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Tired

Tinitanks (pending) 5gal pico- everything in quarantine for now

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Tired

This is going to be a 5gal tank for my college dorm room, when I go in August. 

Tank: Fluval Edge with the top taken off so I can reach things. I like the dimensions, the shape, and the appearance. I will probably put a lid over this to help with evap. 

Light: Kessel Tuna Blue A80, adjusted as needed.

Filtration: stock filter for the Fluval, with a small powerhead if I need the flow to be better. I'm just going to run filter floss and some activated charcoal for now, I think. 

Other equipment: tiny heater (not sure what kind yet) and Inkbird controller to prevent overheating, maybe a small custom-made ATO. 

Tank: 4.5g TiniTanks setup. 12" by 12" by 8", which sounds like a great footprint. Cute little thing that comes with its own custom equipment and stand. 

Sessile stock: mostly zoanthids, probably one LPS for textural punctuation. Whatever macroalgae came in on these rocks, and probably a Halimeda or similar calcified macro for more texture. I may eventually try an encrusting SPS depending on where I can easily keep parameters. Also, several rock flower anemones. 

Mobile stock: a few blue leg hermits, the chitons that came on my rock, and an assortment of worms. At least one anemone shrimp, I suspect. Definitely a candycane pistol and a black ray shrimpgoby, though the shrimpgoby will be a late addition once I've made sure there's enough macros to handle the nitrates no problem and keep growing little bugs to snack on between feedings.

 

9/25/19, original post.

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

 

Tank status, 9/27/19: not at all a tank. I don't have the tank and equipment (they're going on my Christmas list), and I haven't actually decided exactly which tank I want. I just have cool rocks in a 5gal quarantine, with a planted tank light over it that will hopefully be adequate. 

I decided against a split tank. Much as I like the idea, I don't think it would leave me enough room to scape with and get things to look nice, particularly with rock flower nems. It would also be tricky to light properly, I think, I'd wind up with two little lights. Instead, I'm going to keep only mobile livestock that's RFA-proof, anemone shrimp and whatnot. And maybe a serpent star, those wouldn't exactly be able to dart across the tank and accidentally end up in a nem.

 

Tank status, 10/4/19: I got palys and zoas, and the original zoas are finally starting to open up further. Will add a pic when a few polyps are totally open. Nice intense green. The clam, which I've confirmed was a turkey wing, died. I'm guessing it starved. The worms and whatnot seem fine, but most are hiding, since they're worms. Got a handful of live sand from the LFS display and put it in here so sand-dwelling creatures have somewhere to dwell. The new corals are open fully, though they aren't under the right lighting to look their best.

 

Tank status, 10/11/19: not much has changed. The original zoas turned out to be Rastas, which I'm pretty happy about for obvious reasons. I suspect the palythoas rock may actually have 2 similar species on it. They went a little bit umbrella-shaped momentarily, but I shifted the light so they got more, and they went back to flat. All the animals seem pretty happy. I have a bloom of some assorted algaes and a bit of cyano, but that's to be expected, so I'm just keeping an eye on things and doing small water changes. Something built a small tube of sand on one of the rocks- I suspect one of the eunice worms. Something else has been emptying all the sand out of one hole in the rock, I'm not sure what. Nothing appears to be bothering the zoas, despite very minimal feeding in here, so I don't think I have any coral-eaters. Still waiting on my test kit to come in the mail, but since the zoas are all open (except one tempramental no-name polyp that's only sometimes open) I'm assuming the parameters are fine. 

 

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

 

10/18/19: in the course of watching snails crawl up the glass, I've had a very close look at what I thought was hair algae, and, nope. Bryopsis. (edit: hair algae) Lots on the glass, and some patches on the rockwork. It's not up near corals, so no need for any panic yet. I'm going with what seems to be the most effective thing that people do, which is fluconazole. Ordered some online. I'm going to treat with that, and from what I'm reading, my cleaners should go to town on it once it gets weakened a bit. I'm going straight to the fluconazole because manual removal just doesn't seem to be effective for this algae, and because there's not much I can put in here (or that could be put in anywhere) that'll eat it. This seems to be one of the algaes that you really can't handle by more natural means, since nothing willingly eats it and it's so hard to kill, and I like that the fluconazole doesn't hurt anything else. Except fungi, but I don't know if saltwater environments really have that much fungi anyway. 

I also tested nitrates (finally got my test kit in), and they are a resounding 0. Courtesy of the growing hitchhiker macros and algae, and the minimal feeding, I suppose. I'm going to start feeding a very small bit more, just a little pinch of food every few days. Lots of worms and whatnot came out for the food today, and I got my palys to take some. I've been watching them, and they're eating my pods, or at least trying to- they'll kinda jerk a tentacle inward now and then like anemones do, I assume when the pods hit them.

Despite that, I have lots of pods. Mostly copepods, but I think some amphipods in there somewhere. They love hiding in the bryopsis forest on the back wall. Sorry, guys, but I need that out. Go hide in the new macroalgae. I might get a pod condo or something of the sort for them. 

I don't think my eunicid worms are a harmful kind. They haven't been going after my zoas, even though I've been basically not feeding the tank. 

The corals seem to be doing well. I have one tiny colony of zoas that are hard to assess because they get scared when I walk over to the tank (it's set on the floor) and retract, but if I give them enough time and walk very carefully, they come back out. The Rastas got kinda pissed off at the algae that grew amongst and on them when they were shrunk up, but I've been gently pipetting them clean, so they all open up just fine. The polyps I smashed in transit have shed about half their own mass and don't have any features, but I'm hoping they'll regrow. They're still connected to the rest of the colony. They're nice and firm like healthy polyps, they're just... lumps. 

(also, I rearranged this post so it reads in chronological order, instead of having the newest update at the top.)

 

10/23/19: I was wrong, that's just hair algae with a feathery growth habit. Treated with fluconazole a couple days ago, so that's in there. I'm going to leave it in rather than doing massive water changes (and removing my pods), since it shouldn't hurt anything and may impede the hair algae a bit. My snails are having an absolute party with the algae and have made a huge dent in the amount on the back wall. Hopefully they move on to the stuff on the rockwork, I've been tweezing it out to keep it away from my zoas. 

The Rastas are growing some new buds, and all the existing buds on the other zoas have been growing into full-sized polyps. None of the new critters have done anything weird. The limpet never perked up after arrival and something ate it at some point, I assume after it died- must not have handled shipping well. I saw one of the chitons, and suspect by the two clean patches of rock that there are two chitons still alive.

 

11/4/19: 

I've got Acoel flatworms. Fine by me, I'll let them do their thing, and suck 'em out if there's too many. 

The halimeda on one of my rocks that I thought was dead is not at all dead, and is growing several new 'coins'. Gotta try to remember to take pics of this for later.

I've had more aiptasia pop up, but am supergluing the little bastards on the occasional water change, so they aren't causing any trouble. They're a pretty striped one, too bad they're pests. 

I saw a THIRD chiton! A very small one, maybe a quarter-inch long. I'll definitely have to remove at least one of those later so they don't all starve each other out, I doubt 3 chitons (and some other snails) will do well in a pico without some kind of massive algae-growing effort. Guess I'll wait until they hit an inch or so, then take whatever I can remove (I'll have to get lucky and see one on the glass) to my LFS to rehome.

 

11/6/19: my order from SaltCritters came in. I have a rock flower anemone now, a little fella, and added in some zoanthids. Couldn't resist the sale. 

 

11/20/19: added a micro decorator crab, and swapped my hermits all out for 2 scarlet reef hermits, which aren't as small but are supposedly a bit more chill. Have added some additional sessile inverts, also, and 4 berghias (on the 15th) to eat the aiptasia for me. I think I have four chitons now, and I saw a limpet. The eunicid worms have been building the occasional sand-and-mucus tube but haven't harmed anything. Got a couple more glimpses of what I still kinda suspect is a polyclad flatworm- it sure moves like one, though it's small and milky-transparent instead of speckled and large. Got rid of most of the dwarf ceriths and one nerite. 

 

12/3/19: Cyber Monday got me. Got myself some designer critters. I also moved the rockwork around to make it easier to place coral frags, and I found that one of the coral skeletons is alive. It's a starlet coral, I think. I'll probably cut it off the rock it's on so I can put it somewhere better. 

The flatworms boomed and are now down to small numbers. Seen that maybe-polyclad a few more times, and it's very bold and unflinching, which makes me think it's not a polyclad. Those seem to be more wary. I have some tiny limpets now, and my collonista snails are getting nice and big. Or, big for their species. Everything seems pretty happy. Except the blasto, which got knocked down into a place I can't freakin' reach and is kinda under some rocks. Hopefully a hermit shoves it out where I can reach again, because I really don't want to remove absolutely everything to get it when I'm just going to take this down (and put it all in a new tank) right after Christmas. 

I might put it on my nightstand for now, then move it over to my desk. I'm getting surgery to remove my endometriosis adhesions on January 7th, so I'd like to have this where I can easily see it and monitor it. Especially since I'm going to get a pistol shrimp for the move. Just a little one who hopefully won't cause any major trouble. I'd love a fish, but I have to wait awhile on that, since I saw some kind of isopod that was probably one of those fish-parasitising ones. Gotta hope the damn thing starves, or try to trap it in something.

There's exactly one visible aiptasia left. 

 

 

 

I'm working on a tank for my college dorm room. It has to be 5 gallons or under (or appear to be 5 gallons), and I'm going to divide it roughly in half. I want to keep rock flower nems and anemone shrimp on one side, and zoas and non-hosting shrimp on the other. The divider will be a filter compartment like people build or buy on AIO setups, and it should hopefully look pretty good. I found someone doing something like this in a larger tank (https://www.nano-reef.com/forums/topic/257900-andru24s-double-peninsula-20g-aio/ ) and am confident that I can make it look, at least, not terrible. 

 

Planned additional stock: 

 

Rock flower nems

GSP (seen some cool striped varieties)

 

Anemone shrimp of some form (not a sexy. Pederson's, maybe?)

Porcelain crab ? 

Candy cane pistol shrimp

Clown goby (later)

High fin red banded goby (later, if workable with clown goby's bioload)

Blue hypnea algae (just found out about it, love it, want some)

Blue scroll algae (LOVE this)
Halimeda or similar "structural" algae.

 

Zoa/paly wishlist: 

Sunny Ds

Armor of God

Salted Agave (one with more white)

Clown Face

Paradise

Purple Monster

Nirvana

Darth Maul

Rainbow Incinerators

Aquarium Depot's black and tans

Black People Eater

Black Widow

Tiffanys

(Not planning on all of them, just a list of things I like. Open to suggestions.)

 

Current stock: 

 

Hitchhikers: 

4 (?) chitons, small white ones

Blotchy limpet/s
Bristleworms
Eunice worms of some variant (seem harmless so far, little pink striped fellas)

Spaghetti worm, white (2)

Peanut worms (2)
Red mini fan worms

White mini fan worms

Some kind of very tall-tubed, skinny fan worm
Micro brittles 
Collonista snails (many)
Spirobid snails (metric ****ton on this one rock)
Vermatid snails (several)

Probably-dead stony coral colonies

Many pods!

Pink coraline

Orange coraline

Pink-reddish coraline

Some sort of orange sponge

Pineapple sponge (several)

Starlet coral (5ish polyps) 

 

Mobile, intentional: 

Cerith snails (~12)

Dwarf planaxis snails (3ish)

Nerites (2)

Berghia nudibranchs (4)

Scarlet reef hermits (2) 

Micro decorator crab (<3)

 

Corals, intentional, kind of guessing on what's zoas vs palys: 
Rasta zoas (about 15 polyps, started at 12)

"Tiger's Ass" palythoas (not the actual name, probably Fairy Dust), 8 polyps and 3 buds

Red People Eaters (1 polyp)

Ring of Fire zoas 

Tweekers zoas 

Blueberry Pies zoas (maybe?)

SU Rose Nebula palys

SU Hawaiian Ding Dang zoas 

Goblins On Fire palys

True Collector Black Hole Suns zoas

Ultimate Utter Chaos zoa polyp 

Misc zoas, small clusters

Rock of tiny yellow zoas

Blasto?? (1 polyp)

Rock flower anemone, ultra orange (Just in here 'till December, going to my cousin)

Rock flower anemone, brown and white 

Rock flower anemone, "slightly sunburnt zebra striped" (pinkish zebra)

 

Macros, intentional: 

Fire fern

 

Macros, hitchhikers: 

Red gracilaria (?)

Pom-pom gracilaria (?)

Unknown red branching stuff, kinda like thick gracilaria

Thin, red, branching, vaguely turf-algae-like stuff

Slightly thicker red algae that resembles thin, bright gracilaria 

Caulerpa verticilliata (tolerated for now)

Caulerpa prolifera (tolerated in very small amount for now)

Vaguely turf-like, sort of brushy dark green stuff, spreading at a thoroughly reasonable rate.

Halimeda, super tiny sprout reviving from what I thought was a dead section

 

Lost: 

Limpets, hitchhiker (update: no live ones confirmed, found 1 dead. Introduction was apparently too abrupt.)
2" turkey clam (probably starved)

Star snail (introduction got this also.)

Feather caulerpa (intentionally removed)

Some sort of black-and-white fan worm with a cap for its tunnel (probably also starved)

Limpet, intentional (never perked up after shipping)

 

 

 

 

Here's what I started off with. 

The zoa rock: 

image0.jpg?width=840&height=630

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

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

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

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

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A different rock, and a sponge, I think. 

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

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

 

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

 

On this rock: 

2 (at least) small limpets

Star snail

Chiton

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

Coraline algae, at least 2 types

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

At least 3 red macros

Some kind of brown wavy macro 

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

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

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

 

On the zoa rock: 

Zoas (yay!) 

Pink coraline

Green algae

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

Some beige sponge material

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

 

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

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Wingy

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

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billygoat

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

 

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

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Tired

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

 

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

 

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

 

Edit: found the light to put over them. 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Clown79

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

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Tired

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

 

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

image0.jpg?width=507&height=676

 

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

image0.jpg?width=507&height=676

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kimdawg

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

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Clown79
2 hours ago, Tired said:

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

 

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

image0.jpg?width=507&height=676

 

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

image0.jpg?width=507&height=676

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

 

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

 

The second looks like a  ghost anemone shrimp

 

 

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billygoat
12 hours ago, Tired said:

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

 

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

image0.jpg?width=507&height=676

 

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

image0.jpg?width=507&height=676

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

 

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

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Tired

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

 

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

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

Are these likely to be leaking palytoxin from being smushed? 

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

image0.jpg?width=473&height=630

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Ratvan

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

 

Could be a Berghia do you have any aips?

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Tired

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

 

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

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Tired

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

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

 

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

 

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

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Ratvan

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

 

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

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Tired

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

 

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

 

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

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Tired

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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Tired

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

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

At which point, of course, I'm sold. 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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billygoat

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

 

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

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Tired

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

 

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

 

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

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Tired

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

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

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

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caas1496
12 minutes ago, Tired said:

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

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

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

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

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Tired

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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caas1496

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Tired

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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Tired

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

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

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

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

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

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

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