Jump to content
Tired

Tinitanks 5gal pico, The Alcove (thread currently under construction)

Recommended Posts

Tired

Well, this tank was GOING to come with me when I go back to college (had to leave due to health issues), but who knows when that will be. 

 

Tank: 4.5g TiniTanks setup. 12" by 12" by 8", a great footprint. Came with everything. 

Light: Something custom-made by the guy who made this tank, adjustable via an app.

Filter: A fountain pump with a forked outlet, and a controller under the stand so I can adjust the speed. No media. 

Other equipment: Two very small heaters, hooked to an Inkbird controller in case one fails. One heater couldn't do the job, I keep my room cold. 

 

 

9/25/19, original post.

I went to both my LFS to look at what they had, and hit a minor jackpot of rock. One of 'em has some of what they say is Caribbean rock, pretty nice-looking stuff, and the other (which normally only carries aquacultured paint-and-nothing-else rock) had some in from someone who'd been taking down his tank. I bought a 7lb rock from them for $4 a pound, and it has some zoanthids on it! Nice ones, too, from what I could see, though they hadn't opened up yet. All the rock is cycled, so hopefully the zoas will be fine in my quarantine. I also picked up 3 tiny blue legged hermits to keep the algae down.

 

9/27 to 10/11: 

A lump on a rock turned out to be a big turkey wing clam, and died, probably of starvation. I got a handful of live sand from one of the display tanks at my LFS (since I know there's no fish disease in that), to hopefully obtain sand critters. A small algae bloom started, shocking no one. Many worms and such made themselves known, including whatever is in the rock and blows sand out sometimes. A very tiny, intermittent clicking noise is also happening, not from the pump. The zoanthids turned out to be rastas, and opened up fine, serving as convenient "does anything in here eat coral" canaries. Spotted a small chiton.

 

10/17/19: got my ReefCleaners order. Gonna let them go to work on the algae, then once it's thinned out a bunch, remove some of these extra dwarf ceriths. 

 

10/18 to 11/15: I mistook feathery hair algae for bryopsis, and treated with a tablet of fluconazole before I found out otherwise. Oh well, nothing minded. 

Due to minimal feeding and all the hair algae, nitrates are 0. There are a lot of copepods in the hair algae, and some amphipods scattered around. I take this as a good thing at the time, but will eventually learn to curse the amphipods for their presence. The small eunicid-type worms I was worried about have continued not to grow or do anything harmful, so they must be one of the harmless ones. Nothing presents any complaints, including the corals.

Snails had a massive buffet with the hair algae, and in the space of a week, stripped most of it off the back wall and moved on to the rockwork. Particularly clean patches of rock suggest there are at least 2 chitons. There are also acoel flatworms, which aren't causing a problem, and aiptasia that I do not want. Many collonista snails. Spotted what looked like a transparent flatworm, moved like a polyclad but lacked color. (Edit: this never seemed to do anything, it's August and I haven't seen it in awhile.)

Got some sessile inverts from SaltCritters. Also got a micro decorator crab, and swapped the hermits for 2 scarlet reef hermits. 

 

11/15/19: added 4 berghias from SaltyUnderground to make sure the aiptasia go away, since I can't reach them all and don't know where they are.

 

11/20 to some point in December:

Added a micro decorator crab, and swapped my hermits for 2 scarlet reef hermits, since those are the most docile ones I could get ahold of. Have seen at least 4 chitons, and a limpet. The eunicid-style worms have been building tubes but not damaging anything. The mystery flatworm is still present and extremely bold, which makes me think it's not a polyclad. Removed most of the dwarf cerith snails.

Got fancy zoanthids for Cyber Monday. Moved the rockwork a bit in the temporary tank, and found a live starlet coral underneath one. 

Flatworms boomed briefly, then went down to reasonable numbers. Saw tiny limpets.

No complaints from any livestock.

Saw what I thought might be a fish-parasitizing isopod. Scary. (Edit: turned out, months later, to be one of the harmless kinds and not a nasty little fish-biter.)

1 visible aiptasia left. 

Chiseled the starlet coral, and a single-polyp starlet, off the bottom of two rocks. Put them in the light and they expanded nicely. Removed 3 limpets in case they cause trouble- I gave them to a LFS that put them in a sump. 

 

12/25/19:

The tank has been upgraded! I wound up adding some coral rock (found it myself, already dead and washed up, no worries about poaching), and I removed most of that rock that the rastas were on. It has all kinds of great shapes, including an arch thing that my decorator crab was enjoying (sorry, buddy), but I didn't have enough room in it. I'm also kind of hoping that I've cut my amphipod population down, so they'll maybe stop EATING MY MACROS, or at least so they won't starve until the bulk of the tank is full of biofilm again. Most of them seemed to be living in that biggest rock, which was full of all sorts of empty spaces. I'm going to give that rock away rather than just setting them aside to die or whatnot. 

I also took out that big, dense rock that had the halimeda growing on it. I didn't have room for it, and it was SOLID. Not nice coral rock, just heavy regular rock with some holes on the top from burrowing animals. I may keep some chips off the top to seed interesting algaes from it, but I chipped the halimeda off to keep, so I've got the coolest bit from that one. 

 

1/1/20: Added a candycane pistol shrimp and (very briefly) a hovering cleaner shrimp, whoops, that I will be replacing and remembering the lid for. Shrimp jump.

 

Current stock, August 4th: 

Spoiler

White-spotted dwarf goby 

Antenna goby (?? Haven't seen him since I added him, haven't done anything that would kill him, have kept the lid on.)

 

2 micro decorator crabs

Tiny mime crab (unless I removed it on a macro trimming)

Candycane pistol shrimp

2 scarlet reef hermits

Twentyish dwarf ceriths

Dozenish periwinkles

5 dwarf planaxis

Small nerite

 

Zoas and palys: 

SU Rose Nebula 

SU Hawaiian Ding Dang 

Black Hole Suns

God of War 

Utter Chaos

Captain Jerks 

Candy Apple Green 

Chucky's Bride 

Nirvanas from SaltyUnderground that don't look like most others sold as Nirvanas (still pretty)

Ring of Fire 

Tweekers

Brown with white centers

Orange with yellow mouths and lots of delicate little flecks

Black with yellow rims and red mouths

Interesting dark gray with radiating metallic lines, and a very tiny fleck of orange on the mouth

Orange, yellow, and brown ringed, slightly metallic

Blue ones that looked like lower-intensity hornets until they closed up for 2 weeks and then opened as light blue smears, for some reason? 

 

Corals, etc:

Nondescript light blue acan lord

Blue-green sympodium

Starlet coral (6 polyps) 

Starlet coral (1 tiny polyp)

Green-and-white rim generic RFA

Red center, white rim ultra RFA

Green zebra striped, silver highlights ultra RFA

 

 

Macros: 

Fire fern

Red bubble "caulerpa" 

Carpeting halimeda

Blue hypnea pannosa

Codium, probably short finger

 

Unintentional microorganisms: 

 

Half-inch, white chitons with fuzzy edges (1-2)

Half-inch chiton, blotchy gray and white, feels like sandpaper (1)

Bristleworms (several)

Tiiiiny white chitons with spots, unknown number

White spaghetti worms (3?)

Peanut worms (at least 1)

Red mini fan worms, unknown number

White mini fan worms, ditto

Suspected micro brittles (haven't seen any since added)

Spirobid snails (many) 

Vermatid snails (several)

Collonista snails (many)

Fuzzy orange sponge

Pineapple sponge (several) 

Tunicate (1)

Amphipods (many, unfortunately) 

Copepods (who knows)

Aiptasia (successfully removed!)

Isopod I forgot the name of, non-parasitic (found dying, later died, unknown cause)

 

Polyp count, for personal records: 

Spoiler

Add words later.

 

 

Here's what I started off with. 

The zoa rock: 

image0.jpg?width=840&height=630

That upper half is full of amazing algae. Most of it was pretty boring, probably from lower in the tank, but this has nice algae. The rest of the rock mostly had sponges and empty tubeworm tubes, no aiptasia or anything. 

image1.jpg?width=473&height=630

The zoas! Not sure what they are, but they have some pretty good colors to 'em. I got that rock for under $30, so that's a bargain if the zoas make it, plus there's that nice pink coraline. 

image0.jpg?width=473&height=630

A chiton from the Caribbean rock. There was another, but I think it got crushed somehow, because it seemed oddly flat and fell off the rock when I poked it. 

image1.jpg?width=473&height=630

Good color on this rock, too, and an assortment of macros. I think I got about 10 pounds of this? 3 pieces. 

image0.jpg?width=473&height=630

A different rock, and a sponge, I think. 

image1.jpg?width=840&height=630

At least 2 of these tiny limpets were on the rocks.

image0.jpg?width=840&height=630

I got a star snail! You can also see some nice flat orange sponge in the background. 

 

I'll take better pics when I dig the light out of storage and get it over these. 

 

On this rock: 

2 (at least) small limpets

Star snail

Chiton

Bristleworm (which I only know about because I got bristles in my finger! Didn't hurt any, though.)

Coraline algae, at least 2 types

Some sort of small caulerpa (pulled off, will no doubt regrow and need to be pulled again) 

At least 3 red macros

Some kind of brown wavy macro 

Something that looked like a tiny, short worm with 2 prongs at one end, that swam across the surface all wiggly. Amphipod, maybe? 

Something tiny and brown with a number of legs, either a super small crab or an amphipod, that vanished into a hole

A mussel, possibly? It's very covered in things and doesn't seem to open in any way, but it's fastened sort of loosely, like it's held on by threads. I hope it's not in there, or is easy to feed, because it's 2" long and I don't want that dying in here. Must photograph better at a later point.

 

On the zoa rock: 

Zoas (yay!) 

Pink coraline

Green algae

A TON of those tiny white spirals (can't remember if they're snails or tubeworms) that grow in established tanks

Some beige sponge material

Vermatid snail shells (not sure if any snails are inside)

 

There were 2 micro brittles that fell off in the bag and wound up in the bottom, but they seem dead. They weren't moving at all. They stuck tight to my fingertips when I picked them up, I'm not sure if that's a good sign or just a property of their legs. Not sure why they'd be dead- I got them home pretty quick, and they were in water in the bag. The guy wrapped the rocks in newspaper for anti-bag-poking padding and then put them in water in the bags, so could the newsprint have hurt them somehow? 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Wingy

I doubt the newsprint hurt them any.  The ink is made from soy.  You could drink it if you wanted. 

  • Wow 1

Share this post


Link to post
billygoat

This looks pretty nice! In my opinion there is nothing better you can put in your tank than some good quality rock with a bunch of living stuff on it. All that tiny stuff is what really makes a system special and unique. 👌

 

Keep an eye on those limpets though. I had a handful of limpets just like those hitchhike into my system as well, and once they got to a certain size they started grazing on some SPS in addition to algae. I even caught one gnawing on a gorgonian once! :ninja:

  • Wow 1

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

Huh, that's good to know. I'm probably not going to keep any SPS, but if I start seeing anything chewed up, I'll be sure to isolate the limpets and see if that helps. 

 

I'm gonna keep an eye on things for awhile, occasionally shift the rock around to check for aiptasia, basically just quarantine these. That way, I should be able to spot any issues. And those zoas I wasn't planning on getting will make decent bait! Anything in there that eats zoas, I'm gonna find out, and can hopefully take out before it kills 'em all. 

 

I was surprised to see rock this good at the one place. They usually have halfway decent rock, but this much algae and color is unusual. And then the zoa rock is just an excellent bonus, because the colors on it are amazing. I'll have to try and get some pretty shots once the sun comes up again tomorrow and I can do natural light. Hopefully those zoas open up soonish, I'm curious what they even are. 

 

Edit: found the light to put over them. 

The brittle stars haven't moved, I think they're dead. Still not sure why. Soy allergy? Or, more likely, I guess they could have gotten crushed somehow. I also spotted two of the bristleworms. They're those super common pink ones that most people seem to have, and are welcome here. I didn't find being stung to be at all painful, just a bit uncomfortable until I got the spines out. Sprinkled in a little food for them and other critters. 

This is just the quarantine tank, which for some reason still has the words from the label on it. That zoa rock is definitely way too big- later I'm going to find a chisel and get it down to just about the third of it that has the nice algae and zoas, then probably break the rest up for structure. Great color, though. 

image1.jpg?width=840&height=630

image0.jpg?width=473&height=630

Got this neat brown macro. I hope this sticks around. 

image0.jpg?width=473&height=630

This is some sort of caulerpa. I'm gonna have to pull that bit out later. There was also feather caulerpa, which I pulled off before buying the rock, but I expect that'll regrow a time or two. 
image1.jpg?width=473&height=630

There's at least 2 red macros in this shot, possibly more.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Clown79

Nice rock, great way to start out. Lots of diversity too.

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

I was really happy to hear from the shop that it should be cycled, too. They've had it for awhile, apparently, and it does look cycled- as much as anything can "look" cycled. The bivalve shells pretty much all seem to be empty, and are free of anything rotting. There's no smell to it (any more than rock and seaweed has), and it doesn't have any warningly-colored substances or anything that looks like it's dying on it. I'll keep an eye on things, of course, but I'm pretty confident that they're right.

 

Unrelated, what is this? The shrimp guy at the LFS wasn't there, and the person who was there wasn't sure which of their (long) list of possibilities this was. She said her best guess was "humpback shrimp", but if I try and google that, it's mostly camel shrimp that come up. This is much cooler, and I want to find out what it is and if I can keep one. That fuzzy bit on its back, at the bent section, is part of its body and not just something behind it. It wasn't doing much, just sitting there looking around. Such a strange-looking thing, though- the snout! It reminds me of a lantern bug. If I had to name this thing, I'd probably call it either a platypus shrimp or a lanternbug shrimp, but I'm sure it has a name already. It was in a tank with some other shrimp and some zoas, so presumably it isn't a danger to those things. 

image0.jpg?width=507&height=676

 

And then this is an anemone shrimp of some sort, right? 

image0.jpg?width=507&height=676

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
kimdawg

You got a lot of cool things on your rock.  I am not good at id, but I am sure someone will soon.  Just have something on hand to help out if the rock goes through a small cycle to help keep things alive.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Clown79
2 hours ago, Tired said:

I was really happy to hear from the shop that it should be cycled, too. They've had it for awhile, apparently, and it does look cycled- as much as anything can "look" cycled. The bivalve shells pretty much all seem to be empty, and are free of anything rotting. There's no smell to it (any more than rock and seaweed has), and it doesn't have any warningly-colored substances or anything that looks like it's dying on it. I'll keep an eye on things, of course, but I'm pretty confident that they're right.

 

Unrelated, what is this? The shrimp guy at the LFS wasn't there, and the person who was there wasn't sure which of their (long) list of possibilities this was. She said her best guess was "humpback shrimp", but if I try and google that, it's mostly camel shrimp that come up. This is much cooler, and I want to find out what it is and if I can keep one. That fuzzy bit on its back, at the bent section, is part of its body and not just something behind it. It wasn't doing much, just sitting there looking around. Such a strange-looking thing, though- the snout! It reminds me of a lantern bug. If I had to name this thing, I'd probably call it either a platypus shrimp or a lanternbug shrimp, but I'm sure it has a name already. It was in a tank with some other shrimp and some zoas, so presumably it isn't a danger to those things. 

image0.jpg?width=507&height=676

 

And then this is an anemone shrimp of some sort, right? 

image0.jpg?width=507&height=676

With that amount of life coming from the rock, the coralline, the macro, its liverock. If it wasn't cured, there would be decay and nothing living.

 

I'm not sure what the first item is, looks interesting though. 

 

The second looks like a  ghost anemone shrimp

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
billygoat
12 hours ago, Tired said:

I was really happy to hear from the shop that it should be cycled, too. They've had it for awhile, apparently, and it does look cycled- as much as anything can "look" cycled. The bivalve shells pretty much all seem to be empty, and are free of anything rotting. There's no smell to it (any more than rock and seaweed has), and it doesn't have any warningly-colored substances or anything that looks like it's dying on it. I'll keep an eye on things, of course, but I'm pretty confident that they're right.

 

Unrelated, what is this? The shrimp guy at the LFS wasn't there, and the person who was there wasn't sure which of their (long) list of possibilities this was. She said her best guess was "humpback shrimp", but if I try and google that, it's mostly camel shrimp that come up. This is much cooler, and I want to find out what it is and if I can keep one. That fuzzy bit on its back, at the bent section, is part of its body and not just something behind it. It wasn't doing much, just sitting there looking around. Such a strange-looking thing, though- the snout! It reminds me of a lantern bug. If I had to name this thing, I'd probably call it either a platypus shrimp or a lanternbug shrimp, but I'm sure it has a name already. It was in a tank with some other shrimp and some zoas, so presumably it isn't a danger to those things. 

image0.jpg?width=507&height=676

 

And then this is an anemone shrimp of some sort, right? 

image0.jpg?width=507&height=676

Wow, that first creature is sure weird looking! You've got me stumped. I don't recall ever seeing a shrimp like that before.

 

Second one looks like an anemone shrimp for sure, probably Periclimenes sp.

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

It's great, isn't it? I'm guessing from its appearance that it lives in seaweed. I gotta find out what that is so I can learn if I can keep any. 

 

Creature update: the chiton seems fine. The bristleworms all seem sluggish. I found one dead limpet, and the snail doesn't seem to be doing well. Maybe there was too much of a temperature difference between that rock and the new tank water? Clearly something happened. 

The zoanthids are opening up a little, which I'm taking as a good sign. Since the zoas and chiton don't seem to be suffering, I don't think the problem is something to do with the water. I do suspect that I accidentally mushed part of the zoa colony a little in transit- whoops. That's the ones on the right. The color on the left looks promising, though! 

Are these likely to be leaking palytoxin from being smushed? 

image0.jpg?width=473&height=630

 

Also, I found something cool. Not sure which rock it was on, but this is a berghia, right? Hoping so, because I put it back and have no idea where it went. I also welcome anything that will take on whatever aiptasia I didn't catch.

image0.jpg?width=473&height=630

Share this post


Link to post
Ratvan

Regarding the Nudi they take on the colours of the corals they consume. Anything match? I've had bright blue and green from Zoas and relatively sure had a leather eating one... 

 

Could be a Berghia do you have any aips?

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

The only coral in there is a green zoanthid, and there were definitely multiple aips. I superglued one, but couldn't find the rest. 

 

The bigger concern: just realized that these little worms I've been watching are tiny bobbits. I let the LFS know, and now I'm trying to figure out how to get rid of these. They're tiny, surely something will eat them at this age. Do arrow crabs eat worms reliably? 

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

Zoanthid continues to open up, slightly more. I'm taking that as a good sign for water quality. Will update when a couple polyps are open enough to see the colors and everything.

The hermits are strolling around well enough and seem in good health. I found the chiton on its back on the bottom, but it moved a bit after I flipped it over. The worms have continued to seem not at all happy, but are still moving around. Pretty sure the star snail is dead. I think I didn't acclimate the live rock well enough, but it seems like the stuff that was inside the rock (couple of micro stars, some amphipods, the tubeworms and such) got acclimated slowly enough due to the new water only gradually reaching them. We'll see what else comes out. 

 

The worms are probably not bobbits, but are definitely in the same genus. I'm going to watch closely for any signs of damage to the coral, remove them when I see them, and feed the removed ones in a separate bowl. If they turn out not to grow any bigger, I doubt they'll be an issue. Very much hoping they aren't one of the large and troublesome variants. 

 

This thing popped out of the rock. I think it's something like a fanworm, maybe a bit nibbled on. It's bifurcated, has a little spiral-shaped cap it can pull shut over its tunnel, and jerks back when bothered instead of curling up like anemones do. The circular thing underneath it in the second photo is the underside of its cap, which is dark brown on the outside. Anyone seen one of these before? I gotta feed this tank something dispersed at some point, for this and for the little red fanworms. I have some of those nice tiny ones that are bright red with a white tube, and would love to keep 'em going and maybe get them to breed.

image.png.51b6d13fee3401f4a9437f0892518f27.png

image.png.2feeb8232ec3151e02d5bb794adb7aa5.png

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Ratvan

Use a Turkey baster to blow detritus off and out the rock, that will feed the dusters plenty. 

 

I have loads of different tiny filter feeders about and havent made the effort to feed directly and they seem to be flourishing. Theyll take nutrients from the water column.

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

Alright, cool. I just want to be sure they don't go hungry, since this is technically a new tank, though I'm sure the established rock helps with that. I've been adding a very tiny bit of freeze-dried daphnia every day (it's what I have on hand) for the assorted scavengers. 

 

I'm thinking of rigging some worm/scavenger traps, just to see what I get. Couple of the funnel/straw style, couple pitfalls, that sort of thing. Partly out of curiosity as to what all is in here. I'm also going to make a red-light flashlight (or find a phone flashlight app with a red setting) and see what's out at night. And the zoas make this whole quarantine convenient. I figure, if nothing has touched them by December, and I don't see or catch anything that would eat a shrimp, probably the rock should be safe for a softie/shrimp tank. So far, the zoas look- well, okay, they're not all healthy, I smushed a few polyps in transit, but the non-smushed ones are starting to open and don't have anything suspicious on them. They do have some spirobid worms actually growing on their stalks, which I didn't know could happen, but I'm assuming that's fine. 

 

I've got a bunch of collonista snails, which I'm pretty happy about. I like these. They're mostly on the zoa rock, and a few have some nice patterns. Maybe enough will grow in that I can use them as the snail portion of my CUC, and just have them and hermits to eat algae.

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

The clam that came in on this rock is still alive. I think it's a turkey wing clam by the shape. Guess I'll have to figure out how to keep it happy. 

 

Some of the macroalgae is losing color, like it's been drained. I think it has, because I'm finding some worms in here that are apparently a kind that pierce macroalgae to suck the juices out. Pulling out as many of those worms as I can find, because I like this macro. Too bad I can't surround it in tiny netting to keep 'em off, like you do to keep birds off tomatoes. 

 

The chiton is definitely not dead. That, or it's a zombie, because it's climbing up the glass. No, fella, there's no food on there for you yet! 

I found another chiton, too. It's curled up because it was on top of some algae, and when I poked it with my tweezers to figure out what it was, it didn't have a tight enough hold to stay on. This is after I flipped it to confirm the chiton foot and put it back. No clue where this was hiding. Hopefully these stay pretty small, because if they're a larger species, 2 chitons in a 5gal is gonna be pushing it! And it's not like you can just pick 'em up like snails to give away. 

image0.jpg?width=473&height=630

 

I moved one rock slightly, because of these corals underneath. There's one colony the size of a half-dollar, and one under the size of a dime. They're probably dead, but there's enough color on them that I figure it's worth putting them where I can see. I'm not actually sure if I want it to be alive- it'd be cool if it was, but I don't know if this is an aggressive stinging kind. Also, it's on the bottom of the rock that has all the best macros on the top, so I don't for the life of me know how I'd position this nicely. Maybe make it into an overhang. So I have some idea of what they'd like, what are they? There's not much algae underneath this rock, so I'm wondering if they're photosynthetic at all, because they seem to be on the side that wouldn't have gotten any notable light.

image0.jpg?width=473&height=630

 

Also, another angle on that neat tubeworm, because I moved the rock it was on. You can kinda see its spiral cap, and you can see the cool shape of its tube. I hope this thing is long-lived. It practically has little barbs on the tube.

image0.jpg?width=473&height=630

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

Waited on posting about this until I was sure I hadn't screwed up. So, yesterday, I went by my LFS to pick up a couple handfuls of live sand from their display tanks (extra worms, and something for the hermits to grip instead of smooth glass) and a big jug to mix water in. I stop to ogle their frag tanks, and I spot palys. Good ones, too, the kind where if you buy 'em online they're called "Tiger's Ass" or some such and they sell for $50 a polyp. My LFS never has those! They have nice corals, but apparently they just put "zoanthids" on the order form, and get in whatever the supplier sends them. 

Trouble is, I don't really have a tank. I have a QT. Also, the palys are on a too-large, flat rock, there's also Kenya tree coral on there, and it's one of the rocks that they use to fill out the background of the tank and provide some biological filtration. So I ask the guy if they have any of those palys loose in the tank, or on a smaller rock. No dice. Nor does he want to frag off a chunk of the rock with some palys on it, since it's in use. But they do chop up rocks on request with a chisel. So I ask, can I buy the whole rock, and then only take some of it with me? Because I don't need the bulk of it, nor do I want Kenya Tree coral in my pico. The guy agrees. I ask how much for it, and he says $25. 

At which point, of course, I'm sold. 

image0.jpg?width=473&height=630

Meet what I'm calling, for lack of any actual knowledge, "Tiger's Ass" palys. They're about half an inch across, and under proper lighting are mostly orange, especially the streaks. If they actually have a designer name, I'll take it. There's 4 big polyps, 4 little ones, 2 buds off the bigger ones, and then that one above the lower center big polyp that's either a bud or a very lost zoa. Not bad at all for $25! They even look halfway neat under regular ol plant lighting, so I'm sure you can imagine they pop nicely with some blue. The streaks look like they're glowing. 

As you can see, they've opened up pretty nicely, and they seem happy enough. So does the tiny aiptasia near the top of the rock. I'm leaving that in for now in case the Berghia wants a snack, and if it's still here in a week, I'll superglue it. 

I fed the palys a bit earlier today. Tiny pinch of freeze-dried daphnia in a pipette full of water. They curled up differently than the "o what is happening" retraction when I slowly blew the daphnia on them, so I think they caught some. 

He also threw in a few of these zoas that I'd spotted while looking for more of those palys. They get a lot of zoa plugs that are totally covered, so sometimes a new polyp will grow off, attach to the sandbed, and get left behind when the colony is moved or purchased. These guys are also a lot nicer in proper lighting. They're maybe 1/3" or so, and seem pretty happy despite only really being fastened to sand. They're on some artificial frag plugs that I bought a handful of because they aren't just terrible disks. Also there's too much glue, because I didn't have the superglue gel and had to use a liquid. I hope that single polyp does well, those barely-visible markings on it glow really nicely. 

image1.jpg?width=473&height=630

 

So, bit of a risk, but this tank is cycled, And those things are really pretty in the right lights. This store doesn't hold things for more than 24 hours, and there was always the risk of someone else fancying those and buying the whole rock, so I took the risk. The palys are open, and they seem happy, so I"m cautiously optimistic about that.

 

 

The clam died, though. It was sluggish yesterday, and today when I went to look, there was that telltale white-clear gunk of rot in the crack of its shell. So I reached in there with gloves on and just pulled it off the rock. And a tip, because I'm very glad I did this: if removing a dead clam, firmly hold the shell CLOSED as you remove it. Because as soon as you let go, like I did when I put it in a container, that shell is going to come open and all manner of reeking hell is going to pour out. I don't know that I'm ever going to get the smell out of my nose (or gloves), but the clam is out, I did a water change, and the palys (that I had to move in order to remove the clam rock, the clam foot stayed on and I had to take pliers to it) are opening back up. So, disaster averted. 

I'm guessing it starved, since everything else in here seems to be doing fine. The hermits have found the top of the rockwork and all its exotic algaes and are staying up there, the featherduster is out regularly, and the worms are back in hiding but poking out occasionally. I spotted some spaghetti worm feelers. Haven't seen the chitons, but I'm not worried, I figure that's par for the course for them. I also found out my LFS can order chitons, though they very much advise coming in to buy them on delivery day, because they can't guarantee they'd be able to remove a chiton from a tank to sell it once it's out of the bag. 

 

Before I had to bother everything with water changes and rock shifting, the original zoas were starting to open up further, about half of them showing skirts a little. I've been regularly pipetting them clean so nothing can collect on them while they're shut, and I shifted the pump to aim pretty much right at them. They seem to like that. I guess they're still really pissed off about being out of the water, covered in newspaper, and having a couple of colony members smushed. They're definitely recovering, though, and what I saw of them before I scared them was a promising green.

  • Like 2
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
billygoat

Looks like you've got some pretty cool life on those rocks! Glad to hear you've got some awesome stuff going on already. I have a Caribbean stony coral that came in on my rocks and is very similar to the one in your post above. I'll try to grab a picture of it tomorrow.

 

I like your detailed posts about the life you find. It makes for a good read! 😊

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

I don't know if those corals are alive or not. I'm kinda thinking they aren't, since I haven't seen any sign of extension, but I'm gonna keep an eye on 'em for the rest of the quarantine in case they're still in there. 

 

Thank you, I'm also a fan of threads like this one. I like information, and you don't tend to see so much about all the little hitchhikers. 

 

The original zoas have finally decided that they aren't in mortal peril, I think. One polyp is about half-open, and some of the others are attempting it. They look like a nice dark green, with an orange circle and maybe a purple mouth. Hopefully I'll have a few polyps fully open by tomorrow, so I can see for certain what I have. They hadn't fully opened in the store (there was a raccoon butterfly in the tank for aiptasia, and I assume it was bothering them), so I don't actually know for sure what they look like. I just saw glimpses of deep green fringe. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

The green zoas finally started to open enough that I can see their whole arrangement. I'm waiting for them to fully open to take a photo, but I did manage to see them enough to figure out (because of a pic I happened to see in @caas1496's zoa/paly pico thread, thank you) that they're Rastas! Which I got for under $4/polyp, so that's a damn good deal on my end.

I realized this planted tank light has a (terrible) "moonlight" setting, and thought I'd try it out. It's awful, awful, awful for pics, but I did get this of the palys. I couldn't properly photograph most of the zoas, not least because my plug of 3 actually closed up when I turned the moonlight on! I think it scared them.

So, it's a bad pic, but you can see I've got some nice shine on the palys. Much nicer in person, of course. 

image0.jpg?width=473&height=630

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
caas1496
12 minutes ago, Tired said:

The green zoas finally started to open enough that I can see their whole arrangement. I'm waiting for them to fully open to take a photo, but I did manage to see them enough to figure out (because of a pic I happened to see in @caas1496's zoa/paly pico thread, thank you) that they're Rastas! Which I got for under $4/polyp, so that's a damn good deal on my end.

I realized this planted tank light has a (terrible) "moonlight" setting, and thought I'd try it out. It's awful, awful, awful for pics, but I did get this of the palys. I couldn't properly photograph most of the zoas, not least because my plug of 3 actually closed up when I turned the moonlight on! I think it scared them.

So, it's a bad pic, but you can see I've got some nice shine on the palys. Much nicer in person, of course. 

image0.jpg?width=473&height=630

All that life on your live rock was super cool! And these palys definitely look promising even under a not so great light. Cant wait to see them under some reef lighting.

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

Oh yeah, there's some really good stuff on this rock. I'm hoping the microfauna I can't see are equally diverse, I want a lot of biodiversity. I also want to see what these macroalgaes do, though a chunk of them don't seem to be present any more. Not sure if the lights were too much, something ate them, or what. At least I got all that caulerpa out- it looks nice, but I don't want that in a pico, thanks. 

 

I wish I'd thought to take pics when they were at the store under a proper light. I couldn't believe the guy just wanted $25 for 'em, I would have thought he'd want at least twice that. There were actually a few other polyps on there, but they were all crowded around the Kenya tree coral that I didn't want to deal with, so I figured this would be a decent enough starter colony. They're not the prettiest under this white light (unlike these Rastas), but they do look interesting at least, and then they glow so nicely in blues. The mystery zoas aren't bad either under the blue, as far as I could tell. That single one gets a ring of fire to it, and I swear the three were glowing a bit even though they were closed up. I guess me turning off the light on the way to the blue setting made them think a fish or something was overhead. 

 

I find it interesting that they're spaced out so far, and mostly not connected to each other. It makes me wonder if something happened to the rest, or if this was originally an assembly of single loose polyps that someone put on the rock. I'm also curious how exactly 1 zoa polyp wound up on there, because that little guy isn't the same as the rest. I'd try to sneak him off, but he seems to be anchored partially under the 'stem' of that polyp he's next to, so I guess we'll see what happens with him. 

 

Do you happen to know, what does it actually take to get a zoa or paly named? I'm assuming these have a name already, but if they don't, is it as simple as calling them something and hoping it catches on? 

 

When I get my tank fully set up, I think the first thing I'm doing is going back to that LFS. They have a lot of loose polyps in their frag tanks, anchored onto bits of sand. I'm gonna get a rock flower anemone, and then I'm just going to get a handful of those tiny frags and see how they do. I figure since they've been anchored for a bit, instead of being freshly cut, even the single polyps ought to do all right. I want some that will contrast against these. I also want one of the black species, though those seem to be pretty rare. I see black hornet zoas around, but a lot of them have a lot of yellow. Which is, granted, pretty cool, but I want something with more black. Maybe I can find one of the blacker strains of hornets.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
caas1496

I think most of the names are started by the big coral sellers and they catch on because they sell a bunch of frags under that name. But hey feel free to give them a name. At the end of the day its just a way for people to identify all the different strains.

 

The black hornets are the only zoas I can think of that have a lot of black on them. Maybe someone else knows of another one. 

 

I also highly suggest some rock flower nems once your tank is fully set up. They are awesome and easy to feed and care for. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

I saw a picture on Pinterest captioned "Black Magic palythoas", and they're gorgeous, but that's the only place I can find that name mentioned online. It links to a missing Ebay listing. I hope these are real, but I have no idea if they are, or where to find any.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/534591418249356029/

 

Oh, rock flowers are absolutely on my list! So much variety, such good colors, and polite enough not to go all over the place. I'm going to get one at my LFS to start with, one of the plainer ones, to be sure I can keep them happy. Once I've had that for awhile, I want one of the zebra-striped ones, and a cool mottled one if I can find some. The only challenge is going to be finding ones that look nice under the whiter lights that I'm going to be using- I don't like the heavy blues, they give me a headache. I've seen some pics of some amazing, blood-red rock flowers with a white rim, and those look great in most lights. There's a place near me, Austin Aqua Farms, that has open houses sometimes and sells some really nice RFAs.

 

I didn't mean to get zoas now, clearly. But I couldn't pass up the zoas on that live rock, not at that price, and then there were these palys. I really need to not go by that LFS again, or I'm gonna get more things- but it's so close to somewhere I go pretty frequently, so it's terribly, terribly tempting. Especially if these ones I have already keep doing okay. I don't need them to grow at any notable rate, I just need them to be healthy until December. 

...maybe I'll see if the place near me (AquaTek- things, especially freshwater, plus good advice and some really good coral prices, especially when it's something that someone brought in to trade) does Black Friday sales.

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

I took a look at things last night with a flashlight, and I saw a few amphipods (which I couldn't photograph because I was using my phone flashlight to look at them, and couldn't take pics in the dark), an assortment of worms, and a chiton! I think this is actually a third chiton, it's another white one but looks smaller than the one I found before. The palys are closed up because it's nighttime. I also found a spaghetti worm, but I can't get a pic of it because it's on the back of the rocks. Little white fella.

image0.png?width=355&height=631

 

I've got a couple of these guys showing up now. Hydroid jellyfish, I'm pretty sure. I'm leaving them in, they'll probably vanish on their own. 

image0.jpg?width=473&height=630

 

And I can't get my phone to focus on these. I gotta get the camera out at some point. But, hey- it's the colors that you want to see on zoos anyway. Most of the polyps are opening up to some degree. A few aren't, but I'm working on those. Some brown algae grew across the top of them while they were closed, and that's keeping some of them closed. I'm using a pipette to get it off, but it's on there pretty firm when it's only a super thin layer- it has to get a little bit thicker before I can blow it off. I don't want to peroxide dip them because I think it would probably just upset them more. Tomorrow I'm going to go at the last of that algae to try to get it off the few shut ones. Or, can I wipe then with a Q-tip? 

Those two clearish polyps on the right are the ones that accidentally got smushed in transit.  I'm surprised they haven't just fallen apart and died. Maybe the others are keeping them alive somehow? Do zoas share nutrients through the mat? 

The white things growing on them are spirobid snails. Should I tweeze them off, do you think? I'm wondering if the snails irritate them at all.

image0.jpg?width=687&height=630

My phone likes the blue light even less, but I had to attempt a pic, just to give a vague idea of the colors. These pop so nicely under the blues. Even the skirts have some glow, though it's interestingly kind of patchy. They don't have the super yellow fringe that I've seen in some pictures of Rastas, but I actually prefer them this way. I think the less colorful skirt makes the centers stand out more, and IMO it's a little too much yellow when the whole fringe is colorful. Hopefully this is a Rasta strain that keeps the duller fringe.

image1.jpg?width=704&height=630

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...