Jump to content
billygoat

Billy's 18g Gorgonian Garden

Recommended Posts

WV Reefer
2 minutes ago, billygoat said:

I did indeed do the float and powdered reagent steps, which is part of why I am so confused as to these weird results. For the time being I have decided to take a step back from the whole situation and observe the tank for awhile without any dosing of any kind. I've got a feeling that this system is mature enough now that weekly water changes alone might be enough to meet my corals' needs. I'm not averse to dosing if it's necessary for the health of my livestock, but if I could get the tank going @WV Reefer-style without anything but water changes that would be an ideal spot for me. 👌

 

A few new gorgonians should arrive on Wednesday! I'm so excited. 😁 It's going to be a real forest of 'em in there.

It’s soooooo easy to do........ you just gotta let go! 😊 
 

 

cant wait to see the new gorgs! Yay!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
billygoat

I came home from work today and had a sort of aquascaping epiphany that resulted in a fairly major multi-hour rescape of my tank, including some chiseling of rocks to move some ricordea and a lot of shifting things around. I'll have plenty of pictures of that tomorrow once things settle down, but one thing I got super excited about was the discovery of the mysterious creature that I've photographed several times up against the glass in the depths of my sandbed: it's a huge, beautiful, bone-white burrowing chiton!

 

IMG_0729.thumb.JPG.d4bb1ffa0c3708f88ac66b7053302e1e.JPG

 

I actually found two of these guys, each well over an inch long, attached to the bottom of the big rock in the middle of my tank. Incredible! I had no idea that such creatures existed in my system.

 

But yeah some major changes took place and I promise to document them in the morning. 😅 I hope everything settles down and is ok!

  • Like 5
  • Wow 4

Share this post


Link to post
billygoat

Here are some quick and dirty photos of the modified 'scape. Basically I wanted to move all my Ricordea to the back right corner where flow is lowest, so I chiseled the two in the middle off the rock and piled them all in one area. The Rics at the middle were stinging my cup coral and zoanthids, and now that they are elsewhere there is space for me to add some new gorgonians right smack in the center of the tank. It's still a work in progress as I continue to make small changes to things, but this is the general shape of it! The big ugly white scar on the rock in the center is where two huge turquoise Ricordea used to be.

 

IMG_0738.thumb.JPG.a1ce608eb6a938c4189a3f6b2dc1af35.JPG

 

IMG_0739.thumb.JPG.ee95932e2dd0cc5ed7da7cee4bdef586.JPG

 

IMG_0740.thumb.JPG.8fb5eefc05a2912b7d327ec9e5fbff2c.JPG

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
DutchNanoReefer88

I think it looks more natural and for me, that's a good thing! But I need a FTS from the front to give a final judgment. 😉

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
billygoat
2 hours ago, DutchNanoReefer88 said:

I think it looks more natural and for me, that's a good thing! But I need a FTS from the front to give a final judgment. 😉

Thanks! It's notoriously difficult to get a good FTS of this tank, but I will try my best! Expect some updated pictures in a few days once my new gorgonians arrive. 😁

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
billygoat

Here's a bit of a better FTS showing the recent rearrangements. Everything is quite upset after all the disruptive activity I indulged in yesterday and today, but nothing looks gravely injured. The only thing I'm a bit worried about is the purple sea feather near the center. It's been closed up for more than a week now, and seems to be taking longer than usual to complete its shedding cycle. Hopefully it will come around soon.

 

And dang, the glass needs to be cleaned too. 😅

 

IMG_0741.thumb.JPG.3e78ff0ef514d0b27be75fd9a15df72e.JPG

 

Oh yeah, I also ordered a Spin Stream nozzle for my return, so I'll be playing around with that as well when it arrives later this week. 😎 I'm broke as hell but at least the reef will be happy.

  • Like 5
  • Wow 1

Share this post


Link to post
Pjanssen
9 hours ago, billygoat said:

I also ordered a Spin Stream nozzle for my return

Let me know what you think of this. I found mind too loud and took it out.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
billygoat
2 hours ago, Pjanssen said:

Let me know what you think of this. I found mind too loud and took it out.

I've definitely read some mixed reviews regarding the noise, but I decided to give it a try anyway. I'll post my opinions on the spin stream after I've had it in there for awhile.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
lizzyann

I also can't wait to hear about the SpinStream! I have one sitting in a drawer 😂. I put it on but there was some issue that made me need to take it off before I had time to really test it, and I've just been lazy/busy/dealing with more pressing reef issues since. I do know it was super loud but I read that that should go away eventually... might take a while though?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
billygoat

New gorgonians are here! I have to say I had my doubts about gorgs shipped by "slow" 3-day mail, but Gulf Coast Ecosystems has exceeded my expectations once again. Their selection is somewhat limited, but if you're looking for some good-sized gorgonians on the cheap, GCE is a great option. I strongly recommend them. 👍

 

Each gorgonian was double-bagged and both bags were wrapped inside a third bag, which was placed inside an insulated box. Interestingly, a few pellets of carbon were added to each shipping bag. This is something I have not seen before, but it seemed to work quite well as both specimens were displaying partial polyp extension even before I unpacked them. They came attached to reef plugs, which annoyed me at first but ended up being sort of convenient because both of these gorgs are around 20cm long and would only fit in my tank if I mounted them directly onto the sandbed. The plugs made this easy: I simply screwed them down into the substrate and hid their tops with some rocks and shells.

 

IMG_0745.JPG.d8c2a710a14c6eb548c4c4f92ca163c4.JPG  IMG_0744.JPG.af1bd31c6abe8cb2d6fe6139d34d97c9.JPG

 

After just a few hours in my tank these gorgonians are already looking pretty nice. Here is Muricea laxa, also called the Spiny or Silver Bush Gorgonian. It has an attractive pale silvery color with brown polyps. This species is quite rigid and does not blow around nearly as much as my other Muricea (M. elongata).

IMG_0747.thumb.JPG.5fee186a6df18db15970761e725e363b.JPG

 

And here is Eunicea, a so-called Candelabra Gorgonian (though mine is more like a candle-stick 😅). I will attempt a species-level ID once it extends its polyps. I suspect both these new gorgs will take a few days to adjust to the lighting in my tank before they are fully extended, but it shouldn't be long. This one will likely have enormous, fat brown polyps. It is very thick and can tolerate a lot of water movement.

IMG_0748.thumb.JPG.3bdab396943ad2a2a0779b6faf262daa.JPG

 

And of course here are some photos of the new layout of the tank! I spent four hours moving things around in the tank to accommodate these new arrivals, but I am extremely pleased with the final arrangement. Left side:

IMG_0749.thumb.JPG.8bc3e361297c6552c69514901d43518d.JPG

 

Right side:

IMG_0750.thumb.JPG.22f4a67b0837055af8b63d0dce107cb9.JPG

 

And the FTS! The light's not the best and the water is still kind of cloudy from all the work I did in here today, but this is about the size of it:

IMG_0746.thumb.JPG.68e50218b63a3812f852370416089b0b.JPG

 

That's all for now! Expect some more pictures once everything settles down and starts to extend normally. Thanks for reading! 😁

  • Like 9
  • Wow 4

Share this post


Link to post
Gravity

Wow, the tank is really filling out now. Love the new gorgonians. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Northwoodsreefer

I love it 😁

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
BearTheSquare

Really liking the new look! Crazy how those gorgs add so much height to the tank.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
DutchNanoReefer88

The new look is a real improvement, looks much more natural and well balanced! 😁

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
billygoat

Thank you all for your kind words! Aquascaping with gorgonians has been sort of challenging, but I'm really liking the new layout so I'm glad everyone is on board with it. 😁 I just hope everything does well where it's at, because I would love to keep my hands out of the tank for awhile after all the changes I have made recently.

 

I'm also considering re-implementing my refugium since most of the macroalgae is gone from my display. Perhaps the 'fuge will fare better this time around. 🤔 I think it might be worth a try!

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
billygoat

Here are a few more photos. The new gorgs appear to be settling in well. I've noticed a slight amount of tissue loss around the base of my silver bush gorgonian, but the colony is overall showing improved polyp extension every day so I am not concerned. Here's a comparison between the silver bush (Muricea laxa) on the left and a similar rusty gorgonian (M. elongata) on the right. Note the little polyps peeking out of the calyces of M. laxa compared to the full, fuzzy extension on M. elongata.

 

IMG_0753.JPG.5144eb279c773d8f71bcde55d240841e.JPG  IMG_0754.JPG.d6fe8ea3a682b67876f0acd298a166ef.JPG

 

I'm liking the left-hand view with the new gorgs filling some vertical space in the background. You can see the new Eunicea sp. on the left side there. It's also showing very strong polyp extension already, though I suspect the polyps will become quite a bit bigger as it settles down. I have tentatively identified this species as Eunicea calyculata.

 

IMG_0755.thumb.JPG.6425830105770e350c76b642f7df0892.JPG

 

And another FTS. The purple feather gorgonian at the top center (Pseudopterogorgia sp.) has apparently just completed its shedding cycle after almost two weeks of being closed up. That's a relief! Hopefully its polyps will be extended again tomorrow.

 

That or its actually dying. But I don't think that's the case. 😅

 

IMG_0756.thumb.JPG.611cc0f6451ad76d743d1f7a3c866967.JPG

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
billygoat

Here's a top down view from this evening. The Maw didn't seem to like being in the corner very much (it was cupping and reaching for the light) so I moved it back into the center. It seems much happier now.

 

IMG_0760.thumb.JPG.34caac730dd1cc1f4fb59e10eb3a8707.JPG

 

Oh yeah and there's also this guy.

 

IMG_0761.thumb.JPG.b78325e74dbce07cb8f0b74a188f7b33.JPG

  • Like 6
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
WV Reefer
1 hour ago, billygoat said:

Here's a top down view from this evening. The Maw didn't seem to like being in the corner very much (it was cupping and reaching for the light) so I moved it back into the center. It seems much happier now.

 

IMG_0760.thumb.JPG.34caac730dd1cc1f4fb59e10eb3a8707.JPG

 

Oh yeah and there's also this guy.

 

IMG_0761.thumb.JPG.b78325e74dbce07cb8f0b74a188f7b33.JPG

The Maw calls the shots now......... just accept it. 😄

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Poison Dart Frog

Looking great, loving those gorgonians. Did any of your zoanthids come from Gulf Coast? I just ordered some along with an RFA, a gorgonian, macro algae and mushrooms (since I can finally start adding stuff to my 2nd tank). 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Wonderboy

Love tht shot of the jawfish  :]   he looks just like Beaker form Sesame St, just as concerned, too lol

  • Like 2
  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
WV Reefer
1 minute ago, Wonderboy said:

Love tht shot of the jawfish  :]   he looks just like Beaker form Sesame St, just as concerned, too lol

A2E00287-FFC0-48CA-9204-8BBA6B70B4FD.jpeg.8e8361c9e3e87136f2be45fe53c34edf.jpeg

  • Like 1
  • Haha 6

Share this post


Link to post
billygoat
12 hours ago, WV Reefer said:

The Maw calls the shots now......... just accept it. 😄

 

 

Let's be real: the Maw has been calling the shots for a long time already. 😂 It's the biggest thing in the tank, so it kind of gets to do whatever it wants... including eating the other livestock when it's in the mood for a meal. Who am I to tell it no? 🤷‍♂️

 

12 hours ago, Poison Dart Frog said:

Looking great, loving those gorgonians. Did any of your zoanthids come from Gulf Coast? I just ordered some along with an RFA, a gorgonian, macro algae and mushrooms (since I can finally start adding stuff to my 2nd tank). 

I have never intentionally purchased zoanthids from GCE, but I do have a very small colony of them that came in as a hitchhiker on the bottom of some Ricordea that I bought many months ago. In the beginning it was only one polyp that was so badly disfigured that at first I didn't even know what it was. Over the past six or seven months that single polyp has slowly grown into a colony of four, but they seem to go through cycles of regression followed by cycles of growth, and in general don't really do very well in my system. Not really sure what the reason for that is, but hopefully they will do better for you!

 

27 minutes ago, Wonderboy said:

Love tht shot of the jawfish  :]   he looks just like Beaker form Sesame St, just as concerned, too lol

Oh man, you're so right! 😄 I never noticed it before but the jawfish's natural facial expression is one of deep concern. He's a real character. 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Pjanssen
5 hours ago, WV Reefer said:

A2E00287-FFC0-48CA-9204-8BBA6B70B4FD.jpeg.8e8361c9e3e87136f2be45fe53c34edf.jpeg

HA! You beat me to it. Perfect Meme.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
kimberbee

What a wonderful tank you have here!! It's looking great - all your hard work is very evident!!

 

I have a pretend caribbean biotope - it's all RFAs and gorgonians, though I know at least one gorg's origin is the Phillipines. I read through your whole thread today picking up on all the info you had on gorgonians!! I hope to be able to order a few more varieties soon!!

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
billygoat
53 minutes ago, kimberbee said:

What a wonderful tank you have here!! It's looking great - all your hard work is very evident!!

 

I have a pretend caribbean biotope - it's all RFAs and gorgonians, though I know at least one gorg's origin is the Phillipines. I read through your whole thread today picking up on all the info you had on gorgonians!! I hope to be able to order a few more varieties soon!!

Thank you so much! I'm so honored that you would spend the time to read through the whole thread. 😊 I hope there was some useful information buried in there!

 

Please let me know if there is anything else I can help with. I really love gorgonians and it always makes me happy to hear that people are interested in keeping them. I was just looking at your new rebooted RFA/gorg tank yesterday, and it looks so beautiful! I'm sure it's only going to get better from here. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...