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Cultivated Reef

Jack's 10 year old 20g Tall


jservedio

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39 minutes ago, Nano sapiens said:

Good try, though!  😊

PO4 is .113ppm, so definitely not low nutrients, but not as high as I expected them to be. The reagents expired in 2016, but they are sealed and I've never had issues with expired Hanna phosphorus reagents, so I actually trust it's close.

 

I ran nitrate another two times after mixing the reagents up and getting between 5-10ppm. I'll let the LFS run it, but 10ppm seems within the realm of reason for a .11 PO4.

 

Got a huge surprise of a big funnel web spider living in my magnesium test box which I brought in from the garage with the others...

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Nano sapiens
59 minutes ago, jservedio said:

PO4 is .113ppm, so definitely not low nutrients, but not as high as I expected them to be. The reagents expired in 2016, but they are sealed and I've never had issues with expired Hanna phosphorus reagents, so I actually trust it's close.

 

I ran nitrate another two times after mixing the reagents up and getting between 5-10ppm. I'll let the LFS run it, but 10ppm seems within the realm of reason for a .11 PO4.

 

Got a huge surprise of a big funnel web spider living in my magnesium test box which I brought in from the garage with the others...

Not going to run out of PO4 any time soon 😉

 

Big spider, yikes, but cool!

 

 

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This is an acan that I got about 5 years ago in my pico as a generic small lord that never did well in the pico and just languished away, slowly dying off. A couple years ago I fragged off the single tiny piece of flesh that was left and mounted it on a tile hoping to save it, even though it was nothing special. In those two years it began growing back and really colored up like I've never seen and it's now starting to grow some new small heads on the back side. This one needs a name!

 

fire-acan.thumb.jpg.3c99862ad985c9aaeb845aae5313b269.jpg

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Took a pretty cool picture of where my two monti-caps meet up, plus a bonus hermit in the picture. Hoping they don't go too crazy and I can fit a 3rd green one in there when I upgrade!

 

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Took a few more photos of some new growth and some recent coloring up.

 

Here is my Tyree Pinky the Bear Acro starting to really color up - I also can't believe how thick and textured the skin has gotten on this thing, especially under LEDs. It's been growing base very rapidly and beating on the yellow tips, but refuses to get any new big branches. Hopefully it throws up a few soon because the color and polyp extension is awesome:

pinky-529.thumb.jpg.237bc6e0f9ae266b461ddeb1493e7b16.jpg

 

 

My blastos have seemed to just take off with growth recently as well - just a month and a half ago the red blasto was a single head with some microscopic polyps starting to form

blasto-growth-529.thumb.jpg.84a86980f6c9190abdb999e455b0e075.jpg

 

 

My huge Monti Confusa is starting to throw new branches off the big plate it's been forming for the last 6 months. Time for a trim really soon!

confusa-529.thumb.jpg.0fc6f142269cfa59893a870fd00c628e.jpg

 

 

My Idaho Grape Cap has been growing really well recently, and the green lines and blue polyps are starting to become more pronounced:

idaho-grape-529.thumb.jpg.1ebfb0358371be9cede937de37d059ac.jpg

 

 

And lastly, the LPS, SPS, and Softies on my little island continue to be good neighbors and haven't been battling it out - I wish I could say the same for the rest of the tank!

good-neighbors-529.thumb.jpg.32a62c10417348296d056120c727c60f.jpg

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mitten_reef
15 minutes ago, jservedio said:

Took a few more photos of some new growth and some recent coloring up.

 

Here is my Tyree Pinky the Bear Acro starting to really color up - I also can't believe how thick and textured the skin has gotten on this thing, especially under LEDs. It's been growing base very rapidly and beating on the yellow tips, but refuses to get any new big branches. Hopefully it throws up a few soon because the color and polyp extension is awesome:

pinky-529.thumb.jpg.237bc6e0f9ae266b461ddeb1493e7b16.jpg

 

 

My blastos have seemed to just take off with growth recently as well - just a month and a half ago the red blasto was a single head with some microscopic polyps starting to form

blasto-growth-529.thumb.jpg.84a86980f6c9190abdb999e455b0e075.jpg

 

 

My huge Monti Confusa is starting to throw new branches off the big plate it's been forming for the last 6 months. Time for a trim really soon!

confusa-529.thumb.jpg.0fc6f142269cfa59893a870fd00c628e.jpg

 

 

My Idaho Grape Cap has been growing really well recently, and the green lines and blue polyps are starting to become more pronounced:

idaho-grape-529.thumb.jpg.1ebfb0358371be9cede937de37d059ac.jpg

 

 

And lastly, the LPS, SPS, and Softies on my little island continue to be good neighbors and haven't been battling it out - I wish I could say the same for the rest of the tank!

good-neighbors-529.thumb.jpg.32a62c10417348296d056120c727c60f.jpg

awesome shots! 

 

very intriguing about the idaho grape morphing.  I had the starburst gaining a couple green specks, but turned it in to the LFS before i see anything came of it. 

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9 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

awesome shots! 

 

very intriguing about the idaho grape morphing.  I had the starburst gaining a couple green specks, but turned it in to the LFS before i see anything came of it. 

Thanks! I'd have been less surprised if maybe I had a green cap in the tank that it was intertwined with and it sort of grafted on it's own, but I've never had a green cap in the tank at all. Corals do weird things sometimes. The tank baffles me sometimes with both the good and the bad, but today it's good so I'll take it!

 

Edit: Maybe it's from the Yellow Tips that's sharing it's skeleton? I've never seen a picture of Idaho Grape with green in it before, but these two corals have been battling for more than a year now.

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Well...I did a thing yesterday.

 

no-nems.thumb.jpg.f81613448541571fcf138ba2b4158174.jpg

 

The RBTAs reached critical mass and I had only planned on selling one of them, but neither could be coaxed off the rock, try as I might for 3 or 4 hours with every possible method, so I sold them both and the rock they were on. The bad news is I really miss my big nems, but the good news is I've got lots of room for that setosa I've always wanted and a 7x5" area to load up with sticks!

 

Everything is still looking a little beat up since that entire side of the tank got stung pretty good (you can see all the white spots on my caps) with me trying to remove the nems, but it should recover.

 

When I upgrade, I am really aiming to scape the tank around a centered haddoni carpet, so the clowns shouldn't be sad for too long. If my long polyp toadstool ever grows, they can rent until their new house is ready!

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Already starting to fill in the void left by my two big nems - picked up a nice chunk of Hawkins Echinata and a Setosa. Next week I will be picking up a few more acros to fill in the rest of the available space and decided to save the really high end stuff for last.

 

hawkins-echinata.thumb.jpg.b98c5116a24b20a63e20506e67f9896b.jpg

 

 

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On 6/6/2020 at 8:56 PM, jservedio said:

Already starting to fill in the void left by my two big nems - picked up a nice chunk of Hawkins Echinata and a Setosa. Next week I will be picking up a few more acros to fill in the rest of the available space and decided to save the really high end stuff for last.

 

hawkins-echinata.thumb.jpg.b98c5116a24b20a63e20506e67f9896b.jpg

 

 

setosa.thumb.jpg.8cce3258a9383cb837d9da1ac4c4058a.jpg

I love the shape of that Setosa, very different

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On 6/8/2020 at 5:41 AM, Ratvan said:

I love the shape of that Setosa, very different

Thanks! I'm pretty sure it's going to look like every other red/orange setosa in a few months. I just mounted it 90 degrees from where it naturally grew in the guy's tank that I got it from, so it looks different.

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Oh, now I'm making some progress! I am too cheap to buy a $400-$1200 proper macro lens, but I've been hacking my 55-200mm kit lens that I got like 12 years ago with some corrective lenses to do essentially the same thing as glasses for a far-sighted person and allow me to focus close enough for 1:1 macro at a 200mm focal length. While I get crazy zoom, this seriously kills my sharpness, especially through my dirty extra-iron Aqueon glass. But, with my new DSLR and double the resolution on my sensor, the sharpness isn't as terrible when I reduce the size of the image. It's not as good as my close-in macro lens would be, but it's better than nothing. Finally going to be able to take pictures of all my corals that aren't directly up against the glass.

 

Here's my new Hawkins Echinata using this method - it's about 12-14" from the lens and shot at about 185mm. Normally, this lens' close-focus distance is 44". It's quite soft, but not terrible I'm pretty sure if I shot this during the daylight with a better tripod and clean glass, I could get much better:

hawkins-soft.thumb.jpg.007b1f378afa7d68ff2381e6be3195b3.jpg

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25 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

wow, these recent close-up shots have been amazing.  I need to update/upgrade my photography gear.

Thank you! Other than the D5600 I got a month ago, it's just been me realizing how to take advantage of just how much better the sensor on the new camera is compared to my old D40x - I haven't gotten any new lenses or anything and doubt I'll ever buy a real macro lens. The two biggest things for me have just been realizing that with 2.5x the resolution, I can actually crop things down for once and that there is infinitely less noise. Honestly, any DSLR from the last 4-5 years would have been light years ahead of the 13 year old camera I was using - I just got a good deal and picked up the new DSLR body for $405 from Walmart.

 

On the old D40x, anything over ISO 200 was noticeably noisy, and by ISO 400, it was really bad. ISO 800 wasn't even usable which meant really long exposure times if I wanted any depth of field. With the D5600, I can crank it up to ISO 1250 and the noise is comparable to ISO 200 on the D40x - which means that instead of having to shoot nearly wide-open on my cheap lens at f/3.2 to get a 1/40 exposure time to capture a moving tentacle which would never be in focus because of the super short depth of field, I can stop it down to f/8 or even f/10 with the same exposure time and get an awesome picture.

 

The old d40x served me extremely well and it was fantastic for landscapes and just being really cheap and light so I didn't mind taking it climbing with me, which ended up capturing some awesome photos. It just wasn't well suited to shooting the reef with super short focal length lens.

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mitten_reef
14 minutes ago, jservedio said:

Honestly, any DSLR from the last 4-5 years would have been light years ahead of the 13 year old camera I was using

This is all about what I gathered 😋 and could relate  My olympus is from 2008.  I locked my ISO in the low range probably 400, dont remember.  I don't know how to play with f stop (yet).  I mainly changed the exposure settings - which is inversely affecting the shutter speed, causing potential for more blurry shots.  

 

but this post is good, makes me wanna learn a bit more on photography side for sure.  

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8 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

This is all about what I gathered 😋 and could relate  My olympus is from 2008.  I locked my ISO in the low range probably 400, dont remember.  I don't know how to play with f stop (yet).  I mainly changed the exposure settings - which is inversely affecting the shutter speed, causing potential for more blurry shots.  

 

but this post is good, makes me wanna learn a bit more on photography side for sure.  

 

It isn't difficult at all to learn the basics - if your Olympus doesn't allow you to shoot in manual mode where you control shutter speed, aperture, and ISO - borrow a DSLR or even buy an ancient one (like my D40x) for like $35-40 from ebay or a pawn shop and you can learn it in an afternoon. Once you understand the relationship between shutter, aperture, and ISO, you'll pop it over to aperture priority mode and sit there for 95% of your shots and basically just keep an eye on what your shutter speed is to get an idea of you'll end up with a good shot.

 

Or just buy a new DSLR or Mirrorless and call it a day! That said, learning on an old camera will really, really make you appreciate how much better things have gotten. It's like learning to drive a sports car in a 1992 5-speed Miata and then getting behind the wheel of a new Cayman.

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Noticed another really cool thing while taking close-in shots - everywhere the monti was fighting with my green slimer acro, the polyps are now turning bright green. Everywhere else on this large monti colony (a good 5" x 7") has deep purple polyps, except here. I wonder if them fighting it out is causing pigmentation to be shared between them?

 

monti-morphing.thumb.jpg.943085ed7838e85f8234fd36deb10612.jpg

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Cleaned the glass on the left side of my tank for the first time in a while and saw my stunner chalice wrinkled up like I've never seen - with the monti above it getting bigger it's already limited light is dwindling, but holy texture batman!

 

stunner629.thumb.jpg.9aec3aa32371c6657eae2f6bd5c8323d.jpg

 

 

stunner-close629.thumb.jpg.202e21a38a0bbb514d43da1f58b3266f.jpg

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Was worried that my mandarin zoas would get overgrown by the much larger palys next to them, but they seem to be holding their own and actually growing up the base of the acro growing out of the same rock - hopefully they can overpower the fast growing acro and keep their territory

 

mandarins614.thumb.jpg.77a3993cf101d583ce554fbb93b08ff3.jpg

 

 

Took a better picture of my Setosa now that it's settled in and starting to grow over the epoxy:

setosa614.thumb.jpg.d1746beb6251e8b13d658cb87c79e803.jpg

 

 

While I was at it, I kept having an exceptionally large and proportional asterina getting in front of the camera, so macro of it, too:

asterina.thumb.jpg.2dd61a697e2459ee28e91914bce35910.jpg

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It's been one month since I got my Red Planet, and the fresh cut is now all healed up, plating onto the epoxy, and getting some green just coming in. While that makes me happy since this is the third Red Planet I've gotten in 4 years (and the other two are the only SPS I've killed in the last 4 years...), the stylo I chiseled off and glued the Red Planet over is somehow making a comeback as well. After chiseling the stylo off, I was left with maybe a tiny 1/8" speck of flesh which I promptly glued over. Clearly, I didn't finish the job - it's polyps out and fully colored up and fighting through the algae. I think it's safe to say the tank has hit it's stride again.

 

stylo-remnant.thumb.jpg.8db155878674ba17bebcf5329295bff8.jpg

 

 

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