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About wombat

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    Nano Reefer
  • Birthday 10/01/1977

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    Orange Tubastrea becomes a weed under the right conditions. Here are examples of it outgrowing Dendrophyllia and Tubastrea micrantha. On the dendro you can see it grows right up the base of the coral. The orange polyps in the second picture are all from settled planulae.
  2. teaching Sun coral

    It will eventually open up during the day. Just add a bit of cyclops or squid juice to the tank and wait half an hour to an hour. Flow needs to be moderate to strong, lighting is irrelevant.
  3. IS this a Sun Coral or something else? Pls ID

    You've got a long uphill battle but it wouldn't be entirely impossible to nurse it back into good health. They require strong waterflow and very frequent feedings. This species is always found a bit deeper on the reef and not in full sun near the surface. And yeah, it is Tubastrea micrantha.
  4. Kalkwasser ATO Question

    Kalkwasser has a ton of advantages over 2 part. You can dose up to 2 teaspoons per gallon with just straight calcium hydroxide powder. If you predissolve the powder in vinegar you can get up to 3 teaspoons of powder dissolved per gallon. This is a really simple and cheap way to boost the effectiveness. On my 25 gallon I find that I evaporate about a liter per day and I make that up with saturated kalkwasser (no vinegar). It has a mix of soft and stony corals and a lot of them.
  5. Where can I find these (Mastigias spp.)?

    Diver's Den used to carry them fairly regularly. After Casseiopeia they should be the easiest jelly to find in the aquarium trade.
  6. Bongo Shrimp's 25g Tide Pool

    Nice work. They are a good mag to write for.
  7. Need wrasse ID help.

    Well, I'm pretty certain it is not H. margaritaceus now but I am completely unsure what it might be. My best guess is H. nigrescens or a closely related species. It is not H. melanurus. It is 100% a member of the Halichoeres genus though. Diet and care are simple--they eat small crustaceans and are undemanding in terms of water quality. They will bury themselves at night in fine sand if available, but they don't require it. They are generally passive towards other fish and most species max out at about 4-6" in captivity. Like all wrasses they love love love to jump out of tanks.
  8. Need wrasse ID help.

    Hmm, definitely a Halichoeres sp., I want to say H. margaritaceus but I don't think that's right. I can look at a book and tell you for sure tomorrow.
  9. I wouldn't say dull at all. Usually they are very pastel-y (not a word), bright, and full of color. But definitely unnatural. Google images for "Zeovit tank" and you'll get the idea. I for one don't recommend any husbandry strategy over another. There are multiple ways to skin a cat and I always suggest people go with whatever works for them as long as it produces results they desire.
  10. Inorganic phosphate is what most of us think of when we think of phosphate. It's just a phosphorus atom with 4 oxygen atoms. It's what test kits measure. Organic phosphate is bound up in organic (carbon containing) molecules, like proteins, nucleic acids, ATP, etc. By "bound" it doesn't mean it isn't floating around in the water, just that it is part of a larger molecule. The reason it might be interesting to know is that organic phosphate can be converted to inorganic. So the total amount of organic phosphate floating around in the water might be interesting to know. You could think of it as "potential" phosphate of the type that zooxanthellae and algae can use. It's trivia, mostly, but I'm a geek. It's not measuring the amount of phosphate in the entire system, just how much is in the water. You take a water sample, heat it and digest it with acid, then measure the phosphate concentration the old fashioned way. Where in Palawan? I was just in Coron, Busuanga in January.
  11. I think it's about relaxing about the numbers our test kits read a bit. Chasing numbers so to speak.
  12. Here is a good shot of the healthiest "SPS" type reef I've been on. It's in Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, and this is in about 5' of water. There were city block sized areas of reef there that were a monoculture of a single Acropora species with the occasional bit of purple Montipora peeking out from the "understory".
  13. Wish I could answer that with any degree of certainty! What exactly causes corals to color up is the $100,000 question. My gut tells me that the brown zooxanthellae is there, but masked by high levels of pigments that are produced by very healthy corals under lots of light. Very good post. There should be tests to determine organic phosphate in saltwater for hobbyists if there aren't already. It would be useful to know. The "ULNS" tanks I have seen all look pretty to me, but nothing like what corals on a real healthy reef look like. They look like a reef after a bleaching event!
  14. And I should add that there is almost certainly some point at which the concentration of phosphate or nitrate alone can start to harm corals. It certainly doesn't hurt to keep these numbers low, but there is plenty of evidence that corals will thrive, spawn, look great, etc. at concentrations much higher than some folks consider tolerable.