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4.1g Desktop Reef: New Coral!

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Break

Fish from Live Aquaria and coral from Legendary Corals arrived this morning all at the same time. Had flashbacks to working shipment receiving days at the LFS from my teenage years. 😬

 

Everything seems to have shipped quite well, many of the zoanthids are already opening up an hour after being acclimated and dipped. Will be keeping a close eye on the fish because you never know with those little buggers.

 

I did find a tiny aiptasia on one of Legendary Corals zoanthid frags 😐 - I encased it in super glue, hope that will do the trick! Second time this has happened getting a piece from them; last time I didn't catch it and led to a tank-wide infestation and year-long battle war. It's my own fault for not having a quarantine tank, but there is just no space left in our 374 sq. ft studio.

 

That being said, I wouldn't hold a bit of aiptasia against a retailer (others pests are a different story, though). Plus, Darwin provides great customer service and even offered me a discount and a free $90 coupon since he didn't have one of the WYSIWYG frags I had ordered and my order was so close to the 4th of July site sale.

 

Everything is sitting on the sandbed currently. Since zoas tend to have individual preferences, some experimentation to find the right spots for everything will be needed before gluing things down. Thankfully, it looks like it will be pretty easy to pop most of the zoa frags off their plugs.

 

Pics to come once things settle in a bit.

 

EDIT: Found another aiptasia on the bottom of the same plug. Thankfully, I was able to easily scrape it off and dispose of it, but surprised I missed it when I inspected the zoas and trimmed the frag plugs. Going to give all the pieces another inspection later.

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cheesesteak
3 hours ago, Break said:

but there is just no space left in our 374 sq. ft studio.

Talk about a pico! 

 

I'm excited to see the new additions. 

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Break
23 hours ago, cheesesteak said:

Talk about a pico! 

 

I'm excited to see the new additions. 

Yes, our apartment is essentially a human pico.

 

The ORA Sharknose Goby is doing well and exploring the tank - I never mind paying more for aqua-cultured fish. The yellow clown goby is a bit paler and skinnier than I expect of LiveAquaria - let's hope I don't need to use that 14-day alive guarantee.

 

I have frozen food and pe pellets on their way, but they won't arrive until Tuesday. Turns out all the fish/pet stores I would normally just walk to for frozen food are closed due to the pandemic and I don't have car. Hopefully they can survive on pods and the phyto, reef roids, benereef combo I've been using.

 

I guess I could go to the grocery store, grab some shrimp or something, and slice it small? I used feed some of my freshwater predators that way back in the day.

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debbeach13
2 hours ago, Break said:

I guess I could go to the grocery store, grab some shrimp or something, and slice it small?

That is what I did when the local stores were closed.

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Break
6 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

That is what I did when the local stores were closed.

Right on, I might still do that.

 

Supposedly, Benereef is both a fish and coral food, but if I don't see them going for it later tonight, it will be off to the supermarket.

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Break

So, as it turns out, the LFS in the neighborhood is actually open after all, just with reduced hours and no signage. Was able to buy some mysis shrimp, but now I feel like a dummy ordering frozen food  and paying for the shipping when I have shop within walking distance I could support instead. Then again, the mysis I bought at the store have a best-by date of over a year ago, so not exactly ideal. 

 

Fed some mysis and benereef. The ORA Sharknose Goby is eating like a champ. The Yellow Clown Goby swims about once the pumps go off and seems to be going after things in the water column, hard to say for sure though as I didn't see it eat any mysis.

 

I also tested parameters today. Still waiting on some test kits to arrive.

  • Specific gravity: 1.023 [Refractometer]
  • Ammonia: 0 [Red Sea]
  • Nitrate: 16 [Red Sea]
  • Phosphate: 0 [Salifert]

 

Nitrates are a bit high, but phosphates were pretty much undetectable on the Salifert kit. I need to pull back on the feeding frequency, but not too worried about it. I'm going to just keep up with water changes and let things settle a bit.

 

Just added the MarinePure Gems and started using a bit of Brightwell Microbacter7. I also have Brightwell NeoNitro and NeoPhos on hand if I end up needing to dose.

 

Cleaned out the AI Prime with compressed air away from the tank (never do it over your tank), but it's still running loud. Slowly been shifting the blues up and the purples down. Ended up turning the VorTech back down to 1% output - 3% was a bit too intense 🤣

 

Will be doing a large water change tomorrow. Might glue a few pieces down as well.

 

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Break

The yellow clown goby has better color and has been active. Hard to tell if it's eating much - I've seen it bite and spit out a few mysis though. It does appear to occasionally peck at pods and swims around excitedly when the pumps go off for feeding time. I've tried reef roids, benereef, phyotplankton as well as frozen PE mysis and calanus. Will try out Selcon and PE pellets when they arrive tomorrow.

 

All of the loose frags have been glued onto the rock work and are doing well. The only zoas in question are the old mango tangos, but they appear to be recovering despite being covered in cyano and chewed up by amphipods over the last few months before the tank upgrade.

 

The Zoo Med Aqua Cool Fan was too loud and rattled like crazy - thankfully, I had expected that and already purchased this clip-on desktop fan as an alternative. The size, color and form factor all allow for a clean enough looking set-up, but unfortunately, I didn't think far enough to realize the built-in rechargeable battery would pretty much make it incompatible with my Aqua Jr. controller since the fan just keeps running on battery power once the outlet switches off. It's blowing my mind how hard it is to find a similar small fan without a built-in battery - I may have to DIY one myself like I did last time.

 

Did a water change two days ago, but it doesn't seem there has been much of a change in parameters.

 

  • Temp: 78° F
  • Specific gravity: 1.023 [Refractometer]
  • pH: 8.2 [Salifert]
  • dKH: 8.6 [Salifert]
  • Ammonia: 0 [Red Sea]
  • Nitrate: 16 [Red Sea]
  • Phosphate: 0 [Salifert]

 

Hoping to get some pictures of everything up in the next day or two.

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Break

The false wall of the tank being tinted glass and the tank being in front of a huge window makes getting good pictures more difficult, especially since I'm using my phone. Getting better at adjusting the white balance to make things less blue, but sometimes it washes the colors out a bit. But enough excuses, on to the pictures!

 

WWC Sweet Tooth

IMG_20200714_143953.thumb.jpg.93553ab2e61e8e5df0c0d65b5c586c60.jpg

 

Bimini Pinks

IMG_20200714_144047.thumb.jpg.0a3d1fd3461faa320f54abf056542f31.jpg

 

Space Chaos

IMG_20200714_144233.thumb.jpg.377bbf2fb9dd61fd54ff1fd1fbb11e79.jpg

 

LC Andromedas

IMG_20200714_144155.thumb.jpg.2d52501d947a66e9dcc6f7bfa5c6319d.jpg

 

JPS Mystiques

IMG_20200714_144415.thumb.jpg.6d107d266ec27b76b5cc0616f045662f.jpg

 

ASD Atmospheres

IMG_20200714_144411.thumb.jpg.74ca6721016989a8fc37637d63c84c57.jpg

 

Rainbow Infusions

IMG_20200714_144324.thumb.jpg.ec3ad9f42aa34a9ab0ab5a8efd25b2bc.jpg

 

Rastas

IMG_20200714_144441.thumb.jpg.1b68662f49a923d43c0a7e402a4eda01.jpg

 

Sonic Flares

IMG_20200714_144450.thumb.jpg.5599c146a7d4bb59ca5641eaa0eb4bf3.jpg

 

The old Mango Tango colony; it used to cover most of this rock - we'll see if it can pull through. You can see some of the holes in the zoa mat below where the amphipods have chewed through to the rock. Was able to squish a huge one I caught in the act last night with a chopstick! Adding the fish has definitely helped lower/limit their activity, but not entirely.

IMG_20200714_144455.thumb.jpg.e9db30ea2c26017ff77fd0fd21aae435.jpg

 

TCK Rainbow Flame Goniopora

IMG_20200714_144259.jpg

 

Top down shot, apologies for the glare. Hoping the LC Blizzard Bizzaro Cyphastrea settles in and colors up a bit - seemed like a freshly cut frag. You can also kind make out the corner where all the mushrooms have been banished to.

IMG_20200714_144538.thumb.jpg.3a015fadf20c56e41713dbb2245063e6.jpg

 

And finally, an FTS shot. I rotated it in paint because I didn't originally take a level shot.

IMG_20200714_143749_tilt.thumb.jpg.9c216d9da9e122ad5648d593cdaa5e4a.jpg

 

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debbeach13

So jealous of those zoanthids. Stunning tank.

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cheesesteak

Agreed! The new additions look awesome. Those mystiques are super cool. 

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Break
12 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

So jealous of those zoanthids. Stunning tank.

Thanks, Deb! They weren't cheap, but should look awesome once they've grown in a bit - I think most of my credit purchases in life have been coral related 😅 Needless to say, I find running a zoanthid-dedicated tank without a quarantine system nerve racking, so I prefer limit where and how frequently I order coral.

 

I promised my fiance (aka the aquarium director) we would make the tank zoanthid focused this time around as they are her all-time favorite coral. So all of the credit for picking the livestock and choosing where to place them in the tank goes to her. She's the one with the art degree, I'm just the guy with super glue all over his hands.

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Break
6 minutes ago, cheesesteak said:

Agreed! The new additions look awesome. Those mystiques are super cool. 

Thanks!

 

Any coral named after an X-men character is cool in my book! Plus most zoas from joshporksandwich tend to be pretty rad.

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cheesesteak

Googles joshporksandwhich... 

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Break
11 minutes ago, cheesesteak said:

Googles joshporksandwhich... 

Be sure to put on some sunglasses first!

 

It was cool to see him discuss his methods in that zoanthid discussion I posted a link to earlier in this thread.

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cheesesteak
5 minutes ago, Break said:

Be sure to put on some sunglasses first!

Wow seriously! I almost want to buy some of his art just to have something to look at while I build my tank up. 

 

I'll have to dig deeper into that thread. Now I'm think a high end zoa tank would be neat too 🤷🏼‍♂️

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Break
29 minutes ago, cheesesteak said:

Wow seriously! I almost want to buy some of his art just to have something to look at while I build my tank up. 

 

I'll have to dig deeper into that thread. Now I'm think a high end zoa tank would be neat too 🤷🏼‍♂️

I would be cautious investing in high end zoanthids without either having a tank big enough for a wrasse or a separate quarantine system. I learned my lesson losing a tankful of montipora to nudibranchs and sorely miss not having a quarantine tank these days. If I could have gotten a tank big enough for a wrasse (minimum 10g for a Pink-Streaked Wrasse), I would have done that too.

 

I feel like I'm currently playing with fire as zoas are prone to a lot more pests and problems than other corals. I always dip and inspect, but it can be really hard to spot eggs and dips don't usually kill them either. Some examples of threats to zoas: nudibranchs, zoa spiders, sundial snails, large amphipods, hungry asterina stars, zoa pox, etc. Plus, it's not hard for things to transfer and spread in a tiny tank.

 

I check constantly for pests to the point where the aquarium director has declared I'm now just being paranoid. She's usually right when it comes to zoas, but I still might buy a sweet new LED magnifying glass to be sure.

 

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cheesesteak

Very true. I've seen some threads dealing with pests and its definitely made me more nervous lately. In the past, I was wildly carefree and I guess super lucky that I never had any serious pests/infections other than flatworms. It probably also helped that I had a wrasse who patrolled often. 

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debbeach13

I just ordered a magnifying glass 30x with led from amazon yesterday. I watched a joshporksandwich video. I think it may have been old because he said he didn't ship and mostly just went to frag swaps. I am sure his stuff is out of my reach but one can dream and I do live in Florida. So some day I when the pandemic is over I will go to a frag swap and his stuff will be there and I will win a raffle. TaDa! In that video he talked about how simple and inexpensive his equipment was and he thought his zoaanthids did well because of stable alk and calcium. Also mag but just dosed once a month for that. Then he said when he couldn't dose he just did more WCs but only 10% not large one's. He made it sound so simple!

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Break
10 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

I just ordered a magnifying glass 30x with led from amazon yesterday. I watched a joshporksandwich video. I think it may have been old because he said he didn't ship and mostly just went to frag swaps. I am sure his stuff is out of my reach but one can dream and I do live in Florida. So some day I when the pandemic is over I will go to a frag swap and his stuff will be there and I will win a raffle. TaDa! In that video he talked about how simple and inexpensive his equipment was and he thought his zoaanthids did well because of stable alk and calcium. Also mag but just dosed once a month for that. Then he said when he couldn't dose he just did more WCs but only 10% not large one's. He made it sound so simple!

It looks like he started shipping in some capacity as BRS has sold JPS zoanthid packs. I'm sure you can get your hands on some - got my fingers crossed for ya!

 

Yeah, I like his approach as it's mostly good fundamentals and nothing too fancy. As long as you keep everything stable and provide enough nutrients, zoas generally do pretty well. It's keeping the pests and pox at bay that's the hard part. My favorite quote from this zoa thread is his response when asked what dip he uses:

 

"Me coral dip but in reality a lot of the pests hide deep in the rocks so no dip gets to it. I trained my kids to go in the mornings with an blue led flashlight and a baster and suck any critters they can hahahah."

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debbeach13

I read that whole thread the day you linked it. I just treated 4 frags for zoa pox with furan 2. Fortunately I had put them in a QT when I got them and the treatment went well I think? I can not see any more pox but that’s why I got the magnifying glass. 

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Break
25 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

I read that whole thread the day you linked it. I just treated 4 frags for zoa pox with furan 2. Fortunately I had put them in a QT when I got them and the treatment went well I think? I can not see any more pox but that’s why I got the magnifying glass. 

Sorry to hear about the pox, but it sounds like you may have got to it in time!

 

Let me know what you think of the 30x magnification, I wasn't sure if that would be too much or not.

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Wingy

Do you have a piece of table shrimp?

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Break
5 minutes ago, Wingy said:

Do you have a piece of table shrimp?

No, but I could certainly acquire one.

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Wingy

I think you need something that will stay put in the trap to draw them in.  A piece of shrimp should do it.

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Break
2 minutes ago, Wingy said:

I think you need something that will stay put in the trap to draw them in.  A piece of shrimp should do it.

The Reef Roids surprisingly stayed within the trap pretty well, but giving other bait a try is a good idea. I might also try a bristleworm trap since they usually have slightly bigger holes.

 

Also, my amphipod squish kill count is now up to 2!

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