Posted: 2006.01.18(Wed)16:53 Post subject: Crazy Corals
Sirreal, thanks for the input on the shrooms! I had also read that they are real easy to 'spread'... just slice and dice, correct?
The floater shroom never ceases to amaze me, and is officially a travelling shroom. Last night, before heading for bed, I checked the tank once more; checking the shrooms really, to see if they had fallen victim to the Butts. Both shrooms were present, and looking healthy, though the floater was still unattached. The floater was however right beside a bumble bee snail that was taking a nap. I thought to myself, "It would be so cool if the shroom attached to the bumblebee shell."
This morning I couldn't wait to check it out. Both the snail and the shroom were not in the same place as I saw them the night before. After a quick scan of the tank, I was easily able to spot them in the front of the tank... together! The shroom had attached to the shell of the bumblebee snail!!! I have named this roaming shroom, The Wanderer, as its nature has surely proven that it does NOT wish to stay put in any one place for very long.
I tried getting a good pic of it, but there was a shell in the way. I'll wait until the snail moves into a better position. CRAZY!!!
Posted: 2006.01.22(Sun)20:56 Post subject: UPDATES
1 week later. The nitrates registered at 10ppm. I changed out about 20% of the water just to stay on the safe side.
CORALS & MORE:
The mobile shroom has detached from the bumblebee snail since the last post, and hasn't been seen since. The other shroom is still doing fine.
I picked up some more tester corals today: 2 single shrooms, and a small colony of zoos. My LFS treats me well knowing that these are testers, so if they get eaten, it's no big loss. One of the new shrooms is already missing, but it could have just 'drifted'. The others seem to be doing alright.
I wanted to lift some of my existing LR to a higher position, so I added an 8 pound piece of base rock. The organization took some manuvering, but I got it in, and it looks pretty good.
We got some small pieces of LR too. One has a cool fan worm on it, that is also going to be used as a tester, as Butts like to eat worms.
Lastly, I added a black long-spined urchin. This has got to be one of the coolest additions to this new reef setup. It is very active, and no one bothers it (for VERY obvious reasons!).
Posted: 2006.01.23(Mon)9:55 Post subject: I thought I just did that
So I'm off from work today. and I get this brilliant idea to check my nitrate levels after the water change yesterday. They registered in at a solid 10ppm, as if I hadn't done a bloody thing to the water yesterday at all! I attributed the increase, despite the water change, to my messing with the rock work, and disturbing the substrate.
The increase wasn't huge or anything, but enough that I was compelled to change out morrrre water. This time I took out about 25-30 percent of the water. In the future, I will definately wait until I'm through aquascaping before doing a water change, to prevent this from happening again (if my hypothosis is correct).
Later, I'll check the nitrates again to see what the difference in ppm is after this SECOND water change.
Posted: 2006.01.28(Sat)22:10 Post subject: Pics 'n' things
The new rock arrangments seem to be helping out with keeping the nitrate levels down. If you recall, I raised a good bit of my figi LR on a large piece of base rock. The added LR surface area is doing more in the water flow. The nitrates registered in at 0-5 ppm today, and was last tested this past monday at 10ppm (after the large water change). I was pretty excited that I wouldn't have to do another change this week, and after all, I should only need to do a water exchange once to twice a month.
The shrooms and zoos are doing fine. The Butts don't bother them, and they seem to be thriving. Woo Hoo!!! It will still be some time before I add a large colony of anything.
The urchin is awsome, and has quickly become our new favorite specimen in the tank. Here's a pic of Urchie... to the left of the long-spined black urchin you can see one of our bumblebee snails, and one of the green tester shrooms.
It has finally been feeling like winter these past 2 days, and the effect has taken its toll on the 55g. Since it is an open top tank, most of the heat escapes quickly, and when the temp in the house drops, so does the temp in the tank. The temp dipped down to about 68F in the tank last night. The temp normally sits at 74F, and during a slightly cold spell, will go down to about 72F... so this was low.
My solution was to add HOT fresh water to the tank during my daily evap corrections of fresh water. This helped out, and didn't seem to bother the inhabitants at all. In the end, I think the hot water raised the temp by 1 to 1.5 degrees. I may be purchasing a second heater (100w) to compliment the 300w heater that is currently in the tank.
Posted: 2006.02.13(Mon)8:14 Post subject: Joys & Sorrows... a brief reflection
The nitrates continue to remain very low (between 0-5ppm). I believe most of this success has to do with raising a large majority of the figi LR to catch more surfact area water flow. I also believe that some of the old base rock (BR) has begun to change into LR, if not already fully LR.
Another reason the nitrates may be getting kept low is because the pods that developed in the mechanical filtration have adapted well to their environment. Each week, there are more and more pods residing in the filter.
I've noticed these giant patches of white develope on some of our LR & BR. I don't know what causes it yet, or what it is made up of, but I am closer to understanding its structure.
Like crystals form in dark, dank, cold caves, these crystal-like structures form in the light. I found a small patch of them just beginning to form, getting organized into geometric lines of 'V'shapes. They are small, needliene, and white. In the later stages of these crystal-like structures, they become taller, by stacking the 'V's like logs, forming a more circular shape.
I believe that it is a chemical reaction between the purpleup, calcium, and iodine additions to the water, but who knows.
The Pakistani Butt has died. The fish did not appear sick, though went on a 5 day hunger strike, that ultimately led to its death. The water quality has been fantastic, so I'm not sure what went wrong. I suspect that it may have got too close to the black long-spined urchin. I've seen it nip at the venomous protective needles that encompass the urchin's body before. The sting of one of the BL-S urchin's needles is supposed to be equivilent to that of a bee sting.
BOth the red and green tester shrooms are doing well. We will be purchasing a mushroom or zoo colony soon.
Posted: 2006.02.19(Sun)20:36 Post subject: New Stuff!
I was on my way to upload some more pics to the journal, when I had discovered that the site that hosted my other pics has shut down... So, all of my previous pics are now 'broken links'. That really bites, but there will be many more pics in the future. I will even post comparison shots of older pics to newer ones to make up for the loss of the previously posted pics. <shrug> What can you do, right?!?!
The nitrates are eerily remaining near zero. I shouldn't worry about it, but somehow, I always do
Remember those pods that I wrote about; the ones living in the mechanical filter? Well they keep multiplying... so much so that I had to take a picture of it to share with you all. There are no visible pods in the tank itself, as the fish must eat them. Here's a pic of the inside of my Whisper 60 without the bio-sponges and filter cartridges.
Click on image for better viewing:
Since the tester shrooms have been doing so well, we decided to pick up a colony of them today. They are green, but I'm not sure what kind of green shrooms. I was hoping that they would have opened up a bit more since introducing them to the tank, so I could get a tasty picture for you all, but they all haven't bloomed just yet. Hopefully I'll get a pic here in a day or two.
We also picked up this cute little Green Clown Goby, named Titsy. It's an adorable addition to the tank. They are small, easy to care for fish, that stay about 1-1.5 inches long.
Posted: 2006.02.21(Tue)16:49 Post subject: New Pic!!!
Well we're back in business with getting photos on the journal, for the time being anyway Here's a pic I took last night of one of the tester shrooms. It's a green shroom of some kind, and the new colony of green shrooms look different than this one. Pics of the new colony will come soon; I'm still waiting for them to open up to their full size (which may be this evening).
Click the thumbnail for a larger pic:
So Marty the Lawnmower Blenny hasn't had a slim figure in who knows how long. His belly is ALWAYS full, and not just with plant life. Marty has really taken a liking to the meaty foods. During feeding time, Marty will chase down large pieces of shrimpy bits, and will keep down more than just a couple. This is one herbivore that is determined to have everything on his menu.
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