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18g Caribbean Biotope - Six months old!🎉

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Maddie

This tank is stunning, and pretty much my dream tank! Can we get another fts? 

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billygoat
On 4/8/2019 at 8:52 AM, Maddie said:

This tank is stunning, and pretty much my dream tank! Can we get another fts? 

Thank you! It's hard to imagine my little box of algae being anybody else's dream tank, but it's very encouraging to hear that 😄 

 

Getting a good FTS of my tank is proving very difficult, as it's right next to a big window that produces a lot of glare. This aggressively suboptimal shot is the best I could come up with this afternoon:

 

IMG_2992.thumb.JPG.fc4a7c9bc055f00643e5d1d5dd28b1d0.JPG

 

As you can see, the gorgonians are looking very unhappy today... and for good reason! They got pulled out of the tank and had a nice freshwater dip! Let me explain.

 

Over the past few weeks I've been noticing my gorgonians receding a bit. The tips of certain branches would turn white, and the flesh would gradually fall off of them, leaving bare white skeleton behind. Now my gorgs generally have excellent polyp extension, and seem extremely happy with their lighting, flow etc. This led me to believe that some sort of pest is causing them to recede, rather than some environmental factor. I posted about this curious problem in the invertebrate forum but did not get any closer to understanding what was going on. In addition to this, I noticed that the two Ricordea on my middle rock were brushing up against my large gorgonian when they were fully extended during the day. This of course was causing the gorg' some distress. So this morning I decided to move the little gorg' (which had previously been positioned directly behind the big one) over to my empty right-hand rock, and re-glued the large gorg' further back on the middle rock so that it would not be bothered by my Ricordea. Since I was moving them anyway, I figured I might as well dip and trim them while I was at it, just to deal with whatever micro-pests might be living on them. So they got a 15 minute bath in heated RO water, and I cut off their receding branches.

 

Hopefully this all ends up working out for the best! I have been a bit stressed out about it as my gorgs certainly do not look pleased at the moment, but I know they are pretty tough and should be able to handle a 15 minute dip without trouble (edit: please do not do this, I was extremely wrong!). Interestingly, the far left-hand gorgonian also retracted its polyps as soon as I re-introduced the two dipped specimens (the left-hand guy looked okay, so I left him in there), which led me to believe that some sort of chemical stress messenger was at work in the water. A few of my mushrooms curled up at about the same time, and my Stephanocoenia retracted its polyps too, so I decided to go ahead and fire up some saltwater and perform a 2 gallon water change. And since I was doing that, I blasted the cyano off my substrate with a turkey baster as well! In retrospect this latter activity may have been a mistake, since it just resulted in cyano fragments flying all over my tank, but hopefully that doesn't come back to bite me.

 

It's weird that this red slime continues to grow so aggressively though... I tested my Nitrates today and found them to be somewhere between 2 and 5. That means they are actually dropping from where they were, even as cyano growth continues to pick up. (edit: of course they are dropping as growth picks up; that's because the cyano is eating them 🙄) Perhaps the slime will crash when they hit zero... or perhaps some other nutrient is the issue. 🤔

 

IMG_2991.thumb.JPG.2f1bf992e621c8c78dd0c517ff64bb76.JPG

 

Or maybe they're dinos after all!? 😱 But I don't think red dinos are a thing...

 

Sorry for the long post, but as you can see it was a pretty hectic day in my little reef. 😄 Here's hoping that it starts looking better tomorrow.

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mtgmichaelg

I would just make sure that you are feeding them once your aptasia are gone. My peppermint shrimp goes crazy when it smells food in the water and loves to nibble at the pellets I feed my clownfish. 

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748S911
4 hours ago, billygoat said:

Thank you! It's hard to imagine my little box of algae being anybody else's dream tank, but it's very encouraging to hear that 😄 

 

Getting a good FTS of my tank is proving very difficult, as it's right next to a big window that produces a lot of glare. This aggressively suboptimal shot is the best I could come up with this afternoon:

 

IMG_2992.thumb.JPG.fc4a7c9bc055f00643e5d1d5dd28b1d0.JPG

 

As you can see, the gorgonians are looking very unhappy today... and for good reason! They got pulled out of the tank and had a nice freshwater dip! Let me explain.

 

Over the past few weeks I've been noticing my gorgonians receding a bit. The tips of certain branches would turn white, and the flesh would gradually fall off of them, leaving bare white skeleton behind. Now my gorgs generally have excellent polyp extension, and seem extremely happy with their lighting, flow etc. This led me to believe that some sort of pest is causing them to recede, rather than some environmental factor. I posted about this curious problem in the invertebrate forum but did not get any closer to understanding what was going on. In addition to this, I noticed that the two Ricordea on my middle rock were brushing up against my large gorgonian when they were fully extended during the day. This of course was causing the gorg' some distress. So this morning I decided to move the little gorg' (which had previously been positioned directly behind the big one) over to my empty right-hand rock, and re-glued the large gorg' further back on the middle rock so that it would not be bothered by my Ricordea. Since I was moving them anyway, I figured I might as well dip and trim them while I was at it, just to deal with whatever micro-pests might be living on them. So they got a 15 minute bath in heated RO water, and I cut off their receding branches.

 

Hopefully this all ends up working out for the best! I have been a bit stressed out about it as my gorgs certainly do not look pleased at the moment, but I know they are pretty tough and should be able to handle a 15 minute dip without trouble. Interestingly, the far left-hand gorgonian also retracted its polyps as soon as I re-introduced the two dipped specimens (the left-hand guy looked okay, so I left him in there), which led me to believe that some sort of chemical stress messenger was at work in the water. A few of my mushrooms curled up at about the same time, and my Stephanocoenia retracted its polyps too, so I decided to go ahead and fire up some saltwater and perform a 2 gallon water change. And since I was doing that, I blasted the cyano off my substrate with a turkey baster as well! In retrospect this latter activity may have been a mistake, since it just resulted in cyano fragments flying all over my tank, but hopefully that doesn't come back to bite me.

 

It's weird that this red slime continues to grow so aggressively though... I tested my Nitrates today and found them to be somewhere between 2 and 5. That means they are actually dropping from where they were, even as cyano growth continues to pick up. (edit: of course they are dropping as growth picks up; that's because the cyano is eating them 🙄) Perhaps the slime will crash when they hit zero... or perhaps some other nutrient is the issue. 🤔

 

IMG_2991.thumb.JPG.2f1bf992e621c8c78dd0c517ff64bb76.JPG

 

Or maybe they're dinos after all!? 😱 But I don't think red dinos are a thing...

 

Sorry for the long post, but as you can see it was a pretty hectic day in my little reef. 😄 Here's hoping that it starts looking better tomorrow.

Hope that dip solves your gorg issue.

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thecoralbeauty
15 hours ago, billygoat said:

Thank you! It's hard to imagine my little box of algae being anybody else's dream tank, but it's very encouraging to hear that 😄 

 

Getting a good FTS of my tank is proving very difficult, as it's right next to a big window that produces a lot of glare. This aggressively suboptimal shot is the best I could come up with this afternoon:

 

IMG_2992.thumb.JPG.fc4a7c9bc055f00643e5d1d5dd28b1d0.JPG

 

As you can see, the gorgonians are looking very unhappy today... and for good reason! They got pulled out of the tank and had a nice freshwater dip! Let me explain.

 

Over the past few weeks I've been noticing my gorgonians receding a bit. The tips of certain branches would turn white, and the flesh would gradually fall off of them, leaving bare white skeleton behind. Now my gorgs generally have excellent polyp extension, and seem extremely happy with their lighting, flow etc. This led me to believe that some sort of pest is causing them to recede, rather than some environmental factor. I posted about this curious problem in the invertebrate forum but did not get any closer to understanding what was going on. In addition to this, I noticed that the two Ricordea on my middle rock were brushing up against my large gorgonian when they were fully extended during the day. This of course was causing the gorg' some distress. So this morning I decided to move the little gorg' (which had previously been positioned directly behind the big one) over to my empty right-hand rock, and re-glued the large gorg' further back on the middle rock so that it would not be bothered by my Ricordea. Since I was moving them anyway, I figured I might as well dip and trim them while I was at it, just to deal with whatever micro-pests might be living on them. So they got a 15 minute bath in heated RO water, and I cut off their receding branches.

 

Hopefully this all ends up working out for the best! I have been a bit stressed out about it as my gorgs certainly do not look pleased at the moment, but I know they are pretty tough and should be able to handle a 15 minute dip without trouble. Interestingly, the far left-hand gorgonian also retracted its polyps as soon as I re-introduced the two dipped specimens (the left-hand guy looked okay, so I left him in there), which led me to believe that some sort of chemical stress messenger was at work in the water. A few of my mushrooms curled up at about the same time, and my Stephanocoenia retracted its polyps too, so I decided to go ahead and fire up some saltwater and perform a 2 gallon water change. And since I was doing that, I blasted the cyano off my substrate with a turkey baster as well! In retrospect this latter activity may have been a mistake, since it just resulted in cyano fragments flying all over my tank, but hopefully that doesn't come back to bite me.

 

It's weird that this red slime continues to grow so aggressively though... I tested my Nitrates today and found them to be somewhere between 2 and 5. That means they are actually dropping from where they were, even as cyano growth continues to pick up. (edit: of course they are dropping as growth picks up; that's because the cyano is eating them 🙄) Perhaps the slime will crash when they hit zero... or perhaps some other nutrient is the issue. 🤔

 

IMG_2991.thumb.JPG.2f1bf992e621c8c78dd0c517ff64bb76.JPG

 

Or maybe they're dinos after all!? 😱 But I don't think red dinos are a thing...

 

Sorry for the long post, but as you can see it was a pretty hectic day in my little reef. 😄 Here's hoping that it starts looking better tomorrow.

Dino can indeed be red sometimes. It's not commonly seen as red in our tanks, but the notorious "red tide" seen in the wild is dinoflagellates. 

 

Fingers are crossed the freshwater dip does the trick!!

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billygoat
10 hours ago, mtgmichaelg said:

I would just make sure that you are feeding them once your aptasia are gone. My peppermint shrimp goes crazy when it smells food in the water and loves to nibble at the pellets I feed my clownfish. 

I'll be sure to keep them fed. I've read about peppermints' tendency to aggressively steal food from tankmates (corals included), but luckily I don't have much else in my tank for them to steal from 😄 They are practically at the top of the food chain in there!

 

24 minutes ago, mwhitelock said:

Dino can indeed be red sometimes. It's not commonly seen as red in our tanks, but the notorious "red tide" seen in the wild is dinoflagellates. 

 

Fingers are crossed the freshwater dip does the trick!!

The ol' red tide! I had forgotten about it. Still, I am fairly sure that these pests are simply cyanobacteria... they seem to grow only on the substrate and occasionally on my macroalgae, and almost never creep up onto the rocks. They do recede in the evening and grow back in the daytime like dinos do, but they never 100% disappear, and the way they form mats on the substrate rather than long strings of slime just doesn't seem like a very dinoflagellate thing to do. Or so I hope!

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billygoat

Here's a shot of the whole system showing the rear-chamber cover that I installed a few days ago. Pest algae growing in the back chambers was becoming an issue, as my A80 throws quite a lot of light back there (you can see the circle of it on the top of the cover). I also noticed that with the cover on the back I can keep the heater in the sump area without worrying about temperature fluctuations. I've had it back there for a few days now and the temp has remained stable.

 

It took me a few days to get used to it, but all in all I think it looks pretty clean.

IMG_2990.thumb.JPG.39c6ece6afbbf86a6dda6e23f7e9616f.JPG

 

Also, here is a crab.

IMG_2993.thumb.JPG.d0357eb73ca0b8b49f57e341744b025d.JPG

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748S911
29 minutes ago, mwhitelock said:

Dino can indeed be red sometimes. It's not commonly seen as red in our tanks, but the notorious "red tide" seen in the wild is dinoflagellates. 

 

Fingers are crossed the freshwater dip does the trick!!

Im battling cyano issue too on my chaeto that I got from a friends tank that had it. I don't want to do a fw dip cause it will kill my reef bugs in it, any other alternatives?

6 minutes ago, billygoat said:

they seem to grow only on the substrate and occasionally on my macroalgae, and almost never creep up onto the rocks. They do recede in the evening and grow back in the daytime like dinos do, but they never 100% disappear, and the way they form mats on the substrate rather than long strings of slime just doesn't seem like a very dinoflagellate thing to do. Or so I hope!

Sounds like same stuff Im dealing with. Its getting stuck on my Gorgonia tips too, and my chaeto.

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748S911
2 minutes ago, billygoat said:

Here's a shot of the whole system showing the rear-chamber cover that I installed a few days ago. Pest algae growing in the back chambers was becoming an issue, as my A80 throws quite a lot of light back there (you can see the circle of it on the top of the cover). I also noticed that with the cover on the back I can keep the heater in the sump area without worrying about temperature fluctuations. I've had it back there for a few days now and the temp has remained stable.

 

It took me a few days to get used to it, but all in all I think it looks pretty clean.

IMG_2990.thumb.JPG.39c6ece6afbbf86a6dda6e23f7e9616f.JPG

 

Also, here is a crab.

IMG_2993.thumb.JPG.d0357eb73ca0b8b49f57e341744b025d.JPG

Looks clean, and hopefully it helps with evaporation.

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billygoat
10 minutes ago, 748S911 said:

Im battling cyano issue too on my chaeto that I got from a friends tank that had it. I don't want to do a fw dip cause it will kill my reef bugs in it, any other alternatives?

Sounds like same stuff Im dealing with. Its getting stuck on my Gorgonia tips too, and my chaeto.

Unfortunately I have not yet found a good way to permanently get rid of this stuff. It's easy enough to remove manually, but it grows super fast, and will usually re-appear in my tank within a matter of hours. I've gotten in a routine of toothbrushing it off the tips of my macros every day, just to make sure it can't gain a foothold there. None of my snails or other herbivores seem to have any interest in it. I'm not even sure a FW dip would kill it, but based on the way it goes away at night I think that a multi-day blackout of the tank may cause it to recede. Unfortunately that's not an option in my system, since blacking out the tank would harm all my macroalgae too.

 

I'm just hoping that once Nitrates bottom out it will run out of steam and die. They've been steadily declining in my system for a few weeks now. I plan to hopefully get them down to zero by adding even more macroalgae, and then raise them up again once the cyano has disappeared.

 

12 minutes ago, 748S911 said:

Looks clean, and hopefully it helps with evaporation.

Thank you! It does seem to help with evaporation a bit; my ATO no longer seems to be working quite as hard as it was 😄 

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748S911
6 minutes ago, billygoat said:

've gotten in a routine of toothbrushing it off the tips of my macros every day, just to make sure it can't gain a foothold there. None of my snails or other herbivores seem to have any interest in it.

Im using a turkey baster myself blowing it off when I see it.

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thecoralbeauty

if it's cyano, chemiclean works like a charm. just make sure you dont overdose it when you treat.

 

for cyano, from everything ive read and learned, the best natural prevention is flow. still waters invite mats of cyano. maybe try moving power heads around, adding another, or increasing the intensity if you have mp10s or 40's. 

 

 

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748S911
5 minutes ago, mwhitelock said:

if it's cyano, chemiclean works like a charm. just make sure you dont overdose it when you treat.

 

for cyano, from everything ive read and learned, the best natural prevention is flow. still waters invite mats of cyano. maybe try moving power heads around, adding another, or increasing the intensity if you have mp10s or 40's. 

 

Ive got a gyre 1k and set to 10% max output. I will kick it up to 20% and see it that works. I dont want to blow all the corals around, but then again definitely dont want the cyano

 

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billygoat
1 hour ago, mwhitelock said:

if it's cyano, chemiclean works like a charm. just make sure you dont overdose it when you treat.

 

for cyano, from everything ive read and learned, the best natural prevention is flow. still waters invite mats of cyano. maybe try moving power heads around, adding another, or increasing the intensity if you have mp10s or 40's. 

 

 

I'm going to do my best to beat my cyano without recourse to any sort of additives, but as a last resort I will keep the chemiclean in mind. 😊 As for flow, I actually have an MP10 on the way! It should hopefully arrive on Thursday. I am about as excited as a reefer can be; it's going to be a pretty major upgrade over my Koralia Nano 240. If I could go back six months and tell my not-yet-committed self a single piece of advice, it would be to just go ahead and buy the best powerhead you can get right off the hop. A return pump is whatever (as long as it's quiet!) and in a tank like this I could probably even get away with a much cheaper light, but proper flow is so worth what you pay.

 

Here's a shot of the enemy from this afternoon - sure enough, in one of the lowest-flow spots of my tank. Pretty much all of this particular patch of cyano has grown in since the lights turned on this morning. It's so fast! If left undisturbed it forms a thick red mat all across this area within a couple of days.

IMG_2998.thumb.JPG.6257912e2c70a2ca9f2866206839f03f.JPG

 

Cyano also seems to have found a foothold up against the glass underneath of my substrate, which is of course an area with zero flow. This is rather obnoxious as this spot is almost impossible to clean without delving into the anoxic part of my sandbed - an area that I would very much prefer to leave undisturbed.

IMG_2999.thumb.JPG.9ef4bc16db6376b7ad821323a3e2f6ba.JPG

 

Blah! Cyano is so unsightly! But I know that I'll beat it in the end. It's only a matter of time.

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Firefish15
2 minutes ago, billygoat said:

Blah! Cyano is so unsightly! But I know that I'll beat it in the end. It's only a matter of time.

You've got the right idea! Patience! You're on the road to having a nice mature tank! :biggrin:

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thecoralbeauty
41 minutes ago, billygoat said:

I'm going to do my best to beat my cyano without recourse to any sort of additives, but as a last resort I will keep the chemiclean in mind. 😊 As for flow, I actually have an MP10 on the way! It should hopefully arrive on Thursday. I am about as excited as a reefer can be; it's going to be a pretty major upgrade over my Koralia Nano 240. If I could go back six months and tell my not-yet-committed self a single piece of advice, it would be to just go ahead and buy the best powerhead you can get right off the hop. A return pump is whatever (as long as it's quiet!) and in a tank like this I could probably even get away with a much cheaper light, but proper flow is so worth what you pay.

 

Here's a shot of the enemy from this afternoon - sure enough, in one of the lowest-flow spots of my tank. Pretty much all of this particular patch of cyano has grown in since the lights turned on this morning. It's so fast! If left undisturbed it forms a thick red mat all across this area within a couple of days.

IMG_2998.thumb.JPG.6257912e2c70a2ca9f2866206839f03f.JPG

 

Cyano also seems to have found a foothold up against the glass underneath of my substrate, which is of course an area with zero flow. This is rather obnoxious as this spot is almost impossible to clean without delving into the anoxic part of my sandbed - an area that I would very much prefer to leave undisturbed.

IMG_2999.thumb.JPG.9ef4bc16db6376b7ad821323a3e2f6ba.JPG

 

Blah! Cyano is so unsightly! But I know that I'll beat it in the end. It's only a matter of time.

i mean, i'd just focus on the cyano on the surface. My tank has some pinky stuff between the glass and the sandbed below the surface, just like yours.  its been there for a long time, hasn't moved, and hasn't seemed to bother anything. I wouldn't stress about that. Just get the top under control and you'll be golden!

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billygoat

Well friends, here's some bad news. It would seem that my freshwater dipping was a bit too aggressive yesterday, and seems to have killed my two largest gorgonians. 😓

 

I checked my gorgs this morning and noticed that their polyps were still not extended, but I thought they might just be taking their time to come around. Unfortunately when I turkey basted them during a routine cleaning this afternoon, what was left of their polyps blew right off their branches, leaving dead black holes behind. Purple bits of gorgonian skin flew off under the baster, turning my tank into a snowstorm. They are almost certainly already dead. 😢

 

IMG_3001.thumb.JPG.3214e2d087ebd8cc328025f7ce5a4dfb.JPG

 

This is a rather tragic turn of events, and is made all the worse because it's entirely my fault. Trimming and repositioning my gorgonians would have been more than sufficient to help them thrive, but I decided to be aggressive with my care and dip them as well - a decision that was poorly planned and probably unnecessary even if it had worked. This just goes to show that as much as we say that a given animal is "hardy" or "tough", all of the invertebrates under our care are delicate, and drastic actions such as the one that I recklessly decided to pursue can have catastrophic consequences.

 

A tough lesson to learn! But I will take it in stride. This next week will be a bit of a desolate one in my tank without my gorgs, but the ones that replace them will be cared for better than ever.

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billygoat

Feeling pretty low after my fiasco with freshwater dipping these past few days, but such is the life of a gorgonian murderer. Nothing to do but learn from it and move on!

 

The next ten days or so should see me completing several gear upgrades, as well as finishing my (current) stocking plan. I placed an order with KP Aquatics last night for a few things:

 

1 Red ball sponge

1 Caribbean feather-duster worm

1 Saddled blenny

and also 1 orange spiny gorgonian (Muricea elongata) as a replacement centerpiece ><

 

That's the end of what I plan to put in this tank for now. It'll be arriving early next week. In addition I should have my refugium set up by this evening, and my MP10 is arriving tomorrow. So there's a lot going on over here!

 

Nothing much in the way of pictures today, but I did want to talk a bit about Ricordea florida.

 

IMG_2996.thumb.JPG.810667c9d8c96b669ac76846548383e5.JPG

 

I initially was interested in Ricordea primarily as an inexpensive way to inhibit algal growth by covering bare areas on my rocks with hardy invertebrates. My first purchase was through Gulf Coast Ecosystems (www.live-plants.com), which sells individual polyps for an amazing $4 each. I purchased four of them and ended up receiving a few enormous individuals, including several double- and triple-mouthed specimens, that had something like nine mouths in total - an amazing bargain for $16, if quantity is what you're after. The coloration on these discount polyps is rather drab by Ricordea standards (they mention as much on their website), but I still think they are quite lovely to look at, and since they come from very shallow water they can take some intense light. I imagine that these turquoise and brownish-green colors are what most Ricordea look like in nature, so perhaps it is better this way for my biotope... or that's what I tell myself, at least. The upper polyps in this picture are the cheap ones and the lower one is a nicer specimen from KP Aquatics that I bought later on for comparison.

 

So if you're looking for an extremely cheap way to put some practically unkillable soft corals in your tank and you've been eyeing the Ricordea over at GCE, that's what they look like! 😄

 

 

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Northwoodsreefer
12 minutes ago, billygoat said:

Feeling pretty low after my fiasco with freshwater dipping these past few days, but such is the life of a gorgonian murderer. Nothing to do but learn from it and move on!

 

The next ten days or so should see me completing several gear upgrades, as well as finishing my (current) stocking plan. I placed an order with KP Aquatics last night for a few things:

 

1 Red ball sponge

1 Caribbean feather-duster worm

1 Saddled blenny

and also 1 orange spiny gorgonian (Muricea elongata) as a replacement centerpiece ><

 

That's the end of what I plan to put in this tank for now. It'll be arriving early next week. In addition I should have my refugium set up by this evening, and my MP10 is arriving tomorrow. So there's a lot going on over here!

 

Nothing much in the way of pictures today, but I did want to talk a bit about Ricordea florida.

 

IMG_2996.thumb.JPG.810667c9d8c96b669ac76846548383e5.JPG

 

I initially was interested in Ricordea primarily as an inexpensive way to inhibit algal growth by covering bare areas on my rocks with hardy invertebrates. My first purchase was through Gulf Coast Ecosystems (www.live-plants.com), which sells individual polyps for an amazing $4 each. I purchased four of them and ended up receiving a few enormous individuals, including several double- and triple-mouthed specimens, that had something like nine mouths in total - an amazing bargain for $16, if quantity is what you're after. The coloration on these discount polyps is rather drab by Ricordea standards (they mention as much on their website), but I still think they are quite lovely to look at, and since they come from very shallow water they can take some intense light. I imagine that these turquoise and brownish-green colors are what most Ricordea look like in nature, so perhaps it is better this way for my biotope... or that's what I tell myself, at least. The upper polyps in this picture are the cheap ones and the lower one is a nicer specimen from KP Aquatics that I bought later on for comparison.

 

So if you're looking for an extremely cheap way to put some practically unkillable soft corals in your tank and you've been eyeing the Ricordea over at GCE, that's what they look like! 😄

 

 

I love those Ricordea! I was going to get some, but was skeptical of the quality! I will totally be buying some now!

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WV Reefer
16 hours ago, billygoat said:

Well friends, here's some bad news. It would seem that my freshwater dipping was a bit too aggressive yesterday, and seems to have killed my two largest gorgonians. 😓

 

I checked my gorgs this morning and noticed that their polyps were still not extended, but I thought they might just be taking their time to come around. Unfortunately when I turkey basted them during a routine cleaning this afternoon, what was left of their polyps blew right off their branches, leaving dead black holes behind. Purple bits of gorgonian skin flew off under the baster, turning my tank into a snowstorm. They are almost certainly already dead. 😢

 

IMG_3001.thumb.JPG.3214e2d087ebd8cc328025f7ce5a4dfb.JPG

 

This is a rather tragic turn of events, and is made all the worse because it's entirely my fault. Trimming and repositioning my gorgonians would have been more than sufficient to help them thrive, but I decided to be aggressive with my care and dip them as well - a decision that was poorly planned and probably unnecessary even if it had worked. This just goes to show that as much as we say that a given animal is "hardy" or "tough", all of the invertebrates under our care are delicate, and drastic actions such as the one that I recklessly decided to pursue can have catastrophic consequences.

 

A tough lesson to learn! But I will take it in stride. This next week will be a bit of a desolate one in my tank without my gorgs, but the ones that replace them will be cared for better than ever.

 

Sorry to hear about the gorgs. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is nothing. 

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billygoat
1 hour ago, WV Reefer said:

 

Sorry to hear about the gorgs. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is nothing. 

Amen to that! 😓 It's a hard lesson, but at least now I will never do it again. And hopefully other folks can learn from my mistake: don't dip your gorgs for more than a very brief period!

 

1 hour ago, 9darlingcalvi said:

I love those Ricordea! I was going to get some, but was skeptical of the quality! I will totally be buying some now!

Glad to hear the picture was of use! The colors are certainly nothing wild, but those Ricordea are healthy, good-sized animals. They came on little flakes of live rock, one of which had a random zoanthid attached to its underside. I assume it is one of the "Florida zoanthids" that are also listed on GCE's site (it looks a lot like the ones they have in their graphic):

 

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Again, nothing particularly eye-popping, but it has grown to a pretty beefy size and seems to be very hardy. So that might be another option if you're in the market for cheap softies.

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melson

@billygoat,

 

I haven't been on here the past week due to vacation (funny enough in Florida enjoying the ocean) so I never saw you were struggling with your gorgs.

 

The shedding I find is from something in your tank that happened rapidly/suddenly (water change, temp swing, nitrates, etc). I too lost one of my gorgs the hard way by constantly picking at it after it had shed.

 

I have had that issue with a couple of my gorgs "shedding" and getting a bit worried. The best remedy is to turkey blast + little bit of toothbrush scrubbing + time. Usually in a week or two they come back.

 

Part of this hobby is just learning, sometimes the difficult expensive way!

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billygoat
1 hour ago, melson said:

@billygoat,

 

I haven't been on here the past week due to vacation (funny enough in Florida enjoying the ocean) so I never saw you were struggling with your gorgs.

 

The shedding I find is from something in your tank that happened rapidly/suddenly (water change, temp swing, nitrates, etc). I too lost one of my gorgs the hard way by constantly picking at it after it had shed.

 

I have had that issue with a couple of my gorgs "shedding" and getting a bit worried. The best remedy is to turkey blast + little bit of toothbrush scrubbing + time. Usually in a week or two they come back.

 

Part of this hobby is just learning, sometimes the difficult expensive way!

I am willing to bet that they were stressed because of the temp swings I was having as a result of poor water movement over my heater. That problem has since been resolved, and I'm sure that if I had just waited a little while they would have started to come back around. If I had just asked about it in here before going nuts on my gorgs, I could be feeling a lot less stupid right now! But this is how we learn, I suppose 😞

 

On the bright side, my refugium is up and running! The grow light I bought is extremely powerful and actually shines through the epoxy on one side of my tank a bit, but I don't think it will cause any problems in the display. And as a bonus, my MP10 arrived a day early! So that is in there too. I barely got all this new equipment set up before the lights shut off this evening, but I will have some pictures of everything tomorrow.

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billygoat

Not a lot of time before I have to dash off to work, but here are a few setup shots from this morning!

 

Back chambers. There's a bag of carbon somewhere in there as well, in the ATO chamber I think.

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Controllers! Going to need to do some cord management on my next off day...

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The MP10 looks pretty good in there; glad to no longer have any wires hanging out of my tank. I'm running it on a low setting in Lagoon mode.

 

In other news: looks like I lost a peppermint last night 😞 Not a hundred percent sure where the other one is either, though I found a molt in there the other day so I assume it is hiding someplace. I pulled and trimmed my Gracilaria this morning and did not find him underneath of there, which is a little troubling, but hopefully I have at least one alive. They were doing so well, too! The female that died even had eggs. I really have to do some heavy thinking about what keeps killing these animals in my system.

 

Porcelain crab seems to still be doing well, so that's good at least.

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billygoat

Tank is looking pretty bare without that centerpiece gorgonian 😞 The new clump of Halimeda I added makes up for it a little bit, but it's really just not the same. By this time next week things should be looking more normal though, since my last round of livestock will be in.

 

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In other news... I think the peppermint "molt" that I pulled out the other day was actually a corpse. After work today I found the remains of the shrimp that assuredly died in my tank this morning and nothing was left except for a few transparent bits of shell that looked exactly like the "molt" I extracted a few days ago. This is of course a bit disappointing, as it means I have no shrimp left, but it's also encouraging because it means my clean-up crew is doing an absolutely phenomenal job. I at least don't have to worry about anything rotting in my system!😅

 

More than anything else, my tank needs time. After my final addition of livestock (next Tuesday) I plan to embark on a multi-week hands-out-of-the-tank campaign. I have to stop fiddling with stuff and just let it run, and maybe in a few months time, once everything is totally calmed down and stable, I can try a shrimp again.

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