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Lula_Mae

Lula Mae's desktop pico - picture/video overload

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Lula_Mae

With the purchase of my new Innovative Marine 14 Peninsula, I decided to dismantle the 5.5 I've had for just over a year that was basically a frag holding tank for most of its life for my planned upgrade (which was the 15 long, which will be transferred soon into the IM).  I wanted something on my desk where I spend a lot of time that I could look at and enjoy and after some debate, I pulled out a tank I had as a pico a few years ago, soaked it in vinegar and water, and gave it a good scraping (it had been covered in coralline algae before) and cleaned it up.  I transferred some stuff from the 5.5 into it (after holding them temporarily in something else while I decided what to do).  Tonight I also moved a few things from the 15L in here and snapped a few pics to share.  I may still change a few things up once I get the IM 14 going (such as possibly changing out the rock for one in the 15 as this one is almost too big!) but I'm happy with it for now. 

 

The tank was originally purchased because the rounded corners and tall profile reminded me of the Finnex 4 gallon that was around when I was a newbie.  It was a tank I loved but could never find/afford at the time, and have not been able to find since (I didn't know about the Imagitarium 3.7 gallon when I got this or I might have gotten that instead).  I set it up with Tahitian moon sand and too little flow and had issues with algae forever.  It got broken down when I married and moved hundreds of miles away.  I'm in a better position now to take care of it and have learned my lesson about black sand (never again!  Probably).  When I set this up a couple weeks ago, I'd put an AC30 on it and promptly sucked sand into it as I was moving things around, so now it doesn't work and I have to try to get the impeller out so I can clean it out and try again.  Oops. :rolleyes: So for now it's running with just an airline pump, light and heater.  Just like the jar. :smilie:

 

Tank specs:

2.7 gallon Penn Plax Vertex (the same as @Draco's pest pico!)

Lumini Asta marine light (purchased secondhand from a member here)--still working on dialing this in spectrum- and intensity-wise

Whisper air pump and airline (clear for now but will probably change to black when it starts getting ugly lol)

Archea 25w heater (needs replacing, is over a year old)

sand--a mixture of Fiji pink (swiped from the 15L and rinsed very, very, very thoroughly) and live sand I ordered a while back from Gulf Coast Ecosystems, which is larger and kind of chunky, though smaller than crushed coral, I think

large reef saver rock from BRS and a piece of rubble on top

 

Inhabitants:

Jacques the Pederson's anemone shrimp

Purple and yellow feather duster (I should call him Tank because he has been indestructible!  Love this guy!) which I've had for over a year

Christmas tree worm rock

couple of snails--dwarf cerith, virgin nerite, nassarius (at least 2 of these I see trucking around since I just fed the tank lol); not sure how many overall as I didn't count as I fished them out

blue ricordea

shrunken purple and green rainbow ric--I am hopeful it can recover. Both of these came from Dr. Gibby's tank and they, along with the orange rainbow which I can't find anymore, never did well in the 5.5 despite loving the smaller tanks I'd had before

GSP rock with some yellow sponges (used to be the duster's abode, I may move it out since he's now detached)

red ribbon macro

small pale GSP frag in the back (probably won't stay)

magician paly that is hating the 15L

 

gorg collection:

purple ribbon gorg frag

recovering Hicksomella sp. gorg that was originally in the GSP garden--it has been slowly recovering for months and has great polyp extension on the parts that have rebuilt flesh!  I really thought I had lost it at one point

green lace gorg from 15L

purple frilly? from the 15L

purple gorg from LiveAquaria that is the same species as Grube's gorgonian.  Also isn't very purple. :lol:

 

First official FTS 6/11/18 (pic is much bluer than it is in real life...may have to up the whites for photos)

20180611_214819

 

 

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Lula_Mae

Some more pics!

One of several yellow sponges on the GSP rock.  The GSP has struggled the last few months and receded somewhat, so the sponges have been filling in.

20180611_214921

 

Christmas tree worm rock--this has suffered as you can see by the heavy loss of porites on the rock.  It also turned ugly brown under the PAR bulb I was using.  After just a few days under the Asta, you can see on the left the porites are starting to turn green again!  Shrunken purple and green ric in front.

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Feather duster, ric, Hicksomella sp. gorg, angry magician paly:

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Closer up on the gorg and its polyp extension:

20180611_214934

 

Closer up shot to see the other gorgs.  On the left--Grube's species gorg; top middle is the purple frilly (I think), then the purple cactus/ribbon; on right is the green lace gorg.  If you look closely you can see the purple frilly and green lace have missing tips where cyano tried to take hold.  I had to baste the whole green lace gorg because it had a light coating of cyano and was trying to shed.  Virgin nerite snail on the airline tubing.

20180611_214912

 

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vlangel

Its darling Lula!  I saw the 5.5 'the end' and I felt so sad until I saw that you moved most stuff here.  I don't know but to me the rock looks good, (not too big). Its nice that its in a place where you can enjoy it a lot.

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Lula_Mae
17 minutes ago, vlangel said:

Its darling Lula!  I saw the 5.5 'the end' and I felt so sad until I saw that you moved most stuff here.  I don't know but to me the rock looks good, (not too big). Its nice that its in a place where you can enjoy it a lot.

Thanks! :happy: The 5.5 never did quite as well as I hoped it would, with so much just jumbled in there, but I did enjoy it a lot. Once I was able to get the new IM tank,  it made my decision of what to do with my tanks pretty clear. Best part is how easy this should be to care for!

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Draco

I'm excited to see this one grow!!

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CarolinaShoreReef

Looking good! Are you going to keep this ULM and put your main focus on the IM? I found that to be most helpful in maintaining two tanks. 

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Lula_Mae
2 hours ago, Draco said:

I'm excited to see this one grow!!

Thanks, me too! Tank twins! :lol:

2 hours ago, CarolinaShoreReef said:

Looking good! Are you going to keep this ULM and put your main focus on the IM? I found that to be most helpful in maintaining two tanks. 

ULM? Ultra low maintenance? I guess lol I need to keep them both simple, through I think the IM14 will be a bit more maintenance just due to the bigger size and more components. Three plus frag tank was just too much, although I still have that number till the dinos win or are beaten lol. But I think the rearranging I'm doing will make both tanks easier to access so I'll be able to do better maintenance. 

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CarolinaShoreReef
6 hours ago, Lula_Mae said:

Thanks, me too! Tank twins! :lol:

ULM? Ultra low maintenance? I guess lol I need to keep them both simple, through I think the IM14 will be a bit more maintenance just due to the bigger size and more components. Three plus frag tank was just too much, although I still have that number till the dinos win or are beaten lol. But I think the rearranging I'm doing will make both tanks easier to access so I'll be able to do better maintenance. 

Yep ULM haha. Keeping them as easy as possible has kept me motivated to keep up with maintenance. Good luck with this looks like you’ve got it set! 

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Lula_Mae

Sad news,  Jacques the Pederson's shrimp is no more.  I realized he wasn't going crazy when I put food in the tank, so I looked for him and found him being consumed by an asterina and a snail. I've had him about a year so I knew it was coming but it's still sad.  RIP Jacques. :tears:

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fishfreak0114

Awwww, I’m sorry Lula. At least he had a nice life :grouphug:

 

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Lula_Mae
1 hour ago, fishfreak0114 said:

Awwww, I’m sorry Lula. At least he had a nice life :grouphug:

 

Thanks,  I think he did.  I will miss him! Just means I'll have to get some more. :wink: I'm currently acclimating something I'm super excited about for the big tank...a walking dendro!!! Went to the lfs cuz they had some amazing St. Thomas mushrooms posted, came away instead with a ric and the dendro! :biggrin:

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fishfreak0114

OMG walking dendros are the best!!!

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Lula_Mae
4 hours ago, fishfreak0114 said:

OMG walking dendros are the best!!!

It's soooo cool!  I put it in the corner and before lights out it had turned already!!!  omgomgomg

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Lula_Mae

Also I did get something for this tank, a new ric! It's a pretty lavender/lilac sort of color and had hints of greenish yellow in the store.  

 

Feather duster is like WHAT IS THIS GET IT AWAY!!!

20180617_205126.thumb.jpg.54a98504c5e61c2b2a5fbf3f6ff34ccd.jpg

 

The polyp extension on the gorgs!!! And something really exciting, I think the porites on the Christmas tree worm are starting to grow back! I also think an asterina may be eating them...

20180617_205138.thumb.jpg.4e3f859ce6608b615749dfc3584466e9.jpg

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Lula_Mae

Little tank is chugging along, I plunked all my blastos in here from the 15 as the bases keep getting covered in cyano.  Myrtle the clownfish bit me as I fished them out.  Plan on most of them going back in the big tank after transfer.  I had a couple asterina stars end up in this tank and found them wrapped around the "stems" of my gorgonians, and no polyp extension where they were.  I'm not sure if this is because they were eating the polyps or because the polyps are irritated.  Anyone experienced either with them?  I pulled them out just in case as I like the gorgs better than the stars lol.

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MrsK

I just love this little tank. That new ricordea is super pretty :wub:

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Lula_Mae
7 hours ago, MrsK said:

I just love this little tank. That new ricordea is super pretty :wub:

Thanks! It's not a super vibrant purple but I love the subtle color of it. 

 

There was some kind of hair worm or something irritating the porites on the Christmas tree worm so I did my best to pull it out and super glue over the hole it was in. It was also on the bottom side so I did the same there. Hopefully the porites will continue to recover. 

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Lula_Mae

Spotted this little dwarf cerith with a feather duster on his back!

20180629_031024.jpg

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Lula_Mae

So I know it's been awhile, this tank has been basically empty since I stashed all the corals and most snails in the IM14 for the hurricane, but today we were out of town and stopped at store I've never been to. They had the first green banded goby I've ever seen in a store and also a pom pom crab with the biggest poms I've ever seen! Guess what's acclimating right now? :lol:

 

20180930_190742.thumb.jpg.dc0dfc6f6e629053ea3adc9d12cce92e.jpg

 

I'd been hoping to find something like a neon goby since I didn't really want to place an online order right now, but a GBG is what I really wanted so I'm thrilled to find one! Hopefully he'll feast on the giant pods in this tank lol. I was told he's been there a while, and the pom pom crab has been there almost six months! Probably because people don't know what to look for, he said. He also told me she's a female and has carried eggs before! I don't recall ever having that before so I'm super excited. Fingers crossed they settle in well and love their new digs. Oh, and a sexy shrimp tried to stow away with the goby haha. 

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vlangel
10 minutes ago, Lula_Mae said:

So I know it's been awhile, this tank has been basically empty since I stashed all the corals and most snails in the IM14 for the hurricane, but today we were out of town and stopped at store I've never been to. They had the first green banded goby I've ever seen in a store and also a pom pom crab with the biggest poms I've ever seen! Guess what's acclimating right now? :lol:

 

20180930_190742.thumb.jpg.dc0dfc6f6e629053ea3adc9d12cce92e.jpg

 

I'd been hoping to find something like a neon goby since I didn't really want to place an online order right now, but a GBG is what I really wanted so I'm thrilled to find one! Hopefully he'll feast on the giant pods in this tank lol. I was told he's been there a while, and the pom pom crab has been there almost six months! Probably because people don't know what to look for, he said. He also told me she's a female and has carried eggs before! I don't recall ever having that before so I'm super excited. Fingers crossed they settle in well and love their new digs. Oh, and a sexy shrimp tried to stow away with the goby haha. 

How cool is that!  Those critters are going to be awesome in the 5.5 gallon.  I am excited for you.

 

I love Cheerleader, my Pom pom crab.   I don't see him very often but I love it when be does make occasional appearances.  The bennies certainly added interest to the shrimp chalet and I am sure your new green banded goby will do the same.

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Lula_Mae
1 hour ago, vlangel said:

How cool is that!  Those critters are going to be awesome in the 5.5 gallon.  I am excited for you.

 

I love Cheerleader, my Pom pom crab.   I don't see him very often but I love it when be does make occasional appearances.  The bennies certainly added interest to the shrimp chalet and I am sure your new green banded goby will do the same.

Thanks! It's actually my little 2.7 gallon pico now. They also had an adorable barnacle blenny in the tank! Soooo cute!!! :wub: GBG is starting to be brave and explore his new home. What a cutie!

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Lula_Mae

So the goby and pom pom settled in well.  This weekend was my birthday and also this month marks 10 years since I started my very first saltwater tank!  It was one of those 1-gallon triangle corner tanks you can get at Walmart.  I started it with a rock from Petco and an airline, but at the time everyone said airlines were bad so I was scrimping and saving to buy a tiny powerhead.  Sometimes I wish I'd kept on with the airline just to see what could be done.  Maybe I'll do that someday as an homage to that first humble tank.  I had a Visitherm Stealth heater (remember those?) which was absolutely ginormous in there even though I got the smallest one, the 25w.  There were far fewer pico heater options back then and I'd never heard of a temperature controller.  Someday I'll try to find my pictures and post them.  Anyway, I decided to celebrate by getting a few things for the tanks.  I got some fresh CUC members for both tanks from Reef Cleaners, although one of my ceriths grew legs and claws in transit (har har) and looks like it may be a thin-striped hermit or something similar so I've isolated him in his own little tank.  Yesterday I went to the LFS and got a few corals for this tank!  I found a pretty bright green ricordea, some peachy-pink zoas, a bright-green polyped toadstool and a purple yuma!  I'd wanted a purple yuma years and years ago but they were so hard to find.  I'm very pleased with this one, it's a good size and gorgeous and has a bright green mouth. 

 

Today I replaced the sandbed.  I wasn't totally happy with it and had these hair/spaghetti worm things that had multiplied rapidly and I was afraid they would harass things like @teenyreef's zoas.  I also found some possible peanut worms in there but will be putting them in with the hermit since I'm not sure what they are.  Things are already opened back up except for what's been closed--I moved the zoas that used to be in the jar (and were in the IM14 due to the hurricane) in here and they have been gradually recovering and opening up.  I am hoping they continue to recover and am trying to figure out what's left--I know for sure I have scrambled eggs, tutti frutti, I think bam bams? and possibly midas, and pink zippers I think.  Things got a little jumbled lol.  There are several that have yet to open and I hope they recover.  Quite a few browned out under the PAR light I was using.  With my CUC order I also got a couple of little green porcelains.  Two were added to the big tank and one here.  Unfortunately I noticed the pom pom not in her usual spot this weekend and today found her under the rock, dead.  I am sure it was her and not a molt because she did not pass the sniff test.  RIP little pom pom.  I also got some dragon's breath (again) but it's looking like it's turning white.  Sigh.  The one macro I love most and I can't keep it alive for anything!  I've ordered a couple more for this tank and put in a little snip of caulerpa and some chaeto I had in the frag tank, and a little sprig of halimeda.  Now I just need to mount things!  Hoping to frag a couple gorgs from the big tank and add here soon, they add so much color and movement swaying in the current.  Anyway, enough blabbering, time for pics!

 

A couple weeks ago I noticed an asterina on my gorg.  I wasn't sure if it was eating algae or what, so I left it be.  Well, I looked later and it had eaten the gorg down to the skeleton in that spot. :angry: Stupid starfish.  I'll be removing them when I find them.  You can see the bit of skeleton on the right.

20181016_101801

 

After lights out, both goby and pom pom are visible. :smilie:

20181016_012058

 

The pom pom loved that little overhang.

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Video:

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Goby being adorable:

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Video:

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Under morning sun:

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Acclimating new CUC:

20181019_175730

 

Pom pom being bold.  She reminded me some of Shelby the pom pom, who was also very bold.

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Video:

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Goby with new toadstool and yuma:

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Toadstool and yuma:

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New zoas:

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New ric behind the scrambled eggs and halimeda

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Hard to see, but the green porcelain is here just by the gorg

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Video:

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Goby and corals after sand exchange:

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Goby:

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Sort of FTS with whites turned up (bonus nass snail up front!):

20181022_221706

 

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FTS.  This camera (Samsung Galaxy 7) only wants to pick up the blues.  I'm having a lot of trouble getting it to pick up colors well even when I have whites turned way up.

20181022_221712

 

I am really liking this little tank and hope I can keep it on an upward trend!

 

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Gourami Swami

This little tank looks great Lula! I like your livestock choices, pom pom crabs are super cool

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Lula_Mae
5 hours ago, Gourami Swami said:

This little tank looks great Lula! I like your livestock choices, pom pom crabs are super cool

I love pom pom crabs but sadly found mine dead when I changed out the sand. Want to get another and maybe a squat lobster. Goby got sick with what I thought was ich so he's in quarantine at the moment. Added some frags from Cultivated Reef today. 

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Gourami Swami

That sucks about the crab, hope the goby gets better for you!

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