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Wingsong

20G High Mushroom Meadow - The Jawbreaker

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"No equipment in the display tank" purists look away - this 20 gallon high has no sump and no back chambers.

 

I started my reef keeping journey almost 3 years ago in grad school with the Fluval Spec V. It went well for the first ~year and a half or more, and then hair algae started taking over when I went home for Christmas, leading into my thesis/final semester. It never really recovered from that, I'd try but I kept falling behind on water changes, the ATO would get clogged with algae and not work right, the back chamber intake would get clogged and the back water levels would drop, the corals were snuffed out by the algae... it was on every surface, you could barely see into the tank from the glass. It wasn't a great time for me beyond the tank which made maintaining and actually fixing things a seemingly-insurmountable task. I didn't wind up getting a job in California so I packed up the tank, my clownfish, and my haired-over rocks and headed home.

 

Now in a better place and with a job, I've upgraded to a 20g H. I turned the tank light off months and months ago to get the algae dying, took hydrogen peroxide and scrubbed all the rocks clean, cleaned up the powerhead and ATO, and took charge of the situation again. My parents had a 20g H in their garage (we got a 60g freshwater tank in 2000 and when they retired and moved away they bought the 20g for the last two fish from the 60g, who must have been over 8 years old by that point. The good old boys passed on probably a year and a half ago and the tank sat proven-seaworthy and empty, waiting for me to get my own place and do something with it) which I took and hit up BRS for some new toys for the larger tank.

 

Getting the tank actually up was... an experience. I was 8 when the 60g went up and I think a 5.5g is a bit of a different experience to something you need multiple buckets or a trash bin to deal with. But it's up and doing well and my old clown loves it! It's less than a foot from my desk in my bf and mine's apartment so it's very close to me and easy to see.

 

Equipment

  • Hydor Koralia 240 Powerhead
  • Tunze Osmolator Nano 3152
  • Coral Compulsion PAR38 TruColor LED
  • (the above are from the original Spec V)
  • Aqueon 20G High Rimmed
  • Finnex HPG-100W Heater
  • BRS Mini Reactor (Running Carbon+GFO)
  • Cobalt Aquatics MJ 1200 Pump
  • BRS Netting Lid
  • BRS 75GPD RO/DI Filter
  • Aqueon 50W Preset Heater
  • Hanna pH Checker

 

Food

  • NLS .5mm Pellets
  • Elive Algae Blasts

 

Livestock

  • Female Orange Ocellaris Clown
  • Male Black Ocellaris Clown
  • Lawnmower Blenny
  • 1 Asterina Starfish that has survived 2 moves up the entire west coast
  • Bristleworms
  • Pink+White RFA
  • Pink Zebra RFA
  • ADS Special Collection Red/Green/Purple RFA
  • 2 Scarlet Hermit Crabs
  • 4 Astraea Snails
  • 1 Unknown Snail

 

Soft Corals

  • Bargain Bin Teal with Blue Dots Discosoma
  • Convict Discosoma
  • Pimple Discosoma
  • Crimson Tide Discosoma
  • Kryptonite Discosoma
  • Aussie Pink Dot Discosoma
  • Purple with Gold Bumps Discosoma
  • White-Spotted Ironman Discosoma
  • ADS Red Devil Discosoma
  • Metallic Green Rhodactis
  • Forest Fire Rhodactis
  • Red Magnum Rhodactis
  • Galactus Rhodactis
  • Freebie Rhodactis
  • Sunkist Bounce
  • Green Hairy Shroom
  • Neon Green Ricordea Florida
  • Blue Ricordea Florida
  • Two Tone Orange Ricordea Florida
  • Pastel Rainbow, Dragon Eye, and Eagle Eye Zoas

LPS

  • Blizzard Bizzaro Cyphastrea
  • Purple and Green Blasto
  • Red and Black Blasto
  • Pink and Blue Yellow-Mouthed Blasto
  • Red Scoly
  • Blue-Purple Button Scoly
  • Blue Duncan colony
  • Teal Candy Cane
  • Dark Pink Candy Cane

SPS

  • Super Fuzz Green Acro
  • Water Horse Stylo

 

FTS

1/18/19

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1/14/19

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1/1/19

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11/17/18

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Don't @ me about how wretched the Mini Reactor pump and return tube look LOL. Ignore the ghostlike reflection of me. Next to the tank is my computer desk, where the architect lamp for the CC LED sits.

 

Difficulties

Of course setting up a new tank can't go easily!

  • The original 20G H in my parents' garage. It held fish for a year or more, so it was confirmed to not leak or have weak seams. I bought the stand, heater and reactor with this tank in mind -if I'd wanted to buy a new tank I would've gone for a 20G Long or if I had more money one of the nicer AIOs with back chambers. Well, my mom goes out to bring it in and clean it up and what does she discover? An inch-long chip off the seam! It wasn't all the way through but it was a good-sized chunk of glass. My dad, the one responsible for busting it, said "just use it anyway, I'm sure it'll be fine." Thanks dad but my leasing office wouldn't be thrilled if that seam blew. It probably would have been smart to double check the tank was fine before buying stuff for it, knowing my dad and his manhandling. Off to Petco for the dollar a gallon sale...
  • Once there the struggle was on to find a tank that didn't have a scratch, and we were locked into a 10G or 20G H due to the stand. Some of their tanks looked like another one had bashed the side of them completely from the scratches, and my boyfriend was eyeing the smaller 10G quite heavily.
  • Filling a 5.5G with a Home Depot 5G bucket is easy! One bucket for the ATO reservoir and one for filtering new saltwater into, and a big glass measuring cup to baste the dirty water into. Filling a 20G with 3 buckets total is not. And in a small apartment there isn't room for a large Brute trash bin or more buckets. The 75 GPD flow rate on the filter was also just fine for a 5.5G tank but it took me hours to get all the water filtered to completely fill a new tank. There's nothing quite like the filled-for-the-first-time bubbles on a new tank, though. 
  • Setting the reactor up. I know how to set my powerheads, ATOs, and heaters up. But the reactor (coming from HOB or back chamber filters) was a new animal. BRS has good instructions... if you know what all the pieces are called lol. The pump itself could have used a labeled diagram of what all the pieces are. If you've never used push connect tubing before, you may not know exactly how firmly you need to click the tubes and valves into place... until you turn on the pump to test and the reactor's connection points shoot water out all over :sideeyes: After some Googling and video watching I figured out wat do and got it tightened... only to discover I wasn't quite strong enough to turn the reactor lid tightly closed so it didn't leak. That's what boyfriends are for :wink: 
  • How rigid the tubes are also took me by surprise - the reactor will only sit at some specific angles. On the plus side, the return tube is so stiff it just drapes into the tank and doesn't budge! Plans to secure it are in the works. The intake tube is also at a really ugly angle in the tank. Oh well.
  • Rimmed tanks are not super fun if your ATO float has to be in the main tank. I don't know if it's super safe to have the magnet at an angle (since the rim is wider than the glass slightly) so I have the ATO magnet right below the rim, squarely on the glass. Which also means the tank level has to be ~an inch below the rim for the float valve to work properly. Oh well.
  • The black clownfish had... a very unpleasant experience. My female has lived alone for almost 2 years so I got the smallest black Ocellaris the LFS had, who was just kinda schooling with the other black clowns. She took an interest in him and did the expected charging without actually attacking him and the seizure quiver so I figured, okay good, she's agreeable to a companion. She's actually been sort of skittish when I do water changes so I figured she wouldn't be aggressive, plus she was going into a new tank, disrupting any 'territory.' BF and I went out after several hours of things going well and when we got back from the movie the new guy was hiding sideways under a rock, deathly pale and beat up. Three hours and things went downhill. He was missing several chunks off his tail/lower fins though the lady clown had no battle wounds. I saw her grab him and throw him around the water the one time he did venture out. It was too late to return him that day and I considered jankily setting up the 5.5G with the filter pump and a heater and non-filtered water, just to keep him away from her until I got off work the next day. She didn't seem to be able to get to him when he hid under rocks though. I realized he had pretty much ignored her - he never responded to her sideways quivers or attacked her back. So my assumption is she got confused why he wasn't doing anything and thought he was another female or something and beat him up. I told her she'd never get a boyfriend acting that way. When I got back from work he was still pale and struggling but out in a corner and she wasn't attacking him anymore. He finally figured out how to show his submission lol cause I've seen him quiver to her since then. Now he is colored up and always out and about. His tail fin needs to regrow but she hasn't attacked him since. I was very concerned for him since he seemed a little too oblivious for his own good but he is just fine now!
  • This dang blenny... thought the fish was dead 95% of the time because he hid under a rock. Until I turned the blues back on and now he's out swimming and perching all the time. Way less spooked by 'anything moving an inch in the distance,' too.
  • Obviously the original tank being overrun by hair algae was a big struggle. My hopes are with the mini reactor and really rigidly sticking to my water changes once a week I can avoid the problem coming back - scrubbing rocks with hydrogen peroxide is not particularly fun lol.
  • 20G High's are SO TALL. Ugh. I can't reach the bottom at all when it's filled (and not even filled to the rim!) without water flooding my gloves. So, get longer arms, longer gloves... get a longer 20 gallon honestly lol. Only good thing about the High is the stand's footprint is a bit more compact for a small apartment - and finding the space to store all of the tank's supplies is not super fun in a studio!
  • The stand is several inches off the wall but still had a kinda nasty tilt forward when filled, even though the tank was skewed to the back of the stand as recommended. I got a thin wedge board from Home Depot (for free! so kind of them!!) to slide under the stand and now it's pretty close to not tilted... maybe a little adjustment with the board is needed, but it's much less "wtf why is the water so slanted" than before!

 

Lessons Learned

The Spec V's ~2.5 years of existence definitely taught me some valuable lessons.

  • I think a ~5G tank is fine for a lone juvenile clown but I definitely believe my lady in orange, closing in on two, is happier with 4x as much space. She and her new man zoom all over the tank - maybe they're looking for somewhere to host because she did sort of 'host' in macroalgae then the masses of hair algae (lol...) but they are very active! The little perching gobies are a much better fit. I also think her dietary needs were much higher than the 1-2 pellets a day my original Neon goby ate which contributed to the hair algae spike.
  • Fish that don't eat pellets or wafers are very hard to feed if you go away. Not sure how you'd feed them frozen for a week without some super fancy chiller/dispenser system that idk if it even exists BUT I surely don't have the money for it! Captive-bred gobies/clowns who beeline for pellets are my friends.
  • Don't mess around with that ATO pump... I put in some Kalk or something when I went away over one Christmas to the ATO water and it like killed the pump. I also got snowed in returning one Christmas and the reservoir bucket ran dry and killed the pump. The pump has been very fussy about what angle it's at versus the water and died. Moral of the story, always leave plenty of water in that bucket if you are going away and don't try putting additives in it for the first time when you're leaving...
  • Dip all your corals always!!! I've seen so many angry little pests zooming off the frags into the dip water. Go buy yourself some Coral Rx or whatever dip you want and dip every piece that comes into your possession. The only actual pests I got were aiptasia and hair algae, never zoa eating nudis or anything.
  • Dooooon't buy all the designer corals... yes they were very pretty but half the time those SPS in your tank and lights won't color up at all the same. I had some success growing SPS in the Spec V but any time the ATO wonked out a bit or the salinity got messy it was meltdown time. In fact, go buy all the bargain bin mushrooms and 'weed' softies if you are new. That's my plan now LOL - nonstop mushrooms taking over the place. Can't wait to get another hairy shroom, I had the most success with that guy splitting over and over before. Case in point, the most expensive coral I bought. I actually had pretty good success with this SPS growing in my tank, it was happy until I failed in handling the hair algae in a timely manner, but... picture on the left/top is what I ordered (it was WYSIWYG), picture on the right/bottom is how it colored up:
  • IMG_7410_edited_zpshu4ywdtm.jpg%26hash=0T185Ihk.jpg&key=d30cfa095d39015b9ade7820
  • Take it slower with the corals. I wanted to have a pretty tank like everyone else with a diverse array of frags growing happily into colonies, and for a time I did have that, things were going well, and then the problems struck, corals I got weren't happy/died off, etc., I bought too many, I kept buying saying 'this is fine I have it under control' when I totally did not. I gotta say FOWLR is way easier lol, but looking over and seeing those pops of colors from the corals under the blues is something special.
  • Turbo snails are cool and you can see them chomping their algae trails all over the glass but they are really clumsy around your frags...
  • Probably want to have a breeder box or divider on hand for introducing a juvenile clown to an older female - though in my case, as long as I was watching she never attacked the newcomer. It was only after I went out hours later that she shredded his tailfin. Was concerned he wouldn't make it through the night after that but luckily he is just fine now! It also caught me off-guard it seemed like the problem was more his lack of a response to her at all, versus her rejecting him, because she was doing her female/dominant motions and he was just like "oh cool heater over here."
  • Don't let algae grow all over the heater, I'm not sure exactly when or why it failed but when I tried to use it to heat the filtered water for moving the rocks up in it never turned on. Also pay attention to your heater... lol. This Finnex heater has a red LED display which I like because it's always on so if the red glow is MIA I can tell at a glance something's gone wrong.

 

Future Plans

  • Considering getting a HOB refugium - I know for the tank volume/size the fuge would be it wouldn't do a ton but growing some macroalgae and pods back there is kinda appealing, or doing one chamber of filter media and one growing the algae. This would also allow me to have that surface disruption from the HOB and point my powerhead further down if any low-flow/dead areas appear in the tank - right now it's rippling the surface.
  • Currently have a big chunk of Marco reef rock curing. I got a much larger piece of live rock to add when I upsized since the old pieces were a bit small for a 20G and this dry rock.
  • Clean up crew? I don't have a sandbed and I have the lawnmower blenny (and the bristleworms lol) so I am not 100% sure what CUC I would benefit from the most. The tank doesn't grow algae with the light off and since it only just came back on I'll have to see what crops up. I do have a coupon for some hermit/Astraea snail deals at a LFS...
  • Fire Shrimp - I absolutely love these shrimp, they are so gorgeous, but the one I had before would not eat unless I basted food directly to it... what a goon. So I would want one a bit more... self-directed in scavenging/finding pellets. I'll go there after the holidays.
  • More RFAs - I probably should've waited a bit on the one I got but I have always wanted a pink RFA and it was on sale... my rock is almost 3 years old and this is the same salt I've been using so it's not like the tank is brand spankin' new. Keeping my eye on the nem though.
  • More mushrooms - I was doing good with these. You can see the spreading hairy shroom in the above pic in the old tank. I had success here, and at this point, I'd welcome mushrooms taking over my rocks like weeds lol. Once the tank has been 'doin good' for a few months I intend to place another order with Cultivated Reef, I love their selection of St Thomas/Rics/all the other shrooms - especially that pink hairy shroom! The bargain bin chum I have is open and seemingly settling in. No shame in shrooming out this time around.
  • Blastos in the distant future - again before the hair algae situation went downhill the blastos I had were doing pretty good, duplicating, and I really enjoy how they look, even the 'cheap' common colors. I had way better outcomes with them than favia or Acans for whatever reason.
  • Duncans and Euphyllia - I love the movement these guys give but was hesitant to get any of the aggressive stingers in a 5.5G. With more room I think I can get a couple hammers - but again, not rushing this.
  • Probably want to pick up the Hanna checkers for Phosphate, Nitrate, and so forth at some point - I like their pH checker.
  • If I got a fourth fish I'd want a firefish, absolutely love them, too, especially the Helfrichi. I'd rather only have three fish than push it getting a fourth and causing problems, though. The female clown will swim up to the blenny but they otherwise usually ignore each other and I've never seem them fight. Or another goby - not one who needs sand obviously but another Neon maybe?
  • I really like the movement of really fuzzy SPS with long polyps but I am not sure if they would be super agreeable in a shroom-dominated tank. Maybe someday I'll explore them again, like I said above I did get good growth on some of them when I was keeping my salinity/params/algae in check.
  • Sometime in the far future I do intend to set the 5.5G back up as a macroalgae/tiny goby school tank with pods galore.

 

Picture Dump

Did I tl;dr with the above? Well, here, have some pictures - additional future plan: gel filters for my phone's camera so I can actually take decent ones with the LED on lol.

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Fun game to play: find which rock the blenny is sitting on in any picture he actually came out of his rocks to pose for.

 

Thanks for reading and checking out my second expedition into reefing. I feel very good about finally getting my orange clown into a larger tank, she's been a trooper in the smaller tank since Feb 2017 when she was a wee lass (smaller than the juvenile is now I'd say) but she races all over the place with more space (and a working heater again). Updates will probably be slow if I am behaving myself and not rushing coral purchases LOL but I'll try to pic dump of shroom/RFA growth and the fish out and about.

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Very nice! My first saltwater tank was a 20T and had a lot of equipment in the display too so I don't think your 20 is ugly. I did find that adding a background helped clean it up a bit and they can be picked up for cheap at most big box pet stores. I did run a refugium on mine and it seemed to help. What I did was modify an Aquaclear 50 (the 70/110 will work too and has more room) by taking out the media basket and cutting it along the fold seams then using aquarium epoxy to secure it in place behind the exit ramp. you may have to measure it, but it may be able to hold your heater in the AC 70 as well. I hope this helps and Im really looking forward to seeing your aquarium progress!

 

Here's the last FTS of my 20T

old 20.jpg

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Nice start! Bulk reef supply might have a 90 degree elbow for your reactor or maybe the hardware store. 

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On 11/18/2018 at 5:57 PM, btmedic04 said:

Very nice! My first saltwater tank was a 20T and had a lot of equipment in the display too so I don't think your 20 is ugly. I did find that adding a background helped clean it up a bit and they can be picked up for cheap at most big box pet stores. I did run a refugium on mine and it seemed to help. What I did was modify an Aquaclear 50 (the 70/110 will work too and has more room) by taking out the media basket and cutting it along the fold seams then using aquarium epoxy to secure it in place behind the exit ramp. you may have to measure it, but it may be able to hold your heater in the AC 70 as well. I hope this helps and Im really looking forward to seeing your aquarium progress!

 

Here's the last FTS of my 20T

Modifying an Aquaclear to be a refugium was one of the things I was considering - seems cheaper than a designated fuge if not a bit less glamorous. The background suggestion is also good, might cut down on any stray natural light causing algae too (who am I kidding I live in Seattle, we don't get sunlight).

 

Love that big shroom on the left in your tank - looks like the same Hydor powerhead I have, too. I think clowns are a great fit for tanks of this dimension because they aren't fussed about having long perching surfaces - my 2 cents from my few weeks of having them in the 20, anyway lol.

 

Looks like you have a protein skimmer in the back corner too? Did you find it helpful or necessary? I've looked into the benefits of getting a nano skimmer but I'm not sure how much of an impact it will have. Might aerate the lower reaches of the tank better maybe?

On 11/19/2018 at 1:09 AM, Tamberav said:

Nice start! Bulk reef supply might have a 90 degree elbow for your reactor or maybe the hardware store. 

Ahhh excellent suggestion - they do and I have one ordered! Thank you this is going to look so much better haha.

 

Thanks for stopping in you two and for the advice!!

 

Tank Update

 

Baby's first weekend alone - went to visit my parents for Thanksgiving so the tank had to operate on its own for a few days. Always nerve-wracking for me to leave and think about the seams bursting or a tube coming loose or the heater shorting out etc etc.. or the ATO going wonky like has happened to me. I didn't set up the feeder as I was only gone 3 actual days I couldn't feed them (fed the day I left and got back) and figured it'd be less hassle to have the fish a bit hungry than potentially dumping pellets all over the tank.

 

Returned to things going swimmingly - only change was the anemone moved to be on top of the rock instead of the side, but it's right next to where it was on the side so I assume it's pleased. I can also see my coraline algae starting to come back on my Fiji rock - the hydrogen peroxide bleached (killed?) it but the dark purple is returning. Which I am really happy about because it means things are going well - that and the anemone/shroom being open all the time. The shroom has developed some tiny bright blue spots - hard to photograph but very striking in person! I'm getting a gel filter for Christmas to hopefully improve my tank photos.

 

Got a new bucket of salt and new RO/DI filter material on the way - the tap water here has just devoured the color changing resin, I assume there's a lot more sketchy stuff in the water here than LA which surprises me because that Cali water tasted waaay worse lol. The faucet adapter refuses to stay on the kitchen sink now (not sure if something is stripped or what) so it's now on the bathroom sink which is inconvenient to place the filter near and pretty shallow so the adapter hangs down a lot... but whatever works.

 

I am heavily eyeing some post Black Friday sales before the discounts vanish.. looking at you Legendary Corals and Cultivated Reef. I probably shouldn't but the resurgence of coraline has me optimistic. Need to get my mushroom collection going! Gonna add the other rock that was curing next water change.

 

The fish are doing well - I see a little algae growing on the back glass, we'll see if the blenny takes care of it. If not I'll scrub it.

 

Top-down no-blues FTS attached, shroom doesn't look like much in the room lighting but the gang's all here and the nem's new position is easily visible. All 3 fish at the back of the tank. It's going well so far!!

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Yeah, that mushroom used to get huge too! like dang near the size of my palm when fully extended. 

 

That skimmer was a hydor slim skim nano. It did pull light brown skimmate out of the water and clear up the oil slick look on the surface of the water but looking back, I don't think it was necessary.

 

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New corals!

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Couple updates on the tank:

There is definitely algae growing, it looks kinda like diatoms which I didn't have the first time around iirc - maybe from the new rock. There shouldn't have been much of a cycle since most of the live rock was 2 years old. Also looks a little fuzzy but it's very patchy, like it grows in a small dot. I hope it isn't the return of hair algae but it's more fuzzy than the long strands I had before. The blenny is out chomping down and has a very fat gut but I intend to get some CUC this weekend when we are out running errands.

Changing the reactor media is... an experience. I get in concept how to do it but tightening and untightening the reactor and making sure the lid is tight so it won't leak or spit water at me and just generally dealing with the drips from the output tube etc etc... ahhhh not my favorite thing LOL.

Clown original-flavor has been chasing/nipping at the young man's underside a lot lately. He doesn't seem that bothered by it like he did his first day and I've never seen him hiding but it does worry me a bit she keeps going after him. She doesn't stop him from eating when I feed them, though, and his fins are regrowing nicely so he is otherwise in good health. She also has started sleeping on the bottom corner of the tank kinda sideways which always makes me go 😕 when I get up for work and can't see her/can only find her in a corner. But I know it's #justclownthings as long as she's actively swimming around when awake (which she is).

I fed the anemone and like, whenever I see anemones/LPS eat with their creepy lil mouths I just wonder why I have allowed such witchcraft into my living space LOL. It looks so weird to see them pulling a pellet into that gaping maw. I've read maybe I want a different pellet than the NLS sinking pellets I feed the clowns for corals but I do like that the pellets sink - I had the issue when I fed my old shrimp dried brine/mysis shrimp they would float to the top - which makes it a lot easier to baste the pellet right onto the anemone without the pellet going anywhere - or getting nabbed by the clowns lol.

The blue-green mushroom seems happy - it spreads out very wide during the day. I've wondered if maybe it's not getting quite enough light because it sometimes looks kinda trumpety-upturned so I moved the rock it's on closer to 'under the light.' It has very bright blue dots all over it too! Which are really cool but hard to get on camera. If I had a macro lens... :naughtydance: I'll have to try taking pics with my bf's iPhone and see how they come out.

Whichever carrier shipped my new salt from BRS bashed it and broke the salt bucket and tore the bag inside! I didn't open it to check immediately and waited until my weekly water change when I ran out of the old salt... and was like why is there salt in the box... it's supposed to be in a bucket... well, cause the bucket was completely demolished and there were several holes in the bag. Yipes. Luckily I hadn't thrown out the old bucket so I dumped the salt into there. Not really what you wanna see when you're in the middle of a change!

 

Onto the new goodies... so much for 'alright I'm gonna take it really slow, months at a time, nothing fancy' LOL. The resurgence of coraline algae and the anemone not crawling under a rock and dying instantly this time have me too hyphy for my own good. I am a true fool for sales and did wind up taking advantage of (post?) Black Friday sales.

 

Can I just say the acclimation process takes so much longer than you want even when you streamline it if you have work to get back to? Floating bags for half an hour to get the temp up, dipping them for 5-10 min, then rinsing the dip off and getting them in, heck even cutting them all loose from their bags takes time. Normally I have horrible sleep anxiety the night before a delivery and wake up all the time paranoid I'll miss the door, but at my new apartment the small FedEx packages just go to the mail room, not our apartments, and are signed for by the leasing office if needed. So it's like, I can just go to work and walk 5min back when I get the text they've arrived. It's fun to track the corals as they head out for their overnight adventure.

 

Legendary Corals Order

I hemmed and hawwed on whether to go with LC or Cultivated Reef this time around - this order was a treat from my boyfriend so I had a limited number of corals he was buying - choosing which ones of 'my favorites I want them aaaaall' to strip down to 5 or 6 is hard LOL - so I decided I would pick up a rainbow of St Thomas and Rics from CR in a couple months. I had my LC cart all picked out, just waiting for the bf to buy, and my favorite one went out of stock... just a fuzzy mushroom with pink tips. My old brown/green hairy was my best grower in the 5.5g. Devastating blow! So did the purple Ric I wanted to buy - actually whoever bought those 2, and I assume it's one person because they went OOS around the same time, seemed to have bought a LOT of the shrooms I was considering or had in my cart originally! So whoever you are out there, fellow discounted mushroom fan, you have good taste, but also curse you.

 

Wound up getting 2 Rics, 2 Discosoma, 1 Rhodactis, 1 Zoa and 1 Cyphastrea. The latter is a new endeavor for me but it seems like a potential good fit for my tank - more color in lower light, low-medium flow, fast grower. Can I just say I love the $10 and under corals now? I spy the "oh it's only $5" and I'm all over it haha. I fawned over the baby Jawbreakers and a magenta/blue bounce shroom as well ($350!!!) but the bf's job is to keep my coral addiction in line and stop me from spending hundreds on a singular coral... even though the bounce was one of the prettiest corals I've ever seen :bowdown:

 

The packing slip was wet when the box arrived which always makes you worry until you get to the coral bags and can confirm nothing burst open. They all survived shipping and though I had to leave instantly after getting everything into the tank (RIP my lunch break) the Discosoma were already opening up. 

 

Salt Critters Order

I had only ordered from SC once before, which included the anemone who crawled under a rock and died (thing was HUGE too, that's probably what led to my hair algae issues honestly lol), but I got an email they had free shipping at $99... with an order already coming today, I could get behind that, especially when I saw their 50% off red Scoly. I've wanted one since I found out about them - easy to see why, eh? Big, bold, beautiful, bright. I grabbed a Blasto and a peasant Zoa (ahh the sub-$10 'this type grows like a weed, get it away already' blessing) with Dragon Eye and Eagle Eye polyps along with the Scoly. I mulled over the $1-10 frags a lot before deciding on one that had two types growing.

 

I was most nervous about the Scoly since it's expensive and not something I have tried before but it arrived with some feeder tentacles out from being in the dark and partially inflated. Of course it deflated after the dip but I came home to it pretty poofy! It's in the corner right next to me and definitely stands out. I'll have to feed it on water change day along with the nem. The light's off for the night and it started sending feeders out the moment the light shut off, looking over it has a bunch out now which I take to be a good sign. The Blasto fell against the glass so I need to shift it but it and the Zoas all were open when I got off work as well.

 

Thing I hate the most about the 20G High is probably (certainly) that my gloves don't let me reach the bottom without taking on water. So without a water change if I want to place a frag or move it I have to get a glovefull of salt. :rant:So rearranging these guys so they are upright or if they don't seem to like the lighting will not be fun.

 

I came home to all 10 pieces open and I am so happy - nothing quite like a tank with corals. So much color, different places of intrigue to look at, it just looks lively! Will keep my eye on them all to see if someone seems unhappy. I think the green Ric is not a huge fan of its current spot and some of them are on their sides so I need to fix that, but otherwise, just going to remain vigilant. 

 

Show off time!

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The new 'shrooms. I am gonna assume the bargain bin shroom is also a Discosoma, because it looks similar to that kinda burgundy one, and it lacks the floofy whatevers of the Rhodactis. Just a common neon-metallic green Rhodactis down in front, a combo frag with those 2 Pinstripe (Convict maybe?) Discos and the 1 Pimple (maybe?) Disco, and behind them, a Crimson Tide Disco. Can't see much of it from this angle but quite a looker!

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Not my best photographic work, but the Zoas. Pastel Rainbow and Dragon Eye - the Eagle Eye polyps are on the underside so you can't see them top-down yet. And there's the Crimson Tide Disco unfortunately right below where the LED glares on the surface so it doesn't show up well.

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The nem and the Blizzard Bizzaro Cyphastrea. Supposed to be a lighter blue than the normal Bizzaro though here it looks supremely periwinkle from the LED. In person I would say it is more of a light blue with yellow rings and pink centers... whatever the technical names are haha.

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Not a great picture for the stuff shadowed by the top-down angle BUT look at that neon green Ric glow! It looks much less bubbly than the blue one next to it, though, which is why I think maybe that slight height/inch inward difference are not making it happy? And the Blasto is above the blue Ric. Think the Nem pops here too.

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Good view of the Scoly and blue Ric. I love the little flashes of green/blue on the Scoly around the sea of red. Such a looker... though I know the folks with $500 Scolys with 50 different colors are out there all smug haha. One thing I love about the Discos is when the lights go off, under natural light, they all have really visible robin's egg blue elements. Well maybe the Crimson one doesn't but the other three do. Appreciate a coral who looks good with the lights off!

 

Overall I would say the LC frags are pretty true to picture, the blue Ric is maybe less... dynamic shades of blue? than the pic but the other shrooms are very accurate, plus you have to account for differences in your tank's lights vs theirs. The only one I would say is not as close is the Zoa, and I have found this true of multiple I've ordered from them, the like, level of detail in the pictures on their website in the Zoas and the stark differences in color (flashes of pink against green and orange etc) just don't manifest irl - either on my cam or to my eyes. But I don't think this is exclusive to LC's photos of Zoas, I think a lot just appear (or are edited) different in photos across retailers. The SC Zoas I would say are pretty darn close to their images but they are also, simpler I guess, morphs, so I think it is harder to trump them up as like a galactic swirl of coraly color when they're really just kinda like 3 different rings. I very much appreciate how SC takes their photos in 2 different lighting situations so you can see what the frag looks like under their blues and under natural light - I think their 3 frags are pretty darn close to the photos.

 

I am pleased with both orders! I think the pieces are colorful and hope they remain happy and spread like weeds. Off to buy the $125 pink and yellow Elegance that was at the LFS last time I went next - I kid (hopefully...)! But wow that thing was gorgeous. I need to find some very low-light corals to put on the far side of the tank, something that wants indirect light and probably high flow. Don't care if it's a weed or not, not like SPS are gonna grow when the far rock is shadowed by the tall middle rock! Realistically I need to let these guys settle in and take root before buying another batch of corals, we'll see if I can keep myself honest. The absence of sales now will probably help LOL.

 

Really looks like a reef tank-proper again! Now to let them grow in... I intend to get some more RFAs for the rock the current nem is on at some point or other, as long as this one stays healthy, more are an option. Next on the agenda: CUC. Thanks for reading!

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Couple positive updates:

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Picked up 5 Astrea snails, 1 with a dark, long shell that was supposed to be a hermit but was masquerading, and 2 scarlet hermits - one is massive! They are a little bit clumsy with the frags but have set to work on the algae. The hermits I almost never see moving during the day and sit in place for hours at a time, kinda weird guys lol.

The bargain bin mushroom had a baby! There's a little grey blob on the side of its frag plug next to the mother shroom.

 

Nothing has died!

 

Picked up two baby shrooms from a local seller: Interstellar and Kryptonite. Plus an orange Ric as a freebie. One is still in the last phase of the dip and the light went off hours ago, so no pics this update. Pumps are off to let them attach, I don't really have any rubble or a shroom box as all my shrooms have come on plugs. Sure hope they settle in for the night!

 

I have firmed up plans for the fourth fish in a month or two - Helfrichi firefish! I need to secure the lid netting better first, and let the tank just settle, and then when I get the firefish I will put in that dry rock I have cured. Disrupt the setup a bit for the clowns.

 

I caught the female grab the male's left fin today and toss him around by it for several seconds. She seems to be a bit aggro towards him lately despite his displays of submission though they sleep together as well. She ignores the blenny and never attacks him that I've seen, but I guess I'm at work or asleep much of the day haha.

 

Fed the Scoly one morning... wow watching that thing stretch its mouth to down the pellet is creepy and freaky and concerning. Cool coral, really bizarre feeding habits haha! Nem has been eating once a week as well. Love love love how the Scoly is coloring up, you can see flashes of green, yellow and blue popping through:

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So pretty!

 

Hoping the three new shrooms settle in well. Got them for a great price - all 3 for less than you can find a lone Kryptonite elsewhere!

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Wow, it was fun reading your adventure.  I am glad the female clown did not kill her man!  20 gallon tall are really tall tanks.  You can putty rock into taller formations if you want to use some of that height.  It is hard dealing with the height when the depth is only 12".  I have that issue with my 30 gallon XH.

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On 12/18/2018 at 12:39 PM, vlangel said:

Wow, it was fun reading your adventure.  I am glad the female clown did not kill her man!  20 gallon tall are really tall tanks.  You can putty rock into taller formations if you want to use some of that height.  It is hard dealing with the height when the depth is only 12".  I have that issue with my 30 gallon XH.

Thanks for stopping in, Dawn! I'm glad too - she has been roughhousing with him a bit lately and I think his mostly-recovered tail has a new little tear in it but he seems in good spirits. And she never bothers the blenny. Probably thinks he is too ugly LOL.

 

I have considered sticking dry rock together but I'm not sure I'd want to get into the drilling for support rods, etc etc. Honestly the mushrooms seem pretty content with the light at the bottom of the tank, so, though it looks boring I don't think additional rock height is needed.

 

The worst part about the height is finding gloves long enough to not let water flood in when I do anything at full water level... so annoying when a frag has been tipped over lol. And yes a short depth is awful - I like how the Spec V looks but I don't miss how one rock is the entire tank lol, sooo hard to scrub algae around.

 

Speaking of the Spec V I will be rebooting it for a couple weeks for the new Helfrichi Firefish. Figure I should be cautious and quarantine the newcomer when I order it since the current 3 fish are doing well. Just gonna move the far right rock over and run it with just a heater and stock pump - I don't think that will stress the fish out much to have a basic setup? And then move the rock back and add the dry piece to disrupt any clown territorial behavior.

 

Also speaking of heaters... my Finnex heater failed! I went away for the weekend to see my parents and came back Sunday night (had to work on Xmas Eve) and the heater read 69 - it was pretty late so I stared at it in confusion because 69, no way, that's way too low! Well, the heater was still set to 80 it just wasn't heating... and I had left the apartment thermostat fairly low since I was gone. I am SO thankful I decided to get a cheap preset heater for the water change buckets because that poor little thing has been heating the tank. Shipping the Finnex heater since it's under warranty, hopefully the replacement comes soon. I am just glad it didn't electrocute the tank or anything, and that I had another albeit underpowered heater.

 

Funnily enough, I think the hermit crabs prefer the lower temp (78 vs 80) - they seem more active. I have two Scarlets and one is MASSIVE. Hulking creature. I found it somehow on top of the smaller heater and I have no idea how it crawled up a heater... but it sure made a thud when it fell off lol.

 

Had my first loss: the baby Interstellar. It had seemed to be settling in to my makeshift mushroom cup but then I found it half-melted and a stringy mess. When I came back from being gone the 25/26th it was gone. On the plus side, the Kryptonite is doing well! I did have to piss it off because it had attached to the bottom of the cup... I need some sand lol. So sad about the IS because even in its death throes those orange dots were SO vivid under my lights!

 

Got a few more corals today - new Blasto, Duncan colony, Candycane, and a couple shrooms. And my Rhodactis is splitting! I've been bumbling my water change salinity level so no pics today, they'll all be fully open tomorrow, hopefully. And I got some gel filters for Christmas to test out, whoo!

 

I think my next purchases, aside from the fish, will be another Interstellar and some more Rhodactis. 

 

Aside from the heater dying things are going well - got a couple baby shrooms coming in! I've decided to rename the thread (and dub the tank) the Mushroom Meadow since that is most of what I have and they are all at about the same height in the tank haha.

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Phew! It sucks that your heater failed, but at least it didn't heat the water to the temperature of the sun!

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I had a pair of clowns years ago and 1 beat the daylights out of the other.  Of course the aggressor turned female and the male hid behind the hob filter for the first year.  Then I got a nem and bossy Ato, the female claimed it right away.  Poor Tommy, the male was stuck with the filter.  Eventually Ato decided that if she was going to have a man, Tommy was all there was so she invited him to share the nem with her.  They spawned 2Xs a month for years until I sold them as a mated pair.  She henpecked him the entire time though, LOL.  She was a mean son of a gun.  I did not put my hand in that 90 gallon tank without a net between her and I, ha ha!

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On 12/29/2018 at 10:54 PM, btmedic04 said:

Phew! It sucks that your heater failed, but at least it didn't heat the water to the temperature of the sun!

Yeah I am thankful all that seems to have happened is a gradual decrease to winter temperatures. Could have been much worse - electrocution or 90F+ out of control heating. Corals and fish are all fine for it (except the little baby mushroom, possible the temp falling hurt it? though my baby Bargain shroom is still alive).

 

I also wonder if maybe the Rhodactis split due to the stress of the colder temp. Both mother and baby are doing fine. On the subject I have to say I like how agreeable shrooms are to changes - such as the blenny or fat hermit knocking their frag plug over LOL.

On 12/30/2018 at 5:30 AM, vlangel said:

I had a pair of clowns years ago and 1 beat the daylights out of the other.  Of course the aggressor turned female and the male hid behind the hob filter for the first year.  Then I got a nem and bossy Ato, the female claimed it right away.  Poor Tommy, the male was stuck with the filter.  Eventually Ato decided that if she was going to have a man, Tommy was all there was so she invited him to share the nem with her.  They spawned 2Xs a month for years until I sold them as a mated pair.  She henpecked him the entire time though, LOL.  She was a mean son of a gun.  I did not put my hand in that 90 gallon tank without a net between her and I, ha ha!

She sounds like a right mean cuss of a fish, lol. I have had a few fish in freshwater community tanks who take up residence under the overhang of an HOB filter to hide from other fish. Poor guys. It seems so weird to me that clownfish mating behavior is to bully your man relentlessly... you'd think the males would get up and leave LOL. 

 

My girl has historically been pretty meek, which is why I was so surprised she harassed the newcomer to an inch of his life. She ignores the blenny and honestly she's more scared of my arm entering the tank than anything else. She usually goes and hides in a corner when I'm doing a water change. She must be turning 2 about now, if not already. I got her in early February so she is probably hitting maturity. I do think she is pretty small for a female. Maybe she will keep growing but in comparison to a lot of other peoples' clowns (like permanent residents at LFS) I feel like she is smaller than their males. So maybe it bothers her the black clown is so close to her in size or something.

 

Pic dump!

 

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So hard to get a good photo of clowns that isn't blurry.. even worse if you are trying to get the blenny who lives under a rock in, too!

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Duncan colony! I moved it over to where the blenny is perching because it seemed to be getting blown about by the flow. The heads are much more extended there though I think it maybe wants more light? For only $28 I think this piece was a steal!

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Kind of a FTS... the elbow joint has gone onto the reactor pump, making for a much cleaner look (but has been cropped out).

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Blenny in motion. I realize I didn't pick any shots you can see the Zoas very well except this one - rest assured, the Radioactive/Eagle Eye Zoas are alive and well back there, too!

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The Kryptonite! And, as my mom called the poor fish, 'some kind of prehistoric creature??' lol.

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I looooove the red+black Blasto. It is so gorgeous and inflates super well.

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Hungry Scoly and the sizable hermit in the back.

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The purple shroom here is a freebie I got, it has slightly gold bumps on a purple body. I think the color comes out more the longer it sits in the light. Relocated Duncan behind it, and, though you can barely see, cuddled up to the right side of the white and pink-orange Nem is my pink zebra RFA. The little thing overnight decided to go bother the other RFA and sidle on up lol.

 

Playing around with my new gel filters has been fun! Though as seen in the FTS, the middle of the tank is a bit washed out no matter what filter I use.

 

I still can't get the darn Kryptonite to attach to a rock or plug... I need to get some sand to discourage it from attaching to the bottom of the cup but it is SO incredibly stubborn! I am just gonna let it sit however it wants until I can pick up some sand, as long as it's alive and well lol... :rolleyes:

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Looking nice! I think I remember your Spec, did you once have prawn gobies? Your clown sounds nicer than mine, Myrtle was pretty small still but would chase and bite every time my hands went in the tank. I'm not convinced she didn't beat up my tailspot blenny and kill him...

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On 1/3/2019 at 4:58 AM, Lula_Mae said:

Looking nice! I think I remember your Spec, did you once have prawn gobies? Your clown sounds nicer than mine, Myrtle was pretty small still but would chase and bite every time my hands went in the tank. I'm not convinced she didn't beat up my tailspot blenny and kill him...

Yes I had a pair of prawn gobies in the Spec, I remember yours as well, iirc you had some corals I was pretty jealous of haha. I would love to get the prawn gobies again BUT not in a 20G AND I would need a tank dedicated to them with sand and copious pods/macroalgae for them to live on. The gobies never ate pellets and I think feeding them frozen cyclops was a lot more nutrients than the tank could handle being as small as it was. It was also impossible to feed them when I wasn't there daily. I stopped seeing the female first and then never saw the male again - they lasted a few months but it does make me very sad they were gone. Just don't think my tank was the right setup for them and I really need fish who will eat pellets or wafers to have long term success, personally.

 

Goodness Myrtle sounds like a terror, my girl has never gone after me. She does nip at her man but she behaves herself around my hand. Maybe because I never named her? Named females seem to be the ones misbehaving LOL. I have NEVER seen her bother the lawnmower blenny, she will swim near him and just kinda 'school' with him but she has never shown aggression that I have seen and he doesn't seem fussed by her presence at all. The way she roughed up the juvenile clown, though, I could believe yours may have beat a fish to death.

 

Peeping on your tanks, how is your GBG doing? I had one for a week and then came home from class and he was dead. Got in store credit for him but boy I was sad. A LFS of mine also has them so I have been kinda eyeing getting another... maybe after the firefish. He would be very small compared to my other fish and they aren't even that 'big' in the grand scheme of things haha.

 

Finnex heater is out in the mail to be returned, hopefully they will get my replacement sent back. The corals are all very fluffy and extended and happy even though the small heater is totally not getting the tank to 80F - maybe I will set the Finnex to 78 instead of 80?

 

Still can't get the Kryptonite shroom to attach to anything but it is growing in the shroom cup chilling on the plastic all the same LOL. Oh well.

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Finnex's replacement heater arrived! I am so glad because I don't think the underpowered heater was actually getting the tank to/holding it at 78F, think it was keeping it 76-77F instead. Luckily nobody seems to MIND, you know, but I am very happy to have an adequately-powered heater back. I've set it to 78F instead of 80F this time.

 

I also got a magnetic frag rock rack for the tank! It is from Ocean Wonders - I was looking for something that would hold a few frag plugs but not be a really obvious frag rack and this was much cheaper than Tunze's frag rock (though I think theirs looks more natural [but what is natural when we're talking about a 'floating' rock LOL]). Will give feedback on it after I've installed it.

 

I lost one of the two small Astraea snails but everyone else is alive and well. I still can't get the Kryptonite shroom to latch onto anything but the plastic cup (I need sand, I know) but it is growing larger in the cup so... whatever you want?? I feel like the baby bargain shroom is taking forever to grow up but it is getting some color in and has a couple of the bright blue dots of its mom - I wish she photographed better because she is COVERED in fluorescent blue little dots. They are very tiny, not like most of the spotted Discosomas you see on the market that have much larger dots, heck they are smaller than my pink dotted Disco's dots. But also very regularly distributed. The purple Disco is also getting extremely intriguing but it doesn't photograph well (I should try my boyfriend's phone, maybe, but he's usually not home until the lights go off) - the bubbles are becoming more pronounced and more gold and there are some areas of like, Crayola Crayon Salmon-color on the body. For a freebie it's turning into a real stunner!!

 

Things are going well, it's the calm before the storm as my first order from Aqua SD is showing up Friday. And then I am on a coral buying ban for a while, lol. The order is almost all shrooms but for two SPS and one RFA (SPS being the reason for the frag rack, I am not sure any of my rocks are high enough to suit the SPS's needs and I also don't want the sticks knocked over all the time). I still need to get some St Thomas shrooms from Cultivated Reef - next time they have a sale!

 

One spot of bad news - the supplier who was supposed to send my firefish forgot to send it! And several other peoples' fish, apparently. IDK how that happens buuuut I guess it might be two months before a fish comes in for me via this source. I might wait, I might find it elsewhere if a LFS has one... I guess I'm in no rush to set the 5g back up for QT and build a really tight lid for the 20g. I do want the fish but I know patience is a virtue.

 

Pic dump, my latest adds were a pink and blue Blasto with yellow mouth that took a few days to figure out how much light it was happiest with and what was dubbed an Ironman shroom with white dots - it's a very big shroom! It caught my eye in the background of a different frag's auction picture actually; also took it a few days to settle in and expand significantly. Unfortunately where I have the best expansion is hard to photograph so the pics of it aren't the best... I can see the benefits to someone in your household being into photography if you're into reefkeeping so you don't have to rely on cell phone cameras LOL.

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One thing I will say for this phone is it is GREAT at picking up the stray algae strands I didn't scrub off........ note the RFAs cuddled up in the background, they have stayed in those spots since the second one moved half an inch to be next to the first one. I hope the third one is as agreeable to that spot and cuddling haha. This Blasto is not as Crayola Crayon Pink as the Pink Blasto I got from Legendary Corals a year and a half ago or so, it's more of like, a violet-pink? Reddish pink? That Blasto was a true hot pink but it was also the most fragile of my Blastos I've had, by far. Definitely not as red as my red and black one and the center is indeed a true BLUE!

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Better view of the area - the thing on the right is the red Candy Cane. The sickly turquoise one is hanging in there and you can see its feeder tentacles out. I am not sure how to get it back to full strength any faster but it's still alive! 

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Good shot of the entire inhabited side of the tank. Hungry blenny in the background.

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The Scoly does not seem to be a fan of that side of the rock, it's been raised like that since I turned the rock around...

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Non-blurry photo of the lady in orange?! What is this sorcery. Darn clowns are so hard to photograph...

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Aaand finally a shot with the man of the tank.

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The Duncans seemed pretty extended upwards when they were on the floor of the tank so I moved them higher, but they don't seem to be open as much as they were... I moved them slightly again to see how they fare. The flow there is not too strong, maybe it's not strong enough?

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Three of the Discosomas who aren't easily visible from the other angle. The orange one looks like it has ich to me half the time lol. And the one in front is a lovely purple body with red spots, color just doesn't show that well.

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Better color (you can see the pink spots on the one in the middle!) plus some photobombers. Speaking of bad angles, the Zoas are just fine and dandy but they are sort of in the back of the tank (seem to prefer the low light on the floor) so they almost never make it into FTS. I think one has a baby coming in, too!

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On 1/5/2019 at 6:36 PM, Wingsong said:

Yes I had a pair of prawn gobies in the Spec, I remember yours as well, iirc you had some corals I was pretty jealous of haha. I would love to get the prawn gobies again BUT not in a 20G AND I would need a tank dedicated to them with sand and copious pods/macroalgae for them to live on. The gobies never ate pellets and I think feeding them frozen cyclops was a lot more nutrients than the tank could handle being as small as it was. It was also impossible to feed them when I wasn't there daily. I stopped seeing the female first and then never saw the male again - they lasted a few months but it does make me very sad they were gone. Just don't think my tank was the right setup for them and I really need fish who will eat pellets or wafers to have long term success, personally.

 

Goodness Myrtle sounds like a terror, my girl has never gone after me. She does nip at her man but she behaves herself around my hand. Maybe because I never named her? Named females seem to be the ones misbehaving LOL. I have NEVER seen her bother the lawnmower blenny, she will swim near him and just kinda 'school' with him but she has never shown aggression that I have seen and he doesn't seem fussed by her presence at all. The way she roughed up the juvenile clown, though, I could believe yours may have beat a fish to death.

 

Peeping on your tanks, how is your GBG doing? I had one for a week and then came home from class and he was dead. Got in store credit for him but boy I was sad. A LFS of mine also has them so I have been kinda eyeing getting another... maybe after the firefish. He would be very small compared to my other fish and they aren't even that 'big' in the grand scheme of things haha.

 

Finnex heater is out in the mail to be returned, hopefully they will get my replacement sent back. The corals are all very fluffy and extended and happy even though the small heater is totally not getting the tank to 80F - maybe I will set the Finnex to 78 instead of 80?

 

Still can't get the Kryptonite shroom to attach to anything but it is growing in the shroom cup chilling on the plastic all the same LOL. Oh well.

The GBG is doing ok! I'd dunked him in Ruby Reef Rally awhile back and haven't seen white spots since but still want to do the tank transfer method to ensure he's cured if it was ich. 

 

78-79 degrees is what I keep my tanks at so that's fine. I love the pink blasto!

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On 1/15/2019 at 5:54 AM, Lula_Mae said:

The GBG is doing ok! I'd dunked him in Ruby Reef Rally awhile back and haven't seen white spots since but still want to do the tank transfer method to ensure he's cured if it was ich. 

 

78-79 degrees is what I keep my tanks at so that's fine. I love the pink blasto!

It's a very pretty little thing - when the yellow mouths are most visible the contrast of the three colors is very striking. And good to hear the GBG is okay! I definitely find myself thinking about getting a goby again - I have seen some XL Redhead and Neon gobies who I think would be a better size for the tank than a small Neon/Prawn etc. IDK, 20 vs 5.5 is such a difference for a small fish, I already lost the small gobies under the rocks half the time... heck, even the Blenny is under a rock most of the day LOL. I guess we will see once I get the firefish where I am at.

 

Speaking of the blenny he's decided he's a clownfish and tries to eat their NLS pellets sometimes. Unfortunately his aim is horrible so he tries to get them from the surface and totally misses lol. Which is what the black clown did when I first got him, he seemed very uncoordinated if I fed with the pumps on. Honestly his mouth seems a bit weird to me, like, it's very large, he has kind of an ugly head compared to his mate. Too much inbreeding in captivity maybe?

 

Onto the good stuff/pics, Aqua SD order arrived!

 

I had never purchased from them before (kinda pricey if there's not a sale/discount) but I had been looking a lot lately before the live sale. I've seen people express skepticism about them due to heavily-Photoshopped sale pics so I wasn't sure what to expect. I don't expect completely true-to-photo corals unless the photo is clearly not edited, partially because I know my light isn't as fancy schmancy as the lights the corals are under in the shop.

 

Most of them were open in their travel bags which I always find a promising sign, and they included a freebie! I can't quite tell which Rhodactis on their site it is but I'm actually very pleased with it. I feel like dipping frags takes me soooo much longer than it should lol. One of the corals came in a cool fancy specimen/mushroom cup which I hope to put to good use next time I get a baby shroom (Kryptonite is growing every day it seems but still stuck to the bottom of the cup and not a rock/plug... sigh).

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Here is the new button Scoly, next to Big Red - who you can see the streaks of blue-purple, yellow and green on really well in this shot. The Scoly's were the ones I was most skeptical about true-to-lifeness, however I actually think this Scoly isn't too far off - obviously their pics use really good macro lenses but looking at the little guy in person, I do see the depth of color in the pic. He's not very poofy (certainly not compared to his neighbor!) here so it's hard to judge in that regard as well, not at his best. Those teal-neon green (depends on the light) spots sure pop, don't they!

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Another one I wasn't sure what to expect, a RFA. It's hard to see in this pic but I think the RFA was also very true to their picture. You can see the tentacles are kind of lavender, kind of just white/light green, there's a spotted red center over dark green/purple base... very pretty guy! Unfortunately it has crawled to the underside of the rock as seen here. Refused to cuddle up next to the other two (I put it right by them but it said no thank you ma'am) and scooted its way down. I will keep an eye on it and if it appears to be suffering from lack of light I'll have to figure a way to force it off the rock. Grumble lol. Maybe it will make its way back up in a few days and just needs to adjust to the light?

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Sigh, taking pics of these corals is always so hard lol. The only newcomer here is the ASD Devil (which I think is just a Red Devil? I am not sure if their Red Devil is THE Red Devil or if it's a slightly different morph. They had a Snow Devil with white/very light blue dots for much cheaper but... I really loved the speckles on this double frag). Fun surprise, the 'double' has a little baby as well, right next to that lower head. It didn't seem to open much today, I hope that, putting it slightly higher in the tank than usual for a newcomer, it's not getting too much light. The bigger heads were open as seen. I can't wait for them to grow! Maybe someday they will reach the size of that big ole orange Discosoma. The Devil is also officially my most expensive coral, ever.

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Less blurry but further out shot - I think whatever gel filter I was using is magical for the Candy Canes, look how luminously turquoise they look! Positively glowing. Down in the bottom is my new Hairy Shroom, most successful coral of the Spec V! This one seems very fussy though and has its guts pushed out from multiple areas. It never really relaxed and expanded today, which concerns me something is wrong. The other one liked pretty low light and good flow, I am hoping this one is okay with that? Above it (next to the Duncan) is my Sunkist Bounce, first bounce I've gotten! It has a lot more orange than the WYSIWYG pic, must have grown in the 2 weeks since its picture was taken and it shipped. Seems bigger than the pic, too - I am very pleased with it and can't wait to see how it grows out! This was the cheapest Sunkist added on the site I believe haha, pretty darn good!

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Wow, a non-blurry pic of the clowns! There are a couple more new Rhodactis chilling on the lower rocks, and that freebie purple shroom dead center is really popping off. Also on the new floating rock, my two SPS... I saw that fuzzy green one and impulsed, sigh lol. I am not sure the Stylo is loving where it's at, unfortunately its frag plug is stockier than the typical one and it doesn't really fit in the rock's holes, :somber:. The fuzzy green SPS fits perfectly and seems happy - not sure if it gets enough flow, the polyps are extended but they don't really move in the current. Keeping a close eye out. I am pretty pleased by the chunkiness of these two sticks, sometimes (usually) you get those tiny little twigs but these are good-sized. I intend to raise the rock/shift it as needed depending on how the SPS are doing. I wanted something mobile I could lift up to better cater to their lighting needs. Probably not going to pick up too many SPS for this tank (famous last words?), I think they are like Zoas under my lights where they can look gorgeous under someone else's but the color just doesn't quite match the price tag for the rainbowy sorts. Just Plain Bright Green, though? Look at how she pops!

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This is a very light yellow gel filter, I think it's the best one at getting true-to-life images for most of the corals. The pink Blasto, for instance, isn't very good under this filter.

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Gang's all here. Look at the Kryptonite popping a flash of neon green from its cup! I am very pleased with the order overall, I think the weakest parts are the Rhodactis I ordered. Everything else is pretty stunning, I don't think they quite match the colors online - may just need some time to settle in/better spots? You can see, below the purple freebie, a two-headed shroom frag. Those guys are tiny, they looked way bigger in their sale pic lol... I don't know if they just didn't expand fully today or what, maybe they aren't happy, maybe they're just both babies. I hope they grow. I don't want to judge too harshly because obviously some of the newcomers take quicker to the tank than others. The bounce, for instance, I think is fully expanded and content, but that Rhodactis above the purple one (purple rim, kinda blue-cream center), has some guts out. Just need time to acclimate to their new home.

 

I plan on rearranging at some point, the rock on the other side of the big one is pretty much in nothing but shadows and very heavy flow from the reactor's pump, so I would like to open up the lit side of the tank more. I think this also raises the notion I should get a different light that will provide better coverage, which is something I intend to save to over time. I guess it's not a priority because the corals seem happy as-is. I also think I will slow down on larger orders and save up to get some bigger ticket items. I am particularly looking for a Jawbreaker, Eclectus, and Candy Crush, because I think those will pop under my lights (they do best with orange and neon green imo), and some fuzzy-bounce shrooms. So if anyone has babies... :naughtydance: just look at my happy lil Kryptonite growin in his daycare cup! Oh, and I need another Interstellar.

 

Remember when I said I was gonna take it slow and only buy bargain bin frags? LOL. Don't tell my boyfriend... :haha:

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Nice haul!  I love the button scoly, I've looked into getting one eventually.  Gonna wait till I get the new tank going and ready, etc. though.

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On 1/19/2019 at 6:53 AM, Lula_Mae said:

Nice haul!  I love the button scoly, I've looked into getting one eventually.  Gonna wait till I get the new tank going and ready, etc. though.

Patience is probably the most important part of reefing but also the hardest lol.

 

The button Scoly is suuuper pretty but I think is struggling a bit, it looked like it had some tissue recession so I moved it to higher light. It still inflates and extends feeder tentacles every night but something about where I initially placed it was wrong.

 

Tank is doing well, SPS still alive, shrooms all chillin', only thing not super happy is the Duncan who hasn't been fully extending anywhere I move it. Not sure what is wrong, it didn't like being in higher light when I moved it up in the tank but it also didn't like being out of direct light on the side. 

 

I am officially on a buying ban until March 1, boyfriend treated me to some nems under the condition I cool it. Before that I made one sneaky purchase...

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A Jawbreaker and Interstellar!

 

Yes I know I need sand still :rant:the Kryptonite has been growing well attached to the cup so I've kind of just... let it be... instead of forcing it onto rubble via sand. It's not ideal but like, the coral seems happy, so who am I to argue?

 

I LOVE the red on that JB, though funny story it's not the one I ordered. I won an auction for one with much smaller splashes of red (but still a pretty good amount) but when the seller was moving them he confused the two (and this one detached from its plug and came loose) and when I got it in I was like... you know... these red patterns are not the same... but this one is very nice so I am content. Also got the Interstellar who DID come attached but I noticed it seemed very loose so I put its plug in the cup and sure enough, found it on the bottom with the other two. Sigh lol.

 

I am super looking forward to how the JB continues to color up as it grows. Just need to get everyone attached to some rubble and out of the cup. The Red Devil was quickly surpassed for most expensive coral in the tank (though I think I got a JB with this much red for a very good price, young as it may be!) lol.

 

And now, we let everything grow.

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