Jump to content
Rene

Rene's Marineland Contour 3 - New NPS

Recommended Posts

Rene

The custom container pico contest has me excited so I thought I would start a tank journal!  This tank has been running since December of 2016.  

 

Here's a brief rundown of what's going on in here:

 

Equipment:

Marineland Contour 3 gallon aquarium

Neotherm 25 watt heater 

Stock pump replaced with Aquatop NP-302 

Stock lighting replaced with NanoBox Mini Tide +M

Chemipure blue nano and filter floss in the (modified) media caddy

 

Livestock:

Halimeda

Galaxaura 

Botryocladia

Hypnea pannosa

Gracillaria hayi

 

Fat-head "dendro"

Tiny pink "dendro"

Branching orange "dendro"

Phyllangia Americana

Manicina aureolata

Leptoseris (orange and brown)

Echinophyllia (teal with pink)

Echinophyllia (grey/purple with green)

Lime green and purple Favia

"Honeysuckle" Lithophyllon

"Freak hair" Lithophyllon

"Blue fire" Psammacora

"Emerald rim" Psammacora

Blue/purple Rhodactus 

Metallic green Rhodactus

Green star polyps

Pom pom Xenia

Galaxea

"Spiderman" Stylocoenellia

"Desert Oasis" Cyphastrea

 

Stomatella snails

Collonista snails

Asterina starfish

1 Astrea snail

1 nassarius snail

 

Picture is pretty accurate, for a potato camera. The stylo on the right is more pink, the mushrooms on the bottom are more blue-ish, and the favia is more of a yellow-green, but this is pretty close!

 

I like picos for keeping NPS. You can see the orange branching "sun coral" and the pink dude I am working on rehabbing before I mount to the rockwork. I just feed and then do at least a 10% water change. Right now I'm feeding those two outside the tank in a bowl but in a few more months I hope to get them on the rocks. 

LRM_EXPORT_20171024_180414-01-01.jpeg

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Lula_Mae

Looks fantastic!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Rene

I'm a terrible cook. Fortunately, the NPS don't have a central nervous system so they don't care. 

 

All the diners can be seen below: the fat-head dendro, the pink NPS, the yellow/orange NPS, and the clear tentacles of the Phyllangia peeking out from behind the fat-head. 

IMG_20171025_183912_DRO-01.jpeg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Rene

Here's my feeding tools. I feed the pink NPS and the yellow NPS in a tupperwear, not pictured. The turkey baster is for stirring up the tank for a water change, which I do right after feeding.

IMG_20171025_190153_DRO-03.jpeg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Rene

For the two corals I'm going to feed outside the tank, I use my big forceps to reach in and grab them by the base. I have already turned off the pump and filled a tupperwear with tank water to put them in for feeding. Using forceps means I won't disturb everything else in such a tiny tank with my giant hands. 

IMG_20171025_190831_DRO-01.jpeg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Rene

Corals go into a tupperwear where I shower them with a gooey mix of food after it has thawed in tank water. I don't drain the pack juice. One of these guys came in with bad tissue recession, and the other has a lackluster feeding response. I want to make it rain in there. 

IMG_20171025_191034_DRO-01.jpeg

While I am waiting for the guys in the bowl to open, I feed the guys in the main tank with a modified medicine dropper. Macro action shot!  The flow is still off for this. 

IMG_20171025_192134_DRO-01.jpeg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Rene

I check on the guys in the bowl. After lights out, they'll open up all the way, but in the bowl just need to see their mouths to feed them. This is enough. 

IMG_20171025_191919_DRO-01.jpeg

Food goes right on the mouths. It may take several minutes but they will grab on and eat. 

IMG_20171025_191955_DRO-01.jpeg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Rene

Once they have food most of the way in, I use the forceps again and they get lifted out of the bowl and go back in the tank. I used to worry they would regurge their meal but this hasn't been a problem. I stir up the main tank and do a minimum 10% water change. Done and done!

IMG_20171025_193205_DRO-01.jpeg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Rene

Biotopes have been my thing for years.  This tank is inspired by the information I've been able to find about the shallow, fringing reefs on the coast of Northeast Australia, specifically around Cape Tribulation, with a focus on critters that like caves and crevices, since I already knew when planning this tank that I liked NPS.  

 

I say "inspired by" because it's not a true biotope.  I have Atlantic algae species substituting for less available Pacific ones, and although my long-term plans include re-homing the obviously Atlantic corals, the balance of animals in this tank isn't quite right for the environment I'm basing it on as I don't plan to add some of the more dominant species like Acropora or Sarcophyton.

 

Still, if you like reading scientific journal articles, here's what I've been using as resources:

 

 

http://www.int-res.com/articles/meps/10/m010p173.pdf

 

http://elibrary.gbrmpa.gov.au/jspui/bitstream/11017/122/5/Sedimentary-framework-of-mainland-fringing-reef-development-Cape-Tribulation-Area.PDF

 

http://www.academia.edu/download/46795593/Changes_in_algal_coral_and_fish_assembla20160625-19631-dymlre.pdf

 

http://mobile.gbrmpa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/9761/gbrmpa-tm21.pdf

 

http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA142138

 

http://coral.aims.gov.au

 

For reference, here's how representative the corals in my pico are of this area:

 

Cyphastrea: common, sometimes associated with caves (I don't know what species I have but large polyped ones like what I have are found in this area).

Echinophyllia aspera: very common, widespread, prefers caves. I'm pretty confident on the genus but could have the species wrong. 

Favia sp.:  varies from common and widespread to rare. The color morph I have is one of the prism favias, said to be Aussie in origin, FWIW. 

Galaxea fasicularis: common, this species isn't associated with caves. It may be a dominant species on inshore fringing reefs. Pretty confident this is a correct ID. 

Leptoseris:  one species reported as a patchy in this area. AIMS suggests there are more, and they are found in caves. 

Psammacora superficialis: patchy in this area but large colonies, potentially a cave dweller. This is an educated guess for what I have but could easily be way off. 

Stylocoenellia armata: no specific records from this exact location but has been collected nearby and likely is here. Potentially in caves, not generally common.

Lithophyllon: one or more species should be in this area but same situation as above. Again, may be found in caves. Note: I am not convinced my specimens are lithos at all and may be another genus. 

"Tubastrea aurea": numerous dendrophyllids that are poorly identified in literature are abundant on cave ceilings. I'm keeping the Phyllangia as a visual stand-in in this area. 

 

I'll update this later with the info on soft corals I was able to find, it's all over the place and less work has been done in this area. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Rene

So here's a bit more about the general landscape in the inshore fringing reefs community around Cape Tribulation. 

 

There's not a huge amount of free data on this exact location, but there's some on the nearby fringing reefs communities just north of Cairns, which are about an hour away by car and should be a good stand-in.  Where these are found in slightly poorer water quality areas, hard and soft coral cover declines, macroalgae cover increases, and the dominant corals switch from Acropora and massive Porites to members of Faviidae, encrusting Montipora and Porites, and Turbinaria. Halimeda and Galaxaura algae can be found here too.

 

Xenia: it's here but not common and totally absent in highly turbid areas.

Briarium:  present and potentially common in this habitat, increases as water quality declines.

Rhodactis: I can find no record of Rhodactis inchoata in this region; there doesn't seem to be anyone studying corallimorphs around here right now, but they can be found in the larger area and inshore habitats in shaded, sheltered locations would be appropriate. 

 

Here, have a GSP picture. 

 

 

IMG_20171025_183822_DRO-01-01.jpeg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
pappadumplingz

Was lucky enough to go to Port Douglas last year. We did a day trip up to the cape, but from what we could see from the shore (didn't go in the water because of crocs), and what we were told, all the reefs were dead, because when tourists used to snorkel off the beach, they'd trample and ruin the coral. It's a shame really, but it is really cool to see you replicating the environment.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Rene

@pappadumplingz That sounds like an amazing trip!

 

Unfortunately, these little inshore reefs are really vulnerable to exactly what you describe, at least within easy swimming distance :(. The Cape Tribulation ones are not popular for snorkeling within safe distance of shore due to crocs, and some road construction some time ago lead to siltation and a massive bleaching event. I'm not sure how they have faired further from shore with the more recent bleaching. The offshore reefs like Mackay and Undine Caye (part of the GBR proper, and not the  outer edge of the fringing stuff that's a bit  too far out for snorkeling) are more pristine, making them much more popular to photograph. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
pappadumplingz
52 minutes ago, Rene said:

@pappadumplingz That sounds like an amazing trip!

 

Unfortunately, these little inshore reefs are really vulnerable to exactly what you describe, at least within easy swimming distance :(. The Cape Tribulation ones are not popular for snorkeling within safe distance of shore due to crocs, and some road construction some time ago lead to siltation and a massive bleaching event. I'm not sure how they have faired further from shore with the more recent bleaching. The offshore reefs like Mackay and Undine Caye (part of the GBR proper, and not the  outer edge of the fringing stuff that's a bit  too far out for snorkeling) are more pristine, making them much more popular to photograph. 

Yea it was great. Hadn't got my open water diving cert at that point, so we did some snorkelling on the outer reef. The town is especially touristy though, more so during the school holidays, so if you ever get the chance to come down, try and come when it's off peak.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Rene

I have two corals from a previous tank that really don't fit with the biotope. I'm working on rehoming them and took some pictures today. These are a Caribbean rose coral and an itty bitty cladoral. 

IMG_20171028_171219_DRO-01.jpeg

IMG_20171028_171008_DRO-01.jpeg

IMG_20171028_171108_DRO-01.jpeg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Rene

 

Reef builders: Always rinse your PE Mysis!

 

Ok, so let's get real here. I don't rinse my frozen food. 

 

Why?  Couple a reasons. 

 

I'm not feeding directly into the tank.  The fine oils, fats, and itty bitty particulates in the food are part of what I'm relying on to trigger a feeding response in my NPS. When I feed in a tupperwear, I dump all of that goodness in, and then suction out the big chunks to feed the tank. The water change in the tank after feeding is partially to counteract some of the organics I just put in there. 

 

The NPS look good today after feeding. Hard to tell from the pictures, but the yellow and pink polyps are tiny, smaller than a pencil eraser!

 

IMG_20171104_190246_DRO-01.jpeg

IMG_20171104_190226_DRO-01.jpeg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
teenyreef

I love this tank! And it's a great idea to keep nps in a pico where you can control the nutrients so much better.

 

I have to confess, I don't rinse my frozen food either. But I don't have any good justifications like you do, I'm just lazy, and I tell myself that all the little critters and microscopic life eat it anyway. So far it seems to be working ok :)

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Rene

Thanks, @teenyreef

 

I like NPS in a pico for that reason. The first time I did this, I freaked out all the time over water quality. Now that I know that I can feed and then do large water changes and it doesn't seem to hurt anything, I don't worry about it. 

 

You know, you could sell your not-rinsing-frozens method as, uh, increasing microvert diversity :happy:

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Rene

So just because I'm not adding new corals right now, doesn't mean this tank is just cruising on a maintenance schedule. Here's a sneak peak of my latest science lab experiment...

IMG_20171110_222308721.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Wow 2

Share this post


Link to post
pappadumplingz

Is it coral related? Looks pretty sick

Share this post


Link to post
Rene
18 hours ago, pappadumplingz said:

Is it coral related? Looks pretty sick

It is!  It's a media basket!

 

Y'all, I am so excited!  I have done so many DIYs and they go very badly. I cannot do plumbing to save my life. In other realms, I'm ok, but my aquarium DIYs are cursed. 

 

But this media basket is serviceable.

 

I have never worked with acrylic before. But this tank came with a cartridge holder for the back chambers that wasn't meant to hold anything else and couldn't be easily modified. It's in the trash now, where it belongs.

 

My new custom media caddy has three shelves for chemical filtration, poly filter, and a tiny little LR rubble basket. It also has exactly zero 90 degree edges and looks best if viewed at a distance or in dim lighting, but it fit and didn't fall apart so I am calling this a solid win. 

 

@inTank , you better watch your back. 

IMG_20171111_180456_DRO-01-01-01.jpeg

IMG_20171111_180437_DRO-02-01.jpeg

  • Like 3
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
pappadumplingz

Next Post: I have officially started an acrylic tank manufacturing business :lol:. In all serious, really neat design you've come up with!

Share this post


Link to post
Rene
22 minutes ago, pappadumplingz said:

Next Post: I have officially started an acrylic tank manufacturing business :lol:. In all serious, really neat design you've come up with!

That was going to be this post, but I figured threatening InTank was enough to get the point across :P

 

Thanks!  It's not that hard to build a super awful media basket!  All the weird notches and cut-outs in the shelves are to avoid obstructions in the back chamber. I am SHOCKED that it actually fit the first time, even though I measured like seven or eight times. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Lula_Mae
On 11/11/2017 at 7:59 PM, Rene said:

It is!  It's a media basket!

 

Y'all, I am so excited!  I have done so many DIYs and they go very badly. I cannot do plumbing to save my life. In other realms, I'm ok, but my aquarium DIYs are cursed. 

 

But this media basket is serviceable.

 

I have never worked with acrylic before. But this tank came with a cartridge holder for the back chambers that wasn't meant to hold anything else and couldn't be easily modified. It's in the trash now, where it belongs.

 

My new custom media caddy has three shelves for chemical filtration, poly filter, and a tiny little LR rubble basket. It also has exactly zero 90 degree edges and looks best if viewed at a distance or in dim lighting, but it fit and didn't fall apart so I am calling this a solid win. 

 

@inTank , you better watch your back. 

IMG_20171111_180456_DRO-01-01-01.jpeg

IMG_20171111_180437_DRO-02-01.jpeg

lol congrats on your media basket success!

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
pappadumplingz

How's the tank going @Rene, got any updates for us, really interested to see how this is going.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Rene

Hah!  Good timing!   Here's a new FTS...from a week or two ago. Its worth noting there were some changes tonight. Galaxea in a pico was not a great idea, they stung the snot out of their neighbors and got busted down to the sandbed as a result. I will probably trade them out for something else entirely. Most of the corals have shown amazing growth; the Cyphastrea, Lithophyllon, and Psammacora most obviously. This tank grows Halimeda well (just trimmed in this shot) but all my other macros melted. Will have to try again in the future with those. 

IMG_20180113_120355_DRO-02-01.jpeg

  • Like 5
  • Wow 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...