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  Reef Tank Diary
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1/5/00 to
1/9/00
  • I noticed that the pistol shrimp hasn't been visible lately, then both of the watchman gobies disappeared one after the other. The gobies reappeared a few days later, but the shrimp is still missing.
  • A snail knocked over the Montipora capricornis and an Acropora. The Acropora landed in the middle of the Sinularia, but didn't seem to get damaged. The Montipora landed on top of the Turbinaria though, and it looks like it got slightly stung. I moved the Montipora to a different place, which is too bad because it had started attaching itself to the glass wall of the tank.
  • The salt burn on the Leptoseris seems to have healed completely.
  • Traded some RSX at Aquarium Center for some peppermint shrimp (Lysmata wudermanni) for the refugium box, and also got some cinnamon polyps (Protopalythoa grandis) that have a small Lemnalia attached to the side. Also took some pictures of their display reef tank; see them at the Aquarium Adventures page. 
1/15/00 to
1/16/00
  • My brother caught some trout and I've been feeding the roe to the reef. Seems like the corals like it. 
  • One of the peppermint shrimps has escaped the refugium and is now in the main tank. It somehow got to the sand chamber of the refugium box and over the overflow. I'll probably never be able to catch it now. 
  • Coral Gardens finally got my orders in, so I used my credit and brought home a live Porites head with colored fanworms living in it, as well as a green Pocillopora frag and a Montipora frag. 
1/22/00 to
1/23/00
  • Siphoned out detritus from the sump, and replaced about 4 gallons of water because one of the Pocillopora colonies looks a little sad-- tentancle expansion has decreased this week.  I kind of feel guilty throwing out the gunk though, because of the worms living in it. Maybe I should sell some "magic mud?"
  • Traded some tiny (we're talking itsy bitsy teeny weeny) Leptoseris frags with Joe Kelley for an large orange Montipora digitata frag and an Acropora frag (brown with green polyps).  I glued the Acropora to some live rock using cyanoacrylate gel.  I'm hoping that Joe can grow the Leptoseris faster than I can since his corals seem to grow like crazy in his system. I think his calcium reactor makes a big difference. 
  • The propagation tray is now taken over by grape Caulerpa and Xenia, and I can't even find the yellow gorgonian frag I put in there. There are also quite a few flatworms in there, but so far none have shown up in the main tank. I think something is eating them when they get there.
  • Also missing is the brown Xenia, which probably got knocked over by a snail and is now somewhere under the rocks.
  • Now only one peppermint shrimp is left in the refugium, and two are in the main tank. Looks like the shrimp that got into the sand chamber of the refugium box ate all the little brittle stars. Drat. 
  • The Porites with the fanworms in it is showing some marks where the coral didn't like being touched by fingers, but hopefully it will recover quickly. 
1/25/00
  • The darn hermit crabs discovered the cluster of featherduster worms after I moved them from the propagation tray into the main tank, and all that's left is the segmented coralline algae they were growing on. Rats. 
1/30/00
  • The propagation tray has been taken over by some grape caulerpa so I harvested a bunch and took it to Aquarium City, along with some RSX. Using the credit I got from it and some credit earned a few weeks earlier, I got a pink Ricordea, a yellow-green Pocillopora frag, and a brown Montipora capricornis frag. 
  • The pink Ricordea looks more orange than pink in my tank, but that's good because I feel that I have too much pinks and greens anyway, and any other color is welcome.
  • It took me almost an hour to find the right places for the new frags. The tank sure is getting crowded. I need to propagate the Xenia more aggressively to make room. 
  • I'm also going to have to start pruning down some Sargassum that is growing pretty well in the main tank. 
  • The Porites that the Xmas tree worms live in is turning a darker brown, which I guess is a good sign. 
2/5/00 to
2/6/00
  • The Lobophytum appears to have thrown off a lobe, probably in an attempt to propagate itself. I tried putting the little segment in a crevice in a small rock, but it got swept away by the current and got lost under the rocks. Hopefully it will get washed out again.
  • A red bubble shaped algae is growing in some parts of the tank. They used to only appear as tiny bubbles, but one of the patches has grown pretty large bubbles. They don't seem to be invasive like Valonia, but I'm keeping an eye on them. 
  • The sad-looking yellow and pink Pocillopora has started expanding well again, but another pink Pocillopora colony has started to lose patches of tissue on the upper parts of its branches. This one has always been a slow grower with a few bare spots, but now it looks even worse. 
  • A green type of Protopalythoa has reemerged from a rock that I've had for several years. I thought that all the polyps had died during the Northridge quake of 1994, but I saved the rock because of some nice red coralline algae; then new polyps started popping up . 
  • Harvested another large cupful of algae from the propagation tray to give to a fellow hobbyist.
2/12/00 to
2/13/00
  • I just noticed that a thick stemmed Pocillopora with cauliflowerlike growth has begun to produce thin branches on the sides pointing away from the currents. 
  • Had to reposition a powerhead in the back of the main tank because the suction cups came loose and the powerhead fell to the bottom where it blew a lot of sand around.  I was worried about the Tridacna derasa, because they're not supposed to like it much when the water gets too turbid but this one seemed to weather the storm okay. 
  • Traded some RSX at Peter's Tropical Fish where I got three Trochus snails and a small box of frozen brine shrimp "gumdrops." 
2/20/00
  • Traded some RSX and sargassum at Aquarium City, and used to credit for two feather duster worms and a Montipora digitata frag. Not sure where I'll put the frag yet, so it's in the propagation tray for now along with the two worms. I'm afraid that even though the tank is full, I'm still trying to cram more stuff into it! 
  • The yellow-green Pocillopora that I got three weeks ago has turned a bright green. 
  • A small Pavona decussata frag that I broke off the main colony a while back has produced quite a lot of encrusting growth, yet hardly any vertical growth. 
2/21/00
  • Rearranged some of the frags today, and moved the new Montipora into the main tank.  The Pocillopora that was losing tissue was moved to a different location with less turbulence.  A greenish brown Acropora was put in its place. This Acropora hasn't shown much growth since I got it, so I'm hoping increased water movement will help it. 
  • Moved the feather duster worms into the main tank, and buried their tubes in the sand.
  • Removed a clam shell that was covered with green star polyps and replaced it with a dead coral branch. When this branch gets covered with polyps it will be replaced again. A blue striped mushroom anemone was moved near the growing edge of the star polyps, where it will hopefully help limit the star polyps' spread. 
2/23/00
  • The blue mushroom that I moved got washed away and lost under the rocks when the rock that was anchoring it in place got knocked off by a snail. 
  • Bought myself a copy of Veron's Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific. It's a great book, and I'll be using it to try to identify some of the corals in the tank. 
2/27/00
  • Went coral trading again today. Took some RSX to Aquarium City, but saved my credit for another day. 
  • Took some RSX, sargassum and an extra Montipora capricornis frag that I couldn't find a good spot for to Aquarium Center, where I got a porcelain crab to live in my anemone, as well as a mandarin (Synchiropus splendidus) to hopefully control a growing flatworm population in the propagation tray
  • The scraper part of my Magna-Scraper came off the glass while I was cleaning the tank, and it landed on top of the Montipora capricornis and broke off two chips. Looks like I've propagated this coral by accident now. 
2/29/00
  • The hose connecting the main tank to the refugium and propagation tray came off the pump it was attached to sometime during the night. This meant that there was no water flowing into either the refugium or the tray. Fortunately , it seems the tray is none the worse for it, but I wonder how the "live" sand in the refugium fared. Ever since the peppermint shrimp got to the sand, I haven't seen much life in it anyway. The propagation tray seems to be acting as the primary refugium now.
  • Glued the two Montipora frags to some polished bits of shell, using cyanoacrlyate gel. While I was at it I also fragged and glued some Pocillopora. All 6 frags were put into the propagation tray.
  • The two new featherduster worms seem to have disappeared!!!
3/4/00
  • The propagation tray is being taken over by macroalgae, so I submerged a small container in the tray to make an algea-free zone. I scraped some Xenia off the skimmer box, and put the cuttings on top of some rubble in the small container. 
  • The sps frags were moved to the main tank to make room in the propagation tray. They are doing well except for one Montipora frag that got pushed by a snail into a patch of mushrooms. 
  • The brown Acropora with lavander tips is growing a bare spot along its shaded side. 
  • Can't find the featherdusters, so I guess something ate them. 
3/10/00 to
3/12/00
  • Stuck some dead coral pieces between the spreading green star polyps and a Pocillopora colony, in an attempt to keep the stars from spreading and stining the Pocillopora
  • Took some bubble Caulerpa to Aquarium City, and got credit. 
  • Took some RSX to TAT Tropical Illusion in Thousand Oaks, and traded them for a bag of aragonite sand. 
  • Since I was at Thousand Oaks, visited two other stores in the area. Brett's Tropical Fish had a good selection of coral (rather expensive though) and a nice display tank, but after seeing it I'm very glad I didn't pick acrylic for my tank! Tidal Wave didn't seem to have as much stuff as I remembered, but they did have a very nice Xmas Tree rock with live and healthy Porites as well as colorful worms that I ended buying, plus they gave me four Stomatella snails.
3/17/00 to
3/19/00
  • Dropped by Joe Kelley's and took pictures of his reef and seagrass tanks. The pictures are in the Aquarium Adventures section. Joe gave me some blue and orange mushrooms, and a frag each of Pavona and Montipora as  well as some clumps macroalgae. Thanks, Joe! 
  • Found a zig-zag trail of snail eggs on the glass, and watched a Stomatella deposit a jellylike clump of what may be eggs. 
  • Traded some RSX and bubble caulerpa at Aquarium Center.  Took home a blue Linckia star, and I have an orange Tubastraea on order. 
  • I accidentally discovered that Stomatella snails can break off their hind ends when I tried to move one. The front part went off in one direction while the tail part sat there waving a pair of tentacles. 
3/26/00
  • The Lobophyllia has been putting out sweeper tentacles at night, and it's burned off tissue from the green Pocillopora. I'm going to get rid of it, and the Platygyra as well. 
  • The Linckia star seems to have adjusted pretty well. It quickly moved to the back of the reef where I can see it from the back latched on to the rocks, probably grazing on detritus. 
  • Went by Aquarium City today, and picked up some rubble from the live rock tanks to use for propagating the RSX. They finally got some pistol shrimp in, so I have on hold to pick up next week. 
4/1/00 to
4/2/00
  • The Linckia got torn into a couple of pieces by SOMETHING. I think the algae-eating crab may have done it. Some arms went one way, and the rest of the arms when to the opposite side of the tank. Unfortunately, they seem to have rotted away after hanging on for a few days. 
  • Found one of the missing feather duster worms under the rocks in the back of the tank where I can't reach it. 
  • Gave away some excess coral (including the nasty Lobophyllia and Platygyra) to "Erich" and got some Xenia elongata (orignially from "Golfish) in exchange. 
  • The flatworm population in the propagation tray seemed to have gone down, but I got tired of waiting for them to disappear so I cleaned out the entire propagation tray. A lot of detritus had collected in it, and I saved it to see what was living in it. I also pruned out the old stems of the macroalgae growing in there, and removed the pebbles scattered around the bottom.   While I was at it, I siphoned detritus out of the sump, changed about 4 gallons of water, and cleaned out the hoses that were getting clogged with algae. 
  • Picked up the pistol shrimp at Aquarium City, and got a Tridacna squamosa clam too.  I've put the Tridacna squamosa where the Lobophyllia used to be.  The pistol shrimp is already busy digging a hole, and the watchman gobies have moved in. 
4/4/00
  • Looks like the RSX didn't like the water change much. Several colonies of it have dissolved!!! The salinity got a bit lower due to the water change, so that might have caused it. The pistol shrimp's excavation efforts kicked up a lot of fine sediment and maybe the Xenia didn't like it either.  Oh well. 
  • The mandarin somehow squeezed through one of the siphon tubes connecting the propagation tray to the main tank, so now it's fluttering around pecking at the live rock. It's already learned to eat frozen food, so hopefully it will do well in the main tank as long as it doesn't get eaten by the rock anemone. 
  • The newest Porites seems to like the current murky conditions. it's polyps are all out and fuzzy.
4/9/00
  • Took some caulerpa to Aquarium City for credit.
  • The RSX has mostly crashed now, with just a few bits left here and there. The Leptoseris is also showing some bare spots, mostly where it comes into contact with the Blastomussa.
  • The mandarin seems to be doing fine so far, aside from some split fins. It might have been attacked by the large crab. 
  • A small crab that lives in one of the Pocillopora heads has turned from all brown to brown with a purple carapace. It has also grown quite a bit bigger all of a sudden.
4/16/00
  • Looks like the big RSX forest fire is over. There are a couple of tiny bits left, but they look healthy so far so maybe they'll grow back. 
  • The Leptoseris is starting to worry me. It's possible that whatever got the RSX took advantage of the lepto's weak spots (wherever it was getting touched by other corals) and infected it there.
  • The pistol shrimp has been digging A LOT and the sand looks nice and clean. The gobies are also out and about more, so I think having the shrimp around boosts their confidence. 
4/18/00
  • The Tridacna squamosa fell off its place on the rocks and smashed through the Montipora capricornis colony!!! THEN it bounced over to land right beside the anemone!!!! I've returned it to where it was, but I think it got stung a bit. 
4/23/00
  • The Tridacna fell off again, so I let it stay on the sand for a while. It seemed to be getting moved around by the digging pistol shrimp, so I ended up putting it back on the rocks....this time fenced in with with live rock!
  • The lights had started flickering, and it turned out one of the actinics was burning out. Loss of color with some of the corals, and some patches of filamentous algae should have clued me in that the lights are six months old an needed replacing. I placed an order with Pet Warehouse for new lights and some other supplies. I included a new skimmer box in the order to replace the old one, which is cracking a bit. In the meantime, I replaced the burned out light with an old VHO that I still had. 
  • Going on vacation for a week, so I left instructions with my dad on how to take care of the tank. 
4/30/00 to
5/2/00
  • Got back from vacation on Sunday, and there appear to be minimal casualties. The Xenia elongata seems to have crashed, and the green Nepthea has developed some black branches. There has been a bit more tissue recession on the Leptoseris.  The Tridanca squamosa jumped to the sand again, so I left it there after moving it away from the anemone. 
  • The RSX is growing back nicely, at least. The other corals are doing great. 
  • The flatworms have reappeared in the propagation tray! I saw the blue damsel eating them when I tried putting a few in the main tank to see what happens to them, since they never seem to show up in the main tank no matter how infested the propagation tray gets. 
  • The new lights arrived on 5/1/00, and I've replaced the actinic/white which had started to burn out.  The Amiracle skimmer box came in cracked, so I emailed Pet Warehouse about it but haven't heared back from them yet. 
5/6/00 to
5/7/00
  • I moved the Tridacna squamosa back up to the rocks, but in a different location than before. Hopefully that will keep it from jumping off the rocks again. 
  • Pet Warehouse e-mailed me back, and they're going to send me a mailing label so I can send back the damaged skimmer box, then they'll send me a replacement. 
  • I called Aquarium Center to see if they got any Tubastraea in, and they did so I picked one up using the credit I had with them. 
  • Took some caulerpa trimmed from the propagation tray to Aquarium City, and got credit. Used some of the credit for live sand/gravel/muck taken from their live rock holding bin. 
  • One of the Cerithium snails laid a long zigzag string of eggs on the front glass of the tank, and at first I thought that there was a crack on the glass!
  • There are patches of hair algae here and there, and I've been pulling them out. I probably waited too long before changing the lights, and the spectrum shift as well as the extra feeding triggered the algae growth. 
5/14/00
  • The T. squamosa jumped off the rocks AGAIN so this time I made a bowl in the live rock and put the clam in it. I moved the T. derasa to the propagation tray, to give it more light.  At the very least it can help clean the water. 
  • The Tubastrea also got moved to the propagation tray, where I'll be training it to open for feeding time. This way I won't have to fight the shrimp to keep the food in it, since it's not extending its tentacles very much yet. 
  • I replaced one of the old URI actinic lights with a GE tube. 
  • A Montipora frag was getting covered with zoanthid polyps, so it got moved higher up on the rocks. It certainly doesn't seem to be getting stung by the zoanthids. 
  • The gravel and muck from Aquarium City is crawling with stuff! I've spotted some brittle stars and tiny hermit crabs, as well as assorted worms and other critters. 
  • Oops, forgot to mention that last week I tried washing the black patches off the  Nepthea with warm tap water, then giving it a final rinse with potassium iodide solution. It seems to have worked, and the Nepthea no longer has black patches. 
5/20/00 to
5/21/00
  • The T. squamosa is turning out to be pretty troublesome. This time it pushed some rocks apart and sent an Acropora frag into a patch of mushrooms. Bye bye Acropora. I spent some time rearranging the rocks, and now the Montipora capricornis is getting more light so I guess it was all for the best. 
  • The replacement skimmer box arrived during the week, so I removed the old cracked outer box to repair it and used the new outer box in its place. I kept the old inner box in the tank since there's a colony of RSX growing on it. 
  • The Tubastrea didn't look too happy in the propagation tray, even though I kept it in the darkest end. I moved it back to the main tank, and it's starting to open up more every feeding time. 
  • Got tired of seeing more and more hair algae popping up (from the increased feeding, I guess) so I got a Sally Lightfoot crab from Aquarium Center. It was last seen on Saturday busily cropping algae, but I haven't seen it since. 
  • I'm rather amazed but the mandarin is still healthy, pecking away at the live rock and avoiding the anemone. It seems to be able to deal with the currents just fine. 
  • Pruned some caulerpa out of the propagation tray, and traded it for some Nassarius snails at Aquarium City
5/30/00
  • Memorial Day weekend was pretty uneventful. The T. squamosa did take another jump off the rocks, which meant building a better corral for it. This time the long-suffering Montipora capricornis AKA "Tridacna landing pad" got a crack through its base, but that meant I could reposition it where it didn't extend too close to the front glass. 
  • Pulled half a cupful of Bryopsis algae out of the tank. I think the deionization resins have worn out and need to be recharged, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. 
  • One of the lights' endcaps was making a buzzing sound on occasion, so I disassembled and cleaned it, and now it seems to be okay. 
6/4/00
  • The refugium is really taking off... I'm seeing lost of little brittle stars, and all off a sudden there are baby amphipods everywhere. There also seems two be quite a few mysid shrimp that have appeared, especially inside the pipe that connects the two chambers of the refugium. 
  • Most of the feather caulerpa fell apart, except for one frond that had broken off last week. Hopefully it will grow well enough to give me a good supply again. The bubble caulerpa continues to grow well. 
6/11/00
  • Finally got around to recharging the DI resins. Unfortunately, I'm still rinsing them out because the water that's coming out still has a pretty high pH. Could be that my test kit is too old (I haven't tested the tank itself in a LONG time) and I don't remember even bothering to test the DI water the last time I recharged the resins, but I don't want to take any changes at this point. 
  • Took some bubble caulerpa to Aquarium City, and got some store credit. 
6/18/00
  • Cleaned the overflow's grills and siphon, because bubbles were starting to collect in the siphon tube. 
  • Pulled out quite a bit of bryopsis algae from both the main tank and the propagation tray. Had to rescue a few amphipods that were hiding in the wads of algae.
  • Seems like every time I stick my hand in the tank, the Tubastrea opens up. I took the opportunity to feed it. Maybe next time instead of squirting food in the tank to stimulate it to open, I'll just dip my finger in and save the food for the actual feeding. 
  • Started using the recharged DI resins; so far there have been no bad effects. I did stick some Polyfilter pads in the DI chambers to help purify the water a bit more. 
6/25/00
  • The Leptoseris seems to have recovered from its bout with tissue recession, and is making a comeback. However, the green Nepthea had another bout with black slime and lost most of its branches again. 
  • The orange Montipora is starting to show new growth. At the moment the frag in in a horizontal position, and this seems to be stimulating branches to grow along the side of the frag. 
  • The Red Sea Xenia is slowly coming back, and the stems are beginning to show those little buds that mean they're starting to spread.
  • The Sally Lightfoot crab and the mandarin continue to do well. I'm surprised about the mandarin; he's not fat but he's competing pretty well with some greedy tankmates. He's learned  to eat from an eyedropper while I was feeding the Tubastrea.
  • The cerith snails are laying LOTS of eggs. 

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