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Diamonds x Pearls
On 1/31/2020 at 6:54 PM, Diamonds x Pearls said:

...

 

CUC (not exactly biotopey, but analogs are present in the same or nearby habitat types)

  • at least 8 Trochus snails About 10 Banded Trochus Snails
  • 4 Neritina snails
  • at least 20 Cerithiidae 8 Ceriths
  • 40? mini Ceriths
  • 1x Ninja star astrea (2 deceased immediately)
  • at least 7 Astreas 1 Astrea is on it's way out
  • at least 15 Nassarius snails (some taken away mysteriously, restocked with 4 in August) 13 Nassarius Snails
  • 1 Margarita
  • 1x Turbo snail 2 Turbos
  • 1x Diadema setosum
  • 1x Mespilla cf. globulus

 

Fish

  • 1x Misbar ocellaris (April 18th)
  • 1x Frostbite ocellaris (Moved the other one out due to aggression)
  • 1x Yellow watchman goby (divorced TT__TT )
  • 1x Pajama Cardinalfish Jumped the tank!

 

Other invertebrates

  • 1x Pistol shrimp (divorced q.q)
  • 2x Mini carpet anemones (a dubious addition)

 

Corals

  • 1x Sinularia spp.
  • 2x Sarcophyton spp.
  • 2x Lobophytum spp.
  • 1x Nephthea spp.
  • 6x Zoanthids
    • ORA Orange
    • Tidal Gardens (TG) Blowpop
    • TG 5G Blue Hornet
    • TG Sakura
    • TG Utter Chaos
    • A&M Eagle Eye
  • 3x Caulastrea furcata ORA
  • 1x Fungia spp. (maybe repanda species)
  • 1x Favia speciosa (1 died from salt burns)
  • 1x Favites pentagona
  • 2x Cyphastrea serailia (red and Meteor shower)
  • 1x Acanthastrea echinata (1 choked out from algae 9/2020)
  • 2x Montipora digitata (Forest fire and German Blue)
  • 1x Seriatopora hystrix
  • 1x Acropora yongei
  • 1x Montipora (hoffmeisteri)

 

Wishlist

  • As many Fungia legally possible
  • Psammocora profundacella/superficialis
  • Goniopora lobata/tenuidens
  • Stylocoeniella (any species since I don't think this is the hottest coral yet)
  • Pocillopora damicornis
  • Porites lutea/lobata/cylindrica
  • Echinophyllia aspera (Chalice Coral)
  • Echinopora lamellosa (Stunner Coral)

 

...

Stocking and wishlist has been updated to reflect changes. As you can tell with still such a long wishlist, some of my existing pieces will need to find another place to call home. Still trying to figure out how to go about it.

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JohnTheReefer
On 3/3/2021 at 9:43 AM, Diamonds x Pearls said:

I'm looking to give my carpet anemones a new place to live. Local only to MD/DC/NoVA.

I'm possibly interested. What are you asking for them?

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Diamonds x Pearls
7 hours ago, JohnTheReefer said:

I'm possibly interested. What are you asking for them?

Slightly higher than normal, but it's because I've grown them out since purchase. The bluish one is $75, red/gold/green $60. I'll deliver (I used to live in Columbia Heights so driving/parking isn't hard for me).

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Diamonds x Pearls

March 10

 

Temperature 24.9°C

Salinity 33 ppt

Alkalinity 9.1 dKh

Calcium 425 ppm

Magnesium 1335 ppm

Phosphate >0.05 ppm

Nitrate >12ppm

 

Same Fusion 2 dosing. It seems like we can dose our other reagents that I've had on standby for little over a month now. Time for some calculators!

 

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Nice growth. I accidentally snapped that droopy nub on my acro lol.

 

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However I think this blue digitata has seen better days. It may be too much flow.

 

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Again, I think I literally blew the coral too hard. However the growth on the frag plug seems to be ok.

 

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Diamonds x Pearls

Who else watched the Master Nutrients series on Youtube?

 

I thought it was an interesting set of videos and made me think about my tank. I do believe that our focus on our husbandry should be geared towards the wellness of our animals we choose to care for. Biodiversity is a feature critical to any successful environment which includes the pockets of ocean we have at home, work, and that Las Vegas resort you went to years ago. Feed your fish, feed your coral, heck feed your bugs invisible to the naked eye. I think I noticed this when I dosed a sample of the AlgaeBarn Ecopack. I still believe to this day I reached 0 for both "nutrient" loads is because of bio-assimilative properties of the bacteria in the "PNSB" product. I knew that I had nitrate and phosphate but the kit doesn't pick it up. It may have been lacking in inorganic, but I was certain that there was a nonzero amount of organics.

 

What I didn't like was their NSW this and NSW that bent by episode 4. Unless you're piped into the ocean, how can you actually get those ideal coral reef parameters? Even then, those big public aquariums that pull water just offshore will still go their own series of filtration and purification which include UV, Ozone, resins, etc. The ocean is the biggest living system; and if you track the trajectory of ocean currents it's one long conveyor belt. Believe it or not the water from the Indo-Pacific and Australia travel northward to Japan and continues to route to Alaska and then trickle down along the California coast. It cycles along the equator and it's original place in the Indonesia. However some of that water will jump currents to another gyre. At the same time, there's a singular conveyor belt that transfers water between oceans. In many ways, the water is always changing. There's always some sort of export and import of nutrients and best yet organismal recruitment. I get that we dream of NSW and ultimately that's where everything came from, but at this point in reef keeping technology a fair share of our animals are captive. Maybe not the kole tangs of Hawaii, but I'm willing to bet many of the corals we acquire started life in a lab or at least someone's holding facility. Not to say that corals aren't captured from the wild, but that's probably something we should start shying away from. (my opinion just now).

 

Heavy in, heavy out. Sure. Heavy in is an consolidated emulation of the constant feeding the corals receive. One the best descriptions of an ocean is that it is a big blue desert. Only along the coasts is where you see large concentrations of life and therefore nutrients and energy. Coral reefs and any other system for that matter are complicated energy systems. I'm not looking just at food webs and chains, but just how caloric energy moves. First as solar energy captured in phytoplankton and other autotrophs but later converted into matter to be consumed by heterotrophs. If you think energetically, there's much going on. We as fishkeepers need to have methods to provide matter that provides that caloric energy, so this is why we feed, but we're not there on the hour or minute so everything is boiled down to the 30 seconds of dropping pellets into a system. I found that an easy heavy out is literally water changes. Nothing is more effective than just manually removing decaying matter on a regular basis. Regardless of what you do, you'll always have organics breaking down into inorganics to an extent. This is where I think the video series falls flat. Let alone some of us want to buy these cool Triton and KZ Zeovit gadgetry but Petco don't pay. At the end of the day, if you feed more, then you'll probably need to vacuum more.

 

To say the least, I wasn't exactly thrilled over episodes 5 to 6. Concentrations/ratios don't matter unless we have the beings we need. Biodiversity is key and probably the cheat code. Let's stop the fluff, BRS. I didn't like how they give GFO a less than favorable light. However here's the thing. At work, I don't run GFO, but I do feed a reasonable amount. Reasonable meaning how much food a fish will eat within the minute. Any oops leftovers fortunately are taken up by the inverts and the wild amount of amphipods. That's some diversity. I still run GFO because I know it works at home and makes the heavy in really heavy. At one point I didn't run any phosphate media until I just got tired of climbing phosphate and just not having the animals or bugs to assimilate it...also I had lawns of GHA which ...well did assimilate all those nutrients.

 

I am glad however how they emphasized on mechanical filtration. I learned about this during my time working at the NIH Zebrafish Colony. Mechanical filtration was a big deal in making sure not just the big chunks remain in the system but also the ability to remove microbes which include freshwater hydroids, rotifers, and hatched brine shrimp (just listing what I do know for sure was in the pre-filtered water). However my complaint about filtration is that your capabilities will only go as far as your funding and circumstances (and willingness). Some of us want to (or can only) ball on a budget, yet this is the reality of having a pet of any kind. It's a marker of privilege.

 

I do have to say having a homemade food is way more fun. The work in making your own seafood blend is a nice creative break. It's even more pleasing to see your animals enjoy it. I have my own food blend I actually use at work and I shared some with my coworkers. Works for all animals, fresh and saltwater.

 

Also, Ryan, there is a science behind aquariums, it's literally called aquarium biology or aquarium science. You can literally get an associates degree on that from a community college in Oregon. There's a whole certifying organization called the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that cares about this stuff.

 

Anyway, I'm going to test what they discuss. I'm making the total volume of brand new water as we speak. I kind of cheated by going to Whole Foods to get deionized water. So to begin the test, we'll start off with a clean-ish slate. We'll fine tune our feeding. We'll also clean our mechanical filtration religiously emulating my experiences working in public institutions.

 

Most recent Nitrate check is tonight: 12<x<25 ppm; Phosphate: ~0.075 ppm

 

I don't know about you guys, but water change water change ####ing water change.

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Diamonds x Pearls

I basically drained my tank and filter to the point where the fish were flopping around. To my negligence my frostbite flopped into my blue mini carpet anemone. It's still alive and acting normal, but it looks really blemished right now. Just a bad look entirely.

 

This test will be pretty straightforward. Without many controls, we'll see how inorganic nutrient concentrations change over time. Basically, if our input is mostly based on the amount of food added to the system, then small input will mean small increases. I've removed Purigen, carbon, and GFO out of the equation. I've added some more filter pad material. I rinsed out the bio-max rings. We're going to fine tune our feeding. I haven't really quantified feeding, but we're going to switch over to NLS pellets and Ocean Nutrition Prime Reef Flakes. Each will be fed once per week. Frozen food will be fed morning of a coral feed. Coral feeds will remain the same, one evening per week, but I'm thinking of using one cube of Coral Gumbo rather than two. I'll be halving the quantity of Coral Feast. The liquid suspension will remain the same.

 

Mechanical filtration will be cleaned daily.

 

NO3 - 3ppm
PO4 - <<0.025 ppm

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Diamonds x Pearls

Successful trades and sales.

 

So you'll see some missing parts but they're being replaced with a green Pocillopora damicornis, Goniopora tenuidens, and Echinopora lamellosa. The goniopora I bought from work since it's been kicking around for a few months now. The others came in a trade. I pretty much removed the mother colony of the pink sakura zoas. There's still a few heads on the rock, but I wanted that real estate for incoming SPS I want. This trade was a little too successful as I also received a frag of red/orange cap and a whole cabbage leather colony. I wish I had space for it, but I had to immediately flip it.

 

The cap I sold to Nick. I got a heater and powerhead to tinker with too.

 

The cabbage leather got packaged with the long polyp leather I sold to someone that's looking to restart her 75 gallon...apparently the reef got fried. I felt bad, so I thought soft corals would be a good starting place for something quick to recover some lost progress.

 

btw there's a live show/sale at Tidal Gardens...you know what that means!

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Diamonds x Pearls

March 21

 

Temperature 24.2°C

Salinity 32 ppt

Alkalinity 8.9 dKh

Calcium >450 ppm

Magnesium >1320 ppm

Phosphate >0.075 ppm

Nitrate >5 ppm

 

Hmm, guess I'll implement chemical filtration. I personally don't want phosphates climbing this high. This is also just one two dry feeds of fish food, a portion of mysis shrimp, and a halved portion of coral food. Sorry, BRS, not the entirely feasible in this tank. It might make more sense in larger volumes, but 14.5 net gallons is not whatever you see on those BRS videos.

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Diamonds x Pearls

March 27

 

Temperature 27.1°C

Salinity 28 ppt

Alkalinity 8.3 dKh

Calcium 480 ppm

Magnesium 1470 ppm

Phosphate 0.025 ppm

Nitrate >3 ppm

 

We acquired many things thanks to the efforts of the American government. Now if only I can get a shot in my arm. If you're wondering why my nutrient didn't budge, I forgot to feed corals this week.

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Diamonds x Pearls

Moves were made

 

CUC (not exactly biotopey, but analogs are present in the same or nearby habitat types)

  • 8 Trochus Snails
  • 4 Neritina snails
  • 8 Ceriths
    • mini ceriths?
  • 4 Astreas
  • 10 Nassarius Snails (vibex and Super Tongan)
  • 1x Mespilla cf. globulus
  • 7x Clib hermit crabs (red leg)
  • Rental Dolabella

 

Fish

  • 1x Misbar ocellaris (April 18th)
  • 1x Frostbite ocellaris (Moved the other one out due to aggression)
  • 1x Yellow watchman goby (divorced TT__TT )

 

Other invertebrates

  • 1x Pistol shrimp (divorced q.q)

 

Corals

  • 1x Sarcophyton spp.
  • 2x Lobophytum spp.
  • 5x Zoanthids
    • ORA Orange
    • Tidal Gardens (TG) Blowpop
    • TG 5G Blue Hornet
    • TG Sakura
    • A&M Eagle Eye
  • 3x Caulastrea furcata ORA
  • 1x Fungia danai?
  • 1x Fungia moluccensis
  • 1x Favia speciosa
  • 1x Favites pentagona
  • 2x Cyphastrea serailia (red and Meteor shower)
  • 1x Acanthastrea echinata
  • 2x Montipora digitata (Forest fire and German Blue)
  • 1x Seriatopora hystrix
  • 1x Acropora yongei
  • 1x Montipora (hoffmeisteri)
  • 1x Midas Psammocora (TG)
  • 1x ORA Red Goniopora (probably tenuidens)
  • 1x Yellow Stylocoeniella
  • 2x Echinopora lamellosa (Blue moon and Hollywood Stunner)
  • 1x Green Pocilliopora damicornis
  • 3x Acropora millepora

 

Wishlist

  • As many Fungia legally possible
  • Echinophyllia aspera (Mummy Eye Chalice)

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Diamonds x Pearls

Photoshoot later tonight

 

Happy (western) Easter everyone. Christ is risen!

 

April 4th

 

Temperature 24.2°C

Salinity 34 ppt

Alkalinity 7.7 dKh (I didn't dose since Friday oops)

Calcium 480 ppm

Magnesium 1440 ppm

Phosphate 0.1 ppm

Nitrate 12 ppm

 

New bag of carbon and GFO implemented. I think I'll just clean my filter floss more often...any public aquarium cleans their mechanical filtration religiously. I can vouch for this from my experience working in at least 3 different facilities. This should help with nutrient management. This test was taken a day after a coral feed, so it looks like the amount I feed ...does grow my corals, but means I need to do water changes on a more heavy or regular basis. I changed out about 5 gallons of water. Honestly, it's not as bad as some think. It takes me about 4-5 gallons to vacuum any available area of substrate as I'm pretty meticulous in my cleaning habits, so I may take out more water than the average person. At this point it's a matter of doing it twice monthly rather than once. Also, I should also fine tune my coral feeding habits. I think Coral Feast comparatively just has more to it than Reef Roids, so I'll have to find the right amount for me. 

 

Exhausted my NYOS Phosphate test. I think it's a good test. It's substantially better than API. I'm going to try the Red Sea Pro kits as they seem to be a popular choice. I noticed the "algae pro" kit seems to be a better deal. I think I'm halfway through my NYOS Nitrate kit.

 

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Diamonds x Pearls

Tank

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Diamonds x Pearls

Macros

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Blue Moon and Hollywood Stunner Chalices. I'm hoping we get a successful graft.

 

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Rearranged corals. Favia is now in front. I hushed the chalices away from mostly anyone.

 

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Newest coral from Fintastic. I believe this is a Fungia moluccensis.

 

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From a trade.

 

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Midas Psammocora

 

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Golden Phoenix and Goose Acropora milleporas

 

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Third mystery Acropora millepora? Traded my adult size long spine urchin for this. You can see one of the new hermit crabs hanging out.

 

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Not a great photo of the yellow stylocoeniella

 

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The meteor shower cyphastrea is moving onto the rock.

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Diamonds x Pearls

Blue mode.

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Diamonds x Pearls
Posted (edited)

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Edited by Diamonds x Pearls
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Posted (edited)

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Edited by Diamonds x Pearls
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Diamonds x Pearls

Forgot to do blue mode for colors. Forgive me.

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debbeach13

I like the less blue photo's also.

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Diamonds x Pearls

Small update.

 

My volunteer status has been updated to active as the National Aquarium feels more comfortable having more people working back of house. I'll be returning in a couple days. It gets a better. I got reassigned away from jellies and the culture lab. (oh no!) However the program is restructured in a manner where the volunteers are treated more like interns where there's some level of mentorship involved. It's probably not to the degree as the interns get as they're present far more regularly than once every alternating week. The person I will be working under is responsible for a lot of the gallery tanks which include the only two live coral reef tanks (and my personal favorite kelp forest). Same person is also working with the Florida coral reef tract rehab project that the National Aquarium recently took up. I think this in conjunction with NOAA.

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debbeach13

Congratulations that sounds awesome.

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Diamonds x Pearls

April 10

 

Temperature 26.2°C

Salinity 33 ppt

Alkalinity 7.3 dKh

Calcium 500+

Magnesium 1500+

Phosphate 0.03

Nitrate 8

 

I'm starting to like the Red Sea kit that came in the mail the other day. The colors are a little more obvious to me. However, I can't be the only one getting weird dark residues in the nitrate test am I?

 

Anyway looks like my minerals are all over the place, so we'll do a water change to help settle out the disparities. I should also fine tune the dosing again.

 

I also rearranged my corals. It looks a little less prettier but it's probably because I'm so used to the previous arrangement.

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I got bored of zoas, so I'm going to sell off my mother "colonies" and keep just three varieties. I'm not sure, but I don't get as excited over them as some people do. The big forest fire was moved down, so that the acropora can have the entire top area where the most photons are available. This also allows the pink birdsnest to move up as I've noticed the colors were not as strong compared to when I first received it. It was somewhat shaded but had plenty of flow. The yellow stylocoeniella replaced the old birdsnest position. The candy cane corals were moved away as I noticed the tissues starting to bleach so they're put at a slightly lower level. I might try a shaded area next if things don't improve. The goniopora is now front and center.

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April 14

 

Taxes are due! Get your refund now!

 

Temperature 25.2°C

Salinity 35 ppt

Alkalinity 8.2 dKh

Calcium >500 ppm

Magnesium >1500 ppm

Phosphate 0.03 ppm

Nitrate 12 ppm

 

Dolabella seemed like it starved out and died...it seems to be contributing to the fast increase, so we'll do a slightly bigger water change shortly. Other than that, corals are responding fine to the changes. Some of the color is coming back on the candy cane corals. The birdsnest isn't as faded. It probably take some time to get it going.

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Diamonds x Pearls

April 21

 

Temperature 26°C

Salinity 36 ppt

Alkalinity 8.2 dKh

Calcium >500

Magnesium >1500

Phosphate 0.02

Nitrate 8

 

I can't remember when I did a water change but it was pretty recent ..as in like the past week. Got my yellow porites. I think it's a cylindrica.

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