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billygoat

18g Caribbean Biotope - Six months old!🎉

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billygoat

Some quick photo updates from this morning! Lots of glare but I wanted to document my cyano growth.

 

Diligent manual removal and multiple large water changes seem to have had a strongly positive effect on my cyano problem. The red menace showed very little growth over the course of the whole day yesterday - much less growth than I am used to seeing in a 24 hour period. Red slime is not a hundred percent gone yet but I think we are definitely on the right track. 60% total water changes in four days seem to have had little impact on the rest of my tank, except for my gorgonian which seems a bit cranky. This is likely due to a considerable increase in alk from all the WCs. I'm sure it'll come around.

 

Oh, and I made a new screen lid too! It's not perfect (the mesh on top is bit dimpled on the right, as you can see), but I think it is good enough. My new livestock finally arrives tomorrow, so I wanted to make sure everything is ready 😁

 

I'm pleased with this week so far. Things are looking fresh. 👌

 

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billygoat

Since I have the day off today, I decided to do some cord management as well. Things are still a bit of a mess, but at least all of my supplies actually fit inside of my cabinet now!

 

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melson

I didn't realize you also had the blue zoas! They look really nice in your tank!

 

Can't wait to see the new livestock in your tank! Good to hear about the cyano going away. Hopefully your macro beats them in that race!

 

 

 

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billygoat

Thanks @melson! The blue zoas were a freebie that came with one of my KP orders. They have doubled in number since I put them in there a few months ago! Give it a couple months more and I am sure I will have more of them than I know what to do with. 😅

 

I'm stoked for the new livestock, but I have a feeling that there will be at least one more order in my future... I am waiting for Reef Cleaners to get some interesting macros in so I can pick up a few, along with some Nerites and another peppermint shrimp. Aiptasia is beginning to reappear in my tank, as usual. I've tried Aiptasia X several times but it doesn't seem to get the job 100% done!

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melson

Turn off your pumps and try hot (microwaved) lemon juice and a small syringe. you don't have to pierce the Aiptasia just sort of let them "eat" it if that makes sense. 

 

It got rid of them on my first 10g tank. 

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mitten_reef
2 hours ago, billygoat said:

Thanks @melson! The blue zoas were a freebie that came with one of my KP orders. They have doubled in number since I put them in there a few months ago! Give it a couple months more and I am sure I will have more of them than I know what to do with. 😅

 

I'm stoked for the new livestock, but I have a feeling that there will be at least one more order in my future... I am waiting for Reef Cleaners to get some interesting macros in so I can pick up a few, along with some Nerites and another peppermint shrimp. Aiptasia is beginning to reappear in my tank, as usual. I've tried Aiptasia X several times but it doesn't seem to get the job 100% done!

Your scape looks fairly simple. Just pull out the rock and chip around the aiptasia with a plier, or coral clipper, or an old screw driver. 

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billygoat
10 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

Your scape looks fairly simple. Just pull out the rock and chip around the aiptasia with a plier, or coral clipper, or an old screw driver. 

It certainly is simple! I may try chipping them out if things get out of hand. Melson's lemon juice cure has also been recommended to me in the past and may be a good solution as well. For the time being they are not too much of a problem, but I'll keep a careful eye on them. I know they can go crazy on short notice if conditions are right. They seem to grow relatively slowly, probably because my feeding is quite light (just a few flakes or pellets every other day atm).

 

Turns out I am going to have to work tomorrow, which means my livestock delivery is going to sit on my doorstep for about five hours longer than I would like it to. Hopefully everything will be okay! 😓

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billygoat

My new animals are here! I've got some good news and some bad news.

 

The good news is that all of the inverts look pretty good. My sponge and gorgonians arrived in good condition, and I like where they ended up in the tank. The sponge is a really bright orange color that's sort of jarring in my more muted tank, but I think I will get used to it. And my feather duster worm, holy cow is it beautiful! It opened immediately upon being introduced to the tank - even before I was finished burying it in the sand. I am in love. 😍

 

The bad news is that my royal gramma did not take the trip very well. As of now it is still alive, but I noticed it was listing in the bag and when I introduced it to the tank after acclimation it appeared to be in shock. It recovered somewhat and jammed itself into a crevice under one of my rocks, where my brittle star promptly attempted to eat it. I distracted the star with a piece of krill, but the fish remains crammed into a crack and barely visible. I know grammas like to swim at weird angles under and around rocks, but this definitely was not healthy behavior. I hope it survives the night, but I have some serious doubts that it will. 😢

 

Here are a few very hasty photos that I shot just before the lights went down tonight. Better pics of everything tomorrow!

 

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Firefish15

Always an exciting day when new stuff comes! Hopefully the gramma pulls through though!

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melson

Dude! You had to go in huh? I would have told them no way I'm waiting on fish! 😎😂

 

Did they send any freebies your way?

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billygoat
12 hours ago, melson said:

Dude! You had to go in huh? I would have told them no way I'm waiting on fish! 😎😂

 

Did they send any freebies your way?

I did have to go in, and it cost me! My gramma didn't make it through the night. 😢 It's my own fault; I should have just stayed home! Everything else is looking great though.

 

I had a few orange-claw hermits on this order and KP "upgraded" them to scarlet hermits, which are considerably more expensive. They threw in an extra as well, which was kind of them.

 

Here are some pictures of all my stuff! It's only day 1 but the new gorgs are already showing polyp extension, so that's encouraging. The sponge is very much an experiment; I am not at all sure it will do well. Looks pretty cool for the time being at least.

 

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melson

That's unfortunate 😳sorry for your loss! Good thing is any lfs always has a royal gramma or two in stock so you could go that route?

 

I have tried twice with sponges and the longest I had one was six months in my 8g. And it was in a nutrient rich (aka dirty lol) tank. But if your macros are thriving and with all that straight from the Atlantic rock I think you have a better chance then I did!

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billygoat

It's alright; it's my own fault. 😓 I'm sure I could easily get a gramma from an LFS if it comes down to it, but for now I'm thinking I'll just leave the tank alone for awhile to let things settle down. There's quite a diversity of life in there at this point, and I am pretty satisfied with the way it looks. It could use a bit more macroalgae, but more than anything else I think it just needs time. In a few months it will hopefully be looking even better!

 

I swear those two masked gobies are the luckiest fish. They may end up having the whole tank to themselves for the foreseeable future! 😄

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billygoat

Just a few scenes from the Caribbean today. Looks like a new sea fan is coming up next door to the old one!

 

I noticed the Maw has been acting a bit weird recently. At night it disgorges its entrails and then reels them back in, then appears normal in the morning and expands as usual throughout the day. Not sure what all that is about. Maybe it's preparing to split? 🤔

 

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billygoat

I just can't get enough of this Caribbean feather duster. If it ends up doing well I will seriously consider getting a second one. It's entirely too pretty.

 

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melson

What are you feeding in your tank to keep everything happy? 

 

That is the best feather duster I've seen. And I'm not just saying that either it's really beautiful! 

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billygoat
9 hours ago, melson said:

What are you feeding in your tank to keep everything happy? 

 

That is the best feather duster I've seen. And I'm not just saying that either it's really beautiful! 

Thank you! The duster has only been in there for a couple of days so I hesitate to declare it a success just yet, but it is certainly beautiful. 😅 It's been having some problems staying put, as the current seems to gradually extract it from the substrate over the course of a day or so, after which I find it lying sideways on the bottom (but always still open, amazingly). This morning I lifted up the middle rock in my 'scape and pinned the dead part of the duster's tube deep underneath of it, so hopefully it won't blow over any more now.

 

The fish get fed every other day with flake food, pellets, or occasionally frozen mysis. I also spot-feed the filter feeders with pulverized pellets or flake food using a pipette. Every once in awhile I throw a piece of rehydrated krill in there for the clean-up crew.

 

On days when I don't feed (every other-other day?) I blast my rocks and the surface of my substrate with a turkey baster to put particulates into the water. This seems to be quite beneficial to all the filter-feeding invertebrates. I imagine that the duster especially appreciates it, since it needs detritus to build its tube.

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Firefish15

The dusters like phytoplankton too, don't they?

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billygoat
2 hours ago, Firefish15 said:

The dusters like phytoplankton too, don't they?

I think they love phyto, and zooplankton as well if it is small enough. I have a feeling that I'm going to have to invest in some Reef Roids-style food for filter-feeders if I want to keep dusters in the long term, so if anyone has some recommendations please post them!

 

Speaking of filter-feeders, my porcelain crab died randomly this morning. 😢 It was eating and behaving normally just the day before yesterday, and had been doing fine in my system for five weeks. I am not sure what to make of its sudden and unexpected death.

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Kangster911
52 minutes ago, billygoat said:

I think they love phyto, and zooplankton as well if it is small enough. I have a feeling that I'm going to have to invest in some Reef Roids-style food for filter-feeders if I want to keep dusters in the long term, so if anyone has some recommendations please post them!

 

Speaking of filter-feeders, my porcelain crab died randomly this morning. 😢 It was eating and behaving normally just the day before yesterday, and had been doing fine in my system for five weeks. I am not sure what to make of its sudden and unexpected death.

Sorry about the loss..I put three Porcelain Crabs and I almost never see them. I see one here and there once in a while but never all three of them tohether. Their claws are different sizes so I am assuming I am seeing different crabs. My Emerald on the other hand...he thinks he owns the whole tank

I had debated whether to get Reef Roid or Coral Frenzy. It seemed like people preferred Coral Frenzy for their transparency of ingreduents and for it being all in one type food as the range of particle size is wider. I use it to feed corals and everything else every other day.

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Polarcollision

really cool choice of biome! Love your feather duster

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billygoat
22 hours ago, Polarcollision said:

really cool choice of biome! Love your feather duster

Thanks Polar! Here's hoping I can keep it happy in the long-term! 😅

 

23 hours ago, Kangster911 said:

I had debated whether to get Reef Roid or Coral Frenzy. It seemed like people preferred Coral Frenzy for their transparency of ingreduents and for it being all in one type food as the range of particle size is wider. I use it to feed corals and everything else every other day.

Hmm I am not 100% sure which product would be best for my tank. I'll have to read up about it. Thanks for the recommendation though!

 

In other news...

I had a bit of a scare today as I came home to find the power off in my house. It turned on about an hour after I got back, and I believe it was only down for an hour and a half or so in total. It seems that no harm was done, but I must say that that was one of the most nerve-wracking hours of my life! I am 100% in the market for a good battery backup for my pump and possibly my heater as well, so if anyone has any recommendations please don't hesitate to post them!

 

Here's a crab and a couple of snails.

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Kangster911

That must have been a really long hour! Back up battery is a good idea I should look into one. My friend had lost all of his fish back when storm Sandy hit New York. He did not have power for about a month or so

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billygoat
1 hour ago, Kangster911 said:

That must have been a really long hour! Back up battery is a good idea I should look into one. My friend had lost all of his fish back when storm Sandy hit New York. He did not have power for about a month or so

Yeah I am pretty scared about it, especially since hot weather is bound to begin before long here in LA. I figure the most important thing to have working during an outage is probably the powerhead, since long outages are likely to occur during heat waves anyway and therefore I shouldn't worry too much about the heater. I may spring for the EcoTech Vortech battery backup, as it is specifically designed for the MP10... it's awfully expensive, but if it works I am happy to spend the money.

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Firefish15
13 hours ago, billygoat said:

I am 100% in the market for a good battery backup for my pump

I'm looking at battery equipment for my upcoming move right now. On Amazon, I found a Marina battery-powered air pump for like $9. Has great reviews. Apparently, a pair of D batteries last a week or so.

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