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Ratvan
2 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

I do 1x light & 1x heavy feeding a day. Heavy feeding is very heavy - as in, there's literally a food-storm in the tank. I leave the pumps off for about 45 mins to an hour during each feeding time so that he can pick off anything he likes. So far he likes picking frozen pods off the surface of my cup/pagoda coral. 🙂

 

Once I do a thorough clean-up of the sump, I'm thinking of upping feedings to 3x or 4x a day for his sake. Quite tricky keeping a mandy and four wrasses. And my chromis is a food-hog too. 🙄

I was just about to ask about the Wrasses as they're pod eaters as well. Pretty much the reason I wont get a mandarin yet, my wrasses eat all my pods. Oh and my Tailspot. Well that and I keep flip flopping between a Mandarin and a Pygmy Angel, oh and unattended weekends

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Snow_Phoenix
5 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

I was just about to ask about the Wrasses as they're pod eaters as well. Pretty much the reason I wont get a mandarin yet, my wrasses eat all my pods. Oh and my Tailspot. Well that and I keep flip flopping between a Mandarin and a Pygmy Angel, oh and unattended weekends

Yeah. they aren't exactly easy fish to commit to, unfortunately. Which is a shame, because they're easily one of the most beautiful marine fish out there (IMO). 

 

My wrasses eat the pods - both live and frozen as well. But my mandarin was the only fish that completely eradicated all my red flatworms from the mushroom mountain. The only flatworms left are the stubborn clingers on my frogspawn. (Which he can't really see or peck, since the coral stings).

 

 

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Snow_Phoenix

Love my clowns. These two have come a long way - both are aquacultured and paired up relatively quickly. Nero turns 2 this Dec. And I believe Sushi turns 1 this July/Aug. 🙂

 

 

Also, I spent 2.5+ hours doing a deep clean of the sump tank and all its compartments, including the fuge. It was so full of crud and algae that it's a wonder how my pipes could see through the mess. I couldn't scrape off most of the algae from the glass because it was encrusted pretty well, but I did manage to siphon most of the dirt/crud out. Swapped out the floss, carbon & RowaPhos for some new floss and media. Might replace the coral stones in the plastic mesh bags next week. 

 

Total water replaced today = ~20G. 

 

That's almost 1/4th of the system's overall tank volume. I still haven't touched the DT. The glass needs to be scraped and the sandbed stirred, but I was too tired. Might do it tomorrow or the day after. 

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Snow_Phoenix

A lot of updates to catch up on, but I'm not going to post everything because then the whole thread would be full of pics:

 

1. Poseidon, the Mandy:

 

Poseidon is actually still doing quite well in this tank. I'm monitoring him daily for any signs of starvation (because he's competing against many, many fish in this reef) but he's holding up steady so far. The one good thing about this fish is that he's not too fussy over any frozen food that I throw into the tank. He still prefers frozen pods, as opposed to frozen mysis, but at least he's still eating. 🙂

 

 

 

2. Algae.

 

As expected, when I cleaned out the sump, I did drop my nitrates and phosphates to far lower levels than the reef was originally running on. So voila, algae!

 

Looks pretty nasty, but it's nothing some extra CUC can't tackle. I'm not dosing nitrates/phosphates to this tank - I think the system will find balance on its own within a week or two. BME, it usually takes a couple of days before the algae vanishes after each large WC I've performed. 

 

3. Corals.

 

My green monti cap has bounced back from being poop brown to bright green again! So happy. 😄

 

 

The shrooms are doing quite well - and the 'baby' shrooms have doubled/tripled in size:

 

The Jack-O-Lantern Leptoseris has also 'flared' out a bit more: 

 

Other corals are doing okay too:

 

Bonus; The rare brittleshroom - only found during late evenings: :ninja:

 

5. The Refugium:

 

I added more Fern Caulerpa to my fuge today (acquired from the LFS). Here's how the fuge currently looks like:

 

 

Both my pipefish actually wound up in the wrong sump compartment (as usual) this morning:

 

But I managed to safely transfer them back into the fuge. 🙂 

 

Prince is still sort-of touch-and-go when it comes to food now. He is constantly sleeping on the macro or pressed up against the glass. But when I got up around 2am once to use the toilet, I peeked in on the sump and he was very, very active, swimming up and down the length of the filter floss section, and pecking pods off the glass. My guess is that he's currently on a different 'timezone' that I'm on. Lady is alright - she 'wakes up' when I tap the glass and feed the fuge every evening. Prince just sleeps right through it, and leads a double life in the wee hours of the morning. :rolleyes:

 

6. Leopard Wrasse.

 

Leopold has improved considerably in the past week. He now accepts anything and everything thrown into the tank, including frozen food. So he's back to putting on some weight, and has actually gained around half an inch since I first procured him:

 

 

7. Clam.

 

My crocea clam still lives! :lol:

 

Mantle still appears a bit pinched in a few areas. FW dips can ease it, but I'm not sure how to remove it from the rock without injuring its foot. So rather than risking killing the clam outright, I just let it be. It is target-fed frozen pods every day, and zooplankton + reef roid mix every weekly. Sometimes I baste shrimp juice directly over it as well.

 

8. Tank:

 

My clownfish pair: 🙂 

 

 

Tank overall:

 

Through some miracle, both the older elegance and green frogspawn corals are still hanging on. They're not dying, but neither are they improving. 😞

 

Everything else seems to be either steady or growing. My zoas however, are not spreading to take over the rockwork, as I'd originally hoped. I have a sneaky feeling it has something to do with my yumas, which are positioned very closely to the zoa frags. I know the yumas pack a sting, because any direct contact between the shroom and zoa polyp has always resulted in the loss (melting) of the zoa. 

 

I have one bit of sad news though - one of my blasto merletti frags was upended by Miko, my TSB, and thrown into my symphyllia. I couldn't find the frag for over a day, and when I did, the flesh of the merletti heads have completely melted off and only the skeleton was left behind. :sad:

 

Miko is very, very particular over what corals I place near his burrow. This is not the first time he has yeeted one of my frags into my symphyllia, and I don't believe it'll be his last attempt either. Blennies. Sigh. :rolleyes:

 

I love the little demon though, so I'm keeping in the reef. Just not sticking anymore frags next to his home. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Snow_Phoenix

So I have a small update - and it's a slice of good news. 🙂

 

Poseidon finally ate pellets today! :lol:
 

I bought some Omega One pellets on Sunday and fed them to the fish yesterday (Monday). The pellets sink very fast, so most of my upper-column swimmers like the chromis and clowns ignore them. But the wrasses, blennies & gobies don't mind picking the pellets off the sandbed or rocks.

 

Well, today I decided to *mix both pellet types during an early morning feeding session. I mixed NLS pellets (which I've been feeding the fish for months) with the new Omega One pellets.

 

And I was quite shocked when my Mandy began eating pellets. :eek:

 

He actually spits out any NLS ones which he accidently eats, but he swallows the Omega One pellets. Sometimes, he'll completely skim over the pellets, but he'll circle back to the rockwork to finish off anything he can find. 

 

I managed to grab a few videos of him eating the pellets (if you have trouble believing me):

 

^Eating an Omega One pellet.

 

^Testing out a NLS pellet (not to his liking)

 

^Skimming over an entire offering of pellets. He later returned to this exact spot and ate most of them.

 

^Eating Omega One pellets on the surface of my symphyllia. He also picks food off my chalices & cup coral.

 

^Hunting for more food. 🙂

 

 

Concave belly full of pellets! :happy:

 

I must confess - Poseidon worried me a lot. Especially yesterday, when I noticed his lateral lines were showing when he twists his body at a certain angle. From the topview, he looks as chunky as ever, but from the side view, I *think he did lose a bit of weight, despite all the frozen stuff I've been pumping him with. Since he's a relatively large Mandy (3"+) and a chubby one at that, retaining his body weight can be challenging in a tank full of other, faster fish. 

 

I was genuinely debating removing him from my tank some time this week and returning him to the frag tank in the LFS, for his sake. But now that he's actually eating pellets, and actually has a full belly after each helping (that's two helpings of Omega One today), I think I'll keep him and monitor him. 

 

It's very difficult to find a Mandy which eats pellets. The only two Mandys I have owned before that did this was Michael and Meatball - both of them were also male spotted Mandys. 

 

I'll keep mixing up the pellets and look into more alternatives to feed him so that he can maintain his body weight, and regain whatever extra fat he lost. I'm trying my best to get a hold of Masstick atm, because I can mix blended mysis/shrimp/brine, pellets and frozen pods in it, and stick it to the rocks/glass, where he can pick it off at his leisure. But all the Masstick is out of stock in my local online vendor's site - and the one packet I found at a shady LFS had expired two years ago. 

 

I'm not risking the health of any of my animals by feeding them food which may/may not have become rotten. 

 

So for now, I'll keep pacifying him with as much pellets as possible. :wink:

 

Miko. my TSB. also had a full potbelly once he indulged in some pellets today:

 

Quite hilarious because he's small but chunky now. :lol:

 

-

 

Bonus:

 

I found these very old photos of my first Ruby dragonet 5 years ago:

 

And my first (and only) blue neon goby 6 years ago:

 

The neon goby was a gift from a friend in Singapore. 

 

After this goby died, I have not succeeded in finding another blue neon goby in my state. My LFS brings in 'blue neon gobies' from time to time, but these fish are mislabeled and always wind up being blue-lined sabretooth fang blennies - a type of non-reefsafe fish that feeds off the scales of other fish by attacking/biting them. 

 

I definitely miss the blue neon the most. Very active and personable fish.

 

This, and the Pictus blenny are the two ones I wish I could see again. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Snow_Phoenix

Poseidon bunking in with Tic last night:

 

He partially buries himself in the sandbed every night, which I suppose is a little bit odd for a mandarin. BME, scooters will bury themselves, but Mandys usually 'fade out' and become very pale when they 'sleep'. Not sure why Poseidon buries himself, but perhaps he feels safer this way? 🤔

 

My Refugium today evening:

 

The fuge definitely needs a trim. I'll be shifting the excess macro into my nanoreef-to-be. 🙂

 

Prince lurking under the macro:

 

 

My pipefish pair actually like lurking between the macro. They stay quite well hidden during the day, but are active at night. 

 

More updates to come in the following days. Stay tuned, and thanks for following along! :happy:

 

 

 

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Snow_Phoenix

1. Mushroom mountain still stands strong - my purple shroom just split last night and rewarded me with *two new purple shrooms this evening. :biggrin:

 

2. I love my symphyllias - they're very easy to keep, but...they get smothered in sand very easily by my dartfish, gobies & blennies, so everyday I have to 'baste' them to make sure the affected areas don't stay buried for too long. 

 

3. These two goofs pretending to be busy observing my rockwork for pests. They didn't even eat my flatworms. Urgh. :sideeyes:

 

4. My Mandy ended up being my pest-eater. He's still eating Omega One pellets - hopefully he won't get bored of it or the frozen stuff. :unsure:

 

5. Miko is super-adorable. (And has killed several frags by upending them and dropping them on other corals): 🙄

 

6. Doc is huge now! 😮

 

He's molted several times, and he's now larger than my GCBS!

 

 

7. Lady is doing well in the fuge, but the macro needs a trim:

 

8. Podstorm! 🙂

 

 

9. Love these guys! :wub:

 

10. Quick sneak peek of the macro:

 

Overall, everything is okay - but...I'm still facing issues with my frogspawns and older elegance. In the case of the older elegance, it is quite poor shape, and I don't think it'll make it past another month or two. :sad:

 

BJD sucks. 😞 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Snow_Phoenix

If anyone has been paying attention to my previous line of pics, you'll realize I do have some pretty nasty green film algae covering certain rock pieces. So I decided to get some 'CUC' to help with my algae issue. Mainly, I bought this guy:

 

I put him on the worst patch of algae I had, and he...fell asleep. Like, literally parked his blobby butt on the rock and didn't move until midnight. :sideeyes:

 

Only past midnight did I see him actively roam the tank and eat some algae. I have to say, whatever patch he 'ate' left the rock white afterwards. Problem is, he's super lazy and sleeps 16 hours, and works during the remaining 8 hours. :sideeyes:

 

Right now, he's parked himself conveniently under my dartfish's burrow, where I swear he knows I can't get to him to fish him back out and deport him to the store to swap him out for some snails. Sigh. 😣

 

Okay, sea hare aside. I made another purchase at the store. A fishy one. :ninja:

 

Everyone, meet Illaron:

 

He was just brought into the store yesterday, and already eating. In fact, all six of their dragonets (2 spotted, 2 blues & 2 scooters) were miraculously eating frozen pods at the store. I observed them for close to 1.5 hours actually. Was chatting with the workers and manager over various things and also debating whether I should/should not get another dragonet. I initially thought I could get a female Spotted to pair up with Poseidon in my reef, but both their Spotted Mandys were males, and quite aggressive ones at that (they were posturing at each other repeatedly). All six fish looked quite healthy too. So then I debated between a Blue Mandy and a Scooter. Blue Mandys are quite expensive here and Scooters are half the price. Plus, I figured Scooters are much easier to train onto other food as compared to a Blue Mandy, so I picked a Scooter.

 

I know he looks very chunky from the top, but his lateral lines can be seen a little through his side profile. However, he was already eating frozen pods in my tank and adjusting very quickly to the reef (and no, I didn't QT him):

 

He's a slow-eater but very active, especially when the lights are off: 

 

And today morning, another small miracle happened - he began eating pellets. 😮

 

He followed my other fish around for a bit, and was sorta tailing Poseidon and mimicking him, and when my Mandy ate some Omega One, he tried a few bites as well:

 

 

I admit I'm a little bit speechless. Not sure why, I guess, but mainly because I didn't expect this fish to eat in my tank very quickly, and eat prepared food, at that. 

 

I saw him take a few bites of NLS earlier as well - I think he prefers those over the Omega One pellets because it's smaller, and he's a small Scooter. Here's a quick size comparison of Illaron with Thanos & Poseidon today morning:

 

Speaking of Poseidon, he's doing quite well and still eating pods & pellets:

 

He bunked in with Tic again last night:

 

Ate a large helping of pellets this morning, and decided enough was enough:

 

Despite all these small good things, I have one slice of possible bad news - I think my Saron shrimp might have finally passed during his last molt early this week. Usually I'd see him up and about at night after the molt, but I haven't, and it's been a few days already. I'm worried - but this shrimp was slightly over 2-years-old. And I have no idea how old he was before I acquired him.

 

I'll still keep an eye out for him - because he can be elusive and sometimes 'vanish' in the tank for a week or more. But if he's truly gone, then it's heartbreaking. He is/was a very beautiful shrimp too. 😞 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Snow_Phoenix

Good news! Just spotted my Saron:

 

20200222_212212.thumb.jpg.955b5ba320f5b5482f284f8547ac2a64.jpg

 

He's fine. And much bigger than before. 🤗

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WV Reefer
1 hour ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Good news! Just spotted my Saron:

 

20200222_212212.thumb.jpg.955b5ba320f5b5482f284f8547ac2a64.jpg

 

He's fine. And much bigger than before. 🤗

Yay! I love my Saron but it never comes out enough to get a pic. I’m dying to get a pic of it at night when it’s bright red. 

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Snow_Phoenix
19 minutes ago, WV Reefer said:

Yay! I love my Saron but it never comes out enough to get a pic. I’m dying to get a pic of it at night when it’s bright red. 

Yeah - it's so hard to catch them out in their camo-colors. Once I was lucky enough to see mine with both green and red stripes - as if he couldn't decide which color to choose for the night. 😛

 

Usually I see him in bright green at night. 🙂 

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Snow_Phoenix

I melted a few things today. My fault, really. :unsure:

 

I've been quite busy trying to keep up with all the fish I have (which is way too many), fell sick and I overexerted myself + overlooked the basic maintenance of my tank. My salinity spiked up to 1.028 because I forgot to top off for almost a week (?), and I had to top off 2G of water just now.

 

Some of my coral pieces were very unhappy. My green monticap STNed quite badly - will have to trim off the white bits to save it (if there's anything left to save tomorrow). One of my tiny green leather frags developed this weird black blotches on it - so I placed on the sandbed, away from the rest of the corals. My yellow elegance has a small corner of it which actually detached from the skeleton completely - it's weird because I've never seen anything like it. 

 

And my red lobo was stung pretty badly by my pink yuma - moved the yuma to check the damage:

 

I think it *can recover, given some TLC. (And maybe several iodine dips)

 

My frogspawns and my older elegance aren't improving. 😞 

 

These issues occurred before Illaron's addition to the tank, so the fish has nothing to do with it. But what confuses me the most is why some corals are healthy and growing, why some are still just the way they are, and why some are retracting. It's quite difficult to keep all coral types happy in a mixed reef, especially a reef with a very heavy bioload. I noticed these issues popped up after my last WC - after I cleaned out my sump. I think the system was *too clean and the drop in nitrates/phosphates caused an imbalance somewhere.

 

To top it all off, I lost my fire eel (FW) today to a long-standing fungal infection. 😞

 

The only good thing going on right now is the nano, which is thankfully operating smoothly for now.

 

I guess my takeaway from all this is - always monitor your reef and make sure you top-off on time (?) especially if you're doing it manually. And don't fix what isn't broken - in other words, don't strip/overdose anything when everything in the tank is running well with the current parameters. Years into this hobby, and I still make critical errors.

 

One thing I'm thankful for is that all my fish and inverts are doing fine and accounted for. Just need to let the system settle and resist the urge to meddle with it so much. 

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Snow_Phoenix

Coral Updates!

 

1. My red PE zoa colony broke into half. Thinking of moving one half of it to my nano.

 

 

2. Puffy Cynarina:

 

3. Cherry Garcia chalice growing slowly, but steadily:

 

4. Red blastos:

 

5. Long-polyp toadstool with full PE:

 

6. Rainbow brain & lobo friend:

 

7. Jack-O-Lantern leptoseris is growing very well:

 

8. Metallic GSP:

 

9. Mini Maxi nem:

 

 

Fish Update!

 

1. Thanos being awesome:

 

2. Dude the Chromis:

 

3. Bo:

 

4. Goblin:

 

5. Helios:

 

6. Leopold the leopard wrasse & Dude:

 

7. Illaron the scooter having dinner (frozen pod storm):

 

Illaron picking live pods from the back wall:

 

Illaron today morning:

 

8. Poseidon hunting for food:

 

 

 

(He has a pawprint on his back, which is kinda cute. 😛 )

 

 

Sideview of Poseidon - I have to check this twice daily to make sure his lateral lines aren't showing. Same goes for Illaron. If their lateral lines are showing, it means they're not getting enough food and I'll need to bump up feedings, or worst case scenario, rehome them. But thankfully, Poseidon has a fat belly and Illaron's doing pretty well too:

 

9. Both my dragonets sometimes have a habit of following each other around the tank:

 

10. They wiped all the flatworms from my mushroom mountain and yuma bridge together. I have to say I'm quite impressed - because these two accomplished what four wrasses couldn't/didn't. They're now both on a mix of Omega One & NLS pellets, and frozen pods. Mysis is given weekly as a treat, but they're not too keen on it. Frozen brine is occasionally accepted, *if the brine is small enough for their mouths:

 

 

It looks great at a passing glance, but I'm still battling algae issues, trouble with some of my older LPS pieces, a decline in two of my SPS pieces (I think this could be due to me overfeeding the tank and bumping up nitrates) and some of my corals - like my zoas, just aren't growing. The mushrooms, chalices and leptoseris is growing quite steadily, but I do wonder where the imbalance is. It's challenging to keep every single animal in the tank 'happy' or 'content'. Until I can figure out a better way to improve growth, I'm holding back from tinkering with the tank too much.

 

I still do add Calcium, kH and iodine buffers to the reef though, to compensate for the lack of WCs. 

 

I'm actually planning on reducing my fish load - I was thinking of rehoming my Steinitz goby pair first, but catching two tiny 2" fish that literally hides under my base rockwork seems impossible. I'm considering rehoming up to 5 fish - besides the gobies, I haven't really decided on who I want to remove just yet. 

 

It's definitely amazing - having so many fish, but it does seem a tad too crowded:

 

Hoping Harry the sea hare can eventually clear off all the film algae on the rocks though:

 

He poops a lot. :ninja:

 

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Dirté Sanchez
13 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Coral Updates!

 

1. My red PE zoa colony broke into half. Thinking of moving one half of it to my nano.

 

 

2. Puffy Cynarina:

 

3. Cherry Garcia chalice growing slowly, but steadily:

 

4. Red blastos:

 

5. Long-polyp toadstool with full PE:

 

6. Rainbow brain & lobo friend:

 

7. Jack-O-Lantern leptoseris is growing very well:

 

8. Metallic GSP:

 

9. Mini Maxi nem:

 

 

Fish Update!

 

1. Thanos being awesome:

 

2. Dude the Chromis:

 

3. Bo:

 

4. Goblin:

 

5. Helios:

 

6. Leopold the leopard wrasse & Dude:

 

7. Illaron the scooter having dinner (frozen pod storm):

 

Illaron picking live pods from the back wall:

 

Illaron today morning:

 

8. Poseidon hunting for food:

 

 

 

(He has a pawprint on his back, which is kinda cute. 😛 )

 

 

Sideview of Poseidon - I have to check this twice daily to make sure his lateral lines aren't showing. Same goes for Illaron. If their lateral lines are showing, it means they're not getting enough food and I'll need to bump up feedings, or worst case scenario, rehome them. But thankfully, Poseidon has a fat belly and Illaron's doing pretty well too:

 

9. Both my dragonets sometimes have a habit of following each other around the tank:

 

10. They wiped all the flatworms from my mushroom mountain and yuma bridge together. I have to say I'm quite impressed - because these two accomplished what four wrasses couldn't/didn't. They're now both on a mix of Omega One & NLS pellets, and frozen pods. Mysis is given weekly as a treat, but they're not too keen on it. Frozen brine is occasionally accepted, *if the brine is small enough for their mouths:

 

 

It looks great at a passing glance, but I'm still battling algae issues, trouble with some of my older LPS pieces, a decline in two of my SPS pieces (I think this could be due to me overfeeding the tank and bumping up nitrates) and some of my corals - like my zoas, just aren't growing. The mushrooms, chalices and leptoseris is growing quite steadily, but I do wonder where the imbalance is. It's challenging to keep every single animal in the tank 'happy' or 'content'. Until I can figure out a better way to improve growth, I'm holding back from tinkering with the tank too much.

 

I still do add Calcium, kH and iodine buffers to the reef though, to compensate for the lack of WCs. 

 

I'm actually planning on reducing my fish load - I was thinking of rehoming my Steinitz goby pair first, but catching two tiny 2" fish that literally hides under my base rockwork seems impossible. I'm considering rehoming up to 5 fish - besides the gobies, I haven't really decided on who I want to remove just yet. 

 

It's definitely amazing - having so many fish, but it does seem a tad too crowded:

 

Hoping Harry the sea hare can eventually clear off all the film algae on the rocks though:

 

He poops a lot. :ninja:

 

The last sentence 😂😂

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1. Prince and Lady are doing well in the fuge. But the fuge is covered in nuisance algae as well as macroalge. The pipes seem unaffected by the mess, regardless:

 

2, Boss fish Thanos on standby duty to guard the reef:

 

3. Miko enjoying grazing on the film algae covering the rocks:

 

4. Nero's amazing. She's turned fully black within the last two weeks - and is now slightly over 3". :wub:

 

5. My CUC working together to clean the rocks:

 

6. Goblin getting comfy on the cynarina:

 

7. Pellets on the menu:

 

8. Miko in camo-mode last night:

 

He found a new burrow above the yumas:

 

9. Poseidon and his 'fat rolls': :lol:

 

10. Illaron. Unlike Poseidon, I'm not too pleased with Illaron's progress. Mainly because he's isn't too stable on prepared yet. Sure, he takes nips of NLS here and there, but he still prefers frozen pods. I do check him to make sure his lateral lines aren't showing, and his belly isn't concave. I think he still has a long way to go. :unsure:

 

11. Goblin! :wub:

 

12. The symphyllia is an excellent 'dinner plate' for various fish around the reef, especially the dragonets, blennies, dartfish and wrasses:

 

13. Corals! :wub:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Harry finally doing his job:

 

Both of my urchins last night:

 

Casper:

 

Goblin has a belly full of food: 😛

 

 

I found a lot of tiny unhealthy frags located in the shadows of the tank - mostly tossed about in the back corners after being picked off/knocked off by my urchins. There were so many of them and it was quite frankly, very upsetting to come across. 😞

 

I've been so focused on the larger colonies that I neglected the welfare of *ALL the corals I have in this tank, especially the small ones that get overlooked in favor of the large ones. With so many different pieces, it was difficult to keep track of everything. 

 

In an effort to save whatever unhealthy frag I found, I poked around the corners of the tank using a large pair of chopsticks and steel forceps, and pulled out whatever I could find buried partially under my sandbed. I then transferred these pieces in batches to my nano reef (the 365 day challenge one) in hopes of restoring them. I might lose some of them regardless, but I think most of the pieces *should bounce back in time. 

 

I'll try to be more vigilant in the future. Running a tank with so many different animals can be challenging, but it can be exhausting too. Not easy to keep everyone and everything happy and healthy at the same time too. 😞 

 

 

 

 

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Snow_Phoenix

@Ratvan - I remember telling you on one of your threads not to add a sea hare several weeks ago. I was wrong. These guys are mega-poopers, but they're actually very good at eating algae. (As long as they get off their lazy butts to work on cleaning the tank :sideeyes:) Just be careful though - read these things can squirt stuff and crash tanks if the 'ink-stuff' is not removed immediately. 

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Ratvan
2 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

@Ratvan - I remember telling you on one of your threads not to add a sea hare several weeks ago. I was wrong. These guys are mega-poopers, but they're actually very good at eating algae. (As long as they get off their lazy butts to work on cleaning the tank :sideeyes:) Just be careful though - read these things can squirt stuff and crash tanks if the 'ink-stuff' is not removed immediately. 

Seems that it depends on how well they're shipped. MY LFS had two in last week and have lost both and a lot of what they were holding them with. One sent out this huge plume of red ink 

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21 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

Seems that it depends on how well they're shipped. MY LFS had two in last week and have lost both and a lot of what they were holding them with. One sent out this huge plume of red ink 

I'm actually a bit grossed out when I handle mine - he's very slimy. I slowly shift my fingers under his 'belly' and then plop him on a patch of algae (because he's honestly not the brightest animal I have, and for some reason, insists on cleaning the algae on the back wall of my tank rather than the rocks first 🙄). So far he hasn't inked, which is a good thing. I try my best not to handle him unless absolutely necessary. 

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Thinking of fragging this for the nanoreef in the future - anyone have any ideas on how this could be safely done? Or do I just clip off a piece and let the coral heal up on its own? 🤔

 

Btw, Harry the sea hare is actually quite big:

 

I love dragons: :wub:

 

He's gaining back his original chunkiness.

 

Chasing his reflection in the glass:

 

 

I'm actually extremely nervous keeping 2 dragonets with 4 wrasses in a tank full of other fish too. But tentatively, they're doing okay. Poseidon the spotted mandarin has been with me since 31/1/2020. It's been slightly over a month, but he's still here and eating. As long as he keeps eating and remains stable, I *think he'll do well, so I'm hoping to have years with this fish. :happy:

 

Illaron the scooter dragonet has been with me since 21/2/2020. Only ~1.5 weeks. Unlike Poseidon, Illaron has lost a bit of weight. He does eat, but not enough. I'm quite concerned for him - still hoping he'll be on a more stable diet of pellets and frozen mysis, but I'll keep working on training him. 

 

And before anyone asks, I keep track of every single animal (except snails) - both fish and inverts - that I've purchased. Mostly jotted down the exact dates I acquired them, to note how long they have been with me. I have a tiny diary of sorts for this, and I also write down my water parameters so that I can keep track of what's going on, although I don't test the water very often. 

 

One quick last pic - this is Prince foraging for pods in the fuge-within-the-fuge in my sump:

 

Prince and Lady are both okay too - according to my diary, they've been with me since 5/12/2019, so it's been roughly 3 months. 

 

I'm also hoping I'll have years of memories with them - they're currently on a stable diet of both live and frozen pods. We haven't really shifted too much away from that, and they seem content enough, so I'm a bit hesitant in altering anything. 

 

(And yes, my sump/fuge has cyano - mostly because I overfeed my pipefish and overfeed my dragonets in the DT as well, so that all four of them have a chance to eat. It can be challenging feeding slow-moving, methodical-eating fish.) 😕 

 

I'm thinking of setting up either a medium-sized (think ~30G to ~40G) macrotank or predator tank next year. I haven't really decided which one to go with yet, and I want to focus on the two reefs that I currently have first. If I do set up a macrotank, it'll most likely be a dragonet tank with dragonets and pipefish only. If I go the predator route, I'll either do a lionfish and eel tank, or a puffer and eel setup. So many options. Will need to think and plan accordingly. (And check if I can afford to even set up a third tank first lol). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanos on lookout duty:

 

Miu cruising about:

 

Leopold finally getting chunky again: 

 

Large microbrittle in my sump! 😮

 

 

I also purchased this prepackaged fresh seafood mix from the supermarket - am planning on blending all of it, enriching it with Selcon and re-freezing it before storage. Then I can break off tiny chunks and feed the fish every week:

 

I'll be focusing on converting this tank to a mushroom & LPS-dominant tank. There will be other corals here and there, but I think those tiny frags will fare better in the nano, where I perform weekly WCs. I'm still battling cyano in my sump - it's quite horrendous and is in every compartment, including the fuge! 😞

 

Will try to manually siphon as much of it out as possible. And also scale back on overfeeding the pipefish - maybe set up a dedicated system for them once I have a stable source of income coming in. 

 

 

 

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Snow_Phoenix

I lost Lady today: :tears:

 

 This is the first fish I've lost in quite a while. 

 

I'm still unsure over why she died, because she was perfectly fine yesterday night and eating/swimming as usual.

 

Yesterday evening, I manually siphoned out a lot of cyano from my sump tank and refugium. I also siphoned out some excess crud, basted the rocks in the fuge and scraped the glass. The water in the sump was a bit cloudy for the first half an hour or so, but once the major pump was on, the water was back to being clear. 

 

^I'm not sure whether my actions indirectly led to her death. Her mate, Prince, is still alive and currently sheltering under the blue basket in the fuge. 

 

Tbh, I'm very shocked and heartbroken too. I didn't have my pipefish for very long, but I was making progress with this fish, and it was an exciting journey while it lasted.

 

I'm also facing issues with some small frags melting today (I watched Thanos spit my merlettis into my cynarina - so that one is not counted) and *some of my larger LPS colonies are faring poorly. I messed up somewhere, and looking back, I think it started 2 WCs ago, when I deep-cleaned my sump. 

 

If my corals continue to deteriorate, I'll move the larger, more expensive pieces to the LFS and board them there for a week or two until I can get to the bottom of this. I also have plans on reducing my fish stock, but trapping five fish in a tank full of porous LR and sand is very difficult. I'll do my best, however.

 

Other fish and non-corals inverts in the DT are doing okay though - here are two late night shots of Poseidon:

 

 

 

 

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Tamberav

Sorry you lost her....the Mandy looks fantastic though! I see that pot belly!

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12 hours ago, Tamberav said:

Sorry you lost her....the Mandy looks fantastic though! I see that pot belly!

Takes a lot to keep him plump, but I'm trying my best. I'm hoping there's no ill consequence to overfeeding him though. :unsure:

 

I just assumed chunky fish = healthy fish (?)

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I just wanted to update here and share my experience.

 

Last night, well past midnight, I noticed my tank had sustained a crash. I was very sedated - late night is usually an unstable period for me. I did struggle to stay alert, and with my parents help, we'd discovered my sea hare had died and presumably released toxins into the tank.

 

Before you ask, I have no exact idea why the sea hare died. I did have an issue of very bad cyano and also dinos (most likely, from the way it bubbled in certain areas and clumped up when you swirl it around in a cup) in the sump tank. It was a losing battle for ~2 weeks with both algae. Given how much diversity and growth I have in the fuge, I honestly didn't expect to encounter any dinos at all, but that changed when I did a manual siphoning of the crud occupying the bottom part of the compartments in my sump tank.

 

My actions - the cleaning out and agitating the water until it was cloudy and clogged with debri - most likely led to the death of my first pipefish, Lady (spoke with other reefers about this). 

 

And this only got worse from there on out. Lost a fish, and then coral frags were melting one by one. I moved the worst frags into my nanoreef for recovery to save them. Then sometime yesterday, my ticking timebomb (a.k.a. the sea hare) exploded. There was plenty of algae for Harry the sea hare to eat. He was constantly eating, and actually grew a bit bigger than the first day I bought him.

 

Yesterday morning, I checked up on the tank and everything was fine. I still did have issues with my larger, unhealthier LPS, but nothing else was melting/dying. I'm unsure when exactly the sea hare died - but I presume it was some time during the evening. My Nass snails and a bristleworm was already eating its remains. But when I pulled out the sea hare after midnight, it was still intact and slimy, and not stinking. 

 

There was no inking in the tank - not that I noticed, anyway. 

 

I was honestly quite speechless. Half asleep, wobbling on the chair, trying to pull out a dead animal kind of speechless. 

 

And when I saw how many of the larger pieces of corals had actually died, I shamelessly panic-cried. :tears:

 

My parents were there, thankfully. They were mostly trying to make sure I didn't topple over because I was barely awake. 

 

I couldn't do much because it was late so I just pulled out anything/everything dead/dying in the tank and tossed it in a plastic bag, which went to the trash straight away.

 

I lost multiple mushroom heads (melted), my old red symphyllia (it was placed in the shade and recovering), my green frogspawn and my older elegance. My torch coral, hammer coral and yellow elegance was badly retracted and lost a bit of flesh around the rim, but still miraculously alive. My other symphyllias, lobos and cynarina were/and still are retracted, but alive. My Crocea clam is in very, very bad shape - mantle not extending at all now, and I don't expect it to survive in the upcoming days. 

 

GSP was half-melted - but a part of it is still encrusted to my rocks and the polyps opened a little today. Blasto garden lost a few heads and is still retracted, but alive. Other corals are surprisingly okay and look untouched. 

 

One very, very large miracle is that I didn't lose any of my fish and non-coral inverts. Did a headcount, and even though my brittlestars were floppy for a while, they survived. 

 

So today I decided to strip down my sump and fuge and re-set it. I made roughly 40G of fresh SW - 20G to be replaced in the sump, and another 20G to occupy bins that hold all my LR, macro & media. 

 

My goal was to preserve as much of the beneficial bacteria and hitchikers in my fuge as possible - so I made sure everything was immersed in SW while I cleaned out the sump:

 

I also placed my remaining pipefish in a bucket so that he wouldn't get squished while I move stuff around. I retained the coral stones in zipped up mesh bags, but rinsed them thoroughly with fresh water and left them to soak in SW. I replaced all the old carbon with new carbon and old RowaPhos with new RowaPhos. Changed the sock strapped to the outlet pipe too, because the older one was clogged with debri. Whatever that could be thrown was thrown, and I threw out 80% of my macro as well - especially bits smothered in cyano. 

 

It took me 3 hours to get everything done, but I think it was worth it. 

 

I also discovered this cool spiderweb-like sponge covering one of the LRs in the fuge:

 

And this is how the new fuge looks like after the re-set:

 

Next week, I plan on WCing 20G worth of SW in the DT instead. But I'll replace the floss in the sump. (Already replaced it today)

 

I guess my takeaway from all of this is: Be cautious when adding new critters to your tank (?)

 

I did read up on the risks of having a sea hare multiple times online, but I still wasn't prepared for what would happen if it suddenly died in my system. I've read accounts of other reefers having no issues when their sea hares 'inked', but most of these people had skimmers and much, much larger systems than my own. 

 

I will try to source out more fresh macro from my LFSes in the upcoming weeks to fill up my fuge. Prior to being stripped down, my macro was full of microbrittles, sea sponges, tunicates, bristleworms and pods. After the re-set, I don't think there are many beneficial hitchikers or critters leftover. I think I'll try to get some phyto from my LFS as well, and dose that in bits into my fuge. I've already scaled back on frozen foods to reduce nitrates to a more manageable level, but with my fish load, I can't reduce too much or some of them might starve. 

 

Tank looks empty though. And sad too. 😞 

 

 

 

 

 

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