noticed that they are fairly reactive/easily irritated. They get ticked off, retreat, and it'll take few days for them to come back out. Duncans can do that, too, although mine have dwelled long enough in the tank to re-emerge pretty quickly. I LOVE duncans. They are sooo cool to watch. When you get up close, the textures are just amazing.

 

I'm heading over to check out your thread!

Edited by msscha

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Dr. Pepper, as my daughter named the peppermint shrimp, appears to be trying to eat a small snail out of its home. In a carnivorous sort of way, much as it did with the bristle worm. Hmm. Dr. Pepper is also not scared of me at all, and I can stick my big human head next to the tank and Rain, Bozette, and the shrimp all come near (or at least do not run away). I wonder if JW (the fire shrimp) will ever find wandering about as fun as Dr. Pepper? It's very pretty -- I would like to see it out and about more.

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fts_2_06_2012.bmp

Wow!!!!! It looks beautiful!!!!!!!

 

Love the names for all of your critters. J.W. (Just Weird) made me :lol:

 

I love all of the new additions :happy:

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Thank you, ScubaEthan :happy: ! I am really happy with how the tank is looking right now. I had planned something with more "wavy" motions to it, but am really appreciative of how the colors are turning out. As for the blasto, I wish I had more specific info! They only called it a "blastomusso" which I think is the species name, so not very specific! My blastos open and close throughout the day. When I first got them, they stayed pretty tight for a couple of weeks. Then, one day, they were all puffed out -- I'd never seen them like that! I've also noticed that they are fairly reactive/easily irritated. They get ticked off, retreat, and it'll take few days for them to come back out. Duncans can do that, too, although mine have dwelled long enough in the tank to re-emerge pretty quickly. I LOVE duncans. They are sooo cool to watch. When you get up close, the textures are just amazing.

 

I'm heading over to check out your thread!

Ah well as far as I know merletti is the smaller species and welsi (not sure on spelling) is the larger variety. My blastos are very sensitive too. Pierre the peppermint shrimp will walk around and piss off the corals but the blastos hate him the most. They usually seem to come right back though.

 

Dr. Pepper, as my daughter named the peppermint shrimp, appears to be trying to eat a small snail out of its home. In a carnivorous sort of way, much as it did with the bristle worm. Hmm. Dr. Pepper is also not scared of me at all, and I can stick my big human head next to the tank and Rain, Bozette, and the shrimp all come near (or at least do not run away). I wonder if JW (the fire shrimp) will ever find wandering about as fun as Dr. Pepper? It's very pretty -- I would like to see it out and about more.

Pierre does that too. He has eating all the vermitids, which I guess isn't a bad thing. He and the dwarfs hermits have eaten several snails. Maybe I'm underfeeding cause I'm so scared of overfeeding? haha

Pierre is fearless! He gets on my hand in the tank. Feels weird. He also swims upside down at the top with the clowns to get food. I think he thinks he's a fish. My fish come up to my face too through the glass... but they know me. They don't do that for other people :wub:

 

Oh and I wish my porcelain crab would wonder about the fun their having too like JW. It has NEVER come out from the rock :(

Edited by ScubaEthan

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You are really making me want to get shrimp :wub:

 

Looks great! Love the colours you've got going and all of the new additions look lovely. I have some of the same zoas as you, they grow nice and fast. Mine look slightly darker, less bright than yours but i think it's because my light isn't really bright.

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You are really making me want to get shrimp :wub:

 

Looks great! Love the colours you've got going and all of the new additions look lovely. I have some of the same zoas as you, they grow nice and fast. Mine look slightly darker, less bright than yours but i think it's because my light isn't really bright.

Thanks so much! I really like the shrimp. The LFS just sent an email out saying they got a small order of sexies and gold coral banded shrimp. I really wanted the gold one when I got the fire shrimp. I may try to get another one :D !

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A Few Random Pics

 

Just some shots I took today. I gave a workshop yesterday, and I always sort of deflate the day after. I did work today, but heavy intellectual stuff? Not so much!

 

Zoa Spring

zoa_spring.bmp

 

Astrea Spring

astrea_spring.bmp

 

Turbo at Work

turbo_at_work.bmp

 

Trumpet Coral -- couldn't get the colors right! The mouth ring is a soft brownish-pink. I don't see it extended this much very often.

neongreen_trumpet3.bmp

 

Tubipora -- am still so jazzed on the ice-white polyps

tubipora3.bmp

 

Peekaboo!

peppermint_peekaboo.jpg

 

Attack of the cubes!

Woo hoo :ninja:!

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OMG! I just saw a small pistol shoot across the tank! The lights turned off a few minutes ago, I happen to look when this pale transparent critter shot across the gap between the two base rocks.

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Interesting thing how different coral seems to look when I get it into the tank. Some corals I find I just like more than others over the first couple of days they are in the tank. The Hairy Mushroom for instance -- probably b/c of flow differences, but I just don't care for it in my tank. The zoas, which are fairly standard issue from what I can tell, I am besotted with. I would like to have a hammer or frogspawn, but there is no where in the tank to put it that it wouldn't sting the crap out of something. I've grown strangely fond of the sponges/tunicates growing spontaneously on the rock. The colors are so cool, literally those rarely seen terrestrially.

 

Also thinking about a re-scape. Again. Something that would preserve the caves, but create more horizontal spaces. Hmm.

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msscha, I haven't checked into NR for a while and I've missed so much!

 

Your tank is looking spectacular! All of the new corals and colors mesh so well with each other. It really is looking like a springtime garden.

 

Really just lovely. :flower:

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OMG! I just saw a small pistol shoot across the tank! The lights turned off a few minutes ago, I happen to look when this pale transparent critter shot across the gap between the two base rocks.

So you know where the snapping is coming from now!

 

Interestingly, I haven't heard snapping in my tank for a couple of months now. Whatever it was must have died :unsure:

 

I don't know if I should be concerned about that or relieved :lol:

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LOVED reading through this entire thread! Your tank has really come a long ways. I am so jealous that you could acquire such great, fresh liverock for your setup...way out here in the uppermidwest, we just can't get anything like that. But I guess you gotta look at the pluses and minuses. I'll never have to worry much about unwanted critters like you've been dealing with.

 

I do have a question for you..what do you have in your back chambers of your cube? Right now, the only thing I have is the pump and heater in chamber 3.....I am still undecided on what to put into the first "overflow" chamber, and then the middle chamber. I think I may put Cheato in the first chamber, as it has it's own dedicated light source built into the hood directly over the top.

 

Any thoughts?

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I am a bad tank mama -- :slap:. I haven't tested parameters for a while b/c the LFS had been doing it and everything looked so happy. So, for fun and practice, I tested today to see what was up before doing my water change. Holy Rotting Mackerel, Batman! Phosphates at .25, Ammonia at .25, nitrites at 0 and nitrates at a whopping 60 ppm! I am estimating 60 b/c it's redder than 40, but not as bad as 80. Maybe b/c all the cyano that's gone? So, treated the tank to a double dose of clean water, tried some re-scaping which mostly just managed to piss off everything, but did find that the fire shrimp has already molted! Zoas are so fun to play with -- retract like lightning, but come out pretty fast, too. The fire shrimp, J.W., seems fond of the slightly new cave system that resulted from me being unable to put the rocks back where they were. Sh*t. I need to learn to leave well enough alone. OTOH, I managed to accidentally remove a huge copepod -- saw it laying in a pool of moist paper towel next to the tank. I put it back in and it scooted into the clove frag (still have the frag. the clove all died -- maybe that also contributed to the nitrates?). Rain is busy now watching it!

 

msscha, I haven't checked into NR for a while and I've missed so much!

 

Your tank is looking spectacular! All of the new corals and colors mesh so well with each other. It really is looking like a springtime garden.

 

Really just lovely. :flower:

Hello, PBJ!! I was just thinking about you last week! Seemed a bit stalker-ish to pm just 'cause you were busy elsewhere, but so glad to see you back :happydance:!

 

So you know where the snapping is coming from now!

 

Interestingly, I haven't heard snapping in my tank for a couple of months now. Whatever it was must have died :unsure:

 

I don't know if I should be concerned about that or relieved :lol:

Lol! LFS said that I shouldn't worry about this little guy (or girl for that matter). It isn't going to go predator on me, and just snaps when something gets too close to its hidey-hole. It couldn't have been more than 1/2" long. Geesh -- I've got these monster pods that are 1/4"! Maybe there not copepods?

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LOVED reading through this entire thread! Your tank has really come a long ways. I am so jealous that you could acquire such great, fresh liverock for your setup...way out here in the uppermidwest, we just can't get anything like that. But I guess you gotta look at the pluses and minuses. I'll never have to worry much about unwanted critters like you've been dealing with.

 

I do have a question for you..what do you have in your back chambers of your cube? Right now, the only thing I have is the pump and heater in chamber 3.....I am still undecided on what to put into the first "overflow" chamber, and then the middle chamber. I think I may put Cheato in the first chamber, as it has it's own dedicated light source built into the hood directly over the top.

 

Any thoughts?

Hello, Flyweed! I am no expert, but cheato in the first chamber with a light source is an excellent idea. I've read lots of threads where macro is preferred out of the main tank, in a back (lighted) chamber or in a refugium (I don't have one of these). I like some macro in the tank, though. I think it provides an important environment for micro-life that contributes to tank health. Otherwise, I have a standard oceanic bc carbon filter in the back + a 1/2 unit chem-pure elite for additional phosphate removal. Had I known more about false floors, I would have removed mine from the first chamber, just to add more water to the tank (more water helps create greater stability in parameters, though I'm not one to brag on tank care today :angry:). Otherwise, I still have the bioballs in my middle chamber. This is probably the biggest thing (besides a lighted place for cheato) that I've read about people changing. I asked my local fish store people about this and their answer seemed quite logical: with 20lbs live sand and 15 lbs of really fresh live rock, I didn't need to add more rock/sand to the back chamber. The bioballs could just hang out and do their thing, eventually becoming part of the nutrient balance in the system. Now, it also could be that the bioballs are becoming a nitrate sink, of sorts -- I just don't know enough about water chemistry. You might check out that forum -- lots of good information there, and if I were to mod my cube at all, it would have to do with that middle chamber. Just not sure what I would do with it! Since your middle chamber sounds like it is open for use, I'd suggest loading with dry rubble and/or additional filtration control (like with chemi-pure or purigen -- again, lots of different possibilities here).

 

There are TONS of people here with more experience than me! But you'll also find different models produce great results for different people. It really is a kind of experiment -- some weird concoction of micro-differences of some tank's specs, local water chemistry, the particular pieces of rock that got put in, light (natural and artificial), owner preference for rock scaping...I have found myself happily obsessing for months now! As you've already read :P!

 

Have you started a thread for your tank? Also, check out the various places that ship rock. It's going to be hard with midwest winters (I live in Fl now, but was born in MN), but that may be the way to go. Maybe you can use mostly well-cleaned rock with a single piece of really fresh "seed" rock?

Edited by msscha

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I like you. You're a deep thinker. Your tank is so bright and summery. Can I live in it?

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I do have a question for you..what do you have in your back chambers of your cube? Right now, the only thing I have is the pump and heater in chamber 3.....I am still undecided on what to put into the first "overflow" chamber, and then the middle chamber. I think I may put Cheato in the first chamber, as it has it's own dedicated light source built into the hood directly over the top.

 

Any thoughts?

I'd like to chime in on this. I recently had the same dilemma about what to put in my chambers. A good piece of advice I read was to find a tank you like and copy that person's method. So just this week, I put a filter/polishing pad in chamber one, then chemi-pure elit and purigen, then I have the heater and pump in the last. I have plans to add chaeto but don't have a light for it yet. It's nice that you have a built in light! Definitely take advantage of that. Good luck!

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A Few Random Pics

 

Just some shots I took today. I gave a workshop yesterday, and I always sort of deflate the day after. I did work today, but heavy intellectual stuff? Not so much!

 

Zoa Spring

zoa_spring.bmp

 

 

What is the coral in front of the zoas?

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I like you. You're a deep thinker. Your tank is so bright and summery. Can I live in it?

:blush: I used to have fantasies about being a mermaid until I had a saltwater tank. A tad too dangerous to support fantasy now. Think I'll stick with my wish to be reincarnated as an iguana on the Galapagos islands, hissing at things that get too close to my rock.

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