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billygoat

18g Gorgonian Garden - A Caribbean Biotope

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billygoat
2 hours ago, Amphrites said:

The purple feather is a bipannate sea plume right? I was actually considering adding one of those to my tank, honestly that gorg in particular is a great candidate for a column-tank as it's absurdly beautiful (like a willow or reed-bush) when allowed to grow unreasonably-tall lol...

I believe Pseudopterogorgia bipinnata is actually slightly different from the species I have, but it's definitely in the same genus and should behave in just about the same way. The bipinnate feather gorgs get a bit larger I think, and yes as you mention they are extremely beautiful. You should get one for sure! I think gorgonians make a wonderful addition to practically any aquarium.

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kimdawg

Tank looks great.  I think I need to get a gorg, what would be considered the easiest to keep.

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billygoat
6 hours ago, kimdawg said:

Tank looks great.  I think I need to get a gorg, what would be considered the easiest to keep.

Almost all of the photosynthetic gorgonians from the Caribbean are quite hardy and will thrive in most established aquariums. Sea feathers (Pseudopterogorgia spp.) and sea rods (Eunicea spp.) are good starter choices that shouldn't have too much trouble establishing themselves in your tank. I would avoid the genus Plexaura as it tends to be a poor shipper, though it does well once established. For more information I also recommend this article by Julian Sprung. He does a good job of breaking down the various genera of Caribbean gorgs and goes over some of their specific care requirements.

 

As for retailers, if you're located in the States KP Aquatics has an excellent selection of gorgonians. All of the gorgs in my tank came from them. I've also heard good things about Gulf Coast Ecosystems, though I have not tried them myself. GCE offers larger specimens that are quite a bit cheaper, and also has discounted Priority Mail shipping. 

 

Gorgonians are by far my favorite corals, and I am excited to hear that you're interested in them. Let me know which variety you decide to get! 😊

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kimdawg

Thank you for the article I will read in tonight and look at those web sites to see what I like.  I live at the beach on Tybee Island Georgia, but we don't have any good saltwater shops here. So I will have to order or make a trip to Florida to get them.

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Pjanssen
4 hours ago, kimdawg said:

Thank you for the article I will read in tonight and look at those web sites to see what I like.  I live at the beach on Tybee Island Georgia, but we don't have any good saltwater shops here. So I will have to order or make a trip to Florida to get them.

You're better off ordering, unless you are planning a trip to the keys anyway. I live in South Florida and I still order. 

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billygoat

Yesterday marked 10 months since this system got wet, and my jawfish decided to celebrate by constructing a crude monument out of bits and pieces scavenged from around the tank. Several of the shells it gathered still have snails in them, but this does not seem to bother the jawfish very much. 🤷‍♂️

 

Anyway, I am having a blast with my home aquarium and I am excited to see how it develops as the 1-year mark approaches. Hooray for reefing! 😄🙌🎉

 

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debbeach13
36 minutes ago, billygoat said:

Several of the shells it gathered still have snails in them, but this does not seem to bother the jawfish very much. 🤷‍♂️

 

That is pretty funny.

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Ratvan

That is hilarius. Must be pretty funny watching them make a break for it. 

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billygoat
2 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

That is pretty funny.

 

1 hour ago, Ratvan said:

That is hilarius. Must be pretty funny watching them make a break for it. 

The jawfish is definitely very comical when it comes to snails. The slower snails like Ceriths seem to get treated more or less like rocks, and often find themselves incorporated into his building plans. On the other hand, the faster Nassarius snails are usually regarded as obnoxious intruders, and get forcibly evicted from his area. It's really funny to watch the jawfish punch them right in the face and hurl them away from his burrow. 😄

 

I had the lid off for water change Wednesday, so I grabbed a top-down shot. I have a plan to squeeze just a few more gorgonians in here, so keep an eye out for that in the near future. 😉

 

 Hope everybody is having a good day today!

 

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billygoat

Look upon its countenance, and know that your gaze falls on the visage of Fear Itself. Tell us, D. neglecta, what happened to my poor beloved ORA sharknose goby? She was captive bred! She had no understanding of the danger she was in! Tell us the truth.

 

Not that I'm bitter or anything. It's all water under the bridge at this point, right? 😂😭

 

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lizzyann

You're really starting to make me nervous about mine! It's getting bigger and bigger every day and my yasha lives so close to it! Definitely saw it closed and ballooned up extra big for no obvious reason the other night and started poking it viciously until I was satisfied that no one was stuck in there.

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WV Reefer
8 hours ago, billygoat said:

Yesterday marked 10 months since this system got wet, and my jawfish decided to celebrate by constructing a crude monument out of bits and pieces scavenged from around the tank. Several of the shells it gathered still have snails in them, but this does not seem to bother the jawfish very much. 🤷‍♂️

 

Anyway, I am having a blast with my home aquarium and I am excited to see how it develops as the 1-year mark approaches. Hooray for reefing! 😄🙌🎉

 

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Happy 10 month Anniversary!! 🥳

 

you should toss some fun things in there to build with. 

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billygoat
2 hours ago, lizzyann said:

You're really starting to make me nervous about mine! It's getting bigger and bigger every day and my yasha lives so close to it! Definitely saw it closed and ballooned up extra big for no obvious reason the other night and started poking it viciously until I was satisfied that no one was stuck in there.

I wouldn't get too nervous! Fish that have been in the tank with D. neglecta for awhile seem to learn that it is bad news. It's the newcomers that I would be more worried about! They just don't know any better and try to perch on it (which would be perfectly safe if it were literally any other mushroom) and, whelp, that's it. 😅

 

2 hours ago, WV Reefer said:

Happy 10 month Anniversary!! 🥳

 

you should toss some fun things in there to build with. 

I was thinking about throwing some lego blocks or something in there for the jawfish to build with, but I don't think it would fit the Caribbean theme... 🤔😂

 

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Ratvan
4 hours ago, billygoat said:

I wouldn't get too nervous! Fish that have been in the tank with D. neglecta for awhile seem to learn that it is bad news. It's the newcomers that I would be more worried about! They just don't know any better and try to perch on it (which would be perfectly safe if it were literally any other mushroom) and, whelp, that's it. 😅

 

I was thinking about throwing some lego blocks or something in there for the jawfish to build with, but I don't think it would fit the Caribbean theme... 🤔😂

 

How about some sea shells, dead skeletons etc?

 

On a related note I found some Indo Species 😄

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billygoat
8 hours ago, Ratvan said:

How about some sea shells, dead skeletons etc?

 

On a related note I found some Indo Species 😄

I saw the chinstrap jawfish you posted over in your build thread. Super cool! I know ordering from Live Aquaria is not an option for you over there in the UK, but I hope you can find an alternative supplier that's able to get you a Pacific jawfish of some kind. If I recall correctly there are many varieties native to the Indo-Pacific, though most of them appear only infrequently in the aquarium trade.

 

Today I have some photos of everybody's favorite soft coral: Ricordea florida. Mine aren't all that impressive as Rics go, but they're still kind of nice to look at I think. 😊

 

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The two at the bottom here are some of my newer specimens. The green one came in on a truly tiny piece of live rock rubble; as soon as I saw it I knew it was going to detach sooner or later. Sure enough, a few days ago it decided to let go. 🙄 So I've got it rubber-banded down to a larger rock while it regains its footing. I'll probably leave it like that for a week or so.

 

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And here's your obligatory jawfish picture. What a ham. 😅

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billygoat

I got home a bit early from work today and noticed that conditions were pretty good for an FTS! That's pretty rare for my tank, mostly because of its close proximity to a large window that produces a lot of glare (didn't plan that part very well, at least as far as photography is concerned 😅).

 

So here's what I've got going on these days. 😁

(10/17/19)

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It's crazy to think about how many macros I had in the early days of this tank. Check out this picture from when I first joined N-R, way back in March:

(3/15/19)

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Much has changed, that's for sure! As appealing as the macro-dominated look was, I have to say I am happy with the tank as it is right now, mostly because I have completely fallen in love with gorgonians and enjoy having a nice collection of them in my system. 😊 I was thinking about getting a few more, but I think it might be wise to just leave some space for the existing specimens to grow in. I have a few hermit crabs and some pods/phyto arriving from ReefCleaners today, just to keep the biodiversity boosted. But I think that's about it for new additions, at least for the time being. 👍

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Pjanssen
19 hours ago, billygoat said:

Today I have some photos of everybody's favorite soft coral: Ricordea florida. Mine aren't all that impressive as Rics go, but they're still kind of nice to look at I think. 😊

Considering I can't seem to grow them, I think your Rics are pretty impressive.

 

Tank looks great. I do like the look of the Macro dominant tank too, but Gorgonians are a little  more interesting to watch grow and take shape I think.

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billygoat
3 hours ago, Pjanssen said:

Considering I can't seem to grow them, I think your Rics are pretty impressive.

 

Tank looks great. I do like the look of the Macro dominant tank too, but Gorgonians are a little  more interesting to watch grow and take shape I think.

Thank you @Pjanssen! I think a macro tank is probably something I'd like to try in a more serious manner at some point, but at this time the limiting factor seems to be light. My Kessil A80 is too weak to reliably grow most macros. It seems to do a decent job of supporting gorgonians and coralline algae though.

 

I admit that recently I have been daydreaming about upgrading to a 40b and making a real gorgonian garden... It's probably not going to happen soon (mostly due to financial constraints), but if I can design and build a decent stand for it I'm thinking of making it a sumpless and filterless system with 2x MP10s for flow, NanoBox Duo Plus M for light, 100w NeoTherm for heat, and a custom ClearView lid... a guy's allowed to dream, right? 😂

 

Maybe some day... 🤔😬 But for the time being I am satisfied with my little 18 gallon biotope. It gives me a lot of enjoyment and pleasure every day. 😊

 

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Pjanssen

Maybe start with one thing and add as you can until you have everything you want. I am in the same boat with my 29

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Ratvan
2 hours ago, billygoat said:

Thank you @Pjanssen! I think a macro tank is probably something I'd like to try in a more serious manner at some point, but at this time the limiting factor seems to be light. My Kessil A80 is too weak to reliably grow most macros. It seems to do a decent job of supporting gorgonians and coralline algae though.

 

I admit that recently I have been daydreaming about upgrading to a 40b and making a real gorgonian garden... It's probably not going to happen soon (mostly due to financial constraints), but if I can design and build a decent stand for it I'm thinking of making it a sumpless and filterless system with 2x MP10s for flow, NanoBox Duo Plus M for light, 100w NeoTherm for heat, and a custom ClearView lid... a guy's allowed to dream, right? 😂

 

Maybe some day... 🤔😬 But for the time being I am satisfied with my little 18 gallon biotope. It gives me a lot of enjoyment and pleasure every day. 😊

 

What you need to do is buy an A4 notebook and design the tanks as they come to you. It's pretty scary how quick these fill up with ideas.

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billygoat
21 hours ago, Ratvan said:

What you need to do is buy an A4 notebook and design the tanks as they come to you. It's pretty scary how quick these fill up with ideas.

Sounds terrifying, at least as far as my bank account is concerned. 😂 I keep telling myself that I have to be content with the tank I've got, since I am super broke and can't do anything more at the moment. That doesn't stop me from scheming about larger setups though...

 

I added a handful of new hermits from Reef Cleaners a few days ago. One of them has a cool barnacle hitchhiking on its shell. It's neat to watch this strange creature flicking its feeding tendrils in the current. 😊

 

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billygoat

Hi folks! Nothing exceptional going on with the tank, but I did purchase a new shelving unit to organize my buckets and equipment and stuff. I've finally got everything consolidated into one place, instead of having bits and pieces of things scattered all over the house. 😅 (The chair is for me to sit in as I observe my aquarium, of course. 😁)

 

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debbeach13

So organized. Looks good inside and out.

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billygoat
5 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

So organized. Looks good inside and out.

Thanks! Now I just have to find a nice piece of art to hang above the tank, and possibly some posters to put on the walls. Does anyone have any recommendations? 🤔

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Pjanssen
1 hour ago, billygoat said:

Thanks! Now I just have to find a nice piece of art to hang above the tank, and possibly some posters to put on the walls. Does anyone have any recommendations? 🤔

Check to see if @ReefWeeds is still making/selling art.

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