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Tempestas

Seaview Pico – An Old School Cheerleader - Jellies!!

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This guy is extra salty

Looks like you need two yogurt containers 

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Tempestas

After the expedition was over, I got home and started work on my newest finds.

 

I found a nice clump of fluffy red macro, so that was the first to go in.

 

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I also found some green bubbly yellow-green macro further along the beach that happened to be exposed to the air, so I grabbed a clump and placed it right in the apex.

 

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The 'Variegated' macro went in next.

 

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Of course a trip to the beach wouldn't be complete without me bringing back specimens that I have no idea about, except that they look pretty. These first two literally drifted past me and I couldn't resist taking them, even though I couldn't find a proper colony of either.

 

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And then I found these sponges. Figured that they would make a suitable substitute for the red fan that I lost earlier. Speaking of which, I managed to find some dried specimens of those of the beach, and they had polyps. Which means that it was definitely a gorgonian of some sort and not a macro. I'm hoping I can find another specimen someday.

 

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And lastly, I misbehaved and brought back large leaved macro. What made me collect this one is that the edges are blue!! Doesn't show up well in photos, but it does with a flash. I dropped this one into the abyss where hopefully the light isn't too harsh.

 

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A large amount of wildlife decided to hitch there way into my tank, including two 'large' snails. I have no idea what they eat, but the one spent the better part of two days on the sponge. They are also ridiculously fast for snails. Time will tell if they get the boot.

 

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I also felt that the tank would benefit from additional nutrients with all these macros in it, and gave it a dose of reef roids. A few days in, and the tank appears to happy. No massive die off from the new macros and all the feather dusters are out all the time.

 

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Ratvan

They all look amazing, there is something so special about collecting your own tank life 

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Wonderboy

Wow this is so cool! That large leaf variety is too cool, worth the try - I wish I had some beach near me, I'm about ready to drive a state over lol

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Wendy

Looks fantastic! Love the variety of macro you collected this time & that red sponge is lovely.

Hope everything settles & remains happy!

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Tempestas

Good morning.

 

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Sunrise over the bay.

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seabass

Very artsy.  Looks great.

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Tempestas
On 5/1/2019 at 1:15 PM, seabass said:

Very artsy.  Looks great.

Thanks!

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Tigahboy

Very nice.  Sunrise tank shots are the best.

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Tempestas

So, I need to ask for some advice from the more seasoned reefers out there.

 

This may just be post-night-shift delirium, but I've been thinking a lot about the future of this tank today. This is mainly because I've come to the decision to quit my current job in the middle of July. Unfortunately with this, there is going to be a move to another city. Where that will be, I don't know yet, and will mainly be determined if and where I can find another job.

 

Should I not find a newer better job, I'm most likely going to have to go back to my old job, which entails working overseas on a ship and living with my parents when I have shore leave. Needless to say, the parents will 100% not be willing to look after an aquarium, no matter the size or simplicity of maintenance.

 

When I was planning this tank, the goal was to have it filled with a rainbow of simple-to-grow corals, mainly zoas and acans; hence the lighting setup. Having a macro tank was never even considered, hence my bumbling around in trying to keep them alive. When I picked those initial macro up from the tidepools, it was mainly because I just wanted something to look at in my bowl, and it seemed a perfect way of nutrient control. I just happened to get greedy and pick up copious amounts of macro and then dumped them in and hoped that they would survive.

 

And in all this time, I've been searching and searching and searching the LFS's for corals that would work in this tank. Unfortunately the ones I would have liked to have bought are part of bigger specimens that the owners are not willing to frag. Additionally in all this time nothing new has arrived. When I spoke to the owners about it, they said that due to customs, they're not expecting any coral deliveries in the next 2 to 3 months.

 

And so this is my dilemma that I am facing - what do I stock this tank with?

 

If I go for macros, all of them would have to be wild collected (as none of the LFS's stock any) and it's pretty much a guessing game on how to get them to grow properly. And then I would need to actually invest in test kits and nutrient dosing, which is too much of a chore to me - I don't love macros that much that I'd be willing to invest that amount of time and effort into that. And also a macro only tank, in my opinion, would look too boring. There would have to be something to break up the monotony.

 

On the other hand, I could chance it with a couple of hair algae ridden frags, and try to fluconazole exterminate them, which means basically resetting the entire system and tossing out all the macro. The way I see it, that's just creating a problem that could be avoided completely in the first place. And somehow I don't want to spend the few months I'm going to have with my tank battling an algae infestation. One thing I have learnt from reading all these pico journals is the importance of being super selective in what you allow to enter your system to prevent major problems down the line.

 

There are many days when I wish I lived in the USA where you can order decent healthy corals from reputable online vendors and build your tank like you envisioned it, instead of this rotten luck-of-the-draw that I have to contend with, which is really depressing considering the calibre of tanks that you see on this forum.

 

All of that being said, I do not intend to take down this tank until I absolutely need to. Even just tinkering around with it brings some joy to my day. As for the future of the tank past July, I've decided to cross that bridge when I come to it. There's just too many variables to consider right now.

 

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debbeach13

Dam all this time I've been thinking What a cute tank. So exciting to stock it without a store. Absolutely a piece of the  ocean. 

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Wendy

If you want to stick with the macros & not worry about dozing "fertilizer" then just add some creatures & a little fishy.

That'll feed the macros (;

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Lula_Mae

Neat little bowl! I've had trouble before with macros in new tanks. I think they just need a little more nutrient input.

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Tempestas

Time for another long winded update!

 

A lot has happened to the pico in the last few weeks, but with life being relatively crazy I haven't had much of a chance to post a decent update.

 

During this time, most of the wild collected macro had continued to deteriorate, to the extend where most of them began to desintegrate and I had to remove them. Additionally the beautiful red sponge has continued to shrink, but is still in the tank because it looks like the shrinkage is slower day by day. It may just pull through.

 

Additionally, on the 4th of May, I received a message from one of the LFS's that they had just gotten corals in stock😱

 

So dutifully on the 6th I made my way there. Turns out that they'd received stock from someone local who had fragged his corals. And so I walked away with 4 corals;  a Purple Milka Stylo for R200 ($14), a Green Slimer Acro for R220 ($15), a free chip of a red encrusting monti, and a random LPS drifting along on the sandbed for R30 ($2). The owner said that it's a Favia but I'm not entirely convinced, but I could be wrong, especially because there's only one polyp. Additionally, he threw in a whole pile of green macro for free. Yay!!

 

I got home and performed a 100% water change, and then dipped all the corals. Unfortunately the LPS blob had some hair algae, so I took the turkey baster cleaning brush to it, and then liberally applied lots of peroxide to the skeleton. I suspect I was a little overzealous with the brushing, as the coral exhibited noticeable recession of its edges afterwards. Thereafter everything got placed in the tank, and the stylo was almost fully open within 5 mins. The acro was open the next day.

 

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The mystery LPS was another matter, a few hours after being in the tank, I noticed the central portion starting to swell and get bigger and bigger. I was severely worried that I hadn't allowed the peroxide to soak out for long enough, and then the oxygen bubble was tracking through the skeleton and separating the coral from the skeleton.

 

After some research I decided to leave it alone, and during the night I caught the coral burbing out bubbles. I could still see bubbles trapped in it for the next few days, but this seems to have resolved completely. Seems like it was an issue with gas distribution due to changing the orientation of the frag.

 

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I will admit that I hate the massive pink frag plugs. Also, who glues frags with hot glue??

 

 

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Tempestas

During this time I also found a fascinating new hitchhiker. See if you can find it:

 

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A better shot when I caught it traversing the glass:

 

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And a shot of one of my snails. I suspect it belongs to the Turbo species. Still haven't figured out what it eats.

 

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Tempestas

And so life was good. I fed the bowl with a dose of Reef Roids and the sps seemed happy, with massive polyp extension on the stylo.

 

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However, Monday came around and it was time for the weekly water change. That's when I noticed that the base of the acro had started to bleach and recess. Initially I thought it might have been a thermal injury from the hot glue, but when I compared it to my initial photos of the stylo, it was definitely dying. I decided to give the frags a second dip for what it was worth - (Polyplabs Reef Primer is advertised to treat RTN) and watch it. Sadly I had an exhausting day at work as was not up to doing anything. On wednesday, there was definitely a change, with further necrosis. Further, there was loss of colour at the tip, which to me looked either like a nutrient or lighting problem. It was a blurry decrease in colour vs a sharp line.

 

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Therefore I decided to frag my first coral ever. At least it would give me the chance to get rid of the ugly pink frag plug that didn't sit nicely in my rockwork. I made my own little plugs from epoxy putty and a rock, and it was surprisingly easy to cut the coral with a pair of wire cutters. I only messed up by cutting it at an angle, which made gluing it a bit tricky, but with the final position in mind, it would allow the frag to have most of its polyps facing upwards. I let the frag sit for a while in a yogurt tub to get rid of the worst of the slime, and then re-introduced it back.

 

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I also did a 20% water change during this time for what it was worth.

 

However, come this afternoon, I looked carefully and there is some new bleaching at the base. Additionally, there are now small spots of white over the top portion, with a polyp missing completely. What confuses me is that the polyps were all extended nicely this afternoon. I'm not too sure what to do beside wait to see what happens.

 

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The stylo is also acting up a bit, not wanting to extend its polyps as much as last week. During the daylight hours, it appears normal, but at night, the polyps are mostly retracted. Except for some of the lower ones with are crazy long, and wandering around, almost like they're looking for food. I can't seem to find anything about polyps overextending themselves in coral.

 

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And lastly I suspect that the monti may be dead. In the space of 3 days, it seems to have lost all its red colour and there's no polyps to be seen. However, it's not a bleached out white colour, but rather a sad beige, so I'll leave it in the tank for now. You can see it just behind the acro in the pics above.

 

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seabass

Wow! You've been busy.  Ambitious stocking.  I can't recall, do you have the lighting and flow suitable for SPS?

 

Nudibranchs are almost always coral predators; or if you are "lucky", they have a selective diet and will starve.

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Tempestas

I'm using the ABI 12w Tuna Blue, and I've seem plenty of people grow SPS using it. Worst case scenario, I hang the light lower down.

 

As for flow, I'm just using an airstone, but the flow has been turned down to about 40% of what the airpump can manage. I tried turning it up a bit and everything in the bowl went flying around and the corals closed up nice and tight. The acro started sliming to show just how much it didn't like it.

 

I don't think this nudi is going to pose too much of a threat. Given its size it definitely came from my macro expeditions, and this bay only has soft corals. Plus given how much it has been wandering lately I would have thought it would have found my corals by now. 

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Tempestas

Today was water change day, and I managed to make a couple of interesting observations whilst staring at the tank during breakfast.

 

The nudi is definitely not a threat to the corals. It basically slid right past them without even turning to them. It does however seem to eat macros. The red macro in the front of the bowl had some of its tips stripped whilst I was watching it, and the nudi also went wandering around and stopped at all the red macro. Given that it is red and was hiding on a red macro, I suspect that it eats red macro, but because it's not even attempting to camouflage itself I think it needs more food. So I'm going to have to make a trip to the beach this week to get it some food.

 

Unfortunately the acro continues to slowly necrose at it's base. Polyp extension is getting poorer, but I do hope that the water change might help with that.

 

I HAVE JELLIES!!

 

Yep, found dozens or them swimming around the tank this morning. I suspect that they like reef-roids as well. I spotted a solitary one that had landed on top of a hot glue patch a week ago, but I thought it had disappeared. Turns out it was waiting for its friends. I have potato phone photos that I'll try to upload later.

 

I also spotted a tiny white nudibranch on the glass, the type that look like they might eat coral. Whilst watching it, I saw it try to eat a jelly. Seems like the jelly fought back and killed it though, but it got removed during the water change. Just going to have to watch out for more I guess.

 

And lastly I think that there was something off in the last batch of seawater that I used, given how badly things went after the previous water change. Maybe a lack of something or some contaminant, who knows? Hopefully this new batch will set things right.

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Tempestas

Pics of the jellyfish and second nudi as promised:

 

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Tempestas

I feel a bit guilty. Walked into the LFS for seawater on Tuesday and then walked out with two more frags.🤦‍♂️ A turquoise green stylo (R220 -$15) and a green and purple ?monti digita. (R240 - $16,30) They also came from the grower with the ugly pink frag plugs, so they got refragged onto much smaller rocks. For the most part they appear happy, but  photographing them is really difficult.

 

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Tempestas

I also went to the beach to pick up some red macro for the nudi. When I dropped it in, it made a beeline for the the clump and has been hiding in it ever since. I also was naughty and picked up some other pretty macros which will hopefully survive. Somehow I feel I should change the name to the Macro Hunger Games Pico, given how many macros have been tossed into the tank and not survived.

 

Also, as payment for my sins, I found two hitchhiker urchins wandering around the tank last night. I was just too tired to take a pic. They've gone into hiding this morning.

 

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Tempestas

Lastly, the acro continues to bleach from the base up. I've moved it to the apex of the rock where flow should be the highest, but that hasn't seemed to have stopped it. On the most part, the polyps open up decently at night, so I'm not sure what to do further short of placing the airstone directly underneath it.

 

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seabass
1 hour ago, Tempestas said:

I found two hitchhiker urchins wandering around the tank last night.

Wow!  How big are they?

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Tempestas
7 hours ago, seabass said:

Wow!  How big are they?

Just spotted the smaller one again. It's about 1cm in diameter. The second one is bigger at about 2cm in diameter.

 

The bigger one may need to be liberated back into the ocean as the ?favia was severely retracted this morning and one macro had been pushed off into the abyss.

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