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billygoat

18g Caribbean Biotope - Six months old!🎉

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billygoat

I agree with you guys, the crab was just too dang adorable! Hopefully it won't show up later as some giant zoanthid-eating monster or something.

 

Here are a few more pictures from around the reef. Someone contact the Halimedia, because the Halimedapocalypse is underway. 

 

I still haven't determined the best time of day to take an FTS, and may actually end up rigging some kind of curtain behind me to block out the glare when I photograph the tank. How nerdy is that? 😄

 

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billygoat

Today I've got a bunch of macro shots of coralline algae to share. Yes, that's right folks; it's just that kind of aquarium journal I'm afraid! 😅

 

The truth is that I love these algae. I feel like most aquarists know coralline algae is good but don't pay much attention to it after their rocks turn pink, and I figure this is often because they seed their tanks with a single species of coralline that then covers everything with a mono-colored crust. Nothing wrong with that of course, but in nature there are many different species of coralline that all compete with each other for space in much the same way that corals do. Watching them grow and fight and encrust each other to form a beautiful patchwork of pink and purple colors has been one of my favorite parts of reefkeeping so far.

 

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billygoat

Here's an evening FTS with the new algae in. Very blue, but at least it's a little less glared-out at this time of day.

 

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pricewayne

Looking so good!! I love that mystery crab you found.

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billygoat
On 5/24/2019 at 8:20 PM, pricewayne said:

Looking so good!! I love that mystery crab you found.

Thank you! It seems like every day I am still finding weird and interesting hitchhikers in here, even all these months later. May the mystery crab live long and never be seen again!

Kinda makes me wonder what else might be lurking in there. 🤔

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TatorTaco

Have you noticed the gorgonian on the right growing yet?  I just assumed they'd grow like trees do and branch, but I'm noticing mine is starting to create a mat below it and spreading on the rocks.  Wondering if it creates a sturdy base and then sprouts new branches? I can take a picture if that helps my poor explanation.  Just noticed it last night. 

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billygoat
9 hours ago, TatorTaco said:

Have you noticed the gorgonian on the right growing yet?  I just assumed they'd grow like trees do and branch, but I'm noticing mine is starting to create a mat below it and spreading on the rocks.  Wondering if it creates a sturdy base and then sprouts new branches? I can take a picture if that helps my poor explanation.  Just noticed it last night. 

Interesting that you mention that! That gorg has been in my tank for almost a month now, and I was just looking at pictures of it and remarking on how it had not demonstrated much growth so far, despite good polyp extension every day. However, when I observed its base I did see that it seems to be expanding mat-style across the rock it is attached to. In the beginning some superglue was visible at its base, but now that whole area is covered and you can even see some polyps extended down at the bottom.

 

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billygoat

Unfortunately I also have some not-so-good news on the gorgonian front today. My newest addition (Plexaura flexuosa) does not appear to be doing well. It has been in the tank for four days now but has yet to expand its polyps, and it is sloughing its outer layers in a way that reminds me a bit too much of what some of my previous gorgs looked like when I accidentally killed them with a  poorly-executed freshwater dip. When I came home from work today I noticed that diatoms were starting to grow on its surface, and my Terror Star (orange brittle star) seems to have taken an interest in it as well. Usually the star is not interested in things that aren't dead or dying, so that seems like a bad sign...

 

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I know that species in the genus Plexaura have a reputation for being very poor shippers, but I was hoping that I could pull it off. Hopefully it will recover over the next few days, but I have my doubts.

 

 

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melson

I also had trouble with that one in my 8g. Not sure what happened but it too died when all my other gorgs were going strong!

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billygoat
3 hours ago, melson said:

I also had trouble with that one in my 8g. Not sure what happened but it too died when all my other gorgs were going strong!

They definitely seem to be very sensitive, but I've been keeping an eye on mine today and have decided that it still has a chance. It doesn't show any signs of disintegration and some of its polyps are becoming more responsive. I think it might just need a lot more time to acclimate than most of the other Caribbean gorgs do.

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pricewayne
3 minutes ago, billygoat said:

They definitely seem to be very sensitive, but I've been keeping an eye on mine today and have decided that it still has a chance. It doesn't show any signs of disintegration and some of its polyps are becoming more responsive. I think it might just need a lot more time to acclimate than most of the other Caribbean gorgs do.

🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻

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billygoat

Here's another bizarre creature. It's growing on the substrate in a low-flow corner of the tank. I think it's some kind of fuzzy tunicate, but it could also be a sponge I guess. 🤔

 

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TatorTaco

Has KPA been your exclusive vendor for macro? I forgot where else you found some of these items. 

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Northwoodsreefer
58 minutes ago, TatorTaco said:

Has KPA been your exclusive vendor for macro? I forgot where else you found some of these items. 

Reef cleaners or gulf coast ecosystems (live-plants.com)

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billygoat
2 hours ago, TatorTaco said:

Has KPA been your exclusive vendor for macro? I forgot where else you found some of these items. 

As @Northwoodsreefer mentioned, most of my macros came from Gulf Coast Ecosystems, with a few from Reef Cleaners. The inverts and fish are almost entirely from KP, and the cleaners, snails, and other things are from Reef Cleaners. Actually now that I think about it those 3 retailers have supplied the entirety of the livestock in my tank! That's what I get for setting up a biotope I guess... I wanted to do it right, so I went straight to the source. 

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TatorTaco

Just placed a rather large order from KP Aquatics this morning.  I have ordered from ReefCleaners and it was a good experience.  Thanks y'all. 

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billygoat
8 hours ago, TatorTaco said:

Just placed a rather large order from KP Aquatics this morning.  I have ordered from ReefCleaners and it was a good experience.  Thanks y'all. 

They definitely are my recommendation for Caribbean livestock. I've never been disappointed with the quality of anything I've gotten from KP. It's a shame that they don't stock much macroalgae 'cause if they did I'm sure it would be great. Can't wait to see what you got! 😉 

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billygoat

Here are a couple of... macro shots. 😏

 

This Halimeda has been in the tank for five days. It's starting to take off already!

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Sea fan, before and after. This is 5/23:

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And today, 5/28:

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Also, the Plexaura is starting to look better. I think it's just going through an extended sloughing phase. It's a bit hard to see in this photo, but the beginnings of some fuzzy white polyp extension are visible. Hopefully it will continue to improve and open up fully at some point in the next couple of days! 😁🤞

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TatorTaco
1 hour ago, billygoat said:

Here are a couple of... macro shots. 😏

 

Get outta here Dad. Lol. 

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billygoat

More algae! I'm so excited! omgomgomg

 

This is Acetabularia crenulata, commonly known as Mermaid's Wine Glass. If I can manage to convince this algae to grow in my aquarium I will consider my entire life to be a consummate success.

 

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Huge shout out to @johnmaloney at Reef Cleaners for providing me with this unique and beautiful macroalgae!

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Amphrites

Oh man that's some awesome macro... I didn't see it when I placed my cowrie order otherwise I would have been all over that T_T (Don't think they had any up yet)

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Tigahboy

Wow.  That mermaid's wine glass is exceptional!

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Kangster911

That wine glass algae looks really interesting. Everytime I look at your tank, you make me want to get a display refugium tank. Who knew macro algaes can be so interesting?

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billygoat

Thank you guys! It is really beautiful but rather delicate, so I sure hope I can keep it happy. I had never seen it for sale anywhere before so when I saw RC had some I just had to go for it. 😅

 

40 minutes ago, Amphrites said:

Oh man that's some awesome macro... I didn't see it when I placed my cowrie order otherwise I would have been all over that T_T (Don't think they had any up yet)

Looks like it's back in stock now, so maybe it's not too late! Be sure you don't have anything that will eat it, though. It's extremely palatable to herbivores that like fleshy algae, so emerald crabs or herbivorous fish will destroy it. That cowrie might even try it out!

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Amphrites

It shipped yesterday evening lol, maybe next time, plus I'm considering trying to pair up some springeri or talbot damsels and they'd probably get the munches anyway.

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