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Seadragon

The Fall of the Red Ogo and Xenia as a Water Quality Indicator

 

As you may know, the Red Ogo had a total meltdown and I had to remove it from all of my tanks.  It also made the water somewhat cloudy.  I noticed that when I tested the salinity after adding the Red Ogo, it really spiked it up to 1.028+.  In the weeks to follow, my fish were doing fine, but I noticed something seriously wrong with my favorite coral, the Pom Pom Xenia.  It wasn't happy and it showed it.  It wasn't fully opening and pulsating as it normally would and it looked quite upset and was even shriveling up in some areas.

 

Yesterday, I did an emergency water change of about one gallon and got the salinity down from 1.028 to 1.027.  I noticed within the hour that the Xenia was bouncing back to life and started to pulsate more.

 

Today, I did another emergency water change of about one gallon and got the salinity down from 1.027 to 1.026.  Now, as I look at the Xenia, it's looking WAY better than it was and although it's not yet 100% the same as I remember it in it's heyday, I'm very happy on its revival.

 

I did some research on Pom Pom Xenia (and other corals such as Duncans) and they give recommended ranges for the salinity.  When I calculate the average of the ranges given, I keep getting the number 1.024.  Now, the reason I even did 1.027 before was because when I filled the tank with only Imagitarium Pacific Ocean Water, it tested at 1.027 which based on online research, 1.027 can be one of the many salinities that natural ocean water tests at.  I figured, if the ocean is at that salinity, then it's probably fine for my tank.

 

But, now that I'm experiencing what I am with the Pom Pom Xenia, I may just force it to keep a stable 1.024 by adding Distilled Water to the natural ocean water to give me the numbers that I want.  I'm choosing 1.024 also because when the water evaporates, it will eventually become 1.025 which appears to be a very popular Specific Gravity that many hobbyists try to shoot for.  So, I get the best of both worlds.

 

Now that I'm excited... would it be OK if I try to shoot for 1.024 immediately tomorrow morning from the current 1.026 or should I lower it to 1.025 first and then wait a day?  I don't want my excitement of lowering it to 1.024 immediately to have any negative effects on my tank.

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Amphrites

Stability in salinity is more important than a number, most shoot for .025-.026, plenty have tanks at .028 or higher though. 

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Seadragon

Aggressive Crab

 

A few days ago, after I took the crab "buddy" shots that I posted on here, I noticed two porcelain anemone crab legs in the sand.  My one porcelain anemone crab, we'll call him Captain Hook, now has 1 leg on one side of his body and 3 legs on the other side.  I'm assuming the other crab, we'll nickname him Alpha crab, got aggressive and ripped off the two legs that are now in the sand.

 

And then recently, I noticed Alpha crab was in Captain Hook's face so I took out my tweezers and pushed Alpha over to the other side of the tank.

 

Tonight, I come home after having dinner with my wife, and here's what I see in the tank:

PorcelainAnemoneCrab07.JPG.78f90e5c53f512e402da83f6a1a2026a.JPG .    PorcelainAnemoneCrab08.JPG.db14e9b40b09b4c7489e486a7129b828.JPG

 

I examined the corpse and noticed it was ripped open on the body.  My first thought was Alpha crab killed & ATE Captain Hook!

 

PorcelainAnemoneCrab09.JPG.4a09d3e8c1d20ab7ffc2810860b44cae.JPG

 

I called over my wife and told her what I saw.  We noticed Alpha crab waving his claws at Shrimpy's antennas and was not allowing Shrimpy to hang under his favorite spot.  So I went in with a tweezers to shoo the murderer away from Shrimpy's favorite spot.  I then went to grab the corpse, and here's what I saw next:

 

PorcelainAnemoneCrab10.JPG.5540ca8d93e2a79a71d67748c0312851.JPG

 

The "corpse" was actually a molt from Alpha crab as shown at the bottom right of the above picture.  Top left is Captain Hook!  I was relieved and shocked.  Wow, do those molts look SO much like a real crab.  I've seen hundreds of freshwater shrimp molts, but these crab molts take the cake for realism! :)

 

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IHaveADegreeInMarineBioBut

hahaha your retelling of stories is unparalleled. and the pictures make it all the better. i think a lot of people confuse molts with death because they DO look so similar. ever see a tarantula molt? ūüėȬ†

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Seadragon
6 minutes ago, IHaveADegreeInMarineBioBut said:

ever see a tarantula molt?

 

Nope, got any pictures? ūüôā

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IHaveADegreeInMarineBioBut

would take your crab any day

image.png.e30dc6b3768e7b45d768d1a4143878d8.png

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Seadragon
2 minutes ago, IHaveADegreeInMarineBioBut said:

would take your crab any day

image.png.e30dc6b3768e7b45d768d1a4143878d8.png

 

Oh wow, that's crazy.  I actually never knew tarantulas molt or any spider for that matter.  I thought only crabs, shrimp, snakes and stuff like that molt.

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IHaveADegreeInMarineBioBut
6 minutes ago, Seadragon said:

 

Oh wow, that's crazy.  I actually never knew tarantulas molt or any spider for that matter.  I thought only crabs, shrimp, snakes and stuff like that molt.

youre making my brain work, but crabs and spiders are both arthropods and exoskeletons are a characteristic of the phylum.. thus molting. ticks are also arthropods but they do whatever the hell they want so idk if they molt

 

edit: they do molt. i hate ticks though. i am getting off google.

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Amphrites

As a fun aside, "Alpha theory" is a widely debunked myth of pop-culture almost entirely based off of an undergrad's observations of a "pack" of five or so unrelated wolves in a zoo exhibit.

 

Most pack mammals have a family structure with offspring being subordinate to their parents who therefore appear to be "leaders".

Fish behavior isn't as well-described nor documented, but it most likely cannot be accurately portrayed through the lens of an undergrad's regretful thesis.

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Seadragon

Let's try this again... Macro Shots: Round 2!

 

Ray_Macro07.JPG.d0eaaed07e1e3f3824c11d4ff5062253.JPG

Le Blenny Amongst the Candy Canes

 

Ray_Macro09.thumb.JPG.46b9a9dc22f0f1da506af02f6872bf7f.JPG

" On Guard! "

 

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The Bio Dyson V9000

 

Ray_Macro04.JPG.524d6ba694101cca5f71d4556b424075.JPG

Pom Pom Xenia agrees that the new 1.024 salinity is better than 1.028+

 

Ray_Macro01.JPG.a6bedc51f369a48ff0b5084c62a55602.JPG

Trumpet gone Radioactive!

 

Ray_Macro05.JPG.e1d8b387ea763c5662b18f65644a30f1.JPG

Is that a Bull Dozer or a Mexican Turbo Snail or Both? (oh damn, looks like hitchhikers on the snail shell!)

 

Ray_Macro06.JPG.9bf7200b33a09e4c207541a1bc3d8745.JPG

Speaking of Hitchhikers... Meet Tiny Fan Worm

 

Ray_Macro03.JPG.04c1f1101fa6d7f3ff6304d622828623.JPG

Red Blastomussa says Hi

 

Ray_Macro02.JPG.723eaeef8d7687ca9c806a4f385ff928.JPG

Alpha crab killing countless Tisbe copepods on their way to work

 

Ray_Macro10.JPG.9151c07d58d9ce6c2acc4a009a05c88c.JPG

Thanks for Stopping By!

 

 

If you like these shots, I will try to do some more this weekend on the School Nano Reef.  I want to see how the GSP is coming along and how green it looks up close.

 

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Ratvan
16 hours ago, Seadragon said:

Let's try this again... Macro Shots: Round 2!

 

Ray_Macro07.JPG.d0eaaed07e1e3f3824c11d4ff5062253.JPG

Le Blenny Amongst the Candy Canes

 

Ray_Macro09.thumb.JPG.46b9a9dc22f0f1da506af02f6872bf7f.JPG

" On Guard! "

 

Ray_Macro08.JPG.3faf024510ebae7def57d69858c1d038.JPG

The Bio Dyson V9000

 

Ray_Macro04.JPG.524d6ba694101cca5f71d4556b424075.JPG

Pom Pom Xenia agrees that the new 1.024 salinity is better than 1.028+

 

Ray_Macro01.JPG.a6bedc51f369a48ff0b5084c62a55602.JPG

Trumpet gone Radioactive!

 

Ray_Macro05.JPG.e1d8b387ea763c5662b18f65644a30f1.JPG

Is that a Bull Dozer or a Mexican Turbo Snail or Both? (oh damn, looks like hitchhikers on the snail shell!)

 

Ray_Macro06.JPG.9bf7200b33a09e4c207541a1bc3d8745.JPG

Speaking of Hitchhikers... Meet Tiny Fan Worm

 

Ray_Macro03.JPG.04c1f1101fa6d7f3ff6304d622828623.JPG

Red Blastomussa says Hi

 

Ray_Macro02.JPG.723eaeef8d7687ca9c806a4f385ff928.JPG

Alpha crab killing countless Tisbe copepods on their way to work

 

Ray_Macro10.JPG.9151c07d58d9ce6c2acc4a009a05c88c.JPG

Thanks for Stopping By!

 

 

If you like these shots, I will try to do some more this weekend on the School Nano Reef.  I want to see how the GSP is coming along and how green it looks up close.

 

Great Macro Shots, particularly love the TSB

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Seadragon

To Hell and Back

This was my first encounter with an Algae Bloom from Hell and how I dealt with it.

 

When I first noticed the water becoming a little cloudy, I also noticed around the same time that one of my Banded Trochus snails was expelling gametes into the water.  I did some research and expected the cloudiness to eventually subside and maybe even get some free baby snails out of the whole deal.  Unfortunately, the cloudiness got worse and worse until I eventually started adding both mechanical and chemical filtration to my tank.  I added the custom prefilters back to both of my circulation pumps and also added an internal filter that I customized by cutting Activated Carbon media pads to the appropriate size.  I continued to wait a few more days until I noticed the white cloudiness was super thick and eventually had this green tint that started at the bottom.  Once I noticed the green tint, I started researching and determined this must be an algae bloom / green water.

 

After reading a lot of reviews, I then purchased the AA Aquarium Green Killing Machine, 3 Watt.  I installed this internal UV Sterilizer system to the tank and here are the results:

 

GW-Day0.JPG.0f0cc520a13f21963c3ccb912f6bde47.JPG

Day 0 - Installation Day

 

GW-Day1.JPG.080ddf484e7fb68ce4ef9aa1d4c4db31.JPG

Day 1 - 24 hours later and looks nearly the same.

(At this time I also adjusted the UV Sterilizer pump flow to be as slow as possible, but just enough so that I could feel the water flowing.)

 

GW-Day2.JPG.8259793cd62a296aebd8a6924b935a0f.JPG

Day 2

 

GW-Day3.JPG.266b2788d0beac1702e85a8a5064f963.JPG

Day 3

 

GW-Day4.JPG.31d0bae5c045ea0d8d8860639802a7fd.JPG

Day 4

 

GW-Day5.JPG.c05301ca3cd2062fc92e5c29ab1a0c10.JPG

Day 5

 

GW-Day6.JPG.10d91be2c4b65d9f88823b2963b7e192.JPG

Day 6

 

GW-Day8.JPG.e31faca220cadc9195eaedc43d74f999.JPG

Day 8 - About a week later and the tank is looking fantastic, especially in person!

(We're missing Day 7 because the family went on vacation to NYC, but I'm sure it looks about the same.)

 

When the cloudiness all began, I made some adjustments to my priorities.¬† I want my tank to have clear and odor free water.¬† With the mechanical & chemical (carbon) filtration + the UV Sterilizer, I was able to achieve that goal and then some.¬† As I peer into my tank right now, I've never seen it¬†so clear!¬† If you even have a slight cloudiness and no UV Sterilizer installed, it's definitely worth the investment -- especially if that cloudiness ever becomes an algae bloom from hell. ūüėČ

 

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Seadragon

Day 112 - Final Shots for 2019

 

Ray_Day112-5.JPG.4720e23311926ca21fbe5c56686d97f0.JPG

Nemo has grown so much in only a few months.  Clownfish are so beautiful, aren't they?

 

Ray_Day112-6.JPG.5bd87a27fe9c5823cfb5ccd7d0c6a670.JPG

Captain Hook finally earned his name.  Somehow, in like the past week, he has lost ALL of his left legs!  Now he's only using his 3 right legs to hold himself onto the rock.

I hope he molts soon, he sure looks like he's due for it!

 

Ray_Day112-4.JPG.21b4cb1ab344870dab5e3c14bfd1bb56.JPG

When I first placed these two Pom Pom Xenia patches, they were quite small and compact.  Now, they're spreading outward quite nicely.

 

Ray_Day112-3.thumb.JPG.e20d3eab655bacd558cca757b5a0a477.JPG

I wonder how long until the Xenia reaches the Neon Green Trumpet coral and starts to cover it.

 

Ray_Day112-1.thumb.JPG.7ee6b47bc0ac03d3043b20f7fec32f7f.JPG

Day 112 - Full Front Shot

 

Ray_Day112-2.thumb.JPG.9d5aba8d84c05048aa7e572ab6e99818.JPG

Day 112 - Full Back Shot

 

ūüéȬ†Happy New Year everyone!¬†ūüéČ

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Tired

I thought for half a second that your feather duster there was a tiny lionfish. Feather dusters are MUCH more appropriate for nanos than lionfish are!

 

Interesting that you mostly seem to have coraline happening all over the heater there. And your poor, beat-up crab, I wonder if he's getting too old to molt properly? 

 

Nice tank. Should be interesting to see where it goes. Curious if you'd ever make an exception to the no-water-changes thing for a big, tank-contaminating deal outside of the ordinary, like something large dying or some sort of foreign substance being accidentally spilled inside. I know it'd go against the schtick of the whole thing, but it'd be a bit silly to have the whole tank crash because a bottle of supplements or something fell in there.

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Seadragon
1 hour ago, Tired said:

I thought for half a second that your feather duster there was a tiny lionfish. Feather dusters are MUCH more appropriate for nanos than lionfish are!

 

Interesting that you mostly seem to have coraline happening all over the heater there. And your poor, beat-up crab, I wonder if he's getting too old to molt properly? 

 

Nice tank. Should be interesting to see where it goes. Curious if you'd ever make an exception to the no-water-changes thing for a big, tank-contaminating deal outside of the ordinary, like something large dying or some sort of foreign substance being accidentally spilled inside. I know it'd go against the schtick of the whole thing, but it'd be a bit silly to have the whole tank crash because a bottle of supplements or something fell in there.

 

I love how the feather dusters look, my wife always gives it compliments which is a bonus (gotta keep her happy with this expensive hobby).

 

So, when I first put in the 2 Porcelain Anemone crabs, Shrimpy molted sometime around then, then Alpha crab molted, then Shrimpy molted again at some point, so... yeah, it's weird that Captain Hook hasn't molted yet.  I think I saw some tiny baby legs sprouting out where the 3 legs got pulled off though.  It kind of reminds me of the Deadpool baby legs if you know what I mean...

DmiPFysW4AEJE0k.jpg

 

Just to clarify, the no water change thing is really "no scheduled water changes".¬† So I don't change the water every week, bi-weekly, or monthly.¬† I have done and will do "emergency water changes" whenever I feel something might harm or kill anything in the tank... such as when the salinity went too high and I wanted to get it down to an appropriate Specific Gravity.¬† (I took it¬†from¬†1.028+ to¬†1.024 salinity because the Pom Pom Xenia stopped pulsing and started shriveling up¬†which freaked me out since I love Xenia a little too much.) ¬†Now that we're between 1.024 and 1.025, everything is happy, especially the Pom Pom Xenia. ūüôā

 

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Seadragon
On 12/31/2019 at 11:03 PM, Tired said:

And your poor, beat-up crab, I wonder if he's getting too old to molt properly? 

 

At around 11 PM EST, here is what I saw in my tank:

 

CaptainHookMolt01.JPG.4a514f07bb157dba55658662aaa4825c.JPG

 

In the first 5 seconds of my initial reaction, I was like, OMG, did Alpha crab kill Captain Hook?!?  Lol.  But, I knew what happened last time and upon further investigation, I found out that this is Captain Hook's molt with Captain Hook proudly hanging above it!  Woohoo!

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IHaveADegreeInMarineBioBut

I had a little scare this past week too after the mini crash! saw hermit pieces all over but it was just a molt 

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Seadragon
16 minutes ago, IHaveADegreeInMarineBioBut said:

I had a little scare this past week too after the mini crash! saw hermit pieces all over but it was just a molt 


Did you take any pictures of the hermit crab molts and post them on your journal?  My wife has 14 Hermit Crabs in the School NR and neither of us has seen a single hermit crab molt yet.  I’m wondering if this is a common occurrence for everyone or do the hermit crabs eat their molts fairly fast?

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IHaveADegreeInMarineBioBut
Just now, Seadragon said:


Did you take any pictures of the hermit crab molts and post them on your journal?  My wife has 14 Hermit Crabs in the School NR and neither of us has seen a single hermit crab molt yet.  I’m wondering if this is a common occurrence for everyone or do the hermit crabs eat their molts fairly fast?

I did not ūüė쬆I should have. I don't think I've ever seen a¬†hermit crab molt before either, or if I did, I just thought it was dead. It was weird though, the worms were getting to it so I surely thought it was dead. But it was maybe the claw, a leg, and the head all scattered about.¬†

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12scanlon
17 minutes ago, Seadragon said:


Did you take any pictures of the hermit crab molts and post them on your journal?  My wife has 14 Hermit Crabs in the School NR and neither of us has seen a single hermit crab molt yet.  I’m wondering if this is a common occurrence for everyone or do the hermit crabs eat their molts fairly fast?

From my experience, I have seen about 6 hermit crab molts and they get eaten very quickly by my cuc. I had nassarius snails and a pistol shrimp in my tank and you could see the molt, come back 25 minutes later (or less), and it would be totally gone. Also idk if this is just me but blue legged hermit crabs seem to molt a lot more than red legged. Almost all of the molts were blue’s that I saw (maybe one was red).

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Tired

I've seen 2 scarlet reef hermit molts, and actually took one out, dried it in a natural position in an empty shell, and kept it. The other got deconstructed real fast.

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Seadragon

Things That I've Learned So Far on My Journey . . .

 

Tonight, I was reading about some experiences and issues that other hobbyists had on other forums back in December 2017 (oddly enough, they stopped posting after about 6 months).  One person in particular was having a very hard time keeping corals alive.  In his very first post, he mentioned (but didn't realize) that he was using [inadequate] lighting that could not support the type of corals that he was trying to grow.  On top of that, he wasn't dosing much (if at all) and probably wasn't even testing his water parameters.

 

I have to Thank you All for putting me on the Right track since the beginning on making sure that I upgrade my lighting and hinting at the importance of dosing and what to test for (I'm thankful that I ended up with Reef Fusion Two Part System 1 & 2 Calcium and Carbonate Supplement since that also adds other elements and trace minerals, to keep things simple).

 

Besides upgrading the lighting and dosing & testing regularly, I'm very glad that I started with Chaeto as my macroalgae, and then later added mechanical filtration + chemical (carbon) filtration + a UV Sterilizer (on a timer).  Why Chaeto?  As much as I love my Mexican Turbo Snails for eating the nuisance algae (Cotton Candy algae), they also ate my precious Red Dragon's Breath macroalgae in both tanks.  They either do not eat the Chaeto or the Chaeto just grows too fast & tastes too nasty.  Anyone that attempts to do 'No Water Changes' should make sure they not only have a nutrient exporter (such as Chaeto macroalgae and Xenia in my case), but to also maintain good water quality (which is why I'm glad I implemented the various types of filtration).  Occasionally cleaning the prefilters & sponge filters and skimming the surface when it develops an oily film helps a lot too and is part of keeping this a success story.  On top of all that, switching to distilled water for top offs was a huge benefit as well.

 

As I peer over to my tank right now, I'm so grateful that everything looks so happy and healthy, that the water is clean and clear, and the sand doesn't have any visible cyanobacteria on it nor does the chaeto have any visible cotton candy algae entangled within it.  It's such a blessing and joy to just stare at your fish and corals and watch them move about as if this was their natural habitat.

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Amphrites

I'm just happy things have worked out well for you, makes taking the time to post things well worth it, even if it makes me come across the wrong way sometimes haha.

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IHaveADegreeInMarineBioBut

We want an update!!!! 

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Seadragon
1 hour ago, IHaveADegreeInMarineBioBut said:

We want an update!!!! 

 

Sure!  Here are some updates that I think I haven't shared yet... (as I age, I tend to forget what I shared with my family vs what I shared on here, lol).

 

Day 120 - "You've Grown So Much since I've last seen you!"

 

Ray_Day120-1.thumb.JPG.7b4eed807047dc76e8db6ae5a346af76.JPG

I swear these Candy Canes are getting fatter!  And the funny thing is, all I've been feeding them is light!

 

Ray_Day120-2.JPG.b581f8cfbc1ea92b8ad2410943a00004.JPG

If you look closely on Captain Hook's left side, you will see 2 new white legs that sprouted so fast after he molted!

 

Ray_Day120-3.JPG.edaddbf814b997d1cee15e7801764d89.JPG

It felt like it was only last year that this Branching Coralline Algae was just a tiny twig...

 

Ray_Day120-4.thumb.JPG.4b6fadd3c5ea2092797788cdffdde161.JPG

That small Pom Pom Xenia you see at the bottom right actually fell off from the larger top left one down below it a week or so ago.  I moved it to where it is now to give it this overall cascading waterfall effect.

 

Ray_Day120-5.thumb.JPG.e7bc372b73ee3a01d2c39500843c0d37.JPG

I love arches.  One day, this will be even more covered in Coralline algae and Pom Pom Xenia.  It doesn't seem to take that long either.

 

Ray_Day120-6.thumb.JPG.24ffd4002c6c1bb8c4773c6fd0849762.JPG

From my angle that I sit at my desk, this is what I usually see.  Perfect view to see when Captain Hook molts or when Goby (YWG) decides to come out of his den.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

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