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Neb

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Neb

Hey, I am currently cycling my fluval evo 13.5 and will be using this to keep a record of my failures and share with the rest of the world. Every mistake is a valuable lesson for someone else.

tank fluval evo 13.5 with stock light and skimmer

live pink sand because it had to be pink and no other colour satisfied me. It’s not pink. It’s... some other colour. But it’s live, so it’s good, yes?

dry rock

Day 1:

bought everything. It wasn’t cheap. Local fish store said I should not wash and scrub the organic matter off the dry rock... I didn’t, and regretted it. Set up the rodi unit the wrong way and flooded the kitchen. System had no clear instruction, it seems they couldn’t be asked to add detailed explanation. 3 hours later I get 2 drops at a time as pure water and a litre per 10 sec as waste... Thank god my water rates are included in the rent LOL. I have a few extra pieces for the rodi system... I should prolly google what these are for.. Oh, one restricts the waste, while increasing pressure. Water runs nice and fast at 50 bars. All is good, 2ppm TDS read, I’m happy.

Day 2: I decided I will clean the dry rock that’s not dry anymore and very very wet instead. Take it off in a bucket and the scrubbing begins. 30 min later I decide the bigger bits are gone and the small particles will be consumed during the cycle. Put rock back, abandon the positioning as tank is too cloudy to see anything, throw quarter of a prawn and go to bed.

day 3: ignore tank.

 

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Neb

Day 5: I decided I have ammonia in my tank on day 4 and today I took a photo.. It’s green.. If it looks green and feels green, it has to be green.. Or could it be blue and yellow combined? Universe is a cruel place to live in.

I am using my freshwater master kit. I wonder if it’s still considered a “master” kit if I use it for a saltwater setup?!? I’m going to Maidenhead aquatics tomorrow. I must have a MASTER kit. I can not settle with false masteries. I had to have a TRUE Siamese algae eater back in the freshwater aquarium days (technically that was till 4th of April), so I MUST have a TRUE saltwater MASTER test kit.

I have read that other people’s  prawns look puffy within 3 days and mine is still holding shape to date.. Not happy, it has to get puffy or disciplinary actions will be taken. Maybe if I squish it? I increased tank temp to 26, touching a rotting corpse is reserved for autopsy staff at hospitals or wherever they do it.

Pits half past eleven, I’m still in gym clothes. Must put dirty uniform, I’m working in 20. 

 

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WV Reefer
1 hour ago, Neb said:

Day 5: I decided I have ammonia in my tank on day 4 and today I took a photo.. It’s green.. If it looks green and feels green, it has to be green.. Or could it be blue and yellow combined? Universe is a cruel place to live in.

I am using my freshwater master kit. I wonder if it’s still considered a “master” kit if I use it for a saltwater setup?!? I’m going to Maidenhead aquatics tomorrow. I must have a MASTER kit. I can not settle with false masteries. I had to have a TRUE Siamese algae eater back in the freshwater aquarium days (technically that was till 4th of April), so I MUST have a TRUE saltwater MASTER test kit.

I have read that other people’s  prawns look puffy within 3 days and mine is still holding shape to date.. Not happy, it has to get puffy or disciplinary actions will be taken. Maybe if I squish it? I increased tank temp to 26, touching a rotting corpse is reserved for autopsy staff at hospitals or wherever they do it.

Pits half past eleven, I’m still in gym clothes. Must put dirty uniform, I’m working in 20. 

 

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Welcome to NR! 

I think it looks good so far. 😊 

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Neb
9 hours ago, WV Reefer said:

Welcome to NR! 

I think it looks good so far. 😊 

They all do in the beginning lol. Thank you 😃

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WV Reefer
6 minutes ago, Neb said:

They all do in the beginning lol. Thank you 😃

Actually they don’t, and some never do. 😄

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Neb

End of day 5:

I think I should start using the actual calendar date, else I get confused. 

My parcel from S**llUK has arrived. The wave maker seems fancy but has no suction cup and a magnet instead. Now I have to remove the hood which is a pain in the b. Have the phosphate removing chemical. I will have to study how to use it, the mighty online says I should be very careful with these. I’ve never lost a freshwater fish, I don’t want to lose a saltwater one either. £1 or £100 makes little difference. It’s a living creature and it never asked to be enslaved. Care must be taken. 

Reef test kit phosphate pro is here too. Not that I’m not a pro, but what’s all that for???? Vial A, vial B, charts. I had an alchemy frost mage in wow back in the day, I’ll be fine.

I have noticed I have become very patient with the hobby. When I started the first freshwater, I grabbed black phantom tetras, a TRUE (!!!!) Siamese algae eater and six pentazona barbs day 1. I loved the little buggers, how funny they were when there was a blanched cucumber. They all lived long happy lives. II Now I feel like my brain has matured. There are only patience and lust for knowledge inside me. Hashtag pride.

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FISHnChix
13 minutes ago, Neb said:

had an alchemy frost mage in wow back in the day, I’ll be fine.

Solid reasoning... I like your style... I’ll be following along.. Happy Reefing and welcome to nano reef..

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billygoat

These posts are great! Please keep 'em comin' 😁

 

Looks like a Jebao wavemaker you've got there. Seems to be a pretty good pump; I know some reefers here even prefer them over more expensive options like the MP10. Let us know how you like it!

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Neb
12 hours ago, billygoat said:

These posts are great! Please keep 'em comin' 😁

 

Looks like a Jebao wavemaker you've got there. Seems to be a pretty good pump; I know some reefers here even prefer them over more expensive options like the MP10. Let us know how you like it!

It is a Jebao Sw2 indeed. It seems decent at creating water movement. Seems lol

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Neb

Wednesday, April 10th:

Just returned from the fish store. Got marine pellets as a replacement for the raw prawn that disintegrated the second I turned the wave maker on. Its remains will freeswim, feeding more of the precious Colombo bottled bacteria I so generously splashed the other day.

I watched several YouTube videos on how to position the wave maker for best results - video 1 suggested it should face upwards towards the surface to help remove toxic gasses from the water. Should also not face the rock work as some corals do not appreciate strong flow. Video 2 suggested it should face the rock work, to help reduce debris buildup around corals and for a more chaotic flow.. I went searching for answers, now that I got them I have even more questions.. First one in mind - what the???!? I might have to move rocks a bit as I don't want shrimp antennae surgery station there. Might readjust the flow more to the centre as well. 

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Bought marine ammonia, nitrite and nitrate test kits. They smell awful. But my nitrite is no longer zero. How cool 😎 

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Even cooler - can't upload images "you did not select any file, contact us for assistance". Can't brag with my 1 megapixel camera anymore 😭

Edit: works on iPad

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bomerst

No right answer when it comes to power head placement, because everyone's tank is different and what works for one may not work for another. Your goal is good water movement everywhere in the tank.  You don't want to blow your sand around, obviously.  In our tanks sometimes shooting the power-head up like that leave some surface skum trapped on the far side of the tank, so you need to keep that in mind too.  Its pretty hard to screw up powerhead placement however, as long as it is our of reach of stray shrimp you can move it around to your hearts content till you find something that works for you.

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Neb

Thursday, April 11th:

Today I have tested for phosphate. 0.03 doesn’t sound too bad in my book. 80BD0A66-E1BB-406E-A630-66B3D476DFCB.jpeg.3dd36d3f48e97542a80e158d9a75194f.jpegThe organic matter aka macro algae that is on the rocks is slowly rotting. 

Today is also the day I have decided I am not selling my old aquarium stand and instead will be using it for this tank. Had to take water off in buckets, take rocks out, move it and at this point I could not recreate the magnificent work of art I had before. 

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Might have to move it the other way around as I won’t be able to see as I walk through the door. Can not be too stressed at this point

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The small rocks are for the summoning ritual my hermit crabs will be performing. When the ritual finishes a giant mantis shrimp will emerge from the depths of the sandbed. The rocks will keep it bound to this very location.

I also need to add an extra few pieces of rock on top of the existing as it now looks a bit... shallow.

While the water was out of the tank, I seized the initiative and glued a suction cup to that stupid hole in chamber 2. I have noticed it reduces the effectiveness of the skimmer on the few occasions I turned it on. Of course I will google AFTER the damage is done. Or maybe I won’t - if I don’t know it’s bad, it’s good!

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Splashed some more bacteria. Although the whole exercise took about half an hour and the rocks were exposed to the real world for no longer than 5 minutes in total, I fear I might have caused small damage to my ever growing population of mega-bacteria. There is a lot of fish food in the tank, so there is plenty for everyone. My mother instincts urge me to grab the siphon and clean up, but reality is disintegrating the very essence of the idea like an event horizon. It needs to be dirty! Just a little longer!!!

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billygoat

Things seem to be moving at a nice clip. I liked your old rockscape quite a bit, but +1 for the mantis cult warlock circle.

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Neb

Saturday, April 13:

I have decided to turn the tank the other way around and guess what - rocks looked awful from behind. A bit of moving around has head to this:

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The forces of evil have since rebuilt the ritual stones

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Planning to getting 2kg rock to add a lower layer on the left. Will probably need just a kilo, but one never knows what shape they might decide to go for. So far I feel very happy with its initial look. It has the cave formation and soon it will have a separated low layer at the front right and far left for green star polyps. 

Trying to move the wave maker around - I hate the magnet. 

And I hate the tank hood - cheaply made, awful design. Already planning on adding an acrylic hood with a hang on light unit. Now I know why people appraise the tank for being so customisable.. Because they HAD to customise it for it to be even remotely good. I am complaining too much today. 

I should probably stop looking for reasons to dip my hands in brine. I’m only damaging the fragile bio structure. 

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Ammonia is still floating around the 1mg/l and I worry I have already damaged the bacteria colony.. or maybe there’s too much detritus that is being consumed? Will be closely observed.

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nitrite spike observed. From around 0.40 mg/l It has skyrocketed to over 2. The chart only has 2 mg/l and the pink colour is so intense, it’s clearly over. Stuff is happening in there.. I can smell it, I’m tellin’ ya. 

I’m now dosing 5 ml marine bacteria every other day (or twice a day, if I’ve forgotten whether I have added or not).

Nano reef inhabitants search is going nowhere. I know I’m getting a cleaner shrimp, blue neon goby and two hermit crabs. Now at the same time. Blue neon goby would be the last one to enter. I don’t want a damsel and I don’t want a clownfish. Kind of really wanted a royal gramma, but reading they require 30g+ and are very shy. Chromies seem cute. 

 

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Neb

Monday, April 15th:

I have decided to do a 12.5 ltr water change, and clean up my media as pump seemed clogged and noisy. It was. Removed the sponge for cleaning and it was simply gross. Ordered chamber 2 replacement for it. Delivery in 4-5 weeks. Infuriating! While I was on the website I couldn’t stop myself and ordered filter media gems with two football fields inhabitable area. I don’t know who is going to live in it, but I’m stuck with the cardboard box for now. It was advertised on rightmove as “spacious”... I’ve managed to dial the skimmer. It actually skims now? I was beginning to think its only purpose is to flood the room.

What else happened since I last posted? Ah, yes - Lisa declared war on humanity and a peace treaty within 30 minutes of raising the pirate flag. 

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pricewayne

This journal gave me the BEST laughs. “If I don’t know it’s bad, it’s good!” - I died. Love the summoning ritual stones. And kudos for obtaining a legendary MASTER kit.

 

May consider pulling the skimmer altogether from the system — lots of folks abandon them for the nano tanks since you’ll be able to export a much larger proportion during weekly water changes.

 

Lots of folks also ditch the sponge media and replace with poly fill (much cheaper and easier to locate). No special kind needed, just be sure it’s 100% poly fill. I bought a big bag from amazon and replace it every 2-4 days depending on how dirty it gets. I’m not a seasoned reefer by any means, but lots will confirm the sponges can cause issues — start to seep phosphates and nitrates back into your system.

 

I’m legitimately excited to follow along on this journal.

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billygoat
15 hours ago, pricewayne said:

This journal gave me the BEST laughs. “If I don’t know it’s bad, it’s good!” - I died. Love the summoning ritual stones. And kudos for obtaining a legendary MASTER kit.

+1 to this; I love reading this thread. These updates are hilarious, and I am also very interested to see what kind of livestock is available to hobbyists overseas. Maybe something cool and unusual that we don't have access to in the states will show up in there!

 

On 4/13/2019 at 5:57 AM, Neb said:

Kind of really wanted a royal gramma, but reading they require 30g+ and are very shy. Chromies seem cute.

I think you could keep a Royal Gramma in here with no trouble, as I've seen them do fine in tanks as small as 10g. The thing with Grammas is that they require a large rock structure with a lot of caves and overhangs to hang out in, but your rockwork has a lot of that going on so it might end up being fine. I'd be more leery about going for some Chromis, as they are schooling fish that seem to do better in groups.

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Jeff Hood

I don’t think your reading your phosphate test correctly.  I’m seeing 0.12 as your number.   

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Neb
16 hours ago, Jeff Hood said:

I don’t think your reading your phosphate test correctly.  I’m seeing 0.12 as your number.   

Nah, 0.12 is the number behind the control vial that has nothing but water in it. If yoou take a very close look you'll see that 0.12 is a nearly white colour 😜

 

On 4/16/2019 at 12:02 AM, pricewayne said:

May consider pulling the skimmer altogether from the system — lots of folks abandon them for the nano tanks since you’ll be able to export a much larger proportion during weekly water changes.

 

Lots of folks also ditch the sponge media and replace with poly fill (much cheaper and easier to locate). No special kind needed, just be sure it’s 100% poly fill. I bought a big bag from amazon and replace it every 2-4 days depending on how dirty it gets. I’m not a seasoned reefer by any means, but lots will confirm the sponges can cause issues — start to seep phosphates and nitrates back into your system.

I actually like the skimmer. Had it on for the whole day to learn how to use it and it does pull some serious proper toilet brown out. The sponge is staying for at least 3 more weeks till chamber 2 arrives. It's a good bacteria breeding house and I need that for the cycle. Once done I will throw it on someone's head out the window 😈 

 

16 hours ago, billygoat said:

+1 to this; I love reading this thread. These updates are hilarious, and I am also very interested to see what kind of livestock is available to hobbyists overseas. Maybe something cool and unusual that we don't have access to in the states will show up in there!

 

I think you could keep a Royal Gramma in here with no trouble, as I've seen them do fine in tanks as small as 10g. The thing with Grammas is that they require a large rock structure with a lot of caves and overhangs to hang out in, but your rockwork has a lot of that going on so it might end up being fine. I'd be more leery about going for some Chromis, as they are schooling fish that seem to do better in groups.

You will be unpleasantly surprised. Especially here around Hunstanton Norfolk, the only store within sensible range is Maidenhead Aquatics and they have such a poor range. Both fish and corals. And the corals tank looks abandoned. People in the UK are I general poor and in debt, this expensive hobby is simply not a match for the £1 guppies. 

And thank you all for the kind words. I'll update tomorrow. Have a few sinister ideas I plan on executing. 

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Neb

I know I promised an update tomorrow, but people lie - get over it!

I have decided to run a few pre-supermarket tests and posting the results:

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I am also thrilled to announce I have used the nitrate chart instead of nitrite. Embarrassing oneself has never been easier with this internet thing everyone is talking about. Lesson learned!

Ammonia - between 0.0 and 0.25. I say 0.143371. ROUGHLY;

nitrite 0.75 (after consulting with proper chart) and hopefully dropping;

nitrates - was it 40?!? It’s on its way down the pipes now;

me - over 9000!

This piece of heaven is officially inhabitable. Intend on waiting for another 2 weeks and closely monitor parameters. Or maybe I will do a 25L water change tomorrow and check if bacteria can handle n00bness with a generous “wooops” of fish food. The football fields are arriving tomorrow so that will need seeding too. 

THIS ESTABLISHMENT WILL THRIVE!

 

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Neb

#include <studio.h>

void main ()

{

printf (“Hello Nano-Reef community!\n”);;

}

Busy-busy day today. For whoever is working of course, not for me - I have a day off.

My football field arrived today. I have decided to cut the sponge, remove the lowest layer, squish the field to the bottom and return what’s left of the sponge

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I went to the store and picked up a few pieces of rock, some putty or something and a very nice looking coral stand that doesn’t really fit quite yet, but I’m sure once I get a coralline Ebola outbreak things will change.

 Boiled the rocks for about 30 minutes. After that I read you shouldn’t be doing that. Was too late. Took the famous toothbrush and scrubbed some. If it turns out it was bad, I’ll know for next time.

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Went home, read the instructions and like a good boy followed step by step. Three hours later my masterpiece was ready, epoxy was hard, everything nice and ready to submerge. Had to remove two pieces of rock that will be carefully broken down and added to the main piece. “Like the Notre Dame cathedral” I said to myself. And just like the Notre Dame cathedral the whole thing started falling apart.

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I took the not so masterpiece out, let it dry, meanwhile stepping on the piece that fell. Yes, I screamed. No, not just pain.

at this point the whole project was completely destroyed so I had two options:

1: Flytip;

2: Gather random rubble and give the epoxy a second and last change (mostly because I only had ever so little left).

This is now my final piece. Meet Devil’s claw:

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The far left “finger” has an actual claw that I, unfortunately, can’t take a proper photo of.

Many mistakes and very few corrections today. The joys of life...

Will update soon. 

 

A few photos that didn’t quite make it to the final version:

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pricewayne
1 hour ago, Neb said:

#include <studio.h>

void main ()

{

printf (“Hello Nano-Reef community!\n”);;

}

Busy-busy day today. For whoever is working of course, not for me - I have a day off.

My football field arrived today. I have decided to cut the sponge, remove the lowest layer, squish the field to the bottom and return what’s left of the sponge

4EBE88EC-251B-417A-A00E-3FF5C374079E.jpeg.a0736a23e053ee7d9bb03223a1cf79ba.jpeg5DA7291B-9B3C-4B4B-8834-0DBF0D1A57B0.jpeg.89a36d8fe5c1bf9e3b7f3910c0bea7b3.jpeg

I went to the store and picked up a few pieces of rock, some putty or something and a very nice looking coral stand that doesn’t really fit quite yet, but I’m sure once I get a coralline Ebola outbreak things will change.

 Boiled the rocks for about 30 minutes. After that I read you shouldn’t be doing that. Was too late. Took the famous toothbrush and scrubbed some. If it turns out it was bad, I’ll know for next time.

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Went home, read the instructions and like a good boy followed step by step. Three hours later my masterpiece was ready, epoxy was hard, everything nice and ready to submerge. Had to remove two pieces of rock that will be carefully broken down and added to the main piece. “Like the Notre Dame cathedral” I said to myself. And just like the Notre Dame cathedral the whole thing started falling apart.

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I took the not so masterpiece out, let it dry, meanwhile stepping on the piece that fell. Yes, I screamed. No, not just pain.

at this point the whole project was completely destroyed so I had two options:

1: Flytip;

2: Gather random rubble and give the epoxy a second and last change (mostly because I only had ever so little left).

This is now my final piece. Meet Devil’s claw:

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The far left “finger” has an actual claw that I, unfortunately, can’t take a proper photo of.

Many mistakes and very few corrections today. The joys of life...

Will update soon. 

 

A few photos that didn’t quite make it to the final version:

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I like what you landed with!! I’ve tried some epoxy molding and it’s sooooo frustrating. If it starts to Norte Dame again, can try using plastic zip ties and/or rubber bands looped around tightened to hold rock in place while the epoxy sets/bonds.

 

Can also use super glue — especially for smaller/light weight rubble bonding. Soooooo much easier so long as the rock isn’t too heavy and falls before it bonds. I’ve done a couple small tweaks using both epoxy and super glue that works great — super glue helps to hold the seal while the epoxy bonds more long term.

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Neb
2 hours ago, pricewayne said:

I like what you landed with!! I’ve tried some epoxy molding and it’s sooooo frustrating. If it starts to Norte Dame again, can try using plastic zip ties and/or rubber bands looped around tightened to hold rock in place while the epoxy sets/bonds.

 

Can also use super glue — especially for smaller/light weight rubble bonding. Soooooo much easier so long as the rock isn’t too heavy and falls before it bonds. I’ve done a couple small tweaks using both epoxy and super glue that works great — super glue helps to hold the seal while the epoxy bonds more long term.

I just put it in, if it collapses again - glue it is. 

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Neb

Wednesday, April 24th:

I have been closely observing the water chemistry for the past four days with very frequent ammonia and nitrite tests. It dropped to zero for both and I decided that I have accumulated enough knowledge to add my first fish.

Went to the lfs and packed myself with Seachem prime and stability. I have read online ammonia spikes slightly after introducing first two fish. Had to be ready. Which fish should I add?

Damsels? No, they’re aggressive. Clownfish? I mean, people use them to cycle a tank and they survive. Maybe as a last fish. FIREFISH. “ Do you have a purple firefish?” “ We can order you some, it will be ready to take in three weeks” “No I’ll take the normal firefish. Are they fine as first fish?” “ Not recommended as you won’t see it for about a week till it feels safe. During that time most of them don’t even eat” “No I will have it” “I will take a green star polyp too. Oh yeah and a blue leg hermit crablord” “alright” 

Asked for a bit of coralline algae too. And a few shells for the crablord.

Equipped with all that and high quality marine flakes I returned home. 

TWOO HOURS LATER

 

Fish was acclimated, upon entering the tank instantly found the worst hole in the rock to hide in. The one I can’t reach with my eyes. “Fine” I said “Six days and 23 hours” and you’ll be out of there for your first feeding.

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Turned skimmer off, added prime and the recommended dose of stability. Took the green star polyp rock out and quickly glued the star polyp to it. Just in the middle, once it settles I will glue the rest. Now, even in the store the thing looked horrible and it was more of a saving mission rather than an actual purchase but here you go - having a soul is not always a good thing. It was really dirty too.

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Now mistake was made - I took a turkey baster and squirted at it while in the tank. A cloud of dirt, space dust and algae expanded like a nuclear blast everywhere. The crablord, who found the no water circulation under the wave maker heaven spot, silently screamed out of joy.

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Decided I will do the rest of the squirting once the polyp recovers. Whatever it is recovering from, as there were only a few tentacles out in the store. spacer.pngPolyp is currently fully closed.

 

3:54, right before I left for work fish appeared for a brief second, looked at me and darted back into the hole. “Awwww, it loves me”

 

This morning I equipped myself with a piece of fish flake and all the patience in the world, approached the tank and added the food. Wavemaker was off! And something happened! The food started swimming around. Isn’t that fascinating?!

No, this isn’t what happened. As soon as first particle neared the hole, a tiny yellow face peeked out.. Almost like a meerkat, it showed its purple eyes to observe what that could have been. And then it swallowed it. And realised “rainy with a chance of meatballs” is not just a cartoon. IT IS HAPPENING. Well fed and happy it froze in the middle of the tank until I went to the kitchen when it darted back in.

for the past 30 min while I was chatting with mom and typing this it has been like this:

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Not really exploring or doing anything. Just.... standing there..

or there

I have noticed the crab on the polyp last night and this morning it seems different:

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Good boy Daniel!

I have reduced the wavemaker to low and it seems little fella decided he wants to see more.

Ammonia and nitrites are still on zero. Will be closely observing.

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pricewayne

😂🤣

Love the firefish! Have you named it or the crablord? Or is the crablord actually The Crablord?

 

Should grab some more clean up crew! Hermits are really effective. Emerald crabs. Trochus snails/turbo snails (i’d stick to one turbo - they poop a lot), nassarius snails have been my favorite so far — they’re small, stuck to the sand bed and are great at smacking any leftover food from feedings and bury themselves in the sand with a little tube sensor poked out waiting to smell food. But yeah, as algae and/or diatoms start to break out — you’ll want a crew, or group of worshippers, on the job.

 

Can’t wait for an update.

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