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4.1g Desktop Reef: Photo Dump!

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Amphrites
3 hours ago, Wingy said:

Tape a good furnace filter to the input side of a box or window fan, put that right into the window, seal around any gaps with styrofoam or bubble wrap.  It can also be used as a stand alone air filter.  It isn't  pretty but it works.  

https://healthybuildingscience.com/2018/11/18/diy-box-fan-merv-13-versus-hepa-air-purifier/

I tried this, it's less than impressive lol, the issue with smoke is that you need impressive filtration to get it out, and the issue with box fans is they have no static pressure.

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Tired

I have some amphipod troubles, too, though not as bad as yours. My trimma goby cut down on them a bit. I'm going to be trying some different traps for the little blighters- do you have any pics of the stuff you've tried that hasn't worked? So I know what not to bother attempting.

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On 8/28/2020 at 8:31 PM, Amphrites said:

Mohican sun's are cool paly's, looking forward to seeing those. Yeah, sleeping in an n99 kind of sucks, taping windows sounds familiar too XD 

 

OH, you may appreciate this, https://cambridgemask.com/

They're hard to find right now because of SCV-2, but I can sleep and exercise in these, in addition I've never worn a mask that can almost completely remove odors (and I have serious hyperosmia), when I first fell ill and things started getting rough these masks made it possible for me to go back outside and tolerate the rubber smell of a gym for short periods.

The whole story on their website sounds like a sales gimmick, but they made a big difference for me.

Thanks for the tip, those masks look really great! Unfortunately, masks with one-way valves aren't approved in SF. Then again, a lot of our officials are complete idiots - the State has given us the go ahead to start re-opening small businesses at 10-20% capacity and the city government is dragging their feet and being unnecessarily restrictive. Majority of the other counties in the state are now re-opening without much issue while all of our small businesses are dying out (mine included). It feels like social media governance - all SF officials care about is how they are perceived, not actually solving any problems.

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On 8/30/2020 at 3:28 AM, Wingy said:

Tape a good furnace filter to the input side of a box or window fan, put that right into the window, seal around any gaps with styrofoam or bubble wrap.  It can also be used as a stand alone air filter.  It isn't  pretty but it works.  

https://healthybuildingscience.com/2018/11/18/diy-box-fan-merv-13-versus-hepa-air-purifier/

We only have one window and would be tough to set-up with a proper seal, but I'm definitely going to try something similar if the smoke gets worse or we get hit by another heat wave.

 

On 8/30/2020 at 1:21 PM, Tired said:

I have some amphipod troubles, too, though not as bad as yours. My trimma goby cut down on them a bit. I'm going to be trying some different traps for the little blighters- do you have any pics of the stuff you've tried that hasn't worked? So I know what not to bother attempting.

I tried a glass planaria trap and didn't seem to have much luck, but I'm going to try again with different bits of bait. I've seen others have some success with this and banasophia was definitely successful getting a bunch of bristleworms out of her tank, which has motivated me to try again.

 

I tried making a DIY trap like this, but it didn't fit in my tiny tank. Going to try again once I can find the right type of container. I feel like the straws having larger circumference would allow the bigger pods to get in.

Bristleworm Trap Contest...Surprise Winner!! - YouTube

 

Another strategy I have seen work is putting a big ball of chaeto next to where the pods frequent then surprise pulling it out and throwing it in some freshwater. Some will jump off, but amphipods generally love the stuff, so you'll get quite few if you're lucky.

 

I have tried spearing them with wooden skewers and sucking them up with turkey basters, but wasn't very successful as they are very quick and built to latch onto things. They even try to fearlessly attack the skewer...😨

 

I tried a freshwater dip on my rocks, which did kill a good amount of them, but not enough to make a huge difference and it mostly just served to piss off everything else in the tank. Some have suggest hyper-salinity or cold saltwater dips, but after the freshwater dip, I don't want to take the risk just yet.

 

I think a biological solution is the best option to keep their numbers in check - ideally fish that tend to spend their time hunting, especially if nocturnal as that's when the pods come out to cause damage. There may be some inverts that can get the job done, like a blue coral banded shrimp, but I don't trust them with my little gobies and polyps.

 

Right now it seems most of the zoas are outgrowing the pods' ability to munch on them, but we'll see. Probably not going to stock much of anything else aside from gorgonians and zoanthids until their numbers are in check given they eliminated one of the branching cyphastrea already and have started on the other. Goniopora seems safe from them so far, but isn't doing awesome enough that I want to stock another just yet (think it just needs more flow). Most of the time, it seems they'll go after corals when they aren't doing well, but I've also caught them harassing healthy corals like the Detonation Palys which have been growing and doing absolutely great since the day I added them to the tank.

 

On a happier note, the ORA Sharknose Goby, ORA Grube's Gorgonian, and Mohican Sun Palys arrived today from Barrier Reef Aquariums and are settling in. Shipping was more than usual, but was happy to support a smaller operation that's been in business a long time and has a great focus on aquaculture. Customer service was good as well.

 

There was more hair algae on the Palys than I would like, but also a bunch of extra heads more than I paid for, so can't be too mad. Plus, the snails and polka dot hermit will make short work of it. The Sharknose is on the small size, but that means it's younger and we'll hopefully get more time with it (these gobies don't have the longest lifespan to begin with). The Grube's is quite large already, but should allow for better color balance and use of the negative space in the back of the tank. 

 

Going to be extra cautious until the NemProtect guard for the Vortech arrives later this week. Will post some pics in a few days time after some re-arranging!

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Tired

It's not something that would fit in your tank, but there's something called a Hasslet's goby that, apparently, will eat every single pod in a tank. And every worm. Every single bug-shaped creature it can find and catch. They get about 3" long and are rare to find for sale, but if someone with a larger tank is looking to have it absolutely stripped of amphipods, there's those. 

I hear circus gobies are good pod-hunters, but I've also heard they can be aggressive, and may even try to eat shrimp. I have to look into those, might get one myself. 

My trimma goby has, at least, scared the pods into not coming out during the day. He's definitely put a dent in them, there have been fewer out at night when I check, but he hasn't eaten them all. I think he only eats them during the day most of the time. 

 

I've managed to catch some little ones with a pipette, but bigger ones don't fit in it, and my turkey baster doesn't seem to suck strongly enough to catch them most of the time. Those lil things grab onto the rockwork so tightly! 

 

May get some chaeto to try, or see if a filter sponge will attract them similarly well. Maybe if I put food in it.

 

I did build a trap to try out. I took the lids from some superglue containers, snipped the tips off and flattened them to make them into little funnels, and added them to a little bottle I'd cut the middle out of to make it smaller. I haven't tried it yet, I used a ton of superglue and wanted to let it cure until it stopped hurting my eyes to have it near my face. Didn't think anything in my tank would appreciate the fumes, even if it wouldn't kill them. 

I plan to bait this with reef roids and mysis, leave it for a few hours after dark, and see how it goes. I'm putting shells in it so any amphipods that go inside will hopefully hide in the shells instead of trying to find a way out. Any I remove are going in a bucket with some macroalgae trimmings, which are eventually going to my LFS. They'll either go live in the display tanks or get eaten by something. 

image0.jpg?width=472&height=630image1.jpg?width=472&height=630

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4 minutes ago, Tired said:

It's not something that would fit in your tank, but there's something called a Hasslet's goby that, apparently, will eat every single pod in a tank. And every worm. Every single bug-shaped creature it can find and catch. They get about 3" long and are rare to find for sale, but if someone with a larger tank is looking to have it absolutely stripped of amphipods, there's those. 

I hear circus gobies are good pod-hunters, but I've also heard they can be aggressive, and may even try to eat shrimp. I have to look into those, might get one myself. 

My trimma goby has, at least, scared the pods into not coming out during the day. He's definitely put a dent in them, there have been fewer out at night when I check, but he hasn't eaten them all. I think he only eats them during the day most of the time. 

I've looked into a Hasslet's, but they are extremely hard to find and bit big for the tank. I've searched for a Circus goby as well, but can't find any for sale online or in-person (Bay Area). Wild-caught livestock is pretty low everywhere due to the pandemic.

 

Both would put a dent in their numbers, but probably wouldn't eliminate them completely given all the holes in my rockwork (and the liverock in the backchamber). At least the circus goby wouldn't - Snow has one in her pico and weighed in earlier in this thread. As a note, circus gobies are generally not aggressive towards other fish (more likely to hide than anything else), though they will eat small shrimp/inverts that fit in their mouth.

4 minutes ago, Tired said:

I've managed to catch some little ones with a pipette, but bigger ones don't fit in it, and my turkey baster doesn't seem to suck strongly enough to catch them most of the time. Those lil things grab onto the rockwork so tightly! 

 

May get some chaeto to try, or see if a filter sponge will attract them similarly well. Maybe if I put food in it.

 

I did build a trap to try out. I took the lids from some superglue containers, snipped the tips off and flattened them to make them into little funnels, and added them to a little bottle I'd cut the middle out of to make it smaller. I haven't tried it yet, I used a ton of superglue and wanted to let it cure until it stopped hurting my eyes to have it near my face. Didn't think anything in my tank would appreciate the fumes, even if it wouldn't kill them. 

I plan to bait this with reef roids and mysis, leave it for a few hours after dark, and see how it goes. I'm putting shells in it so any amphipods that go inside will hopefully hide in the shells instead of trying to find a way out. Any I remove are going in a bucket with some macroalgae trimmings, which are eventually going to my LFS. They'll either go live in the display tanks or get eaten by something. 

They are fast little buggers! I haven't had any luck with reef roids myself - seems like folks generally have more luck with frozen food mixtures. The bristleworms in my tank definitely respond the most to frozen mysis and I've seen the pods go for left over bits of it on the side off the vortech, so that's what I'll be using in the next trapping attempts.

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Amphrites
2 hours ago, Break said:

Thanks for the tip, those masks look really great! Unfortunately, masks with one-way valves aren't approved in SF. Then again, a lot of our officials are complete idiots - the State has given us the go ahead to start re-opening small businesses at 10-20% capacity and the city government is dragging their feet and being unnecessarily restrictive. Majority of the other counties in the state are now re-opening without much issue while all of our small businesses are dying out (mine included). It feels like social media governance - all SF officials care about is how they are perceived, not actually solving any problems.

You can cover the mask with a fabric one and be fine legally, the restriction on valves is appropriate as they don't have a perfect seal and allow condensation and larger-droplet formation. (there are also kits to seal over the valve sold somewhere)
My suggestion was for household-use, or even sleeping. I've had to use these masks for the better part of 6 years after a multi-organ viral syndrome took me from a bodybuilder to bedbound.
 
Insofar as being overly-restrictive, it hurts and it's unfortunate, but 1 in 2000 is fairly-significant and SF is an absurdly-dense population. Beyond that lifting-restrictions is not enough to actually bring people back out, keeping case-numbers low is a far, far more effective than becoming Texas, Georgia, or Florida.
Of course the best tool at the country's disposal would have been a strong and deliberate federal-response and a robust middle-out economic-package to prevent the relevant worker's economy from tanking, but that's asking quite a bit -*read impossibility*- from the current political climate and administration.

 

I've already overshared and yammered too much on your thread so I'm not even going to get started on how terrible for society social media and cancel-culture have been as-a-whole lol.

That hasslet's goby looks super cool.

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Tired

Everything in my tank gets really excited about reef roids. Heck, my big checkered nerite moves around a bit when I put them in the tank! But it doesn't seem to lure the pods in in very well, for some reason. Might try mysis with a dash of roids. 

 

Circus goby is probably out for me, then. I have a small candycane pistol shrimp and plan to potentially add tiny anemone shrimp. Maybe adding a n antenna shrimpgoby will help out some? I suspect the pistol shrimp eats them, too, but probably not in any large number.

 

Completely agree on the virus stuff. I, unfortunately, live in Texas. Where our officials are ignoring the social media people getting mad about all the people getting sick and dying, and are instead listening to the people getting mad about such awful things as "having to wear a mask in public to avoid potentially getting others sick with a disease that causes heart damage in a significant number of cases". 

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21 minutes ago, Amphrites said:

You can cover the mask with a fabric one and be fine legally, the restriction on valves is appropriate as they don't have a perfect seal and allow condensation and larger-droplet formation.
My suggestion was for household-use, or even sleeping. I've had to use these masks for the better part of 6 years after a multi-organ viral syndrome took me from a bodybuilder to bedbound.
 
Insofar as being overly-restrictive, it hurts and it's unfortunate, but 1 in 2000 is fairly-significant and SF is an absurdly-dense population. Beyond that lifting-restrictions is not enough to actually bring people back out, keeping case-numbers low is a far, far more effective than becoming Texas, Georgia, or Florida.
Of course the best tool at the country's disposal would have been a strong and deliberate federal-response and a robust middle-out economic-package to prevent the relevant worker's economy from tanking, but that's asking quite a bit -*read impossibility*- from the current political climate and administration.

 

I've already overshared and yammered too much on your thread so I'm not even going to get started on how terrible for society social media and cancel-culture have been as-a-whole lol.

That hasslet's goby looks super cool.

Duh, good point, I've already been throwing a cloth mask over an N95 most of the time! The smoke must be going to my head 🤪, I'll keep an eye out for if/when Cambridge re-stocks. Don't sweat the rambling - us asthmatic bodybuilders got to stick together 👍

 

2 minutes ago, Tired said:

Everything in my tank gets really excited about reef roids. Heck, my big checkered nerite moves around a bit when I put them in the tank! But it doesn't seem to lure the pods in in very well, for some reason. Might try mysis with a dash of roids. 

 

Circus goby is probably out for me, then. I have a small candycane pistol shrimp and plan to potentially add tiny anemone shrimp. Maybe adding a n antenna shrimpgoby will help out some? I suspect the pistol shrimp eats them, too, but probably not in any large number.

 

Completely agree on the virus stuff. I, unfortunately, live in Texas. Where our officials are ignoring the social media people getting mad about all the people getting sick and dying, and are instead listening to the people getting mad about such awful things as "having to wear a mask in public to avoid potentially getting others sick with a disease that causes heart damage in a significant number of cases". 

Sounds about right on the shrimp, probably nabs a few here and there, but probably wouldn't be overly noticeable. I'm unsure if the shrimpgoby would do much more than the trimma. Do you have a link to your tank journal? Keep me posted on how the trapping goes! And I have to agree, I would much rather be on this end of the spectrum with the virus response than yours - at least the officials here aren't pretending it doesn't exist and most people aren't so selfish/childish that they make a big deal over wearing a mask. The long-term heart/lung damage is no joke!

 

But enough about the 'Rona, the hasselt's goby is pretty rad looking. It's markings remind me of some of the brackish fish I kept back in the day.

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Tired

The pistol shrimp got stuck in my filter compartment for awhile once, and when I found it two weeks later, it was perfectly fine. It was eating SOMETHING in there, and the only things in there are a bit of detritus and some amphipods. I know I've seen them snap at pods in videos, and they're a lot more active than many detritivores tend to be. I haven't been able to find much about what pistol shrimp actually eat, though, so I can't confirm that they eat pods. 

 

I wonder about the shrimpgoby because it lives under the rocks, where pods also live. Plus, if nothing else, two fish eat more pods than one fish. And that trimma eats nothing but pods! I've had it for six months now, and I've fed it maybe a dozen times since I got it. It's still nice and plump. 

 

Hasselt's gobies are really cool, but I don't know that I really want the whole "eats every creature it can fit in its mouth, literally every creature" thing. Maybe if I ever do a RFA breeding tank, it would be good to keep to prevent amphipods bothering everything too much. 

 

I'll let y'all know here if I have any luck with the amphipod trapping. 

 

I have a tank thread, but I haven't given it a proper update in awhile. I have a hard time doing anything my brain categorizes as "something that needs to be done" when I'm stressed, so I've been using my limited willpower for important things, which that isn't really. Need to remember to update it with my AquaLog account, though, I'm tracking things on there, and it has more pictures of individual corals than really fit nicely in a journal thread. 

 

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Finally got around to a photo dump! This tank journal is in dire need of more photos. Please excuse the terrible quality - I quickly snapped these with my cell phone and a mediocre macro lens attachment. Still working on getting the white balance correct and will try to snap a better FTS tomorrow. Considering purchasing the Polyp Lab lens set sometime soon to make photos a bit easier.

 

Most of the zoanthids are growing new polyps, but their mats are either not growing or slightly receding in some areas due to amphipods munching on them. Weird.

 

The branching cyphastrea has recovered most of the tissue it lost when I initially glued it in place and seems to be doing well. The blizzard cyphastrea had a rough time with the past few heatwaves, but also seems to be recovering its lost tissue.

 

Just moved the goniopora to a spot with more flow today, so it's still a bit miffed, not much polyp extension.

 

Took a while for the new Grube's gorgonian to start showing as much polyp extension as the other gorgonians, but we're getting there.

 

The new sharknose goby has settled in, but still prefers to hang out on the glass rather than the rockwork most of the time.

 

The VorTech MP10 now has a NemProtect guard on that makes it look even more ridiculously over-sized in this tiny tank than before.

 

The nutrients in the tank have been a bit higher than I want and there are bits of cyano here and there, but everything is going pretty well for the most part! Ordered some AquaVitro fuel to try in place of the Brightwell aminos I'm using. Going to start trying to trap bristleworms in earnest this week.

 

Also, real life has finally been less terrible! My buddies in my Dungeons & Dragons group started a secret GoFundMe (I would have refused otherwise) to pay for my recent hospital bills (15k+ 😨) that were massive due to not having health insurance because of forced unemployment courtesy of covid. Thankfully, I'll be able to start working indoors again later this month. And we're moving from our tiny studio into a new 2 bedroom apartment with a ton more space which means I can upgrade to a larger tank in a year or two!

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Amphrites

Branching cyphrastrea is such a cool coral, also I love your gobies.

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33 minutes ago, Amphrites said:

Branching cyphrastrea is such a cool coral, also I love your gobies.

One of my favorite corals for sure, glad that it recovered a lot of its lost tissue.

 

Thanks, the gobies are pretty darn cute. Worth the bulky guard on the VorTech.

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Caught a bunch of smaller bristle worms with the planaria trap. Not a bad start, thanks for the inspiration @banasophia!
 

IMG_20200911_060647.thumb.jpg.47f46606579b89998db3467a5ccb5962.jpg

 

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banasophia
18 minutes ago, Break said:

Caught a bunch of smaller bristle worms with the planaria trap. Not a bad start, thanks for the inspiration @banasophia
 

IMG_20200911_060647.thumb.jpg.47f46606579b89998db3467a5ccb5962.jpg

 

Alright, glad it worked for you too. Just be careful not to drop it... I dropped my first one and had to replace it. 

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Amphrites
14 hours ago, Break said:

Finally got around to a photo dump! This tank journal is in dire need of more photos. Please excuse the terrible quality - I quickly snapped these with my cell phone and a mediocre macro lens attachment. Still working on getting the white balance correct and will try to snap a better FTS tomorrow. Considering purchasing the Polyp Lab lens set sometime soon to make photos a bit easier.

 

Most of the zoanthids are growing new polyps, but their mats are either not growing or slightly receding in some areas due to amphipods munching on them. Weird.

 

The branching cyphastrea has recovered most of the tissue it lost when I initially glued it in place and seems to be doing well. The blizzard cyphastrea had a rough time with the past few heatwaves, but also seems to be recovering its lost tissue.

 

Just moved the goniopora to a spot with more flow today, so it's still a bit miffed, not much polyp extension.

 

Took a while for the new Grube's gorgonian to start showing as much polyp extension as the other gorgonians, but we're getting there.

 

The new sharknose goby has settled in, but still prefers to hang out on the glass rather than the rockwork most of the time.

 

The VorTech MP10 now has a NemProtect guard on that makes it look even more ridiculously over-sized in this tiny tank than before.

 

The nutrients in the tank have been a bit higher than I want and there are bits of cyano here and there, but everything is going pretty well for the most part! Ordered some AquaVitro fuel to try in place of the Brightwell aminos I'm using. Going to start trying to trap bristleworms in earnest this week.

 

Also, real life has finally been less terrible! My buddies in my Dungeons & Dragons group started a secret GoFundMe (I would have refused otherwise) to pay for my recent hospital bills (15k+ 😨) that were massive due to not having health insurance because of forced unemployment courtesy of covid. Thankfully, I'll be able to start working indoors again later this month. And we're moving from our tiny studio into a new 2 bedroom apartment with a ton more space which means I can upgrade to a larger tank in a year or two!

I dropped my comment before I noticed this, many hospitals have a debt-forgiveness program, provided you make reliable monthly-payments they'll frequently be willing to accept a much-smaller sum from uninsured patients, sometimes as a bulk-payment on the order of 1/10 or less the total-bill to avoid overhead and to actually recoup losses (as opposed to selling debt to collectors for a penny a dollar or less).

Might be worth calling and looking into.

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2 hours ago, banasophia said:

Alright, glad it worked for you too. Just be careful not to drop it... I dropped my first one and had to replace it. 

The first one I bought only had two holes, so I also purchased the one you recommended with three holes. Now I have a back-up for when I inevitably drop it!

 

1 hour ago, Amphrites said:

I dropped my comment before I noticed this, many hospitals have a debt-forgiveness program, provided you make reliable monthly-payments they'll frequently be willing to accept a much-smaller sum from uninsured patients, sometimes as a bulk-payment on the order of 1/10 or less the total-bill to avoid overhead and to actually recoup losses (as opposed to selling debt to collectors for a penny a dollar or less).

Might be worth calling and looking into.

Good tips, thankfully, I did just that and was able to get the bill significantly reduced due to being unemployed for most of earlier this year! The rest is currently on a monthly payment plan with no interest. Definitely looking forward to getting my health insurance back later this year!

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