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melson

Hey everyone!

 

The time has finally come (some peer pressure was involved haha) and I'm ready to show off my tank! 

 

I upgraded recently from a Cadlights 8G to a Cobalt C-Vue 26g, transferring everything to the bigger tank.  This is my first biotope however I'm pretty proud of how it's coming along.  I've seen a lot of Caribbean biotopes lately and noticed a lot of interest in them. I'd like to clarify though I have had a Caribbean biotope in my home since late 2017! 🙂

 

Here is a FTS of my old 8G (since has been transferred and taken down): 

 

8G - FTS March 2018:

20180306_114822_zpsfw1hjme0.jpg

 

Now here are pictures of my current 26G tank:

 

26G - FTS April 2019:

20190414_192339_zps48cjjmqz.jpg

 

26G - Left Side:

20190414_144012_zpsqggxotmq.jpg

 

26G - Right Side:

20190414_144040_zpsx73w4xqw.jpg

 

Bonus macro shot of my Jawfish and neon Ricordea:

20190414_124543_zpswf2n0koa.jpg

 

-EQUIPMENT-

Tank:

AIO Cobalt C-Vue 26G

Custom black stand

 

Lighting/Heating:

Single AI Prime HD

Cobalt 75W Heater

Inkbird ITC-306T temp controller

 

Filtration:

Intank Media Basket with filter floss, Chemipure Blue and Purigen

Cobalt filter sock

DIY Chaeto Reactor

 

Flow/ATO:

Icecap Gyre 1k

Cobalt pump

AquaSmart Micro ATO

 

-LIVESTOCK-

Fish:

Chalk Bass - Serranus Tortugarum

Yellowhead Jawfish - Opistognathus aurifrons

Neon Goby x2 (Non-mated pair) - Elacatinus oceanops

 

Inverts:

Blue Leg Hermit x5 - Clibanarius tricolor 

Porcelain Crab x2 - Petrolisthes galathinus

One lone Cerith Snail - Cerithiidae

 

Corals:

Gorgonian x6 (when viewing left to right):

Yellow Sea Feather -  Pseudopterogorgia sp

Purple Brush Gorgonian - Muriceopsis flavida

Knobby Sea Rod -  Eunicea sp

Rusty Gorgonian - Muricea elongate

Yellow Sea Whip - Pterogorgia citrina

Purple Sea Feather - Pseudopterogorgia sp

 

Rock Flower Anemone

Florida Ricordea x4

Various Caribbean Zoanthid species x4. 

Caulerpa in the display and Chaeto in my reactor. 

 

Big shout out to KPaquatics.com for always being top notch on livestock and being patient with my questions. I apologize for the bad photos I just got a reef phone filter lens and am still playing around with it. I will keep posting photos here as I have much more planned for the future!

 

 

 

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WV Reefer
10 minutes ago, melson said:

Hey everyone!

 

The time has finally come (some peer pressure was involved haha) and I'm ready to show off my tank! 

 

I upgraded recently from a Cadlights 8G to a Cobalt C-Vue 26g, transferring everything to the bigger tank.  This is my first biotope however I'm pretty proud of how it's coming along.  I've seen a lot of Caribbean biotopes lately and noticed a lot of interest in them. I'd like to clarify though I have had a Caribbean biotope in my home since late 2017! 🙂

 

Here is a FTS of my old 8G (since has been transferred and taken down): 

 

8G - FTS March 2018:

20180306_114822_zpsfw1hjme0.jpg

 

Now here are pictures of my current 26G tank:

 

26G - FTS April 2019:

20190414_192339_zps48cjjmqz.jpg

 

26G - Left Side:

20190414_144012_zpsqggxotmq.jpg

 

26G - Right Side:

20190414_144040_zpsx73w4xqw.jpg

 

Bonus macro shot of my Jawfish and neon Ricordea:

20190414_124543_zpswf2n0koa.jpg

 

-EQUIPMENT-

Tank:

AIO Cobalt C-Vue 26G

Custom black stand

 

Lighting/Heating:

Single AI Prime HD

Cobalt 75W Heater

Inkbird ITC-306T temp controller

 

Filtration:

Intank Media Basket with filter floss, Chemipure Blue and Purigen

Cobalt filter sock

DIY Chaeto Reactor

 

Flow/ATO:

Icecap Gyre 1k

Cobalt pump

AquaSmart Micro ATO

 

-LIVESTOCK-

Fish:

Chalk Bass - Serranus Tortugarum

Yellowhead Jawfish - Opistognathus aurifrons

Neon Goby x2 (Non-mated pair) - Elacatinus oceanops

 

Inverts:

Blue Leg Hermit x5 - Clibanarius tricolor 

Porcelain Crab x2 - Petrolisthes galathinus

One lone Cerith Snail - Cerithiidae

 

Corals:

Gorgonian x6 (when viewing left to right):

Yellow Sea Feather -  Pseudopterogorgia sp

Purple Brush Gorgonian - Muriceopsis flavida

Knobby Sea Rod -  Eunicea sp

Rusty Gorgonian - Muricea elongate

Yellow Sea Whip - Pterogorgia citrina

Purple Sea Feather - Pseudopterogorgia sp

 

Rock Flower Anemone

Florida Ricordea x4

Various Caribbean Zoanthid species x4. 

Caulerpa in the display and Chaeto in my reactor. 

 

Big shout out to KPaquatics.com for always being top notch on livestock and being patient with my questions. I apologize for the bad photos I just got a reef phone filter lens and am still playing around with it. I will keep posting photos here and as I have much more planned for the future!

 

 

 

 

I like it! 😀

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billygoat

Yes! I can't hit "like" enough times! 😁

 

Looking great, Melson! I love your large colonies of zoanthids; they are very beautiful. Did you get those big Palythoa-looking zoas from Kpaquatics as well?

 

Please post numerous pictures. 😄 You'd better believe I'll be following along!

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melson
51 minutes ago, billygoat said:

Yes! I can't hit "like" enough times! 😁

 

Looking great, Melson! I love your large colonies of zoanthids; they are very beautiful. Did you get those big Palythoa-looking zoas from Kpaquatics as well?

 

Please post numerous pictures. 😄 You'd better believe I'll be following along!

@billygoat I have you to thank for putting the pressure on me!!

 

Yup all of my zoas are from kpaquatics. I'll post some better pictures tomorrow when they're opened up looking nice! When I took the FTS above they werent all open yet.

 

And yes those big brown palys and the green zoas on top are on a rock of its own for a reason! They spread like wildfire!

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billygoat

You're very welcome! I'm so glad you made a journal, so you can teach me how to put a proper biotope together! 😄 I feel I have a lot to learn from what you've got going on.

 

I have some of what I think are the same green zoas, but I might have to get a few of those brown palys as well... I really like how big and open they look. Maybe I'll put a few on a side-rock somewhere, just to make sure they don't overgrow everything.

 

How long has it been since you made the move from the 8G over to the C-Vue?

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melson

@billygoat,

 

Yeah I just looked on your thread and you have the same green zoas in your biotope too! Heed my warning on them though 😂

 

I transferred to the C-Vue first week of Feb. As you can see coralline algae hasn't spread to the dry rock I put in making the coral glue I had to use look hideous. But glue was necessary when keeping a jawfish. I've learned that the hard way!

 

Here is one of my zoas in the front of the tank opened up. I'm not sure what the hairlike substance is around it that came with the frag. When I tried to pull it off it was stuck like hair on a scalp! Any thoughts?

zoa_zpstelo4954.jpg

 

I'm still unable to get a good photo of one of my zoa colonies, a more smaller deep green water zoa colony. I did harvest my chaeto for the first time. This is about a month and a half of growth filling the reactor about 90% full.

20190416_115303_zpsmlcomo8d.jpg

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billygoat
46 minutes ago, melson said:

Here is one of my zoas in the front of the tank opened up. I'm not sure what the hairlike substance is around it that came with the frag. When I tried to pull it off it was stuck like hair on a scalp! Any thoughts?

Looks a bit like Bryopsis, though that stuff is usually pretty easy to manually remove. Is it green, with feathery pinnate tips? Or is it clearly not some kind of alga? Could be a weird hydrozoan or something like that, but the fact that it doesn't appear to be stinging the zoas makes me think it's probably algae.

 

49 minutes ago, melson said:

Yeah I just looked on your thread and you have the same green zoas in your biotope too! Heed my warning on them though 😂

Oh yeah, I will have to keep an eye on those! They are right smack in the middle of my 'scape too. Could be trouble down the road! 😂

 

Looks like pretty great Chaeto growth you've got going on there too. It must be super satisfying to pull a whole brick of the stuff out of your reactor. If mine grows half as well I'll be happy! 😄

What kind of grow light are you using for your Chaeto?

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Abenr

so beautiful

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melson

I just picked up the marine depot chaeto kit. It gives off a warm white glow and run it at night.

 

I was considering the gem5 led in fact but I hadn't heard much about them and wasn't sure it'd fit behind my cvue.

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billygoat

Yeah, I was on the fence about the GEM5 since there were nearly no reviews of it online, but it turned out to be a pretty nice little light and seems to be well-made. It's probably way too strong for my small tank - I had to jam it diagonally into my return pump chamber to get it to fit - but hopefully the Chaeto is liking it! 😁

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melson

Small update for any followers out there.

 

I lost a neon goby 😞 I think he committed suicide during a WC and my dog ate him 😡 I can't be certain though! All I know is my dog never has any interest in the WC process but he did that day! It wasn't from infighting as the less aggressive one is still around bothering the chalk bass to clean him! lol

 

Losing one might have worked out. The two weren't a mated pair and I saw no indication they were going to pair up, they were constantly fighting. There is contradictory information out there on whether they can change sex and if you can get them to pair up in the aquarium hobby. 

 

Couple interesting observations. One of my porcelain crabs was eating the "stem" of caulerpa! It looked like it floated his way (he rarely moves from his favorite spot) and he grabbed it. The way I would describe it is like he was eating it like an edible straw. I unfortunately did not get a picture, I didn't even think to until I went into work. Perhaps later in the week I'll try to feed the crab some caulerpa and document it! In the meantime here's the responsible in his spot!

 

20190516_170105_zpsjgnyxqc5.jpg

 

Also I was having trouble finding my lone snail. And then I found him in snail heaven:

 

20190516_141856_zps6qzfvxev.jpg

 

He's currently in the outflow of my chaeto reactor. That tubing was clear but unfortunately has gotten green as can be. I was having trouble the past few days with keeping my powerhead grate (I just had it lying around and it fit) on the end of the tubing and looks like he found his way in. I'll grab him soon enough, I just thought it was funny!

 

I have a couple more things planned for this tank. For now I have been enjoying my hard work. I will have a big update soon enough however!

 

Oh updated shot. Not much has changed. Dry rock is taking a long time to seed and still having some hair algae issues:

 

20190516_164515_zpspqnmaidt.jpg

 

 

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billygoat

Looking good in there @melson! Sorry to hear about the goby, but as you mentioned it might be better that way. FTS is looking great. I love your huge mountain of green zoas!

 

In the past I also observed my porcelain crab attempting to eat some unusual things. One time it even grabbed a huge piece of krill that I'd tossed in for my brittle star! I'm not sure if they're actually equipped to eat large items like that but they sure do seem interested in them.

 

I can't wait to see what your big plans are! I bet they're very exciting.

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melson

😆 thanks @billygoat! I want to do a teaser but I think revealing little to nothing would be better! Let's just say I hope I have plenty of rock work and hiding places for the future inhabitants! Which I think I do. Especially now that my neon goby has made both the gyre and the cleaning magnet its "cleaning stations" lol fish are weird!

 

Yeah both those zoas on the lone rock keep taking off! Meanwhile my latest zoas I added have been slow to populate. I'm starting to see some polyp reproduction from the blue ones but nothing major.

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billygoat
On 5/16/2019 at 8:37 PM, melson said:

😆 thanks @billygoat! I want to do a teaser but I think revealing little to nothing would be better! Let's just say I hope I have plenty of rock work and hiding places for the future inhabitants! Which I think I do. Especially now that my neon goby has made both the gyre and the cleaning magnet its "cleaning stations" lol fish are weird!

 

Yeah both those zoas on the lone rock keep taking off! Meanwhile my latest zoas I added have been slow to populate. I'm starting to see some polyp reproduction from the blue ones but nothing major.

I also noticed that the green zoas from KP seem to reproduce quite a bit more quickly than the blues. I think this might be because the greens are from shallower water and therefore better prepared to take advantage of our relatively intense aquarium lighting.

 

Hmm plenty of rockwork and hiding places you say? Very intriguing! I wonder what you've got planned! 🤔

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vlangel

Wow, great tank you have going there.  I love south FL/caribbean biotopes!

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melson

Well the shipment came in today! Everyone looks healthy and happy! They've been in the tank for a few hours. They are a little shy right now so here's them in the bag when I first got them!

 

First off my centerpiece fish. I've wanted one for a long time and I finally got it. Centropyge Argi, aka Cherubfish aka Pygmy Angelfish. So tiny!!

20190523_101953_zps3uovu5ma.jpg

 

Stenopus scutellatus -Gold coral banded shrimp. I've only ever heard good things so may luck be in my favor putting a shrimp species in my biotope!

20190523_102331_zps5zkdpodo.jpg

 

And great minds think alike don't we @billygoatEmblemaria pandionis - Caribbean sailfin blenny. So far though I haven't seen him since releasing in the tank. He went down in some rockwork, hopefully he will come back out!

20190523_102340_zpssgylofjx.jpg

 

I also got another florida ricordea and Kpaquatics threw in some snails as freebies. FTS and better pics coming soon!

 

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billygoat

Look at that little Cherub! He's adorable! 😍 And I had a feeling you would end up getting some kind of shrimp. Good choice with the gold-banded boxer shrimp! They are very attractive and don't get quite so large as the standard white-banded coral shrimp.

 

 I wouldn't worry too much about the blenny. Mine disappeared for awhile as soon as I added her, then reappeared once she found a suitable hidey-hole. Here's hoping yours decides to set up shop someplace visible!

 

What color Ricordea did you go for?

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TatorTaco

Just wanted to chime in and rejoice at seeing another biotope here.  I really enjoy reading about them.  

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OldManSea

 You already have a great Caribbean biotope!

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melson

Thanks for the compliments guys!

 

@billygoat I'm not sure I picked oddball so they sent a random one. I want to say a blue green color. I'm color blind so the wife has to double check for me 🙂

 

yeah I haven't seen the blenny at all. I was surprised at the size! My jawfish is the biggest in the tank and he too has been hiding since the new arrivals. 

 

aside from *maybe* a couple more gorgs and ricordeas my biotope is complete! I've wanted mine to be very reef oriented and I think I accomplished it.

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melson

Woke up this morning to find Benny the Blenny in a spot right in front of the tank!

 

Here's pic of him. None of my photos are very good. I blame my 5 year old Android!

20190524_135301_zps8mk7u406.jpg

 

I still can't believe how small he is! He's the only one today that didn't eat during feeding but he was curious. I would be shy too if everyone was bigger than me! 

 

The new Pygmyfish keeps going into the jawfish's designated cave. My jawfish is not having it but seems to be tolerating it. Interesting enough the Pygmy seems to be showing submissive behavior to it or what I believe is submissive behavior. It looks similar to what a submissive clown does when two clownfish begin to pair.

 

Right now the Pygmy is too shy to get a picture. I have to stay about six feet away before it ventures out and starts chugging along eating algae. 

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