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Ratvan

Ratvan's Old School Pico - How many Mushrooms can I fit?

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Ratvan

So I thought that at the end of each month I would stop, think and review the month just gone. 

 

April 2019 Review

  • Cost of Hardware - Free
  • Cost of Tank       - £25.00 (Bio Filtration, Rock, Sand, Water)
  • Cost of Macro's  - £10.00
  • Cost of Corals    - £50.00
  • Total Spend        - £85.00

So I am over budget for the first couple of months, this means that i need to rain in my spend (no money for this or next month) which is probably for the best. I was really disappointed with the Macro Algae and is something that I would like to revisit again once I have a little more knowledge and reef keeping ability. 

 

May 2019 Tank Goals

  • Coral Growth. I will be doing as much research as possible to get the best growth on my existing Corals
  • Coral Colouration. I want to be able to produce some really interesting and bright Zoa heads from the tank
  • Fragging, I want to learn how to Frag these corals and maybe also create some of my own Zoa Frag Plugs
  • Aquascape. I am very unhappy about my Aquascape and want to change it, however i know that i am likely to change this again later so considering removing the large live rock for some smaller individual pieces.
  • DIY Frag Tree, I love the sand bed and watching my critters scuttle about on it, so i want to expand my use of the tank beyond simply Rock and Sand  
  • Lighting. I think that my first two points (Growth and Colours) are going to need an investment in a more suitable light. The Nicrew lights seems to do well for growth (crazy amount of new heads) but the colours are severely lacking. I will be looking for a light unit for approximately £75.00 
  • Reef Lenses. Related more to the photographing of the tank more than the contest itself. Related again to Colour, I have played with my apps and camera settings as much as possible and think that i need another smallish investment to be able to better translate the tank in pictures. 

 

Photo's

 

Electric Apple Palythoa is open for the first time (Yay)

 

And although I want to rescape I do really like this feature of Zoa's running through the middle and want to keep this

20190502_152819.thumb.jpg.dbbe92dac8a7cffb1e09bd9b90536684.jpg20190503_103710.thumb.jpg.dca5c79a6590f9917e58a0032834e371.jpg

 

20190503_103707.jpg

 

Also forgot to mention about water changes, I am entering that point of the year where we get lots of bank/public holidays so keeping to a specific water change schedule is becoming difficult, it is due to that reason that i changing my Water Change Schedule from 100% change once per week to a 40-50% change either side of the weekend. This will also help me keep TDS in check with evaporation becoming stronger, i may have to invest in a lid. 

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seabass
31 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

 

20190503_103707.jpg

Just a word of caution.  These big, tall palys are thought to contain larger amounts of palytoxin than is found in other zoas and palys.  Handle with extra care.

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Ratvan
1 minute ago, seabass said:

Just a word of caution.  These big, tall palys are thought to contain larger amounts of palytoxin than is found in other zoas and palys.  Handle with extra care.

Thank you, since I poked the Bristle worm (and removed the spines with Duct tape and soaked finger in Bi Carb (didn't work) and then Vinegar) I have been using Gloves or Forceps to go into the tank.

 

Typically it is the larger and broader ones that I want to frag first to try and tidy things up. I also want the LR for more rubble

 

Out of interest how much would the office lighting be affecting my tank? I've worked out the tank is 5' away from 4 florescent tubes

 

 

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seabass

I wouldn't think that the office lighting has a substantial effect.

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Ratvan
2 hours ago, seabass said:

I wouldn't think that the office lighting has a substantial effect.

Fair enough

 

20190503_140218.thumb.jpg.b564113fae41fe7d41937660928caadd.jpg

 

So I had a quick play around with the rockwork, I will most likely be looking at picking up another similar sized "pillar" of rock. Not happy with it but getting there

Just trying to block the view of the filter and heater as much as possible. Moved Xenia back across to the contest tank as not going to be able to see this until Tuesday again

Could I make my own Zoa Garden by using Putty to lump the frag plugs together? Also is any Ceramic Reef Safe?

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seabass
27 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

Could I make my own Zoa Garden by using Putty to lump the frag plugs together?

Sure, you could use reef epoxy to form a rock that incorporates your plugs.  You could even add bits of rock rubble to make it look even more natural.

 

25 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

Also is any Ceramic Reef Safe?

Ceramic itself is reef safe.  The only thing that might not be would be a coating (like paint).

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Ratvan

So thoughts towards lighting. I cant afford an AI Prime or Kessil until at least the contest is over. I can afford an upgrade to something like an asta 20 gooseneck or hippergrow or fluval led system. In the long term I plan on keeping this little tank running and would like to set up another larger tank but no plans concrete for that yet.

 

So next purchase is the Asta 20/30 led most likely, seems that you get more for the money.

 

After that my rock towers look a little naked. I want to try something like a mushroom tower (rhodactis and discsosoma) or some Pavona that I have seen locally as well. Green, green eyed and rusty. All very nice.

 

Sadly i have also spotted budget Blasto and Acans so I may have issues here. Also the Duncan is fast becoming my favourite coral and want to add more at some point. I have found someone interested in my Xenia which is nice because the more i look at it the less i like it now sadly. But maybe able to swap some for a frag of the above (money off) 

 

Finally have tracked down some reasonably priced Favia, Favities and Goniastrea which all looked amazing as well.

 

 

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seabass

Sounds like a lot of corals.  How's the budget looking?

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Ratvan
7 minutes ago, seabass said:

Sounds like a lot of corals.  How's the budget looking?

It's unlikely I will buy all of them, just need to work out what I want.

 

I really really like the Pavonas that I saw, leaning that way at the moment.

 

I am still within my budget, just. The Lighting will come out of June budget so leaves me with a few months to choose and add the remaining corals until contest end. 

 

No fish for this one, the long weekends and vacations are stressful enough with this little livestock nevermind adding a fish.

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Wendy

Ohhh, favia would look good on one of those rocks to the right!

I had a couple pieces in the past & it was surprising how long their feeder tenacles would come out at night.

 

If you can find some rhodactis mushrooms within your budget then go for them. They're so pretty!

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kimdawg
17 hours ago, Ratvan said:

So thoughts towards lighting. I cant afford an AI Prime or Kessil until at least the contest is over. I can afford an upgrade to something like an asta 20 gooseneck or hippergrow or fluval led system. In the long term I plan on keeping this little tank running and would like to set up another larger tank but no plans concrete for that yet.

 

So next purchase is the Asta 20/30 led most likely, seems that you get more for the money.

 

After that my rock towers look a little naked. I want to try something like a mushroom tower (rhodactis and discsosoma) or some Pavona that I have seen locally as well. Green, green eyed and rusty. All very nice.

 

Sadly i have also spotted budget Blasto and Acans so I may have issues here. Also the Duncan is fast becoming my favourite coral and want to add more at some point. I have found someone interested in my Xenia which is nice because the more i look at it the less i like it now sadly. But maybe able to swap some for a frag of the above (money off) 

 

Finally have tracked down some reasonably priced Favia, Favities and Goniastrea which all looked amazing as well.

 

 

I have the asta 20 on my contest tank and love it.  I do change the colors a couple of times during the day. I start with low blue when it comes on and end with low blue later in the evening.  Mid cycle I put the blue channel at fifty percent and one click out of twelve on white.  I have 2 rics that have already split and I am seeing new polyps on each set of the zoas.  I love the color of the light and am very happy with the colors that are developing on my cheap no name zoas.  So I vote go for it, if you are going with higher light corals you might want the 30.  I plan to keep this tank and light set up after the contest.

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Ratvan
7 hours ago, Wendy said:

Ohhh, favia would look good on one of those rocks to the right!

I had a couple pieces in the past & it was surprising how long their feeder tenacles would come out at night.

 

If you can find some rhodactis mushrooms within your budget then go for them. They're so pretty!

Yeah I keep looking at my Pillar, I want another one. Maybe try mushrooms/pavona on one and Favia on the other. 

I have found a place that will sell 1x Rhodactis and 3x Discoruma Mushrooms for £20.00 or three Pavona for £10.00, might go for one of each but want to make sure my lighting is good enough that i'm not throwing money away needlessly. 

2 hours ago, kimdawg said:

I have the asta 20 on my contest tank and love it.  I do change the colors a couple of times during the day. I start with low blue when it comes on and end with low blue later in the evening.  Mid cycle I put the blue channel at fifty percent and one click out of twelve on white.  I have 2 rics that have already split and I am seeing new polyps on each set of the zoas.  I love the color of the light and am very happy with the colors that are developing on my cheap no name zoas.  So I vote go for it, if you are going with higher light corals you might want the 30.  I plan to keep this tank and light set up after the contest.

Thank you for that, I'll be honest and say that it was your contest tank (and a few others) that I have been looking at for the lighting. I'm confused by the lighting for this tank, my currently lighting seems to be able to produce lots of new corals polyps but the colours of the corals are lacking so I have lots of new heads but apart from the Radioactive the colours are rather bland. How long have you had the light? 

 

FTS 2019-05-07

20190507_085558.thumb.jpg.efb2f6c533e58d0238fae961ed869c70.jpg

 

SUMP ZOAS OPENING AND COLOURING

20190507_085656.thumb.jpg.b3631f1c277845d9a0178c712dd309e1.jpg

 

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kimdawg

I am glad my posts and journal may help you in some small way.  I started my tank with the light on 4-2 and added a few zoas a couple of days later from my main tank.  In the last week or so I added the riccordea and more zoas.  In that short time I can really tell the color is improving.  I don't have the money to buy expensive corals like some of the other tanks. My RFA was $14.00 and everything else in the tank was 3-10.  Most of the frags I split into 2 pieces so I could add 1 to my 75 gallon.  I am getting greens,orange, blues, pinks out of some of the 4 dollar riccordea and the brown zoas are turning a nice dark pink, reds, green, yellow, orange, and adding some markings.  I am happy with the lights progress, but check with meta and some of the others.  I will be posting pics this week of some of the coral changes in my thread.

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Ratvan
17 minutes ago, kimdawg said:

I am glad my posts and journal may help you in some small way.  I started my tank with the light on 4-2 and added a few zoas a couple of days later from my main tank.  In the last week or so I added the riccordea and more zoas.  In that short time I can really tell the color is improving.  I don't have the money to buy expensive corals like some of the other tanks. My RFA was $14.00 and everything else in the tank was 3-10.  Most of the frags I split into 2 pieces so I could add 1 to my 75 gallon.  I am getting greens,orange, blues, pinks out of some of the 4 dollar riccordea and the brown zoas are turning a nice dark pink, reds, green, yellow, orange, and adding some markings.  I am happy with the lights progress, but check with meta and some of the others.  I will be posting pics this week of some of the coral changes in my thread.

Thank you, well I went ahead and ordered the Asta 20, sadly the 30 was out of stock unless i wanted to pay a ridiculous amount for postage, bringing the cost to nearly that of the AI Prime, also picked up a few other bits, epoxy putty and Frag Plugs so I can have a play in my backup pico and hopefully make something good for the contest tank, Thankfully I had a giftcard that I used to keep me in budget for the month that I have had since Christmas

 

I want to move the Payls from the rockwork onto plugs, I also want to encourage the Sump Zoas to grow and colour up more before I start fragging and playing with these. Everything that I am doing here I have one mind on duplicating the Frags and what works to eventually stock my home tank. Is there a comprehensive list of Zoa colouration/patterns around that I can try and identify the currently un-named Zoas.

 

On the subject of Zoas, would this happen to the the "root mat" that I keep hearing about? (light pink/purple area on rock, I can see what looks like tiny polyps forming) Seems to be growing whatever it is and slowly covering the whole rock

20190507_122311.thumb.jpg.068cc7129e978f957beceae67e75efdc.jpg

 

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vlangel

Sometimes coloration is due to the lighting but coral nutrition plays into the formula as well.  It can be tricky however not to over feed with some of the foods that really bring out the colors.  It's all a balancing act.

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Ratvan
24 minutes ago, vlangel said:

Sometimes coloration is due to the lighting but coral nutrition plays into the formula as well.  It can be tricky however not to over feed with some of the foods that really bring out the colors.  It's all a balancing act.

So more food more colour? Too much and got problems.

 

I think my reef roids and Kent reef kit will expire before I run out. 😆

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LazyFish

 

To me it looks like a sponge or something spreading on that rock. Feeding is important for color and health but adding a blue light supplement or a diffrent light with more blues can make the zoas color appear to pop more and may develop stronger colors along with the feeding.

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Ratvan

 

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Ratvan

So my Asta 20 Saltwater arrived this afternoon (Yay) had a quick play with the buttons and wow this light is so much better then that Nicrew that I was using (surprise surprise) 

20190508_143409.thumb.jpg.33d8705dcc056db051b79f32aedaea19.jpg

 

No instructions in the Box but a quick Google and I am away, swapped the optical lens for the 60 degree spread version and set everything full beam, That was too bright so will playing around in the next few days until I can find a setting that I like. Currently everything is only tuned up a couple of clicks

 

In the meantime a before and after photo of old light and new light

 

IMG_20190508_145928.thumb.jpg.303bbef52b217fe9c7bbee41d3edda0a.jpg

 

And one final one, my Duncan. I really love this coral and looks amazing under the new light 

20190508_144950.thumb.jpg.7307b0946717925c0c4ab15aa40d4300.jpg

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Wendy

Dang, what a difference! The colors look so much better! You'll really enjoy your new light & us too (;

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Tigahboy

The new light really makes a difference!  I'm glad you found a better option.

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Ratvan
2 hours ago, Wendy said:

Dang, what a difference! The colors look so much better! You'll really enjoy your new light & us too (;

I know right, thankfully that Nicrew was a spare. Otherwise would be £20ish. That's half way to the Asta 20. That would have annoyed me.

2 hours ago, Tigahboy said:

The new light really makes a difference!  I'm glad you found a better option.

So am I, it was an effort to leave work tonight. The tank looked so much prettier. Plus it opens up more options for Corals

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Wingy

Where did you find instructions for the Asta?  I need some instructions for setting the Pixie 30 and am having trouble finding them.

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Ratvan
7 minutes ago, Wingy said:

Where did you find instructions for the Asta?  I need some instructions for setting the Pixie 30 and am having trouble finding them.

I found them on the Lumini website. It was a poxy little thing the size of the API Master Kit results page. 

 

There was some instructions for the pixie on there as well but nothing about how to set the channels.

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MetaTank

Like night and day. That’s awesome! I’m so pleased that you like the Asta, and yeah, that 60 degree lens makes all the difference, huh? 

 

Tank looks great!

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