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Snow_Phoenix

Snow's 2.6G Little Monsters Picoreef - 58 Coral Types & Counting

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Snow_Phoenix

Mini-update:

 

I shifted some coral around in the pico so that the new gorg. can be placed in a high-light, high-flow area. Due to space restrictions, and me trying my best to make sure the gorg. doesn't accidently get stung by corals nearby, I placed it semi-diagonally, although the article created by Billygoat on the site points out that gorgs do best when placed perpendicular to the flow (?) :

 

20200915_190313.thumb.jpg.a5142d51e76fa968c3c637ed435f74dd.jpg

 

Harvey really liked the new coral placement though. Caught him 'surfing' the current, which was interesting to see. 😄

 

IMG_20200915_190241_664.thumb.jpg.0b74dfbef96a917a060059f66e0817fc.jpg

 

I have another gorg-shaped skeleton encrusted with coralline algae in the tank - it used to host my RBA until Harvey munched on all the algae:

 

IMG_20200915_190241_667.thumb.jpg.cf35a9bce235db5886a3b445826863b2.jpg

 

He actually eliminated the red turf algae on the setosa frag overnight, which was awesome of him. 🤗

 

Speaking of the setosa, I accidently knocked it down while trying to shuffle the corals around with a large pair of forceps. 😕

 

IMG_20200915_190423_398.thumb.jpg.8094f81d2c600789b2f67700288c6491.jpg

 

I managed to re-glue back to the back wall, but you can see a tiny part of the flesh has been scraped off from the frag stumbling into the edge of the LR below. 

 

Really hope it grows back and the coral isn't moody enough to RTN overnight. I've been wanting it for a while now. 😕

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Tamberav

Be careful with the purple deaths, they are one of the very toxic palys. I ended up getting rid of mine even as it would give me a cough and headache if I had to frag them, even with gloves.

 

Everything looks happy and beautiful!

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Tired

Aptly named, huh! I wonder if fragging them completely submerged in a bucket of water, then disposing of that bucket of water, would help prevent any complications. Is it just if they're exposed to the air? 

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Snow_Phoenix
10 hours ago, Tamberav said:

Be careful with the purple deaths, they are one of the very toxic palys. I ended up getting rid of mine even as it would give me a cough and headache if I had to frag them, even with gloves.

 

Everything looks happy and beautiful!

 

10 hours ago, Tired said:

Aptly named, huh! I wonder if fragging them completely submerged in a bucket of water, then disposing of that bucket of water, would help prevent any complications. Is it just if they're exposed to the air? 

I actually wanted to frag them to give a few polyps to my LFS, but honestly, I wasn't very confident doing it on my own because I did read online that purple death are *loaded with palytoxins. 

 

If I can slowly detach the entire frag from the LR, take it to the store and get my LFS manager to help me frag it, I'll do it, but I'm still hesitant again - because the polyps have sort of spread out (?) and encrusted to the rock below. Detaching it alone would mean exposing myself to any potential toxins, and I'm not sure if that is a risk I'm willing to take. 😕

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Snow_Phoenix

The scrape on the setosa appears to be smaller this morning - I think this piece will make a full recovery: 🙂

 

IMG_20200916_105249_623.thumb.jpg.dc23a3c6bad821087d6259cfc0dc2665.jpg

 

Sunflower zoa polyp up close:

 

IMG_20200916_105249_624.thumb.jpg.909c2ee1ce65a2c41160001a080a27e6.jpg

 

Sideview of cyphastrea: 

 

IMG_20200916_105249_628.thumb.jpg.ed88852059761dab7210f8e22bd92b2b.jpg

 

Another angle of the John Deere leptastrea:

 

IMG_20200916_105249_634.thumb.jpg.4438212805955abbb92cc1f0393ea0ef.jpg

 

Merlettis: 🙂

 

IMG_20200916_105249_627.thumb.jpg.20673c6a51f446b2f978b209a1cb203a.jpg

 

A closer look at the bullseye rhodactis shroom: 

 

IMG_20200916_105249_643.thumb.jpg.1df5d20d21fd04b5a87a534d2549e30e.jpg

 

Red pavona developing more 'petals' and ripples: 🤗

 

20200916_105345.thumb.jpg.d1cce81c25998122c477125c10219963.jpg

 

Harvey turning green for a change: 🤔

 

IMG_20200916_105448_452.thumb.jpg.627066a9c4a07eba46033c009fb2c0f7.jpg

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Snow_Phoenix

Orange bam bam zoas are multiplying again: 🥰

 

IMG_20200916_155425_005.thumb.jpg.ee923a6112f4caef30e3ba503114517e.jpg

 

I found green candy cane coral upside down in my 60G. Coral was badly injured. 😓

 

So I quickly transfered it to the pico for emergency treatment & recovery:

 

IMG_20200916_155341_542.thumb.jpg.7c11e109d328811a9f57078760d84ee2.jpg

 

IMG_20200916_155341_543.thumb.jpg.e1e30ea3281639772f5d529639cd89e7.jpg

 

Both polyps have lost flesh and the ridged skeleton can be seen. Truly hope it can recover. It was so puffy and healthy two days ago. 😭

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debbeach13

This tank continues to amaze me. Once again I really like those sunflowers zoas. 

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Snow_Phoenix
58 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

This tank continues to amaze me. Once again I really like those sunflowers zoas. 

Thanks, Deb, for your kind words. It continues to amaze and fascinate me too. I honestly considered upgrading it up a 5G shallow, but then I'll lost the benefit of it being small enough to maintain and do full WCs without any hassle. Still, I do like the fact that I can keep SPS in this - I've never been bold enough to attempt tougher pieces like the tenuis or setosa until this little tank. :happy:

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Snow_Phoenix

I did a parameter check today afternoon, right before lunch. I was mostly trying to figure out what was wrong in the 60G, because my corals aren't doing well in that tank, and if there was any difference between that tank and this 2.6G picoreef.

 

There was a LOT of difference, alright. This tank turned out to have some very low levels of everything - it's honestly scary how low the kH was this afternoon, prior to my daily dosing (which I do in the evenings) :

 

NO3 = 1 ppm

PO4 = 0.03 ppm

Calcium = 330 ppm (first test), 380 ppm (second test) 

Magnesium = 1200 ppm

kH = 5.9 (first test), 5.9 (second test) ---> 😱

 

The tank has always been 'clean', which is why I suspect I can't keep any filter feeder of sort (eg. duster worm, porcelain nem crab) long-term. I'm a bit worried actually, because now I have a gorg, and those things *needs nutrients to thrive. However, the low levels seem to benefit my SPS the most, which I can see are growing and encrusting quicker than before (looking at you, pavona).

 

But...speaking of SPS, I think it's safe to say that as they - or in fact any of my other coral frags are growing, they are sucking up Calcium like crazy. Not to mention lowered my kH level to 5.9 (???).

 

I usually add 1 to 2 drops of dKH buffer to the tank a day, but now I've escalated it to 3 drops. I think I *might eventually wind up adding 6 drops a day to get the kH back up to 7 at least. But this will be a stretched out process - meaning, I'm not going to make the kH level jump from 5.9 to 7.0 overnight, because this will likely crash the entire tank and result in massive coral loss. 

 

Eventually, I'll have to skate between dosing measurements to figure out how many drops is needed to maintain a stable, higher kH level until the WC and so on. 

 

I have a feeling the new setosa is sucking up most of the Calcium and dropping the kH, but I'm not sure. There are honestly too many pieces in this tank - all with different growth rates, but I'm starting to understand why my AOG zoas refuse to open - I have almost zero nitrates! My phosphates are pretty low too - too low for zoas, actually. 😕

 

This is one of the hardest challenges, I find, in running any mixed reef - keeping *all the corals happy and growing. Finding balance is key, but so is stability - which is achieved by years, not months. 

 

I feed this tank daily a small helping of NLS pellets for the shrimp, stars & fish. But I'm now toying with the idea if I should/should not add a second picofish to the reeftank. To get the nitrates a *bit higher - not too high that it'll damage the SPS, but not too low that the non-SPS pieces will shrink/close up.

 

Current options include fish that stay <2" (~1" to ~1.5") is better. Goblin, my GCG, from the 60G, would actually be perfect for this pico. But he's very happy in that tank, and I've had him for ~2 years, so I don't want to touch him. 

 

But I *might consider getting a GCG, TSB or Hi-Fin goby in the future. YCG is another option, but they always arrive skinny at the store, and refuse to eat. 😞 

 

I'll keep poking around for other choices. 

 

I could, theoretically, increase my feedings, but that might send my nutrient levels skyrocketing - and not too mention create too much waste. Or worse, increase the algae production. Lots of things to consider today. I'll try to figure it out. 🤔

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debbeach13
3 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

This is one of the hardest challenges, I find, in running any mixed reef - keeping *all the corals happy and growing. Finding balance is key, but so is stability - which is achieved by years, not months. 

So true!

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Tired

If you want to frag those palys, it shouldn't be too difficult. Annoy them into closing with some sort of tool, then use an exacto knife to cut along the edges of the plug, detaching the ones that are attached to the rock from the rest of the colony. Then you can take the plug out, and potentially just sell that and let the ones on the rock encrust back into that spot. If you use gloves, or don't put your hands in the water at all, it shouldn't be an issue. You can run carbon for a couple days in case they release enough slime to bother something. Can also do it right before a usual water change, which would probably remove the slime anyway. 

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Snow_Phoenix
35 minutes ago, Tired said:

If you want to frag those palys, it shouldn't be too difficult. Annoy them into closing with some sort of tool, then use an exacto knife to cut along the edges of the plug, detaching the ones that are attached to the rock from the rest of the colony. Then you can take the plug out, and potentially just sell that and let the ones on the rock encrust back into that spot. If you use gloves, or don't put your hands in the water at all, it shouldn't be an issue. You can run carbon for a couple days in case they release enough slime to bother something. Can also do it right before a usual water change, which would probably remove the slime anyway. 

Thanks for the tips, Tired. If I do end up fragging it, then I'll follow your advice. I'm still on the fence over touching it, tbh. 

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Tired

Don't literally touch it, you'll get unpleasant (but likely not dangerous) symptoms. Metaphorically touch it. With literal gloves and/or tweezers. Palys and their relatives, even the really strong ones, aren't that dangerous as long as you're reasonably careful. If they presented a real risk even with basic precautions, fewer people would keep and frag them. Purple deaths are relatively cheap, despite being pretty and hardy, which means they're in decent supply. 

 

Keep in mind, if you never frag it, it'll just keep spreading. You'll eventually have to deal with it, one way or the other, and fragging it now involves much less polyp than in a year. 

 

I have a couple morphs of grandis, which are another of the really nasty ones, and I just didn't put them on my rockwork. They're on some bits of rock on my sandbed, so I can remove them completely from the tank when they need fragging. Obviously won't work here, but maybe something to remember for future scapes. 

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Snow_Phoenix
12 minutes ago, Tired said:

Don't literally touch it, you'll get unpleasant (but likely not dangerous) symptoms. Metaphorically touch it. With literal gloves and/or tweezers. Palys and their relatives, even the really strong ones, aren't that dangerous as long as you're reasonably careful. If they presented a real risk even with basic precautions, fewer people would keep and frag them. Purple deaths are relatively cheap, despite being pretty and hardy, which means they're in decent supply. 

 

Keep in mind, if you never frag it, it'll just keep spreading. You'll eventually have to deal with it, one way or the other, and fragging it now involves much less polyp than in a year. 

 

I have a couple morphs of grandis, which are another of the really nasty ones, and I just didn't put them on my rockwork. They're on some bits of rock on my sandbed, so I can remove them completely from the tank when they need fragging. Obviously won't work here, but maybe something to remember for future scapes. 

I've only seen a grandis once here, and it was beautiful, but it belonged to another customer and he didn't want to frag it/sell it/share it. Really hoping I could find one again someday. I like palys actually. My 60G has a bunch of ugly brown ones which I never bothered getting rid of. 

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Snow_Phoenix

Took a few shots of the corals this morning. 

 

Sideview of the rainbow brain: 

 

20200917_113219.thumb.jpg.ff09cbdf6e315d79bbd80461c4725760.jpg

 

Metallic GSP: 

 

IMG_20200917_113150_398.thumb.jpg.0188a867985482ead1f195412cd690db.jpg

 

Scrunchy shrooms:

 

IMG_20200917_113150_380.thumb.jpg.2b83ae36384297ca65ef8d0f0db05c6d.jpg

 

SPS: 

 

IMG_20200917_113150_383.thumb.jpg.c17a1caff23d6827917d4e26ef3591ae.jpg

 

Red PEs: 

 

IMG_20200917_113150_382.thumb.jpg.7add4d7da9eb449ad4ce6b490ba1160c.jpg

 

Tubbs blue zoas:

 

IMG_20200917_113150_392.thumb.jpg.cf0e92cdd41e5b09d1fe77dd7db8ada7.jpg

 

Multimix zoa frag:

 

IMG_20200917_113150_397.thumb.jpg.83e52544102deab6935e1d186a8562ea.jpg

 

The lights were just turned on before taking these pics, which is why most of the corals haven't fully opened up yet. 👍

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Snow_Phoenix

Hitchiker black sponge has grown a tiny bit: 

 

IMG_20200917_113333_212.thumb.jpg.adc3cc84a22ac7a9234bd8f6dff4a463.jpg

 

Also, the candy cane coral fell off the rock. The awkward shape of its stem and base makes it very difficult to mount it on any LR (unless there's a large crevice to stuff it into) so I placed it on the sandbed instead:

 

IMG_20200917_113034_805.thumb.jpg.d12e999bbe8051f5757bdca79a57e2ea.jpg

 

It's still badly injured, but I *think it can bounce back in this little reef. 🤔

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Snow_Phoenix

So, I upped the dosing today to 3x drops of kH buffer, 1x drop of Mg buffer & 1x drop of Ca buffer. Also fed the tank 2x drops of phyto & 2x drops of zooplankton. 

 

Hope the shift in levels isn't too much. 😕

 

I also noticed something...peculiar about the setosa. I've only had it ~2 days in this tank, and it appears to have *grown a smidge. There were two pieces of setosa on the frag plug, and now it appears both pieces are fusing (?) together. It's very strange. I did some quick reading online and setosas are indeed slow-growers. Not sure what's up with this frag, but I'll keep tabs on it. 🤐

 

If it pushes out quicker than the tenuis, it *might actually grow out to cover a small portion of the back wall - which I guess, would be interesting. 🤔

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Snow_Phoenix

Ever seen a rainbow brain stretch like this? I think the issue might be space-related rather than light-related because it shrinks back to normal size at night:

 

IMG_20200918_154403_545.thumb.jpg.8fe6a8dc5eb499fd660651fd5840c2d5.jpg

 

I've increased the intensity of the lights though. This stretching thing only started this week, but today was quite a sight. 🤔

 

Sparkling red zoas that I picked up from the LFS recently:

 

IMG_20200918_154211_287.thumb.jpg.579126f603c437973c8cf89e89072fb7.jpg

 

Harvey: 

 

IMG_20200918_154249_323.thumb.jpg.167f8bcb6575faf94f594662fbcdae30.jpg

 

20200918_154316.thumb.jpg.c7c99c75a1c63780efc2699d63c329fe.jpg

 

My green leptastrea looks a bit...weird and retracted today. Might have to give it an iodine dip tomorrow. 🤔

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The rainbow brain is now the most intriguing coral in the reef. Just flipped on the lights and it looks like a bloated saucer: 🤣

 

IMG_20200919_105356_320.thumb.jpg.f8685dd169faaca9d7e860c6f7920ebd.jpg

 

IMG_20200919_105356_322.thumb.jpg.f7e8bb424550250cb18e5dd37aedc299.jpg

 

It has almost fully recovered from the gravel pump accident two weeks ago, and I'm quite happy that the minor tears have sealed up. The large tear will probably need another week or two to heal fully, although when the coral is puffy like this, it's hard to tell if it has been injured at all. 

 

Mini blasto on Zoa Tower insists on being a lone ranger and refuses to bop out more heads. Not sure why: 🤷‍♀️

 

IMG_20200919_105531_292.thumb.jpg.1f78ceefac07c6bfc6013363bace1632.jpg

 

The cyphastrea has come a long way. From being pale white with bleached polyps, it now has some pretty strong colors and is growing rather quickly:

 

IMG_20200919_105446_298.thumb.jpg.71c25cb87c5768c6611755ea29087464.jpg

 

Also, some bad news. I was right about the green leptastrea looking *off yesterday. Today morning, I woke up to this:

 

IMG_20200919_105621_988.thumb.jpg.264fd700d417d1f929a0c88d33011ba0.jpg

 

Looks like an early sign of BJD. 🤔

 

I'm not sure why it even has BJD - it did fall over last week for a few mins. but I quickly re-glued it back on the LR, but I'm going to isolate it in a cup later, blow off the slime using a baster, and then dip it before returning it to the reef. 

 

Worst case scenario, I'll frag it like how I fragged my mini rainbow acans. If I can't save all of it, I will try my best to save *some part of it. 

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Snow_Phoenix

Glass is dirty again. But I spotted more sparkling red zoa polyps: 😊

 

IMG_20200919_185330_744.thumb.jpg.c0a86dcaf97a6a2d4d3a6c92c95dfdc5.jpg

 

This thing needs a haircut:

 

IMG_20200919_185418_903.thumb.jpg.07681ccb45810a22f4a0f4c887d04d99.jpg

 

I isolated the green leptastrea in a cup this morning. Removed as much of the slime as I could, then dipped it in another cup full of SW + Iodine + Vit. C. Then re-glued it to the LR. It has some bald spots now, but PE is poor/nil:

 

IMG_20200919_185509_292.thumb.jpg.5d30ab9a6cacf619a60f2383cfaaff95.jpg

 

Really hope this piece pulls through for me. This was one of the original pieces that I pulled over from the nano and completely bleached out during the temp. spike in that tank. 😕

 

It made a complete turn around in the pico, and even grew and regained an even more vivid shade of green than before. Would suck to lose it. 😓

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Snow_Phoenix

I don't think the green leptastrea is going to make it. It looks worse today compared to yesterday: 😭

 

20200920_110843.thumb.jpg.891d274000f36a41f34b2fb0b7eebc2d.jpg

 

IMG_20200920_110815_217.thumb.jpg.5da8f7bdc2e2ab3800c951b2d4a277f2.jpg

 

The other two leptastreas next to it look fine though. I'm a little bit worried because they're in close proximity to each other: 😕

 

IMG_20200920_110934_281.thumb.jpg.e8c802d3053d9f4ffee57ebd1f7248a9.jpg

 

My trumpet coral is slowly recovering, at least. Still needs more time to recover:

 

IMG_20200920_111028_438.thumb.jpg.910ec7a4bd7a96d1719bb87d87ff802b.jpg

 

Small new polyp popped up between the mint green zoas:

 

IMG_20200920_111215_861.thumb.jpg.2c59b265727bc67cb5667fe7767b8066.jpg

 

The two setosa pieces have fused. Polyps are orange, just like the base: 🤔

 

IMG_20200920_111314_068.thumb.jpg.05e1ea0e79b548045aa9cca2ab1c303e.jpg

 

The *purple rim of my montihat is now *pink! 🤔 :

 

IMG_20200920_111426_499.thumb.jpg.d491030aa60c75c7679c86a4d2c2afc7.jpg

 

IMG_20200920_111426_501.thumb.jpg.b9ea8e9f516f0f76a26c022942d1b5a6.jpg

 

Not sure what prompted the color change, but I like it. The colors were very bright. 😊

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Snow_Phoenix

Harvey says hello! 

 

IMG_20200920_161018_193.thumb.jpg.cf2365942b5b17cc6e91ed929b5d5ac9.jpg

 

Going to clean the glass shortly. I already changed the floss yesterday, but I think I will WC the tank either tomorrow or the day after. 👍

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debbeach13

Good morning Harvey, enjoy the day.

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Snow_Phoenix

Didn't end up scraping the glass. Someone was spraying weed killer around their house. The stench was incredibly strong - some of my outdoor tanks are open-top so I had to run out & cover up everything with a tarp & towels. 

 

My equipment is located in a 'fish' cabinet outdoors in the side porch, and the scraper is in there too. I didn't want the fumes to get into the house - especially since I have a parrot downstairs, so I closed all the doors & windows, and didn't step out to get anything. 

 

By the time the smell was gone, it was/is quite dark/late outside, so I decided I'll just get the scraper tomorrow & clean the glass. It's not an emergency anyway. 🤷‍♀️

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Snow_Phoenix

Ah, the reef janitor is finally out: 

 

IMG_20200920_213014_289.thumb.jpg.d974493bb44bc3e4c18a31d433cc5599.jpg

 

(Stomatella snail) 🤐

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