Jump to content

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


Recommended Posts


Yesterday morning, I found this lil guy perched on some snails in the corner by the waterline. I assume something startled it, and it zipped up there and landed. It came down eventually. 



It likes to lurk, with its claws out and open. Waiting for food to arrive, I guess. It's very easy to feed- I just touch its claw with the food and it grabs on. I'll keep a close eye on how it acts with amphipods, because I could see that lurking behavior being a problem when it gets to full size. It's not a danger at this size, I don't think, but a 2" squat lobster might be a problem for pico-sized fish if it turns out to be an aggressive grabber of live food. I'll keep an eye on it as it grows, and see if it ever goes after live things. 

The listing said these were small, so I figured it would be safe to go ahead and get. If it turns out to be an aggressive grabber, I'll have to decide what to do as it grows. Hopefully it'll be fine with pico fish? It doesn't seem aggressive so far. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

The squat lobster hid for a few days, molted, and is continuing to hide but not as thoroughly. I'm hoping I'll see it more now that it's molted. Its shell came apart into pieces, otherwise I would have kept it- I like molted exoskeletons. I have one from the decorator crab, and one from the porcelain crab. The porcelain crab shell is in some water with a dash of rubbing alcohol to prevent rot, because it even has the fans attached, and putting it in water means the fans are visible. 


I've learned that I really need to feed this Holy Grail micromussa every few days. Once it gets to about 5 days without food, it starts getting less puffy. I give it Reef Roids because it has a really strong feeding response to that, as opposed to a semi-strong response to mysis. 


Has anyone ever tried feeding a micromussa every day, with a tiny bit of food? I'm curious if it'll like that. I know you have to give them time to digest, but I'm not sure if they only need a feeding break after being given a big, meaty item. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

I'm pretty sure the decorator crab is dead. I found it upside-down, not moving anything. It doesn't stink like a dead crab yet, so I put it right-side-up and I'll give it an hour or so, in case it's in the process of molting. Its antennae aren't twitching at all, though, so I'm pretty sure it's dead.


No idea why. Everything else looks unbothered. Maybe it wasn't getting enough algae to eat? There's some filamentous algae left, but not too much, and I don't have any soft macros for it to eat. Which brings up a question I have: how do I tell if a crustacean isn't getting enough to eat? Since I can't look at its body condition. I've been feeding the decorator every few days (at least) with pieces of mysis, and I haven't seen it picking at corals or pestering anything like it was desperately looking for food. It's been acting entirely normal. 


I'm debating if I want to try keeping one of these again. I don't see any reason they wouldn't be entirely aquarium-suitable, and yet, my experience so far ends with them dying after what doesn't seem like very long. Maybe they don't live very long? 

I think, if I can get some sort of soft, easily-eaten macro thoroughly established, I might try again. My working theory is that I just don't have enough algae right now, and I know these will chew on macro. It wasn't eating the branching red bubble algae I have, but maybe it doesn't eat that.

  • Like 1
  • Sad 2
Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Nothing else has died! Probably a good sign. 


The squat lobster has had a problem with one of the other things in the tank, but not a problem I would have expected. It's hanging out in the shell pile that my roughhead blenny lives in. Last week, I learned that the blenny will steal from it, if they're close enough together when I give food to the lobster. Which is hilarious, given that this is a species which makes a living off of theft. This isn't a major problem, I just have to feed them away from each other. 


In related news, the roughhead blenny does not want the frozen baby brine shrimp I got for it. It wants chunks of mysis it can barely fit into its mouth. I've been feeding it by taking a mysis that already has the head off, removing the tail as well, and giving the resulting meat chunk to the blenny. It'll even take food from the tweezers, which is pretty bold, considering how small it is.


I don't think this is going to be a dangerous critter. It's pretty clumsy. It moves its claws towards things that interest it, but slowly and awkwardly, it doesn't grab rapidly like blue crabs and other more aggressive ones. It's learned that the tweezers have food, and gets excited about them. It also seems to be riding the nerite snails on purpose? I have a couple of nerites about a cm across, and I regularly see it perched on one of them, casually riding around the glass. I don't know how intelligent these are, but if they're smart enough to associate tweezers with food, they're probably smart enough to learn that a snail will move if they stand on it. And it can swim, so it's not trapped on them.


Every now and then, it gets scared while perched on a snail near the surface, and I hear a tiny series of splashing noises as it zips away across the surface. Good thing I've blocked the filter intakes with sponges (to keep the blenny out), or I'm sure it would have gone in there by now. I don't think it can jump up, but I don't know for sure, and I have a piece of glass over most of the surface anyway. The blenny is small enough to fit through the holes in the mesh of the lid. I hope it won't jump, since it lives in a hole and would probably hide if it was scared, but hope doesn't do much good for anything. 


Also, I set up this terrarium. It's empty of live plants because the cork bark on the background is held on by silicone, and I'm waiting for the fumes to dissipate. Not an aquarium, but I want to show it off, because I'm really quite happy with it. The hollow branch is cork bark as well. Cork bark can be removed from the tree without killing the tree, and grows back in a year or so. Once it's been harvested a few times and is nice and smooth, it's used for different purposes, but rougher "virgin" bark is often used in terrariums and vivariums. It's lightweight, plant roots grow well on it, and it usually takes a decade or more to remotely begin to rot. Even in wet circumstances, it lasts for a long time. 

When all the fumes are gone, this will be for mini and micro-mini orchids, with a couple of small begonias. Mini orchids are roughly defined as orchids where a mature plant less than 6 inches big, not counting flower spikes, though the clumping ones can spread really far. Like how zoanthids work fine in a pico, but you can get huge colonies. Micro-mini orchids are more loosely defined, but the term generally applies to plants more in the 3" range, or smaller. I have a few in a temporary holding area, and one of them, Lepanthes telipogoniflora, is a blooming-size plant that could fit on a quarter. A specimen plant, which is kinda like a colony rather than a frag or mini-colony, is the size of a silver dollar. It blooms enthusiastically with flowers that can be half an inch across, and has to be fertilized more than average (for orchids) to help support that. I also have a begonia, B. vankerckhovenii, that's one of the smallest ones you can get. It has teardrop-shaped leaves, which are about as wide as a dime. And I have Syngonium podophyllum "mini pixie", the leaves of which are less than half an inch from stem to leaftip. It's a type of arrowhead plant. You see arrowhead plants as houseplants sometimes, usually with leaves the size of a woman's hand. This is a micro version. In short, I have, and am getting, tiny plants. The terrarium is 12x12x20", which is about what you'd have if you turned a 10-gallon tank on its end and added a couple inches of width. It's going to be automated, with an auto-mister, lights on a timer, and a computer fan in there that runs all the time for air circulation, so it should pretty well fend for itself as long as I keep the misting reservoir topped up. Orchids don't need much fertilizer, a spritz of highly dilute ferts once a week or less should do the trick just fine. 

If I put a terrarium thread in off-topic or somewhere (not sure where this would go), would anyone be interested in seeing it? I have plant pictures. 



  • Like 2
Link to comment


The squat lobster molted a week ago. I took the molt out and kept it. I have a jar that already has a porcelain crab molt in it, submerged in water (with some rubbing alcohol) so the fans stay spread. It molted previously when it was freshly added to the tank, but that molt fell apart before I could get it. 


The blenny had another interaction with this lil guy today. I saw her intently watching it, and thought maybe she was checking if it had food again. Then it moved a claw slightly closer, upon which she popped up and tried to eat the white clawtips. Absolutely no luck. Considering she was previously mistaken for food by the porcelain crab, I find that pretty funny. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
  • 3 months later...

I have, for the second time, removed a rock from my tank and messily chopped a bunch of Captain Jerks palys off it. I now, for the second time, feel kinda gross. 


I would advise *not* putting Captain Jerks palys on your rockwork. They spread fast, and judging by the amount of slime they put off and my general grossness feeling, are pretty toxic. They look really cool when they're in good current, I love how the tentacles get long and wavy, but they should be isolated. I chopped all of mine off the rock before, aaaand then I set a bit on top of the rock "just for a few days" and forgot to remove it. So I had a big patch. I shredded it up really badly getting as much meat off as I could, then covered it in superglue gel. Then covered that in aquarium putty. Then put a quarter cup of activated charcoal in the canister filter. Hopefully that'll get rid of the stuff without poisoning anything. 


I kept a few intact polyps. They're going on the sandbed. Once they open up in this cup they're in, so I know they're done being covered in slime. 


The RFA does a good job of keeping them back. You could totally pen these in with RFAs. Every now and then it'd get stirred up and would stick onto a polyp, like how they stick onto food, and they definitely tried not to touch it much. 


My blenny lives in the rock the palys were on. She didn't come out when I picked the rock up and shook it. In fact, she retreated very slightly, then just sat there. She didn't come out when I removed the rock from the water for a second and then put it back. I finally took my stainless steel coral cutters and banged on the rock until she left. I'm sorry, tiny fish, I'm sure that was unpleasant, but I needed those corals off. I'll give you a big meal tomorrow. 


There is now an ugly white blob on top of that rock. I'm not sure what I'll put up there. I've got a small-polyped favia that could look cool. I want macroalgae on that flat surface, but maybe the favia can go under the macros? 



Here's the tank before I took out all those palys and annoyed everything else. I really need to clean up the sandbed. The montis have both taken off, and the Mystic Sunset is encrusting onto the wall. I need to pry it off. The micromussa is growing pretty well, but isn't very puffy at the moment- it needs feeding. The ricordea have been alternating between seeming happy and throwing fits, not sure what's up with them. I might need to try and fence in those King Midas zoas, they're spreading fast now that they're settled. The sympodium is growing in earnest, and I might also fence that one in a bit with some putty strips. I got a cool blue paly-shaped coral that's currently not very well displayed, because it's being crowded by that forward bit of King Midas. It's got half-inch polyps, so I think it should be able to hold its own.

Overall, good growth and color, though the Fruity Pebbles monti sadly does not have its most flattering colors. It doesn't have that nice green on the newer polyps, or the blue base. The Mystic Sunset is as colorful as when I got it, which is an improvement over awhile ago, so I'm not sure why the Pebbles is a bit lacking. Oh well. It's healthy, and maybe I'll figure it out eventually.

The Frozen Apples fell behind a rock for a bit while I was on a trip, and slowly withered away even after I pulled them out, which I'm sad about. Also sadly, and worse, I can no longer find the squat lobster. No idea what happened. I really hope it didn't starve or something. It wasn't acting like I'd expect, wasn't trying to eat everything, but maybe it just didn't get enough. I don't know if I'll get another. Cute little guy, but maybe I'll stick to things that can definitely feed themselves off of the food present in the tank, assuming I keep adding enough nutrients for pods and whatnot to multiply. 

Both fish continue to have good body condition, eating mostly pods. I feed them 1-2 times a week, usually, a piece of mysis each. I also feed the micromussa, because it gets less puffy if not fed often, and I sprinkle a bit of food on the syngonium and the (closed in this picture)... ah, I've forgotten their name. Interesting large zoa/small paly things that are yellow-orange with green centers. Lemon something. I'm trying to get those to grow fast, to share them with someone else, and they seem to like the food. 


Going forward, I really want to try to get more macros in here. I have some sprouts of macros popping up out of the rocks. I want to try for blue hypnea one more time. I might get some chaeto? Just a small patch. I'm considering an ulva, if I can find one that won't attach to the rocks and become invasive. 

I'm also planning to take those zoas on the sandbed and... keep them on the sandbed, but more nicely. I'm thinking I don't want to have much more coral coverage on the rockwork, actually. It's fine if the branch rock on the right gets covered, but I mostly want to have either plain (algae'd) rock or macros, with dashes of coral. I think I can get a nice look out of keeping a few patches of mixed zoas on frag discs, tucked around near but not against the rockwork. It'll make them much easier to prune. I know mixed zoas can wind up with one type being overwhelmed, but I figure if it's on a frag disc, I can easily cut off and save a piece of whatever's being overwhelmed. And I think complementary zoas can look really nice. And it's not the end of the world if one type is crowded out eventually- they're basically meaty plants, they're not like more complex animals with brains and pain receptors. 


I'd eventually like to frag the micromussa and just put a frag in another spot. It's really pretty, and it'd be good to have a backup in case one colony has something happen to it. 


Oh, and I got a compact camera that has a macro setting and is totally waterproofed. At some point, I'm going to take some up-close pictures by sticking it in the tank. Should be cool. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment

Well, most of my corals are annoyed now. Nearly everything is scrunched up. My fish and other mobile animals seem fine, the fish aren't scratching or hiding, but the only coral that isn't at least partly scrunched is a paly grandis. And I've realized I forgot to rinse the carbon (Matrix brand) before putting it in the filter. So, could that annoy everything, or could there be palytoxin loose in the tank? 


I've done a 40% water change, because that's all the water I had on hand, and I've been waiting to see if everything just needs some time to calm down. What do y'all think- do I do a huge water change, or do I just give it another day or so for the problem to hopefully settle out, instead of removing all my nutrients? If they're mad about carbon dust, that should settle, and if it's palytoxin, the carbon should suck it up. I just don't know how long that'll take, and if it would take long enough for the corals to suffer permanent damage. 

Link to comment

Well, I mixed up 3 gallons of water and did two water changes with that, right after each other; one of slightly under a gallon, and one of all the rest of the new water. I didn't do one big water change because that would strand my blenny's hiding spot above the water, and I don't want to strand her. 

That oughta take out whatever the problem was. I hope everything bounces back. The zoas are all just closed, but the SPS have done that thing where they retreat so far into their skeleton that all you can see of the flesh is pinpricks of color for every polyp, as have my starlet corals. My micromussa is really, really scrunched, and that's one I'd hate to lose. It's pretty, and I'm proud of the growth on it. 

It's dark, so I don't expect to see much change, but I'm going to stay up another hour and see if things at least un-scrunch a tiny bit. 


At this point, I think it's palytoxin. It's awful suspicious that the paly grandis is the only thing unaffected. I bet if I'd put the Captain Jerks back in the tank, instead of having them in cups (which they don't seem to mind too much!), they wouldn't be scrunched either. I wonder what happened? Did some slime leak down into the holes in the rock while I was scraping gunk off it, and escape being covered with the glue? Is the toxin somehow seeping up through the layer of superglue and the putty? I feel like that one's unlikely. Maybe I just didn't cover a patch of scraped area. 


Don't put Captain Jerks on your rockwork, unless you really like Captain Jerks, or have one of those cool paly-eating clown crabs.


  • Like 2
  • Sad 1
Link to comment

That did not take out the problem. There is a non-zero chance my encrusting montis are dead, and my LPS are pretty much all starting to show skeleton. 



  • Sad 1
Link to comment



Same coral, 1 month and a palytoxin incident apart. 

It's not dead. It has tiny bits of flesh in some of its crannies. But it's continuing to decline. I have to hope it stops deteriorating before it's completely dead. I got this little guy at 1 big polyp and a few little ones, on sale and still pretty pricey, and grew it to nearly a dozen assorted polyps. I'm really, really hoping it doesn't die. 

Meanwhile, the blue-green sympodium above it is almost completely unperturbed. 

  • Sad 1
Link to comment

Welp. My two encrusting montis are bare skeleton. I'm keeping them in case they regrow, but I don't think they will. My Holy Grail micromussa is down to skeleton, no traces of color anywhere. Fingers crossed it's got some cells that regrow. The small-polyped favia looked okay at first, showing skeleton but still fleshy, but started to show a brown slime on it and has thus been removed to a big cup of clean water. The larger starlet coral looks mostly skeletal and also has a brown slime, as does the candycane. 


My tiny chitons are more visible, so might be upset, but seem healthy. A tiny limpet is now dead, as are my sandbed-burrowing eunicid worms. 


My zoas and whatnot all seem annoyed, but should recover. My Lemon Crush palys and the paly grandis polyp seem fine. The blue-green syngonium is just a smidge annoyed, as is the RFA. 


I moved the rock to a bucket with clean water, a light, and a pump. It's staying in there for a month or so, then I'll put some sort of canary frag in there and check if it's safe. I have Polyfilter in the filter, and I've been doing a lot of 50% water changes. After removing the rock, I did at least a 90% water change. I dosed phosphate after the water changes, and I'll be dosing phyto and feeding heavily for awhile to hopefully get my pod population back up. 


Lesson learned: if you scrape palys off a rock and cover them in superglue and putty, put the rock in a bucket for awhile. Or just... don't scrape palys. Don't put fast-growing ones on your rockwork. 


I still have a Captain Jerks frag in a little cup of water. Trying to decide if I want to keep the bugger. I do like the looks of them, and they should be fine on the sandbed, but sheesh. Little jerks.

  • Sad 3
Link to comment

Most of my still-alive corals are now open, so things seem to be feeling better. I really should have taken the rock out sooner. 


The only thing that's not at least partly open is the big blue-green speckled zoa/palys that I need to take a nice picture of. Hopefully they just need a bit longer. 


I was going to sort out my super-crowded sandbed, and then use a compact underwater camera I've recently gotten to get some really nice pictures. I was going to take a good up-close picture of the Holy Grail micromussa, for one thing. It's a much less nice picture, now. 

At least the skeleton isn't completely white. The skeleton is completely bare of visible flesh, no glowing under blue lights, but is grayish for most of its surface. It was mostly grayish yesterday, except that some of the white had slowly started to expand. The white is no longer expanding. I think that means the gray areas might have some flesh left somewhere? Hopefully? It's not growing any algae, at least. My Mystic Sunset monti is definitely gone, that skeleton's been growing algae for a couple days. 

As you might have guessed, this is the one that really stings. That was about my favorite coral in this tank.  It was also probably worth a few hundred bucks, if I'd wanted to sell it- they seem to go for $50 a polyp, at least, and that's just from hobbyist sellers. I really do hope it has a few viable cells left. And I'm not moving it, just in case. 


The Chemical Warfare favia is still banished, because it continues to have a brown slime on it, but it also still has flesh. I'm hoping it doesn't actually have BJD, because it's definitely at a state where it can recover. The candycane looks completely bare, and I might just chuck it, since it's also banished. Or I might keep it in a big cup for awhile. The starlet coral no longer has any brown slime, but is still banished just in case. The smaller of the two starlets (which had recently, finally, started growing) never had any brown slime, so is still in the tank, but looks pretty skeletal. I don't think it's quite gone, though, it's got traces of not-white in its ridges and isn't yet growing algae. 


The RFA seems fine with being banished. It's chilling, reasonably open in a bucket with just a light and pump. It's not as puffy as it's been in the past, but looks at least healthyish


I really regret not banishing the palythoas rock into a bucket for a month before putting it back into the tank. This was all entirely avoidable. That'll teach me to be confident that palytoxin is sealed up, I guess. 

Least the fish are okay. I'd feel terrible if they'd died horribly as a result of my mistake. 


I took a picture right before taking the paly rock out, because I was intending to rearrange things a bit. I'll wait a couple days for everything to open up, take another picture, and put those up for contrast. Partly just to whine, if I'm being honest. I've had a bad thing happen, and I'm going to whine about it to people who fully understand how much it sucks. I think that's reasonable. 

Link to comment

Casualty count: 

My two encrusting montis are gone. My candycane coral is down to clean skeleton, but I'm keeping it just in case. My Holy Grail micromussa is down to skeleton that's grayish in spots, so I'm not even remotely moving it. The small eunicid worms in my sandbed crawled out of the sand and died, which is interesting. 


My rics are not pleased. They weren't entirely pleased beforehand anyway, though, they've kinda been swinging between "okay" and "scrunched" for no reason I can tell. The blasto that was badly shrunken but stable beforehand is shrunken more, but still alive. My starlets are both alive, though the smaller one is doing better, and both are showing a ton of skeleton. The favia is showing a bunch of skeleton, but has a few intact mouths and some general flesh, and does not have brown jelly on it any longer. Apparently putting a coral in a cup of cold water and blowing it off with a pipette a couple times a day will fix brown jelly. Or I had a really weak brown jelly strain. 


All of my soft corals are fine. My few bristleworms are also fine. I've seen a couple amphipods. 


I haven't seen my micro brittles lately. That's not a good sign. At least those are easy to replace- my LFS will sell me a bunch of both white and black ones for like $5. 


Almost every mollusc living on the rock with the palys is dead, having been in the bucket with the paly rock. I'm trying to remove the anemone from that rock. I lost a bunch of baby thorny oysters from that rock, some tiny limpets, some tiny chitons, and a couple of little oyster-y things. I got the tunicate off that rock, I think without damaging it? and put it back into the tank. It hasn't un-scrunched yet, probably upset with all the decay that's now in said bucket. 



Also, I found the problem. There was a crease in the putty over the paly spot that probably let the toxin out. So: palytoxin. Takeaway: if you scrape palys off a rock, put that rock in a bucket for awhile, then use a canary frag to test if it's okay. If you do put the rock back in your tank, and anything starts looking upset, TAKE IT OUT. 



On a positive note, I've got some good zoa growth. I'm going to try to frag some things, then sell 'em in October when the temps calm down. Anyone know if King Midas zoas are toxic at all? I have a bunch and would like to try to peel them off a smoothish rock intact, but obviously don't want to be doing that in the tank if they're poisonous. If they aren't poisonous, there's a couple I might scrape off to prevent them crowding something else. 





This is not what we call an improvement. The missing rock is temporary, though I'll admit I do find this shape of rockwork interesting. I just don't want to have at least 1/3 my biofiltration capacity entirely removed. 

That Holy Grail micromussa really hurts to lose. The others sting, but at least they're either still alive, or weren't something I was super attached to. The skeleton's growing algae, so I'm not hopeful about its chances of having viable flesh at all. It was a nice little mini-colony, and is gonna be expensive to replace unless I get really lucky with a sale or someone wanting to get rid of one. Don't suppose anyone is looking to trade a Holy Grail micromussa frag for a bunch of zoas. I do have some nice ones, though nothing super pricey. 


Future plans: 

-gonna rehome the Nirvanas. I can't give them enough light in my lighting without putting them directly on my rockwork, and they're damn fast growing once they get started, so I'm not doing that. That's the stretchy one near the left. 


-frag some stuff. Those blue ones with the pink rims (I think they're called Frozen Furies) have already been fragged by my hermits detaching them from the rock and playing shuffleboard,  I just need to sort them out. I want to try to trim back those King Midas, see if I can get a bit of the blue-green syngonium off intact, frag the Bloodsuckers, frag whatever those brown ones with the green rings are (got 'em as Vulcan's Blood but they're not quite right), and maybe get a small frag of the Tweekers. I have a chunk of rock with two unnamed zoas and one small starlet coral on it, that I might sell if I can find someone who'd appreciate the starlet. I'm also going to frag the Lemon Twists that you can't really see here, but that frag is spoken for. 


-fix the sandbed being a mess. Take out any empty frag plugs, for one. I'm going to make some frag plugs out of putty, since I can make it a smooth, rounded, natural-ish shape, and I'm going to put some zoas on those plugs to have 'em live on the sandbed. I don't want to put too many more on the rockwork, they're so hard to prune back and I don't want my rockwork to be solid zoas. I want to have at least a patch of the sandbed clean, both for aesthetics and so the poor hermits aren't climbing constantly. Particularly since they're scarlet reef hermits and like friggin' heavy shells. 


-eventually, get a couple more micromussas or blastos. I like 'em. I'd love to get another of those Japanese acans I had at one point- this really pretty brownish-purple one with rows of tiny, light blue dots. Might help now that I know it's one of the ones called Japanese acans. Shame they seem to be expensive. Pro tip: if you have a stressed acan, Do Not dip it in the amount of iodine that zoanthids like, you will kill it. 


-keep an eye out for a really nice RFA. One of those ones with the sunset colors on its disc and a dark green rim. Put it next to the first RFA. 


-montis. I want another couple of encrusting montis, and maybe a branching one, to see if it does well? I'll stick 'em on the wall. I had good growth there, and decent color from the Mystic Sunset, though not the nicest color from the Fruity Pebbles. I want another Mystic Sunset, the half-blue polyps are cute. 


-MACROS. I really want to try to get more macros going, preferably on my rockwork. I found a strand of chaeto in here, and I'd genuinely like a little ball of the stuff, it's good pod habitat and I kinda like how it looks. Hopefully this strand will grow. There were a couple bits of interesting macro bits growing out of the paly rock, but they seem to have gotten killed off by either too much air exposure during this nonsense, or just the rotting clams. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment

Page 8, January 12th, I posted this picture of some bleached zoas I'd gotten online. These guys. 




Today, I have a bunch more. The hermits broke a few of those polyps off and played shuffleboard with my entire sandbed, which, when these guys started growing, resulted in over a dozen of them being scattered around. 



Trying to get color-accurate photos of corals with a cell phone camera is not an easy task. That first photo is probably a better representation of their colors, maybe a smidge bright. They're apparently called Frozen Furies, which isn't a bad name at all, compared to some of the silly things I've seen. I've divided the chunks of them on the sandbed onto frag plugs, and will sell those (and some other things) in October, when the weather should be cooled off a bit. Hopefully I can get some money to hunt Black Friday deals for a replacement micromussa.


  • Like 5
Link to comment

They are, aren't they! It's been neat seeing how they've developed. 


I do have to figure out how to price them. Does $20-$35 seem reasonable for a frag of several polyps, range depending on how many polyps is on the frag? Seems like a reasonable price for zoas/palys to me.


...one of 'em is on the frag of Tweekers I made. I might have to get that guy off there, I'm pretty sure these will overwhelm the Tweekers. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment

I haven't gotten zoa's in a while. My lights just don't get it done. 

22 minutes ago, Tired said:

Does $20-$35 seem reasonable for a frag of several polyps, range depending on how many polyps is on the frag? Seems like a reasonable price for zoas/palys to me.

Seems reasonable to me. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment


It took an entire day of propping the rock up, out of the water, with the anemone dangling halfway in a measuring cup full of water, to get this stubborn thing off the banished rock. And it didn't even let go on its own! I had to peel it off with a pipette tip. 

At least it seems to be healthy. 


Nothing that wasn't dead already is dead now. The blasto (patch of blasto flesh) isn't looking particularly good, though. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Blasto flesh is now gone. I'm not exactly shocked. 


I have a surge of that lovely "your nutrients are high" red and brown algae. I'm replacing the carbon filter in my RODI (think I'm due), and I'm guessing the decaying things presumably in the rockwork are contributing. It's not hurting anything, it's just ugly. Except that it's made the encrusting skeletons on the back wall less harsh white, which helps the look of the tank. I'm trying to decide what to do with those skeletons- leave them on and grow things over them? Take them out, clean them, and keep them as specimens? Cut them into frag plugs? 


Everything seems to be fine. Nothing is showing any signs of ill health or general upset. I found a neat bivalve underneath a small rock I moved temporarily, something that opens its shell so wide when it's feeding that I thought it was dead. Nope- it shuts just fine. 


Had a birthday this month, and I was given some cash earmarked for a replacement Holy Grail micromussa. Cali Kids was having a flash sale with some impressive deals (they had a Holy Grail micro up for $20! Got snatched up immediately, of course), so I kept an eye on it. They put up a Fruit Loops micromussa, which looks like the same species as a HG but with a blue rim, and I caught that. I can't find any pictures other than their extremely blue one, so I'm curious to see what it'll look like in my tank. 

I also found someone on R2R who had a thread of HG micro frags for sale, at thoroughly reasonable prices. They're out now, but their strain is really nice, has this gorgeous striped rim. I asked them to let me know when they have more frags available. I'm selling some zoa frags in October when it cools off a bit here (i.e. it's only low 80s instead of high 90s), so my plan is to use that cash to get an actual HG micro. Should look neat near the Fruit Loops. 


And I made a purchase that I will hopefully not regret. In the box from Cali Kids (shipping September 1st, it's damn hot around here right now), I'll have that micromussa, and a Dragon Soul favia. It was like $20, I couldn't resist. I'll have to be really careful with this one, of course, that's a large-polyped favia. It may also just look disproportionate. My plan with it is to put it on top of the formerly-palythoas rock when I put that rock back in the tank, and surround the favia with macroalgae that won't care about getting stung. If any of those palys pop back up, I'd bet good money the favia will take them out. It's a pretty slow-growing coral, from what I've read, so shouldn't outgrow the space any time soon. If it starts to be a problem, I can trade it to my LFS. It's just such a neat-looking thing, and at that price, I had to try it out. Hopefully it doesn't kill anything. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

My Chemical Warfare favites is now completely recovered, aside from one patch of skeleton that it won't grow over for some reason, and has grown! I'm calling it "definitely not dead". 


Tiny update: here's the Dragon Soul favia I will hopefully not regret. It smelled food and had a pretty impressive response. It's tucked down between the branch rock and the wall, where it... shouldn't be able to reach out and sting anything else. Except maybe the edge of the syngonium, if it gets real ambitious. Now I just have to be careful I don't have anything accidentally get knocked down on top of it, because I'm pretty sure the large-polyped favia would win over everything else in this tank. Except maybe a blasto I picked up. Read somewhere that someone had a blasto fall on something else and obliterate it, despite them not being an aggressive coral. One of those "speak softly and carry a big stick" types. 


  • Like 4
Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...


Trying a small experiment. I got these guys (Radioactive Dragon Eyes, I think, and something that's probably unnamed) as a combo frag, and I knew the red ones would get outcompeted in a flash once the Eyes started growing. So I thought I'd try a sort of multi-layer frag, and see what happens. That's a sea urchin test (shell) I picked up at a beach awhile ago and recently accidentally broke, and I figured I'd try to put it to use. I'll use the other piece for something in this tank, too. If the two zoas start having problems with each other, I can just cut a piece of each off and separate them, but I've been wanting to try more interesting shapes of frag things. I also have a Jack-O-Lantern lepto attached to a large shell. 


I wish I had a bone of some sort that seems appropriate. I have a squirrel skull somewhere, but I don't know where I've put it, and I'm not sure if it would look right. How would a squirrel skull get into an ocean? On the other hand, it'd look damn cool. And it's already coated in clear acrylic, so it won't leach anything. Not that I think a clean bone would leach anything, anyway. 


You know what I want to do in a future, large tank? Partial skeleton from a big fish. Something big enough to have vertebrae an inch or so across. Skull as intact as I can get, some vertebrae, some ribs. Kinda splay it on the sand and rocks. Mount coral bits on some vertebrae and definitely the skull, leave the ribs mostly alone. I think if I took clean bones and soaked them in a few gallons of water for a couple months, that'd make them safe enough for a reef. No room to do that in here, though. Also, I don't have a big fish skeleton. I think that'd be the main issue- the only place you can really get fish skeletons, aside from inside the fish, is pricy clean, assembled specimens. Maybe if I can find something washed up on a beach somewhere that I'm allowed to pick up. 


Or I guess I could do a partial duck skeleton. Less real estate, but probably easier to get. It'd have to be a domestic duck and not any sea-faring species, for legal reasons, but a duck skeleton is a duck skeleton for the vast majority of purposes. Though the thin little bones might be weird with corals on them. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment

Oh, I know there's some cool stuff out there. Used to have a sabertooth cat skull in a freshwater tank, because why not? But for this tank, I am trying to stick with things that could reasonably be found in the ocean somewhere. 


You know, except the frag plugs. 


And the eggcrate. 


...I may put that squirrel skull in here, if I can find it. Maybe it got washed down a river by a storm or something. I am curious what it'd look like encrusted. Coraline, maybe a lepto... could be cool. 


(Or I could ask my brother if he can 3D print me one. He's got a printer.)

  • Like 2
Link to comment



I wonder if that's more comfortable than sitting on rocks? He seems to like this spot, and the coral has learned not to bother folding up under him.

  • Like 3
Link to comment

Join the conversation

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

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...