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4.1g Desktop Reef: New Coral!

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Wingy

That is two less little terrors. You know if the bristle worms are out and interested in the trap you can catch them with long things.  I keep a plastic dish near the tank and try to get all I see.  They hide from the light of a white flashlight but go about their business with red or green.  I have a small color changing puck light that I use for observing at night.  

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Break
12 minutes ago, Wingy said:

That is two less little terrors. You know if the bristle worms are out and interested in the trap you can catch them with long things.  I keep a plastic dish near the tank and try to get all I see.  They hide from the light of a white flashlight but go about their business with red or green.  I have a small color changing puck light that I use for observing at night.  

Yeah, I have been picking out the bristle worms with my 12" coral forceps when I get the chance. I have a few because they are pretty much necessary for this tank -  if I put my hand into it too fast, it overflows. That and my big hands can't really get very good angles in the tank since there is a lot of rock. I have to use forceps or tweezers for most things.

 

I have been using a red filter over a mini flashlight, but will probably buy a red flashlight along with a magnifying glass off of Amazon sometime soon.

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debbeach13
10 hours ago, Break said:

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

I will. I was going to just get a 10X which is probably plenty.

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debbeach13

My order arrived early was due Saturday. I like the magnifying glass. I can definitely inspect the coral much better.

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Wingy

If you pinch off the head of a bristle worms it will die.  You don't necessarily have to completely remove it.  Then the baby bristle worms may go into your trap.  Just a thought.

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cheesesteak

After reading the zoa thread I think I may also be joining the high power magnifying glass and Bayer club. 🧐

 

Also, just read the post where someone is dosing something called stump remover to add nitrates. Reefers are wild. 

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Break
2 hours ago, cheesesteak said:

After reading the zoa thread I think I may also be joining the high power magnifying glass and Bayer club. 🧐

 

Also, just read the post where someone is dosing something called stump remover to add nitrates. Reefers are wild. 

Definitely picking out a magnifying glass myself on Amazon tonight.

 

Yeah, a lot of the time, branded reefing products are overpriced for what you're actually purchasing chemically. I could have bought much cheaper sources of nitrates, like stump remover, but went with Brightwell because I'm lazy and I was already using MicroBacter7 (now the bottles in my cupboard match!).

 

Randy Holmes-Farley is a great source for anything related to reefing chemistry and it's always interesting to hear his criticisms on differing products; he even has his own sub-forum for it on R2R.

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Break

Have finally got into the habit of testing the tank daily around 12pm (not like I have any excuses at the moment due to forced unemployment).

  • Average Temp: 78.3° F
  • Specific gravity: 1.0235 [Refractometer]
  • pH: 8.15 [Salifert]
  • dKH: 8.6 [Salifert]
  • Nitrate: 20 [Red Sea]
  • Phosphate: 0.05 [Salifert]

Taking water out for the test sometimes triggers the ATO (there's probably >3g of water volume in this tank) and over time had slowly dropped the specific gravity to 1.023 from 1.024, so instead I've been replacing the volume of tested water with an equal amount of fresh salt water to keep things steady. I'll slowly will bring the salinity up to 1.024-1.025, but not concerned about it.

 

Nitrates have risen a tad and phosphates were detectable for the first time on the Salifert kit today - this makes sense with the daily heavy feedings I have been doing.

 

dKH is holding steady at 8.6. My one concern is that I might spike the alkalinity since I use Red Sea Coral Pro Salt which (supposedly) mixes at a dkH of 11.5-12.0. While I personally prefer alkalinity on the higher side of things, I'm not growing sticks and stability is the priority. Unfortunately, I bought a new tub of the Coral Pro less than a month ago. When I do the water change tomorrow, I'll test before and shortly after to how much it rises. I might be able to avoid dosing if I keep the weekly water changes to a smaller volume (10-15% rather than the ~30% I usually do).

 

It's been a week and the YCG still doesn't seem to be eating prepared foods, though it is perching on the rocks more and I have seen it get a pod or two. It does't look totally emaciated from a top down view, but his belly looks caved in a bit from the side. So far I have tried the following both with and without Selcon/garlic:

  • Brightwell Zooplankton
  • Benereef
  • Reef Roids
  • PE mysis
  • PE calanus
  • PE pellets
  • Formula One flakes
  • Hikari mysis
  • Hikari brine shrimp
  • Hikari mini-bloodworms
  • Hiakari cyclopod+

When I turn the pumps off for feeding, it excitedly swims up and down alongside one wall of the tank. It's not afraid of the feeding syringe, but just ignores all the food I blast near his face and instead swims through it. Perhaps, he thinks he is a whale?

 

Looking like I might have to try hatching baby brine shrimp, which I am not looking forward to doing. I'm also going to reach out to LiveAquaria and ask exactly what the hell they were feeding this thing (probably should have done this earlier).

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debbeach13

You certainly have offered a variety. I tried a YCG once a long time ago. It starved to death and I have never tried again but they are so dam cute! I hope your little guy eats soon. 

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cheesesteak

Thats crazy that just taking water out for testing can throw things off in a pico so quickly. I also had a same experience with a YCG. I can't say I tried as many foods as you did, but nothing I tried took either. Ended up as crab dinner 😕 I hope you have better luck! 

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Break

Just ordered a handy brine shrimp hatchery and some Doc Eco's Super Eggs from BRS. Unfortunately, it won't arrive until next Thursday. That damn goby better not starve before then! But if it does at least I'll get refunded by LiveAquaria. 

 

Will check tomorrow if the local pet store has brine shrimp eggs and hatch in a DIY bottle. That's about all I can do for now.

 

On the bright side, all of the new zoas are growing at a quick rate from all the feedings.

 

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Break

Caught more amphipods and bristle worms munching on the zoas last night. Thankfully, I'm progressing on the bristle worms by just pulling them out of the tank with forceps when I get the chance.

 

The damn amphipods are another story, however. I tried sucking them up in a turkey baster, but they do a good of holding on. I've got a new red flashlight and skewers - going to start hunting them in earnest every night. These little buggers are fast, though! @Wingy you must have really solid hand-eye coordination!

 

If this YCG doesn't make it, definitely getting a circus goby (Priolepis nocturna) to hunt these little bastards.

 

Also, got a canned response from LiveAquaria when I asked what they typically feed YCG at their California facility.

 

"Thank you for your email. The Yellow Clown Goby's diet should consist of a variety of brine shrimp, frozen Mysis shrimp, table shrimp, and frozen food preparations for carnivores, and you may also try adding some garlic to assist in enticing the specimen to eat."

 

Disappointing that they couldn't be bothered to reach out to the facility and check with the people feeding it?

 

They have a chart for what they feed at the Diver's Den facility though, and gobies are listed as being offered the following. Doesn't really help narrow things down.

 

Frozen Spirulina Brine Shrimp
San Francisco Bay Brand Frozen Brine Shrimp
Frozen PE Mysis Shrimp (Large)
Hikari Mysis Shrimp
Hikari Canadian Mysis Shrimp
Frozen Silversides
Frozen Squid
Piscine Energetics PE Calanus Frozen Fish Food
Flake & Pellet Foods

Cobalt Aquatics Marine Omni Marine Pellets
Hikari Marine-A & Marine S Pellets
New Life Spectrum Marine Fish Formula
Dried Seaweed Flakes
Cobalt Aquatics Ultra Shrimp & Vegi
For Enrichment: Selcon

 

I also found this bit in their FAQ: 

 

"Fish held and shipped from the California aquatic center are housed for varying lengths of time depending on origin, flight transit time, species (some take longer to adjust than others), behavior, and finally appearance...All fish are offered for sale ONLY when they are eating properly and exhibiting normal behavior."

 

So, I'd like to assume it was eating something, but the question is what?

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cheesesteak

When did the YCG arrive? Do you think it's maybe still stressed from shipping? I hope it turns the corner for you 😬

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Break

I am reluctant to claim victory just yet, but it seems the YCG is eating! Only took him 9 days to work up an appetite.

 

I fed a mix of brine and mysis - this time with way less selcon and more garlic. Instead of swimming up and down the side of the glass once the pumps went off, it hung out more near the usual spot and ate a few shrimp. It did a few of the classic eat-and-spit-out bites (is there a catchy reefer word for this?), but definitely swallowed others.

 

Of course, it decided to start eating after I purchased the brine shrimp kit, but hopefully that will just offer another way to fatten it up. I also grabbed some Hikari frozen baby brine from the store today in hopes the smaller size means less spit-outs.

 

Also, tested the water after performing a large weekly water change (~30-40%) and the dKH rose from 8.6 to 9.7 - not enough for me to be worried about it. I'm going to keep testing the alkalinity daily, but I don't think I'll need to worry about dosing or switching up my salt anytime soon.

 

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Break

The YCG is readily eating both mysis and brine shrimp - even stole a piece out of the sharknose goby's mouth! I'll see if I can get it to take some calanus tomorrow; I don't think I'm going to be running out of fish food anytime soon. The sharknose goby is digging an epic cave underneath the main rock, it's pretty funny to see him carrying large pieces of gravel/sand out in his mouth.

 

Also, found a tiny aiptasia growing out of the super glue on the Space Chaos zoanthids. Guess I didn't encase it well enough with the glue the first time, so I killed it with some Aiptasia-X today. Will keep an eye out for others.

 

The evil amphipods remain, however. Hopefully, if I can manage to kill enough each night, I'll be able to avoid dipping the rocks.

 

Here are two quick shots that show the holes in the Mango Tango zoa mat where the amphipods and bristle worms have been munching. I have also seen them eat the skirts as well, but recently they don't seem to be doing that as much.

 

IMG_20200719_192607.thumb.jpg.8ef616ffa1cb9abc22334adb030ddc0d.jpg

 

IMG_20200719_192617.thumb.jpg.613cf7563b2bc4f643109903b7b0ac2e.jpg

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Break

Now that everything has settled in, of course that means we needed some more coral! Ordered two branching cyphastrea varieties and another palythoa frag from Unique Corals. I really like how much these branching cyphastrea can look similar to an acropora colony when they grow out. Hopefully, it will also give our clown goby some additional places to hang out since we won't be adding any actual SPS to the tank.

 

1334801724_unnamed(2).jpg.f80a75b462c5b6c45fc33987e1e1edc2.jpg     unnamed.jpg.aa2b436d20f0ca9ca3f167708272e343.jpg     199639899_unnamed(1).jpg.1b3f4a3d0330f2014cac33f4ddc160b0.jpg

 

That should just about round out all the space we have left in tank, so it will hopefully just be growing things out from here!

 

We needed a tad more green and orange along with a branching structure that doesn't sway like the gorgonians. This picture is a guide of the color palette for the tank; notice the lack of red. The aquarium director is very strict about the color palette - no red corals allowed!

 

spacer.png

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Break

The new additions have been dipped, acclimated and added to the tank. Unique Corals provided great service with a personal touch as always.

 

My only complain would be that the larger cyphastrea was, for some reason, the only frag not set in a plastic cup and consequentially broke off of its plug during shipping. Frags breaking off during shipping happens and isn't a big deal, but this one piece could have definitely been secured a little better. I've ordered a bunch of sps off them in the past and never had an issue.

 

I used a bit too much glue attaching it to a new plug and on one side about a half-inch of tissue on the base near the gluing site has peeled off as a bit of glue blew away. 😬 Looks like a healthy frag though, so I don't expect it to recede any further.

 

It appears alkalinity has dropped 0.3 to 0.4 points each day and has settled back at 8.6 dKH. Will keep testing daily for the time being. It's likely that these branching cyphastrea will push me towards needing to dose sooner rather than later.

 

Having trouble squishing enough of the evil amphipods. Ordered some supplies to DIY some bristle worm / amphipod traps.

 

Some quick shots of the new additions

 

I really like this piece - reminds of strawberry shortcake acropora.

IMG_20200721_165635.thumb.jpg.dfe34d5a844887a126f782af40c562be.jpg

 

You can see bare skeleton at the bottom where the flesh peeled away due to the superglue; hoping it makes a speedy recovery.

IMG_20200721_165727.thumb.jpg.5c56a9b25923891d9241409ef0f616df.jpg

 

The green and purple branching cyphastrea. Cool little piece, but came on one of those black rubber type frag plugs - easy to cut, but kind of sticks out in a tank until it's encrusted over. Thankfully, it's less noticeable given our black sand and black back wall.

IMG_20200721_170036.thumb.jpg.6dc782945ce4df3ab319e42f5fa37140.jpg

 

These UC Detonation Palys were by far the most expensive piece. They have a very cool florescent sheen to them.

IMG_20200721_165806.thumb.jpg.9fceeda89c005987a888b588154e5794.jpg

 

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cheesesteak

The new additions look great! The cyphastrea really does look like an Acro. 

 

And oh man, I just went to the Unique Corals website... Swoon... 

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Break

Forgot to add that it looks like the old JF Outer Space Psammacora is staging a comeback!

 

Not sure how much of the old skeleton it will re-encrust, but you can see some polyps circled below where it's growing back. This coral proved pretty hardy and thrived for years in this tank's previous iteration (you can see its old skeleton below) before I lost it in the final crash which prompted me to re-do the tank.

 

IMG_20200721_172217.thumb.jpg.0f7c7b8061619a2b89eaeff1bdd1a050.jpg

 

IMG_20200721_172244.thumb.jpg.5beeef2d5896bfe4aca9fcecd00ce1c5.jpg

 

Here's a shot of it in the old tank from Oct 2017. It grew out for a few more years after this. Also, you can also see the how prolific the Mango Tango zoas to the left of them used to be.

oldtank.jpg.fa3afe7441f17717552460ed06f5eb7d.jpg

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cheesesteak

Its awesome how things that we thought were once lost come back. Should be fun to watch it grow again 😁

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Break

Added a rock from the back chambers for the UC Detonation Palys and glued the new pieces in place! 

 

Hoping the bigger cyphastrea recovers its lost tissue quickly - right now it visually reminds me too much of RTN/STN 😰. It also casts a bit more shade than I expected over the ASD Atmospheres. If they react poorly, I'll try moving them up and to the right a bit.

 

At least the YCG is eating like a pig - once it fattens up a bit more, I can start cutting back on feeding frequency a bit.

 

IMG_20200723_134342.thumb.jpg.ae6cc34bb2362af7e33e8522eb167e74.jpg

 

IMG_20200723_134659.thumb.jpg.c6bd960596d0d526f06d17375c673b5b.jpg

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debbeach13

That is great news about the YCG eating. The tank is filling in nicely.

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Break
8 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

That is great news about the YCG eating. The tank is filling in nicely.

Yeah, cleaning the sand is getting increasingly more difficult!

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cheesesteak

Hey, how did you make your lid? Is there a kit specific for aquariums? 

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Break
2 hours ago, cheesesteak said:

Hey, how did you make your lid? Is there a kit specific for aquariums? 

I used one of the BRS DIY Screen Top Kits along with these corner pieces.

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