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Tired

Tinitanks 5gal pico, The Alcove

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Tired

I am back and awake! 

They gave me some IV drugs meant to relax me, and I remember that. Then I remember them adding something else, and nothing past that until I woke up with a nurse checking on me. I have four .5" incisions with some minor bruising around them, glued shut on the outside because my skin is unusually flexible. In fairly minor pain, though it may get a bit worse tomorrow. I got good drugs to help with the pain. Threw up a few times when I started trying to eat/drink a little bit at the hospital, but that's stopped now, and wasn't causing me any real distress in the first place. About to try and eat something solid, since I haven't had anything (beyond crackers earlier today) since 11pm on the 5th. Had a nice long nap and now I feel pretty decent.

Pain is... maybe a 4-5 when I get up and move around a bit, settling down into a 3 now that I'm still. I.e. "ouch, but workable," if I rile the incisions up, and fairly easy to ignore when I don't move. I'm going to have a long discussion with the surgeon (and see some pictures) two weeks from now about exactly what he found, but apparently I had a relatively low level of adhesions (although in some very bad spots, pain-wise), and he thinks he got them all. If he's right, and he did, I no longer have endometriosis. Which would be good, because the discomfort from pressure on my abdomen was keeping me from letting cats lay on my stomach, keeping me from wearing a wetsuit, and the nerve pressure was probably worsening my blood pressure issues by messing up signals. 

 

Basically, I'm alive, and it worked pretty well. Even had the energy to check on my tank. The Goblins on Fire and Tweekers are still kinda pissed, but seem to be improving. The RFA is having a stroll around the inside of its cup, but definitely alive. Everything else looks fine and healthy. May set a couple of traps in the next few days. Thanks for the concern/thoughts! I'm good. 

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Wingy

Keep a pillow handy and bend over it before you cough or sneeze for the next week or so.  

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Amphrites

My wife has endo, figured it out about a decade ago, might want to look into a newer med on the market called Elagolix.
It's a gon-h-antagonist instead of an agonist, tends to have less side-effects and has really helped her out tremendously, I'd been following it and its' trials/studies until it was re-branded as Orilissia a year or-so back. Comes with a toned-down version of all the normal risks associated with suppressing estrogren-production, worth chattin' about with your gyn at least as it's not terribly well-known yet.

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Tired

I may no longer have endometriosis. If the surgeon took it all out, it's gone, and won't recur. The reason you hear of reacurrances is because some surgeons just burn it out, which doesn't work. This guy cuts it out. 

 

I will look into that med, though. Right now, I'm on progesterone, and hopefully will be able to come off of that in a couple months, after I heal. 

 

Funnily enough, it's my shoulder that hurts most ATM. Either from diaphragm irritation during surgery, lying wrong at some point (I hve loose joints and my shoulders are paritcularly bad), or both. I'm also eating someting more solid than a couuple of crackers for the first time since 10pm on the 5th, so I can't really flcus my eyes at the moment. Hopefully that chills out once I've ahd food. 

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Amphrites

I've never heard of spontaneous remission after removal, endometrial tissue is a normal part of monthly cycles, it spreading and occuring elsewhere is what's abnormal and not necessarily something which can be solved permanently via-removal. Even those who undergo hysterectomies still end up with endometrial symptom-recurrence around 30-50% of the time.

 

I'm not certain I would come off prevention medication, but each case is highly-individual in just about every way imaginable.

 

Hope you recover quickly and are able to keep things down, my bet is the shoulder pain is from a combination of diaphragm-irritation and leftover trapped-gas from the surgery, assuming they inflated various tissue-layers for precise-excisions.

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cosmicbread

Sending healing vibes your way :)) I had some endo removed a few months ago (bonus find during a procedure for something else), which is amazing because it offered an explanation for a lot of other nefarious goings on. My shoulder pain was beyond awful during The first days of recovery. In my particular case this was due to the gas they pumped me full of in order to see — heating pad helped a bunch.

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billygoat

Glad to have you back in one piece @Tired! I'll send you some positive energy, and some good reefing vibes too. 👉🌈🐳 Hope you have a speedy recovery!

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Tired

The thing about endometriosis (and this is relatively new data) is that it's NOT endometrial tissue. It's similar, but genetically and structurally distinct. Among other things, it produces its own hormones. Hysterectomies don't work because endometriosis does NOT come from inside the uterus, it hasn't 'leaked out' like people used to think. 

It's been found  in fetuses. It's a birth defect, essentially- you start out with it, and then it gets worse and worse due to hormone swings and inflammation from monthly cycles. But it doesn't come from anywhere, so, if you can get it all out, it's gone. Surgery hasn't worked in the past because it was assumed that a hysterectomy would fix it, and that burning it out with lasers is appropriate. Also because most surgeons can only recognize the especially inflamed, blackened stuff, not the less-bloodied stuff that's harder to spot. If you can take ALL the endometriosis out, every bit of it (because a botched removal surgery can end up spreading it), it's gone and won't recur. With the right techniques, by a skilled surgeon, in a person who doesn't have a massive amount of adhesions, there's about an 80-90% success rate. Success here meaning endometriNOsis.

 

(interestingly, it's also found in people with no uteruses, including people who have testicles instead. It's much more common in people with uteruses, of course. Though it's possible that it's extremely underdiagnosed in cis men, since it's not called testicleitis.)

 

Yeah, the shoulder pain likely comes from the gas irritating the diaphragm. I'm lying on a heat pack, but the doc said I shouldn't put a heat pack over my actual incisions, because that can cause bacteria to multiply in the area. They did say I can put heat packs away from my stomach, though, which is definitely helping my shoulder. Also I've got decent pain meds. Doing fine so far, though getting up to go to the bathroom is uncomfortable. Recovery pain is better than the cramps I got if I got even remotely off-schedule with the progesterone, anyway.

 

I want to come off the progesterone that I'm currently taking, for two reasons. One, if the surgeon got all the endometriosis out, I may not need it. We'll see what my cramps are like afterward- unfortunately, chronic inflammation can make the chronically inflamed areas permanently oversensitive. Two, progesterone loosens your joints, and mine are already messed up from a hypermobility disorder. But I have to wait for everything to heal first, cramps now would be a bad situation for me. 

 

In aquarium news, everything seems fine. The cup with the anemone in it sank, but I don't see any pods in it so far, so I may leave it like that- maybe they won't find it as easily in the cup. Nothing seems mad, except that the frag of 20 gorilla nipple zoas I got (went to LFS for epoxy, saw a zoa the looks and name of which I like, couldn't resist it at $10 for that whole chunk) is a bit scrunched. May just be getting used to the lights.

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Amphrites

That's the gist of things, I didn't want to come across as rude, pretentious, or lectury by hijacking with something about a condition you have and I don't, if that makes sense lol? The other mistaken-cure OB's often push is to "just get pregnant".

That out-of-the-way I've actually never heard of long-term success from pure-removal, only with combination therapy, but I've admittedly not been reading nearly-as-much literature as I used to and, even then, was limited in-scope to those with multiple-adhesions and severe-cases. Progestin is a fairly-mundane birth-control substance with minimal long-term sfx in most patients so I wouldn't fret about it too much, but if you've something along the lines of ehler's danlos or ligamentous laxity it may be worth the extra caution in the long-run, however I think - depending on you OB's opinion - it might be worth considering an IUD or alternative estrogen-suppressor as a preventative measure. Despite their potential sfx they're usually a better alternative to allowing tissue to potentially-start regrowing and, unfortunately, since the emergence of sfx is the only real way to know this particular condition is not exactly something which can be easily or comfortably-reacted to. 

Fun fact though, all humans are a mix of male and female cells to begin with, the older train-of-thought which held that sapiens underwent a smooth and either complete, or failed binary-transition in-utero is, unsurprisingly, outdated to begin with.

Also saying no to $10 frags is hard lol.

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Tired

Well, pregnancy does temporarily relieve the symptoms by causing you to not have periods during that time, buuut I'm pretty sure constant pregnancy is bad for you. 

 

A lot of the good info on how to get rid of endo is very new. The older stuff (and I mean, like, a decade old up to recently, not incredibly old) was based on the false idea that the tissue got out of the uterus somehow and multiplied, and on identifying endo based on its unnatural color. That's why there were (and are) so many people who'd go in for surgery and have it not work- the surgeon only saw and took out th stuff that had gone so bloody it was black, and oftentimes it was assumed that the removal of the uterus would fix it. The guy who did my surgery teaches other people how to do this surgery, does roughly 10 times more of these surgeries than pretty much anyone, and is all things considered an expert, so hopefully he got it all. He said he usually can, except if it's on the ovaries, because on the ovaries you can't cut it off without damaging them.

(Tomorrow I"m gonna call the pathologist's office at the hospital and ask if I can have the stuff they took out. I already have a collection of bones and animal wet specimens, I'd kinda like to add this to it as well. And it's entirely legal to get your own body parts back from a hospital, tho some hospitals have a policy against it.)

 

IUDs squick me out extremely badly and I have some anatomy-related issues, so those are no-go. The progesterone is very low-dose and wouldn't cause most people any problems, but I have an as-yet-undiagnosed (but confirmed) connective tissue disorder. My right knee pops when I go up the stairs, my skin is overly stretchy, I scar easily (since, skin), my shoulders are even looser than they're supposed to be, and I can sit in some really funky positions if I try. I got it from my mom. She has, and I suspect I'm butchering the spelling, Loehz-Deetz. Hers is a "non-disease-causing" variant, which means it doesn't case fatal aneurisms like the disease-causing ones. Buuut there's only 9 people in the world, including her, to have been confirmed via genetic testing to have this kind. Anyway, staying on the progesterone for now. In a few months, after my guts are all healed, I'm going to try going off it entirely. Since, if the surgeon got everything out, there's no need to suppress the growth of more tissue. It won't come back if nothing's in there to come back. Mom and I have been doing a lot of reading about this and other things, and there are definitely lots of people who get, and stay, symptom-free with proper removal. Well, mostly. Unfortunately, sometimes the inflammation leaves one's general pelvis permanently sensitive, because bodies in chronic pain often form more nerve connections to the pain area in what is probably an effort to alert one to the pain. 

 

Yeah, sex is a lot more complicated than some people realize. For example, honeybees arguably have three sexes- queens, drones, and workers. The workers were formerly considered "female", but don't reproduce, so reasonably they could be called a third sex. THere's lots of discussion in the scientific community about binary sex as we see it, and how much it makes sense. Humans do tend to fall into "has ovaries" or "has testicles", excluding the occasional outlier, but there's way more difference between members of the same sex than a lot of people really want to admit to. And regardless of one's thoughts on sex, it's not the same as gender. You can tell because gender presentation varies depending on cultures, and massively depending on individuals, whereas a person with ovaries is a person with ovaries regardless of where and in what culture that person grew up. 

Oh, and some mushrooms have a few thousand sexes, which is absolutely wild. There's also a type of sparrow that arguably has four sexes. THey have ones with ovaries, and ones with testicles. But they also have very bright-colored, very bold, hunting-oriented members of both sexes, and very dull-colored, very calm, childcare-oriented members. They also tend to form mated pairs with one bright and one dull- either a bright male and dull female, or dull male and bright female. Because the behaviors are so different between the colors, and because of how they tend to mate according to both sex and color, they could be referred to as four sexes. 

And then there's animals that have both ovaries and testicles. Or there's certain lizard species that are all female and reproduce by parthenogenesis- cloning. 

 

(I hope that's all coherent, I just took a dose of my pain meds and everything's a little funky. Also can't quite focus my eyes.)

 

Thing is, when I went to the LFS, I had a handful of things to trade in. Extra fire fern, some zoa frags that didn't look great under the light I had, and one accidental duplicate from ordering online and thinking two frags were slightly different instead of just different lighting. And that live rock I got rid of. I actually got the gorilla nipples, and a frag with 3 polyps of something that looks sorta like a Maul, in trade for the stuff I wanted to get rid of. And I traded my bigger scarlet reef hermit for a small scarlet reef hermit to minimize knocking-around damage. Got the gorilla nipples cheap anyway because they're only attached to a tiny pebble, not to a whole rock. 

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Tired

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I'm about 95% sure these are Gorilla Nipples. They do have a little patterning on the disks of some. But, whatever they are, they're nice. Kinda like flowers. They're probably staying on the floor somewhere, since these are apparently a fast-spreading one. I'll have to glue them to something a little heavier than the 1 pebble they're attached to. Maybe that blue crab shell I put in there? (thought my anemone might like it.)

 

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These guys are on a pretty big plug, they aren't actually tiny. Had to put 'em at an angle so they'd tolerate the new light. I don't know exactly what they are, but I couldn't resist. They look kinda like Mauls, or Utter Chaos, I think? I'm sure they have a name. The only thing I"m sure of, is that they aren't Ultimate Utter Chaos. They're too frilly to look like my UUC.

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Tired

Rearranged some things in the back, trying to make room for an area of macro. The macro placement here is tentative- I'm going to secure everything nicely, for one. Just popped it in there to get an approximate look. I like the depth that this adds. Don't mind everything that's all mad about just being moved.

Plans are to fill out that back area with a couple types of macro, partly for the decorator crab (that clump of hair algae on the right) to hang out in. I definitely need a green macro or two in here, maybe some halimeda. Most of the sandbed stuff is temporary, but the two acan lords are staying down there in that approximate area.

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Tired

Been a bit since an update. 

 

The Gorilla Nipples were open for a few days, then gradually just kind of melted away. No idea why. They didn't have any visible pests on them, nothing to explain 20+ polyps all shrinking down and vanishing. But they set off some trouble for me. In the process of trying to figure out what was wrong with those, I lowered the light level. Then I noticed some of my other zoanthids were looking kind of unhappy as well. Maybe they weren't adjusted to the light either? So I tried lowering the light further. And further. 

 

Yeah, they were unhappy because there was too LITTLE light. For some reason, they expressed it by closing instead of by stretching. I finally worked it out and put the lights back up, and most of them are opening back up now. A couple things are still annoyed, but I think it's things being crawled on by amphipods. 

I lost those whatever-I-got-in-place-of-mohawks. They closed up during my lighting snafu, and some algae grew on them. I cleaned them off, but the day after I cranked the lights back up a bit, they were completely gone. I think they got unhealthy enough to attract amphipods. The mystery zoa growing on the side of that plug (which isn't as pretty) is fine, though. Also, those pretty unnamed black-and-gold ones came off their plug, and the pistol shrimp stole them, which I'm kinda mad about. I liked those. Maybe he'll put them back out eventually, or maybe the pods ate them already. 

 

During my "why is stuff pissed" troubleshooting, I tried doing a 90% water change. I drained the water into jugs to see how much was in there, and, wow. I think this tank, all told, including the filtration, contains about 2 1/2 gallons of water. Makes me wonder how much water those little 2gal and 1gal picos actually have in them, with the water displacement and all. 

 

On the front of my amphipod problem, I decided to get a solution. Went to the LFS to look at fish. They had a cute little green clown goby, but I know those don't always eat well, so I asked if they'd feed it. They offered some mysis. He looked at it all perked-up, but didn't take any. Something else DID take the food, though, and greedily. 

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Everyone, meet Task Force. He's a white-spotted dwarf goby who the new guy at the LFS thought was a pygmy hawkfish (in his defense, the color and pattern are basically identical, it's only a fin detail and head shape that are significantly different), and he impressed me by eating a mysis as big as his head. 

I didn't just plonk him in here, in case the isopod was still around. I put him in a plastic fry containment box, and checked around it every night for a few days. Nothing appeared around it, and I let him out. I've had him a total of 9 days, and the isopod hasn't gotten on him, so I figure it's either starved, been accidentally removed on some rockwork, or wasn't parasitic after all. 

I haven't fed him since I put him in here. He sits on the side of a rock, up against the tank wall, in the sunlight. His belly is transparent enough that I can see if he has any food in his digestive tract, and he always has food in his little guts. A few minutes ago, I went to move a frag plug away from an anemone, and an amphipod underneath made the mistake of darting his way. He snapped it up immediately. Big mouth for his size, so I think he's a good choice for the role. 

I also think it's very funny to name such a small thing "Task Force", but it suits him. That's what he's here for! I'm going to try to train him to come to the tongs for food, because then I can flush amphipods out with them for him to eat. Playing miniature bird dog, I guess. 

 

Didn't buy this little guy, way too small, but LOOK at this. My LFS gets in aquacultured things, and they are so small. 3/4" mandarin dragonets, and, most recently, 

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Green-banded gobies that would fit on your thumbnail. So, SO cute, and I was so very tempted, but I wanted something with a bigger mouth. That wouldn't fit through any holes and get into my filter. 

 

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I got this, which I think is some sort of star or clove polyp. It's sort of a light green on the polyps, with orange tips on all the 'snowflake' details. It's a matting kind, and I like the blue of the mat as a background. The polyps are about 1/4" across at most. Anyone have any experience with this and how fast it spreads? If it's especially fast, I'm gonna corral it with sand and anemones, but if it's a reasonable grower I'll just keep it 'pruned' with shells. Let it grow onto a bit of shell at the edge and cut those bits off, that sort of thing. I know these guys can be an issue, but the LFS guy (a different one from the newbie) did say it's a slower spreader than most. 

 

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Not officially a rainbow acan, there's no blue, but pretty cool. Nicer in person, as usual. Seems pretty happy, even though the pistol shrimp blows sand on it sometimes. 

 

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I have a lot of algae because the danged polyclad ate my snails. I finally pulled the nerite out into holding, and it's gotten all my dwarf ceriths. Gonna use the nerite as live bait in another week or so, that polyclad's gotta be getting hungry by now. 

Don't mind all the plugs on the ground, I'm still figuring out positioning. Also, I moved that rock on the left, and now there's an anemone up on the top of it. I'm waiting for that big white anemone to crawl onto a small rock I can move down to a better location. 

It doesn't photograph so nicely at the moment, but I"m happy with the scape. I got some codium that I think looks really nice in the back. Haven't quite anchored all the macroalgaes yet- I gotta figure out the corals first, then macros. I definitely want something else green. 

I haven't dialed in the lighting, coral placement, or how much to feed yet. Still definitely an in-progress situation. But, most of the things in here seem pretty happy. I've got new polyps happening here and there, my anemones are growing, and I finally got something in there to devour all these amphipods. Going pretty well, by and large! It's just not one of those tanks that's super coherent right away. The pistol shrimp's been enjoying himself down there, annoying everything I put on the ground and using it as building materials, so I'll definitely be putting all that up onto the rockwork as soon as I can figure out what they want to be. Hopefully the last few annoyed things (especially my Ultimate Utter Chaos) calm down soon. A couple of the acans aren't too happy either, but I think they just need more feeding, and maybe to be in an area with less flow. 

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Tired

I got the little so-and-so who's been eating  my snails!

 

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cosmicbread

I really dig the look of your tank. It reminds me of the tide pools I could stare into for hours as a kid (and still would, if I lived near any now). That goby is adorable and is a fish I'd love to keep one day! Also, congrats on the polyclad capture. They're really neat critters, but so are snails...

Do you think anyone would want him? 

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Tired

Thank you! I'm pretty happy with how I finally got the scape to look. I want to add a couple species of green macroalgae because I'm hoping to lean towards sort of a... "oh, look at the neat seaweeds in this saltwater planted tank, wait a minute, there's coral in there!" kind of look. 

 

I'm very glad to have caught this polyclad. There's hair algae growing on my macros because of all my snails being eaten. Gotta order some more- maybe from live-plants.com, they have some neat macros. 

 

I had someone on my "I caught a polyclad" thread who was interested in him last time. He'd be neat in a pest pico. Or, heck, in a main tank where someone doesn't have snails. I think he'd ship just fine over 2-3day mail, though I may wait for it to warm up a smidge, and I'd definitely rather ship him off than kill him. He just can't stay, and I don't have anywhere (or the inclination) to set up a 1gal just for him. 

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cosmicbread

Completely understandable re the polyclad. I feel the same way about the "pesty" animals I've been catching. For the moment, I have a 5 gallon for them...but I can't stuff ALL of them in there.

 

live-plants has beautiful sargassum (which may or may not do well, depending on lighting) and c. Barbata right now...:))) 

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Tired

I love sargassum, but I think it gets a bit too big for this tank. It might do okay directly under my lighting, but it'd take up most of the center. I DEFINITELY want that C. barbata, though! It looks so pretty, and it's a green algae that shouldn't go nuts.

 

I wonder if I could get some Caulerpa verticilliata. My pods ate it after it popped up on my rockwork, but maybe after the goby finishes eating the pods. I don't think anyone sells it, but it's so little, it shouldn't be an issue like most other caulerpas can be. 

 

That goby hasn't been fed since I put it in here. It's stayed nice and fat on pods, and snatches them up whenever it sees any. I unfortunately seem to have scared it somehow and made it afraid of me, it hides from me now, but I'm going to try to give it food to bribe it into not being afraid. 

 

By any chance, do you want a polyclad? I'll cover shipping if whoever takes it updates me on it now and then. If they ever see it again. From what I've heard, they'll take frozen foods once they're out of snails. Gonna try and feed this one later today, after I pop it into something larger. 

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Tired

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I caught that isopod! Turns out it’s a (can’t believe autocorrect knows. this word) Sphaeromatidae isopod, a detritus feeder. It seems poorly- I found it crammed headfirst into a small crevice, and was able to catch it by grabbing its tail in some small tweezers. Seems sluggish. Maybe I woke it up. I’ll put it back, these are harmless. 

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Tired

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I've had Task Force here for almost 3 months, and I haven't fed him once. He's just been steadily eating away at the amphipods, and I think he's actually made a decent dent in the population. He's fatter right now than in this picture, he must have just caught one recently. These are such perfect little pico fish! Little guys, inactive but always out somewhere, with nice big mouths to eat your pests. 

I'd still love a clown goby, but I want an antenna goby more, and I'm not about to try keeping three fish in this tank. Trimma gobies only live a few years, so maybe I'll get a clown goby after this guy passes. 

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Tired

Okay; I figured out, for real this time, what everything was mad about. I fixed it, and everything that didn't die is recovering, so I'm summing it up. I was waiting to get things resolved slightly to explain what happened. 

 

The tank leaked. Very, very slowly, but enough. I don't blame the guy who made it- this was around Christmas, so he could have been rushed, and for all I know it got bashed around real badly in shipping. What that meant was, I was replacing evap and leakage when I topped the tank off, so the salinity dropped and kept dropping. No wonder so much stuff was pissed off. A lot of this is my fault- I really should have checked the salinity. I just didn't think there was any reason that a tank being regularly topped off would have a salinity problem. I don't remember what the salinity finally was when I found the problem, but I remember it was bad. 

The guy who made the tank was very nice about it. Sent me a replacement (though a bit delayed by the start of quarantine), and in the meantime, I put everything in a temporary tank. Then everything went into the replacement, and we went from there. 

 

I lost the decorator crab in early January. I don't think the salinity got it- still don't know what happened. It slowed down for a few days, then I found it dead. Maybe it was already old and died of that? Maybe it had a little heart attack? Maybe something else.

That urocaridella shrimp, don't know if I put that in here, but the poor thing jumped a few days after I got it. I forgot to put the lid back on, because I hadn't had anything that would jump up until then. Sorry, tiny shrimp. 

The pistol shrimp is dead. I took it out along with everything else to do the tank swap, and I swear I put it back in, I swear I watched it swim under the rocks and hide, but I found it in an empty cup behind the tank later. I think it jumped out (it can fit through the lid) and landed in the cup, but I'll never know, so... ugh. 

I'm putting those here because I promised myself this wouldn't be one of those threads that just vanish when something goes wrong. I feel bad for the critters, but they're dead. I am upgrading this lid to something with a finer mesh, and I am going to remember to put the lid back on.

 

My rock flower anemones, and some of my zoas, have been slowly going kind of brownish. I'm not sure if it's the light color or what, but they mostly seem healthy otherwise. That large white one from LivePlants has shrunk, despite being fed, so I'm not sure what's up with that one. 

 

I've had a lot going on, so, aside from basic maintenance, things have really been on the back burner with this tank. The live things are all recovering from their distress, which I take to mean that it can be on the back burner for awhile. Let it stew. 

 

I'm doing a big water change and some minor rearranging/gluing of frags today, I'll update with pics. I've been feeding heavily to help my suffering acans (acans do NOT like salinity drops, shockingly), and the hermits are eating my snails again, so I've got plenty of algae. Everything's recovering nicely, though, so we're good. 

 

Any tips on making freeze-dried mysis sink? As it is, I have to physically give the mysis to my hermits to feed them. I soak the stuff and it doesn't sink, I chop it up and it doesn't sink, I don't know what to do to make it sink!

 

So: I had a problem. I should have caught the problem sooner, but I didn't. The problem is fixed, and things are recovering. Will update later with a list of what I have and how it's doing.

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