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cat_fish_lady
02-23-2012, 07:10 PM
I guess I should start my own journal thread, as I haven't done that yet... I actually hadn't even looked at the journals until today and WOW what a great source of info. lol. Silly me.

Anyway, had a $100 gift card to pet store chain from my mom who knows my BF and I are too broke to convert our 60 gallon FW tank to SW, which has long been our plan. Right now the tank is pretty grimy, with 1 AC HOB filter (which I will clean out and put a fresh sponge/carbon insert in), and has an angelfish living in it. No idea what I'm going to do with the angel lol, he's too mean to my discus so he can't go in the other tank... he may have to find a new home on Craigslist.

So with my 100 bucks I got 60 lbs of aragonite substrate, enough salt water mix for my tank, and a hydrometer. Now I just have to wait til the next paycheck to get some dry and live rock and get this thing goin. But it's a start!

Now I am off to transport the angel to my tiny (hospital) tank for the time being and scrub out my 60g. Will update soon.

hockeyhead019
02-23-2012, 08:07 PM
Welcome to the salty side!! My only advice is read everything you can get your hands on or click on haha

cat_fish_lady
02-24-2012, 06:29 AM
Thanks for the welcome! Yes I have been doing a lot of reading, and plan to do plenty more!

So here is an idea of what I'm starting out with... not very exciting yet I know. But it's a clean slate... well not TOTALLY clean yet... still trying to figure out how to get that last inch or so of water out of the old tank... I suppose I'll have to recruit someone to help me actually lift it and tip it over? The siphon will not cooperate at such a shallow depth.
http://www.freeimagehosting.net/wzjej

I'm buying some "dead" live rock from CL that was once used in a marine tank but is now long since dried out... 55 lbs of Fiji premium rock that the original owner bought live at the time. He wants $75 for it, which I think is more than fair considering what I was going to pay online, so I'm pretty stoked about that. With that I can build the foundation of the aquascape as there are some large pieces included, and then use live rock for the remainder.

I hope that 2 lbs per gallon won't be too much rock altogether considering I am not starting out with intentions of a reef. Notice how "starting out" has crept in there when I was originally set on FOWLR. Hmm.

So now I have to brace myself for the price of getting between 35 and 65 lbs of actual live rock... and I'm pretty set on getting it fully cured. Has anyone used AquariumArts before for online ordering of live rock? They seem legit, though not cheap by any means...

I'll post progress with the dry Fiji rock when I pick it up.

cat_fish_lady
02-24-2012, 06:58 AM
And, uh, just to be clear on this... I would NOT have to cure the dead base rock before putting it in the tank, correct? That is only for live rock that dies while being shipped etc, as opposed to sitting long dead in someone's basement?

ILuvMyGoldBarb
02-24-2012, 11:52 AM
first, you don't need 2lbs per gallon, that is likely more than you need. As for curing live rock, you don't really need to do that before adding it to a new tank. When you get your tank running and add all your rock, the stuff that dies on the live rock during shipping will fuel your cycle. That is where you will get the necessary ammonia to establish your biofilter.

Just remember this motto with your new tank "Nothing good happens fast in a marine tank."

cat_fish_lady
02-24-2012, 12:05 PM
Ahh ok. And that won't make my apartment smell like a dead body if I cure it in the tank? lol.

Cliff
02-24-2012, 12:40 PM
Ahh ok. And that won't make my apartment smell like a dead body if I cure it in the tank? lol.


LOL, it could. When I cycled my 90 gallon I had added about 35 lbs of freshly harvested live rock. There was a TON of die of and my basement smelt like I had a dead fish under the couch for two days.

The live rock you get from most LFS typically has been there a while so you won't get as much die off as I did.

Whether or not you cycle your rock inside or outside of your tank (in a QT tank) can be a personal preference as both work well if done correctly.

You could run carbon while cycling to limit any potential smell if you are concerned.

hockeyhead019
02-24-2012, 01:27 PM
Ahh ok. And that won't make my apartment smell like a dead body if I cure it in the tank? lol.

IME you should be ok. And 2lbs per gallon is a lot. It's close to what I have and I like it personally but then again I have a reef so the more room I have to put corals in the better lol

For a start I'd say only go with 1lb to 1.5lbs and see how you like the look, in terms of filtration via LR that'll be more than enough to start with haha

A little warning though from buying from craigslist, it's something I was wary of b/c you don't know what that rock's previous life in the other tank was, meaning stuff leaches into rock that might not come out until after being in you tank for a couple months. So just something to be cautious of, I'd definitely ask the previous owner if he used any chems or had a tank crash or anything like that.

If anything like a tank crash happened you should be ok by just cycling and making sure your parameters check out but just a word of caution

cat_fish_lady
02-24-2012, 05:42 PM
Ah okay, yes less live rock needed is better in terms of money lol, though I know it'll be slow going seeding everything else.

I'll try to inspect the Craigslist rock as best I can if I do go see it... was thinking of using a website that someone suggested on this forum-- I think it was Cliff-- for eco-Reefer rock instead to make the bulk of the aquascape. The price for 50 lbs is quite reasonable, though I don't know how much shipping will be. But at least I won't have any doubts about my apartment being uninhabitable for several weeks due to the smell, lol! And then I'd just do about 10 lbs of live rock from my LFS.

cat_fish_lady
02-25-2012, 12:58 AM
Got my 55 lbs of Craigslist base (dry) rock... deal was too good to pass up. It's gorgeous Fiji rock, pics do it no justice, and doesn't smell like rotting flesh so that's a plus

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/thumbs/rock.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/rock.jpg)

The guy also threw in a free powerhead... it's an Askoll 402. A quick google search tells me this is an older one that is now marketed as Aquaclear 50. Anyone familiar with this? I figured it was free, and I don't have a powerhead yet, so what the hell.

Sorry for crappy photo quality btw, all pics I take are on my ghetto phone.
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/thumbs/powerhead.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/powerhead.jpg)
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/thumbs/powerheadlabel.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/powerheadlabel.jpg)

cat_fish_lady
02-25-2012, 01:02 AM
Also reposting my "clean slate" pic of my tank just to show what I'm working with... I embedded it incorrectly in an earlier post and can't edit it now... boo
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/thumbs/tank24.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/tank24.jpg)

ILuvMyGoldBarb
02-25-2012, 02:58 AM
One quick question for you about this tank. Have you ever used a copper based medication in this tank for your FW fish?

cat_fish_lady
02-25-2012, 03:08 AM
Nope, only thing I ever used was Kordon Ick Attack, which says it is safe for reef :) But good thought I wouldn't have checked otherwise

cat_fish_lady
02-25-2012, 07:45 PM
Got everything started today... set up the base rock, filled in aragonite substrate, got the tank up and running at property salinity and temp, and finally took a trip to my LFS (mostly just to look at the pretty fish in anticipation of one day adding some, lol, but also to buy live rock) and put 13 lbs of perfect purple cured live rock in with the 55 lbs of dry rock.

And now... I wait.

I'll post pics when the aragonite has settled down a little more, it's a bit cloudy atm.

There's no way this is going to actually end up being a FOWLR. lol. Soft corals are just too pretty... so some day I'll make the investment in the proper lighting etc. But for now I can just wait and watch for hitchhikers.

Cliff
02-25-2012, 11:16 PM
There's no way this is going to actually end up being a FOWLR. lol. Soft corals are just too pretty....


LOL, welcome to the club. My first FOWLR tank has a lot of SPS coral in it now :hmm3grin2orange:

Just keep you long term plan in mind when getting fish for your tank so you won't have to worry about re-homing any coral nippers latter on.

Ashurbarnipal
02-26-2012, 01:02 AM
Mine started off FOWLR, too. Now I intend to have soft, hard LPS and SPS in the tank. I think it's a common evolution.

cat_fish_lady
02-28-2012, 03:50 AM
Things are going well, lots of changes in the past few days! My Aquaclear HOB filter fried (not really sure what happened but the motor is kicked), so I chucked it, don't really need that anyway. I added a Marineland 900 powerhead instead for circulation, so I think it's a change for the better.

But other WAY more exciting news... I do not have to ponder lighting choices anymore... as it was my anniversary with my BF of 4 years yesterday and he got me a present... the lighting he knew I wanted but can't afford!! :19: It's the Coralife T5 HO quad light fixture with lunar LEDs. I'm so excited to get it (still in the mail). Smart boy knows the way to my heart is through aquarium stuff lol...

Pics of the tank will be posted once lighting is in place. Also added live sand today so things are still kinda cloudy... but I'm really happy with the progress so far. I added a black background and things look great.

Ashurbarnipal
02-28-2012, 04:28 AM
Cool. With that lighting you should be able to have most softies, LPS and maybe some lower light SPS!

cat_fish_lady
03-02-2012, 01:11 PM
Grr! Today my patience is tested as I have been planning on getting 1 or 2 of a particular fish from live aquaria that are apparently rare and only stocked in limited quantities... of course I joined their "notify me when available" list (thinking I'd be waiting a long time) and today they are available... but my tank is not ready!

Wah :( Well if nothing else this is proving to myself that I have cultivated some self-control in the past year of fish keeping... but darn it I want those fishies! Hope I can still find some in a few months when my tank is ready.

In other news, my new lights should be arriving today! I'll be picking them up after work and once they are set up I will post a pic. I'll also be adding more live rock this weekend (instead of buying groceries... lol...)

Cycle is going well... 0.5 ppm ammonia, still 0 trites. I have about 20 ppm trates because I used tap water to fill the tank initially and apparently my tap water has trates... so I'll have to start buying packaged RO water from the pet store, or else invest in an RO/DI system, for the future. For now I've added some Instant Ocean nitrate remover... hopefully doesn't totally mess up my cycle.

Cliff
03-02-2012, 02:55 PM
I would not suggest using some nitrate removing products right now. That could slow down the rate of growth of the denitrifying bacteria which will convert you nitrates in nitrogen gas.

cat_fish_lady
03-02-2012, 05:39 PM
Okay, I won't use any more of the Instant Ocean stuff... just not sure how else to get the nitrates down if they're already high before the cycle has even really started (I have no reason to believe that the nitrates are actually due to cycle, just think they are from the water supply). I know trates will come down with the building of BB, but I don't know if it'll build to the point where it can take care of both the trates in the water supply and the trates converted from ammonia/trites (in my FW tank trates are 40 ppm in spite of water changes and completed cycle, but I know I can't get away with this in a SW tank).

In any case, a water change where I replace existing water with RO/DI water should help things, I just don't want to do a water change until the cycle is well under way unless I have to...

Cliff
03-02-2012, 06:19 PM
It is a bit of a balancing act. During my two cycles, the nitrates started to drop a two to three weeks after the nitrites disappeared.

I think you have a good plan to start with some water changes using RO/DI water once the nitrites have dropped.

Sometimes your rock can be like a nitrate & phosphate sponge. When the levels are high in the water the rock can absorb some nitrates and phosphates. When you lower the nitrates and phosphates in the water, then your rock can leach out the nitrates and phosphates that were previously absorbed.
That is why it would be a good idea to get the nitrate levels down once the cycle is nearing the end. You'll be allowing the nitrate eating bacteria a chance to grow while not letting the levels high enough for too long limiting the chance for nitrates to be absorbed into the rock.

cat_fish_lady
03-02-2012, 06:23 PM
Okay, makes sense. Thanks!

So much easier doing this without fish and not having to worry about how they will react!

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-02-2012, 10:52 PM
Grr! Today my patience is tested as I have been planning on getting 1 or 2 of a particular fish from live aquaria that are apparently rare and only stocked in limited quantities... of course I joined their "notify me when available" list (thinking I'd be waiting a long time) and today they are available... but my tank is not ready!

What fish are you waiting on?

cat_fish_lady
03-03-2012, 07:42 AM
Mimic Saddle Puffer (Filefish) (http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=15+30+1724&pcatid=1724):fish:

I should mention, for anyone who might consider it themselves, that it is not invert safe, at least not according to other websites.

cat_fish_lady
03-03-2012, 04:40 PM
Finally an updated pic!

Not the full effect of the lighting yet... waiting on the glass cover, for now it is over a cover that is half dark so not as much light is getting through.

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/thumbs/Tank25.JPG (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/Tank25.JPG)

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-03-2012, 06:30 PM
looks good so far. Sorry, I may have asked this before, but how much rock is that?

cat_fish_lady
03-03-2012, 06:43 PM
looks good so far. Sorry, I may have asked this before, but how much rock is that?

Altogether about 70 lbs... I put the rock down before the sand so there is like 2 inches of rock under the sand itself... don't feel like digging it out though lol. Should be adding 40 more lbs tomorrow.

The live rock was definitely 13 lbs, the LFS measured it for me, the rest I bought on CL and I didn't make the guy measure it so it may have been less. But it sure was HEAVY to carry upstairs lol

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-03-2012, 07:09 PM
That has to be some really dense rock for it to weigh that much. If you look in my build thread for my 210, early on there are some pics of what I have. Keep in mind, my tank is 72"x24"30" and I have ~180lbs or rock in it. The really bad thing about dense rock, is that it doesn't provide great filtration. This is the entire reason I don't like the "pound-per-gallon" guide for SW tanks. With low quality rock, it leaves the keeper with a false sense of security making them feeling they have plenty of filtration.

cat_fish_lady
03-03-2012, 07:19 PM
That has to be some really dense rock for it to weigh that much. If you look in my build thread for my 210, early on there are some pics of what I have. Keep in mind, my tank is 72"x24"30" and I have ~180lbs or rock in it. The really bad thing about dense rock, is that it doesn't provide great filtration. This is the entire reason I don't like the "pound-per-gallon" guide for SW tanks. With low quality rock, it leaves the keeper with a false sense of security making them feeling they have plenty of filtration.

Yeah, I got the impression it wasn't the best rock to be using since it is dense, but it was cheap enough and I wanted to at least start with SOME base. I actually really like the look of a very rock-filled tank anyway so I don't think I'll have any issues with not having enough rock in there, it's just going to take me a while to accumulate it all :hmm3grin2orange:

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-03-2012, 07:26 PM
If you are planning to build up your rock over time, then keep the following in mind. Adding live rock to an established tank can cause ammonia spikes from die-off caused by the trip from the LFS to home or from shipping, and dry rock will more than likely leach phosphates into your water causing a nasty algae outbreak. Live rock will need to be cured outside your main system, and dry rock will need to be soaked to draw out the phosphates prior to adding it to the tank.

cat_fish_lady
03-03-2012, 10:43 PM
It will probably be before I put any fish or coral in the tank, but that's good to keep in mind, thanks

cat_fish_lady
03-04-2012, 10:11 PM
It will probably be before I put any fish or coral in the tank, but that's good to keep in mind, thanks

SO on that note... :hmm3grin2orange: Today I picked up my live rock from Craigslist... even cheaper than planned as it was $3/lb and the established tank looked great, lots of flourishing growth and healthy tangs.

Here are the new full tank shots, in better quality than my other pics too:

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/thumbs/tank110.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/tank110.jpg)http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/thumbs/tank34.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/tank34.jpg)

And a close-up of a sea anenome we got on there for free.. don't know if it'll survive this early on, but it was a hitchhiker anyway:
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/thumbs/tank26.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/tank26.jpg)

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-04-2012, 10:57 PM
definitely an improvement. :)

cat_fish_lady
03-04-2012, 11:38 PM
definitely an improvement. :)
Thanks!

Can anyone ID the anemone btw? I can take another pic if it helps. Pink base with green/purple tips... mostly green under the actinic lights.

Cliff
03-05-2012, 01:22 AM
It's hard to say what you have there. It's really stressed right now. Maybe a Ritteri Anemone (Heteractis magnifica) or a Sebae Anemone (Heteractis crispa).

Google a few pics of those to see.

cat_fish_lady
03-05-2012, 01:49 AM
Looks most like Ritteri, but I doubt that because it says that is very difficult to keep and very sensitive to nitrate, and this anemone looks better by the hour, like it is adapting well to the tank (looking MUCH better than when I first snapped the pic).

I suppose time will tell... if it lives I'll take more pics and worry more about an ID

hockeyhead019
03-05-2012, 12:53 PM
make sure to watch your params with the nem, the lower you keep things with frequent WC's the better chance the little guy will have...

Also once he opens up you might wanna try feeding since that'll help it gain strength and hopefully stay alive

Old Marine
03-05-2012, 01:00 PM
I like your Tank, Looking Goodthumbs2:

sheamurai
03-05-2012, 01:32 PM
If your tank follows the same pattern mine did, you may not see a full cycle. I got my live rock home still wet and in good shape, and once it was scaped in there I waited and waited for a "normal" cycle to progress when all I got was a small spike. If your live rock transferred as well as mine did, and it sounds like it did even better seeing as the anemone survived the trip, you may have a very short cycle and your anemone will be fine so long as you maintain the usual water params. You likely don't have significant nitrates as yet so it wouldn't be affecting the anemone at this point.

sheamurai
03-05-2012, 01:34 PM
Actually, on second thought, if you are going to go reef, you may not want to keep the nem. They wander and split and are a bit of a hassle to keep in a reef tank...

Ashurbarnipal
03-05-2012, 03:08 PM
I've been wondering, could that be a Majano anemone?

Cliff
03-05-2012, 03:35 PM
Can anyone ID the anemone btw? I can take another pic if it helps. Pink base with green/purple tips... mostly green under the actinic lights.

If am remembering correctly, did you not buy this rock privately through a Crag's list add ? I might be confusing your set-up with someone else as my memory ain't what it used to be (blush)

If that is the case, try contacting that seller again to see what they had stocked. My only concern would be this anemone is a RBTA. When I had RBTAs in my 90 gallon, they moved and split a lot preventing me from keeping many other corals along the bottom 1/2 of the tanks and rocks. I actually sold my RBTAs because they would not stop splitting and spawning. RBTAs are among the more hardy anemones tho.

hockeyhead019
03-05-2012, 03:38 PM
I don't think I saw any red in the pic Cliff, if anything I'd think it's a regular BTA (the green variety)

Also catlady I haven't heard of the green ones splitting too often so you could be ok with that... just keep an eye out though just to be sure lol

Cliff
03-05-2012, 03:44 PM
You could be correct Hockeyhead, It's really hard form me to correctly see the colors in that pic.

Also, the green BTAs will also split just as the RBTAs do. The one that I used to have actually had a lot of green coloring in the base with the tentacles an orange / red color. I have also read alot about the green BTAs splitting very often as well. The owner of our SW LFS swears the green ones will split more often than the red ones, but that's only his opinion base on what he has heard from customers.

hockeyhead019
03-05-2012, 04:01 PM
You could be correct Hockeyhead, It's really hard form me to correctly see the colors in that pic.

Also, the green BTAs will also split just as the RBTAs do. The one that I used to have actually had a lot of green coloring in the base with the tentacles an orange / red color. I have also read alot about the green BTAs splitting very often as well. The owner of our SW LFS swears the green ones will split more often than the red ones, but that's only his opinion base on what he has heard from customers.

not to jack the thread but I wonder what causes them to split

Regardless try and take another picture when the nem is a little more open and it will be much easier for us to id cat lady

sheamurai
03-05-2012, 04:44 PM
they split when they are "happy"...its how they breed...

hockeyhead019
03-05-2012, 05:19 PM
I know that but I know the guy I get my fish from has a couple BTAs and they haven't ever split and his tank is immaculate haha idk just wondering it makes sense if they split in a good environment though

Ashurbarnipal
03-05-2012, 06:32 PM
I've heard they also sometimes split when stressed.

Also, the more I look at that picture, the more like a majano it looks like to me.

Plus they're a pest anemone, so I can see them being perhaps hardier

http://www.melevsreef.com/id/majano.jpg

cat_fish_lady
03-06-2012, 12:35 AM
Thanks so much for the replies all!

Okay so I have some more pics and a short video that the bf took of it... we really want to figure out what it is because it's kind of taking over lol. And we need to know what to feed it. The video isn't working when I put it in this post but I'll include a pic that is much clearer than the last one.

It looks totally different then it did when we introduced it to the tank... different colors even. Anyway here's what I've got... don't think it's the one you posted the pic of Ash, though that pic does look a lot like the first one I posted while it was stressed. Take a look:

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/thumbs/who_am_i_2.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/who_am_i_2.jpg)

cat_fish_lady
03-06-2012, 12:38 AM
If am remembering correctly, did you not buy this rock privately through a Crag's list add ? I might be confusing your set-up with someone else as my memory ain't what it used to be (blush)

If that is the case, try contacting that seller again to see what they had stocked.

Also I will try contacting him, but it was sold during an estate sale type thing so I don't think I'll get a reply to email... they just gave out the address and the date/time to show up, no actual email or phone contact exchanged

cat_fish_lady
03-06-2012, 01:30 AM
The more I look at pics, the more I think Cliff was right about Rose Bubble Tip... I'm going to pick up some frozen silversides tomorrow at my LFS and try to feed it a bit. If it's going to get gigantic in spite of the tank conditions, that's fine with me... if it's not compatible with corals I choose later I can always sell it, it was free after all :ssmile:

Would still appreciate it if you guys weighed in on the new pic though. I've read now that the bubble tips can get long and stringy like this when it's reaching out for food/hungry, which I can take care of tomorrow.

cat_fish_lady
03-06-2012, 01:50 AM
MAN I hate this rule about not being able to edit after a certain amount of time! I feel like I post 500000 things one after the other because I can't just add on to my last post, lol.

Anyway, video (not that it's very helpful but eh, I have it, might as well post it):
bCBXANnU3do

Cliff
03-06-2012, 02:09 AM
For anemone food, I would suggest getting a shrimp or a few mussles from the Grocery store to feed you anemone. Just cut them up into small pcs and keep them in the freezer until you want to feed.

From what I have read, silver sides have questionable quality. I stopped feeding my anemones silver sides once I started to find a lot of first hand reports of anemones getting all types of problems from eating silversides. Google silversides and find out how they are collected, processed, and packaged and you will see what I mean

sheamurai
03-06-2012, 02:32 AM
You wont' want to feed it a lot to start anyway. If its still acclimatising, even tho it takes all you give it, you will likely see that it will spit most of it back out.
I would only give it maybe two small pieces of shrimp until its looking well. I always fed mine table shrimp - they only eat very little once or twice a week so its not like its expensive.

Just an fyi - movements/motion takes a lot of energy for a nem, and you don't want to exhaust it by making it move or causing it to regurgitate if you can help it.

cat_fish_lady
03-07-2012, 03:18 PM
Ugh been sick this past few days and barely got out of bed. I did however get a bag of frozen shrimp for my nem and defrosted one last night for him. I fed it to him whole (it was small) and he seemed to appreciate it.. today he is looking fat and happy as ever. I gotta test my tank levels today too, being sick has made me fall behind on that, but otherwise all is well!

Cliff
03-07-2012, 03:42 PM
Just be careful not to feed him too big of a pc of food. My carpet anemone is now 12" across and he only gets pcs of food that are about 1/2 the size of a nickel and about 1/4" thick.

hockeyhead019
03-07-2012, 06:50 PM
I'm really jealous you got a BTA just thrown in with some LR haha and even more because it looks like it's doing really well!!

As Cliff and sheamurai advised be careful with the feeding I've heard they explode in growth as well as split if they're "too" happy haha

cat_fish_lady
03-07-2012, 10:53 PM
Haha yes I will be careful about feeding this guy too much I don't want him to take over the whole tank...

So I just did my usual tests and found 0 ammonia and nitrites, and nitrates much reduced to 5.0 ppm (from a high of 20 ppm)................ could it be that my tank has cycled in less than 2 weeks????

I guess it is possible, as most of the rock was from that established tank (which the guy said he had been running successfully for 6 years), and the growth of diatoms has totally exploded all over the rock and sand, including the "non-live" stuff... but I still didn't expect it to cycle THAT quickly.... (btw, should I be doing something about the diatoms or let it run its course?)

Well, I'm not going to add anything just yet, if for no other reason then I don't know what I'm doing with the RBTA yet lol. I'd also like to see those solid 0/0 results replicated for a few days at least just to satisfy my OCD. As far as trates go, I ordered a Salifert test kit which should arrive next week, and I trust that the results from that will be more reliable than this API trates kit anyway...

On a side note, calcium levels, ph and alkalinity are also looking good. Haven't tested phosphate yet. Still in shock that I might have finished cycling! YEAH!

Cliff
03-07-2012, 10:58 PM
Two weeks is possible using already cured rock.

You'll like the salifert test kits. I have come to really like mine

I would suggest you start running some type of phosphate remover now before you can get a build up. IME, it is easier to prevent algae than get rid of it.

cat_fish_lady
03-07-2012, 11:44 PM
Thanks, I'll look into a phosphate remover.

PS-- is this Aiptasia?
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/thumbs/l.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/l.jpg)

Cliff
03-08-2012, 12:19 AM
It sure dose look like it

When you try to remove it, do some research first. If you just try to pull it out, you could release tons of spores making a bigger problem for yourself

hockeyhead019
03-08-2012, 02:51 PM
That's definitely aiptasia

Ashurbarnipal
03-08-2012, 04:40 PM
I've heard peppermint shrimp can be a [questionably reliable] method of removing aiptasia.

cat_fish_lady
03-08-2012, 05:49 PM
I've heard peppermint shrimp can be a [questionably reliable] method of removing aiptasia.
Yeah I was thinking of getting some....

But I just realized-- could this be a Hawaiian featherduster worm??

There are a LOT of featherduster worms on these rocks, and this is the only thing that looks like this. Doesn't aiptasia generally spread rapidly/come in groups?

The pics of Hawaiian featherdusters I have looked at honestly are a better match for what I'm seeing than pics of aiptasia. But if I'm wrong and I don't address the problem early, I'm afraid it'll get out of hand.

Ashurbarnipal
03-08-2012, 05:59 PM
Well, peppermint shrimp won't bug feather dusters, or at least, mine haven't.

cat_fish_lady
03-08-2012, 06:00 PM
Well, peppermint shrimp won't bug feather dusters, or at least, mine haven't.
Good call... guess I can't go wrong with those!

If this is aiptasia, it sure is a big sucker... bout the size of a silver dollar. Grr

hockeyhead019
03-08-2012, 08:28 PM
There isn't a doubt in my mind it's aiptasia haha feather dusters have fine little strands, see how the center of the nem looks like a disk and the tentacles are stripped that's a dead give away. And yes they can get rather large

Peppermints are hit or miss, I went through three before I got one that ate aiptasia but once I found one it has completely destroyed the population (something I'm happy about haha)

Make sure you get real peppermints though!! They're very close in appearance to camelback shrimp (which don't do anything but steal food from corals) and are often mislabeled so buy from a knowledgeable source

cat_fish_lady
03-08-2012, 10:15 PM
There isn't a doubt in my mind it's aiptasia haha feather dusters have fine little strands, see how the center of the nem looks like a disk and the tentacles are stripped that's a dead give away.

Yeah, true, the little featherdusters have a much more... feathery... quality to them then this thing lol. I guess I'll have to find someone to eat it!

Lots of other things I'm discovering in my tank atm... apparently the rock came with more freebies than the giant beastly rbta. There is one that I am pretty sure is a kenya tree, and then there is this, which I am hoping someone can ID for me (this pic is from my crappy phone so sorry for the quality)... it's about the size of a quarter:
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/thumbs/whatisit.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/whatisit.jpg)

hockeyhead019
03-08-2012, 10:25 PM
does it open and close like zoas or is it hard like a rock? If it's hard it could be a kind of blastomussa?

Idk wait for other people to chime in but that'd be my guess haha

cat_fish_lady
03-09-2012, 01:47 AM
does it open and close like zoas or is it hard like a rock? If it's hard it could be a kind of blastomussa?

Idk wait for other people to chime in but that'd be my guess haha

I don't really know what zoas are like... but it seems hard. I'm thinking, just from looking at pics, that it is a bullseye mushroom. I don't even know if the question is really relevant, as I'm just starting to draw up the list of fish I plan on getting (!! so exciting), and I guess any fish that is reef safe is fine with the unidentified coral/mushroom/whatever regardless of what it actually is.

Levels were 0/0 for ammonia and 'trites again today, so tomorrow I'm planning a trip to LFS to go ahead and slowly begin stocking a CUC (including peppermint shrimp in hopes that they'll eat my aiptasia, as well as some snails). I did get a quote for a custom CUC package online, but I'm worried about delivery because I'm in an apartment and the overnight delivery won't be as straightforward as it would be if I were in a house and could sign for the livestock as soon as it arrives. But at least it gives me an idea what to look for at my LFS.

Colorful reef-friendly fish suggestions would be appreciated, though I know there are many out there :goldfish: :fish: This is the fun part!!

I'll post a definitive list when I come up with one.

Ashurbarnipal
03-09-2012, 02:25 AM
Green Chromis are a great starter IMO. Very peaceful and hardy, and quite colorful to boot.

cat_fish_lady
03-09-2012, 03:05 AM
Green Chromis are a great starter IMO. Very peaceful and hardy, and quite colorful to boot.

Ah yes I like, thanks for the suggestion.

The only thing I am really dead-set on so far is a Wartskin Angler... I know I have to feed it live shrimp but I don't care, it's THAT cool. I'm going to wait a bit before getting one of these though. My bf really wants clownfish, preferably more than one type, but I am under the impression that you should keep it to one type of clownfish and only go with a pair... am I right in thinking this?

Also it seems that the custom CUC package I was looking at has Saturday delivery, so I'm going to go with that. It'll be cheaper than my LFS. It's just snails and hermit crabs, but I threw in 2 peppermint shrimp too (and yes I realize they may become food for the Angler if I get one... such is the circle of life lol).

hockeyhead019
03-09-2012, 12:35 PM
One type of clownfish with just a pair usually the consensus unless you have a rather large tank or pairs that go together (I know other people have had luck keeping multiple kinds together)

Also with the angler, that might eat your other fish, anything smaller than it, it will probably try to eat haha

cat_fish_lady
03-09-2012, 04:21 PM
One type of clownfish with just a pair usually the consensus unless you have a rather large tank or pairs that go together (I know other people have had luck keeping multiple kinds together)

Also with the angler, that might eat your other fish, anything smaller than it, it will probably try to eat haha
Ya that's what I hear about anglers...

Okay here it is, a tentative stocking list (trying to plan in advance to choose corals and such accordingly...

First additions after CUC:
-2 pair clownfish: Pair of Clarkii clownfish (max size is 6", "semi-aggressive"), and pair of Cinnamon clownfish (max size is 4", "semi-agressive")... I'm going off the list of what will host in my RBTA, and hoping one pair will host there, or both if it splits. Chose these because they are marked "semi-aggressive" as opposed to "aggressive"...Also choosing larger varieties so that the next additions are less likely to eat them...
Later additions:
-1 Wartskin Angler
-1 Fu Manchu Lionfish

I realize that there is a possibility of the latter 2 consuming clownfish. Hopefully if I get larger varieties and give them some time to grow before adding carnivores, it'll work out?

Any thoughts on this? Does it sound like a reasonable bioload for a 65g? (too many? too few? I don't know with SW lol)

Cliff
03-09-2012, 05:58 PM
Looks like your going for a more aggressive stocking

I personally would not advise 2 pairs of clown fish in a 60 gallon. I don't think you would have any problems getting the clarkies hosting in the nem. I swear those fish will host in almost any anemone. You could have a lot of problems if the cinnamons want to host in there as well.

Just my $0.02 tho

cat_fish_lady
03-09-2012, 07:49 PM
Thanks Cliff... maybe I'll do just the Clarkii pair... I guess we'll see after CUC is settled in.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-09-2012, 11:02 PM
I'd really recommend against Cinnamon Clowns with other clowns. Cinnamon Clowns are members of the Tomato complex of clowns, and this complex is one the most aggressive of all. I personally have 2 Tomato clowns (A. frenatus) and they are quite aggressive for clowns; Cinnamons are not much different.

I personally would not put the lion or the angler with any clowns. Both of those fish are going to swallow anything they can fit in their mouth. I'd really recommend looking into a few other smaller easy to keep fish with your clowns.

For a 60gal, you may want to look at a Yellow Watchman Goby, Sixline Wrasse, any of the flasher Wrasses, Royal Grammas, and if your are not planning on any shrimp, you may want to consider a Flame Hawk. Once you have a handle on keeping those maybe look into the Dwarf Angels.

cat_fish_lady
03-13-2012, 03:05 PM
Been a rough couple of days... had to make an emergency trip out of state and left the tank on its own. Got back last night and things are pretty good, but still have those diatoms and green hair algae now developing as well. The salinity had crept up quite a bit and my anenome didn't look too happy about it, but after changing out about 5 gallons of water for RO/DI freshwater the salinity is back in the proper range, and after a feeding of some more defrosted shrimp my nem looks happy once more. All other parameters are still good, ammonia and nitrite still 0/0, and nitrate still on the lower side. So I'm happy about that.

CUC should be delivered within the next hour! Was sent yesterday overnight mail. Excited to start battling the algae!

hockeyhead019
03-13-2012, 07:14 PM
Glad to hear the tank did well when you had to leave for a while, always a little nerve-wrecking to leave a new tank lol


I'd really recommend against Cinnamon Clowns with other clowns. Cinnamon Clowns are members of the Tomato complex of clowns, and this complex is one the most aggressive of all. I personally have 2 Tomato clowns (A. frenatus) and they are quite aggressive for clowns; Cinnamons are not much different.

I personally would not put the lion or the angler with any clowns. Both of those fish are going to swallow anything they can fit in their mouth. I'd really recommend looking into a few other smaller easy to keep fish with your clowns.

For a 60gal, you may want to look at a Yellow Watchman Goby, Sixline Wrasse, any of the flasher Wrasses, Royal Grammas, and if your are not planning on any shrimp, you may want to consider a Flame Hawk. Once you have a handle on keeping those maybe look into the Dwarf Angels.

+1^^^

I'd follow the approach ILMGB has suggested if you want to keep the clowns in the picture, otherwise it's only a matter of time until they get eaten.

If you want to keep a predators tank that can been done with your other two fish but just keep in mind that there isn't too much else that would be able to co-habitat and survive with them lol

cat_fish_lady
03-13-2012, 09:37 PM
I'd follow the approach ILMGB has suggested if you want to keep the clowns in the picture, otherwise it's only a matter of time until they get eaten.

If you want to keep a predators tank that can been done with your other two fish but just keep in mind that there isn't too much else that would be able to co-habitat and survive with them lol

Yeah I've come to accept the fact that even the Wartskin Angler and the Fu Manchu can't coexist peacefully... I've been told the angler will eat the lionfish even if they're the same size...

Thinking of doing a small tank just for the wartskin angler (since I think they're so awesome) and connecting it to the main tank for water stability... but the plan for now is getting a pair (or two) of small clown fish, and to go from there without doing anything aggressive in the DT

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-13-2012, 10:08 PM
Thinking of doing a small tank just for the wartskin angler (since I think they're so awesome) and connecting it to the main tank for water stability...

Good concept, but it has some problems. The the biggest issue you have is that the bioload on the angler will be higher simply due to it's eating habits. With the small tank connected to the large tank, you will still have the bioload of the Angler on the main system. Also, in a FOWLR tank you do have more options for disease treatment than you do on a reef setup. Personally, I would only interconnect systems of like configuration (reef with reef and FOWLR with FOWLR)

cat_fish_lady
03-18-2012, 08:38 PM
Lots of new additions to the tank! And pictures forthcoming...

First, the fish. We did a pair of Ocellaris clownfish, which we hope will host with our RBTA, but it hasn't happened yet (we put them in there like 3 days ago). At the same time, we added 1 domino damsel, 1 four-stripe damsel, and 1 yellowtail damsel, all of equal (small) size. We realize that there may be a problem with damsels becoming nasty to each other down the line, but if this becomes a problem as they get larger we'll have to rehome one or two... everyone is getting along so far. Well, at least until the new additions today lol.

Today we added a small Valentini Puffer (same size as damsels and clowns), a bicolor dottyback, and an orange sea star. The bicolor dottyback is already causing some problems with the yellowtail damsel, which we thought might happen as the bicolor dottyback is considered "semi-aggressive." The last additions today were a small mushroom (bright red and very cool looking) and a massive hard coral that covers a whole rock... I'll be uploading a pic to see if anyone can ID it, but I believe it's an LPS brain coral (small circles with bright orange centers).

SO we will see how this goes. The dottyback and the damsels are sort of experimental, seeing if we can get them to live in harmony with the others... the clowns and the Valentini puffer are the ones we'd really like to keep in the tank for the long haul. Either way, should work out better than aggressive fish like the angler and fu manchu, which I'd love to do in this tank but it's not gonna happen.

Also, we used Red Sea Aiptasia X to get rid of the big aiptasia we had... it seemed to make our RBTA pretty TO'ed. Hopefully he bounces back. I also got the 2-part dosing B-Ionic Calcium and Alkalinity buffer system because my Calcium level is low (340 ppm). I'm not really sure how to dose this stuff, the suggestions online are all over the place, so any suggestions are welcome.

Pics coming next!

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-18-2012, 09:04 PM
You need to slow down. Nothing good happens fast in a marine tank. You have added 7 fish in a matter of 3 days. I pushed it by adding that to start my 210 and since then I've only added 3 fish, but I also have 200-230 gal of water to work with along with 180-190lbs of established live rock. You are working with a much smaller tank and much less filtering capacity at this point. You can make the bioload thing work with lots of water changes but there are other issues.

First, that Puffer is not reef safe so you will probably kiss that Sea Star and some of your corals goodbye. Precious few puffers are really considered reef safe. Second, the Bicolor Dottyback is not really semi-aggressive, they are straight up nasty buggers. If the Damels don't kill it, it will likely kill them.

I know it can be hard not to rush into things, very hard in fact, but slow and steady is a must in this hobby. You haven't even gotten through the algae stages that will be coming, and by adding this many fish this soon... they are likely going to be worse.

cat_fish_lady
03-18-2012, 09:30 PM
First, that Puffer is not reef safe so you will probably kiss that Sea Star and some of your corals goodbye. Precious few puffers are really considered reef safe.

Yeah, I have read mixed things about this (the Valentini in particular).

We are definitely slowing down, we actually don't plan to add anything else to the tank except more corals eventually.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-18-2012, 09:37 PM
I was trying to avoid saying it this way but in reality, you probably should consider returning all the fish but the clowns for now.

Ashurbarnipal
03-18-2012, 09:48 PM
I have to agree with Barb. Even in freshwater that's gonna stress the bioload, but especially in salt. I definitely think at least the damsels and puffers should go, probably the dottyback too. Not to be a downer, just gotta consider the needs of the fish and invertebrates.

cat_fish_lady
03-18-2012, 10:29 PM
I was trying to avoid saying it this way....

That's okay I appreciate the honesty. The dottyback is going back for sure cuz he's causing trouble, some of the damsels may go back as well.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-19-2012, 12:40 AM
What about the Puffer? It's either him or your inverts.

cat_fish_lady
03-19-2012, 03:45 AM
What about the Puffer? It's either him or your inverts.
Well... here's the thing. I don't pay for the fish... so I have very little say over who stays and who goes. Lol.

Are Valentini puffers problematic for all corals, or only certain types? And I know it'll knock off some of the snails, I'm not worried about them. The sea star is BIG, so I doubt it could kill it if it wanted to, though I don't know for sure.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-19-2012, 03:55 AM
Don't count on it not taking out that sea star, it will likely try. Puffers of this genus are are rather indiscriminate with corals. You may get lucky. Feed it well and you may not have problems, but don't be surprised to find nips out of corals, and tail fins.

cat_fish_lady
03-22-2012, 06:58 PM
Been updating less lately because I just started a new job and things are CRAZY... but of course I'm spending my lunch break on AC thumbs2:

Anyway, things are still a. ok in the tank for the time being. The new LPS (which I researched further and found was Acanthastrea echinata like this one: Acan Brain Coral (http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=597+321+2983&pcatid=2983)) is doing very well, and nobody is fighting... yet.

The idea has been tossed around of moving some of these fish to my (currently FW) 36 gallon and going all-out SW... the money we would get for the discus would be helpful in stocking it too, lol. One idea was to let it cycle with rock from the big tank, move the rock with the anemone (which itself came from an established tank) to the 36g when parameters are stable, and move the two clowns there for their own private tank. This is the idea that I like (because the 36 g is in the bedroom and I think a clown tank with lots of RBTA in the bedroom would look really nice), but it would probably make more sense to move the valentini puffer so that he won't eat the corals (65g will be the coral tank because it has the good lighting... the small one would only be for softies, cuz even if I have to get better lighting on the 36g I'm not shelling out the dough to get one as nice as the one on the 65g).

So not sure what to do on that. Input is welcome as always!

And I'm working on getting pics... my phone is totally worthless so pics are contingent upon use of the bf's iPhone, which requires making him take pics for me lol... always a challenge

hockeyhead019
03-23-2012, 12:32 PM
Just be careful when changing livestocks tanks, make sure you re-acclimate them since the water may be different, both in params and anything else lol (I'm sure you knew that already... just a friendly reminder)

cat_fish_lady
03-23-2012, 03:11 PM
Just be careful when changing livestocks tanks, make sure you re-acclimate them since the water may be different, both in params and anything else lol (I'm sure you knew that already... just a friendly reminder)

Thanks, friendly reminders are always appreciated!

Also just because I had one on my phone, here is a (poor quality) fts from yesterday... hopefully better ones coming soon...

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/thumbs/tank28.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/showphoto.php?photo=21817)

Also as a PS- the Red Sea Max Aiptasia X fixed my aiptasia problem perfectly, at least as far as I can see for now. After killing the buggers, we sucked out the shriveled little things from the rock crevices with a turkey baster just to make sure they were gone.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-23-2012, 09:51 PM
Just happened to notice exactly what kind of Damsels you have in there. That "Four-stripe" Damsel is Dascyllus melanurus, and these are notoriously aggressive. To quote Scott W. Michael "they mature into hellions"

Tank looks great though.

cat_fish_lady
03-24-2012, 12:22 AM
Thanks! And good eye for the damsel! He and one other damsel are actually being given to a friend with an established tank this evening, so I won't have to worry about that anymore :ssmile:

cat_fish_lady
03-24-2012, 12:40 AM
Also here's a shot of the acan coral under LEDs:

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/thumbs/dark.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/dark.jpg)

Old Marine
03-24-2012, 04:18 AM
Looks Goodthumbs2:

cat_fish_lady
03-25-2012, 10:15 AM
Looks Goodthumbs2:

Thanks... but I actually made a very BIG rookie mistake this morning and now the LPS does NOT look good....

*Sigh*... so my salinity was a little low at about 1.023, where it had been steady at 1.025 for quite a while (though I am using a hydrometer, which is probably giving inaccurate readings, because the salinity should only be increasing over time... refractometer is the next big purchase on my list). So as usual, I added a very small amount of salt near the powerhead on the left side of the tank.

I've done this once or twice in the past with no problem, including once 2 days ago, and the LPS was fine. Well, today I must have not been far enough to the left for the powerhead to catch it all fast enough, because BAM next thing I know my anemone is freaking out and my acan is seriously burned.

Really stupid, I know, and could have easily been avoided... I know I had read before to mix your salt in before adding it, but I thought that only applied to adding large amounts (like for a WC), not adding a small amount if salinity is low...

So at this point the anemone is fine as it is clearly a trooper to be doing well in my young tank in the first place, and is very resiliant. The acan, on the other hand, not so much. I used a turkey baster to blow the salt off the surface of the acan but this only seemed to make it worse... now a large part of it is dead/showing skeleton, and lots of it (but at least not all of it) is damaged.

I don't even want to post the pics as they are painful to look at lol. Luckily this is one that I paid for or my bf would have killed me! But of course I still feel really bad because it was just really dumb to do that.

Lesson learned I guess..... (blush)

ScottishFish
03-25-2012, 11:08 AM
Like the look of your coral!!

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-25-2012, 12:37 PM
That doesn't look like an acan to me.

The salt mix we use is very caustic (as I'm sure you just found out) and can do quite a bit of damage to corals and fish alike. The best way to increase your salinity is to do a small water change with water that his a higher SG.

As for hydrometers vs. refractometers, have a look at the link in my signature to "A Component Breakdown" and read through the section on hydrometers and such. You will find there is a way to get a semi-accurate reading from your hydrometer.

cat_fish_lady
03-25-2012, 08:35 PM
That doesn't look like an acan to me.


What do you think it looks like? It's totally possible that the LFS ID'ed it incorrectly...

Cliff
03-25-2012, 08:43 PM
Yup, they likey did get it wrong

That doesn't look like any acan that I have seen. More like some type of Colony Polyp or a type of Favites. I can't really tell from the pic

I would suggested googling those two suggestion so you can see if that is it

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-25-2012, 09:01 PM
I would go so far as to say it is definitely a Favites species. Acans look like this:
http://www.josephsreef.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/acan1.jpg

This is a Favites species:
http://www.aquariumdomain.com/images/corals/closedBrainCoral1.jpg

There are some species of Favites that look much like Acans and vice versa.

cat_fish_lady
03-25-2012, 09:34 PM
This is the closest thing I have found to what I have so far, which is what made me think the LFS was right about acan:

Acan Brain Coral (http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=597+321+2983&pcatid=2983)

But even that is only a close-ish match, not a perfect one. I've tried spot feeding with shrimp-mush (basically frozen raw shrimp in a mini blender with a little water, fed with a turkey baster with powerhead off), but it doesn't seem to eat meat or put out feeding tentacles or anything, so it seems to be feeding off trace elements in the water.

I'll keep looking at coral pics though and see if I can find a closer match... of the two you posted, ILMGB, the second definitely looks more like it.

Edit: this is an exact match, but of course it could be mislabeled on this website lol:
http://www.melevsreef.com/id/acanthastrea.html

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-25-2012, 09:37 PM
Acans have larger polyps than a Favites sp. and are generally much more expensive. If you don't mind me asking, what did you pay for that coral?

cat_fish_lady
03-25-2012, 10:16 PM
Acans have larger polyps than a Favites sp. and are generally much more expensive. If you don't mind me asking, what did you pay for that coral?

$250... I know, shouldn't have spent so much on a coral for a young tank.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-26-2012, 01:11 AM
That would be consistent for an Acan with that coloration... but I still don't believe it's an Acan. Maybe you can get a better shot of it under normal light.

cat_fish_lady
03-27-2012, 04:21 PM
That would be consistent for an Acan with that coloration... but I still don't believe it's an Acan. Maybe you can get a better shot of it under normal light.

I'll take another shot of it tonight, but be prepared to see some damaged goods...

In other news, caught one of my peppermint shrimp eating my mushrooms last night when I happened to walk past the tank (these are bulls eye mushrooms that came on the live rock, there was only one tiny one when I bought it but now there is a substantial colony). I was so mad! Pretty sure the pep is also responsible for eating my new red mushroom (which was tiny and inexpensive, but pretty).

The peppermint shrimp proved totally worthless in terms of my goal of having them eat my aiptasia (took care of that with Aiptasia X instead), so those little mushroom eaters are outta here. I looked up ways to trap them with a water bottle and bait, and will be doing that tonight. I'll bring them to my LFS... always looking for an excuse to go over there anyway.

hockeyhead019
03-27-2012, 04:43 PM
Do you have a true peppermint? Because I know that if it's a camelback (often confused with peppers) it will chow on anything it can including shrooms

Mine nipped my leather once and I caught them with the waterbottle and pvc going in so they couldn't get out... they aren't the brightest of all critters haha

Ashurbarnipal
03-27-2012, 04:57 PM
I have a camel shrimp which has completely left my mushrooms alone, I have to say. That said, I'm thinking of putting it somewhere else even so.

cat_fish_lady
03-27-2012, 05:32 PM
Do you have a true peppermint? Because I know that if it's a camelback (often confused with peppers) it will chow on anything it can including shrooms

Mine nipped my leather once and I caught them with the waterbottle and pvc going in so they couldn't get out... they aren't the brightest of all critters haha

I ordered them from a pretty reputable website so I do think they are actual peppermint shrimp... but either way it doesn't matter, they didn't eat the aiptasia and did eat the mushrooms lol, so they gotsta go

cat_fish_lady
03-29-2012, 06:46 AM
So I finally bit the bullet and bought a protein skimmer... just ordered the AquaC Remora Pro HOB, as it has been recommended and praised everywhere I look. I'm pretty excited about this. Conditions have been stable in the tank but I'm having trouble keeping nitrates under 5-10ppm (when I know <1 ppm is ideal with corals). Doing small partial water changes to counteract this, but hopefully the protein skimmer will help.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-29-2012, 10:36 AM
Time is going to be your biggest help with the nitrates. Your tank is too young to have a fully established biofilter. Once that happens, you will get anaerobic bacteria in the live rock that will take care of nitrate reduction. A protein skimmer will help marginally with this, but it really is just a matter of tank maturity. I don't want to sound like I'm harping here, but this is one of the main reasons stocking slowly is so important.

cat_fish_lady
03-29-2012, 03:52 PM
Time is going to be your biggest help with the nitrates. Your tank is too young to have a fully established biofilter. Once that happens, you will get anaerobic bacteria in the live rock that will take care of nitrate reduction. A protein skimmer will help marginally with this, but it really is just a matter of tank maturity. I don't want to sound like I'm harping here, but this is one of the main reasons stocking slowly is so important.

Heh... I know... patience is not my strongest suit, but I'm learning :)

cat_fish_lady
04-03-2012, 10:15 PM
So as time has passed, one of my two clownfish (who was always a bit darker than the other) has developed quite a lot of black coloring... I'm starting to think he was actually placed in the wrong tank at the LFS and was mistaken for a regular clown fish, but is actually an onyx clown. This would make sense as it seems onyx clowns don't develop their black coloration until they've grown a bit, so it's possible that there was a mixup (my LFS does carry onyx clowns as well as other "designer" clowns)

Here's a recent shot of the darker one, followed by a shot of my other clown for contrast:

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/thumbs/black.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/black.jpg)http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/thumbs/orange.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/orange.jpg)

So that has been a nice surprise!

Cliff
04-03-2012, 10:21 PM
Based on the even shape of his middle white stripe and the last white stripe on/near his tail, I would say he is black oscilliaris. (some pics below) Both develop their black colors over time, so time will tell. Either way, nice looking fish

Onyx
http://www.incredibleaquarium.com/images/onyx%20clownfish.jpg

Black Oscilliaris
http://www.saltwateraquariumlighting.com/black-ocellaris-clownfish.gif

cat_fish_lady
04-03-2012, 10:38 PM
Ooooh, even cooler!!

hockeyhead019
04-04-2012, 12:07 PM
Yea I'm with Cliff... I'd say it's just a darker O. Clown I have a pair just like yours a deep red one and a typical orange one haha cool looking clowns!

cat_fish_lady
04-12-2012, 04:37 PM
Just a bit of an update on the tank... things are going well with the new AquaC Remora Pro protein skimmer, though it is still in the break-in period and producing lots of micro-bubbles. It has a drilled drain in the collection cup, which is currently routed back to the tank because the initial collection was mostly clean, but soon I'll have to hook this up to some other sort of plastic jug or something so that I'm not defeating the purpose of getting the skimmer in the first place! Still trying to decide on something slim enough to fit behind the tank under the HOB skimmer and not be a terrible eyesore (probably will end up using a milk jug or laundry detergent container painted black).

The fish are all doing well and eating plenty. The acan is also recovering nicely from my little salt incident, and the polyps that are growing in now are actually healthier and more robust looking than the ones it had when I bought it... I think it is happy to finally have a spot where it's not being moved around a lot and has stable water conditions. I've been doing biweekly changes of roughly 10% of the water (aside from topping off with RO/DI freshwater), and this system seems to work well for keeping algae/phosphates/nitrates to a minimum. I give the rocks and substrate a good blasting with a turkey baster before doing water changes to get the detritus up and off the surfaces in the tank.

I also took the first steps on cycling the 36g tank for SW use: cleaned it out, filled with RO/DI salt water and added 1/2 inch of black live sand substrate. It is now running with an AC70 filter on it (no media or sponge, just using it for surface agitation really) and with the heater from the FW setup. Some time in the next few days I'll be moving a few pieces of live rock from the 65g to the 36g to start the cycle, and when that happens it'll get its own thread, though I expect that it will cycle very slowly as I'm only planning on moving about 10 lbs of rock max.

cat_fish_lady
04-22-2012, 02:09 AM
So this will probably be my last post in this thread, as I will soon be upgrading to my 120g (next weekend). Exciting! I'll post a link to this thread at the beginning of the new one though so people can really see it from the very start.

Just picked up 2 Hydor Koralia circ pumps from Craigslist for $15!! Woooo! Preparing for the new tank... only thing left to get is a little more sand. Debating whether to use mostly new clean sand and just a few cups of the old sand to get it started off... my nitrates are higher than I'd like them to be currently so I figure the less waste I transfer over the better.

In other news my anemone picked the WORST time to decide it wanted to move 2" to the left... well more like EXPAND 2" to the left (which I knew was only a matter of time as it was growing out of the crevice it has originally chosen)... problem is that it now has its foot planted firmly on TWO rocks. Which will make moving to the new tank interesting, especially since I was planning to tweak the aquascaping a bit... going to be a delicate maneuver that's for sure.

Cliff
04-22-2012, 03:26 AM
If you point a powerhead to hit the rocks near him, the extra flow should make move on his own. Becareful not to get too much flow on him or point the powerhead directly on him as that could cause damage

That had worked well the last time I had to remove a anemone from my tank

cat_fish_lady
04-23-2012, 01:09 PM
If you point a powerhead to hit the rocks near him, the extra flow should make move on his own. Becareful not to get too much flow on him or point the powerhead directly on him as that could cause damage

That had worked well the last time I had to remove a anemone from my tank

I could try aiming 2 pumps at it... it actually moved when I first put it in the tank so that it was directly in the flow of my 1000 gph maxi-jet (which I just replaced with a Koralia 3, less intense water pressure)... so basically it loves being blasted with powerheads lol.

Aright I'm going to start a new thread and link this one over... if a mod reads this would you mind closing the thread for me? Thanks! :)

Cliff
04-23-2012, 02:08 PM
I have closed your thread as requested

For those of us following this journal, you can continue to follow the up-grade to the 120 (link below)

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=90960