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Snow_Phoenix

Snow's 60G Marine Megano

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Amphrites

Yeah, it's not the best situation, sorry to hear the stratification into those who cannot afford the hobby but scrape-by and the rich-kid's-club is going on over there as well... It's hard to say exactly what needs to be done to save the hobby from itself at this point, LFS's refusing certain distributors and more local-hobbyist-sales/interactions seem like a strong starting-point. But the reality is that the collective-actions of individuals are largely-responsible for all the damage being done to begin-with, legislation and strict-regulation/enforcement akin to what has been done in Australia is likely the only-tenable-solution to collection-issues.
(I still see folks in various groups whining about "It's just me and my one piece, I wouldn't do any harm, the government can't tell me what to do"; so I don't think folks have learned any-lessons about what the, inherently-self-serving, collective-impact of tens-of-thousands of "just me's" can have though...)

Dealing with prices is trickier, can't fault people for wanting to charge a premium for one-of-a-kind, hand-picked and grown out exceptional specimens, but the focus on them has inflated-prices across the board and created an obsession with hobbiest-"sustainability" accomplished through buying and reselling said pieces at near-retail value and made it almost-impossible for broke-cheapskates like me to find $5 frags...

Oh and I was just being forward and maybe slightly-bitter, not accusatory, it certainly isn't your fault as you're doing the best you can and I'll never blame the consumer/victim in these situations. Hope it didn't come across that way, as it wasn't intended, I've a penchant for being misinterpreted and contextless-mediums like type don't do me any favors...

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Snow_Phoenix
33 minutes ago, Amphrites said:

Yeah, it's not the best situation, sorry to hear the stratification into those who cannot afford the hobby but scrape-by and the rich-kid's-club is going on over there as well... It's hard to say exactly what needs to be done to save the hobby from itself at this point, LFS's refusing certain distributors and more local-hobbyist-sales/interactions seem like a strong starting-point. But the reality is that the collective-actions of individuals are largely-responsible for all the damage being done to begin-with, legislation and strict-regulation/enforcement akin to what has been done in Australia is likely the only-tenable-solution to collection-issues.
(I still see folks in various groups whining about "It's just me and my one piece, I wouldn't do any harm, the government can't tell me what to do"; so I don't think folks have learned any-lessons about what the, inherently-self-serving, collective-impact of tens-of-thousands of "just me's" can have though...)

Dealing with prices is trickier, can't fault people for wanting to charge a premium for one-of-a-kind, hand-picked and grown out exceptional specimens, but the focus on them has inflated-prices across the board and created an obsession with hobbiest-"sustainability" accomplished through buying and reselling said pieces at near-retail value and made it almost-impossible for broke-cheapskates like me to find $5 frags...

Oh and I was just being forward and maybe slightly-bitter, not accusatory, it certainly isn't your fault as you're doing the best you can and I'll never blame the consumer/victim in these situations. Hope it didn't come across that way, as it wasn't intended, I've a penchant for being misinterpreted and contextless-mediums like type don't do me any favors...

No worries, I didn't view any of your views or statements as accusatory in any way. 👍

 

Going a little bit off-topic, tbh, I just wish there were more women reefers here. The hobby is dominated exclusively by men where I live, and I hardly run into other women at the store. 

 

I was amazed when I first joined NR and saw so many beautiful and simple tanks run by both men *and women. It certainly was an eye-opener, and the forum folk were very welcoming too. 😊

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seabass

The market ultimately dictates prices.  If the price is too high, then people won't buy.  If people are crazy enough to pay premium prices for something, then other vendors will get into the market, and prices will eventually drop (but something new will then become all the rage).  Also, collection bans have an immediate affect on supply, which tends to have a strong influence on pricing.

 

If anybody feels that prices are too high, they should try and get into the coral business.  However, you would likely soon realize that the market is much more competitive than you previously thought.  Overhead costs and losses can add up fast.  It takes an efficient operation (reefing knowledge, methodologies, protocols, equipment, etc), marketing, and store presence (online or brick and mortar) to be successful.

 

Personally, I find joy in keeping lowly common corals.  Sure I admit that I admire many of the expensive offerings.  However, if you don't think of it as a competition, you can find plenty of colorful common corals at reasonable prices (even from the bigger vendors).  And while the frags might be small, isn't growing a reef what the hobby is really about (versus buying show pieces and staging them in a tank for a picture to receive lots of likes)?

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Amphrites

I've seen no historical-evidence that any chicago-school of business economic-theories have-ever or will ever have any actual bearings in real-economic situations (as an aside nor have most leading economic experts lol...), especially with hyper-saturated global-markets, perhaps older-theories functioned-better when it was uncle-joes one-stop-shop on the corner but there's functionally no actual way to properly-engage in speak-with-your-wallet libertarian-idealism/fantasies anymore.
But that's a rant for another time and place, pulling-on way too much reading and unrelated-content lol... That said Live-aquaria, WWC, tidal gardens, pacific-east, hundreds of local brick-and-mortars (the fact that aquarium-depot still exists despite their reputation) all seem to manage just fine without going full-cornbred on their prices.
The problem with markets right now, more-broadly as the indo-ban really hurt the reefkeeping hobby but isn't likely to go away anytime soon, is akin to the problem with ceo-pay, they're setting their own prices and there's not much anyone can do or say to stop them if they still want to A-exist in the hobby or as a business themselves, or B- actually participate to any meaningful-degree or not get ground under.
(not to mention everyone inventing their own names [and photography-color-pallets in some cases] for dubiously-unique/different "strains" makes it impossible to engage in direct-reasonable competition)

There's allot of misconceptions about competition and economics rampant in american-ideology, but I'll kind of leave those specifics to die after a simple example, most apply "survival of the fittest" and evolutionary-concepts to life and markets without realizing that the relationship between innovative and rapid-evolution and competition line up inversely. Nearly-every explosion of biodiversity and new-incredible innovations and designs happen after mass-extinctions, where there is actually VERY LITTLE pressure and competition on individuals and an abundance of habitats, resources, and roles/niches to fill (this is where real competition actually-emerges and happens to be similar to the intent of our now totally-non-functioning anti-trust laws).
Anyway...

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Snow_Phoenix
52 minutes ago, seabass said:

Personally, I find joy in keeping lowly common corals.  Sure I admit that I admire many of the expensive offerings.  However, if you don't think of it as a competition, you can find plenty of colorful common corals at reasonable prices (even from the bigger vendors).  And while the frags might be small, isn't growing a reef what the hobby is really about (versus buying show pieces and staging them in a tank for a picture to receive lots of likes)?

^This.

 

I actually source out corals on the discount rack. Even the 'colonies' I purchase are old stock which my LFS tries to get rid off at a 50% discount to empty their frag tanks so that they can bring in more premium stuff. 

 

That is the only way I can reef and still be in the hobby. I love growing stuff though. Watching a tiny frag grow big or pop up more heads/polyps makes me excited and I guess a little bit proud (?) - like I've accomplished something lol. 🤔

 

Right now my LFS is trying to get rid of their older shroom stock - I haggled, which is how I managed to put a deposit down for pieces that are usually double or triple their current price. 

 

I like taking pics and posting them on SM though. Not to get a following per say, but just share my reef with others around the world. 😊

 

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seabass
10 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Watching a tiny frag grow big or pop up more heads/polyps makes me excited and I guess a little bit proud

That's great!

thumbsup.jpg

 

I've seen some pretty impressive reef tanks with large common corals.  Wild reefs rarely look like a bowl of skittles.

See the source image

 

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billygoat
1 hour ago, seabass said:

Personally, I find joy in keeping lowly common corals.  Sure I admit that I admire many of the expensive offerings.  However, if you don't think of it as a competition, you can find plenty of colorful common corals at reasonable prices (even from the bigger vendors).  And while the frags might be small, isn't growing a reef what the hobby is really about (versus buying show pieces and staging them in a tank for a picture to receive lots of likes)?

So much this! I love keeping all those brown and green bits that don't look like much until you put them all together, and then you've got a beautiful and natural coral reef. As impressive as some of the candy-colored super reefs we see online can be (and don't get me wrong - SPS-dominated high-end reefs can be mind-blowingly gorgeous too), I wouldn't trade my "green, brown, and shades of red" aquarium for anything. It's just so gratifying to see things thrive and grow, even if they aren't particularly impressive. 👍 So kudos to @Snow_Phoenix for scouring those discount racks and haggling the heck out of the LFS. Those bargain bins are full of hidden treasures. 😁

 

9 minutes ago, seabass said:

Wild reefs rarely look like a bowl of skittles.

I agree! In fact the vast majority of corals in the ocean are some shade of green or brown. And wild reefs certainly still are beautiful. 😊

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Snow_Phoenix

Quick update:

 

I woke up to find my cherry garcia chalice knocked over into my largest symphyllia by one of turban snails. A part of the coral had melted away, but I reglued it back on the LR - and I am hoping it'll bounce back. It was doing very well otherwise. 😞

 

 

I also had to kill an aiptasia that was between the polyps of my LA Lakers. I used highly concentrated vinegar, and I think I melted a few polyps. 😕

 

Hoping this frag would bounce back too:

 

 

^(And yes, those purple death palys are new - just got them week before last week at a discount! 😄)

 

Few shots of the corals that are doing okay:

 

1. My encrusting montis are growing quite quickly. The purple one had a bald spot after it was knocked over by my crab (I believe?) into my symphyllia, but new polyps have already taken over the skeleton. The green one is a new acquisition. 

 

 

2. This is my mystery chalice that's also growing very well since it's directly under my Prime. (Better shot of it today):

 

3. The yuma row currently has 4 different colored yumas on it. Will be adding several more, including the tricolored one I bought. *Might add a neon pink one if it's discounted. (Otherwise the pink ones can fetch up to three figures):

 

 

4. The blasto merlettis are spreading fairly quickly. I purchased a second frag of merlettis (which has a slight deviation in color from the first) and it's already bopping out new heads like crazy. The mummy's eye chalice seems to be growing too - will most likely move it to another rock to give it more room to grow. The Christmas favia is the only thing I'm struggling with on this rock. It hasn't grown since I transferred it from my nano and into the 60G. I'm not sure why, but I suspect it had something to do when the holding bin crashed due to the chopped-up-leather-bits-and-toxins incident. It's been moody ever since:

 

5. This is my new green torch - scroll forward for a short vid. of it in motion:

 

6. My new green alveopora frag - a better pic of it anyway:

 

7. Topshot of this coral-heavy rock along the left panel of my tank:

 

 

Bonus pic: Gary being lazy last night: 😛

 

 

Extra-bonus pics: Thanos the chunky fish:

 

 

 

Add-On: Both the cardinal and wrasse are alive today morning. Cardinal was actually swimming between the pipe and caves, and looked much better than yesterday, although his belly is still sunken. Also found out through my LFS that the wrasse is not a rubyhead, but a blueheaded fairy wrasse. My mistake. He's a large male, but not in terminal phase yet. So his colors should change over time. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Snow_Phoenix

Small update: My cardinal died in QT some time overnight. The wrasse is still alive, but I'll probably do a WC today evening to replace the water. 

 

The reef is doing okay - the film algae on the sand and rocks seems to be ebbing away on its own, after I added more/different types of macro the the sump. I still do get the usual film algae that covers the glass, which I believe almost everyone has with their reeftanks. No other unsightly pest algae though, which is good. 

 

I'm waiting for my LFS to stock more pods so that I can buy a bottle and put it in the sump. Also, I'll most probably pick up my three remaining shrooms from the store pretty soon. Might throw down a deposit for the orange frogspawn coral as well, if it doesn't stretch the wallet too much. 

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kimdawg

You do a great job documenting what is going on in your reef with pictures and words.  I love to read your journal and have never seen a starfish as beautiful as yours.  

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Snow_Phoenix
41 minutes ago, kimdawg said:

You do a great job documenting what is going on in your reef with pictures and words.  I love to read your journal and have never seen a starfish as beautiful as yours.  

Thank you for the kind words, @kimdawg. I appreciate it. :blush:

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Snow_Phoenix

Just lost the wrasse in QT. 😭

 

I picked him up with chopsticks and noticed he had lost scales on both sides of his body. When I put him on a tissue, some of his blue scales fell off without me touching the fish. 

 

He had stringy white poop yesterday, but I attributed it to dosing prazi - that he was shedding dead worms. But it looks like the flukes he had were deadlier. He was eating and swimming normally up until yesterday. Today he was a bit inactive. 😓

 

I genuinely am not sure how to ensure my new fish - wrasses, survive QT. I've lost a fair share of them in QT - my yellow coris and carpenter's were an oddity and I believe, a genuine stroke of good luck.

 

Otherwise, I've tried purchasing wrasses from 2 different LFSes with no luck. I have to ask my worker-friend if she was treating this new batch of wrasses at the store. Me adding Prazi at home could have made things worse if she was already treating it with Quick Cure or Copper at the shop. (And no, I don't add any water from the bags/the store to my QT - just the animal)

 

 

 

 

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seabass

I stopped purchasing fish local.  Most of my fish come from Live Aquaria, specifically from Diver's Den: https://www.liveaquaria.com/divers-den/category/3/marine-fish

 

It can be a little more expensive, but if you spend $150, then shipping is free.  You can buy corals and/or other inverts to fill out your order.  While this doesn't guarantee healthy fish, I have had better luck online than local.

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Amphrites

You may also have some luck finding other local hobbyists who are trying to re-home a wrasse?

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Snow_Phoenix
1 hour ago, seabass said:

I stopped purchasing fish local.  Most of my fish come from Live Aquaria, specifically from Diver's Den: https://www.liveaquaria.com/divers-den/category/3/marine-fish

 

It can be a little more expensive, but if you spend $150, then shipping is free.  You can buy corals and/or other inverts to fill out your order.  While this doesn't guarantee healthy fish, I have had better luck online than local.

Seabass, I live in Malaysia. Wish we had something on par with LA and DD, but to the best of my knowledge, we don't have official fish-selling sites online here. LFSes do occasionally 'post'/ship fish using buses from one state to another though, if they have something rare and unique, and a customer from another state makes an order/purchase. But DOA can be high since our climate is naturally hot (tropical) most days. 😞 

1 hour ago, Amphrites said:

You may also have some luck finding other local hobbyists who are trying to re-home a wrasse?

I'm not involved with any local reef clubs or on good terms with any local hobbyists atm. So that option is not available for me. Thank you though, for the suggestion. 

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seabass

I'm sure that's frustrating.  I feel for you.

 

1 hour ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

I live in Malaysia.

I guess I forgot about that.  You might think about changing your profile to display your location.

 

You might need to start a prophylactic treatment protocol for quarantining new fish you get from your LFS.  Observation of the specimen (before you purchase it), as well as its tank mates might help some too.

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Snow_Phoenix
11 hours ago, seabass said:

I'm sure that's frustrating.  I feel for you.

 

I guess I forgot about that.  You might think about changing your profile to display your location.

 

You might need to start a prophylactic treatment protocol for quarantining new fish you get from your LFS.  Observation of the specimen (before you purchase it), as well as its tank mates might help some too.

I actually observed the wrasse for a while. It had been at the store for almost a week and this group of wrasses seemed healthy - swimming and eating normally etc. It was why I risked bringing one home. 🤔:sad:

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Snow_Phoenix

Couple of quick updates:

 

1. Gary & Lola are still doing fine. Phew. 

 

IMG_20191006_130516_791.thumb.jpg.5ab8b8aedad6dca3a9086a5f1f3ecf21.jpg

 

IMG_20191007_110315_865.thumb.jpg.aa045c3ead7c5f1cf55d2d5c1205c99e.jpg

 

IMG_20191007_160647_364.thumb.jpg.d7a40167e95fd44c0284f2e4fedd2053.jpg

 

2. Doc the shrimp is very active and vibrant in the reef. 😊

 

IMG_20191006_130357_592.thumb.jpg.022336ce2e7f8260d09fd9efa81d4204.jpg

 

IMG_20191006_202623_020.thumb.jpg.aac42395c2de0c1b6a54bf5453c141f1.jpg

 

3. Casper perching:

 

IMG_20191005_093527_608.thumb.jpg.0ab0ad721853931ca69c9a5311889db3.jpg

 

4. This red lobo is growing out. The edges are now slightly dissimilar and the flesh is very thick and puffy:

 

IMG_20191004_202027_761.thumb.jpg.a0d17007ee175945f877a84798d9798b.jpg

 

5. The bleached symphyllia is still recovering. Some parts are still lighter than the rest:

 

IMG_20191006_130648_081.thumb.jpg.e1372d1e1f81f84e858822e3e0498e22.jpg

 

6. My teal mushroom had a baby! It's still tiny and translucent but I can't wait for it to spread:

 

IMG_20191006_140011_342.thumb.jpg.48972fd6458bbd8ecb191db1402ff97e.jpg

 

7. I picked up my shrooms from the store today. I don't have clear pics of all 3 yet, so I'll try to get better pics tomorrow. In the meantime, here are my dual-toned leopard discosoma and my spotted discosoma under very heavy blues:

 

IMG_20191007_185438_603.thumb.jpg.c7d47e1c0f43aa09a008b3b868de54e8.jpg

 

IMG_20191007_185438_607.thumb.jpg.349337d3a904934988f562a91f46bcec.jpg

 

My tricolored yuma is currently being overlapped by one of my orange yumas. I'll try to move it tomorrow so that it can open up fully and won't be overshadowed. It's orange and yellow with a violet rim. Very pretty. 😊

 

I also paid a deposit for 2x Malayan rainbow acan frags and 1 orange frogspawn colony. Here they are at the LFS - will have to pay in several installments before I can bring them home:

 

IMG_20191007_173606_882.thumb.jpg.e436f2cf26d2120e760f10a7968b49c1.jpg

 

IMG_20191007_173735_863.thumb.jpg.50d018ddbf6726058dd04eb5ac492b13.jpg

 

These were all on the discount rack. The acans are tiny and covered in GHA, but it can be cleared off with a snail or urchin. They were also local, not from Aussie, hence the much cheaper pricing than usual. 👍

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Ratvan

I love the bargain bin shopping, I will be doing the same shortly. 

Searching for colonies not frags though

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Snow_Phoenix
5 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

I love the bargain bin shopping, I will be doing the same shortly. 

Searching for colonies not frags though

I look out for colonies too. They usually don't have the super-pretty-or-premium ones on the discount rack, but at least I can haggle. Like the large orange frogspawn colony is actually the 'wall' type with two major branches. I haggled it down to RM 130 for the full colony. LFS was willing to 'break' it into half and sell it to me at half price, but I wanted the full thing so that it can complement my green frogspawn colony at home. (I think this one might be bigger though when it's fully open) 🤔

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Ratvan
1 minute ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

I look out for colonies too. They usually don't have the super-pretty-or-premium ones on the discount rack, but at least I can haggle. Like the large orange frogspawn colony is actually the 'wall' type with two major branches. I haggled it down to RM 130 for the full colony. LFS was willing to 'break' it into half and sell it to me at half price, but I wanted the full thing so that it can complement my green frogspawn colony at home. (I think this one might be bigger though when it's fully open) 🤔

There is a Frogspawn that I have had my eye on for the past 5 months. Probably 50+ heads have it priced at £150. However at least 5 of those heads are receeding (I think it's being stung by another LPS in the tank but not sure) so trying at the minute to negotiate down to something more affordable (£80-100)

 

I mean I would need to frag off the dead heads, and probably a bit more to tidy it up some

😄

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Snow_Phoenix
4 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

There is a Frogspawn that I have had my eye on for the past 5 months. Probably 50+ heads have it priced at £150. However at least 5 of those heads are receeding (I think it's being stung by another LPS in the tank but not sure) so trying at the minute to negotiate down to something more affordable (£80-100)

 

I mean I would need to frag off the dead heads, and probably a bit more to tidy it up some

😄

For that many heads, I'd say it's totally worth £150, but yeah - since there are receding heads, you can haggle. Just make sure none of the heads are sliming or releasing brown goop - might be a case of BJD, in which case, it's best to avoid the whole colony entirely and find something healthier. 

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Snow_Phoenix

Okay, so I tried snapping more pics of the new shrooms today. 

 

Here is the leopard discosoma:

 

IMG_20191008_111913_398.thumb.jpg.d8bcc88ebbdf0e6e1f195afecfd461c1.jpg

 

Red spotted yellow discosoma:

 

IMG_20191008_111753_964.thumb.jpg.5bea1282d6894dda283bcfc5560081e6.jpg

 

The tricolor shroom I just purchased (I reglued the frag plug so that it won't be overlapped by my other yumas, but it seems to be sagging a little): 

 

IMG_20191008_111613_295.thumb.jpg.e19b14c939082ed7954e389562b1143b.jpg

 

My other yumas:

 

IMG_20191008_111613_300.thumb.jpg.10f62581e0a2848b1ba1a7eb5cb8b8a0.jpg

 

IMG_20191008_111613_299.thumb.jpg.9ad0cba51b7327f4b1291c7949f31033.jpg

 

IMG_20191008_111613_298.thumb.jpg.7e7cb1a5cf132943cf208661354a8aa1.jpg

 

^(One of them has changed color and become tricolored too in this tank - purple + orange with a green rim). I wasn't aware shrooms could change colors so dramatically. This shroom was originally just purple in my nano. Hoping more colors will pop up then. 😊

 

Also, here is Gary today:

 

IMG_20191008_112129_606.thumb.jpg.be0aee6fbc08841bb6ec8f325197d1a1.jpg

 

My pom pom xenia:

 

IMG_20191008_112017_850.thumb.jpg.07f89b34b385c5dc808c363b9202c942.jpg

 

Most of it has stopped pulsing, unfortunately. But the coral is healthy otherwise, and taken on a darker shade of pinkish-purple. 👍

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Ratvan

Gorgeous shots of the shriooms and a great collection of types and colours. Very jealous 

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Snow_Phoenix
22 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

Gorgeous shots of the shriooms and a great collection of types and colours. Very jealous 

Thank you. All shrooms except the yellow yuma was from the discount rack. Green yuma was the largest and cheapest. 😊

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