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billygoat

Billy's 18g Caribbean Biotope - New animals 2/20!

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billygoat
12 hours ago, Tired said:

My tank has been hovering at around 75 due to my house not being very well insulated. Haven't noticed any differences in the livestock (amount of motion in mobile animals, amount of extension in corals) between this and when it's 78. Gonna try to get it to stay at 78 in future, but a few degrees too low doesn't seem to be a significant issue for them. 

Honestly I seemed a lot more upset about finding my temperature at 73 than anything in my tank did. 😂 I noticed no difference in any of my livestock despite the fairly drastic reduction in temperature. These observations seem to suggest that as long as the temp doesn't swing too quickly or go outside of a certain threshold, nothing will really care. Yet another benefit to stocking one's aquarium with hardy soft corals! 😁

 

That being said, the glass lid seems to be working - I woke up this morning after another cold night to find the tank sitting at 76.1, which is just about where it should be in this season. 👍 

 

This page needs some more photos, so here's a shot of my gorgonians, viewed from the left side:

 

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Also, I have one final update on my SpinStream nozzle for @lizzyann and any others who are interested! Today marks six weeks since I installed the device, and at this point the noise from the nozzle cannot be distinguished amidst the general hum of pumps, lights, overflows, etc., even when standing directly in front of my tank. If I listen carefully for it I can still pick it out of the crowd, but it is much quieter now than it was even a few weeks ago. So the official TL;DR on this thing: it starts off very loud and ends up rather quiet, but takes quite a long time to get there.

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billygoat

I performed another minor and very straightforward rescape today. My large Eunicea switched places with the Maw. Here are some shots of each of them 20 minutes after they were moved:

 

IMG_1002.JPG.700274c2d8914bd43b6c7c0d3c2bd120.JPG   IMG_1001.JPG.7ed9c620dfaf1036ad3106857acd41fc.JPG

 

As you can see in the photo above, the Maw hates being moved. It always disgorges its mesenterial filaments and makes a huge mess with clouds of sticky mucus. Thankfully this mucus does not seem to harm anything else in the tank, and within a few hours the Maw always sucks its guts back in and looks more or less normal again. Here's a shot of the same two specimens roughly three hours later:

 

IMG_1008.JPG.c2de6dadaf777e0262ad208ee3fc2ae4.JPG   IMG_1007.JPG.5eba4557c8cb1b33b15edcc62d46e1ea.JPG

 

I think this swap will help balance out the aquascape and help make it more interesting from every angle. I also discovered a few interesting things during the reshuffling process! Take these baby mushrooms for example:

 

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These are two of three micro-Maws that I found in the shadow of the big daddy Maw when I was moving it. It appears the huge beast has been prolifically propagating itself via pedal laceration. Where I am going to put these things once they grow up is completely beyond me. 😅

 

I also finally found a nice shady spot for this small blue Ricordea that has been kicking around my tank for a few months. It's looking pretty happy for once:

 

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Finally, here are a few post-reshuffle shots of the new left and right side views. First the left:

 

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And the right:

 

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Wednesday is my next day off, and it's also maintenance day. I'll try to get a good FTS after I scrape the glass and do a water change.

 

Okay, that's all the photos I've got for now! Thanks as always for reading. 🙏

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cosmicbread

Ooh, send me a baby Maw! Haha. Poor dramatic thing, spewing guts everywhere in protest. I had a mushroom do that to me recently, but in its defense I’ve had to manhandle it frequently since it never stays attached to anything.

The new scape looks good. Mushroom garden goals.  

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lizzyann

Look at them babies! I've been wondering when mine might sprout some. The foot has looked like it is stretching for months now. Find someone local to sell them to! Pretty sure the guys I bought mine from were asking $50 or $60. I talked them down, but still... more than I would expect. I'd say they are somewhat rare at least!

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billygoat
10 hours ago, cosmicbread said:

Ooh, send me a baby Maw! Haha. Poor dramatic thing, spewing guts everywhere in protest. I had a mushroom do that to me recently, but in its defense I’ve had to manhandle it frequently since it never stays attached to anything.

The new scape looks good. Mushroom garden goals.  

Thanks! The new 'scape is still a work in progress though... to be honest I am kind of struggling to find a balanced 'scape that still does a good job of fitting all my livestock together in a visually coherent way. So I've been shuffling stuff around and doing a lot of experimentation. I'll try to get some more pictures tomorrow.

 

As for the little mushrooms... once they start to grow up I will probably end up having to get rid of them, so stay tuned! 😁

 

9 hours ago, lizzyann said:

Look at them babies! I've been wondering when mine might sprout some. The foot has looked like it is stretching for months now. Find someone local to sell them to! Pretty sure the guys I bought mine from were asking $50 or $60. I talked them down, but still... more than I would expect. I'd say they are somewhat rare at least!

$50-60 seems crazy! KP Aquatics actually sells them for like $15... though to be honest, the Maw was never something I was looking to buy! It was sent to me as a freebie with one of my early orders from KP. Definitely a bit of an interesting gift, given its size and propensity to consume small fishes. 😅

 

I think part of the reason mine made babies is because it gets moved so much thanks to my indecisive aquascaping. It's always unattaching and reattaching to various rocks, and leaves little pieces of itself behind each time.

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billygoat

Here are a few pictures from yesterday. The glare in the afternoon was rather savage, but I managed to get an FTS where you can at least see most of the aquascaping changes I made.

 

IMG_1015.thumb.JPG.7313122ea8368d85111e4f186c65caea.JPG

 

I moved the big silver whip gorgonian from the center to the rear, and the Maw is now right in the middle. I have a feeling that either the Maw or the brown star polyps will eventually have to be rehomed, as I am not sure there is enough space for both of them in the long run. For now though, I am enjoying this more "open" 'scape. Here's a view from the top down:

 

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The big-polyped Eunicea in the back right corner looks very good after my recent changes. It has much more room to grow in its new position.

 

Also, did you know that I have fish in my fish tank? I know I almost never post about them, but this system is still home to one masked goby in addition to my yellowheaded jawfish. I'm thinking about getting one more fish here in the next few weeks too, so stay tuned for that! 😁

 

IMG_1005.thumb.JPG.0a2870537a58ccaa6724c41d1eb15311.JPG

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Tired

Oh, cute little guy! 

 

You could take a frag of the star polyps, trade away the main chunk, and have a little bit of 'em to regrow. IMO you ought to keep at least some, it's a nice textural element. 

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IceParrot

That’s one fat masked/glass goby 😄 I bet he is a pig.

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Amphrites
4 hours ago, billygoat said:

IMG_1005.thumb.JPG.0a2870537a58ccaa6724c41d1eb15311.JPG

You can't fool me, I know the difference between a fish and a sausage and that's a sausage.

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Pjanssen

Your escapes always look so good. As if there was ever anything wrong with the scape, then you go and change it and somehow make it even better. Wish you lived closer so you could come help me with mine!

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Pjanssen
18 minutes ago, Pjanssen said:

escapes

Oops. Re-Scapes! Darn spellcheck

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melson

Dude! Soak your grates in vinegar! Holy coralline algae @billygoat!

 

So what fish you thinking of getting??

 

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IceParrot

If you want another sausagefish get a peppermint goby! They are in the same family so aggression might be a problem but they are super cute.spacer.png

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billygoat
10 hours ago, Tired said:

You could take a frag of the star polyps, trade away the main chunk, and have a little bit of 'em to regrow. IMO you ought to keep at least some, it's a nice textural element. 

Not a bad idea! I may frag them and try to keep them around, or I may simply leave them intact and move them into my larger tank. That all depends on whether (or, let's be real, when) I decided to upgrade to a larger tank. I think you're right about them adding an interesting texture to the overall 'scape though. They should certainly remain in some capacity.

 

9 hours ago, IceParrot said:

That’s one fat masked/glass goby 😄 I bet he is a pig.

 

7 hours ago, Amphrites said:

You can't fool me, I know the difference between a fish and a sausage and that's a sausage.

You're both absolutely right - the goby is pretty darn fat. And believe it or not, I don't actually feed that fish intentionally! It simply snipes food from the area when I am feeding my jawfish, and it also picks pods off the glass all day. As the only fish of its size and only pod-eater in the tank, I guess it's no surprise that it is pretty chubby. 😄

 

7 hours ago, Pjanssen said:

Your escapes always look so good. As if there was ever anything wrong with the scape, then you go and change it and somehow make it even better. Wish you lived closer so you could come help me with mine!

Thank you Penny! It really means a lot to me. I've discovered that aquascaping with gorgonians can be quite challenging, especially when you're trying to jam a whole bunch of different varieties into the tank while still making sure that 1.) they're not rubbing against each other (or against anything else), 2.) that they have enough space to sway and grow, and 3.) that they are organized in a visually interesting way. One thing I've noticed is that when it comes to gorgs, rocks are not really your friend. Low-profile 'scapes that allow the corals' long, featherlike forms to take center stage seem to work best.

 

5 hours ago, melson said:

Dude! Soak your grates in vinegar! Holy coralline algae @billygoat!

 

So what fish you thinking of getting??

I know, right? The coralline on those grates has never been cleaned. It's pretty thick! I've thought about giving them a vinegar dip and scrubbing all of it off, but I never seem to get around to it. 😅

 

As for the next fish - I'm thinking either another sailfin blenny or a chalk bass. I'm leaning towards chalk bass, but I am uncertain if it would have enough room to be happy in my tank. What are your experiences with them @melson? Based on what you've seen with your chalk bass, do you think my tank would have enough space to accommodate one?

 

46 minutes ago, IceParrot said:

If you want another sausagefish get a peppermint goby! They are in the same family so aggression might be a problem but they are super cute.spacer.png

What a cutie! I haven't seen those peppermint gobies before. Certainly bears a close resemblance to my masked goby though! I love their vibrant blue face. 

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melson

Oh yeah 100%! Your tank is definitely big enough. I've kept a jawfish and a chalk bass in an 8g for a year before upgrading my tank. I've lost one chalk bass though due to a gap in my lid so make sure you keep your lid on.

 

They're also incredibly resilient and definitely intelligent. I have never seen any aggression from mine and my lfs keeps them in stock for pretty cheap. 

 

Just to paint the picture of the peacefulness my neon goby STILL thinks my chalk bass wants a cleaning and will occasionally chase him down wanting to help the basslet out. My chalk bass refuses and even though is 3x his size will only swim away, never attack.

 

They also give depth for a tank because while they like caves and rock-work they aren't afraid to hover in the open or swim from one cave to the next. A chalk bass isn't like a pygmy angel of course but as I type this my chalk bass is still out and about, hovering and watching me!

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billygoat
17 minutes ago, melson said:

Oh yeah 100%! Your tank is definitely big enough. I've kept a jawfish and a chalk bass in an 8g for a year before upgrading my tank. I've lost one chalk bass though due to a gap in my lid so make sure you keep your lid on.

 

They're also incredibly resilient and definitely intelligent. I have never seen any aggression from mine and my lfs keeps them in stock for pretty cheap. 

 

Just to paint the picture of the peacefulness my neon goby STILL thinks my chalk bass wants a cleaning and will occasionally chase him down wanting to help the basslet out. My chalk bass refuses and even though is 3x his size will only swim away, never attack.

 

They also give depth for a tank because while they like caves and rock-work they aren't afraid to hover in the open or swim from one cave to the next. A chalk bass isn't like a pygmy angel of course but as I type this my chalk bass is still out and about, hovering and watching me!

Got it! Your chalk bass sounds like a model citizen. One potential concern is that my tank really doesn't have too many caves though. There are some small overhangs and other hiding places, but the only major cave is permanently occupied by my giant brittle star and therefore inaccessible to fish. I wonder if this would be a problem. 🤔

 

A pygmy angel is another consideration! It seems like they definitely prefer some more room and swimming space, but there is certainly a lot of turf algae growing on my rocks for an angel to graze on.

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Ratvan
5 hours ago, billygoat said:

Got it! Your chalk bass sounds like a model citizen. One potential concern is that my tank really doesn't have too many caves though. There are some small overhangs and other hiding places, but the only major cave is permanently occupied by my giant brittle star and therefore inaccessible to fish. I wonder if this would be a problem. 🤔

 

A pygmy angel is another consideration! It seems like they definitely prefer some more room and swimming space, but there is certainly a lot of turf algae growing on my rocks for an angel to graze on.

I'll wait and see what you get before I decide between these two lol

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melson

In the wild they take residence in old conch shells, is it possible you have space for one you can throw in? 

 

Before my basslet got too big he would hang out in one. Then once comfortable he found other places. Now my blenny hangs out in it!

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billygoat
6 hours ago, Ratvan said:

I'll wait and see what you get before I decide between these two lol

Almost certainly going to be a chalk bass in my case, if I can manage it. After observing a pygmy angel at work, I feel that my tank is just too small. I watched one roam all over a big 1200 gallon system, picking at the rocks and swimming all over the place. There are chalk bass in the same display, and they spend a lot more time just hovering in pretty much one place up in the water column. The chalk bass seem like a better fit for my little tank.

 

I imagine a pygmy angel would be more comfortable in your RSM 130 though. Lots more swimming space (and rockwork) in yours than in mine.

 

31 minutes ago, melson said:

In the wild they take residence in old conch shells, is it possible you have space for one you can throw in? 

 

Before my basslet got too big he would hang out in one. Then once comfortable he found other places. Now my blenny hangs out in it!

I have quite a few shells on hand, but the biggest I could fit in the tank is this one. Not sure if this would be big enough. It's pretty though, so I might put it in anyway. 😁

 

IMG_1016.thumb.JPG.8f012d0506b14a594196e903642a697f.JPG

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Tired

I don't think a chalk bass will quite fit in there, but I'm sure plenty of things would like to grow on it, and your goby might enjoy it.

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Amphrites

One of my favorite fish, can't wait to see the bass chilling out in your system, one thing I was told about them was that they sometimes prefer to be in pairs. Hard to say for sure with each animal though I imagine.

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Ratvan
1 hour ago, billygoat said:

Almost certainly going to be a chalk bass in my case, if I can manage it. After observing a pygmy angel at work, I feel that my tank is just too small. I watched one roam all over a big 1200 gallon system, picking at the rocks and swimming all over the place. There are chalk bass in the same display, and they spend a lot more time just hovering in pretty much one place up in the water column. The chalk bass seem like a better fit for my little tank.

 

I imagine a pygmy angel would be more comfortable in your RSM 130 though. Lots more swimming space (and rockwork) in yours than in mine.

 

I have quite a few shells on hand, but the biggest I could fit in the tank is this one. Not sure if this would be big enough. It's pretty though, so I might put it in anyway. 😁

 

IMG_1016.thumb.JPG.8f012d0506b14a594196e903642a697f.JPG

Yeah I suppose so, however I do already have both the wrasses and my fat blenny working my rocks...

Nice shell

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billygoat

I'm pleased to report that all the inverts that I've jammed into the center of the tank seem to be playing nice with each other. I've seen no sign of stinging or other negative interactions between the brown star polyps, the Maw, and the nearby RFA. All three of them look fully extended and very happy.

 

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I also placed that largeish shell into the back of the tank. You can see it in the background there. Hopefully something will take up residence in it at some point down the line. It would make a good home for a fat blenny a la @Ratvan.

 

 

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billygoat

Well, I went and did it! 😁 I've got a chalk bass on order from KP Aquatics. I haven't added a new fish for more than half a year, so I'm very excited. Kind of nervous too! I hope everything goes well. I also ordered a new gorgonian (a yellow sea whip, Pterogorgia citrina) that may or may not fit in my tank. 😅 I'll have to see how big it is when it arrives, and then frag it accordingly.

 

Here are some pictures from around the tank today: Eunicea polyps, micro Maws, star coral, and zoanthids (which appear to be slowly recovering from whatever was bothering them).

 

IMG_1022.JPG.bbf0dcdd5a103d9df9e04f8f720f8782.JPG  IMG_1025.JPG.fd076fc8c101aecfe00a79980272769b.JPG  IMG_1024.JPG.0cab6e22ca309b9a08b035cac279b174.JPG  IMG_1026.JPG.4759632247d4b5aaf1d26266627660ad.JPG

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Amphrites
2 hours ago, billygoat said:

Well, I went and did it! 😁 I've got a chalk bass on order from KP Aquatics. I haven't added a new fish for more than half a year, so I'm very excited. Kind of nervous too! I hope everything goes well. I also ordered a new gorgonian (a yellow sea whip, Pterogorgia citrina) that may or may not fit in my tank. 😅 I'll have to see how big it is when it arrives, and then frag it accordingly.

 

Here are some pictures from around the tank today: Eunicea polyps, micro Maws, star coral, and zoanthids (which appear to be slowly recovering from whatever was bothering them).

 

IMG_1022.JPG.bbf0dcdd5a103d9df9e04f8f720f8782.JPG  IMG_1025.JPG.fd076fc8c101aecfe00a79980272769b.JPG  IMG_1024.JPG.0cab6e22ca309b9a08b035cac279b174.JPG  IMG_1026.JPG.4759632247d4b5aaf1d26266627660ad.JPG

Your photo skills just keep getting better, couldn't end up with better subject shots and framing. 
So excited to see the Chalk Bass in this system, it has so much tall-shelter and will doubtlessly find its' own little spot to hang out in and feel safe.

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