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Vhexxen

Vhexy’s Box

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Vhexxen

I suppose if I’m going to actually try to keep one of these, I ought to start it sooner rather than later 😛

 

Equipment: Fluval 5g AIO with stock light.  Upgraded the pump to a 606, just had to pop off the curvy front panel.  This is meant to be a low stress (and relatively low budget lol) set up!

Eheim heater, can’t remember if it’s 50 or 75.  Horizontal behind my rock so I can’t see the label easily.

 

Backstage and backbones: about 3 lbs each aqua cultured LR and formerly dry “dragon scale” rock from my excellent LFS.  5lbs live aragonite with an attractive number of intact tiny shells 😛

 

Living Cast: green-mouthed unidentified palythoa, was 10 heads Initially, 15 at last count

purple/green hammer

orange/green octospawn

GSP already encrusting!

Reverse pokerstar monticap (sulking from YCG attention but starting to rebound)

Probably-stylo (freebie, first non-monti sps, I ain’t complaining)

Feather dusters (black/white Hawaiian and particolour pink/orange with white)

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Cleaner shrimp [Candy]

Spiny astraeas x2 [Moss and Fern]

Sexy shrimp x2 [Pip and Merry]

Tonga nassarius x2

Teeny-tiny blue-leg hermits x4 [Poly, Amor, Y, and Ace]

Probably red-leg hermit (was supposed to be a blue but is visibly not) [Spy]

Spaghetti worm hitchhikers

Mystery worm-in-a-tube hitchhiker (currently about three inches long and half inch across, kinda thinking it might be a fan worm that hasn’t regrown its gills yet?)

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Yellow clown goby [Curiositea]

Pink streaked wrasse [Berry]

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Chaeto in one of the back chambers, added some floss and something I already forgot to the stock sponge.  Maybe purigen.

 

 

Any suggestions, regarding livestock in any form or proven Evo5g mods? 😛

 

updated July 5 2019

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Updated Aug 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vhexxen

Couple of quick updates, no new pics as of yet.  Several additions in one post, not everything added at once.

 

Added: two feather dusters (supposed to be one Hawaiian, but there was a little coloured one stuck to it lol); three sexy shrimp; 4.5 heads of a nice green/purple hammer with at least a dozen tiny baby heads.

 

Parameters are holding pretty well, algae uptick so I think I’ll suck it up and pick up a proper jug of rodi water when I go in for a few snails.  Spotted a little mystery worm the other day too, blueish and black with lots of legs, was scavenging among the algae until it noticed me and dove back into a crevice.  Bit over a centimetre long.  Didn’t remind me of a bristleworm.  Also, loooots of barely visible pods.  They especially love the calmer water along the back glass!

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Vhexxen

Updated, including new pics!

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Vhexxen

Now that the feather dusters are less spooked...

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Ratvan

Really nice tank and set up.

The Nassarius snails are a good choice for CuC and I love hermit crabs and Trocus snails.

What sort of pygmy goby do you have available near you?

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Vhexxen

LFS is still out of nassarius x.x eventually! Lol. Really nice green/yellow spawn in the meantime, aaaaand a yellow clown goby XD they had so many in I couldn’t resist.  My other options were a neon goby or the high-fin one I can’t name right now.  Black and white stripes, yellow head.  Pretty sure it’s a shrimp goby.

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Vhexxen

Someone decided to come hang out!

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Vhexxen

Added an emerald crab.  Started stuffing its face before I had time to sit back down :l Also snagged a bigger jug to mix salt in finally XD now I can mix less often than I change water! 

 

Pics and such once once everything settles in again.  The ycg is much bolder now, but has decided to hang out on my monti... hopefully today’s other addition spreads out the strain lol

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Vhexxen

Picture updates!

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Up to 14 heads as of last count, despite frequent shrimp visitation.

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Free nub of probably-stylo! I dunno, I’ve never had sps other than montis before lol

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Matcha the emerald, greedy critter 🙂

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2/3. Poly, Amor, and Y!

6B6409C0-C654-4F06-9C2C-97C0176D3700.jpegThe gsp is already growing onto the rock! So fast 😛

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Vhexxen

Also, my tablet has a much better camera than my phone XD

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Vhexxen

Tank took a little bit of a hit this weekend, had my roommate taking care of it while I was out of town.

 

Curiositea the ycg does not seem to be interested in any of the foods I have on hand, and looks to be losing weight 😕 going to try picking up something else on my next day off, and start dosing pods or phyto or both (not just for the fish lol).

 

Monti is a bit bleached, probably from the new extra light I’ve been trying out for the probably-stylo combined with irritation from Curiositea.  Especially since I suspect both lights were on for 14+ hours all weekend... I think I’m going to have to upgrade to something programmable after all.  I’m thinking this orbit marine one?

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Also, just for fun... Pip the elastic snail!

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And the happy euphy corner 😛

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Vhexxen

Updates!

 

Curiositea the yellow clown goby didn’t make it 😞 wouldn’t even eat tiger pods, soaked in garlic or otherwise.

 

in better news, the monti he had harassed is already perking up, I got to see a swarm of baby cleaner shrimp, and I lucked into a pink streaked wrasse who had been traded in because she was getting bullied in a bigger tank, and she’s already coming out to watch the goings-on of the house!

 

also yes, ongoing cyano.  I’m back to a normal feeding schedule now that everyone in the tank ACTUALLY EATS FOOD so that and continued twice weekly 20-30% water changes should have it gone soon enough.  I’m proud of my bacteria and such, though.  Parameters never got too far out of whack!

 

 

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Vhexxen

Mini update.  Algae is creeping the right direction, this term’s student loans came in and the finances checked out, so a box of something is ordered for the tank 😛 amazon says 2 days, so it should be a resume of classes gift to myself!

 

Just checked, posted date is Wednesday, so after my second day of clinical but before lectures!  Sweet.

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Vhexxen

Light ended up coming Thursday, Canada Post did a weird thing and I still don’t know why but now I have the light, so all good.  Took maybe five minutes to figure out the wifi connection some people have trouble with, slowest part by far was manually programming the settings for each hour.  Anyone else use the Topplanet light? Chinese black box, except in this case blue XD

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Vhexxen

So, I have bad news 😞

 

this morning I found all of my shrimp (two sexy, one cleaner) and my pink streak wrasse dead.  Snails are alive, hermits are active, corals haven’t changed.

 

yesterday, I added a cowrie (happily wrapped in its mantle this morning) and a pectinia frag I found on sale.  Couple of feather dusters, popped off one vermetid snail.  Both are from the only LFS I’ve used for this tank, from specific tanks there I’ve used before without incident.  Did about 5% water change due to acclimation.  Fed the hungry parts of the tank with my usual brine shrimp/flake combo.  I did start using a new pellet food yesterday, vitalis platinum marine xs. No expiry date on it, was sealed, doesn’t smell off.

 

in the past week, I’ve been clearing up the last of a mild-moderate Dino bloom.  Dosing zooplankton, filtering and reusing water, feeding generously.  GHA is gaining ground but the Dino is negligible now.  Last water change was Wednesday or so, maybe 25%.  It had been maybe two weeks and I generally change the same amount each proper change.  Euphyllia and gsp have been sulky but are still alive, other corals appear more annoyed by the lighting upgrade two weeks ago, which is still on quite low settings but is not the easiest to calibrate lol.

 

in the past month, I’ve changed the lights, added a couple of frags (some favia, a furry shroom before that, all fine).

 

Any ideas?  Losing Berry in particular has hit me pretty hard >.<

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Vhexxen

Parameters:

A/Ni 0

Na <20

P barely visible (<.25 lol, but much closer to 0)

SG 1.025

all usual for this tank

 

Temp is a bit oddly high, 81, despite my heater being set to 75 (lowest setting, has been keeping the tank at 78-79 since the light upgrade without issue).  I’ve given it a clean and repositioned it, but even 3 degrees higher shouldn’t cause overnight deaths.  Maybe stray electricity, but again, suddenly killing shrimp and fish but nothing else?

 

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Vhexxen

Update: parameters as of now added above.  

 

M also seeing dead copepods.  Hermits are still hungry, cowrie is still eating, feather dusters are still out, GSP is happier than it’s been for a while.

 

also, if it gives anyone ideas, the shrimp and fish were all in the back right of the tank, near the overflow and head of the heater, but that is also where the current brings anything loose.

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PaigeTX

I am a beginner so I wouldn’t be of much help but I am so sorry to see this!! 😔 Hopefully someone can help identify the issue

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Vhexxen
10 minutes ago, PaigeTX said:

I am a beginner so I wouldn’t be of much help but I am so sorry to see this!! 😔 Hopefully someone can help identify the issue

Thanks for the condolences and the bump 🙂. I do hope someone has some ideas; my repeated trawls through the internet aren’t bringing up anything that matches.

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Wonderboy

I'm very sorry about the losses.  😞

 

These are the possibilities that I came up with: 

 

-the new additions combination the new pellets caused a small but sufficient increase in suspended ammonia, or nitrite thereafter, because the particular introductions may have produced an excess of unnaquainted organic byproduct which the system's bacteria population didn't process as efficiently as it would when metabolizing developed consistensies (this is often a prominent concern in small systems). Not positive if a visual pod die-off would be related to this, but maybe.

 

-the rock could be leeching an unknown contaminent - this could be a better explaination for dying pods...

 

-the heater could possibly be too powerful for the size of the system and be causing more rapid heating than optimal - not that it is making it too warm in general - but that when the system hits 74.7 or whatever, the heater turns on, gets really hot, and then turns off when the tank hits 75.2 (guessing); however, the heat retention of the [material in the] heater continues to warm the water to around 80+ (also can be common in small systems). I suppose if the changes were rapid enough, this could explain why the pods died, too

 

Hope this helps! Wishing you the best of luck from here on out!

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Vhexxen

Thanks, Wonderboy.  Ammonia would have impacted other life as well; it was one of my first thoughts.  And leeching wouldn’t have been overnight, once and done (although I haven’t added any fish or shrimp back in).

 

The heater has been like this since I set up the tank, although a controller isn’t in the cards so I have no way of tracking it all the time 😕

 

The tank has at least been stable since then.  GHA is picking up steam, still reading minimally for NO3/PO3.  Added a few more little astraeas since I’ve done well with them in the past, plus an emerald crab.  My LFS gave me a couple of pieces of rock from the crab tank too, and a couple of handfuls of sand to help repopulate microbes.

 

and in that sand? An extra emerald XD might actually be a ruby.  It’s kind of in between in colours.

 

Also, on that rock? Two itty bitty ball ‘nems’ with very pretty blue/green spots around the oral discs!  The bigger one has already crept into a bit more shade and fluffed up again.

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Wonderboy

I think it was probably ammonia then. All marine species have been found to have different measurable tolerances to acute toxicity of ammonia, dependent on salinity and pH. Do you know what your pH values have been? It was super helpful of the LFS to provide sand -and a free crab- lol!

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Vhexxen

Yeah, my LFS is great 😛 

 

If astraeas are less sensitive than I thought to ammonia, that might have been it.  A short lived spike before my bugs caught up 😕 pH did drop a bit, I had found, hard to give accurate numbers with the test I have.  Calcium/all too.  I’ve since buffered ‘em back up (not as a big jump 🙂 )

 

My roommate got me looking at damsels while I was picking up the snails and such XD I’ve never been a fan because of the aggression reputations, but I suppose a solo fish can be as mean as it likes as long as it doesn’t nip coral.  The hermits, at least, are very capable of taking care of themselves (and the biggest, who is clearly not a blue leg, is smart enough to accept that hunting a smaller snail is not worth getting squirted off balance lol).  Any thoughts? For, y’know, in 3-4 weeks. I think I want some macro in there before any more fish.  I don’t think I’ll go for another shrimp, though.  With the antennae, it’s just too crowded.

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Wonderboy

I really like the idea of getting some macro growing in there before another fish - have you put any thought in to what kind? I would think something slower growing would be good, but if you're on top of it anything would be great - I would be careful about halimeda as that may consume too much of the system's calcium one day. Damsels mostly show aggression to other water column dwellers or species with similar characteristics - they usually don't bother hermits and snails. I think they are great choices for small setups like this because it allows you to better see their spunky interactive personality.

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Vhexxen

I don’t have a lot of macro options around - my nearest LFS is the only one around with any, and it’s usually chaeto with occasional dragon’s breath (I think).  I’ve found one Canadian online retailer with some, but they always seem to be sold out of most(plus shipping costs).  I do like broader algaes; my tank has a lot of small flecks of colour, and I’m thinking some wider swathes would help balance that visually.  And yet I’m so close to an ocean full of kelp XD

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