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Snow's 20G Lazarus Pit - Where Dead Critters Come Back to Live (With a Sting!)

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Cool post! I really like the Istiblennius dussumieri you linked... and the pictus ofc. I had to sell my Midas in my 22g, had a mean one, grabbed my clowns and shook them like a rabid dog 😮 I replaced it with a more 'peaceful' sixline wrasse. Ha! Hope you come across a pictus again someday, a small macro tank would just be heaven for one. Mine loves to nip at macros and algae. That and sit on toadstools like its lazyboy chair lol

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9 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

Cool post! I really like the Istiblennius dussumieri you linked... and the pictus ofc. I had to sell my Midas in my 22g, had a mean one, grabbed my clowns and shook them like a rabid dog 😮 I replaced it with a more 'peaceful' sixline wrasse. Ha! Hope you come across a pictus again someday, a small macro tank would just be heaven for one. Mine loves to nip at macros and algae. That and sit on toadstools like its lazyboy chair lol

The Istiblennius dussumieri is something new my LFS pulled in about six months ago. They still do pull it in, but have no official name for it - they just call it 'blenny' and leave it like that lol. 

 

Oh, yes, a small pictus + macro picotank would be heaven! I might even read up on doing a reef bowl or jar on this site and see if I can set up something similar. But this is of course, only if I'm lucky enough to get a Pictus again. Some inner feeling tells me they won't be importing anymore Pictuses in the future. 😞

 

Midas can be jerks! Mine was a nipper too. He fancied a spot in the tank and didn't like anyone going near him or his 'territory'. He actually bullied my Percula pair very badly. But I kept him because I loved him. He eventually had some sort of internal parasite - he was wasting away even though he was eating. My guess was worms, but he perished very quickly - days in fact, before I understood what might be wrong with him. 

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Fun stuff in the mail today morning:

 

 

 

I had to replenish my stock of test kits. Most have expired or are on the verge of expiry (some of the older kits have been used for almost 4 years). Picked up a few extra things including liquid buffers for the tank as well as a new refractometer. I use a secondhand one which isn't very accurate despite being calibrated several times. I figured I might as well get a brand new one this time around. The AI Prime I ordered was originally black, but the vendor contacted me via phone and told me he did a stock-check and all the black units were sold out. So I opted for the white instead of waiting for more black units to arrive (which to be frank, could take up to a few months here). I also ordered the 18" flexible gooseneck holder for the light. 

 

I haven't assembled anything or toggled with the settings yet, simply because I had a second round of flu today morning and am exhausted + sick.

 

As for my fish, I lost 4 in QT. Both my Hi-Fins, my wrasse and my brotulid are no longer with me. 

 

Thanos the blenny and Goblin the GCG are still with me and I've just completed the 4th round of TTM yesterday evening. I'll be performing an extra round of TTM on Sat morning, and then proceed with usual weekly WCs while my DT runs fallow until the 4th week of Jan 2019.

 

As for the corals, some of my SPS pieces browned out after the tank hit a temp. spike and the temp. swelled up to 30'C. I was quite sick for 1 week so I turned off the AC. Usually I run the AC + fan simultaneously in my bedroom so the room is quite chill/cold, and the tank temp. remains around 25'C the most. I didn't realize turning off the AC would actually affect the tank, and didn't think much of it until my corals started receding and browning out overnight. Hoping the tank bounces back in time and all corals regain color. I haven't measured PO4 or NO3 levels using the new kits, but I'll do so shortly. I caught some of my RowaPhos leaking out into the DT from the sock-mesh-holder I keep it in, so I think that also has something to do with why my corals look like shit all of a sudden.

 

Once everything stabilizes back to normal, I'll try to get more pics up. 

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Update: It turns out I had some deeper issues with the tank. The temp. range was back to normal, but one of my blue hairy mushrooms had began melting, and my green rhodactis colony was browning out at the edges. I also lost my gold banded shrimp and two hermits, so something was off. 

 

I did a big WC and when I pulled out the skimmer for the usual weekly clean-up, I was quite surprised that the skimmate was black (not even brown, but pitch). I quickly turned off everything except the light and I checked my HOB next, and I found that the nylon sock that I use to hold my RowaPhos and Activated Carbon had a hole and had been leaking media all over into the fuge and the back corners of the DT. Took me a few hours to clean up the mess and try to siphon out as much of the media as possible from the sandbed, empty the fugebox, drain it/scrub etc.

 

I used fresh carbon and fresh RowaPhos once the cleaning was done and the skimmer was cleaned and reintroduced into the DT. I'm sure some of the older media has seeped into the sandbed, but I *think I managed to stir/siphon the worst of it out. Today morning, all corals look reasonably better and all SPS is showing PE despite being browned out in some areas. I'm hoping the colors will come back and the pieces will recover in time, but I think it'll take a few more WCs to get everything back to normal again.

 

Also, I brought home a pair of aquacultured black and white Occys from the LFS, and placed them in a 7G QT in my bedroom (isolate from the major QT bin holding my blenny and GCG). The fish are super-tiny at 1" and 0.75" each. They'll remain in QT for 2 to 3 months before being introduced into the DT. 

 

 

 

 

As for the major QT housing my Starry and GCG, I've just finished my 5th and final round of TTM, so the fish *should be ich-free. But they'll remain in QT until the end of Jan/first week of Feb to wait out the fallow period. 

 

I haven't set up my AI Prime HD yet. I'm still looking through the list of settings everyone else uses by visiting build threads on NR, to determine what setting will work the best for my tank and its current corals. Plus, things have been quite busy with all the WCs to do so and other stuff going on. 

 

Once the light is up, I'll update and post more pics. 

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Guess who miraculously came back from the dead? (With a new claw, to boot).

 

Turns out this guy is nocturnal and super-cryptic. He only comes out when my bedroom lights are completely off, so I don't get to see him very much. But he seems to be doing great, so that's all that matters.

 

Also, tiny clowns are doing well in their QT - The smaller of the two, Nero, loves to eat. The larger of the two, Nova, not so much. I'm planning on treating them with Prazi after the holiday season. So far no signs or symptoms of illness, but better safe than sorry:

 

 

Thanos the starry blenny and Goblin the GCG are also doing alright. Thanos's appetite has dwindled a lot since he entered QT. They've already gone through 5 rounds of TTM, so they *should be ich-free by now. Still, I worry. I lost four really wonderful fish during this process thanks to a combo of ich + gill flukes. I truly do not wish to lose these last two. 

 

 Oh, and some of my corals are recovering their colors (slowly), whilst others are still brown. :sad:

 

 

My shrimps:

 

 

Other, non-tank related stuff:

 

I dropped by several LFSes. Saw a few interesting things: (FW)

 

1. Fire eels for sale (imported from Indonesia):

 

 

 

2. Rope fish clustered together:

 

 

(SW)

 

1. Rare circus goby for sale at LFS - very pricey:

 

 

2. Ultra-'red' clowns from the Indo-Pacific (wild):

 

 

3. Purple Queen Anthias (and Stocky anthias juvis in the background). Not recommended by my LFS since they always, always perish at the store due to not eating:

 

I only purchased 2 torpedo barbs and 2 very, very tiny striped squeaker cats for my 70G. (from the FW LFS). The torpedo barbs was a necessity purchase. I lost one barb due to carelesness, and I had 2 large ones in my 70G which have been with me for a year now. Torpedos usually need a small 'school' to negate aggression. With only two barbs remaining, one decided to pick on the other very, very badly. The only option left would be to make them school again, so I bought 2 juvis. They're half the size of the adults that I have, and the moment I put them in, all 4 of them began to form a school and swim together. Pecking order done, and no more fights between the fish. Phew.

 

 

Oh, and my therapy dog says Hello. :happy:

 

 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

I only purchased 2 torpedo barbs and 2 very, very tiny striped squeaker cats for my 70G. (from the FW LFS). The torpedo barbs was a necessity purchase. I lost one barb due to carelesness, and I had 2 large ones in my 70G which have been with me for a year now. Torpedos usually need a small 'school' to negate aggression. With only two barbs remaining, one decided to pick on the other very, very badly. The only option left would be to make them school again, so I bought 2 juvis. They're half the size of the adults that I have, and the moment I put them in, all 4 of them began to form a school and swim together. Pecking order done, and no more fights between the fish. Phew.

I had to get rid of my barbs when I moved. Sad to let them go..😞 🖖

My barbs were my favorite fish I ever owned and none of them died during to 5 years they were with me. They had such huge dorkish, shy (yet curious) personalities, I loved them to bits. I miss that tank.

 

Its funny to hear them be called torpedoes. I've always called them denison barbs, based of their scientific name, Sahyadria denisonii. They were sold to me as ''roseline sharks'', though, lol. So many name for one little fish!

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1 minute ago, Ocellaris PDX said:

I had to get rid of my barbs when I moved. Sad to let them go..😞 🖖

My barbs were my favorite fish I ever owned and none of them died during to 5 years they were with me. They had such huge dorkish, shy (yet curious) personalities, I loved them to bits. I miss that tank.

 

Its funny to hear them be called torpedoes. I've always called them denison barbs, based of their scientific name, Sahyadria denisonii. They were sold to me as ''roseline sharks'', though, lol. So many name for one little fish!

Lol, they call them torpedos in the shops here so I'm used to calling them as such. Although, I have to say the term 'roseline sharks' sounds awesome too! :happy:

 

I also have a pair of filamented barbs in the 70G. Beautiful/vibrant fish. I find barbs very hardy too. I think they're one of the few fish species that are actually forgiving towards parameter swings. 

 

What type of barbs have you owned before, if I might ask? 

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16 hours ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Lol, they call them torpedos in the shops here so I'm used to calling them as such. Although, I have to say the term 'roseline sharks' sounds awesome too! :happy:

 

I also have a pair of filamented barbs in the 70G. Beautiful/vibrant fish. I find barbs very hardy too. I think they're one of the few fish species that are actually forgiving towards parameter swings. 

 

What type of barbs have you owned before, if I might ask? 

Same type, denison/torpedoes/roselines/whatever one calls them. 

 

I noticed that they are really resilient too! Great fish. Really strong. Survived all my outbreaks and crashes. 👍

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Update:

 

1. I celebrated my birthday yesterday (can't believe I've made it this far!) :

 

- and I received two wonderful gifts from my mother and a friend of hers (who also ended up becoming a friend of mine over time): :happy:

 

 

 

 

2. Also, my corals are bouncing back! Some quicker than others. My green monti is actually a brighter green than when I first bought it, but its edges are still browned out. However, it is growing, which was a good surprise.

 

 

 

3. Topshot view of the tank today:

 

 

4. FTS on 16/12/18.

 

I know it's not a stunner, but I love every bit of it. Hope everyone has had a good weekend. :happy:

 

P.S. Thanos & Goblin are doing alright in QT. Tiny clowns, Nero & Nova are also doing well and eating like little piggies. Hoping they'd put on at least an inch more in size before they're moved back into this tank in Feb/March next year. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Update:

 

1. I celebrated my birthday yesterday (can't believe I've made it this far!) :

 

- and I received two wonderful gifts from my mother and a friend of hers (who also ended up becoming a friend of mine over time): :happy:

 

 

 

 

2. Also, my corals are bouncing back! Some quicker than others. My green monti is actually a brighter green than when I first bought it, but its edges are still browned out. However, it is growing, which was a good surprise.

 

 

 

3. Topshot view of the tank today:

 

 

4. FTS on 16/12/18.

 

I know it's not a stunner, but I love every bit of it. Hope everyone has had a good weekend. :happy:

 

P.S. Thanos & Goblin are doing alright in QT. Tiny clowns, Nero & Nova are also doing well and eating like little piggies. Hoping they'd put on at least an inch more in size before they're moved back into this tank in Feb/March next year. 

 

 

 

Everything looks great!

 

That pink leather is super cool. 😀

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27 minutes ago, WV Reefer said:

 

Everything looks great!

 

That pink leather is super cool. 😀

Thanks, Christy! And I think I might end up hoarding more softies instead of SPS for this tank. They seem to be faring better. :wink:

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Tank is bouncing back very well! :happy:

 

1. My hairy mushroom now has a bright blue center! It actually looks even better than the first time I brought it home.

 

 

2. My green monti cap has gained half an inch, and the color has actually become more vibrant than the first day I bought it as well.

 

 

3. Oh, and that liverock my leather colony on is full of cool, living critters. They all seem to come 'out' at night - tunicates, spaghetti worms, duster worms and banded microbrittle stars. :lol:

 

 

4. My Saron Shrimp has also developed a strong affection towards my macro. He loves sitting on/in it, and he hangs upside down the algae-rock when the lights are off:

 

5. The tiny clowns are not-so-super-tiny anymore. Nero and Nova have now exceeded 1" each, although Nero remains slightly smaller. They're still figuring things out in terms of pairing, but I haven't seen them butt heads or do the twitchy-dance yet. Probably because they're still too young for it. Who knows.

 

 

Short downplay of the current state of the 20G:

 

Current Livestock:

 

Inverts:

1. Candycane Pistol Shrimp

2. Golden Coral Banded Shrimp

3. Saron Shrimp

4. White Spotted Anemone Shrimp

5. Brown Legged Hermits

6. Red Legged Hermit

7. Blue Tuxedo Urchin

8. Purple Rock Urchin

9. Nassarius Snails

10. Super Tongan Nassarius Snail (might be a Babylonia Snail)

 

Anemone:

1. Mini Maxi Carpet Anemone

 

Corals:

(SPS)

1. Red Digi

2. Blue Digi (Still browned out, but regaining light blue coloring at tips)

3. Green Acro

4. Green Monti

5. Red Monti

6. Pink Acro

 

(LPS)

1. Green Goniopora

2. Green Pagoda

 

(Softies)

1. Green Weeping Willow

2. Green Short-Polyped Toadstool

3.  Red Finger Leather

4. Green Nepthea

 

(Mushrooms)

1. Green Rhodactis

2. Purple Yuma

3. Green Yuma

4. Orange Yuma

5. Red Rhodactis

6. Blue Hairy Mushroom

 

(Zoas)

1. Red Skirts

2. Pink Skirts

3. Toxic Green

 

(Other)

1. Neon GSP

 

(Macroalgae)

1. Galaxaura ---> my rock urchin is currently eating this :sideeyes:

2. Caulerpa peltata

3. Caulerpa racemosa

4. Brown Scroll

 

Fish to be Re-Added to Tank in late Jan - March:

1. Starry Blenny

2. Green Clown Goby

3. Black & White Occellaris Clownfish (x2)

*Maybe a small Leopard Wrasse

 

Dosing Calcium (Aquacraft) & dKH (Continuum) on alternate days manually. Top-off fresh water once every three days. Salt is Fritz RPM. Salinity is 1.023 to 1.024. Tank temperature is set to 25'C. No chiller or fan used since it's in my bedroom. Current light is still a 36W PAR38 LED with all blues and whites, and 1 taped out red LED. 

 

Tank is currently fishless and going fallow due to Ich. Will QT any new fish that comes in from now on to save myself all the trouble and heartbreak. 

 

--->BONUS stuff from discovering a new LFS, in a new part of town I've never been before:

 

1. Giant sandsifting goby - had no idea they could get this large! :whoa:

 

2. Mini all-in-one Pico tanks for sale here. Each tank is around 1G to 2G.

 

3. Their DTs:

 

 

^This was the shop I got my macro and red finger leather colony from. It's not as stellar as some of the LFSes I frequent too, but I think it's semi-decent in looks. Lady in the shop tried to push an unbranded blackbox LED light on me - I told her I have a PAR38 and AI Prime and am happy with the two of them, even though I haven't set up my Prime yet. She had no idea what I was talking about. So, yeah. 

 

But otherwise, it wasn't as bad as I originally expected walking in. The all-in-one picos were cute, when they were all lined up in a row. I tried to take a pic of them, but she stopped me, so I respected her wishes and only snapped one pic of one pico (she allowed that). 

 

I'm heading overseas for a short while. My greatest concern would be the dkH drop while I'm away for five days. I usually do everything manually, rather than auto-dosing, because I feel more comfortable doing it by hand somehow. I'm leaving the lights off during this time. Hope everything will pull through ok. :scarry:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Update!

 

I celebrated Christmas in Krabi, Thailand, this year and it was wonderful! (If you're into the beach and nature-like things/stuff, do check out this place - just avoid going during peak/holiday season because it gets super crowded):

 

1. I went Island-hopping with my family: :happy:

 

 

 

2. And also went rainforest trekking and visited the Emerald Pool - the water is green due to the high content of minerals (malachite, if I'm not mistaken) in it:

 

 

3. The freshwater from the springs and mini waterfalls branching out of the pool is crystal clear like glass - there were some cool barbs and wild channa in there too: :happy:

 

4. And of course, you do get delicious, freshly caught seafood at the beach:

 

 

----

 

1. Alright, so tank-wise, I returned home and there were no casualties except one Nassarius snail that went carpet-surfing:

 

2. And I left my tuxedo in the fugebox before leaving, and moved all my macro out into the display so that the urchin could eat all the film algae in the box. The first I saw when I returned and flipped the lights on was that he was busy finishing off my Caulerpa in the DT! Either hunger must have kicked in, or he was just being a little shit and decided to escape and pillage my tank anyway: :furious:

 

3. All my corals however, were perfectly fine without any top-offs, dosing or light for 5+ days. I expected some losses, but some of my corals actually grew and became more vibrant over the dark days. 

 

4. I couldn't see all my inverts though, but I did spot my Pistol when I fed the tank lightly with a few NLS pellets.

 

-----

 

1. The LFS put a female leopard wrasse on hold for me while I was on holiday. But a day before I returned home, the wrasse jumped out of their holding tank. The manager was very apologetic, and offered me a selection of other fish to peruse from. Problem is, the wrasses left were very large fairies and a single Christmas wrasse. Stunning colors, but all too big for my 20G. So I chose to bring home a pair of ruby dragonets instead. The rubies are not in very good condition. They're generally poor shippers by nature, and they both have slightly sunken bellies despite being plump from the dorsal view. Lateral lines aren't visible yet, but they've been in the store, quarantined for a week now, with no proper food.

 

So I'll be feeding them live, and weaning them onto frozen over the next month. I'm personally not sure if they'll make it. It's a risk and a challenge, but I'll keep up with it and do my best to see them healthy and chubby again:

 

2. Also, I requested for some macro to compensate for all the Caulerpa my urchin had eaten. I brought home two huge clumps of Chaeto and fern caulerpa, courtesy of the store:

 

3, And I picked up a small frag of Pavona coral (reddish-brown) on my way out. The mother colony in their main DT was gorgeous, so hopefully this one colors up in time:

 

 

 

-----

 

Bonus Add-On:

 

This is the major DT of the marine LFS I visited: :happy:

 

 

 

 

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1. So, I've been trying out multiple things with the dragonets, and so far it's been a hit-or-miss. Test-run with live grindal worms came back 50/50:

 

2. As for frozen crab roe, we're getting somewhere, but not fast enough to fill out those sunken bellies from the store:

 

 

 

And yesterday's meal went ignored, unfortunately. 

 

I admit I'm not keeping my hopes up just yet. We still have a long way to go, and they need to be isolated for 30 days, undergo 5x rounds of TTM + Prazi before being re-added to the 20G on 30th Jan, when the tank is Ich-free. They might not last that long unless they actively begin to feed in earnest. I tried hatching a bottle of *expired BBS, but I failed, so I'll be picking up new BS eggs from the store either today or tomorrow when I can. Until then, I've even tried giving them small pieces of frozen BBS and mysis to no avail.

 

3. But I did perform a 100% WC on the QT - I need to WC this tank at least twice a week to keep up with the waste produced by four bioload-heavy fish.

 

4. Tiny clowns are doing well though - they love NLS pellets and are now 1" and 1.25" each. They've also began doing the twitchy-jerky dance that clowns do. :happy:

 

 

---

 

As for the 2nd QT I have going, Thanos is not doing so well. He's skipped feedings and lost a lot of body weight. He started eating again a little bit yesterday, but nowhere near his usual load. So under advice of forum friends, I've started dipping his food in garlic juice in hopes he would eat more. I also plan on getting some more macro from my LFS to feed him, and throw in some garlic-soaked Nori as well.

 

 

 

----

 

As for the 20G, there's a bit of ups and downs with this tank. My wavemaker stopped working day before yesterday, but a quick soak in concentrated vinegar and some deep scrubbing set it back to work again at full power. I'm planning on upgrading my wavemaker (initial plan was to get a second one and attach it to the opposite side of the tank to create a cross-flow for the SPS) in the future - something more powerful with ample flow.

 

My mini maxi nem is also not doing too well - it took a trip around the tank, was stung by my hammer coral and then walked into the back grates of the wavemaker. I managed to detach it but the foot is badly damaged and I think it is slowly dying. I isolated it in a floating mesh basket to allow to heal, but it's in really bad shape. :sad:

 

1. The rest of the tank is doing alright though - I temporarily transferred my nem shrimp onto my toadstool leather, but she was not happy and crawled back into the mesh basket to rejoin the damaged nem:

 

2. Other soft corals and shrooms seem to be doing okay:

 

3. But my SPS isn't growing as fast as I'd like it. 

 

4. But at least my Acan popped up a new head during the New Year:

 

5. And I spotted this guy again:

 

Besides the nem, the tank has (thankfully!) no outstanding problems. There is a very light layer of film algae that occasionally pops up once a week on the rocks, but a quick WC often makes it go away within the next day. This might all change once the fish are re-added into the tank one by one though. If the dragonet pair survives, I'll most likely rehome one and keep one. Since I do have clowns now, as tiny as they are, my bioload is significantly higher. I can't pull off the same amount of fish I did previously, whereby most of those fish were tiny gobies with nil bioload. 

 

Additions will be slow and spaced out over 2 to 3 months. But I'll be adding coral frags in between, bit by bit to fill the tank up. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wow, you certainly have your hands full with the QTs.  I hope the ruby red start to eat and Thanos puts on some weight.

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5 minutes ago, vlangel said:

Wow, you certainly have your hands full with the QTs.  I hope the ruby red start to eat and Thanos puts on some weight.

Yep, currently juggling 2 QTs and 2 DTs. I figured I might as well QT anything I want to put into the tank from now on. Too painful to keep losing fish to Ich & flukes of all things. 😞 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Yep, currently juggling 2 QTs and 2 DTs. I figured I might as well QT anything I want to put into the tank from now on. Too painful to keep losing fish to Ich & flukes of all things. 😞 

 

 

I am with you.  I did not use to QT but I do now.  Even if only for a week it usually is long enough to see if there is disease and if fish are eating.

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52 minutes ago, vlangel said:

I am with you.  I did not use to QT but I do now.  Even if only for a week it usually is long enough to see if there is disease and if fish are eating.

I never thought much of QT until the Ich outbreak wiped out four of my fish. Even  now after TTM, I worry for my Starry blenny and GCG daily. QTing can definitely be a pain but if it can reduce the chances of introducing parasites into the DT and prevent unneccessary and heartbreaking losses, I'll take it. It sucks to lose anything. :( 

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Few close-up coral shots today morning:

 

 

 

 

 

 

20G is doing alright. All inverts are okay, and all corals are regaining color. My browned out Acro is now turning an odd shade of lime green - hoping it'll return to its original vibrant shade with a few more WCs down the road. The mini maxi also looks a *bit better - I took Ray's advice and it appears to be recovering, albeit slowly. Once one of my QTs are free, I'll transfer the mini maxi into the QT to monitor it better.

 

I was looking through my local online shops, and I'm thinking of picking up a Jebao OW-10 wavemaker. Price stings, but it's still affordable. I'll try to take my current wavemaker to the store and see if they can fix it somehow, but SOBO wavemakers tend not to last long, plus the screw holding it appears to be rusting. :wacko:

 

So it's become a necessity to change it, whether I want to or not. 

 

---

 

As for the 20G QT bin which hosts my blenny and GCG, both fish are doing somewhat alright. Goblin still has a very good appetite, Thanos not so much. He did consume some seaweed pellets the other day, but still not his usual load. Once he's returned to the DT after the fallow period is over, I think his appetite should return in full force.

 

---

 

As for the second QT hosting the tiny clowns and dragonets, all four fish are alright, except the dragonets still have trouble accepting both live and frozen food. My DT is crawling with pods, but I have to wait until the last day of Jan for the fallow period to be over before I can transfer them in there. Until then, I've already ordered 2 bottles of fresh brine shrimp eggs from a supplier from the north of my state. The eggs should arrive by post either on Sunday or Monday. I'll keep trying to feed my dragonets frozen roe and live grindal worms until then.

 

Tiny clowns are growing quickly - they'll be last fish to be added into the DT.

 

My fish re-additions go like this:

 

1. Dragonet(s)

 

Wait 2 weeks.

 

2. GCG.

 

Wait 2 weeks.

 

3. Starry Blenny.

 

Wait 3 to 4 weeks.

 

4. Tiny Clownfish pair.

 

In the even the dragonets do not make it during QT or TTM + Prazi treatment, I'll be re-adding my GCG & Starry Blenny together into the DT during the end of Jan/first week of Feb, wait a month/month and a half and then add the clowns in. 

 

As long as I keep the dragonets, I won't be doing a wrasse (as I had originally wanted to) since they will compete for the same natural food source, and the tank is overstocked as it is. 

 

I have plans to set up a 2' ft cube in my bedroom as well (opposite the 20G). Once that tank is set up, stabilized and running well, I'll be moving Thanos out into it, because he does need the room the grow more (and yes, he will probably max. out at 6"). I'll also transfer the clownfish pair into that tank. It's still in planning stages and might be a while yet before I procure the 60G. Nervous but excited at the same time - been planning that build for a while now. 

 

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1. So my browned out Acro has turned from brown to yellowish-lime greenish to light green. This was after stepping up my WCs and upping my dosing:

 

 

I think it'll take a few more weeks before the original 'vibrant' green returns. :ninja:

 

2. Random shots of my mushrooms, because I simply love these guys:

 

3. I ordered several things through the mail to help me train my dragonets better, but after a four-day delay of *express-post, 3 of my 5 items came in damaged/bent/broken: :sad:

 

Only the new brine shrimp eggs came in untouched, thankfully:

 

And even though this was the fault of the courier service, my vendor reshipped a new breeder box to me today, FOC: :happy:

 

This was my first experience with this vendor, and his packaging is very good. Interaction is very good too, so I told him I'll buy from him again, if I need anything in the future. The most awesome thing is that he also sells discus, so I'll definitely be keeping an eye on his fish stock and grab a nice pair of Heckels when I can. :happy:

 

4. As for my dragonets, they're not doing too well. My female is alright, but my male is very inactive and not eating properly. He sometimes takes a few pecks of grindals, but has lost some weight. My fallow period started on 14th Nov last year. I initially wanted to do 10 weeks of fallow, just in case. But worse come to worse, I'll re-add my dragonets to the display on 16th of Jan (after 61 days of fallow) *if they don't accept the live BBS. It's a crapshot, but I want both fish to survive, if possible, and being QTed for a prolonged time seems to be stressing them (as compared to my tiny clowns) to the point of not eating. I'm still thinking hard about it - Ich is a pain to deal with. :sad:

 

5. As for the 20G, it's doing fine being fishless for 7 weeks now. 

 

Here's my nem shrimp going toadstool-surfing:

 

And here's Grant, in his undersized turban-snail shell, suffering from impaired mobility due to poor choice in housing: :lol:

 

Lastly, this is the tiny hitchiker snail-conch-thingy that came in with my finger leather colony. It's surprisingly a very hard worker and constantly grazing on the rocks or glass:

 

Tomorrow will be WC day. I'll be WCing the tiny clown/dragonet QT and the 20G DT. Lot of work ahead. 

 

 

 

 

 

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The 20G is doing alright. I didn't end up doing my weekly WC but am still manually topping off the water and dosing Calcium and kH buffer every other day.

 

 

As for my dragonets, I have been hatching some live BBS and supplementing them with it. It's still a 50/50 shot with them until today.

 

 

 

 

I've been running into constant fish-related issues in the QT tanks for the past week. It's been an uphill battle and me falling sick yesterday didn't help matters - I ended up delaying my routine WCs on all tanks. Thanos wasn't doing well in the QT bin. He was lying flat on his side at one stage, so I shifted my mantis out of the 10G, put my Clarkii & Hawkfish into two separate breeder boxes and moved him directly into the 10G (disease-free tank), in hopes he would graze on some of the algae (?) growing on the back wall. He has yet to accept any proper food for almost 2 weeks now. But putting him in a DT with some LR seemed to change him a little bit - he's no longer laying on his side, and sleeps at the back corner of the tank every night.

 

So from this:

 

At least he is this now:

 

 

One of the tiny clowns came down with googly-eyes (flukes) yesterday. I Prazi'd the QT and it seems to be doing a bit better now, (less googly, more active, no more clamped fins) but ultimately, I'll be WCing the tank every 3 to 4 days and treating with Prazi for a week or two until its condition improves.

 

Back to my 20G, it's running fishless and giving me the least amount of trouble atm. 

 

FTS & Topshot view:

 

Sometimes, I think keeping fish is a lot harder than keeping corals. I'm seriously contemplating running a fishless system in the future. Less activity, but less hassle and less stress as well. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today I finally got a chance to visit my LFS and pick up some of the corals I ordered in early December last year. I might have picked up a few 'extras' too, since the manager offered me a LNY discount on all small frags. 

 

I also managed to pick up one premium red mini carpet anemone as well. This purchase wasn't in my original bucket list, but basically my manager had a private tank in his store room - a very small nano that housed dozens of premium/rare corals and nems. :biggrin:

 

He actually gave me the option of buying some of the pieces, if I was keen. So I selected a fluorescent yellow yuma to add to my growing yuma collection and one red mini carpet nem (was rather surprised to find three of them - I haven't seen these nems for almost two years now in any LFS). The nem was very pricey, but I think it was worth it. As for the yuma, it's gorgeous - I'll try to snap a better pic when I can.

 

I also managed to acquire some galaxaura, to be added to my fuge. In total, I acquired 12 coral pieces ( 11 frags + 1 zoa colony), 1 macro clipping and 1 mini nem. My white spotted nem shrimp has already become attached to the new mini carpet, and I *think it's already in the process of splitting into two. :happy:

 

1. As for my LFS, here's one of their major reef-DTs:

 

 

2. Some Bennett's butterflyfish juvis cruising a FO-DT:

 

3. Very healthy, 'glowing' GBTA:

 

4. Some of their coral frag tanks:

 

5. A geometric pygmy perchlet up for sale - haven't seen one of these guys for a long, long time:

 

6. And this - this fascinates me the most. A mysterious species of dragonet I have not seen before. It's huge at 6", (very sorry, I only have a dorsal-view of it) and was mislabelled as a sea moth by one of the workers. But it isn't a sea moth, it's just a unidentified species of dragonet. Almost like a Scooter, but the size is way off, and the tail fin alone is much, much longer. It has no 'walking legs' and is not a Mother Dragonet (I checked). Up for sale for RM 25 only. But I think it'll need a megareef to thrive properly - preferably somewhere within a 200G range, with a dedicated fuge at least half that size.

 

So many fascinating things. :smilie:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today was a very interesting + exciting day. I finished the 8-week fallow period for Ich, and after careful deliberation, I decided to re-add 4 fish into the DT at once (Please do not attempt something similar - the only reason I did this was because: 1) My dragonets were faring badly in QT and had lost almost 50% of their original weight despite constant live/frozen feeding attempts 2) My Starry Blenny had stopped eating for almost 2 weeks and my GCG had stopped eating for nearly 5 days in QT 3) Despite how 'young' this tank is, all the LR is mature, cured and are over 2+ years-old 4) I have a large in-tank fuge packed with LR + macro (80% rock, 20% algae) to give extra stability to the system; I also packed my HOB filter with LR 5) I wanted to get all four of my fish feeding and behaving normally as quick as possible (less stress, more activity)).

 

The main reason is to save the fish, and not kill them, and this was my safest option. I introduced the dragonets early in the morning after a 15 min. acclimation period, and then introduced my blenny and GCG simultaneously in the afternoon after another acclimation period.

 

The dragonets are not in good shape. I won't lie to you - they're not fat, but they're not emaciated either. Their bellies are still sunken, and they're not actively hunting for pods. I will observe them for another 2 to 3 days - if they're just going to mooch around on my sandbed, I'll put them directly into the fuge in hopes they'd eat something in there. I'll also keep up with the live BBS and live grindal worm feedings, and frozen crab roe feedings too.

 

Here they were in the bucket, during acclimation:

 

Here's a quick snapshot of my female, Zorah, hiding behind my goni:

 

But the one major good thing was that my Starry, Thanos, made a huge comeback after I put him in the DT. He was actually pecking the glass/rocks, chasing his reflection, and returning to his usual goofball-self. He also accepted 2 seaweed pellets this evening - which is a major up from not eating anything:

 

Goblin the GCG also began to actively feed on some NLS pellets (thank God! :bowdown:😞

 

And I also caught them cuddling next to each other: :lol:

 

As for my corals, they're doing quite well, except for my Pink Acro, which is still STNing at the base. (I might snap it off, cut off the dead part and re-glue the still-fleshy part tomorrow morning - hopefully it'll fare better in direct flow). 

 

Here are the four chalice/favia pieces I acquired, but I can't for the life of me tell which one is a chalice, and which one is a favia. (So help me ID please?)

 

 

(Pretty sure the last one is a favia). Each frag cost me RM 10 (~$2.30 each). That's how I managed to get so many different choices. Usually, a favia or chalice frag averages around RM 80 here - with some even going as far as RM 200 per piece, depending on color and rarity. 

 

These next two are the slightly rarer, premium zoas/palys I ordered in Dec. Bounty Hunter & Utter Chaos:

 

 

^These two were expensive (for me) but worth it. The color really pops, and I like it very much.

 

And this is my yellow yuma (sorry, blue lighting + bad camera phone filter kills colors :sad:) - it's actually very bright in RL:

 

 

And this is my red mini carpet (not to be confused with mini maxi). It's already begun to split after a day, and is now being hosted by my shrimp: :happy:

 

 

And this is my red rhodactis (bullseye shroom) which actually has a blue base. 

 

 

Lastly, this is the topshot view of my current reef. It's a budget, mixed reef with every type of coral except NPS. The cheapest thing in there are my macro (FOC :lol:). The most expensive thing in it is the red mini carpet at RM 100 (~$23). Everything that I've acquired might come off as 'cheap' outside the country due to the currency exchange, but for what I can afford on a daily basis, I'd say some of it was darn pricey, but worth it. I like the tank a lot, and am still collecting more frags to fill it up. Can't wait to watch it progress further and take it to its limits. :wink:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So it turns out my white spotted nem shrimp has been stressing out my new red mini carpet nem (and possibly even picking off the polyps on the surface of the nem). :furious:

 

I isolated the shrimp and here's the nem this morning (before separation):

 

 I fed it a large chunk of shrimp yesterday - it's still sticky and it devoured the whole piece.

 

My female dragonet, Zorah, decided to save me the trouble of relocation and hopped into the fugebox yesterday. Among the two dragonets, she fared better, and today I found her actively hunting pods in the fugebox. I'll be target-feeding the fuge some live BBS and a bit of frozen roe from time to time to supplement her.

 

My male dragonet, Zemo, is unfortunately not doing as well as the female. I tried scooping him with a brine net earlier this morning to put him directly in the fugebox, but holy hell, the lil' dude can move lightning quick if he wants to. He's now sulking behind my leather colony. I'll try netting him again this evening when the lights are out and he's sleeping on the sandbed.

 

VV (Pic taken yesterday)

 

Goblin, my GCG is back to his usual antics. I actually double-checked his size - he's not 1" but around 1.5". He actually doubled in size during the 8 weeks of QT. :blink:

 

As for now, he loves hanging around my Pavona coral. The coral itself has colored up very well from brown to red, and is a fast-grower.

 

 

Thanos is not too far away from Goblin at all times. I think they both find comfort in being close to one another, despite the huge size difference and the overlap in territory. I'm happy these two survived the Ich outbreak and fallow period. I think the past 8 weeks has been very stressful both on me and all the animals involved. Losing fish one-by-one, especially my 1-year-old Hi-Fin was a deep blow to the gut. It's definitely not something I'd like to repeat again, so any fish additions in the future, for all my tanks (especially SW), will be QTed for a min. of 3 weeks before being introduced into a DT.

 

Among the 14 coral/nem/macro pieces I brought home, one of them was an underpriced, tiny blasto fraglet that wasn't doing too well at the LFS, Manager pretty much gave me this piece FOC because he was honest and told me it might not make it. I decided to take a chance on it and nurture it, so I'll see how it goes. Hopefully it'll make a comeback and who knows? Maybe even pop out a few more new heads?

 

My new yellow yuma is also doing quite well. I'm thinking of collecting other yuma and rhodactis types - colors, mostly. So I'm hunting around for pink (rare + pricey), neon orange and neon green yumas. I'm avoiding florida rics because they're extremely overpriced here. I prefer the usual Indo-Pacific variety anyway, because they can grow fairly large (as evidenced by my current green/purple yuma). As for the rhodactis shrooms, I'll be trying to acquire the different colors and morphs - not too many, but just enough to cover the sandbed on the right side of the tank. 

 

That's it for now, I suppose. :wink:

 

 

 

 

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