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About KMG

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    North Carolina
  • Interests
    Freshwater & saltwater biotope aquaria, Orthodox Christianity, gardening, reading, cats, nature documentaries
  1. IIRC, they were usually imported from Indonesia, so you're probably right. Hopefully somebody will work on culturing them in commercial quantities.
  2. KMG

    20 Gallon Long Lagoon

    Check with Dr. Mac--they have some aquacultured elegance corals for sale. They'd be much hardier than the wild-collected specimens. Add a pair of captive-bred Banggais, and you have a little biotope! purple-tipped AC elegance coral pink-tipped AC elegance coral
  3. Nice! I covet that huge encrusting orange monti. My LFS has one a lot like that...I might have to go by and price that critter now.
  4. They really do. People on forums probably think I work for them, because I'm always recommending them.
  5. KMG

    NPS with mangroves?

    I was just looking through a book here at work that showed several pictures of the kind of habitat you're thinking of: colorful NPS corals, sponges, and other inverts on mangrove roots. Most of the corals looked like Tubastrea and nephtheid species, while the substrate was covered in a thick bed of Halimeda. Very beautiful and very unusual. A couple of well-known vendors sell maricultured Stereonepthya and Scleronephthya corals, which look a lot like Dendronephthya. I've seen cultured Tubastrea online too (or maybe someone could give you a few polyps from their tank.
  6. I'm a big advocate of CB or TR livestock over WC anyway, but it's especially worth it in the case of threadfin cardinals. They tend to be delicate shippers; a lot of the WC ones I've seen are in pretty rough shape and suffer major losses within a week or two. DD is a little pricey, but the advantage of going through them is that they get the fish nice and fat before shipping them out. Mine have done beautifully. I'm planning to get another pair or two when I eventually upgrade my current system.
  7. I haven't seen any threadfins from ORA on offer for a long time--at least a year. If your LFS isn't able to get them from ORA, have them try Sustainable Aquatics. They offer tank-raised threadfins that have been collected as larvae and raised in their facility in TN. My two pairs of threadfins are from SA (I bought them off Diver's Den). They arrived in perfect condition and have been thriving and eating like pigs ever since.
  8. I keep 4 threadfin cardinalfish in a 34G with a pair of skunk cleaner shrimp and a green clown goby. While I wouldn't bet on them not trying to sample a very tiny shrimp (like a sexy shrimp), IME they're completely reef-safe with most shrimp. Like the orange-lined cardinals, threadfins are one of the smaller species, and very peaceful.
  9. I might be interested. What kind of corals are you keeping him with? Where are you located? Are you willing to ship? Thanks.
  10. Yeah, I did. LOL I actually ended up having to scrap this one...the Xenia crashed, and the Stereonephthya, while partially photosynthetic, were getting too much light under my MH bulb and started bleaching. I'd never kept them before--it was an experiment, and it didn't work out. Such is the life of an aquarist. I donated them and the sea fan to a friend of mine who manages a coral farm. Now I have the couple colonies of orange M. digitata that I'd kept, and my Jakarta live rock, and my Halimeda, and I actually like how simple it looks...now I'm thinking of getting a pair of Banggais and having a Banggai tank (one of their habitats in the wild is among branching corals, including digitata). At least all the corals and rock and fish would be Indonesian, right? (Except for the dottyback!) Links to the AC sea fans currently on offer at DD. Pricey (I only got one because I had a large chunk of credit with them), but really nice: DD sea fan #1 DD sea fan #2
  11. Yeesh. I'll see you your gorilla bluefish story, and raise you one idiot snowbird kid who pitched a rock at a beached Portuguese man o'war--after being repeatedly warned NOT to--and had to be rushed to the emergency room when he got man o'war splatter all over his face.
  12. I like it! And I covet that huge stand of codium--I love macros. It's funny seeing a baby bluefish; I grew up in Florida and I remember us locals warning tourists not to go in the water while the blues were running. They come in large schools to feed on bait fish and they'll chomp on anything--fish, surfers, swimmers--in their path. The tourists thought we were crazy, but they'd never seen the feeding frenzy of a huge school of bluefish going after mullet--with a few sharks thrown in to boot. I can vividly remember being at the beach as a kid and seeing the blues and several sharks chasing the baitfish in every swell.
  13. Thanks for the advice... they actually are offering aquacultured Caribbean sea fans on Diver's Den now, and other aquacultured Caribbean gorgonians on LiveAquaria (good news for Florida and Caribbean biotope fans). I looked at those sea fans for a while, but I wouldn't really have the room to keep one long-term; and while I don't consider my tank a biotope, strictly speaking, I still think mini-sea-fan frags wouldn't really capture the look of that habitat. It would be stunning in a large tank, though. I've started keeping four different color varieties of photosynthetic Stereonephthya, which resemble Dendronephthya, and I like those so much that I think I'm just going to build the aquascape with them and some Xenia (and maybe one really nice colony of orange digitata that I just like too much to give up). I got the orchid dottyback last week and she's doing great. Very peaceful so far--she hasn't harassed my clown goby or my cleaner shrimp at all. This is a habitat that I've wanted to do for a long time, so I'm glad things are working out so far.
  14. I agree with johnmaloney on substrate, but I think the LR can also make a difference. The organisms that may sprout out of it--macros, corals, sponges, etc--won't be true to a Pacific biotope if the rock comes from the Atlantic. However, I also agree that sometimes you have to crib a little, like in johnmaloney's coral example. Sometimes I think biotope tanks could almost be divided into at least two categories: true biotopes, and then the "best attempt" biotope that makes substitutions when needed. I'm doing something along that line: I'm thinking of changing my 34G into an orchid dottyback tank. However, since to my knowledge there's no collection of LR or substrate from the Red Sea, my LR is from Jakarta, and my substrate is just standard white Carib-Sea live sand. Additionally, they're found among Dendronephthya and sea fans in the wild. I'm not set up to take care of azooxanthellate corals, so I'm substituting a trio of cultured photosynthetic Stereonephthya for the carnation corals, and an aquacultured Gorgonia ventalina sea fan (native to Florida) for a Red Sea fan. Obviously this isn't a true biotope, so I'm calling it a habitat tank instead.
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