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billygoat

Billy's 18g Gorgonian Garden

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Ratvan
5 hours ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

Yes we actually made the lid after we first started this adventure back in January. One of the clowns chased the other clown out of the tank and onto the floor. After that trauma we got a screen. 

 

My poor little blenny died yesterday, not completely sure why. 🥺☹️ Seems to be a trend lately for people to lose creatures.

I wonder what effect the changing of the season's has on our tanks. I know I have had a lot more algae blooms since the weather cooled down

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billygoat
19 hours ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

Yes we actually made the lid after we first started this adventure back in January. One of the clowns chased the other clown out of the tank and onto the floor. After that trauma we got a screen. 

 

My poor little blenny died yesterday, not completely sure why. 🥺☹️ Seems to be a trend lately for people to lose creatures.

Sorry to hear about the blenny. 😞 Losing animals is never easy, but it's made much worse when we don't even know the reason. I have a feeling that I will be dealing with another dead fish here pretty soon too... my ORA sharknose goby from LiveAquaria was supposed to arrive today, but it was delayed in transit and UPS won't be delivering it until tomorrow. I am fairly sure it will be dead on arrival as a result of the delay, but perhaps it will survive; who knows.

 

14 hours ago, Ratvan said:

I wonder what effect the changing of the season's has on our tanks.

I wonder about this as well. I know that in the winter my tank is exposed to quite a bit of direct sunlight from a nearby window, up to at least an hour total at peak season. I'm sure this increased input of energy has some effect on the inhabitants, probably at least by spurring algal growth and encouraging photosynthetic organisms to bend towards the sun.

 

Here are a few photos from this morning. I was feeding pellets to my Palythoa so they are all closed up in this top-down shot.

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I have to remember to clean the glass on maintenance day this week (tomorrow). It's getting kind of cloudy in there. 😄

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The jawfish is gaining some weight. Still very shy but he's gradually coming out more. He used to stick very close to his burrow at feeding time, but now he is brave enough to venture halfway across the tank to grab drifting bits of food.

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Pjanssen

Sharknose are pretty hardy fish. Fingers crossed that he is ok.

 

My 29 is near a window as well, and the lower light does effect it a little. I put a room darkening shade up to help filter out some of the direct light in the afternoon. I now have chaeto growing in the back chamber though, which is where the light mainly hit, so it may ok this year.

 

Nice photos. I just noticed you are running a cross pump in there. Do both pumps run simultaneously at a constant, or are they intermittent?

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billygoat
6 hours ago, Pjanssen said:

Sharknose are pretty hardy fish. Fingers crossed that he is ok.

 

Man, you're not kidding about sharknose gobies being hardy! It's alive! 😂 It's looking a bit faded and stressed and is breathing pretty hard, but I think it's in great shape considering it just spent 48 hours in a shipping bag. Hopefully there isn't any long-term damage to the fish's gills or kidneys from the increased shipping time. It sure is tiny too! Kinda makes me wonder if the 1/4" mesh in my lid is going to be small enough. I guess we'll see. 🤷‍♂️ I'll try to fatten it up quickly.

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6 hours ago, Pjanssen said:

Nice photos. I just noticed you are running a cross pump in there. Do both pumps run simultaneously at a constant, or are they intermittent?

Thanks! I am only running the single MP10 that you see in the picture above, plus the return pump. They both run continuously, with the return nozzle pointed towards the wavemaker to create some turbulent flow. The MP10 runs on a low setting in Lagoon Mode. It pushes water across the front of the tank and then bounces off the glass on the other side, hitting the gorgonians in the center with gentle indirect flow. It's also connected to a VorTech battery backup to help insulate the system against power outages.

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Wonderboy

Wow - great to hear the little goby made it - I bet it will recover well in here

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billygoat
44 minutes ago, Wonderboy said:

Wow - great to hear the little goby made it - I bet it will recover well in here

Yeah, I was honestly amazed that it survived, but the shipping from ORA was incredible so that probably helped quite a bit. That tiny goby was shipped inside of a big double bag that included a black plastic baffle around the bottom half. It was quite large and contained almost a half gallon of water. All of that was wrapped up and tied tightly with aluminum wire (not rubber bands!), and completely enclosed inside of this giant styrofoam shell:

 

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Not the smallest carbon footprint of any shipment ever, but it clearly did a great job of minimizing stress on the fish!

 

Also, since today was water change day and I was going to remove the filter socks anyway to clean them, I decided to begin an experiment that I've been contemplating for awhile and just went ahead and removed my filter socks entirely. I'm going to run the system without them for a few weeks and see if I notice any difference in... anything. I'd like to run this system with as little equipment as I can reasonably get away with, and I have a hunch that those socks were not really doing very much anyway. So let's see what happens with zero mechanical filtration! 😁

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billygoat

My Caribbean cup coral (Phyllangia americana) is looking fresh, so I couldn't resist posting a picture. 👌 It's kind of like a very small dendro. Eats like a pig too!

 

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Pjanssen
11 hours ago, billygoat said:

My Caribbean cup coral (Phyllangia americana) is looking fresh, so I couldn't resist posting a picture. 👌 It's kind of like a very small dendro. Eats like a pig too!

Where did you get that?

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billygoat
9 hours ago, Pjanssen said:

Where did you get that?

It was a hitchhiker on my live rock, so it's been there since the very beginning. At first I didn't even realize it was a NPS coral, so I put it in a nice well-lit spot (which it doesn't seem to mind much) and didn't feed it for the first four months it was in my system. 😂 It didn't die back at all during this time, but it didn't grow either. Then I figured out what it was and began feeding it regularly, and it has grown rapidly ever since.

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billygoat

Alright folks, I've got one for you this morning.

 

So yesterday afternoon I noticed ol' Discosoma neglecta acting all scrunched up and deflated. Usually it does this when it's about to poop, which I thought was a bit weird because I hadn't fed it much recently. Sure enough, after an hour or so it began to disgorge the remains of a meal... which turned out to be a porcelain crab! So I guess I have one fewer of those now. 😂

 

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Not sure how this crab managed to get himself devoured, but his mistake was quite clearly fatal. That's what you get when you walk too close to the Maw! It's just that kind of reef, I guess - the strong survive, while the foolhardy are consumed by disc anemones. 😅 I still have several more porcelain crabs (at least 2, I think), so I am not too concerned about it. I do kinda feel bad for the little crab, but also... that's freakin' cool that this mushroom just eats whatever it wants. Damn, nature.

 

 

 

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Pjanssen

CIRCLE OF LIFE

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Poison Dart Frog

Wow! Just how quickly does that mushroom close up? It must be pretty fast!

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billygoat
2 hours ago, Poison Dart Frog said:

Wow! Just how quickly does that mushroom close up? It must be pretty fast!

Takes about two seconds for the Maw to close up when it is stimulated with a moving food item. It's quite impressive. I believe it also exudes some sort of chemical that helps to pacify its prey. And it doesn't seem to be picky about what exactly it is eating, as the crab in the post above discovered firsthand. :ninja:

 

The new goby is settling in pretty well, considering the shipping ordeal he was put through. He took some small pellets this morning. I moved a shell over into the corner he's been hiding in and he seems to like that. 😊 So far I have not observed any signs of aggression by the other gobies or the jawfish. 👌

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Here are a few other shots from around the tank. I hope you're all having a great day! 😁

 

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Ratvan

No wonder discosoma's are sometimes sold as "mushroom anemones". 

 

That is pretty cool, especially to watch it disgorge the evidence in that way. 

 

The goby shell is awesome, was going to ask where it's from but no real point. ☺

Gobies and blennies have such personalities. 

 

Love the shots from around the tank as well. I've never seen such a fluffy gorg. 😍😍

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Amphrites

To be fair mushrooms are corallimorphs, I believe they were actually described as anemones first then re-classified, they share allot in common with both corals and anemones, including often packing a fairly-impressive sting. Their mobility, resiliency, and sting are why quite a few hobbiests come to regret not isolating the animals as they can totally take-over rockwork and crowd out other corals, some seem to consider even the prettiest metallic and fancy-shrooms pests or plague-coral.

I've never had this problem, though I did decide to stay away from hairy rhodactus, despite loving their appearance, and instead stick with slow-growing ricordeas and yumas, it also helps that they prefer more light in my fairly-bright tank XD.

Sorry to hear about the porcelain crab though, I love watching the pair I got from reefcleaners and am concerned enough about the rogue bristleworms I somehow acquired going after them or my maxima...

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billygoat

Porcelain crabs are definitely super cool. I love watchin' them and am glad they seem to be doing well in my system. Well, except for the one or possibly (probably) more than one that got eaten so far... 🤔😂 I mean other than that they're doing great!

 

5 hours ago, Ratvan said:

The goby shell is awesome, was going to ask where it's from but no real point. ☺

The shell came from Reef Cleaners! It was part of their "medium hermit shells" package, which are supposed to be for growing crabs... but that particular shell is definitely really large. Too big for most hermits that I've ever seen, that's for sure! It's a shame they don't ship overseas, they would set you up with a proper CUC in no time. 😥

 

5 hours ago, Ratvan said:

Love the shots from around the tank as well. I've never seen such a fluffy gorg. 😍😍

Yeah that particular gorgonian (purple plume, Muriceopsis flavida) is actually sort of abnormal. I'm not entirely sure what is causing its freakish polyp extension. @Tigahboy has the exact same gorg and it looks perfectly normal! 🤔 Mine's just... shaggy, I guess.

 

Also I tested my parameters tonight, mostly just out of curiosity (and also because my nitrate reagents are expiring soon 😅).

 

Nitrate ~15

Phosphate 0.02

Alkalinity 8.7 dKH

Ca 415

Mg 1400

 

All of this seems fine with me. 🤷‍♂️ But damn that RedSea Coral Pro salt is just loaded with Mg... it naturally remains that high just from water changes. 🙄

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Tigahboy
14 minutes ago, billygoat said:

Yeah that particular gorgonian (purple plume, Muriceopsis flavida) is actually sort of abnormal. I'm not entirely sure what is causing its freakish polyp extension. @Tigahboy has the exact same gorg and it looks perfectly normal! 🤔 Mine's just... shaggy, I guess.

I've been waiting for mine to get all shaggy like yours, but it has never happened.  It is shaggier towards the base, but nowhere close to your shaggy level.

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billygoat
23 hours ago, Tigahboy said:

I've been waiting for mine to get all shaggy like yours, but it has never happened.  It is shaggier towards the base, but nowhere close to your shaggy level.

I wish I could tell you what's making it do that, but I actually have no idea, so... 😂

 

Yours looks beautiful though! I love the way the gorgs are positioned in your tank. They really do a perfect job of balancing out the central rock formation.

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billygoat

Well here's some benthic microfauna for you. I'm pretty sure this is some kind of flatworm. It slowly cruises the deepest reaches of my sandbed, and occasionally makes its way up to the glass for a photograph. Haven't seen this guy for many months, but it's good to know it's still in there doing... well, whatever it is that it does. 😅 It's bigger than I remember, so it must be eating something down there! 🤷‍♂️

 

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debbeach13

It looks huge! That just might be the answer to keeping my hands out of the tank.

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billygoat
On 9/28/2019 at 1:45 PM, debbeach13 said:

It looks huge! That just might be the answer to keeping my hands out of the tank.

It's not that big really, just the size of a small paper clip. And it's super duper slow! It seems to move at a rate of a few inches a day. I think it cruises around the depths of my sandbed mostly in areas where it can't be seen, but every once in awhile it makes its way up against the front glass. Definitely a very weird creature.

 

Nothing special going on but here are a few pictures from around the reef today. 😊

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Amphrites

If you ask me there's plenty special going on 24/7 in this tank.

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billygoat
28 minutes ago, Amphrites said:

If you ask me there's plenty special going on 24/7 in this tank.

That's kind of you to say! It's definitely special to me too, that's for sure. 😊 I just feel so humbled sometimes when I see other tanks on N-R with their crazy SPS colonies and all the incredible kaleidoscopic colors they have on display. And the fish too! And the clams! People keep such amazing and complex creatures. Makes me feel like I really ought not to brag about my aquarium. I've got a grand total of about five colors going on in here, and three of them are green. 😅 But thank you for your encouragement. It really does make me want to push myself to be a better reefer.

 

 

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Amphrites

Your tank is beautiful, your animals are happy and flourishing, and the scape is wonderfully stocked, you don't need to have a super-high-tech and crazy expensive sps tank full of designer-corals to have a nice tank lol.

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Dirté Sanchez
1 hour ago, billygoat said:

It's not that big really, just the size of a small paper clip. And it's super duper slow! It seems to move at a rate of a few inches a day. I think it cruises around the depths of my sandbed mostly in areas where it can't be seen, but every once in awhile it makes its way up against the front glass. Definitely a very weird creature.

 

Nothing special going on but here are a few pictures from around the reef today. 😊

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I just love the jawfish peeking out of his den!!!! 

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