Posted: 2006.02.23(Thu)10:47 Post subject: More Pics
In the past weeks I've mentioned that I added more base rock to the tank, thus lifting more of the LR for better biological filtration. Here's an updated shot of the full tank. The new BR is on the left. The old base rock is all on the right, and is now officially LR. The process took a few months, but it worked! Coraline algae is building up on them, and those little calcium worms have really taken to the bigger piece.
This next pic shows off quite a few tank inhabitants. You can also get a 1st glimpse of that new shroom colony I just bought. The rock that the shrooms are on is WAAAAAAY over crowded. I'm hoping that some of the shrooms will relocate themselves to some of the other rock.
The BL-S urchin has lost 2 of it's long needles In both cases, I'm positive that it was because the urchin got itself in a jam, thus breaking a needle off. Sometimes the urchin wants to get itself in the tightest of spaces. I don't get it. I know urchins lose their needles when the water is bad, but the water is excellent. Is it possible that urchins 'shed' their needles to make room for new ones?
Thanks! My LFS guy thought the same thing. I had him look it up just to be sure. They are completely reef safe. In fact, there was an article in TFM recently on how necessary it is to have urchins in the reef environment, and how in the wild, they're being devastated due to collecting. It's too bad. So maybe this guy will make it, and I will have saved one.
Posted: 2006.02.28(Tue)16:34 Post subject: UPDATES
Near zero. It still kinda freaks me out, and I think I'll take a water sample to my LFS this weekend just to double check the reading. Can we say... paranoid?????? With good reason though. I really don't want to see anything happen to Lurch, the Long-Spined Black Urchin. He seems to be doing better, but an occasional needle will pop up here and there. Until I find out something is wrong with my water, my theory will remain that he loses them when navigating tight spaces. We'll see.
The big beautiful tester shroom has been devoured? Used as wrapping paper? Abducted by aliens? Know one will know for sure. Fact is, it's missing. Monday morning I woke up, and saw there was nothing left but it's nubby shroom foot. The colony of shrooms hasn't been bothered... yet? The corals thought it was safe to go in the water, but there is a mystery canibal in the tank! As a visual reference, the tester shroom I'm referring to was the large green shroom in the upper left-hand of the last pic posted in this thread. Farewell Tester the Shroom...
Yet there is HOPE!!!
After believing the original brown tester shroom to be lost forever (the Wanderer... remember? Even attached itself to a snail at one point), we saw him yesterday! He hasn't given up on his travels yet! It had been weeks, but he made an appearance, then quitely vanished without a trace by morning. So perhaps our green shroom is out there... somewhere...
My first coraline algae growths on the back glass! I'm pretty excited about this, because my 10g nano NEVER got coraline growth on the glass. I see it as a sign that things are fiiiiiiiine. Here's a pic:
Here's a picture of that new shroom colony. I am actually using this picture in a photo contest on nano-reef.com
Posted: 2006.03.26(Sun)17:49 Post subject: NEW Stuff
I haven't been doing too much with the tank as of late. I even put off changing the filters for a week because the water is doing so well. Today I decided that things needed to be caught up on so that fine water can keep its quality. So I changed some water out, just to get some fresh stuff in there (there's lots of good chems in those salt mixes, and it's always a good idea to get more in when you can), changed out the filters, and cleaned out the skimmer. All is gooooood.
NEW CORALS & MORE:
After the tank cleansing, my wife and I went out to our favorite LFS to get some more food for our 75g FW, and wound up getting some new corals for the 55g too! We picked up a beautiful single red shroom, and a small colony of zoos that were attached to a piece of dead coral rubble. Great finds. I love them, and always feel excited when I spot them.
When we got home, not only did we get our two new species of coral (for $10), but we discovered a baby serpent/brittle starfish in the bag! When I say baby, I really mean baby. This hitcher is just big enough to wrap itself around a lentil bean... if that! We added it to the tank, and are excited of the possibilities of seeing it again in the future. Who knows when?!? but I'm sure it will grow big and strong. This is our 2nd cool hitcher. The 1st was a baby, and I mean baby (once again) pencil urchin, that came along on some LR that was in the 10g nano reef. Some of you may remember that from the 10g nano reef thread.
Anyway... There will be pics to come, when the corals get better adapted to the tank. Good water to you!
It is looking good. Nice to see that things are staying healthy. A 55 gallon isn't the easiest for a reef...the dimensions of the tank make rock placement a challange, you are doing great with it. _________________ Out on the road today...I saw a DeadHead sticker on a Cadillac...
110 Gallon DSA Pentagon
Posted: 2006.03.27(Mon)16:13 Post subject: Thanks!
I'm working the 55g rock situation little-by-little. Most of the dead rock is LR now, so there's quite a bit of poundage in there! Hey, so if my LR is Figi LR, would my DR to LR also be figi? or is it HARLOCK brand LR? hahaha
Thanks again for your interest in my tank, and the compliments!
Posted: 2006.03.31(Fri)9:29 Post subject: Many Happy Returns
MANY HAPPY RETURNS:
It wasn't too long ago that the mushroom named, the Wanderer, made a miraculous appearance in the tank after being assumed dead, for we had not seen the Wanderer in months. Shortly after the suprise appearance, he disappeared without a trace once more.
Two days ago, I spotted the Wanderer once again! This time, he seems to have finally settled down, and has attached to the base of the piece of LR furthest to the right of the tank. I've never seen anything like this before, and it is great to know just how resilient (spelling?) shrooms can be.
MORE CORAL NEWS:
The 2 new coral frags are doing well, and will be ready for photography within the next few days. The majority of the button zoos have opened, although I'm a little disappointed in their lack of color; they're very brownish, though some have a bright pink center. Perhaps in more time, their color will fully develope. The red shroom has not fully expanded as I saw it in the store when I purchased it, but it is my experience with shrooms, that it takes a week or more sometimes to fully adapt to a new tank's water & lighting.
Posted: 2006.04.19(Wed)5:23 Post subject: Sad... very sad :(
THE FISH FRONT:
Death is everywhere. In the past two weeks, 3 people we know passed away. It now looks as if I will be saying goodbye to my yellow long-nosed butterfly fish, Vinny the Nose. Two days ago, I noticed a nasty looking hole Vinny's stomach, on his right side. It looks as if something tore its way out of him. Just looking at it hurts, and I can't imagine how Vinny must feel. Since I've spotted Vinny's wound, I noticed that he hasn't eaten anything either; would you, if you had a giant hole in your stomach?
All the other fish look fine, and don't seem to be showing any strange signs of illnesses. I think it may be possible that Vinny ate a bristle worm or some such critter, but didn't chew, then the worm knawed its way out of Vinny's gutty. The other possibility is that Vinny may have had a run in with the L-SB Urchin (Lurch). Vinny has been known to get a little too close to Lurch at times. Who knows. Either way, it doesn't look as if Vinny is going to make it. We've had Vinny since August of 2005.
About 2 weeks ago, I noticed that the nitrates had taken a jump to about 10ppm. I changed out about 1/3 of the water about a week later, and brought the nitrates down to about 5ppm. I have no concerns that the nitrates will be on an upward trend at this time.
The algae situation has continued to remain well in control, and it is almost a year! Woo! Algae comes, algae goes, but it never sticks around for long. The cleanup crew is doing a knock out job. Here's the crew I'm currently using:
- 2 bumblebee snails (they don't do much, but they look cool)
- 5 astrea snails (decent snails; they'll do a better job in large numbers)
- 1 turbo snail (the anti-turbo of the turbos)
- 2 mexican turbo snails (these puppies get around!)
- 1 Long-Spined Black Urchin (extremely efficient... see below)
Lots of folks told me that the L-SBU's are great if you don't mind them eating your coraline algae too. I was really concerned at 1st because I really like coraline algae, but it hasn't been a problem at all! Yes, I notice areas where coraline algae has been stripped, but it comes back quickly, or in other areas. In a nutshell, losing coraline algae hasn't been a problem.
Speaking of coraline algae, the spots on the rear glass have tripled, maybe even quadrupled in size since that first pic of the CA pic. (3-10-2006), and more CA spots have developed. Again, I see CA build-up as a sign of good water; something's right!
I got my very first beer kit for an Irish Stout! This is a real-deal brew kit, not like one of those Mr. Beer brew kits. If all turns out well, I may just turn our downstairs bathroom into a small brewery! Woo!
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