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debbeach13

I like big corals. As long as they are not fighting. It gives a tank a nice mature look.

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Diamonds x Pearls
7 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

I like big corals. As long as they are not fighting. It gives a tank a nice mature look.

That toadstool leather has come a long long way. It was about the size of a half dollar when shrunken up and the stalk wasn't more than 4 inches. There's a swirling idea to get myself a 75 gallon but I hate the idea of it bursting in my apartment. My building is fortunately a concrete structure, so I think it's more of taking a big risk.

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Diamonds x Pearls

Here's some macros!

IMG_20201202_120541609.thumb.jpg.94d0400857eef620b6d120e28ba412ac.jpg

tiny Utter Chaos frag, but hey getting 2 heads for less than $60 isn't bad.

 

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Pink birdsnest (from Tidal Gardens), I might change the position.

 

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Blowpops in the back, 5G hornets at the front

 

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Give it a month and I might need to start selling the trimmings.

 

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The ORA Orange Zoas have been a nice surprise. You can see the meteor shower at the margin.

 

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Not sure what breed this is, but it looks nice.

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Diamonds x Pearls

I'm not sure if I'm feeling my new phone camera. I might bring it back to my old phone. IMG_20201202_115626487.thumb.jpg.70515bfd44621854c5b2094145149ec7.jpg

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Tired

That pleco looks like an albino bristlenose. Is it about 5-6" long? If so, it won't get any bigger. Be sure to feed it plenty of algae wafers, they're hogs. Big ones shouldn't be expected to eat just algae unless the tank is solid green. 

 

The tank looks really nice. Good assortment of shapes. I'm excited to see it grow in. 

 

What is that coral at the very top doing? Curious what it'll get up to when it touches the water's surface.

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Diamonds x Pearls

December 2nd

 

Temperature 24.2 C

Salinity >33 ppt

Alkalinity 8.9 dKh

Calcium 480 ppm

Magnesium 1470 ppm

Phosphate 0.025 ppm

Nitrate 3 ppm

 

I haven't been dosing as hard...nor did I dose this morning. Other than that, pretty happy with this tank.

 

31 minutes ago, Tired said:

That pleco looks like an albino bristlenose. Is it about 5-6" long? If so, it won't get any bigger. Be sure to feed it plenty of algae wafers, they're hogs. Big ones shouldn't be expected to eat just algae unless the tank is solid green. 

 

The tank looks really nice. Good assortment of shapes. I'm excited to see it grow in. 

 

What is that coral at the very top doing? Curious what it'll get up to when it touches the water's surface.

Yeah, the pleco is nearing 5 inches. I think it's been munching on my manzanita as that's where I find it in the evenings and late nights. The 29 gallon hasn't ever had algae issues since I started it about 3 years ago. Part of it was that I used to wrap the LED with any leftover tan packaging paper I get from Amazon or whatever shipment. I feel like running blackwater may limit some microalgae growth. There is a nerite in the tank to eat anything like that. It's funny you mention that about big plecos; I always warn that to anyone that comes to my Petco store...but it tends to fall on deaf ears.

I placed the forest fire digitata right on the waters edge. I'm pretty certain hardier SPS species can handle being right at the surface. There are some cases in Indonesia where low tides are extreme and many reefs can be exposed for some hours. I wanted that look, but my tank won't ever really get there since I'm pretty diligent on top offs. I've intentionally put my powerheads where they are as an audio cue to top off. My wife is always in the living room working remotely and gets annoyed at sound of gurgling equipment, so I have a few means of redundancy built-in. It's very low-tech, but it's super effective. For the coral's sake, I'm hoping they'll branch out and spread to give a bushier appearance. It's kind of like bonsai, you stress the tree basically in a way that you end up with a stunted growth pattern. I'm trying a similar idea where if I put a branching coral at the surface it'll get a wider bushier look. If it doesn't work out, I could always frag and attach the new future colonies elsewhere or sell them to local people.

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Diamonds x Pearls

December 10th

 

Temperature 24.2 C

Salinity 31 ppt

Alkalinity 7.0 dKh

Calcium 460 ppm

Magnesium 1440 ppm

Phosphate <0.025 ppm

Nitrate 5 ppm

 

This week I've been awful. I'm late with the testing and I put off feeding and dosing. Why? I've been playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Other than that, I'm contemplating...yet again another coral. I'm thinking of having an encrusting montipora dress up my background. I don't know why I do this to myself.

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Diamonds x Pearls

December 16th

 

I'm an idiot and forgot to turn the flow back on after a coral feed so my water is cloudy. No one appears to be angry or anything. I repositioned the birdsnest away from the soft corals because it was being heavily shaded out. Instead I put the newest zoa frag plug there. Also it's our first snow day here in the DC suburbs.

 

Temperature 22.8 C

Salinity 33 ppt

Alkalinity 9.6 dKh

Calcium 450 ppm

Magnesium 1440 ppm

Phosphate >1 ppm

Nitrate 10 ppm

 

Also I don't remember how old my sediment and carbon cartridges were so they were changed today.

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December 23rd

 

Temperature 23.7 C

Salinity 28 ppt

Alkalinity 9.9 dKh

Calcium 410 ppm

Magnesium 1350 ppm

Phosphate .025 ppm

Nitrate <20 ppm

 

I did get the cloudiness under control pretty quickly. I changed out 11 gallons of water and added some Bio-Spira in case any ammonia or nitrites were present. Seems like I got higher than average nitrates in the scope of this entire year. Good thing I'm planning to my usual end of the month water change anyway.

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Diamonds x Pearls

December 30th

 

Temperature 23.9 C

Salinity 32 ppt

Alkalinity 8.3 dKH

Calcium 470 ppm

Magnesium 1350 ppm

Phosphate <0.025 ppm

Nitrate >5 ppm

 

IMG_20210101_013849303.thumb.jpg.149eadc014621b0ace0962acdee87a95.jpgYes another big water change to cap off this month. Later I'll be spending my New Year's Eve/Day processing photos. I acquired that really old encrusting montipora from work. I wish I had a better eye at it to determine what kind of encruster. A scanning electron microscope would help. My guess based on what the descriptions found in Corals of the World website; it might be a hoffmeisteri species as it is light cream colored, encrusting, and I can't really see a pattern in the corallite arrangement. There's definitely similar analogs so this is really dubious at the end.

 

I'm ironing out my feeding schedule as I've amassed different food quickly. Right now I feed NLS Optimum Flakes and Ocean Nutrition Reef Flakes on alternating days for 4 days. The fifth day I feed Omega One Super Color Flakes. The sixth day is a frozen food feed: PE Mysis and Calanus with a drop of Polyp Booster. On Sundays we rest. Corals are still fed once midweek evening with that insane cocktail I made. Don't complain, my forest fire has made some strides with my husbandry.

 

Christmas Day I unboxed my Tidal 75 and my god it is a massive filter even on my 29 it looked large so I traded it for a used Fluval C4 and $40 from my boss, For the Fluval C4, it's an older unit but runs fine. It doesn't have too wildly different motor from the Aquaclears. It seems to be like an Aquaclear with more unnecessary bells and whistles. There's a lot more directional routing of the water within the box but it didn't really impress. It's the same Italian made (it's not Sicce) motor, so expect the low hum as the same make counterpart. The C4 lives in my 29 blackwater tank as I've noticed a drop in dissolved oxygen content. My angelfish started to show blood vessels so I'm thinking the additional load that the adult size pleco and 7 lemon tetras put on consumed way more oxygen that I expected. Also more flowing water removes the surface oils from the water which is something I can appreciate. I convert the U2 unit to be just a bio-box really. The C4 is packed with mechanical applications. Another Christmas surprise: Nick got me a Hanna check for alkalinity, nice.

 

Now my boss...whom I really inspired and got him into fishkeeping. One week he got together a 3+ gallon with a Malabar puffer, and now he's cycling a hand me down 36 bowfront with the Tidal filter I gave him. Safe to say, it's a great filiter to start with. It's rather quiet. I ran it once and it was dead quiet. Seachem has this industry pretty figured out no? For once in my life, I have a boss I honestly really enjoy working for. Of course, it helps being the same age so we can talk about the same stuff, but it seems we're relatively similar people. I found it pretty interesting and fun that he came along and all of a sudden can't get enough about fishkeeping. Having an enthusiastic boss at work helps...and I can talk about fish more at work, yay. My boss got the bowfront and stand from Nick. Nick is a such a good soul he donated a couple of bio blocks from his sump.

 

Hope everyone is doing well during this Christmas season. For those that aren't into the lore of Christmas, I still wish you well.

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debbeach13

Sounds like you lucked out. Sharing this hobby with your boss is a big plus. Happy New Year.

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Diamonds x Pearls

 Truth be told I feel really lost working with the DNG files my phone saves. Supposedly it allows more control over the digital photography but I'm not skilled at all with that.

 

Anyway. Here's stuff.

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Diamonds x Pearls

Some new top-down looks. I think I should have considered scaping in this manner in the future.

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Yes, that's a very tiny Utter Chaos frag.

 

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I didn't realize my long polyp leather has a green base. Nice job, ORA.

 

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Grows fast they say. I'm wondering if I need to get a better light.

 

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Very intentional contrasting colors between the digitata. I haven't seen much growth from the German Blue frag, but it seems to be doing well enough anyway.,

 

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One of two broken piece from the forest fire. I took a picture to show the green body with orange polyps. Easily my favorite SPS.

 

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Alternating oranges and blue/greens.

 

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The Sakura Zoanthids have been a nice add and quickly becoming a favorite.

 

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Blowpops have become a mat. It was 5-7 polyps. It's now a small mass since August.

 

 

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Diamonds x Pearls

January 6th

 

Temperature 24°C (type alt + 248 on your keyboard)

Salinity 30 ppt

Alkalinity 9.3 dKh

Calcium 460 ppm

Magnesium 1395 ppm (splitting differences)

Phosphate <0.025 ppm

Nitrate >5 ppm

 

I'm wondering what the next year will hold for this tank. I'm pretty happy with the results. I'd like to get one more Koralia in there for shits and giggles, but from what I understand reefs are high energy environments when you consider all the water coming in and out in relation to tides, surges, etc.

 

If I were to get more corals, I might go for lesser known genuses...you know to change things up. Of course, real estate is tight so some individuals will have to find a new home.

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Diamonds x Pearls

January 13th

 

Temperature 24.3°C

Salinity 30 ppt

Alkalinity 8.9 dKh

Calcium 445 ppm (split difference)

Magnesium 1395 ppm (split difference)

Phosphate <0.025 ppm

Nitrate >5 ppm

 

I got my Koralia 565 online! Oddly enough it had to be through Petco...from a store in Reno, Nevada? Beggars can't be choosers I guess. Now that I have this neat little thing installed I had the opportunity to redo all my wiring so that there isn't a crazy nettle of black cables next to my tank. I bought a 12 outlet surge protector and wove in the wiring into the cabinet.

 

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So from what you can tell I spent an evening clearing things out and tetris'ing my way into organization. The previous 8 outlet is now assigned to the freshwater tank handling two filters, a heater, and a timed LED light. I probably could make room for the blue bottle of insecticide, but it'll have to be when I start working down the stored up consumables I have...which I have just began unwrapping haha.

 

The positioning of my power heads are updated. The 425 is the top right at the surface aimed at the encrusting montipora...hopefully it's enough current to push away the big toadstool leather. The 240 that was replaced is now at the left side bottom and closest to the front of the tank. It's supposed to help add more water velocity that was lost from the other 240 that is directly opposite of it. I'm intending to have a weak gyre circulate around the bottom of my tank while the flow from the filter and bigger powerheads give it some rough and tumble. I wanted more flow going at my latest SPS additions. It still appeared that my pink birdsnest coral was still fine but I can tell that the polyps were reaching. I wonder if it's getting a point where we need a push in lighting. SPS aside, I think I'm going to rotate out some members out of my tank for new additions. I've decided to take a look into lesser kept species like Psammocora or Stylocoeniella. I've also wanted to challenge myself and get into a Goniopora. (Also any blue color morphs of Fungia?)

 

Otherwise, corals seem fine. The German Blue has prioritized encrusting first so the plug is landing on the rock, so that's encouraging. I am going to assume my Green Bali Slimer is going to do the same, so this explains why the calcium and alkalinity read just slightly less for this week. The bleached parts on my red cyphastrea is coming back. I think the key for me is actually avoiding dense feeds. Zoas are definitely doing fine. I've notice my 5G Hornet has double in its population over this course since August. I guess it's one of those slow start zoas, but will go off when it's settled in. This is also a nice thing to happen:

 

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It's kinda tough to photo clownfish. They're so hyperactive especially when they think every time you visit is a feeding time. However I'm glad I woke up to them as such this morning.

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