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Fisker's 20 Long Macro Tank!

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Fisker

Alright, I'll leave it in there.

 

I can't tell if my hammer frag is trying to come back or is just finishing off dying. It seems like the last bits of purple flesh around the mouth are bulging a bit today, something that I haven't noticed before. I'll keep an eye on it - even if it does begin to come back, I'm not sure if I want/can have it in the tank. I don't know if euphyllia really go with the softy/macro look, and I don't know how this particular puffer would react to all that tantalizing flesh. More than likely, I'll try and get a couple bucks out of it at the LFS, if I can get it into a presentable state.

 

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Can't let a day go by without pics, so here's a couple pics of my GSP and gorg being reasonably happy. I'm still not getting extension out of the gorg like I see out of a lot of tanks on here, but it's something. Plus, I can see flesh re-growing on the skeleton day-by-day.

 

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billygoat

That gorg definitely looks better than bad! I can see some nice fuzzy polyps on there. Some of them are also just very temperamental and take a long time to get used to their new environment, especially if they were kept in sub-optimal conditions before they came into your hands.

 

Any plans to add other macros in the near future? Or are you going to hold off on stocking more until you get the 20L up and running?

 

Good choice on the 20L by the way. I think it's a great size and love all the floor space it gives you. The only problem is that lighting them can be kind of a pain, but I have no doubt that you'll cross that bridge when you get to it. 😊

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Fisker

I'll probably hold off on any serious new additions until I can get the 20 up - locally, there's not really many macros to choose from (Chaetomorpha, C. Prolifera, and the occasional macro like the Christmas Tree are about all I can find here), and I kinda hate to spend a ton of cash for overnight shipping a small order of macros. If I'm ordering online, I tend to order quite a bit. With that in mind, I'll probably save up and make a decently large order once everything is set up and once I see some cool stuff come into stock.

 

I was actually just going to stick with the two black boxes over the 20L. Same dimensions as the 29, just shorter - and I'm really liking the color and coral reaction I'm getting from this fixture without any optics, so I think that might be a cheap way to go. Plus, these are full-spectrum reef fixtures, so I can use them on other builds in the event of them not being needed anymore over this tank.

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Fisker

Came home and threw a couple snails into the Tank of Doom. I watched my feeder tank for a while and picked out the snails that seemed to be particularly rude. I chose a couple of smaller ramshorns, the first of which my puffer attacked without mercy. After about a minute of relentless shell-cracking, the snail was no more.

 

The second ramshorn was slightly smaller, and I expected it to be gone in seconds. But, after about 30 seconds, the puffer gave up on it. I picked it up off the sand, and "re-fed" it to the tank, hoping to renew interest. He gave it a single chomp, but was unsuccessful. He turned around and gave me a look like he was expecting me to help. So I reached in, and was trying to crush it... and holy crap, this snail had a shell of STEEL. All of the snail children watch movies and read comics about this snail, which I affectionately named Supersnail. I was actually unable to crush it between my thumb and index finger, and had to instead smash it up with a rock in the tank.  As soon as it was cracked open, the puffer dashed in and had it down in about 5 seconds.

 

I grabbed some shrimp to feed the clown, and decided to give the puffer a chunk too. I thought I'd play with him a bit, and held it above the tank. He came up to the surface, eyed the shrimp, put his snout up out of the water, and spat a bunch of water at it. I thought that only the larger species (dogface, porcupine, etc.) did this?! It was awesome! Other than having saltwater all over the wall, of course. He then decided to start jumping and gnashing his teeth at it, which gave a bunch of very audible snaps. After that, I decided to let him have it. But it was a very eventful few seconds, and I learned a lot about Valentinis!

 

Sorry about that wall of text detailing a simple feeding. I just love interacting with this fish - he's gotten used to me now, and is constantly checking me out while I'm around the tank, or brushing up against my arm while I'm doing something in the tank, or is always scanning the tank for food. He's awesome, and while I don't like having to take the lives of my feeders (even if they are just snails), feeding him something that he has to work for is a ton of fun. To make up for the post, here's a pic of the guy.

 

1576187544_Puffer23.thumb.jpg.198dd45edd7bc4b749e5bbaebc7fabed.jpg

 

 

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billygoat
13 minutes ago, Fisker said:

Sorry about that wall of text detailing a simple feeding. I just love interacting with this fish - he's gotten used to me now, and is constantly checking me out while I'm around the tank, or brushing up against my arm while I'm doing something in the tank, or is always scanning the tank for food. He's awesome, and while I don't like having to take the lives of my feeders (even if they are just snails), feeding him something that he has to work for is a ton of fun. To make up for the post, here's a pic of the guy.

I like text! In fact it's the reason I read forums! 🤣

 

Super cool to hear about your interactions with the Valentini puffer. It's definitely a very intelligent and inquisitive fish, and makes for a great focal point in a system like this. I'm sure that interacting with him is a lot more engaging than just tossing some flakes or pellets in the tank and watching the fish do their normal eating thing, which is exactly what happens in my system. 😅

 

Regarding your eventual plans to get some additional macroalgae: you probably know all about the various online vendors already, but for interesting macroalgae I recommend either Gulf Coast Ecosystems (www.live-plants.com) or Reef Cleaners. Summer is peak macro season in Florida, so both of these retailers will likely have a pretty wide selection of neat specimens in stock over the next couple months. Shipping is fairly cheap too, as pretty much all macroalgae can be safely shipped by 3-day priority mail.

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Fisker

I've only ever ordered from Reef Cleaners, but had been thinking about making an order from GCE for their selection of gorgs. That said, it really comes down to what each vendor has to offer at the time, and what I'm looking for.

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Fisker

Got a call from Petsmart today, and I have an interview with them tomorrow. Which is great, because it'll be about 15 minutes from campus once school starts. I have my qualms with them, but I can deal with that.

 

Plus, all employees get a 15% discount... I might be able to get a 20 long cheaper than I thought.

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Hannahhhh
On 6/23/2019 at 9:47 PM, Fisker said:

Came home and threw a couple snails into the Tank of Doom. I watched my feeder tank for a while and picked out the snails that seemed to be particularly rude. I chose a couple of smaller ramshorns, the first of which my puffer attacked without mercy. After about a minute of relentless shell-cracking, the snail was no more.

 

The second ramshorn was slightly smaller, and I expected it to be gone in seconds. But, after about 30 seconds, the puffer gave up on it. I picked it up off the sand, and "re-fed" it to the tank, hoping to renew interest. He gave it a single chomp, but was unsuccessful. He turned around and gave me a look like he was expecting me to help. So I reached in, and was trying to crush it... and holy crap, this snail had a shell of STEEL. All of the snail children watch movies and read comics about this snail, which I affectionately named Supersnail. I was actually unable to crush it between my thumb and index finger, and had to instead smash it up with a rock in the tank.  As soon as it was cracked open, the puffer dashed in and had it down in about 5 seconds.

 

I grabbed some shrimp to feed the clown, and decided to give the puffer a chunk too. I thought I'd play with him a bit, and held it above the tank. He came up to the surface, eyed the shrimp, put his snout up out of the water, and spat a bunch of water at it. I thought that only the larger species (dogface, porcupine, etc.) did this?! It was awesome! Other than having saltwater all over the wall, of course. He then decided to start jumping and gnashing his teeth at it, which gave a bunch of very audible snaps. After that, I decided to let him have it. But it was a very eventful few seconds, and I learned a lot about Valentinis!

 

Sorry about that wall of text detailing a simple feeding. I just love interacting with this fish - he's gotten used to me now, and is constantly checking me out while I'm around the tank, or brushing up against my arm while I'm doing something in the tank, or is always scanning the tank for food. He's awesome, and while I don't like having to take the lives of my feeders (even if they are just snails), feeding him something that he has to work for is a ton of fun. To make up for the post, here's a pic of the guy.

 

1576187544_Puffer23.thumb.jpg.198dd45edd7bc4b749e5bbaebc7fabed.jpg

 

 

Your puffer is adorable, I’ve always wanted one. Will he eat frozen food too, or only live (or recently smashed) snails?

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Fisker
8 hours ago, Hannahhhh said:

Your puffer is adorable, I’ve always wanted one. Will he eat frozen food too, or only live (or recently smashed) snails?

Thank you! He eats frozen and live. When I was researching these guys, I heard that some of these guys were very picky and tended not to be good eaters, even when it came to live foods. That's not been my experience, luckily. If you have a tank without a ton of fleshy coral, go for it! I care a lot for all my fish, but puffers just take it a step further with all of their personality.

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Fisker

So... I got hired at Petsmart! And I picked up a 20 long for a grand total of... $0.71. Yup.

 

I got a 50% discount on it, plus it was already on clearance (it hadn't sold in a while), plus I had like $6 off on my Petsmart app. I'm testing the seals now, but things look good. I also picked up a little black molly to add to the tank. I was missing my sailfin already, sadly. Black mollies should stay a bit smaller and have shorter fins, so I feel good about his chances with the puffer.

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billygoat
6 hours ago, Fisker said:

So... I got hired at Petsmart! And I picked up a 20 long for a grand total of... $0.71. Yup.

 

I got a 50% discount on it, plus it was already on clearance (it hadn't sold in a while), plus I had like $6 off on my Petsmart app. I'm testing the seals now, but things look good. I also picked up a little black molly to add to the tank. I was missing my sailfin already, sadly. Black mollies should stay a bit smaller and have shorter fins, so I feel good about his chances with the puffer.

That's great news! Congrats on both the job and the new tank! 71 cents seems like a pretty good deal to me. 😉 Are you planning on moving things over as soon as you can, or are you going to wait for a bit and keep the 10g going for now?

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Fisker

Thanks! I'm pretty excited about both the tank and the job, especially as the store is right off campus and seems to have a surprisingly knowledgeable staff.

 

Thought I'd wait for a bit... but I couldn't do it. Had to celebrate the new job, right?

 

I mixed up 8 gallons of new saltwater, and used the rock and sand from the 10 gallon. Filled it up nicely. I also moved over the Koralia Nano 240, the AC 50, and the AC 30 I had from my reef tank. Flow is decent all around the tank, and I THINK it'll be enough. I'll have to evaluate over time, but judging by how some of the macros are swaying in the current, I'm getting there in terms of flow.

 

While I was moving around algae, I noticed that my C. Racemosa Pelata has been doing more expansion that I thought - although it's still plagued by hair algae, sadly. My C. Mexicana has been growing on a single runner, and while that one runner is doing well, I'd personally like to see it expand a bit more as I REALLY like this variety of Caulerpa. The Christmas Tree has a noticeably bigger rhizome, and I can see numerous root-like structures (...roots?) coming out of it that weren't there before. Good to know it's doing okay!

 

The poor clown is pretty stressed. I think moving her from a dark container to a relatively bright tank with a pretty decent sized fish was probably a bit much all at once. She's retreated behind the heater after exploring the tank for a few minutes. I'm not concerned by any means, as she's always been outgoing and will probably be queen of the tank by the morning. The puffer took the move in stride. He did NOT enjoy being scooped up into a pitcher, though. He banged his head on the plastic, and I thought he might have hurt himself, but he turned out to be all good. Once he was in the pitcher, it was a 4 foot walk to the new tank where I dumped him straight in. Temperature and salinity were close enough (1-2 degrees F and 1.001 SG), and I've found that fish couldn't care less with that minimal difference. He took off and has been exploring ever since - even attacking hermit crabs to the point of them burying themselves partially in the sand. I threw a snail and a little hunk of shrimp in for him, and he's just calmly staring at me now. Cool guy.

 

The molly is still in his bucket acclimating. We're probably around 1.010 or so, and I've seen no signs of unexpected stress. I'll probably finish his acclimation up in a few hours and plop him into the tank, as I think leaving him overnight without a cycled filter would cause him more harm than good.

 

I'm happy to have the tank set up, and am going to refrain from adding anything else except for the molly for around a month. That always seems to work well for you, @billygoat, so with that in mind, I'm going to give it a go. That said...

 

The LED fixture wasn't really enough for the entire tank. It lights about 22" of the tank rather well, and leaves the rest of the tank barely lit at all. For now, I threw on an ABI tuna blue PAR38 onto one side of the tank, and the LED fixture onto the other. Makes for an uneven color spectrum, but I can deal with that for a while if it keeps everyone happy. I'm trying to decide if I want to get another Wattshine LED, or if I want to try something different. Anyone got suggestions that might be cheaper than the Wattshine? I've decided I don't want to just straight 6500K LEDs - I want more of a 10000K look. I could do a trio of Reef 10000K PAR 38's, but I think I would prefer the Wattshines to that.

 

Another thing is getting some good rock into this tank. All of the rock in here really isn't meant for saltwater. It's too dense. I've got the bio media in my filter, which seems to be doing the job (plus the macros), but I want to have good live rock. I've bleached a bit of live rock (I've had previous issues with it before, even after letting it dry out), and am going to be looking for some nice pieces of dry rock from my LFS. I'll probably let them cycle for at least a few weeks before I add any of it to the tank. Till then, it's going to look like a disorganized mess.

 

Tomorrow, I'm going to move a few macros and corals around. Corals are going to mainly go under the Tuna Blue PAR 38, and most of the macros will go under the Wattshine, to get a better spectrum going for each.

 

I won't be able to get any good FTS shots while the spectrums are so different, as the Tuna Blue bulb is REALLY blue. 

 

Time for pics! I'll post more tomorrow after the tank clears, I move rocks around, and corals are placed.

 

 

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Little update, about an hour later. When I added the clown, the puffer had no issues with her. No nipping or interest whatsoever. The molly got a few nips, but no damage by the looks of it. I turned off all of the white lights and dimmed the actinics to help calm everyone down and allow me to monitor the situation and remove the molly if need be. We'll see how the little guy does tonight.

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Fisker

Dang - woke up this morning and the molly was sucked to one of the intake tubes 😞

 

Maybe I acclimated him too fast. I think I did right around 6 hours, and I usually do between 6-8. Perhaps only sailfin varieties acclimate that quickly... I've actually never attempted to acclimate anything that wasn't a sailfin or derived from a sailfin (balloon molly). If I try it again, I'll probably set up a 5.5 gallon aquarium with a cycled filter and just do it over 24 hours. Ugh. I hate killing fish. Live and learn, I guess.

 

Everything else seems to be doing well. Both the clown and the puffer are active and hungry this morning, and both are utilizing the entire tank. I think they'll be happier once I get a bit more rock in here so it's not so open, but they're doing okay for now. All the hermits made it over okay, but this morning I think I found a molt - I can't tell if it's a molt, or if it's a dead crab. There are two hermits fighting over a shell right now (there's like 30 empty shells, too...), but I'm not sure if that's a dead hermit or just an empty shell. The macros haven't gone sexual and lost it or anything. I will say that the C. Mexicana appears slightly paler than usual, but I found that it did that whenever I first added it to my tank as well. Not too worried, yet! The coral are doing fine. The gorg actually has pretty good extension, as it's getting an AC 50 on one side, an AC 30 on the other, and then the powerhead from across the tank. The GSP are happy campers, and the toadstool was doing very well until the hermits started crawling all over it.

 

Today's goal is to get the rock grouped up into a "scape", and to get corals under the blue bulb and most macros under the Wattshine. 

 

In other news, I just saw my puffer puff up for the first time. Not sure what caused it - he was just acting normally and he quickly started expanding. It lasted maybe 10 seconds, and he started breathing back out again. I've heard that it's normal for these guys to exercise those muscles from time to time (like how freshwater bettas flare at nothing), so hopefully that was it.

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billygoat

Sad to hear about the molly. 😞 Acclimating those guys is definitely a super hit-or-miss process. But it's great to hear that everything else is doing well after the move! I'm sure that once you get your lighting sorted and everything worked out, this tank will start to grow in very rapidly. I'd be worried about the C. mexicana overrunning the whole substrate, but if you get some more rock in there it probably won't be too much of a problem.

 

Another cool approach would be to keep the rock to a minimum and incorporate a ton of rooting macros in a big old broad sandbed, with a few gorgonians here and there to fill up the vertical space. I suppose that probably wouldn't be the best for your fish though.

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Fisker

Thanks.

 

I'm actually kind of looking for the C. Mexicana and maybe another species of Caulerpa to take over the back half of the sandbed. I want that forested look back there. I figured I'd keep most of my rooted macros either in the front half, or try and grow out trimmings big enough to be able to hold it's own near the Caulerpa in the back half.

 

As for your idea about keeping rock to a minimum, that's kinda the plan. I don't want a big scape in this tank - I want enough for the fish to feel at home and interact with the scape, and I want enough for some of my rock-dwelling macros to do well, but I'm thinking of keeping it pretty bare when it comes to real rockscape. I want a lot of the shape and look of the tank to come from gorgonians and macroalgae - not necessarily rocks like you might want in some reef tanks.

 

In other news, I tested for a few things today, and everything came back good except for NO3. It was sitting at 0 - or possibly just above 0 at 1 or 2 PPM. I dosed 2 PPM of nitrate today, and we're gonna see if that maybe doesn't kickstart the tank a bit. This is half old water, too, so I'd expect at least some nitrate. Maybe that's why some of my Caulerpa looks a little pale.

 

One of the new additions in this tank is most definitely going to be a mate for my clown. I've decided that much, for sure. Now, do I add anything more than that? Ehhh... I don't know. I think with those three, I'd have room for another small-ish fish or two, but I think a lot of it depends on the scape I decide on and if I get a lot of fast-growing macros or not. 

 

So, I'm sitting here at about 2 AM doing math... and for lighting, here's what I've concluded: doing 4 daylight PAR 38's above this tank is going to cost me roughly $65. It's going to be non-dimmable, and possibly too much light - and very low kelvin. Great for growth, but not for color. All that does include building a DIY mounting fixture, but still, when for $15 more I can get a second Wattshine and have full-tank coverage AND full color control, I'm leaning more towards that solution. Eventually, I'd probably do a DIY hanging fixture for both of them - for now, they'd just sit on a glass top like my current one does.

 

Now, as for buying that new fixture... I think I'll split that up between my next few checks, as I look to leaving one job and starting another, just in case hours aren't quite what I was expecting at first. We'll see how things go, but this might end up being a month or two in the making, which is probably for the best anyway. Gives me time to make sure it's exactly what I want. In the meantime, I'm going to be concentrating on getting the rock I have back into safe shape to add to the tank (I bleached it, as I was having consistent problems in the tank I used it in and don't want those problems in here), and also getting a better substrate into this tank, probably crushed coral or possibly aragonite.

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Fisker

Brat 🙄

 

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billygoat

When it comes to lighting, I always recommend going for the more expensive but longer-lasting and more functional option. In the long run it is probably going to end up saving you money, since it's virtually guaranteed that you'd upgrade your dual Par 38s at some point anyway. So if you think the 2nd black box fixture is the best option for the tank, I encourage you to go for it.

 

17 minutes ago, Fisker said:

Brat 🙄

Is that some GSP that he's harassing down there? I feel like those puffers will nibble on anything given the chance. 😅 It's part of their charm.

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Fisker

Yeah, I definitely think I'll be much happier with the black box. I was actually gonna do 3-4 of the PAR 38's, so intensity and spread wouldn't be an issue. The color would just kind of suck to my eyes, as I prefer at least 7000K. I could do a bunch of the higher kelvin PAR 38s, but I'd be running up the price way over that of the black box.

 

Yup! He switches between laying on the GSP, the Gracilaria Hayi, and the Caulerpa Racemosa Pelata. Which makes sense, as all are relatively fluffy, supportive, and soft.

 

Funny you mention about him nipping... I've never seen him nip at a coral. Not a single time. Not the gorg, not the GSP, and not even the toadstool. I've seen him get a few mouthfuls of macro while he's hunting pods and snails, but never corals. I seem to have found a pretty reef-safe puffer! Which may play a part in one of the tank inhabitants I'd like to keep in the future.

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Fisker

Yesterday was pretty busy - I had to work, I made a trip to Petsmart (used that 15% employee discount 😏), and got new glasses. I needed bifocals, and it turns out, I can see stuff SO much better now. I never realized it, but I'd always look out over my glasses to look at my aquarium, since it was just so fuzzy up close. Now, as long as I'm using the bifocals, everything is so clear.

 

What did I get at Petsmart, you might ask? Tons of stuff! Kinda. Not really. I got a 15 lb bag of crushed coral and 10 Rosy Red Minnows. The minnows are going into a 10 gallon along with the feeder snails, and are basically just an excuse to try them out. I kept fathead minnows as a kid in a pond, and loved it, so these guys are making me a bit nostalgic. If they breed, I'm sure the fry would be good feeders for this tank too. The crushed coral got rinsed a total of 23 times, and was STILL cloudy going into the tank. It cleared overnight, but wow. I know a lot of people HATE CC, but my plans are to treat it a lot how you might treat a freshwater tank with gravel. Vacuum 1/3 of the gravel bed at every water change, occasionally stir the entire bed, and just let things be. I like how it looks, I like how it holds up my macros, and I actually like how it doesn't compact like sand but is too heavy to blow around much. Plus, if nitrates do get a little high (which is a chief complaint of CC, which I think just stems from not thoroughly vacuuming), it's all good. Not necessarily shooting for a clean tank with this build.

 

I also picked up a 29 1/2"x10" glass panel to use as a lid, which turned out pretty well. I was losing a LOT of water every day due to evaporation, so hopefully this helps. I had to move both HOBs to the back of the tank, but that probably needed to be done anyway, since there was a bit of a dead spot on the left side of the tank. I also picked up something else, and I probably should have waited, but I couldn't pass it up... more to come on that later today.

 

Pics to come! Lights aren't on yet, and the tank is still slightly hazy. For now, enjoy this picture of where the puffer decided to settle down for the night - on a big piece of Gracilaria Hayi.

 

184080652_Puffer28.thumb.jpg.d1bf155e61de4403c189853bca9d1352.jpg

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Fisker

Crazy weather! It went from sunny and 96 to raining, lightning, hail, and 74 in about 30 minutes. 

 

The tank has cleared pretty nicely today, and it appears to be quite a bit brighter - probably because of how white the CC is on the bottom. I personally like it, and think it'll do well once I get my scape going. I'm only doing sorta half FTS's, as the blue lighting screws with my camera big time, but here's about what you can expect from here on out.

 

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...is that a clownfish reflection? Nope! I got a second clown - this one's about half an inch shorter than my existing clown, and so far, the smaller one has been taking the beatings and submitting very quickly. I don't think they're paired, but I do think they're a good match. Little guy is eating, active, and the two are around each other quite a bit. The puffer took absolutely no notice of him, other than giving the bag a few nips while he was floating (which is why I tripled bagged the clown!), and I'm digging the trio so far. I think this'll probably fill out all the free-swimming fish I want. Maybe I'll eventually look into a smaller goby or blenny, but for now, I'm set on fish.

 

Notice that I skipped QT, and I shouldn't have. He's captive-bred, bought straight from a local breeder, and never hit the LFS's water - which is the only reason I didn't QT. I'll watch closely, of course, but I think we're good. I'm not as anal about QTing as I should be, but even this makes me a little nervous due to past experiences with brook and velvet.

 

The tank is kinda fugly right now, but I'm going to let my rock dry out for a few hours and then start cycling it in some saltwater with a cycled sponge. I think I'll let it cycle for a week, add a piece or two, and then add the rest a week or so later. It's not got a ton of organics on it, I don't think, so I think I'll be fine.

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billygoat

Ooh, looking good with that crushed coral! CC gets a bad rap for being a detritus trap, but if you're willing to do the stirring and vacuuming necessary to keep it clean I think it can be an appealing choice in a tank like this one. The only thing is that rooting macros probably won't do well in it, as they seem to prefer siltier substrates. Everything else won't mind at all though.

 

Congratulations on the 2nd clown! Here's hoping the two pair up and get along well ^^

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Fisker

Thanks! I actually sorta prefer the look of a relatively fine grain of sand (like the Fiji pink stuff), but I've never been able to keep it looking nice for more than a month or two, even with daily stirrings and weekly vacuuming. For this particular tank, maintenance is going to consist of stirring small sections of the substrate a few times a week, with a full substrate stirring right before I gravel vac. I think that'll keep it mostly clean, as it's going to be mostly poo, as food is pretty quickly eaten by either the puffer or the hermits once it hits the substrate.

 

One plus I've already noticed is that the puffer has been continuously munching on the CC throughout the day. Might be just because it's new, but I keep hearing crunching, only to look over and see him spitting out a bunch of coral. Good for his beak, I bet.

 

As for the macros, that's something that I didn't consider. After some quick Google-fu, though, I do see some people agreeing that they're going to do better in a sandy/muddy substrate. That said... I've seen macro tanks AND seagrass tanks with a very coarse crushed shell substrate before, so I'm not sure if it's a complete dead end or not. We shall definitely see! Might be a fun experiment.

 

I went ahead and added in some of the rock I plan to use, as I'm not sure there's enough organic matter left on it to cure it. It got soaked in freshwater for a day, soaked in bleachwater for a night, dried in the 95 degree heat for two days, soaked in freshwater for two days, and then powerwashed. There might still be some dead bacteria or pods in the pores, but I doubt it's going to cause any spikes. Regardless, I always have at least 5 gallons of water mixed at any time, so I'll stay on top of testing for a few days. 

 

I went with a pretty basic scape, and while I do plan to add a bit more rock, I think that the charm of this tank is going to come from the negative space and the macros that inhabit that space. I'm thinking of trying some "carpeting" macros, as well as stuff like Maiden's Hair Grass, and POSSIBLY something like Oar Grass at some point. I've seen people use inert substrates with root tabs for them before, but I don't know the specifics... I'll have to read up on it. I basically want a nice, lush planted tank. Something different.

 

I got bored and started just taking a bunch of pics...

 

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There's not a ton to it, but I like it. I know the pics are turning out super, super purple, but that's my phone. In reality, the parts lit by the Wattshine are more like 10-12K. The PAR 38 is throwing off my phone, and my image editing app can't quite get the purple out. I'll make an effort in the future to get better color!

 

As a bonus, here's a pic of my snail feeder tank. It's also home to a bunch of Rosy Red Minnows, which are pretty awesome.

 

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Fisker

Yikes - just took a peek into my tank before I run off to work, and I'm seeing some long strands of hair algae on the substrate and on some of the rock. I think I'll change out a few gallons of water tonight, and vacuum/scrub any algae I can. I might pick up a few more hermits tomorrow, too.

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Fisker

Hm - interesting!

 

Got home from work, and while I was feeding, I noticed that a LOT of the algae I noticed earlier is gone. Which is either really good or really bad.

 

Is it just algae that my hermits came along and devoured? Is it algae that managed to die off and disintegrate that quick? Or...

 

Is it some sort of bacteria that comes and goes? It was stringy, and a very dark brown.

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billygoat
11 hours ago, Fisker said:

Hm - interesting!

 

Got home from work, and while I was feeding, I noticed that a LOT of the algae I noticed earlier is gone. Which is either really good or really bad.

 

Is it just algae that my hermits came along and devoured? Is it algae that managed to die off and disintegrate that quick? Or...

 

Is it some sort of bacteria that comes and goes? It was stringy, and a very dark brown.

Dinoflagellates and some types of diatom are known to die back during the night and reappear during the day... but if it vanished while you were at work, chances are that either something is eating it or it was some other sort of algae. It can be very difficult to get a positive ID on the brown stringy types, because sometimes different types of pest algae will bloom simultaneously and mix with each other; that brown stringiness could be a mixture of hair algae and cyanobacteria, or cyano and diatoms. Did you see any air bubbles trapped in it?

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