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Tiny Fish, Big Tank - sublunary's RSR 250

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Hello, my name is sublunary, and it has been 9 days since my last livestock purchase.


I expanded my single euphyillia to a collection of 2, by adding a gold cristata.  The tentacles are actually mostly clear, but in bluer light they get an iridescent orange sheen that is really pretty.  I also feel like the green tips of the torch are leaching color into the tentacles, which is kind of neat.  I can pretend it's a much higher end piece than it really is.  :wink:




I also added a few blastos, which I seem to have failed to get pictures of.  And a couple of let-the-seller-pick zoas, which I should have anticipated would get met he same 2 varieties every single newbie reefer gets lol.  So here's a top-down of some stuff I've had for a while instead. 




If you're wondering why that zoa frag looks a bit weird, it's because the disk is slathered in super glue.  Hydroids.  The really wispy-looking ones.  It figures, the only real pest I've found so far has come in on something named after Pandora...


I also have one more fish I haven't introduced you to yet, an ORA yellow assessor.  I didn't realize how spoiled I was through most of my reef career photographing gobies and blennies.  Assessors do not know how to stay put long enough for a camera to focus.  So, uh, just consider this a sneak peak/teaser...



A working skimmer should be here tomorrow, and that should be the last delivery for a little while.  I'm stepping up testing to figure out a dosing regimen, since Alk is starting to drop.  Nitrates have been a bit high, but I'm hoping getting the skimmer going will help a bit.  I keep reminding myself I need to figure out those two things before buying any more critters.  No matter how pretty said critters are...


Current FTS with cats:



And with less cat, but more blue





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New, working skimmer was installed last night and is happily bubbling away! It's great, but...


I was not prepared for the smell. 


Like, I know skimmate stinks. I've read that dozens of times.  But I always thought it was an open the skimmer cup, get a whiff of nasty, hold your breathe while you clean it, kind of stink.  But, no.  Just turning it on has sent a delicate cloud of stench out into the room that hovers on the edge of noticability and makes you wonder if someone is secretly eating a bowl full of peppery ketchup in the next room.  It's a weird an insidious smell that my partner has yet to notice at all, but which I fear might someday grow to take over the house.   It's not strong enough to be awful, but is making it clear that after a couple months of heavy lifting, it will be throwing knock out blows and ensuring we never have houseguests again. 


I hate it.


But it's also working really well, and is easier than telling my fish I must feed them less.  At least opening the windows so often is good for my pH levels...

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I think the smell will go away with time.  It's probably just pulling built up gunk in the tank.


It looks like you like stylos...the burning banana is a cool one to check out.

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11 hours ago, DreC80 said:

I think the smell will go away with time.  It's probably just pulling built up gunk in the tank.


It looks like you like stylos...the burning banana is a cool one to check out.


I hope you're right!  I was being overdramatic about the smell, but I really don't want it to be a constant thing.


I've definitely been eyeing the burning banana stylos on a couple of sites.  If the one I have continues to do well, that will probably make it into one of my next orders.

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I am getting a lesson in enforced patience.  I went and sprained my ankle the other day, which means no carrying buckets of water up from the basement for a while and thus no water changes or other mucking around with the tank.   (I got very yelled at for trying to go downstairs for a jug of top off water lol)  


This is particularly frustrating because I'm having a cyano outbreak in the middle of the tank.  I think it's partially low alk, partially not enough flow, partially too much food.  I'm really hesitant to mess with the flow, because I'm happy with how much all of my corals are getting right now and don't want to ruin it.  But I do know a lot of people run 2 gyres, or a gyre and an MP, so I should probably look into it.  I'm also hesitant to reduce feedings, since my fish are always looking for food and I feel bad not feeding them.  


I also seem to have lost a couple of snails - an astrea and my turbo.  Both basically stopped moving for a day or two, then fell off the rocks and died.  The turbo only destroyed half of the GHA field that is my overflow wall, so I don't think it was starvation.   One more thing to worry about.  



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It occurred to me after that last post that I haven't taken advantage of all of the settings on my gyre pump, and should try that before making any decisions.  So I cranked it up, made the cycles longer and adjusted the positioning.  And we'll see.  The assessor seems to love playing int eh higher flow and everything else looks to be adjusting ok.  Here's hoping it helps the cyano issue.


I also pulled out the fancy camera and got some extension tubes.  They are not a replacement for a macro lens, but since I'd rather throw my money into livestock than camera equipment right now, it is not a bad compromise.  So spent some time playing with the camera this evening. 

















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More playing with the fancy camera.  And maybe a couple of new photography subjects...  Still struggling to get colors right on everything except the leathers.  




Sympodium seem to be over their snit and are opening again.  



New zoas from Vivid aquatics - pastel rainbows, scrambled eggs, and sunny d's, which aren't in the shot. 



I think the bloodsuckers are my favorite zoas so far.  I still can't get over how bright they are. 



This purchase's terrible idea coral - strawberry shortcake goniopora.  Best I can tell, it's a short tentacle variety.



There was a recnt thread about the most money you ever spent on a coral.  For me, it was the fox coral that did well for a couple weeks in my 16 and then gave up.  Remembering that made me really want to try again.  Foxes are one of those corals that just mesmerized me when I first got into the hobby.  And so here we are...



And of course, grumpy fish. 


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I rearranged the rock peak on the left.  I wasn't loving the cave I'd built at the top, and nothing was using it as a cave anyway, so figured I'd try moving rocks around.  It's probably still not in it's final form. 




I freaking love fox corals.



I am not sure if it's growing or just inflating more, but I feel like the cristata is bigger. 



I reorganized the blasto garden a bit, so I can actually see the polyps.   I'm quite sure this also is not in it's final form. 



And fish. 



I am really tempted to get blackout curtains for the living room so I don't have to contort my body to block reflections from the window. 

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Somehow double posted.  Oops. Gone now.

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As much as I love all the things I intentionally buy for this hobby, I equally love the microfauna that comes with it.


My cleaner shrimp have been dutifully reproducing, and I didn't miss the larvae release this time!



Staring at them, made me want to break out the USB microscope.  The lowest magnification is just the right resolution to see things on the inside of the glass.


Spirorbid worm, who was scraped off not long after. 



Munnid isopod.  Very happy to see some of these guys.  I hadn't found any before the other night. 



Hyrdoid medusa and copepod.



Isopod that I can't remember how to spell the genus name for.  After the first week or so, I stopped seeing the big males with the large tail spikes.  I thought maybe the small population I had had died out, but now I'm seeing the smaller females or beta-form males hanging out on the glass at night. 



I could not find any likely IDs for these worms, but I think they're really cute.  They make me think of garden snakes.  


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View from the left235515170_2020_06.02sideL.thumb.jpg.8f14aa437527423ee5011a4eb5636ca0.jpg





and right side



I added a bit more dry rock and lifted up the thicker gorg.  I'm getting a lot more polyp extension on the lower half now, so I thiink the light or flow situation is better a few inches up. 


Pistol shrimp doing pistol shrimp stuff



And finally a picture of the assessor that looks like more than just a yellow blob!


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Some blasto photos, Taking these made me really want a real macro lens.  I can't get close enough for things in that part of the tank. 










Half-decent picture of the Sunny Ds



I am pleased my shrimp shelf is being used for its intended purpose.  I have no idea what's going on with my duncan though.  It's been stubby like that for about a week.



I also don't know what's up with my yellow rose goby.  It disappeared for all of yesterday.  This morning it reappeared, took over the tunnel entrance the yasha usually guards and has been a complete jerk to the other fish.   It's weird. 




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Things are going well.  With some extra testing and the help of B-Ionic, my alk is finally up where I want it, and I am getting the hang of keeping it steady.  The cyano on the sandbed seems to be gone for the moment, though there is a bit on one rock. 


This week was apparently the week for knocking over frags.  I've had to stick hands in the tank basically every day to rescue things, which I'm not a fan of.  The goni and stylo seem to have had the worst reactions to it, but the zoas and blastos seem to be entirely unbothered. 


My cheato has pretty much completely disintegrated.  Thinking back, I think it started to decline around when I finally got the skimmer running.  Hmm.  Even so, I'm pretty happy with the low levels of algae in the display.  The glass films up daily, and there are recurring patches of GHA, but it seems like just the right amount to keep the snails and critters fed.  I'm less happy with the bits of bubble algae I've started finding.  I had a real bad bubble algae problem in the nanocube, so I'm hoping manual removal is enough to keep this one controlled. 


One of my main criteria for judging how my tank is doing, is whether things are reproducing.  The cleaner shrimp are spawning like clockwork.  This is the second cycle of eggs from my ceriths.



The snail in the middle was sold as Tegula eseni, which I've never heard of.  It's shell is super shiny pearlescent, and is one of the prettiest snails I've seen. It was advertised as a cyano eater, so here's hoping!


The zoas are also starting to get in on the act.  Most of them have one or two new baby polpys or developing bumps. 





I also have a few more new things.  I decided I needed a couple more cristatas.  I had no idea the purple one would be so huge - it is fantastically fluffy.



I also needed a turbinaria.  I had one in my first tank that did surprisingly well until the crash.  I just could not seem to keep them in my second tank.  So hopefully third tank will work out.  It's a nice rich purple with bright green polyps.  And it even came with a free micro brittle star. 



These orange zoas were a discount add on.  They came with some nice thick coralline. I also enjoy the astrea snail here with a single piece of neomeris algea on his shell.  It's one of those algaes I love because I think it's neat looking, even if it's given some people problems.



I am done adding corals for at least a while.  I have plans of a few more specific things I want, but those should wait.  I also want some more inverts, but those will probably wait until I can find another pistol shrimp in stock.   Same with fish - the next one in will be a twin spot or tail spot blenny, but no one has those in stock. 



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Sad day.  My yasha jumped sometime between midnight and when I woke up.  I found her stuck to the carpet a little bit ago.  Put her in tank water to see if I caught her soon enough, but no luck. 😞


I've never lost a fish to jumping before. I'm really sad the superfancy screen top wasn't enough to catch her.  I'm also pretty sure it's the YRG's fault.  It's been a right jerk the past week.  Sigh.  I was really hoping I'd be able to get that second shrimp and restore peace. 

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A conversation with my partner.


Me: I'm coming home early tomorrow because of a delivery.

B: Replacing that fish?

Me: No, other stuff this time.

B: Do you name your fish?

Me: No.  Well, except for the black and white fish I have now.  It's name is officially Jerkface.

B: If you were replacing the other fish, I was going to suggest you name it Jerky.  Now you have to name everything on theme!


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My birthday gift to myself this year was the macro lens I've wanted for about a decade.  I still have a ton to learn but I'm really enjoying playing with it so far.






Sunny Ds bumps are starting to look like real polyps



New feather duster



One of 2 porcelain crabs



One of two pom pom crabs



One of three new panamic barnacle blennies.  One of them moved into the barnacle cluster immediately, but it now hiding under it. 



Latest full tank shot



My partner also got me a birthday present today!  I really love my 1k gyre, and I'm very excited for the extra programming options and more chaotic flow patters I can get with two.  I'm hoping this can help me clear out the rest of the cyano without beating up my lower-flow corals too much,


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Icecap 2K gyre review:


So I used the 1k gyre alone for several months.  It's control unit is clunky and out-dated -looking but gives you a good amount of control over the flow.  I didn't take full advantage of the options, but was able to pick the wave form, the time to ramp up, the time at top speed, the time to ramp down, and the range of flow at all points.  I was really happy with it, but wanted a second one to hit some low flow spots caused by the overflow. 


The 2k with wifi controller advertises the ability to control 2 gyres off one controller with a wifi interface.  Which sounds to me like I'd be able to set schedules like above for each gyre, which would be great.  I watched a bunch of videos explaining how you can run opposing gyres to create moving points of turbulence through the tank by having one ramp up while the other is ramping down.  This does not let me do that. I can set different min and max flow volume for each gyre, and can decide whether they both flow the same direction, or whether one flows forwards while the other goes backwards - but otherwise they work in complete lockstep.  The app is not as intuitive or nearly as functional as I want it to be (to get the full version of the hydros app, you need to buy their wave engine for $300...).  And bizarrely the app doesn't give push notifications if something goes wrong - it will only email or text.  


The 2k is surprisingly powerful - when I turned it on for the first time, it went immediately to 100% and blew half my frags across the tank. I've dialed it down a lot - it's maxing out below 40% right now, but I'm having trouble getting exactly what I want out of it.  I'm worried my torch is getting hit with too much flow when the 2k run backwards.   That might be solved easily enough by switching the locations of the pumps, which I will probably try in the coming week.  The 2k also whines when it runs; the 1k is much, much quieter. 


So overall, I'm disappointed but think I'll be able to make it work.


Unrelated blenny picture, because they are super cute:


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