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cosmicbread

Muddy Macros - 12g Long

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billygoat

Oh man, this is wonderful! 😁

 

I know you just piled the rock in there to get it wet and that you intend to rearrange it later, but I have to say I absolutely love it! The overall profile of the tank with the rock in it just seems so right to me. This is really going to be a fantastic display. And look at that huge cup coral! What a wonderful hitchhiker! I have one as well and I love it. 

 

As for what sort of food to feed, I would start by trying some of the various different coral foods you have available and see which of them elicits the strongest feeding response in each of your animals. The cup coral for example will eat basically anything greater than a certain size (something like 150µm and up - mine even eats very large foods such as flakes, pellets, or whole mysis shrimp) but may not respond to foods that are very small, such as micro-sized phytoplankton or small-particle foods designed for sponges.

 

Also, that does indeed look like some sort of whelk, which means that it's probably an opportunistic carnivore/scavenger. It could potentially be hazardous to certain tankmates, but I don't think you have anything in there for it to eat yet. I'd keep an eye on it and see how it behaves before deciding on a course of action.

 

 

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cosmicbread

Thanks guys 🥰

 

I’d like to do a longer write up about my discoveries thus far, but have been busy. It’s coming. Thanks so much for continuing to follow along and help me out!! I got some of the cup coral to eat a few larger chunks of oyster feast! How often do you feed corals like this?

 

As for the whelk, I eased it into releasing from its lurker hole with a tempting chunk of salad shrimp. It is now in a breeder box. I picked up a 3.7 Imagitarium Pro AIO tank from PetCo this evening with the intention of moving the whelk into its own quarters, probably with the gorilla crab(s) and other pesty things. I don’t know if whelks go after crabs? And gorillas prob get way too big for a 3g but this is presently my best solution.

 

These creatures didn’t ask to live in a box with me, so the best I can do is care for them.

Plus. Pest tank. 😎

 

 

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Chili begging for her share.

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Whelk in a box.

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More cup corals.

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From afar.

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cosmicbread

The whelk — and a tiny and utterly adorable baby whelk — have their own tank now, so stay tuned for a “pest pico” journal. My LFS has already donated some undesirable brown palys. Maybe I should call it my Murder Box since...well, aren’t whelks toxic?

 

Sightings:

- Vermetid snail web?

- Spaghetti worm tendrils.

- Small crabs.

- More cup corals, mostly wee ones.

- Feather dusters here and there.

- Worm tubage. Unknown if occupied.

- Brittle stars slithering about and hanging their legs out of holes.

- Sponges...white, lavender, orange, yellow, black (?)(maybe not a sponge but this is my best guess).

- Unidentified halimeda.

- Caulerpa paspaloides (probably).

- Random red macro.

- At least one limpet.

- Tiny hermit with white shell. Happy to see it, since my larger hermit (Hector) has disappeared???


I got a macro/coral lens for my phone and played around with it a little. Maybe now I can finally supply this journal with decent pics! If only I could figure out the macro function on my Canon. It never seems to want to focus...

 

Got some new corals arriving tomorrow as well. 🦀
 

 

The odd green bivalve is still hanging in there.

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The green spike is a new pencillus. I've got shoots popping up everywhere.

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Root system beneath mangroves.

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Morning sunlight on the largest cup coral heads.

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Dragon's breath taking off but kinda pale. Might need to up the iron dosing.

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This toadstool is growing!! It was grumpy for about a week and now is almost always a fuzzball. Chili the hermit photobomb.

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These beauties. ❤️ 

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Can anyone ID this little one? Did not have black claws.

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cosmicbread

OMG I just found a beautiful decorator crab!! Of considerable size! I fed her some shrimp. Dunno how to get a good photo of this one though...but managed some video which basically looks like me feeding shrimp to a rock. WOW. 😍

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DNR88

I wish there would be more people with this uncured live rock, it's amazing to see!

 

I probably wouldn't leave the house for two weeks if I had live rock like that. Too bad I live on the other side of the ocean..

 

Please post some more pictures from the liverock and good luck. 😃

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Northwoodsreefer
13 hours ago, cosmicbread said:

The whelk — and a tiny and utterly adorable baby whelk — have their own tank now, so stay tuned for a “pest pico” journal. My LFS has already donated some undesirable brown palys. Maybe I should call it my Murder Box since...well, aren’t whelks toxic?

 

Sightings:

- Vermetid snail web?

- Spaghetti worm tendrils.

- Small crabs.

- More cup corals, mostly wee ones.

- Feather dusters here and there.

- Worm tubage. Unknown if occupied.

- Brittle stars slithering about and hanging their legs out of holes.

- Sponges...white, lavender, orange, yellow, black (?)(maybe not a sponge but this is my best guess).

- Unidentified halimeda.

- Caulerpa paspaloides (probably).

- Random red macro.

- At least one limpet.

- Tiny hermit with white shell. Happy to see it, since my larger hermit (Hector) has disappeared???


I got a macro/coral lens for my phone and played around with it a little. Maybe now I can finally supply this journal with decent pics! If only I could figure out the macro function on my Canon. It never seems to want to focus...

 

Got some new corals arriving tomorrow as well. 🦀
 

 

The odd green bivalve is still hanging in there.

4D77F122-E3AF-43E3-849C-466FC16D60B2.jpeg

 

The green spike is a new pencillus. I've got shoots popping up everywhere.

ADAFEE0C-E140-440F-848A-E934472E1581.jpeg

 

Root system beneath mangroves.

819CF741-8723-46C0-B8CD-61976D46B83D.jpeg

 

Morning sunlight on the largest cup coral heads.

56AF9CDB-16A5-436C-B123-243F621657F8.jpeg

 

Dragon's breath taking off but kinda pale. Might need to up the iron dosing.

5B1BF546-AFA8-4834-9479-83832CC84013.jpeg

 

This toadstool is growing!! It was grumpy for about a week and now is almost always a fuzzball. Chili the hermit photobomb.

5BB9D5D1-D11D-4AE4-A1FC-5FBF0F01B2E3.jpeg

 

These beauties. ❤️ 

6F193DD1-2D4B-428D-B3E6-F0F9CC332C26.jpeg

 

 

Can anyone ID this little one? Did not have black claws.

B0D646B9-68FA-482B-B238-2D1DAC4140B5.jpeg

72C8C27D-C505-4D82-987D-C069952D768B.jpeg

Crab looks like a red mithrax, a relative of the emerald crab

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lake985

Agreed--looks like a red mithrax to me too. Good score!

 

This is my new favorite thread. I had a 55g low-tech planted tank before switching over to the reefing world and I find myself missing it, but no time for another tank. Please keep the updates coming!

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cosmicbread
22 minutes ago, Northwoodsreefer said:

Crab looks like a red mithrax, a relative of the emerald crab

Thanks NW, he’s a cutie.

2 hours ago, DutchNanoReefer88 said:

I wish there would be more people with this uncured live rock, it's amazing to see!

 

I probably wouldn't leave the house for two weeks if I had live rock like that. Too bad I live on the other side of the ocean..

 

Please post some more pictures from the liverock and good luck. 😃

 Haha, this tank is on my desk and lately I’ve been having to sit somewhere else to get any work done. The microcosm of life to be found on aquacultured rock is fascinating — it’s one of the main reasons I set up this system. I’ll def be posting more pics as I nerd out about everything, thank you 🙂

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cosmicbread
6 minutes ago, lake985 said:

Agreed--looks like a red mithrax to me too. Good score!

 

This is my new favorite thread. I had a 55g low-tech planted tank before switching over to the reefing world and I find myself missing it, but no time for another tank. Please keep the updates coming!

Thanks so much, I’m happy you are enjoying this as much as I am. I’m such a newbie at saltwater and this tank really pales in comparison to basically everything else on here, but I’m having a ton of fun tending to it so far and that’s what matters :))

I have a 50g low tech planted freshie, love it to death. But I think I have more than enough to keep me occupied for the time being...


morning pics. The white encrusting sponge is pretty neat.

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cosmicbread

Is this crab still reef safe? 😂
oddly the most extended this particular ric has been in a while.

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WV Reefer
3 minutes ago, cosmicbread said:

Is this crab still reef safe? 😂
oddly the most extended this particular ric has been in a while.

C9827D3F-D66F-492F-9303-125F879C2428.jpeg

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I have a red mithrax crab and he’s a good guy. Once in awhile he will snip a coral while he’s working around it but nothing major. 

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cosmicbread
24 minutes ago, WV Reefer said:

I have a red mithrax crab and he’s a good guy. Once in awhile he will snip a coral while he’s working around it but nothing major. 

I laughed when I noticed him. Really cute, and the ric is like, whatever 😂

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cosmicbread

Normal non-crab-wearing-Ricordea-hat update:

Yesterday, I added more shrooms: a fascinating turquoise and emerald Calgreni, a tiny purple and spotted red “Superman” that I had to glue down since it was loose in the bag and accidentally smooshed a little 😞 but it looks good today; and a stunning, bright orange/pink “bicolor” ric. From the same supplier, I’ve also introduced a whisker Duncan with four heads. Everyone seems to be settling in. Haven’t decided on placements.

 

New sightings:

- A tiny shrimp. Had the body shape of a Peppermint but shorter legs. Red/clearish. Not a pistol. Unless it was. Looked like it was fresh outta larval stage.

- The legs of a brittle or serpent star that I eyeballed as almost as long as my own pinky finger. My very own demogorgon @billygoat  Hope to catch more of this one.

- A few more crabs 😂 Don’t know where the decorator went. probably hiding in plain sight.

- Fairly certain there are a handful of curlique anemones, and at least one other thicker-tentacled baby anemone, super tiny.

- The hydroids I posted about in another thread.

- A growing variety of sponges and tunicates. And unknowns...

 

The caulerpa and calciferous macro hitchhikers have perked right up and are growing. 

 

Im running another power head and the barnacles are acting appreciative. Also added a trochus snail to aid the dwarf cerith crew, since there is a small bit of nuisance algae growth finally. Still experimenting with feeding, photo period, dosing.

 

 

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billygoat

Beautiful! Everything looks so lovely. I remember some of those same hitchhikers from my own live rock. I had the same clusters of transparent tunicates, and some of the same hydroids. Those are some crazy macroalgae hitchhikers you've got though! I am not sure what variety of Halimeda that is, but it's a whole lot larger than the kind I've got, that's for sure.

 

Glad to hear you've got a cool brittle star too. 😁 Mine was about 2.5" from leg-tip to leg-tip when I got it, so yours might end up turning into a giant as well. What color is it?

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cosmicbread
1 hour ago, billygoat said:

Beautiful! Everything looks so lovely. I remember some of those same hitchhikers from my own live rock. I had the same clusters of transparent tunicates, and some of the same hydroids. Those are some crazy macroalgae hitchhikers you've got though! I am not sure what variety of Halimeda that is, but it's a whole lot larger than the kind I've got, that's for sure.

 

Glad to hear you've got a cool brittle star too. 😁 Mine was about 2.5" from leg-tip to leg-tip when I got it, so yours might end up turning into a giant as well. What color is it?

I'm kind of on tenterhooks wanting to keep as much alive as possible...did your tunicates stick around? I can't really remember. Gonna have to reread your journal haha.

 

The legs are striped, tan and white. Maybe with spikes/bristle? It restracts them at warp speed when any light appears. Gonna look for red cellophane or something similar to use over the flashlight.

 

I've realized that the decorator crab is in at least two those recent pics! Fed her a speck of shrimp tonight when I noticed her leg moving. She creeps about as slowly as the rock she is imitating, and has a dainty white claw on a long spindly arm that she waves around. I hope that I can get a clear shot of her one day for ya'll.

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DNR88

I can't see enough photos of the live rock, the amount of life on it is amazing! 😄 👍

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cosmicbread

Decorator crab, nose pointing toward the camera. Her white claw is on our left/her right (second photo).

And, Duncans being fabulous.

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Tired

Huh, your decorator crab looks like my micro decorator that I got from ReefCleaners. How big is it? You may have gotten lucky and gotten one that stays tiny- mine is so far not harming anything in a pico tank, aside from wearing a few (relatively unbothered) micro zoanthids.

Mine is here: 

 

Amazing biodiversity! Always great to get that huge variety. Have you tried setting a couple of bottle traps to see what turns up in 'em? Checking at night with a flashlight is also fun. If I hadn't done that, I wouldn't have known about my cirolanid (boo), polyclad (iffy but very cool), and an assortment of worms and chitons. 

 

For your filter-feeders, try Reef Roids. It's a packaged dry product, without a significantly bad smell (which I greatly appreciate), convenient to feed and pretty well-reviewed. Both by people who've tried it and by critters that like the smell. 

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cosmicbread
48 minutes ago, Tired said:

Huh, your decorator crab looks like my micro decorator that I got from ReefCleaners. How big is it? You may have gotten lucky and gotten one that stays tiny- mine is so far not harming anything in a pico tank, aside from wearing a few (relatively unbothered) micro zoanthids.

Mine is here: 

 

Amazing biodiversity! Always great to get that huge variety. Have you tried setting a couple of bottle traps to see what turns up in 'em? Checking at night with a flashlight is also fun. If I hadn't done that, I wouldn't have known about my cirolanid (boo), polyclad (iffy but very cool), and an assortment of worms and chitons. 

 

For your filter-feeders, try Reef Roids. It's a packaged dry product, without a significantly bad smell (which I greatly appreciate), convenient to feed and pretty well-reviewed. Both by people who've tried it and by critters that like the smell. 

She does look similar! But it's really difficult to get a feel for her body shape, as she has done quite a good job on her current costume. About quarter sized, I'm thinking. Honestly I can never find her unless she starts waiving that claw around (usually when I'm spot feeding something else nearby). Luckily she does have a favored rock. How has yours been doing?

 

I did just get me some Roids! Gonna spot feed things once I get a small syringe. I also have Oyster Feast, and live phyto on the way.  Been feeding the tube coral et al thawed mysis as well, and sparingly dosing Sponge Power and Spongexcel.

 

I totally bought a red LED flashlight tonight and had my newest sighting: a small black and white chiton. Various anemones also tend to open at lights out, and I've been spot feeding them as well (I know, I'm prob overfeeding the tank, but it's so satisfying and neat to feed these critters and the NPS coral hitchhikers...and the fatty Duncans). I need to get some pics of the anemones to ID. They have white and black bands on the face?

 

I definitely have seen at least four other crabs aside from the decorator, hermits, and the mithrax. I've been making a point of frequently feeding them morsels of shrimp and thus memorizing their holes, since I have some softies in here now and wanna keep the crab appetite sated. A bottle or shot glass trap is in the near future, for sure, since some may be getting rehomed to the pico for the moment. And I may have a click-making beastie, but it is infrequent. Would love for that to be a mantis, don't get me wrong...

And: occasional poofs of sand and debris being pushed out of various holes in the rocks as critters excavate them out...

 

I may have found a Eunice worm or something similar, which is also cool but I do need to catch it. I was feeding a tiny crab with my tweezers and a tinier, slender white worm reared up from an adjacent hole. Fast as lightning. It eventually grabbed a huge chunk of the shrimp for itself and streaked back into hiding. I think it had antennae or jaw appendages, it was too little to see any detail. But certainly acted Eunice-y. Prob not a Bobbit but some other kind. How do people trap those things??

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Tired

Mine thinks she's invisible because of all her hair algae. She's maybe the size of a quarter if you count the legs, and seems pretty happy. Not too active, just slooowly makes her way across the tank. She really likes the Reef Roids- I squirt some gently at her, and they get caught in her algae where she can eat them. 

 

If you don't see high nitrates, you aren't overfeeding. And your macros will suck up nitrates. You have a planted tank, basically, which means you can feed pretty heavily and be fine. Your NPS corals will love it, I'm sure. The only potential issue is overfeeding fish in the future and making them fat- I don't think corals can get fat. 

 

Yeah, anything that lunges out to grab food is suspicious. I think people usually bait them out of holes, very slowly, then grab 'em. You have to get it out of the hole or it'll just hold on and get pulled in half. Supposedly they can regenerate if you pull one in half, but I'm suspicious that the tail end can survive long enough to grow an entire new head and organs. You can also take the rock out and squirt freshwater into the hole to scare it out. If it's tiny, it's not likely to be an issue for now- you should get it out before it gets big, but a small one won't hurt anything significant, so it's not too urgent. 

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cosmicbread
10 hours ago, Tired said:

Mine thinks she's invisible because of all her hair algae. She's maybe the size of a quarter if you count the legs, and seems pretty happy. Not too active, just slooowly makes her way across the tank. She really likes the Reef Roids- I squirt some gently at her, and they get caught in her algae where she can eat them. 

 

If you don't see high nitrates, you aren't overfeeding. And your macros will suck up nitrates. You have a planted tank, basically, which means you can feed pretty heavily and be fine. Your NPS corals will love it, I'm sure. The only potential issue is overfeeding fish in the future and making them fat- I don't think corals can get fat. 

 

Yeah, anything that lunges out to grab food is suspicious. I think people usually bait them out of holes, very slowly, then grab 'em. You have to get it out of the hole or it'll just hold on and get pulled in half. Supposedly they can regenerate if you pull one in half, but I'm suspicious that the tail end can survive long enough to grow an entire new head and organs. You can also take the rock out and squirt freshwater into the hole to scare it out. If it's tiny, it's not likely to be an issue for now- you should get it out before it gets big, but a small one won't hurt anything significant, so it's not too urgent. 

Maybe NPS and macro is a match made in heaven? 😁 A fish would be neat, but I'm not sure how to make a lid for this tank in its current configuration. I've also been considering shrimp, like sexies, and perhaps some oddball inverts.

 

The decorator crabs are really intriguing and charming little creatures. 

 

So, some of the white encrusting sponge is turning light pink and lime green. Has anyone experienced this before? Pics included in next post.

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cosmicbread

Sorry, phone being weird this morning.
The pink and light green tints on the sponge are not coming through as vibrantly in the pics. It’s occurring most on areas of sponge that get more light. At first I thought it was algae? But now I’m actually wondering if the sponge is coloring up itself?

 

Included in the pic barrage is a FTS (with pest pico sharing the desk until I make a stand for it), and some state of the macro photos + my fav rock.

 

 

 

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DNR88

Still very awesome! 😄

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cosmicbread

A cave in the rock and a pile of broken shell and debris underneath from today’s excavation.

excavation by what??.....

 

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billygoat
16 minutes ago, cosmicbread said:

A cave in the rock and a pile of broken shell and debris underneath from today’s excavation.

excavation by what??.....

This situation smacks of mantis! Could be a number of other things too though... and some of them are kind of gnarly. 😅

 

The tank looks so beautiful! And you mentioned that you work at that desk? Honestly I have no idea how you get anything done. I would just be staring at those rocks and algae all day long. 😂

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