My aquarium reached the next stage of its evolution this morning. Small starfish and copepods are visible on the glass and substrate. I will leave the system undisturbed for the next few weeks to allow the copepod and amphipod population to really take hold.
Here is a picture of the starfish:
Again, just for kicks. You saw a picture of my 58 reef just 3 short weeks ago. Check out the growth as of today:
Love the hammer, The last picture in the centre on the substrate is that a Duncanopsammia, looks beautiful.
It does resemble Duncanopsammia, but it is just an old fashioned Toadstool Leather clipping! This thing was the size of my thumb only 3 months ago. Today it has split into 4 separate stalks, each opening to the size of a softball. Beautiful selection. I will probably have to grow it out in my 180.
By the way, every species in this tank is a clipping. Even the Hammer is actually 2 separate Hammers, from the same original colony.
Thats nice that you have grown and fragged everything in there.
That leather is a really nice colour, I am presuming it is a long polyped variety.
You will have to excuse me, I will be watching this very carefully, after reading about marine for 12-18 months in the last 6 weeks I have set up my first Nano tank of 20g. I have yet to resize all the pictures to start a journal but will be doing so soon.
Looking so far, I see this is probably not even your 2nd tank maybe 3rd or 4th or more, I am hoping to glean as much information as possible for when I move the nano into my 55g (UK) in a few yrs time. I like to be able to follow a build from the beginning and yours is the first on here since setting up my tank.
You must have some excellent growth in the tank the mother corals came from. _________________ Tina
Not to confuse the reader.... not all of these corals were mine. Most of the clippings came from other aquariums. The Green Leather actually spread onto a piece of live rock in another reefkeepers tank. It was only a single stalk the size of my thumb when I acquired the piece in April 2008. What you see is only 12 months growth!
Honestly, I have had so many marine aquariums I could not even begin to count. I've been in the marine hobby for about 16 or 17 years now. At one point I had 14 separate marine aquariums in my fishroom. The 180 project right now is the largest system I've set up. I plan to grow out these Leathers in my 180. I vision the Green Leather being a very large feature display in the 180.
I am planning to use the 180 as a grow out tank as these corals get to large for the 58. However, the primary focus of my 180 will be on the fish selections. The viewing area of the 180 is a considerable distance from the tank, so I need to balance the enjoyment of the aquarium with the desire for new livestock.
The problem with the 180 will lie with a decision that I am not willing to negotiate with myself. Which is that I want a Blue Girdled Angelfish (Majestic Angel). I also plan to keep a Coperband Butterfly and Achillies Tang. Between these 3 fish it would not be a surprise to have some occassional nipping on corals, especially LPS. But, I have decided to roll the dice and see how it plays out.
So, over the course of time, the 180 will be filled with corals and fish. I have no desire at all for SPS corals, but softies and LPS will certainly claim their share of space.
For now, I am getting married on Sunday April 26th. I plan to add 25 pounds more Key Largo rock later this week, allowing the tank to continue maturing until after my honeymoon. On May 4th I will connect the sump and skimmer, so I still have plenty of time to make decisions.
I guess its time for an update. Sorry, I don' t have pics today, but they are coming soon. (Where did I put the digital camera?)
Last Sunday, May 3rd, I finished the sump installation. Ammonia and Nitrite have both been zero for some time now. I have primarily been testing for alkalinity and calcium, with a weekly dose of calcium and Kent Marine SuperBuffer DKH as needed.
At this point all of my Fiji Dry Rock is completely blended with the original live rock. You simply can not tell the difference to pick out the dry rock from the live rock. The initial 50 lbs of Key Largo dry rock is starting to blend, and the final order of 25 lbs has some way to go. Copepods, amphipods, and asterina are visible all over the glass and all of the rock.
I have made a decision of great importance, which is concerning livestock. My trip of Ripley's was very helpful in this decision. I have decided to keep my 58 Bowfront in tact as my reef tank, and do the 180 as a FOWLR. I figure I can always go reef later after my passion for keeping some of these fish has been met. I must admit, the incredible success my 58 has had has really factored into this decision. I have already split my Hammer Coral into 2 separate colonies, and the Green Leather has shown incredible color. Anyhow, the 180 is FOWLR.
I added my first fish to the 180 on Sunday, May 3rd. I started with a Clarkii Clown and 3 Yellow Tail Damsels. If you follow any of my postings you will know that I have not personally found Yellow Tail Damsels to be aggressive in aquariums of this size, and I think they are a beautiful fish. By the way, I can't wait to post pictures of this Clarkii Clown. WOW. It is an amazing find. The moment I saw this fish I couldn't say "bag it" fast enough.
I plan to set up the 38 quarantine sometime this week or next. I won't use it for every introduction to the 180, having a UV I don't feel the need. But I will quarantine any fish that I feel carries any level of risk, such as larger Angelfish, Tangs, etc.
An update on my 180 FOWLR for you. The Cuban Hogfish has been in the aquarium for a month, and has become one of the dominant fish in the aquarium. He controls the feeding zone, but does no harm to the other livestock.
This week I added a Clown Tang. It had been at the LFS for 4 weeks, and in my 38 gallon quarantine tank for an additional 3 weeks. This is an extremely difficult fish to keep, so cross your fingers and wish me luck. So far so good, as most of these fish die within 4 to 6 weeks of collection. I am very excited about this fish, because it is the species that caught my eye nearly 20 years ago and made me interesting in keeping marines. A few years later I set up my first marine tank, and now I finally have one of these fish at home. That, my friends, is what you call patience!
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