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Wingsong

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About Wingsong

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  • Birthday January 7

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  1. Wingsong

    The Ugliest 20G High - Black Friday Corals!

    New corals! Couple updates on the tank: There is definitely algae growing, it looks kinda like diatoms which I didn't have the first time around iirc - maybe from the new rock. There shouldn't have been much of a cycle since most of the live rock was 2 years old. Also looks a little fuzzy but it's very patchy, like it grows in a small dot. I hope it isn't the return of hair algae but it's more fuzzy than the long strands I had before. The blenny is out chomping down and has a very fat gut but I intend to get some CUC this weekend when we are out running errands. Changing the reactor media is... an experience. I get in concept how to do it but tightening and untightening the reactor and making sure the lid is tight so it won't leak or spit water at me and just generally dealing with the drips from the output tube etc etc... ahhhh not my favorite thing LOL. Clown original-flavor has been chasing/nipping at the young man's underside a lot lately. He doesn't seem that bothered by it like he did his first day and I've never seen him hiding but it does worry me a bit she keeps going after him. She doesn't stop him from eating when I feed them, though, and his fins are regrowing nicely so he is otherwise in good health. She also has started sleeping on the bottom corner of the tank kinda sideways which always makes me go 😕 when I get up for work and can't see her/can only find her in a corner. But I know it's #justclownthings as long as she's actively swimming around when awake (which she is). I fed the anemone and like, whenever I see anemones/LPS eat with their creepy lil mouths I just wonder why I have allowed such witchcraft into my living space LOL. It looks so weird to see them pulling a pellet into that gaping maw. I've read maybe I want a different pellet than the NLS sinking pellets I feed the clowns for corals but I do like that the pellets sink - I had the issue when I fed my old shrimp dried brine/mysis shrimp they would float to the top - which makes it a lot easier to baste the pellet right onto the anemone without the pellet going anywhere - or getting nabbed by the clowns lol. The blue-green mushroom seems happy - it spreads out very wide during the day. I've wondered if maybe it's not getting quite enough light because it sometimes looks kinda trumpety-upturned so I moved the rock it's on closer to 'under the light.' It has very bright blue dots all over it too! Which are really cool but hard to get on camera. If I had a macro lens... I'll have to try taking pics with my bf's iPhone and see how they come out. Whichever carrier shipped my new salt from BRS bashed it and broke the salt bucket and tore the bag inside! I didn't open it to check immediately and waited until my weekly water change when I ran out of the old salt... and was like why is there salt in the box... it's supposed to be in a bucket... well, cause the bucket was completely demolished and there were several holes in the bag. Yipes. Luckily I hadn't thrown out the old bucket so I dumped the salt into there. Not really what you wanna see when you're in the middle of a change! Onto the new goodies... so much for 'alright I'm gonna take it really slow, months at a time, nothing fancy' LOL. The resurgence of coraline algae and the anemone not crawling under a rock and dying instantly this time have me too hyphy for my own good. I am a true fool for sales and did wind up taking advantage of (post?) Black Friday sales. Can I just say the acclimation process takes so much longer than you want even when you streamline it if you have work to get back to? Floating bags for half an hour to get the temp up, dipping them for 5-10 min, then rinsing the dip off and getting them in, heck even cutting them all loose from their bags takes time. Normally I have horrible sleep anxiety the night before a delivery and wake up all the time paranoid I'll miss the door, but at my new apartment the small FedEx packages just go to the mail room, not our apartments, and are signed for by the leasing office if needed. So it's like, I can just go to work and walk 5min back when I get the text they've arrived. It's fun to track the corals as they head out for their overnight adventure. Legendary Corals Order I hemmed and hawwed on whether to go with LC or Cultivated Reef this time around - this order was a treat from my boyfriend so I had a limited number of corals he was buying - choosing which ones of 'my favorites I want them aaaaall' to strip down to 5 or 6 is hard LOL - so I decided I would pick up a rainbow of St Thomas and Rics from CR in a couple months. I had my LC cart all picked out, just waiting for the bf to buy, and my favorite one went out of stock... just a fuzzy mushroom with pink tips. My old brown/green hairy was my best grower in the 5.5g. Devastating blow! So did the purple Ric I wanted to buy - actually whoever bought those 2, and I assume it's one person because they went OOS around the same time, seemed to have bought a LOT of the shrooms I was considering or had in my cart originally! So whoever you are out there, fellow discounted mushroom fan, you have good taste, but also curse you. Wound up getting 2 Rics, 2 Discosoma, 1 Rhodactis, 1 Zoa and 1 Cyphastrea. The latter is a new endeavor for me but it seems like a potential good fit for my tank - more color in lower light, low-medium flow, fast grower. Can I just say I love the $10 and under corals now? I spy the "oh it's only $5" and I'm all over it haha. I fawned over the baby Jawbreakers and a magenta/blue bounce shroom as well ($350!!!) but the bf's job is to keep my coral addiction in line and stop me from spending hundreds on a singular coral... even though the bounce was one of the prettiest corals I've ever seen The packing slip was wet when the box arrived which always makes you worry until you get to the coral bags and can confirm nothing burst open. They all survived shipping and though I had to leave instantly after getting everything into the tank (RIP my lunch break) the Discosoma were already opening up. Salt Critters Order I had only ordered from SC once before, which included the anemone who crawled under a rock and died (thing was HUGE too, that's probably what led to my hair algae issues honestly lol), but I got an email they had free shipping at $99... with an order already coming today, I could get behind that, especially when I saw their 50% off red Scoly. I've wanted one since I found out about them - easy to see why, eh? Big, bold, beautiful, bright. I grabbed a Blasto and a peasant Zoa (ahh the sub-$10 'this type grows like a weed, get it away already' blessing) with Dragon Eye and Eagle Eye polyps along with the Scoly. I mulled over the $1-10 frags a lot before deciding on one that had two types growing. I was most nervous about the Scoly since it's expensive and not something I have tried before but it arrived with some feeder tentacles out from being in the dark and partially inflated. Of course it deflated after the dip but I came home to it pretty poofy! It's in the corner right next to me and definitely stands out. I'll have to feed it on water change day along with the nem. The light's off for the night and it started sending feeders out the moment the light shut off, looking over it has a bunch out now which I take to be a good sign. The Blasto fell against the glass so I need to shift it but it and the Zoas all were open when I got off work as well. Thing I hate the most about the 20G High is probably (certainly) that my gloves don't let me reach the bottom without taking on water. So without a water change if I want to place a frag or move it I have to get a glovefull of salt. So rearranging these guys so they are upright or if they don't seem to like the lighting will not be fun. I came home to all 10 pieces open and I am so happy - nothing quite like a tank with corals. So much color, different places of intrigue to look at, it just looks lively! Will keep my eye on them all to see if someone seems unhappy. I think the green Ric is not a huge fan of its current spot and some of them are on their sides so I need to fix that, but otherwise, just going to remain vigilant. Show off time! The new 'shrooms. I am gonna assume the bargain bin shroom is also a Discosoma, because it looks similar to that kinda burgundy one, and it lacks the floofy whatevers of the Rhodactis. Just a common neon-metallic green Rhodactis down in front, a combo frag with those 2 Pinstripe (Convict maybe?) Discos and the 1 Pimple (maybe?) Disco, and behind them, a Crimson Tide Disco. Can't see much of it from this angle but quite a looker! Not my best photographic work, but the Zoas. Pastel Rainbow and Dragon Eye - the Eagle Eye polyps are on the underside so you can't see them top-down yet. And there's the Crimson Tide Disco unfortunately right below where the LED glares on the surface so it doesn't show up well. The nem and the Blizzard Bizzaro Cyphastrea. Supposed to be a lighter blue than the normal Bizzaro though here it looks supremely periwinkle from the LED. In person I would say it is more of a light blue with yellow rings and pink centers... whatever the technical names are haha. Not a great picture for the stuff shadowed by the top-down angle BUT look at that neon green Ric glow! It looks much less bubbly than the blue one next to it, though, which is why I think maybe that slight height/inch inward difference are not making it happy? And the Blasto is above the blue Ric. Think the Nem pops here too. Good view of the Scoly and blue Ric. I love the little flashes of green/blue on the Scoly around the sea of red. Such a looker... though I know the folks with $500 Scolys with 50 different colors are out there all smug haha. One thing I love about the Discos is when the lights go off, under natural light, they all have really visible robin's egg blue elements. Well maybe the Crimson one doesn't but the other three do. Appreciate a coral who looks good with the lights off! Overall I would say the LC frags are pretty true to picture, the blue Ric is maybe less... dynamic shades of blue? than the pic but the other shrooms are very accurate, plus you have to account for differences in your tank's lights vs theirs. The only one I would say is not as close is the Zoa, and I have found this true of multiple I've ordered from them, the like, level of detail in the pictures on their website in the Zoas and the stark differences in color (flashes of pink against green and orange etc) just don't manifest irl - either on my cam or to my eyes. But I don't think this is exclusive to LC's photos of Zoas, I think a lot just appear (or are edited) different in photos across retailers. The SC Zoas I would say are pretty darn close to their images but they are also, simpler I guess, morphs, so I think it is harder to trump them up as like a galactic swirl of coraly color when they're really just kinda like 3 different rings. I very much appreciate how SC takes their photos in 2 different lighting situations so you can see what the frag looks like under their blues and under natural light - I think their 3 frags are pretty darn close to the photos. I am pleased with both orders! I think the pieces are colorful and hope they remain happy and spread like weeds. Off to buy the $125 pink and yellow Elegance that was at the LFS last time I went next - I kid (hopefully...)! But wow that thing was gorgeous. I need to find some very low-light corals to put on the far side of the tank, something that wants indirect light and probably high flow. Don't care if it's a weed or not, not like SPS are gonna grow when the far rock is shadowed by the tall middle rock! Realistically I need to let these guys settle in and take root before buying another batch of corals, we'll see if I can keep myself honest. The absence of sales now will probably help LOL. Really looks like a reef tank-proper again! Now to let them grow in... I intend to get some more RFAs for the rock the current nem is on at some point or other, as long as this one stays healthy, more are an option. Next on the agenda: CUC. Thanks for reading!
  2. Wingsong

    The Ugliest 20G High - Black Friday Corals!

    Modifying an Aquaclear to be a refugium was one of the things I was considering - seems cheaper than a designated fuge if not a bit less glamorous. The background suggestion is also good, might cut down on any stray natural light causing algae too (who am I kidding I live in Seattle, we don't get sunlight). Love that big shroom on the left in your tank - looks like the same Hydor powerhead I have, too. I think clowns are a great fit for tanks of this dimension because they aren't fussed about having long perching surfaces - my 2 cents from my few weeks of having them in the 20, anyway lol. Looks like you have a protein skimmer in the back corner too? Did you find it helpful or necessary? I've looked into the benefits of getting a nano skimmer but I'm not sure how much of an impact it will have. Might aerate the lower reaches of the tank better maybe? Ahhh excellent suggestion - they do and I have one ordered! Thank you this is going to look so much better haha. Thanks for stopping in you two and for the advice!! Tank Update Baby's first weekend alone - went to visit my parents for Thanksgiving so the tank had to operate on its own for a few days. Always nerve-wracking for me to leave and think about the seams bursting or a tube coming loose or the heater shorting out etc etc.. or the ATO going wonky like has happened to me. I didn't set up the feeder as I was only gone 3 actual days I couldn't feed them (fed the day I left and got back) and figured it'd be less hassle to have the fish a bit hungry than potentially dumping pellets all over the tank. Returned to things going swimmingly - only change was the anemone moved to be on top of the rock instead of the side, but it's right next to where it was on the side so I assume it's pleased. I can also see my coraline algae starting to come back on my Fiji rock - the hydrogen peroxide bleached (killed?) it but the dark purple is returning. Which I am really happy about because it means things are going well - that and the anemone/shroom being open all the time. The shroom has developed some tiny bright blue spots - hard to photograph but very striking in person! I'm getting a gel filter for Christmas to hopefully improve my tank photos. Got a new bucket of salt and new RO/DI filter material on the way - the tap water here has just devoured the color changing resin, I assume there's a lot more sketchy stuff in the water here than LA which surprises me because that Cali water tasted waaay worse lol. The faucet adapter refuses to stay on the kitchen sink now (not sure if something is stripped or what) so it's now on the bathroom sink which is inconvenient to place the filter near and pretty shallow so the adapter hangs down a lot... but whatever works. I am heavily eyeing some post Black Friday sales before the discounts vanish.. looking at you Legendary Corals and Cultivated Reef. I probably shouldn't but the resurgence of coraline has me optimistic. Need to get my mushroom collection going! Gonna add the other rock that was curing next water change. The fish are doing well - I see a little algae growing on the back glass, we'll see if the blenny takes care of it. If not I'll scrub it. Top-down no-blues FTS attached, shroom doesn't look like much in the room lighting but the gang's all here and the nem's new position is easily visible. All 3 fish at the back of the tank. It's going well so far!!
  3. "No equipment in the display tank" purists look away - this 20 gallon high has no sump and no back chambers. I started my reef keeping journey almost 3 years ago in grad school with the Fluval Spec V. It went well for the first ~year and a half or more, and then hair algae started taking over when I went home for Christmas, leading into my thesis/final semester. It never really recovered from that, I'd try but I kept falling behind on water changes, the ATO would get clogged with algae and not work right, the back chamber intake would get clogged and the back water levels would drop, the corals were snuffed out by the algae... it was on every surface, you could barely see into the tank from the glass. It wasn't a great time for me beyond the tank which made maintaining and actually fixing things a seemingly-insurmountable task. I didn't wind up getting a job in California so I packed up the tank, my clownfish, and my haired-over rocks and headed home. Now in a better place and with a job, I've upgraded to a 20g H. I turned the tank light off months and months ago to get the algae dying, took hydrogen peroxide and scrubbed all the rocks clean, cleaned up the powerhead and ATO, and took charge of the situation again. My parents had a 20g H in their garage (we got a 60g freshwater tank in 2000 and when they retired and moved away they bought the 20g for the last two fish from the 60g, who must have been over 8 years old by that point. The good old boys passed on probably a year and a half ago and the tank sat proven-seaworthy and empty, waiting for me to get my own place and do something with it) which I took and hit up BRS for some new toys for the larger tank. Getting the tank actually up was... an experience. I was 8 when the 60g went up and I think a 5.5g is a bit of a different experience to something you need multiple buckets or a trash bin to deal with. But it's up and doing well and my old clown loves it! It's less than a foot from my desk in my bf and mine's apartment so it's very close to me and easy to see. Equipment Hydor Koralia 240 Powerhead Tunze Osmolator Nano 3152 Coral Compulsion PAR38 TruColor LED (the above are from the original Spec V) Aqueon 20G High Rimmed Finnex HPG-100W Heater BRS Mini Reactor (Running Carbon+GFO) Cobalt Aquatics MJ 1200 Pump BRS Netting Lid BRS 75GPD RO/DI Filter Aqueon 50W Preset Heater Hanna pH Checker Food NLS .5mm Pellets Elive Algae Blasts Livestock Female Orange Ocellaris Clown Male Black Ocellaris Clown Lawnmower Blenny 1 Asterina Starfish that has survived 2 moves up the entire west coast Bristleworms Pink RFA Corals Bargain Bin Teal Mushroom Convict, Pimple, and Crimson Tide Discosomas Metallic Green Rhodactis Neon Green and Blue Ricordea Florida Blizzard Bizzaro Cyphastrea Purple and Green Blasto Pastel Rainbow, Dragon Eye, and Eagle Eye Zoas Red Scoly FTS 11/17/18 Don't @ me about how wretched the Mini Reactor pump and return tube look LOL. Ignore the ghostlike reflection of me. Next to the tank is my computer desk, where the architect lamp for the CC LED sits. Difficulties Of course setting up a new tank can't go easily! The original 20G H in my parents' garage. It held fish for a year or more, so it was confirmed to not leak or have weak seams. I bought the stand, heater and reactor with this tank in mind -if I'd wanted to buy a new tank I would've gone for a 20G Long or if I had more money one of the nicer AIOs with back chambers. Well, my mom goes out to bring it in and clean it up and what does she discover? An inch-long chip off the seam! It wasn't all the way through but it was a good-sized chunk of glass. My dad, the one responsible for busting it, said "just use it anyway, I'm sure it'll be fine." Thanks dad but my leasing office wouldn't be thrilled if that seam blew. It probably would have been smart to double check the tank was fine before buying stuff for it, knowing my dad and his manhandling. Off to Petco for the dollar a gallon sale... Once there the struggle was on to find a tank that didn't have a scratch, and we were locked into a 10G or 20G H due to the stand. Some of their tanks looked like another one had bashed the side of them completely from the scratches, and my boyfriend was eyeing the smaller 10G quite heavily. Filling a 5.5G with a Home Depot 5G bucket is easy! One bucket for the ATO reservoir and one for filtering new saltwater into, and a big glass measuring cup to baste the dirty water into. Filling a 20G with 3 buckets total is not. And in a small apartment there isn't room for a large Brute trash bin or more buckets. The 75 GPD flow rate on the filter was also just fine for a 5.5G tank but it took me hours to get all the water filtered to completely fill a new tank. There's nothing quite like the filled-for-the-first-time bubbles on a new tank, though. Setting the reactor up. I know how to set my powerheads, ATOs, and heaters up. But the reactor (coming from HOB or back chamber filters) was a new animal. BRS has good instructions... if you know what all the pieces are called lol. The pump itself could have used a labeled diagram of what all the pieces are. If you've never used push connect tubing before, you may not know exactly how firmly you need to click the tubes and valves into place... until you turn on the pump to test and the reactor's connection points shoot water out all over After some Googling and video watching I figured out wat do and got it tightened... only to discover I wasn't quite strong enough to turn the reactor lid tightly closed so it didn't leak. That's what boyfriends are for How rigid the tubes are also took me by surprise - the reactor will only sit at some specific angles. On the plus side, the return tube is so stiff it just drapes into the tank and doesn't budge! Plans to secure it are in the works. The intake tube is also at a really ugly angle in the tank. Oh well. Rimmed tanks are not super fun if your ATO float has to be in the main tank. I don't know if it's super safe to have the magnet at an angle (since the rim is wider than the glass slightly) so I have the ATO magnet right below the rim, squarely on the glass. Which also means the tank level has to be ~an inch below the rim for the float valve to work properly. Oh well. The black clownfish had... a very unpleasant experience. My female has lived alone for almost 2 years so I got the smallest black Ocellaris the LFS had, who was just kinda schooling with the other black clowns. She took an interest in him and did the expected charging without actually attacking him and the seizure quiver so I figured, okay good, she's agreeable to a companion. She's actually been sort of skittish when I do water changes so I figured she wouldn't be aggressive, plus she was going into a new tank, disrupting any 'territory.' BF and I went out after several hours of things going well and when we got back from the movie the new guy was hiding sideways under a rock, deathly pale and beat up. Three hours and things went downhill. He was missing several chunks off his tail/lower fins though the lady clown had no battle wounds. I saw her grab him and throw him around the water the one time he did venture out. It was too late to return him that day and I considered jankily setting up the 5.5G with the filter pump and a heater and non-filtered water, just to keep him away from her until I got off work the next day. She didn't seem to be able to get to him when he hid under rocks though. I realized he had pretty much ignored her - he never responded to her sideways quivers or attacked her back. So my assumption is she got confused why he wasn't doing anything and thought he was another female or something and beat him up. I told her she'd never get a boyfriend acting that way. When I got back from work he was still pale and struggling but out in a corner and she wasn't attacking him anymore. He finally figured out how to show his submission lol cause I've seen him quiver to her since then. Now he is colored up and always out and about. His tail fin needs to regrow but she hasn't attacked him since. I was very concerned for him since he seemed a little too oblivious for his own good but he is just fine now! This dang blenny... thought the fish was dead 95% of the time because he hid under a rock. Until I turned the blues back on and now he's out swimming and perching all the time. Way less spooked by 'anything moving an inch in the distance,' too. Obviously the original tank being overrun by hair algae was a big struggle. My hopes are with the mini reactor and really rigidly sticking to my water changes once a week I can avoid the problem coming back - scrubbing rocks with hydrogen peroxide is not particularly fun lol. 20G High's are SO TALL. Ugh. I can't reach the bottom at all when it's filled (and not even filled to the rim!) without water flooding my gloves. So, get longer arms, longer gloves... get a longer 20 gallon honestly lol. Only good thing about the High is the stand's footprint is a bit more compact for a small apartment - and finding the space to store all of the tank's supplies is not super fun in a studio! The stand is several inches off the wall but still had a kinda nasty tilt forward when filled, even though the tank was skewed to the back of the stand as recommended. I got a thin wedge board from Home Depot (for free! so kind of them!!) to slide under the stand and now it's pretty close to not tilted... maybe a little adjustment with the board is needed, but it's much less "wtf why is the water so slanted" than before! Lessons Learned The Spec V's ~2.5 years of existence definitely taught me some valuable lessons. I think a ~5G tank is fine for a lone juvenile clown but I definitely believe my lady in orange, closing in on two, is happier with 4x as much space. She and her new man zoom all over the tank - maybe they're looking for somewhere to host because she did sort of 'host' in macroalgae then the masses of hair algae (lol...) but they are very active! The little perching gobies are a much better fit. I also think her dietary needs were much higher than the 1-2 pellets a day my original Neon goby ate which contributed to the hair algae spike. Fish that don't eat pellets or wafers are very hard to feed if you go away. Not sure how you'd feed them frozen for a week without some super fancy chiller/dispenser system that idk if it even exists BUT I surely don't have the money for it! Captive-bred gobies/clowns who beeline for pellets are my friends. Don't mess around with that ATO pump... I put in some Kalk or something when I went away over one Christmas to the ATO water and it like killed the pump. I also got snowed in returning one Christmas and the reservoir bucket ran dry and killed the pump. The pump has been very fussy about what angle it's at versus the water and died. Moral of the story, always leave plenty of water in that bucket if you are going away and don't try putting additives in it for the first time when you're leaving... Dip all your corals always!!! I've seen so many angry little pests zooming off the frags into the dip water. Go buy yourself some Coral Rx or whatever dip you want and dip every piece that comes into your possession. The only actual pests I got were aiptasia and hair algae, never zoa eating nudis or anything. Dooooon't buy all the designer corals... yes they were very pretty but half the time those SPS in your tank and lights won't color up at all the same. I had some success growing SPS in the Spec V but any time the ATO wonked out a bit or the salinity got messy it was meltdown time. In fact, go buy all the bargain bin mushrooms and 'weed' softies if you are new. That's my plan now LOL - nonstop mushrooms taking over the place. Can't wait to get another hairy shroom, I had the most success with that guy splitting over and over before. Case in point, the most expensive coral I bought. I actually had pretty good success with this SPS growing in my tank, it was happy until I failed in handling the hair algae in a timely manner, but... picture on the left/top is what I ordered (it was WYSIWYG), picture on the right/bottom is how it colored up: Take it slower with the corals. I wanted to have a pretty tank like everyone else with a diverse array of frags growing happily into colonies, and for a time I did have that, things were going well, and then the problems struck, corals I got weren't happy/died off, etc., I bought too many, I kept buying saying 'this is fine I have it under control' when I totally did not. I gotta say FOWLR is way easier lol, but looking over and seeing those pops of colors from the corals under the blues is something special. Turbo snails are cool and you can see them chomping their algae trails all over the glass but they are really clumsy around your frags... Probably want to have a breeder box or divider on hand for introducing a juvenile clown to an older female - though in my case, as long as I was watching she never attacked the newcomer. It was only after I went out hours later that she shredded his tailfin. Was concerned he wouldn't make it through the night after that but luckily he is just fine now! It also caught me off-guard it seemed like the problem was more his lack of a response to her at all, versus her rejecting him, because she was doing her female/dominant motions and he was just like "oh cool heater over here." Don't let algae grow all over the heater, I'm not sure exactly when or why it failed but when I tried to use it to heat the filtered water for moving the rocks up in it never turned on. Also pay attention to your heater... lol. This Finnex heater has a red LED display which I like because it's always on so if the red glow is MIA I can tell at a glance something's gone wrong. Future Plans Considering getting a HOB refugium - I know for the tank volume/size the fuge would be it wouldn't do a ton but growing some macroalgae and pods back there is kinda appealing, or doing one chamber of filter media and one growing the algae. This would also allow me to have that surface disruption from the HOB and point my powerhead further down if any low-flow/dead areas appear in the tank - right now it's rippling the surface. Currently have a big chunk of Marco reef rock curing. I got a much larger piece of live rock to add when I upsized since the old pieces were a bit small for a 20G and this dry rock. Clean up crew? I don't have a sandbed and I have the lawnmower blenny (and the bristleworms lol) so I am not 100% sure what CUC I would benefit from the most. The tank doesn't grow algae with the light off and since it only just came back on I'll have to see what crops up. I do have a coupon for some hermit/Astraea snail deals at a LFS... Fire Shrimp - I absolutely love these shrimp, they are so gorgeous, but the one I had before would not eat unless I basted food directly to it... what a goon. So I would want one a bit more... self-directed in scavenging/finding pellets. I'll go there after the holidays. More RFAs - I probably should've waited a bit on the one I got but I have always wanted a pink RFA and it was on sale... my rock is almost 3 years old and this is the same salt I've been using so it's not like the tank is brand spankin' new. Keeping my eye on the nem though. More mushrooms - I was doing good with these. You can see the spreading hairy shroom in the above pic in the old tank. I had success here, and at this point, I'd welcome mushrooms taking over my rocks like weeds lol. Once the tank has been 'doin good' for a few months I intend to place another order with Cultivated Reef, I love their selection of St Thomas/Rics/all the other shrooms - especially that pink hairy shroom! The bargain bin chum I have is open and seemingly settling in. No shame in shrooming out this time around. Blastos in the distant future - again before the hair algae situation went downhill the blastos I had were doing pretty good, duplicating, and I really enjoy how they look, even the 'cheap' common colors. I had way better outcomes with them than favia or Acans for whatever reason. Duncans and Euphyllia - I love the movement these guys give but was hesitant to get any of the aggressive stingers in a 5.5G. With more room I think I can get a couple hammers - but again, not rushing this. Probably want to pick up the Hanna checkers for Phosphate, Nitrate, and so forth at some point - I like their pH checker. If I got a fourth fish I'd want a firefish, absolutely love them, too, especially the Helfrichi. I'd rather only have three fish than push it getting a fourth and causing problems, though. The female clown will swim up to the blenny but they otherwise usually ignore each other and I've never seem them fight. Or another goby - not one who needs sand obviously but another Neon maybe? I really like the movement of really fuzzy SPS with long polyps but I am not sure if they would be super agreeable in a shroom-dominated tank. Maybe someday I'll explore them again, like I said above I did get good growth on some of them when I was keeping my salinity/params/algae in check. Sometime in the far future I do intend to set the 5.5G back up as a macroalgae/tiny goby school tank with pods galore. Picture Dump Did I tl;dr with the above? Well, here, have some pictures - additional future plan: gel filters for my phone's camera so I can actually take decent ones with the LED on lol. Fun game to play: find which rock the blenny is sitting on in any picture he actually came out of his rocks to pose for. Thanks for reading and checking out my second expedition into reefing. I feel very good about finally getting my orange clown into a larger tank, she's been a trooper in the smaller tank since Feb 2017 when she was a wee lass (smaller than the juvenile is now I'd say) but she races all over the place with more space (and a working heater again). Updates will probably be slow if I am behaving myself and not rushing coral purchases LOL but I'll try to pic dump of shroom/RFA growth and the fish out and about.
  4. Whaaaat? That's crazy they've just vanished. I wonder if something got into your tank, if you have time after dark I might watch it with a flashlight/red light and see if you can find a nocturnal critter eating the corals. Then you have the fun process of catching whatever that pest might be... Sorry about the job and further coral loss. I hope whatever is causing the deaths you can get straightened out asap.
  5. I'm so sorry about the loss!!! It's the worst when you don't know what is causing stuff to keep melting. At least there are a few Blastos, etc hanging on. And Shelby came out on the other side! Hopefully everything can hang in there from here on out and start the regrowing process. I also had pest treatment recently and was very worried about the tanks, the guy just put down some non-spray bait in corners though and everything has been fine. So my guess is, unless you accidentally came into contact with the bait, that didn't have anything to do with it? It was probably the heat spike, and/or a chain reaction once one started melting. The survivors just don't care about temperature as much or were able to withstand it. Who knows with reefs, honestly. I'm just glad your tank wasn't a total loss and you still have a few cherished pieces. RIP the shrooms, though. Hope everything keeps stabilizing and you don't lose any more!
  6. So, my Turbo has been motionless for over a day, he's all retracted into his shell with the foot or whatever sealing it off. I took him out to sniff him and I mean it smelled like, algae on the beach or whatever, but not overly foul like I have read dead Turbo's do. There are bristleworms crawling all over the foot/shell though, does that mean he's dead? I don't want to take him out if he's just hibernating or whatever but I really don't want him decaying in my tank if he is dead. Thanks!
  7. Wingsong

    Wingsong's Spec V - Happy 1st Birthday, Tank!

    Oh man live-plants has me even more excited for the macro tank! Io was such a sweetie, it still crushes me he jumped Having a LFS with good frags in driving distance is a dangerous proposition... "I'm going for a Red Dragon frag and a new heater" = 2 extra SPS worm their way in. And more would've, I totally would've walked out with a Scoly but not in the budget. I need SOME self-restraint. Alright so onto the fun stuff, pics and new frags! I picked up my order of 4 SPS from Unique Corals last Wednesday, 3 of the 4 had polyps out that night and seemed to be doing very well. 1, the reason I placed the order, Purple Hearts Acro, got very pale. I wondered if maybe the light was too bright so I moved it to a shadowed spot still high in the tank then noticed some tissue loss so I moved it lower in the tank into the light with different flow. No dice, it was a skeleton on Friday. Super bummed. As for the other three, I got Blue Vermiculata, Fuzzy Chips Tribute and Tricolor Valida. Here they are! Fuzzy Chips is totally awesome, the polyp extension looks super cool. My snail knocked the other two onto each other and they have some tissue loss where there was contact, I am hoping nothing too serious and they both recover... not really sure what to do when that happens, do you dip? Let them be once separated? Anyway, these three settled in well and have been looking good. UC has a 7 day guarantee so I got credit for Purple Hearts' price and placed another order off that. This time I got the Key Lime Vermiculata after being pleased with the Blue's success (I hope the tissue loss isn't going to spread, yipes!), Milka Stylo because I wanted to try a Stylo out, and a neon green Trumpet. Drove on up again and they had accidentally filled my previous order... I was like "oh they gave me a replacement Purple Hearts that was so kind" until the girl showing me my order pulled out another Fuzzy Chips Tribute, then I was like uh oh. Always double check before you leave, folks! I did get to walk around and check out their facility which has some really awesome frag tanks and some extremely tiny Blood Red Fire Shrimp, soooo cute. Made me want one all over again, I intend to get another when I get the 20 gallon. They let me pick out which specific frags I wanted but the assortment of Trumpets didn't seem to please them at the time for how many heads I should be getting so they let me pick two. I noticed a couple of them were not the vivid neon green like the one I had ordered but seemed more turquoise so I picked one of those and one of the definitively green ones hoping they were indeed two different kinds. All 3 of my Trumpets below: Red/white I've had for months (plagued by hair algae, eep, I pull it out each week), Turquoise, Kryptonite. I am so pleased I did manage to get one of the turquoise Trumpets!!! I just love their soft blue coloration. I hope the new two do well and reproduce. You can see they are definitely not the same color, or if they're supposed to be, the middle one is super pale haha. So a huge TY to UC for that! I then drove to where I got my initial Red Dragon to buy another frag since it had grown so well for me before. Their selection this time was not like before, they had no normal RD frags whereas before there were rows in the back tanks and they had some yellow polyp RD but they looked... sickly? Very pale. A lot of their frags were extremely pale, like maybe one of the cluster would be the color it should be. Not quite sure what was up with their SPS this time. I also got a Fire Monti Digitata which I had been wanting to test out and debated between an Elkhorn Monti and a Peppermint Acro (and more expensive frags but common sense won out there). They wound up fragging me a pretty good sized chunk of Red Dragon off their display colony which I was a bit nervous about getting a fresh cut. I noticed when I dipped it a million and one little red bugs scuttled off it into the water and that a couple branch tips looked... weird. After I got home from class those same tips had lost tissue. I'm not sure if I should break off the branch with the most loss to stop it from spreading? It seems to have stopped, for now, so maybe it is recovering? I imagine the poor thing is undergoing serious shock, getting chopped off and moved to a totally different system within an hour or so. If anyone has care tips for a freshly cut frag I'd love to know. Not a very good shot but quick pic snapped of Peppermint with its polyps out, they hadn't extended when I left for class but were when I got home so I turned the lights back on and took one. You can see the new Fire Digitata on the far right but it hasn't peeked many polyps out yet, I do hope it's okay. Milka Stylo front and center below Cali Tort. My RR Mille and LFS pinky-melony Mille to the left. Poci right below the Peppermint (which is right of the Stylo, the green-red guy), then back row of Key Lime Vermi, Blue Vermi (you can see the top of the right branch is white), Fuzzy Chips and Tricolor. I'm always glad to see polyps out the first day in as I feel like they're much more likely to RTN if they don't stick any out. The RR Mille is getting some color back for sure, a lot of bright green/lime growth tips and the body is getting some pink back. It seems to love when I go away for a bit and nutrients go up as it grows like a fiend during those times. I just need to find the right balance. I came back to find the Poci a bit pale and my heater has gone nutso, it just overheats the tank which is no good. It was right next to the Poci so I wonder if that was part of the problem, it got a bit baked? I bought a new heater and moved it to the opposite side of the tank where nothing is really nearby. All my SPS. Red Dragon is on the ground in the bottom left so I didn't knock it around while I cleaned the tank. I gotta say the Key Lime Vermi POPS. Insanely bright coloration under blues. If you order from UC, pick up one of these! I did forget one casualty, Murdersnail was found right before I left. Or rather, its empty shell was found. Kirk has been looking very listless and weird today, he's not dead, but he sure fooled me. So I hope he is okay. I have had to rescue a Berghia Nudibranch from the filter compartments a couple times, sigh... lol. The amount of aiptasia in the tank is DEFINITELY diminished. Hungry little guys! I just hope I can rehome them once it's all gone before they starve, they've been very reliable so far. I find them crawling around some nights once it gets into the night and the tank light has been off for hours, so fun to watch. My last new addition is... a fish! I know I had wanted to shy away from clownfish but I solidified up my plans to expand this to a 20 gallon and I was at a LFS and they had a tank full of baby clowns, so tiny, so cute... I noticed one in particular was a nice, more red, rich orange than the others... couldn't say no to his cute face. I also feel that for me personally, a fish that exists in the water column more than perching would be better. My auto feeder is really only good for pellets and clowns, of course, love them. He has been very reliably eating pellets and will attack the baster when he sees it, only to get very disappointed when it's sucking out his poop not dropping in a pellet, lol. He is very small, probably the same body length as my betta or shorter, and will often just tread water in one space. I feel like due to my rock setup there is a lot of open space on the left side of the tank and at the surface where he can swim. So far he hasn't seemed troubled by a lack of room. He is a normal Ocellaris Clown, I had intended to get a fancier, designer clown but you can't argue with the price of the good old guys plus I really loved his coloration. I feel like you can't argue with the classics, plus he seems very healthy and eats very well. I definitely intend to get another Neon Goby, I love those guys. For now, I think the baby clown is a great fit for my tank, though obviously he will go to the 20 and get a mate when he gets bigger. Top down, clown is right below the powerhead. Fuzzy Chips is pretty fuzzy here! Side view. I know I have some algae problems especially that bottom right corner, it's just hard to get the scrubber down there plus I don't want to rock the main rock much with so many loose SPS frags. Already annoying enough when Kirk fumbles his way up there. Clown front and center, he's a ham for the camera! He follows me around especially when he's hungry, lol. I think I will mostly stick with mushrooms or low-light LPS from now on, my SPS room is getting a bit maxed but I have some lower light/flow spaces in the tank. Plus trying to keep everything alive! I do hope that any tissue loss I've seen is NBD and the frags will recover from it, I'd hate to lose any as I am very pleased with how everything looks atm. That's where the tank is at, thanks for reading! Any tips on keeping the SPS with some loss alive welcome.
  8. Wingsong

    New Tank Who Dis? The 3g Pico of College

    My Yellow Neon jumped after 6 happy months so I would play it safe and create a net lid for the tank (or whatever lid type you prefer). I've seen a Blue + Yellow Neon bonded pair sold on Diver's Den before. That's how ORA gets the Hybrids. I feel like 3 gallons would be much too small unless you bought a bonded pair, if they are both males or don't get along or what have you there'd be very little space. My Yellow was tiny and didn't care much for swimming, he loved to perch. So I think space-wise, 1 or a bonded pair would be just fine assuming proper maint etc.
  9. Wingsong

    Wingsong's Spec V - Happy 1st Birthday, Tank!

    I'll definitely check Reef Cleaners out when I upgrade this tank's rock to a 20 gallon, I wasn't overly impressed with my LFS's selection except the blue hermits. The one crawled out to its death but the other has been, as far as I've seen, a peaceful inhabitant. That's a bust your Dragon's Breath didn't handle shipping well, I actually saw that in your thread and moved mine up to higher light when it seemed to be losing some color. Doing fine now and there's a chunk of it that broke off from the main frag that drifts around the tank, lol. Always fun to see what it got caught on when I wake up. I love the dimension and movement it adds to my tank. IMO SPS hate being shipped as well. Always show up browned out. Picking up my next SPS from Unique Corals tomorrow and doing a big water change on the tank. Got back from vacation and everyone lived! As expected I need to yank out a good chunk of hair algae which I think is really pissing my poor Ric off. Other concerns are my Duncan's glue didn't hold when I tried to putty/glue sandwich it to a rock and it's been sideways I assume due to my clumsy Turbo. Fortunately it has some good reach when it wants to and stuck itself up to get light. Going to fix that in the maintenance tomorrow. And the Poci seems a bit bleached? Which is odd since it was fine in the exact same spot for a couple weeks before I left. I imagine there's some nutrient imbalance I'll correct tomorrow. I got back in around midnight due to plane delays and turned on the light to check out the tank's colors etc and spooked a nudibranch into hiding under a rock so I am pleased at least one of them has survived, lol. I am pretty sure the aiptasia number is going down especially on the main rock as well. The Raven mille hasn't colored up on its existing skeleton yet BUT it has a ton of new, green growth. I have zero clue what is up with that frag. Not gonna question it, it seems happy. It's encrusting on all sides onto the rock. I'm still confused why my burgundy mille has green growth tips but whatever, it's alive and well. The LFS mille is getting a bit watermelony now that it's been in the tank a couple weeks, not sure if it IS a Watermelon mille or not but it has that sort of pink body with a lot of green iridescence, I'm not sure I can tell what the growth tip color is yet, was gone most of today so I haven't been able to examine it closely yet. Boring post, no pics, sorry!! Once I scrub the glass and rip out the hair algae and get the newbies in I'll take some pics! Just wanted to update that all inhabitants survived my being gone this time, which I was worried about. Of course traffic up 405 ranges anywhere from "actually going 60mph" travel time to over double that but worth it to not ship local SPS.
  10. I'm so jelly of your Rics, they look so peaceful and lovely in their corner! And your Turquoise Trumpet, I have the red and white Trumpet but I'd love to get both colors. Yours looks so sweet and pastel! I hope the new shroom pulls through, I try to dip new frags if they start spewing brown stuff after their initial dip and being in the tank. Seems to help them in my experience, but the dip could also stress them. I think shrooms just love spitting their guts at you...
  11. Wingsong

    Wingsong's Spec V - Happy 1st Birthday, Tank!

    Happy birthday to this Spec V! One year ago today I filtered and mixed my first saltwater, filled the tank, and bought the first batch of rocks. My wallet's never been the same No deaths! Glued down the macro and Pocillopora and moved the Sympodium. It has more polyps opening now but still not all, I can't tell if it wants more light, more flow, less flow? It didn't seem to like the shady corner of the tank so I assume not less light. Slays me the SPS is the happy one, polyps out non-stop, doing great, and the softie is the one I can't find the perfect spot for. My LFS was having a big President's Day sale (alongside the general February sale I got the Duncan in) so once the worst of the LA storm had blown over I headed down for a birthday present for the tank. Wound up getting a no-name Millepora colony (mini colony? idk, it's bigger than any SPS frag I've gotten so far) and Rhodactis. I meant to get a red w/ blue spots Discosoma too but I forgot to ask for it by the time I got done studying the SPS colony display. I heavily considered a really small frag of a hammer and this lime green SPS colony but ultimately decided not to break the bank as I have a few to order from UC to pick up when I'm back in town. The Mille was called 'pink' but it's a bit brown right now, I think it's coloring up. I have it against the side and the half of it closest to the glass has no polyps out, the half that gets more flow facing in has polyps peeking out. I need to find a good place for it where it doesn't block Cali Tort. It is getting some green iridescence in and looks like sort of a deep pink-brown, I am excited to see what it colors up to when it has fully settled in! It also came with a crab on it... first time I've seen one of those hitchhiking, lol. Scared me half to death when I put this thing in the dip and something starts scurrying around. Unfortunately it's a Cymo and from research it seems they are too harmful to Acros in confined captivity. I was really hoping it was a beneficial crab Hope this Mille settles in well and likes the tank like the Pocillopora does. In the first pic below, above the Cali Tort! The Rhodactis mushroom has a purple-gray body with red bushy thingies (idk what they're called haha), its edge tentacles are a bright green (idk what they're called either). It likes to spit its guts out at every little thing (aka Kirk cruising by it/sleeping by it, clumsy guy) but seems happy in the shady corner. I may glue it to a magnet like I did my Volcano Island Rhodactis and put it on the side. But idk, it has very vivid coloration where I've placed it so I'm not sure I want to mess with a good thing. Next to it in the pic below is my Sunny D frag which also needs to be glued down. Despite my losses I think this is the most pleased I've been with the tank's overall look. The macro blowing around and larger SPS pieces plus the hairy shroom's babies and Duncan have really filled things in. A lot more movement. I still love the Zoas and think they are great for picos, the ones I have that have really grown in any great quantity look sweet, but unfortunately the main rock is too bright for most of them. They just don't seem to like the light level on top of the rock. SPS, however, love it up there. I am trying to fill in that top part of the rock to create some shadows the Zoas may like better. I am excited to expand to a larger tank that allows me to try some more aggressive LPS like Hammers without fear of them going to war with their more peaceful neighbors. Going to focus on regular water changes and ensuring phosphates etc stay under control to keep everyone happy now. Also decided to finally order the inTank media basket which I should have just done a year ago. All the worms and detritus in the sponge... no good. Should arrive before I head out, hoping that will help keep whatever caused the hair algae bloom in check. Happy first birthday to the tank and thanks for reading! Pics below, sorry for purple, phone cam is just NO GOOD (also this is a really accurate pic of the Mille but the Cali Tort is SO washed out, it doesn't look pale like this irl):
  12. Wingsong

    Crab Hitchhiker on Mille - Good/Bad?

    Yeah he has blue eyes. Well he's not going in the tank, thanks guys! I feel bad killing him though...... lol
  13. I bought a Mille colony from my LFS and went to dip it when suddenly this critter starts scurrying around on it... I managed to get the crab off the coral into bag water but it did get in the dip initially. It is a small crab, black claw tips, has sort of a fuzzy look, tan/sandy looking. Attached pics of him, 1 with flash that is the crab's color and another with no flash but the tank's blues showing the black claw tip... sorry they aren't very good. He is sitting in a 1/2 gallon glass cup I use for water changes (side markings for scale?). Should I put him in the tank or keep him out?
  14. Wingsong

    Wingsong's Spec V - Happy 1st Birthday, Tank!

    2 days until 1 year old!!! I have my two mushrooms and Radioactive zoas plus my bristleworms from around that time, LOL. Plus a wealth of experience even in knowing what I did wrong (not double checking the water change's salinity... RIP Red Dragon I'm sorry). My order from SaltyUnderground came in with the nudibranches, Dragon's Breath macro, Pocillopora, and Sympodium. Acclimated the slugs for over an hour and haven't seen em since they crawled off into the rock, lol. The Pocillopora is loving life, constant polyp extension, really vivid greens. The pink body isn't like, SUPER pink atm, but I imagine it'll settle in. The Sympodium hasn't found a spot in the tank it likes very much yet so I am moving it, also Kirk keeps knocking it over. The macro I think I need to pull up higher into the tank for more light so I intend to glue down the macro and Poci tomorrow. Please excuse the hair algae and aiptasia everywhere...... also I don't think I had basted the muck off the rock yet, did a heavy cleaning once I got the new guys into the tank. Anyway, here is the Pocillopora right after going into the tank - already got a lot of polyp extension! Above it is my Cali Tort which weathered the hair algae/neglect storm, what a trooper. Also in the pic are Peachy Blues (right side Zoas), Rose Nebula (due right of the Poci, you can barely see the two polyps), Pink Elephant (right below the Poci, it's sitting on their frag), Radioactive (bottom left), Green Krakken (those 2 random polyps RIGHT next to the Poci on the left, they got pulled up when I pulled hair algae off them and I dropped them there), and unusually closed Vivid's Rainbow (left of Cali Tort), plus my Hairy Mushroom (bottom of pic) and you can see my blue-green mushroom (think it's Rhodactis, it's like above the left-most Radioactive Zoas, it likes to hide in the shadows). I had read reviews of SU before ordering and there were good ones and then vague "I had a bad experience, don't order" reviews. I couldn't find a single negative review that actually expanded on what the problem was. Everything arrived alive, communication was good, so I would recommend them. Jury's out on how effective the nudibranches will be with the aiptasia as they need some time to establish themselves. Now, about the Cali Tort. I ordered this along with several other SPS and 1 Zoa from Shipwreck Cove Corals, right south of me in San Diego. I... would not order again. It took like 2 months before my order was finally shipped which consisted of me calling to ask when exactly it would be shipped as my emails/messages never received a response, and several delays of the ship date. When they finally did get here, most of the SPS were brown. The Cali Tort was the only one that had any decent color. A couple others had some pale coloration, but most of them were brown. Aaaand I went to class and most of them RTNed and were skeletons when I got back (3 hours). My Sunny Dee freebie Zoas have survived. The colony of Zoas I did order was supposed to be very yellow/gold but is very green in person, I am not convinced they're the same thing, or if so, their color of the pic was horribly off. They've also survived but don't open much. SCC did send me some higher-end pieces to make up for the delays including a Reef Raft International Ausy Gold iirc, that one survived the longest of the now-dead ones but it never grew, never extended polyps, never brightened up much. I wish it would've as it looked like a nice piece and was a very large frag. My other survivor from this order is supposed to be Reef Raft International Raven, a red-violety millepora. I ordered it specifically for how nice the purply colors were. I don't think this was my frag specifically though mine was a WYSIWYG but this is one of SCC's pics of a RRI Raven frag. Mine arrived totally brown so I couldn't tell what color it actually was until it settled in and colored up. And it did settle in. It began encrusting very nicely, growing like a fiend. And colored up. But... the color looks totally different, to me, anyway. It had great polyp extension, growth and color, then over my break it paled out. Still alive and the color is starting to come back, but definitely unhappy. This is the most expensive coral I own though and definitely a trooper. The Cali Tort was a freebie, lol. My Raven at the peak of color, sorry for bad pic: I mean, it has great color, but... it's green. And that red shade is nowhere near the burgundy/purple the picture promised. I did look up Raven before buying and no other sites had it looking like this. The frag shape sure looked right compared to the pic but I guess it just turned something totally different in my tank light? Its new growth tips are green. Props for such healthy troopers in Raven and the Cali tort, though. I am trying to nurse the poor thing back to full color feeding it and keeping the params stable again. Some of its newer polyps are getting a green iridescence back and there are more green ones everyday so I am optimistic as long as I don't botch things again it'll be fine. I do LIKE it, it's very nice when colored up and has great polyp extension when happy, great growth, etc... just... the color is nothing like the pic. lol. I really wanted to love SCC as their sale prices are really good and they're close enough I could drive there, but when over half your order RTNs the day you get it and almost everything shows up brown... plus all the shipping delays, some of which were reasonable due to them SoCal heatwaves. IDK, I wouldn't order from them again, probably, which makes me very sad to say. Just not worth the lost money even if their SPS selection is awesome. Maybe it'd be better if I picked up the corals and they only spent the drive back from SD in bags? I know other people have gotten really good frags from them so I don't know if I just hit a bad spell or what. I ordered mostly milleporas. Raven is the only one who survived the first two days. One that survived the Day 0 RTN went on to RTN the next day, sigh. I'm going to try Unique Corals which is easily driveable from me when I get back from spring break. Assuming no calamities, lol. Why is the Turquoise Tort so expensive ah well, someday when I have the money for it. I have had really good growth from SPS who are happy with the tank, I just need to work harder and fix my mistakes so I don't RTN them. Luckily most expensive frag Raven has shown me MERCY and stuck around. Hoping that as long as I stick on top of things, Raven, the Tort and the Pocillo will all be fine. 2 days to happy birthday and the tank looks a lot livelier. I got a Duncan from a LFS as well and it is loving life. Even eats pellets. Which is a fascinating process to watch, albeit creepy. I love the Zoas and seeing colonies form like my Peachy Blues and Safecrackers but I also love these bigger pieces with movement like the Duncan, hairy shrooms, Pocillo and macroalgae. Kirk has so far ignored the macro, he sat right next to it but he never munched on it that I could see. Guess it's not to his tastes. That's where I'm at, thanks for reading! Regarding this tank's future: Once I upgrade to a larger tank (20g+) so I can get the Helfrichi Firefish I've always wanted (apartment has a ~5g tank maximum or I'd have gone for larger), I intend to turn this tank into a macro tank. Just a forest of various macros. Switch all the current rock to the big tank, get some live sand and new rock and macrooooooooooo. I will put a school of 6 gobies in the tank and cultivate some pods for them to eat in the tank so I don't have to worry about if the auto feeder drops pellets while I'm gone and the little bottom-dwellers don't go up to the surface to get them. Goby type is uncertain, thinking Green Banded or one of the Eviotas. Maybe both? Gotta make sure them macro nutrients are there! I think it'll provide some very nice contrast with the 20g+ reef, for this to be all macros with tiny little gobies. The 20g+ will have the firefish, a clown and... something else. I would love a Royal Gramma but I don't know if they'll bully the firefish. Would love to try another Neon Goby in the bigger tank too. That's several months off, though, so plenty of time for research. Just going to keep this tank running smooth and fight the hair algae that lingers in the meantime
  15. Wingsong

    Wingsong's Spec V - Happy 1st Birthday, Tank!

    Hey thanks for asking! It's turning a year old in 2 weeks and I'm honestly sort of ashamed to post any pics of it. I changed the water right before I left for my parents' for Christmas and there was no food being dumped in but I came back to a horrific hair algae outbreak. My flight also got canceled due to weather so once I did get back I saw the ATO had run out of water and the tank level had dropped. I had a frenzy of stuff to do for my thesis so I had no time to get to the tank for a couple weeks after that... When I finally did get to deal with it I yanked out a full half gallon of hair algae and then some... there's still some in there that's too short for me to grab but it hasn't come back since I changed the filter media. The ATO pump isn't working anymore but my replacement comes later today. A lot of my corals are extremely pissed at me/dead I honestly have zero idea what caused the algae bloom, the tank was just COVERED in inch+ long, thick hair algae. But there were no nutrients going in. I have 1 turbo, 1 hermit and 1 unidentified snail and all 3 were alive and well when I got back, so nothing died in the tank. The aiptasia ran wild as well. What struck me as SUPER odd was the normal browny algae on the tank sides was totally absent, in fact, there was less on the back wall than there was when I left... I normally don't scrub the back glass pane so the snail has something to eat. So despite this insane hair algae attack the casual algae wasn't really there. I hope to update this thread some more once I fully get the tank back in line. I have ordered some nudibranches to deal with the aiptasia, there are just so many tiny ones lurking I can't Aiptasia-X. The big ones, though, get blasted. Luckily since all the little guys eat is aiptasia I don't have to worry about feeding them while I'm gone. Only inhabitants are the 2 snails and hermit now, fish are gone. I'm going to look into getting maybe a Hybrid Neon (or pair) once I'm back from a trip in a month. Something that comes eating pellets. They were $75 each. Unfortunately I stopped seeing one and then a month or so later I stopped seeing the other and have never seen either since (a month before I left for the trip above). I had Pumpkin from July to late November and I do miss him. He was a great guy. I feel like a fish murderer with my casualties: Io the Yellow Neon jumped, I fully believe he would still be alive today if he hadn't decided to clear the false wall/pump chamber as he was a great eater, very healthy. Chrys the GBG came with an odd looking lesion-like thing and died within a week of getting into the tank. Hyacinth the Blue Neon, well, he lasted a month or so iirc and I feel like he wasn't a very good eater. I basted everything I had for him, pellets, cyclops, dried mysis and brine shrimp, and I feel like he spat out the pellets a lot. Pumpkin and Spice the FPG both just vanished, never found the bodies. Did find the above 3. They had been eating their cyclops so not super sure what happened to them. I'm a bit wary of getting any other gobies from the store I got the above 4 from, 2 didn't seem particularly healthy and they aren't the best eaters. Io was so in love with his pellets he'd swim into the turkey baster to get them... My boyfriend called the store I got him from (40 miles away versus under 4 lol) but they didn't have any Neons. I sort of want to try clownfish just because they're a bit bigger. I do intend to get a 20 gallon tank when I move out of this apartment as I really want a Helfrichi Firefish to upgrade the clown(s) to in ~5 months as I know 5g is too small for clowns long-term but I also am not certain I want to commit to clowns without like, a 101% set plan in place for a larger tank. Alternatively, looking for a place in Los Angeles that will order me a pair of ORA Hybrid Cleaner Gobies that will eat pellets. I love Yellows and Neons and would love to try both. QQ LiveAquaria is sold out of them though. I know my auto feeder dispenses pellets so I want to get a fish that for-sure eats them. One of my LFS I went to recently had these baby Spotted Dragonettes and I considered the logistics of starting up a pod farm but considering I can barely keep my corals alive (also 5 gallon) I did not consider very strongly. Going forward I hope to get the aiptasia eradicated with the help of my Berghia nudibranches and keep the hair algae explosion under control. In a month I'll seriously begin looking for my next goby/ies. On the plus side my hairy mushroom has split 4 times I think? And my green mushroom finally gave me a baby! It also moved itself into a shadier part of the rock and looks brighter in color now. I'm glad to finally see a wee shroom from that one. Some of my corals the hair algae had overtaken are bouncing right back though they are pretty angry at me. Some Zoas are gone. Some SPS are gone. Some are recovering. I also have a net lid to prevent jumpers again. Current livestock: Kirk D Snail, Turbo Snail Hermie, Blue Leg Hermit Crab Murdersnail, Unknown Snail I don't see for weeks at a time then he crawls out of wherever and sits motionless for a week then vanishes again Stomatellas Bristleworms (lawdy I pulled so many out with the hair algae...) Shipping soon: 4 berghia nudibranches In my FW 5 gallon, a pale gold and turquoise betta Coral-wise: Shrunk up Blastos, they're not pleased after the neglect but they seem to be settling back in a bit 1 Aqua Jewel Favia, the others bleached over the summer and never recovered 2.5 SPS: a RR mille, a Cali Tort, and half of a Birdsnest that was extremely annoyed by the salinity swings due to the ATO pump dying. Unfortunately lost the rest of my SPS to salinity problems not that I had a ton. I ordered a bunch from Shipwreck Cove Corals and over half of them RTNed the day they got in. Went to class for 3 hours, came back and they were DEAD. Luckily the surviving mille was the most expensive one in the order... 4 shrooms: hairy, basic sea green, Volcano Island, and a Ric Wide array of Zoas: Safecrackers are currently my happiest bunch along with Peachy Blues. The rest are in hair algae rehab... sorry guys Candy Cane coral Shipping soon: Pocillopora and Blue Sympodium (IDC if it's a weed lmao I need something) I don't anticipate being anywhere near as busy and drained as I was with the thesis again so I should be able to stay on top of the tank from here on out and prevent whatever the flip happened with the hair algae attack. I also think I will try and stick with soft corals and try them out along with a Duncan head. Haven't had a ton of luck with LPS and I have gotten SPS to grow like weeds... up until I bamboozle the salinity. I apologize to my poor corals for my errors I'm going to see if I can get the sympodium to coat the false wall of the tank. Please grow like a weed on that lol. A lesson to all: if you think "oh it's not nearly as hot here as it has been that's enough for the ATO bucket" IT'S NOT check your ATO reserves frequently!!! Stupid California temps lol. Once the new pump is here I think the tank will stabilize again. I also have some Dragon's Breath macro algae coming but I need to plan how to suspend it where D Snail can't reach it, not sure if he's got an appetite for it... This was a super long post, sorry! tl;dr: hair algae overran the tank despite no nutrients/deaths, ATO pump died, aiptasia everywhere, getting all 3 under control, will be looking for a LFS to order me ORA Hybrid Neon Gobies in a month+. Personally life is good, thesis on track, I'll be graduating in May, have a boyfriend now! I am in such envy of the people who know what they're doing and can manage their tanks so much better than I can. I feel like I have nothing to show for the tank coming up on a year old... no really impressive corals, my remaining SPS are unhappy colors due to the salinity issues, my Zoas got overrun by hair algae and are grumpily recovering, I guess my hairy shroom is thriving, no fish in the tank, shrimp's gone... sigh. I just hope I can execute better in the future having learned from my mistakes. I feel especially bad for corals like my Red Dragon Acro which had grown a TON and then I didn't double check my salinity when I did a water change and it RTNed despite my fixing the salinity issue. Lesson flippin' learned. It was clearly loving life and then I mucked things up. I guess I still have plenty of corals alive and my CUC has been with me for quite a while, so I haven't met with total failure. But, I definitely need to do better maintaining the tank. I'll try and get some pics once the nudibranches arrive and the new ATO pump has settled things down. Thanks to everyone who has read my thread/this post! Parting request for anyone in the SoCal/LA area, good LFS who will place an ORA order for me? Or even carries their Hybrid Cleaner Gobies.
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