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lizzyann

Lizzyann's IM 20 Peninsula - a REAL update!

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lizzyann

Yall, I gotta say, my tank has been looking amazing lately. The dinos have pretty much dispersed, and almost every single coral is fluffy and colorful. I've been doing smaller water changes (like 2.5 gallons instead of 5) the past few times and I think that might be doing something. I've also started mixing tropic marin pro-reef in with the reef crystals to slowly transition to that. I haven't done much testing at all. Mainly just tested alk of the tank and freshly mixed water to make sure they aren't too far apart before a water change. I'm wondering if maybe I'm finally getting some nitrates and phosphates in there as well. Buuuut instead of testing I'm typing up this post 😝. Maybe later.

 

I tend to take photos with whites pretty high, which I feel looks great and is easier to get overall colors true and pictures with higher quality, but it doesn't really show off just how colorful this tank is under blues. I've been trying to take more photos under heavier blue, but I've realized the nice camera just doesn't do quite as good of a job as my phone with the coral color. At least quickly and easily. There's probably a lot of manual settings I could change on the camera to get it a little closer but I just can't ever remember what does what and don't have the patience to fiddle with it. I can also go in and edit the photos to get the color back up to what I see with my eye, but I pretty much have to go in and edit each color on each coral individually, which I also don't really have the time for. Here's some pics where I did it anyway, though I still don't think I could quite capture it:

 

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Then here's some I took really quickly with the phone today (didn't turn off the pumps or really even clean the glass):

 

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Obviously the quality is trash in comparison, but I feel like it captures the "feeling" of the color so much better. The greens are probably blown out a little, but everything else is pretty true to color. 

 

I especially like this corner view, for that endless psychedelic rainbow aspect: 

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Anyway, just having fun with things. Here's a couple others I took when I was playing with the camera and lights and editing:

 

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Mainly just wanted to show off that these more orange-y red acans are starting to get a yellow band again! I need to turn the rock around to get a better picture of the yellow. They were much more "rainbow" when I first got them. I went in and edited the colors in this a ton but just couldn't get it to work quite right.

 

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I turned on JUST the white lights and was astonished at how bright yellow the fiji leather was!

 

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Oh, and both the peppermint shrimp are still alive!

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DNR88

Very nice and a real inspiration to look at! 😁

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mitten_reef
On 2/5/2020 at 6:39 PM, lizzyann said:

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I turned on JUST the white lights and was astonished at how bright yellow the fiji leather was!

WOW, and the blue tort too!  Now, that's a blue acro, no help needed from blue light.     

 

 

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Theshivinator

Wow ! The tank looks so beautiful 😍! I just started an IM 20 peninsula myself last month. Your tank is giving me  major inspiration. 

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lizzyann

Finally did some testing and nitrates and phosphates are still at 0, or close to it. Maybe I should get the ULR Phosphate checker instead of the normal one. 

 

I still haven't ever actually dosed for nitrate or phosphate. It might be worth starting, very slowly, but everything looks great right now and the dinos are gone (which has always been the main motivation to start dosing nutrients) so I don't really want to mess with anything. 

 

I also need to finish transitioning to the new tropic marin salt, want to try out the spinstream nozzle again, and am curious about adding aminos or other coral additives, but want to make sure I'm only making one change at a time, so we'll see.

 

I still haven't been able to keep alkalinity as high as I want it. It seems to fluctuate around 6.5-7.5 most of the time. Calcium is slightly low at 335 right now and mag is 1300.

 

Once I get fully transitioned to the new salt, I'm hoping to have super fool-proof and steady levels. I'm planning to add a little bit of the BRS soda ash alkalinity solution to the freshly mixed saltwater each time to bring the alk up to 8.5. According to Tropic Marin, calcium should be around 440, and magnesium 1350. Once the new water is always consistent, I think I can more successfully test to get my doser dialed in again. 

 

Anyway, everything's going well, just finally tested everything for the first time in a while and figured I would keep track here. Since I feel like I can't update without a photo, here's Maraschino popping out to say hello. You also have a good view of the hydroids that have overrun that rock. Maraschino seems to have gotten used to the peppermint shrimp at this point, so I take back what I said before about him killing them... unless he just likes these newbies?

 

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lizzyann

Got some new additions to show off!

 

I sold my cynarina and got a lobo I'd had my eye on in the LA Diver's Den. I'm so excited about it!!! It doesn't have a lot of super fluorescent color, but is still pretty cool in my book. Main rim color is a mustard/yellow-brown/gold with flecks of neon green, a muted red central rim, then teal and purple in the center.

 

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To get free shipping, I added a pistol shrimp and two dwarf feather dusters to the cart. I got the feather dusters because I really want a coco worm, but still too nervous to get one and not even sure where I'd put it, so figured I'd try something somewhat similar. They are pretty bland colors for "pink" and "yellow" but interesting little critters nonetheless.

 

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The pistol shrimp paired with the yasha, got to work for a couple days, then must have gotten kicked out or didn't like the digs or something because it was running all over the tank for a while and I have no idea where it is now. Oh well, I tried. 

 

I also got a chalice that I CAN NOT WAIT to see grow out. It's a cornbred rainbow crush chalice that's just a baby at the moment, but I got it for FREEEEEE, so I am beyond thrilled. I purchased an acro from a local reefer and the frag ended up getting messed up, so he returned my money and offered to let me pick out another frag on the house. I almost didn't take him up on it as I didn't want to take advantage, but then I saw he had some of these chalice frags, which perfectly fit what I was looking for, sooo I couldn't resist. I love being a part of a local reef club, everyone is always so generous, and it feels good to pass it on as well. 🤗

 

Doesn't look like much yet, but it'll get there eventually!

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Anyway, everything is chugging along and looking pretty good. The tank is back to being a mess again as the duncan fell off at some point and I'm having trouble gluing it back on, I had to frag the digi again cause it was getting too big, broke a piece of the pavona off while doing so, and put all the baby neptune bounces on their own tiny rocks to sell eventually, but here it is. 

 

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I don't have a perfect picture of it but I'm really loving this back mushroom kingdom area right now. I think now that the montis are really growing out something about the repeated round shapes of them, the shrooms, and the pagoda are quite pleasing to the eye.

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lizzyann

My peppermint shrimp had babies last night! I forgot to do my normal coral feeding until a while after lights went off and was thinking about skipping it but I'm so glad I decided to go ahead and turn the light back on and feed them really quickly because I probably never would have known otherwise! I turned off the pumps and as I was feeding one of the shrimp suddenly flailed and splashed at the surface and hundreds of babies appeared everywhere. It definitely took a second to even process what had just happened! Here's a quick video of the twitchy lil guys:

 

 

Sounds like this isn't a rare occurrence but was pretty cool to witness nonetheless! No sign of them today, I'm sure they all got sucked up into the filter or eaten, so I'm glad I was able to catch it!

 

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billygoat
3 hours ago, lizzyann said:

My peppermint shrimp had babies last night! I forgot to do my normal coral feeding until a while after lights went off and was thinking about skipping it but I'm so glad I decided to go ahead and turn the light back on and feed them really quickly because I probably never would have known otherwise! I turned off the pumps and as I was feeding one of the shrimp suddenly flailed and splashed at the surface and hundreds of babies appeared everywhere. It definitely took a second to even process what had just happened! Here's a quick video of the twitchy lil guys:

 

 

Sounds like this isn't a rare occurrence but was pretty cool to witness nonetheless! No sign of them today, I'm sure they all got sucked up into the filter or eaten, so I'm glad I was able to catch it!

 

No way! That's so incredible! Look at all those baby shrimps! Even if none of them survive, that's super cool. Just goes to show what an amazing job you're doing! Your animals definitely wouldn't be reproducing if they weren't very happy. 😁

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DNR88

The tank is great and I suppose the baby-shrimps are great food for the fish..?

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lizzyann

I obviously haven't been good about updating recently, and totally missed my tank's two year anniversary!!! Hip hip hooray! I love seeing coral growth pics, so in honor of the occasion I thought I'd put together some of mine!

 

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I also took some fun (though rushed) photos for a local pet magazine I was interviewed for:

 

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(I was so annoyed that the yellow fiji chose this last-minute opportunity to throw a hissy fit and close up 😝)

 

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A little worried about Yasha's sunken tummy... she eats, maybe parasites? Or maybe she just hadn't had a meal yet that day? Trying to get better looks on the few occasions she comes out.

 

And one more of Lily because she's a princess

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Everything seems fairly good in the tank. All inhabitants seem healthy and happy, but there has been some excessive algae growth happening. I think it started from my opening the skylight in the room for a day or two, but it hasn't slowed down since closing it either.  Trying to feed a little less and use manual removal, but there's not much I can do about some of it, like the algae growing on the glass. It's back just an hour after scraping it off! The calcium and alkalinity levels are still not exactly where I want them either, but nothing dire.

 

I added the spin stream nozzle on Monday. It definitely reduces flow but maybe that's made up for in the randomness? Just experimenting I suppose. I figure I'll leave it on for a week to see if the noise will quiet down at least. Besides that not much has changed, just trying to take deep breaths and let things flow. 😊

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billygoat

Incredible pictures, as usual. Congrats on your two year tankiversary! I really love those coral growth pics in particular. That Pavona is off the scale! 🙌

 

Still one of my favorite tanks on N-R. I'm always happy to see an update here. 😁

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mitten_reef

The extension on those sun corals 🤯😍

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lizzyann

ATTENTION! VERY IMPORTANT NEWS!

 

My tank has measurable phosphate!!! Yall, it has been a year since I've gotten anything besides a 0.00 result from a phosphate test, and today I finally got a 0.03ppm measurement. I know I've had some amount of nutrients in the tank because I still have been able to grow nuisance algae, but it feels much better/safer to be able to measure some. I feel like this is a good and maybe great thing, but nitrate hasn't gotten up quite enough to be in ratio at only .25ppm (still an improvement from the usual 0 reading as well). I do have an annoying amount of algae at the moment and read this is likely to happen when the nitrate is lower than it should be in ratio to phosphate. I'm guessing the additional nutrients are from starting to do smaller water changes, only like 10% instead of 25%, for several weeks. Hopefully I can keep doing what I'm doing to get them to even out a little bit while not having the phosphate go much higher 🤞.

 

The tank has been slightly wonky since my last water change a week ago, when I took out all the equipment and cleaned everything with vinegar and emptied the back chambers. One of the acans wasn't happy for a little while, the fiji leather was ornery, and the gorgonian is only now getting back to its fluffy self. My best guess is either salinity or microbubbles. I realized the salinity is a little high only in the last couple days, at like 1.028. Not sure how it happened but probably just a mistake I unknowingly made somewhere during the water change and/or filling the ato tank. If the dang apex salinity probe would work more than a few weeks at a time that would be nice 🙄. I'll calibrate it again and hope it lasts a little longer this time, but twice now it has just gone to reading zero all the sudden a few weeks later. There were also a ton of microbubbles after cleaning the back that especially seemed to be bothering the gorgonian. I have the skimmer off for now in the hopes that the bubbles will be less the next time I turn it on, but there were still some for a while even with it off. Do pumps sometimes create microbubbles on their own after getting a good cleaning? Or is it more likely that I didn't put everything back together correctly? Either way, both issues are on the mend and all the corals seem to be back in shape after a week and hopefully with another water change everything will be more than content again. 

 

I should have a FTS and maybe some other pictures later today or tomorrow after the water change, sorry to disappoint! 😋

 

 

 

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lizzyann

All seems to be well after the water change. Got lots of pics for ya! But first let me ramble about random updates... 

 

The maxi mini that I didn't really want as soon as I got it in my tank ate the emerald crab last night 😢. It has already gone up for sale with all the other frags and random odds and ends.

 

I have the calcium and alk where I want it, so need to test every day this week to determine how much more I need to be dosing. Wish me luck, I always tend to fall off the wagon at some point in the week.

 

All corals look great except for poor bowerbanki that just continues to shrink into its skeleton. I'm sorry I've failed you buddy! I decided to just give it away for free to someone buying other stuff from me if they feel like they can revive it. I love bowerbanki corals so much, but honestly I don't even have room for that and the lobo, so lovely lobo will have to do.

 

I JUST bought another fish that will be arriving early next week 😬 I almost feel bad, as I know 4 fish is definitely the max I should put in this size tank, and I was trying to not add anymore livestock for a while BUT liveaquaria had whitelined combtooth blennies today and it was either that or a red sea mimic for my possible final fish (or I really wanted a yellow clown goby but too worried about my acros) and I doubt I'll ever see a mimic and the quarantine just has me needing more pets to get excited about so there you have it 🤷‍♀️. I'm so excited! They are the CUTEST fish. Kinda the same colors as Lily but really beautiful patterns and LiveAquaria says they're VeRyYy hard to find (even though they've had them in the DD a lot lately 🙄).

 

So I'm fully stocked, full on coral, and there's just onneeee other thing on my dream wish list. A clam. I figure I should go with crocea so it won't outgrow the tank, but they seem like the most delicate and light-needy so it could be a challenge. It's also hard to find them with unique patterns. I can't decide if it might do ok and get enough light on the sandbed or if I could wedge it in on top of my sps rock which has plenty of light but also pretty strong flow (need to research clams and flow more) and I'd probably have to take off and remount the tort. Or maybe I could just toss it on top of the plating montis? Anyway, just brainstorming and continuing to research but would love input if anyone knows much about these guys.

 

FINE, here's the pics:

 

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If the crocea went on the sps rock, I would probably try to fit it between the leather and the blue tort and/or green guy.

 

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If the crocea could do ok on the sand bed I'd just make room in the middle beside the lobo and probably frag down the pavona so it didn't shade the clam.

 

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Acro spotlight!

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Started getting a lot of beginnings of branching growth at the bottom of this one

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and the two kinda boring purple ones, an acropora spathulata and "mad raver" milli...

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The best color from the assessor comes from looking at it from the top! I still need a name for it. Something masculine 🤔

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This is mama Jane, she looooves to chase the assessor and no one else really 😂

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Weird things going on over here where the two cyphastreas are meeting up. Quite the polite and drawn-out battle.

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billygoat
On 4/22/2020 at 8:43 AM, lizzyann said:

Do pumps sometimes create microbubbles on their own after getting a good cleaning? Or is it more likely that I didn't put everything back together correctly?

I think air sometimes gets trapped in the interstices of the pump during cleaning. Normally it work itself out of there a few hours after being put back in the tank though. Are you continuing to have issues with bubbles?

 

Incredible pictures, as usual, and I love the detailed posts about what's been going on in your tank. This thread is always a pleasure to read. It's a damn fine aquarium you've got here. 👍

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lizzyann
12 hours ago, billygoat said:

I think air sometimes gets trapped in the interstices of the pump during cleaning. Normally it work itself out of there a few hours after being put back in the tank though. Are you continuing to have issues with bubbles?

 

Incredible pictures, as usual, and I love the detailed posts about what's been going on in your tank. This thread is always a pleasure to read. It's a damn fine aquarium you've got here. 👍

The bubbles are gone now, but it took a couple days. I bet that's what was going on. Now just hope the skimmer is ready to readjust too.

 

Thanks for always being so supportive!

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olive
14 hours ago, lizzyann said:

The best color from the assessor comes from looking at it from the top! I still need a name for it. Something masculine 🤔

Jacques! Beautiful fish by the way :wub:

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lizzyann

New fish is here! I figured I'd share a few updates and quick phone pics in celebration.

 

I didn't get a great look at the fish before putting it in the tank as I didn't want to stress it with a lot of light, but it seems cute and healthy enough for now. It's stayed put in the shadows in this little alcove since I put it in, which I figured would be a good place for it to get comfortable and maybe eventually be tempted out by the surrounding algae. So excited to have a blenny on board! This is a white lined combtooth blenny. No good pics yet because of the shadows, but here's something:

 

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When I checked on my tank one morning this weekend I was afraid my green, yellow, and red RFA had died as I couldn't find it anywhere and it had been shrinking a little lately. It normally is right there to the left of the pinstripe!

 

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I had to take the entire SPS rock out to safely get to the mushroom rocks and remove the blue spotted shrooms that are multiplying too rapidly and to pry up the maxi mini anemone. When I was examining one of the base rocks I realilzed there were two RFA stuck to it, the green/yellow/red one had just moved all the way inside a cave. So silly! Hopefully it will realize it needs a little more light than that and ease back out, but I was definitely surprised that they will move that much in one night.

 

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Here's the mushroom area without the blue spots. I glued down the og bounce shroom in their place, in the hopes that some stability might help it grow quicker and not fall into the stunted baby catergory of the neptunce.

 

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Thankfully the big discosoma neglecta (the Maw, as @billygoat calls it) that I thought had it's foot stretched between rocks had let go after the first time I wiggled thing around, and I was able to take the rock out without damaging it or encouraging it to reproduce.

 

Unfortunately the oregon tort fell off while I was moving the main rock, so I just put it on a frag plug for now. I'm not too mad because I was thinking about moving it to make room for a clam anyway, but definitely not quite there yet. I think I would have to remove the acro spathulata (since it still isn't really making any amazing visual impact), and put the tort in its place. Even still, I'm not POSITIVE a clam would fit, or if it would still get too shaded by the leather in that location.

 

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After cleaning things up and putting all the rock back the whole island (and pipe organ) was able to come a little further away from the back wall, which I like better visually. I really love tanks with negative space and wish I could create a little more with mine, but don't really want to sacrafice my favorite sand dwelling corals to make some.

 

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lizzyann

Managed to get a better pic of the blenny yesterday when it finally decided to leave its alcove and go check out the plating montis. Still being super shy for the most part, but I kinda expect that with any fish I put in here. Lily has shown a good bit of interest in him, I love how she continually proves to be the welcoming committee in this tank! She kinda gave him some "listen, just fyi, I'm the boss around here" sass once or twice, but for the most part has been really sweet and curious. I was able to put some seaweed from my rod's frozen in the blenny hidey spot, and though I haven't seen it eat or pick at rocks at all, it looked like it had a full tummy the one time I was able to get a peek. ☺️ 

 

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lizzyann

I haven't seen any sign of the blenny today. Really worried that one of these three fatties got him:

 

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😱😭Any of them look suspiciously chubby to you?

 

He was just starting to get really brave and explore a little bit. I was so close to getting a pic of his cute tiger stripe tail! Hopefully he's just hiding or eating algae in a cave or something? 🤞

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billygoat
33 minutes ago, lizzyann said:

I haven't seen any sign of the blenny today. Really worried that one of these three fatties got him

If it was the Maw, you'd notice. It plumps up into a huge, bulbous knot when it consumes something. Kind of looks like a green tomato.

 

Here's hoping the blenny shows up soon. And also, congrats on TOTM! I'd been itching for you to be featured for the past year or so. 😂

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Pbh

Any sign of the blenny? I had one a couple years ago- I loved her - beautiful and full of personality. Sadly she died of ich. She did eat my acan.

 

the yasha does look underfed or like it could have internal parasites to me - do you qt at all? Do you see any white stringy poop? You can mix up pellets or frozen with API general cure and seachem focus (pellets might be easier to target feed to your fish). Humblefish has a recipe you can find (if you can’t lmk and I’ll post a link)

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lizzyann

Welp, still no sign of the blenny. 😢 I've gotta assume he's a goner, but I figured I would be able to find his body somehwere. So sad the lil guy was around for less than a week. He was starting to really get brave and explore and munch on algae all over the place!

 

It seemed healthy, so I imagine one of the mushrooms, or maybe even the mini carpet that's in an anenome box must have gotten it. I never saw any of the mushrooms ballooned up like they were eating a meal, but maybe they ate him overnight, spit him out, then the peppermint shrimp (and/or snails) just totally cleaned up. Or maybe he (or his already dead body) got pulled into the pistol shrimp den, if the pistol shrimp is still alive under the back rock. 🤷‍♀️🤔 hmph.

 

Not sure if I should get another one or not. Maybe I shouldn't do such a small fish with these big mushrooms in here? Hopefully the anenome will be sold soon.

 

In other news everything's pretty good. Lots of algae growing with the increased nutrients but corals seem quite happy. Seeing some growth from the little neptune bounce too! Phosphate was actually probably a little TOO high at .15 this week, but nitrate still barely anything (0-.25). I'm using a free Red Sea nitrate test that I got from someone else and don't really trust it 100% so ordering another Salifert to compare.  

 

One night recently while I was scouring for the blenny, I saw something new! My pavona sends out sweepers at night! It seems to be a super peaceful coral, and nothing near it seems to get injured by them, but it was putting out some surprisingly long tentacles! Hard to get a good shot but:

 

DSC01325.thumb.jpg.d3bf89c14014dc1e752399bb89ffb97d.jpg

 

Got a photo of my lobo getting a late night snack

DSC01333.thumb.jpg.550f4ec79b0964b22619feccb525618d.jpg

 

Also thought this random macro shot of the entrance of a feather duster tube (head? neck?) was pretty cool. Look at those frilly bits!

DSC01276.thumb.jpg.67612de37b2329ae0ce8fe43ec8c0c0f.jpg

 

RIP lil buddy

DSC01279.thumb.jpg.b2f0b893a84faba4b1e301c2ab44b521.jpg

 

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Gaze

@lizzyann big fan of the tank!!

 

How do you hang your lights?

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lizzyann
On 6/25/2020 at 9:31 PM, Gaze said:

@lizzyann big fan of the tank!!

 

How do you hang your lights?

Full Setup March 2019.jpg

Here's a photo that gives you an idea, but I can get another if there's any details you're curious about. I just used two pieces of wood and a shelf bracket, painted it all black, and used the hanging kits that you can get for the AI Prime lights. I was planning something fancier and kind of industrial but it was more work than I was willing to get into at the time and this has worked super well! Not very adjustable so you need to make sure you've got the lights where you want them. 

 

 

Also hiiii everyone! Sorry to drop off the face of the nano-reef world, and right after the tank of the month selection! So uncouth of me! Life has thrown me for a loop the past couple months and I've been SO busy, but managing to keep up with the most basic maintenance and tank is doing well. Out of town right now but I'll try to get a fresh update for yall when I get home next week!

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