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


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Here's my money cowrie. Also a collonista snail. I'm surprised money cowries aren't more common in reefs, they're pretty cool. This one is about an inch from head-area to the end of its foot, not counting antennae. In this picture, it's encountered the anemone, touched it with an antenna, decided not to crawl on that, and appears to be trying to find something over the anemone to crawl on instead. 

As far as I can tell, it's reef-safe. Never seen it touch anything but algae, or had anything look like it's been eaten on. Wasn't super pricey, either- $5 from ReefCleaners. You wouldn't want to buy a load of these to be your entire CUC, but I'd think a few more people would have at least one or two. It seems to be a pretty good algae-eater, and even if it wasn't very good at that, it's worth having for novelty reasons. I like the little frilly bits on its smelling snout, the stripes on the mantle, and the spotted foot. 



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I have 2 in each of my reef tanks money cowrie and orange ring cowrie are both totaly reef safe. Mine are great algae eaters. One of mine is over 6 years old. They are super cool and unique snails. I love seeing them with the mantle up it makes them camouflaged and they look so diffrent with it down. Most other cowries are not fully reef safe tho.

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The pandemic has finally gotten to "you're probably fine to shop in smaller stores, with a mask on, if you're vaccinated" levels in my area, so of course I went to fish stores. I got some stuff. 



Apparently this is an Indonesian acan lord? It was doing roughly this same polyp shape (more like that one in the top right with the tentacles) at the store, and evidently it's a normal state for them. Neat-looking. Anyone ever seen one like this? 



Illuminatis, I think. Sadly these are one of the ones that are real prone to melting for no good reason. They were pretty cheap, and really nice (metallic sheen in person), so I figured it's worth a shot. Anyone recognize that SPS-like skeleton they're on? It's maybe 1/8" across, and has neat rows of little dots up the sides. There's a couple more pieces on the disc, all dead. I'd like a live version if I can get it. 



VDMs, maybe? Very cute, 1/8" to 1/4" across. Really nice and bright. I love how tiny they are, and I hope they stay this tiny. This is a chunk off a large colony, all of which were tiny, so it's not just that there's somehow a bunch of babies here. 



Check out what I got. $20 for this little guy. About the limit of what I'd normally want to pay for a single-polyp zoa (and normally I wouldn't pay this much), but take a look at that guy. That's a Predator zoa. These guys currently go for $70pp in private hobbyist sales. This guy's small, but they had a mini colony with some full sized adults that were a good half inch across. Really solidly nice zoa, definitely worth the price I got it at. Can't wait until he multiplies. 

(Also, I went back the next day and bought another chunk of this. They had a really nice mini colony for $250, which was too much for me, and a medium frag for $70. 8 little young polyps of Predators for $70 is a real nice deal. To be clear: I am not going to chop this up and re-sell it immediately. I am, however, going to let it grow onto rubble, frag those bits off, and sell the frags. I get two separate patches of a super nice zoa in case something happens to one, and I can make back what I spent on this in one or two frags. That's a pretty sweet deal. No pics of that frag, I can't get them to photograph right. They look dull in pictures, especially the orange. I'll have to figure out how to photograph them nicely by the time I have some to sell.)


Also got some codium. I've killed codium twice via it slowly declining, but the LFS had some for $5. Worth a shot. I'm hoping remembering to dose Chaetogro will do the trick, I really like the shape. 


And I got a nice live rock to replace the poison rock. This LFS isn't selling proper live rock any more, because the sellers they can get it from are charging too much for them to want to buy. But I got lucky- they'd recently taken down a display tank and had all the rock backstage, and sold me a piece. It's not quite as good as fresh ocean rock, but there's gonna be plenty of stuff living on it, and it's from a tank that's known not to have any coral-eating pests. Sadly, they couldn't sell me any micro brittle stars, as they couldn't find any at the time. That's where I got my black micro brittles awhile ago, which all got palytoxin-nuked. I have one white micro brittle left that I can spot. I'll have to go back later. 


So, that was the first store. I also asked if they could shake a big handful of macros from their 'fuge into some water and sell me the water for a buck, so I could get all the pods and such. I got lots of critters, including hopefully some mysids, a couple smallish soft-tubed feather dusters, and a few bits of caulerpa. Everything but the worms has gone in my experimental windowsill bowl; a gallon bowl in front of a window (with UV film so it doesn't cook), with saltwater, algae fertilizer, and a few mixed macros in it. Nothing else. The unidentified delicious-to-amphipods filamentous algae and some ulva are doing really well , though the ulva's like Swiss cheese for some reason. Hopefully the pods will also do well. 


Second store! 



I did not know psammocoras came this bright. It's the same colors as a Watermelon psammo, but those have a neat arrangement. I'm not sure if this guy's all swirled because it's been growing weirdly or what. I hope it's just naturally like that, but even if it smooths out to all orange with a green rim, that's still pretty. This photo isn't touched up, and is a pretty decent representation of the color. I asked if the light over the sale tank (fairly blue at the time) was adjustable, and it wasn't, so the guy just picked this up and held it under another tank's light. Even under pure whites, it pops. 



And here's something I bought without knowing even vaguely what it was! They had this show up in one of their invert holding tanks, where they also keep macroalgae sometimes. It's been spreading at a decent rate. The only things in there are a few whelks and some cleaner shrimp, so nothing that lays eggs that look like this. I figured it was probably a tunicate, but I wasn't sure. Still asked if they'd sell me this shell anyway. I figured I'd keep it in a cup and post a picture on here to get IDed, not put it in if it was something weird. But on close inspection, all those little holes have water flow, and this shrinks up when you disturb it. Those are tunicates. 

Hopefully I don't regret adding what is apparently a fast-growing tunicate to my tank. I figure, worst comes to worst, they shouldn't be too hard to peel off the rocks. That circle they're on that you can kinda see under the worms is about an inch across, one of those astera snails or whatever they're called. Pretty cool animal to get for $5. Also, worms! 


(I also bought what I thought was an unhappy little stylophora frag, because the lady who picked it up out of the tank for me was the freshwater employee and didn't know to mention that it was soft. I returned it; don't want a leather coral in this tank.)





Here's the tank, with the new rock in, and stuff still all over the sand. I'm waiting to see how some things do in some places before moving anything. The plan is to have at least a patch of the sandbed bare. That shell in the upper right is empty; it's got an air bubble in it and I'm curious how long it'll float like that. So far, I think "forever". 


I like the scape. I did genuinely like the prior rock, it had good shapes and such, and the flat top is nice. But it's a bit large, and doesn't have much on it except algae and copepods. The storage bucket, which gets no light, no heat, and no flow because I thought there was just some algae, has copepods breeding in it. The rock's probably okay to put back in, I just decided to replace it with something smaller and get a bit more sandbed space. Partly because I've got some zoas that live on the sandbed. I think I'll dry out the poison rock and keep it for a future tank. 


I want to get another RFA. Either a really intensely zebra-striped one with a pink rim, like this one isn't quite, or one of those pretty ones with the sunset colors and the dark green rim. I might consider giving this RFA away, if I could replace it with another one right off for the porcelain crab and find a good home for this one. It's not bad, but in a tank this size, I don't have much space for "not bad". Particularly "not bad" that stings. It is a bit unusual-looking, I'll give it that, and it's stayed a reasonable size being fed bits of mysis now and then. 


The white splotch on the left has an encrusting monti. Either a chili pepper or christmas tree, I forget which. The right has bits of two psammocoras. Also an aiptasia. I got those two psammos on sale a bit ago, and one had an aiptasia attached to the plug. No big deal, just chop that piece of plug off. Then I got mixed up and glued that bit of plug to the disc along with the psammo bits. I was trying to neatly slice off a chunk of each with my bone cutters, but nope. I should really glue that aiptasia before it multiplies or I'm gonna be real mad at myself. 


Oh, and I broke the bottom of the urchin shell I had two zoas on. I'll glue it back later when I locate my gel superglue, liquid's just gonna soak into that porous shell and do no real good. 


Don't mind the cyano, I... don't know what that's about. Filters in the RODI are still pretty fresh. Remaining die-off from the poisoning? Who knows. I'm low on energy lately and putting all my existing energy into finishing a from-scratch Halloween costume, I'll troubleshoot after Halloween. Everything's happy and I can squirt the cyano off any corals it gets on. Mostly it's just in the back left corner for some reason. 


I'm giving up on ricordeas. They all just slowly dwindle down to nothing in this tank. I've tried feeding, and they won't really take it. Everything else is happy, but the rics do not like me. Think I've got one of those tanks that just can't grow mushrooms. Too bad, I do like rics, but I think I'm just going to use the space for other things. That yellow one in the leftish was a freebie in an order, and I think I'm going to give that away, even though it still looks pretty happy. 


Picked up a Holy Grail micromussa a bit ago, also. Private seller with really nice prices. See it on the right there? Three adult or adult-ish polyps and a row of buds, really pretty striped rim. 


Slightly proud of this; the encrusting monti when it first came in, and today. That nice rainbow monti I got never colored back up from shipping, but this one definitely did. I think it's neat how the edges started out white with protruding red polyps, and are now green. Is new growth normally white with colored polyps on these? 








Lastly, here is Missile the newly named roughhead blenny, with a cerith snail invading her personal space. She actually lunged up against it and shoved it away slightly! Which, of course, scared it into the shell and meant it wasn't going to move away. I picked it up with my tweezers and relocated it slightly for her. 

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There were a ton of feather dusters also in the tunicate sale tank, so I'm gonna say plenty of particulate foods. It's where they keep all their shrimp and whatnot, and it's a good LFS, so it wasn't filthy in there. I think the small size of these tunicates will go in their favor, since they can't possibly strip all the plankton out of the water if there's about a thumbnail worth of them. That dime-sized pinkish tunicate I had did fine for a couple years until the palytoxin issue, and these add up to less mass (I'm pretty sure) than that, 


I'm wondering if this odd guy is a Micromussa lordhowensis or another species. It's just so oddly shaped. It was close to other LPS and SPS in the sale tank and wasn't murdering anything, so it doesn't seem to be aggressive. Though I did actually see a micro lord fighting something else! A stylophora branch was basically touching it, and it had all its feeding tentacles really far out and a little tangle of filaments being exchanged with the stylo. I should have taken a picture, micro lords are so disinclined to fight. 


Had a look at my glass last night after lights out. Lots of pods! Copepods, munnids, a few amphipods, though mostly the amphipods hide in the filter compartments. Also some acoel flatworms, those seem to have bounced back a little. And some sort of little red dots that I think might be ostracods. They're extremely circular and stay near the sandbed during the day. 


Are acoels predatory? There's a guy at one LFS who's been keeping saltwater for 20 years, being smart about it and learning, and he swears they're predatory. Says if you watch them, you'll see them creep up to copepods, lift up their front end, and sorta come down over the top of the copepod. Like how those lion's mane sea slugs eat things, almost. I tried watching for that last night, but all my current acoels are pretty tiny, so I couldn't really see what they were doing. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 5 months later...

Been awhile. 


The trimma goby had a flare-up of ich, so I decided to take both fish out and treat them with hyposalinity. Apparently, roughhead blennies don't do well with this, because she died a couple days into the gradual lowering of salinity. The trimma goby seemed fine right up until the end, then stopped eating and died after a few days. I don't know if I screwed something up (don't know WHAT, it's not complicated and I made sure to keep ammonia and pH good), or if tiny fish just don't cope with hyposalinity very well. I don't really want to try to figure out what happened, because I don't think there's any way to know for sure. 


So I figured, alright, I'll order myself a fish that should be healthy, that'll make me feel a bit better. Bought a brown clown goby (I think he's a five-lined clown goby) from LA's Diver's Den. You know, the place that says everything is healthy and eating before they ship it. He came in with ich, and not eating.


So now I have a sick fish again, only he's never eaten for me. I'm treating him with the tank transfer method, which wasn't an option for the other two; the trimma goby cowered for a week after being moved, and the roughhead blenny had to be given hardscape to hide in, which I wouldn't have been able to safely and reliably get her out of to transfer. If he makes it through treatment, he gets to go into my nice, critter-filled tank, and hopefully he'll eat the copepods and things in there. I've tried mysis with and without garlic, tiny pellets with and without garlic, and microworms, and am now hatching some baby brine shrimp. Hopefully the BBS works, because I know these guys can be hard to get eating. Buddy, if you eat the BBS, I'll hatch some for you every day of the two-week treatment. 


On the upside, I also ordered some nice rock flower anemones. I was looking at SaltCritters and found one that made me go "ooh!" out loud, so I had to pick that one up. And, of course, its bag leaked badly during shipping. But it's fine! It still had a little water, and seems to be moving appropriately as it settles in. 


Flat anemone, ft. non-flat anemone in the background. 


Still looking for a rock flower that's as close to pure black and white as I can get. Preferably an ultra, since ultras stay smaller. SaltCritters has ones like that sometimes. The one in the background of that pic is one of their "pink rim" non-WYSIWYG ones, and I specifically said in the notes that I'd like one with thick stripes, no matter how much other color it has. I seem to have gotten what I requested. I also got an interesting whitish-rim-reddish-center one, and an "our pick" one that turned out to be red rim, lime middle ring, blue-green center. Will post more pics when they open up all the way. 


Oh, and my orchid terrarium is doing great.

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Here's something positive. This is a Chemical Warfare favites (same species as Fascination favites) that I got as a mystery frag from TSA. I wish I'd photographed it back then, because I remember it was teeny-tiny, and I wish I could see how much growth it's had since then.



This picture was taken early last year.



This is from August last year, after I had a palytoxin incident. 



Here's today. It's in a spot that's hard to photograph, in the back of the tank and under the lights. If I try to photograph from above, the photo is 90% light reflecting off the surface. It's a really nice coral, though- the color is even better in person. It's also hilariously tolerant of shade; it actually put on this nice green after having a baseball-sized tangle of chaeto on top of it for a month. It seems to have more green when given some shade, so I'll be curious to see if it slowly goes back to mostly orange without the chaeto on top of it. 




Here's the new rock flowers! The far left one, the smooshed one, is the their-choice one. It's pretty nice. Definitely worth the (quite low for an ultra) price, and it was fun to be surprised. Definitely $20 worth of anemone. The quite large one is the pink rim, with its nice stripes. The one on the right, I had before. Don't mind the slime on it, I'd just done a water change and some dust got stirred up. That white rimmed one, I bought because I liked the mildly unusual amount of dots on it, compared to others of that general design. I like the contrast it puts against the others. And finally, we have my favorite; a really, really cool zebra green one. That has hidden itself in the shade. Hopefully it'll shuffle over and be more visible, because that's the "ooh" one. I'll probably be feeding it plenty, to try and get it a little bigger.

I'll update when they've had a week or two to really settle in and get relaxed. They seem to be comfy in place, but they aren't relaxed yet. 

I really want a black and white ultra. The pink rim is pretty close, but some of them are black and white. And I'd like to try and squeeze in one of those nice, pricy sunset-colored ones, with the green rim and the red, orange, and yellow center. Maybe one of those pretty zebra-striped-with-lime-green-ring ones that SaltCritters has, but I don't think I have the space for that. Maybe if I don't feed them too much.


I think SaltCritters gets a lot, if not all, of their RFAs captive-bred. They have a ton of fairly small RFAs, often of really unusual patterns. If you look for RFAs for sale elsewhere, there seem to be roughly a dozen typical combinations of colors and patterns, and SaltCritters often has RFAs that look like combinations of two of those varieties. 

(They do seem to have recently increased their RFA prices, though, by quite a bit in some spots. The combos are frequently still quite a good deal, at least if you get 'em on sale.)

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Accidentally tipped my Chemical Warfare favites onto the new green striped anemone, and a few hours later, I have this. 


It was only on the anemone for about 10 seconds, if that. I've had zoas spend longer than that against RFAs and be mildly annoyed but fine, so either LPS are more vulnerable to stinging, this particular anemone has a stronger sting, or the anemone was just really upset. 

This might be interesting. I'm sure it's fine; gotta figure it'll work itself out. And even if some of those polyps die off, there are plenty of healthy ones that can recolonize that part of the skeleton. 



The anemones have shuffled a little, and seem happy. I wish that green one was more visible, but oh well. 

(Favites has been moved slightly to the right since this photo, so as not to have it fighting the anemone.) 



Got an encrusting monti frag at my LFS. I'll have to make it a spot on the background. I forget what it's called; a two-word name that included "madness" or "insanity" or something of the sort. They had a hand-sized piece of it that was all lumpy and interesting, but hadn't grown any real branches or whatnot. Don't mind the slime, I misplaced my gel superglue and had to use liquid superglue. 


They had sailfin blennies at the LFS! Incredibly cute little things, loads of personality. I was so, so tempted, but I think they get just a bit too large. I want to go back to having two tiny fish in this tank, and sailfin blennies are more towards "small" than "tiny". 

My plan as of now is to add the clown goby I have in treatment for ich (assuming he doesn't die of ich- he probably won't), and to keep an eye out for more roughhead blennies at KP Aquatics. Not that I'm looking forward to trying to get such a teeny fish through QT. Are there any reliable all-round disease treatments that won't kill baby brine shrimp? Aside from tank transfer- I don't think that's a good option with these lil critters. I'd be constantly shucking the poor things out of their holes. Baby brine seems like my best option to keep them fed and happy. 

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Just picked this up at Lowe's, and it really reminded me of something that might go in a reef tank. This is Haworthia limifolia spiralis, a type of succulent. They don't really get larger than this, but they do bud off pups at the base as they grow. The dead, dyed moss packed in around it came out immediately so I could water it without smothering its roots with stupid decorative stuff.


That moss is the equivalent of harvesting live coral from the ocean, letting it die, and then painting the skeletons coral-colored in order to pack them around... whatever would be a good substitute for a desert, non-moss, non-tropical plant in this metaphor. It's bad for the plant, bad for the environment to harvest tons of the stuff just to kill and use as decorative material in floral arrangements and whatnot, and deeply stupid in concept. 

(Moss rant over.)



And, more fish-related: meet the tentative next inhabitant! Yep, he's still got ich spots. Turns out that LiveAquaria Diver's Den does NOT, in fact, sell disease-free fish. But he has no new spots, is the important part. Those white spots are immune reactions to the ich having burrowed in, not the ich itself. No new spots (hopefully) means no new ich parasites. 

I'm using the tank transfer method to treat the ich. Basically, you transfer the fish to a new, clean tank every two-and-a-half-ish days. That way, the trophonts, the little bunkers that fall off the fish and attach to the substrate, never get a chance to explode into swarms of new little ich. He wasn't eating on arrival, and this method uses no medication or hyposalinity that can impact his appetite. He does get transferred into a new tank every few days, but they're identical tanks, bare except for an identical hiding place tube, and it takes me maybe three seconds to transfer him. So the stress should be pretty minimal. 

Another week, and he can go in the tank! I'm feeding him BBS until then, as he came in skinny and not eating. I want him chubby. 


Oh, and I saw (but unfortunately neglected to photograph) the chunkiest citron goby ever at my LFS. I knew they got bigger than other clown gobies, but I didn't realize they got clear over two inches long! Big fella. The fins made it look particularly bulky.

They also had redhead gobies, which I didn't realize got to the size of my finger. I thought they were trimma-sized, but no! They're watchman-sized.


There were also multiple sailfin blennies at the LFS, which are the sweetest little things, and they come with that big fancy fin! I was really tempted, but apparently they get around 3" long, so I think they're a little bit too large for this tank. Since I want to have two fish again. A clown goby and a roughhead blenny should be fine, but maybe not a clown and a sailfin blenny.

I'd also like to avoid the cesspool of wholesaler-to-LFS germs, so I'm thinking I just want to get another roughhead blenny from KP Aquatics. Maybe two, since they're so freakin' small. Obviously no guarantee of freedom from disease (and will be treated as such), but I figure a fish that's been collected and kept with local fish only should have been exposed to fewer germs than one that's been through multiple holding areas with fish from all over the world. 

(Though I do have to wait for a roughhead to get back in stock. I strongly suspect they sell roughhead blennies only when they find them by accident in the live rock; no way anyone's collecting those any other way.)


And I was really tempted by the yellowface pikeblennies KP is selling. They look so cool! Plus, as far as I can tell, the big mouth is for display, not for engulfing small fish. But, again, I think they're a little large for this tank. I'm not sure how active they are, for one thing. For another, I'm not sure how well one would do eating just amphipods. They're definitely high on the list of things to keep in future- so cool. Too bad blennies can't really be combined so well, or I'd want a 40gal that's stocked entirely with tiny obscure blennies.

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  • 2 weeks later...


He's in! Been in for a couple days, actually. He's mostly hiding. Also ft. the Dragon Soul favia I keep behind a couple of rocks so it can't murder anything else if it gets mad. (Except the cyphastrea bit I need to move, I thought that was dead. It appears to not be dead.)


Don't mind the ich spots. Those are the original ich spots he came in with, so they don't indicate any actual ich. The original ich has fallen off, so this is just worrying to look at, not actually a sign of a problem. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, that cool green zebra-striped RFA never really looked like it was thriving, and it's now melted. Maybe being slightly shrinkwrapped was worse for it than I initially realized. I'm miffed- that was an unusually colored one, my favorite out of the batch, and was about half the reason I placed that anemone order in the first place. 


Lil goby is doing reasonably well, but isn't eating a ton. He's pretty uncertain about leaving his little niche area, and I think he's eaten all the snacks in that area. I haven't had any luck getting him to take prepared foods, because he hides every time he sees me, which makes target-feeding a bit tricky. 


He seems to have decided that the Dragon Soul favia is a nice squishy cushion. Bit funny, since that's the most aggressively territorial coral I have in this tank. Not towards fish, of course. 


I'll be regularly adding BBS to keep his corner stocked with food, I think, while I try to get him used to target-feeding. Long-term, hopefully he'll get a bit bolder and hunt foods that aren't just in his corner. Or maybe I can get his corner better stocked with my upcoming plans. 


I'm going to transfer everything in this pico, plus some new rock, into a low-maintenance nano tank. I'm not clear on exactly what qualifies as an ultra-low-maintenance setup, but I'm trying to set up a tank that can run itself for 4 months at a time, with nothing more complex than topping up an ATO reservoir, dosing container, and auto-feeder. Seems doable enough; this tank already does fine with water changes once a month, infrequent feeding, and regular top-offs. The goal is to make it so that I can go to college and leave this tank at home, and have my brother do some easy, infrequent "refill this container" maintenance. I have about a year to try it, and, worst-case scenario, I can pop everything back into this tank and bring it with me like I originally planned.

(I've decided to maybe not try to run a pico tank in college. I'll have enough going on, and I'm concerned about temperature swings in the dorm, potential power outages, and unscheduled spraying for pests.)



I picked up something I hope I can get a better photograph of, at some point. This is an orange and black hermit, which is apparently the same species as a zebra/left-handed hermit, at least according to LiveAquaria. In person, they have a deep black color with vivid orange lines. which so far isn't really showing in these phone pics. 

He's not in the pico because he's a walking piece of hardscape, and I decided to put him into quarantine in case he has any ich on him. He's in a separate tank with some small pieces of rock and such from my tank, a big dry rock, and some Micro Algae Grow fertilizer to try and jump-start the algae on said dry rock. 

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  • 2 weeks later...


I grabbed a pom-pom crab. Didn't realize until I got home that he was holding what appeared to be one normal pom anemone and one rather miffed aiptasia. He now appears to be holding two rather miffed aiptasia, so either he dropped the normal anemone and found another one somewhere, or they were both aiptasia. Dammit. 


I was planning to take the one aiptasia away during a molt, since they have to put the nems down then, but I can't take both aiptasia away. Poor little guy will be anemone-free and unable to mop-feed like they do, and I can't buy new nems to give him. So I guess I have to hope that aiptasia can't spread very well while being used as pom-poms. 


(I did have one already, not doing much, so this isn't a huge deal.)


On an interesting note: he eats bristleworms. Didn't expect that, but I'm glad to see it. Should get him some nice meaty foods between the scavenging and the mop-feeding. 

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*shakes fist at clown goby* eat prepared foods, dammit! 


I got a Can O Cyclops and parted that out into these cute little silicone candy molds, to make tiny ice cubes that are shaped like dinosaurs and gummy bears and whatnot. Pics to come later. I'm hoping I can get the goby to eat those, maybe by mixing them in with the BBS. Right now, he's not interested in them, though everything else does like them. 


If he doesn't eat them, oh well, the rest of the tank will. That'll be useful for the nano upgrade (which is now planned to be maybe a 45gal, so not quite a nano any more), and I'm sure the clownfish I hope to get eventually will love the cyclops. 


I'm not sure what I'm going to do if he doesn't start eating prepared foods. Hope that there's enough pods in the upgraded tank to feed him, I guess. Should be doable, if he'll actually hunt around and eat them. Though I'm really hoping to get him onto something prepared. Hell, I'll take him eating frozen food; there's a frozen food feeder about to be released. It's expensive, but it'll exist. 


(Though, honestly? As cute as this little guy is, if someone offered to take him and plonk him in their dwarf seahorse tank that gets constantly flooded with BBS, I might take them up on it. I'm worried he's not going to get enough to eat. His weight isn't good right now. It's not internal parasites, he had nice healthy poo in the quarantine tank, and he does eat. He just doesn't seem to be finding enough food, somehow, in a tank that supported at least his biomass worth of fish before.)


Oh, and I've learned something. Currently, the way I'm hatching BBS is outside. Our house is air-conditioned, and I didn't want to deal with trying to keep the hatchery heated, so I put it on a shaded balcony. Which also doubles as a light source, what with the sunlight. Though, for the past few days, I've had a rather lousy hatch rate. 

Turns out, when it's 107F (42c) outside, BBS don't really want to hatch. 100F seems to be tolerable, but anything past that seems to be bad for them. I'm not sure how much of it was them not hatching, vs maybe them just dying of lack of oxygen, even with the bubbler. 

It's too hot in my neighborhood for extremophiles, is the takeaway. This is why I want to move. Stupid Texas. 

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I need to remember this critter. There's some sort of bivalve just to the right of the chaeto. Looks like maybe a turkey wing clam. Interestingly, I'm quite certain that this is a piece of dry rock, not live, so that critter landed there (or crawled to there) at some point after the rock was added to the tank. Must make sure not to bury it when I move everything. Though I doubt that'll happen; this rock has that nice streaky coraline that I want to be sure to keep around, so I'll probably remember to be careful with it. 



Turned off the pumps to feed, left them off, and several spaghetti worms popped out to dangle their tentacles in the water for food. Fun to see. There's also something (not pictured) that looks to have eunicid-style antennae, so I guess one of those harmless eunicids survived the palytoxin issue. 



This is a Cali Kid Fruit Loops micromussa. Supposedly the same species as a Holy Grail, and I believe it- the color intensity on this species is really remarkable. It looks almost unreal in person, like someone's color-edited part of the world. 

What species is a Holy Grail micromussa? It's not a micro lord, the polyp shape is different and it's smaller. (Edit: apparently it's Micromussa amakusensis.)

That's an Electric Veins leptoseris in the bottom left- another one that has really nice color without needing your tank to look like it's full of Windex. I appreciate corals that are pretty under the whiter lights I prefer. I see why people like their tank to glow, but I personally like to just have a bit of extra pop vs natural sunlight. 

(Need to remember to take a pic of a tank at my LFS that's under entirely white lights. It's mostly a macro tank, and it's stunning.)



And here's about the only picture I have of the clown goby. He gets spooked when I look at him for longer than a few seconds, he gets spooked if I move too suddenly, and his spot is behind a big patch of algae on the glass, so I don't get good looks at him. Also featured: a bunch of doomed BBS, since he won't take prepared foods. It's a lot harder to get BBS into him now than in the quarantine tank, since there's all sorts of competition, but he doesn't need the stress of a bare tank. 

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Glad to see the micromussa amakusensis doing well. Mine is a heavy eater. I havent seen this variety but it's very simmilar to holy grail. The center is mainly what's difrent. Holy grail has a totaly green center on adult polyps.

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I actually have a Holy Grail, which is currently upset because I haven't fed it in too long. It has much less blue than this, and some differently colored rings. It's also a bit smaller-polyped, interestingly enough, and slightly different in shape. I'll probably put them close to each other when I move things into the new tank, see if they pick up similar polyp shapes when they're in similar conditions. 


I need to keep an eye out for more micro amaks, or whatever we're calling them. I see some other fancy varieties being sold online at fairly high prices- maybe I'll watch for opportunities during live sales.  I've gotten some really nice stuff at Black Friday sales. Including this one, actually, it was over half off. I got it alongside a Dragon Soul favia that cost me all of $20. 


Oh, and I've lost two more rock flowers, the regular zebra one and the splotchy one. They both, one at a time, started wandering all over the place, then abruptly disintegrated. Perfectly healthy, then upset, then gone. I genuinely wonder if they had some kind of parasite, because that was weird. The pre-existing one, and the orange one with a white rim, both seem fine. Remains to be seen if they both do that as well. I'll be keeping a close eye out for Nonsense. 

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On 9/25/2019 at 10:58 PM, Tired said:


Remember this thing? Later turned out to be a plume shrimp/Donald Duck shrimp. 



They had three in stock today! I bought a funky shrimp, a lightning dove snail in hopes of adding some genetic diversity to my existing ones from ReefCleaners, and a $5 frag of... something. Looks acan-like. This LFS puts tiny bits of corals in their shrimp sale tank and sells 'em really cheap. There's a $10 bin below that, which makes for some really good deals. Might go in there at some point and just pick up a nice assortment of miscellaneous bits to experiment with. 


I don't know what kind of care this shrimp likes, but the claws say "normal cleaner-type shrimp". It was in the same tank as two other plume shrimp, a bunch of teeny-tiny transparent cleaner shrimp with forked yellow tails, a couple of tiny bumblebee shrimp, some snails, some porcelain crabs, and a load of small coral frags, and nothing involved was being killed, so I don't think they're especially predatory. Hopefully it does well- this is such a cool little weirdo.  


It's also even weirder than it looks in that photo. 


Check this out. That massive rostrum is multiple parts, and can fan open to reveal a weird feather-shaped structure inside. I don't know what the structure is FOR, mind you. I'd love to check it out from other angles, but, 


Apparently that's not allowed. 

(This is my invert quarantine tank. It's staying in there until it molts and shucks off any potential ich cysts, since apparently ich can actually attach to invert shells.)




Here's the coral. I've also stuck it in the quarantine tank, both for quarantine reasons and to see if it likes being lit with just indirect sunlight. I'm curious. I think this is maybe an acan lord coming back from a fragment of skeleton? Seemed healthy enough to be worth buying. Hopefully nothing knocks it into anywhere weird, there's a hermit in there. 

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Zoanthids.com sells micromussa amakusensis prety frequently. I have a mothership one from them that's mostly got orangy red rings and center with a greenish ribbon the very out side on the outer part where the holy grail is blueush.

That shirimp is awesome Ive hardly ever seen any body with one. I did not know the rostrum opend into a fan

 I wonder if it's for feeding like on a porcelain crab or bamboo shrimp that feed with fans.

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That's good to know. They do crank the color saturation up real high on their photos, but it looks like their prices are pretty good during sales. Maybe I'll have a look on Black Friday. 


I don't think the fan situation is for filter-feeding. It's like several little feathers, all interlocking, and the shrimp doesn't sit with the feathers extended. Not that I've seen. I'm gonna keep an eye on it, see if I can figure out what that's for. I think the rostrum is multiple parts on all shrimp, but this one's is really mobile. 

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