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Reef Tank Diary
Page 6
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1/01/02 to 1/21/02
  • Whoops, looks like I haven't updated my diary for almost a whole month! I've been very busy setting up a seahorse tank. Details about it will be uploaded soon.
  • I'm hoping that the addition of some macroalgae in the propagation tray will help with the Bryopsis problem by absorbing excess nutrients. I've allowed some patches of Bryopsis to grow quite large, then ripped out the entire hunk. It seems that when the patch is very large, it becomes easier to remove the whole patch without leaving stubble behind. I suspect that the bases of the strands become weakened from lack of light, but that's just a guess. I really ought to start doing regular water changes though!
  • The Red Sea Xenia doesn't seem to be growing as fast anymore. It might be because it's competing for nutrients with the macroalgae now.
2/3/02
  • I did a 5-gallon water change, and siphoned off as much Bryopsis as I could. I think the algae growth is slowing down even more, because this is the least amount of algae that I had to pull out.
  • The Devil's Hand Lobophytum was starting to release some "fingers", so I snipped those lobes off before they could break off on their own and get lost, and put the frags in the popagation tray. I also cut off a branch of one of the Sinularia because it was getting too big and crowded.
2/17/02
  • The Bryopsis HAS slowed down, but it still hangs on. At least it's not growing explosively like before. I'm letting the remaining clumps grow big again, to make them easier to pull out completely.
  • I'm working out a trade with a couple of folks from the Reef Central message boards... we'll see what new stuff I can add!
  • I've also been reworking parts of the website, with diagrams to illustrate my tank sytem more clearly.
2/24/02
  • I pulled out the clumps of Bryopsis, but a few strands remain. I'll be watching to see how fast they grow back.
  • The overflow used to gurgle a lot, but now it's almost silent thanks to the instructions I found at http://home.att.net/~rstockman/overflow.htm

3/1/02 to
3/
4/02

  • Did a water change using about 7 gallons of natural sea water from Aquatic Outlet. I'm seeing some tiny copepods moving around on the glass a day later.
  • Traded some Xenia frags and the T. derasa clam for a pair of anemone shrimp (Periclimenes brevicarpalis) at Aquarium City.
  • Adjusted the heater to about 79F because the Red Sea Xenia hasn't looked too happy ever since I've let the water stay at about 75F
3/7/02
  • The Hippocampus zosterae have arrived from Florida Collector!
  • Along with about 16 H. zosterae, I got a small sea cucumber, a small decorator crab, a small goby-type fish, several clumps of Zoanthus or Protopalythoa (I'm not sure exactly what they are, but they're pretty!) and some clumps of Halimeda and Penicillus. The algae had several hitchikers in them, including some tunicates and a pink starfish.
  • One of the seahorses gave birth soon after they were settled in.

3/24/02 to
3/30/02

  • Seems like watching the seahorses eat has taken up most of my spare time these past few weeks! More babies have arrived, and I've gotten into the routine of hatching brine shrimp for the ponies. Some of the adults have died, but I still have about 10 left (I think; they're so hard to find when they decide to hide, and it's diffucult to do a head count).
  • While purchasing some water at Aquatic Outlet, I saw a Cryptodendrum adhaesivum anemone. I figured I might as well provide the anemone shrimp with their preferred host (they are also nibbling on the Condylactis a bit too much) so I got it. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be doing to well, gaping and looking generally floppy. I hope it'll pull through; at least it's attaching strongly to the rock I put it on. For now the shrimp are staying with the condy.
3/31/02 to
4/6/02
  • The Cryptodendrum didn't make it, so I finally came to my senses and moved the Periclimenes brevicarpalis pair to the seahorse tank. The Condylactis started recovering immediately, and the Thor shrimp that moved back into it doesn't bother it at all.
  • The male P. brevicarpalis disappeared a few day later so I moved the female to the refugium. Haven't seen it since, but it might be hiding among the Xenia stalks.
  • All the devil's hand colonies seem to have bleached to a light yellow color. I hope they'll recover.
  • I don't seem to be doing too well with the seahorses, because most of them have died. Some of them (especially the babies) simply disappeared, but some have gotten "twitchy" before dying. I killed several Aptasia anemones and hydroid colonies that were hiding in the algae, and hopefully that will stop the deaths.
  • Added a purple ribbon gorgonian that I purchased at Aquatic Outlet. I probably shouldn't have, but I also talked them into selling me three 1-month-old seahorse babies that they raised when a wild caught male gave birth in their tank.
  • One of the fluorescent light endcaps burned out, so I replaced the IceCap system with a 4-lamp Coralife system that I won at a MASLAC raffle. The tank actually look much better now because I can use two actinic lamps which balance out the colors a bit better. I've shortened the photoperiod though, to prevent the corals from getting shocked by the increase in light.
7/6/02
  • Boy, it's been a while since I've updated my diary! I guess I've been PRETTY LAZY lately. The tank is doing well in spite of this though.
  • I've lost a few animals since the last diary entry. The Phymanthus crucifer shrank and died, possibly after catching something from the Cryptodendrum that died. It's also possible that it died because I didn't feed it for a while, but I don't think that's likely. The two anemone shrimp that I put in the refugium (after they almost nibbled my Condylactis to death) disappeared. The condy has since rallied and grown. A purple gorgonian fell into the Hydnopora.
  • The macroalgae in the seahorse tank has grown so well that I hardly ever see the seahorses anymore.
  • I traded some Chaetomorpha algae for some Gracilaria, and a Sinularia frag for an Anthelia (to be fragged when it's ready).
7/13/02 to 7/14/02
  • Spent the afternoon pruning the corals, and moved a couple of colonies around to display them better and give them more room. Among the corals pruned and fragged were a pink and green Sinularia, a Pavona, a Pocillopora, and the gorgonian with some bare spots on the stem.
  • Attached a few frags here and there too, to cover up some bare spots.
  • I found an old credit slip from Aquarium Center in my wallet, so I used it to get another anemone crab and a small anemone.
7/20/02
  • The small anemone that I just got disappeared, but I moved the Condylactis to the spot I made for it. This opens up a lot of room in the right side of the tank. Nobody wants to be a condy commensal though! The Thor shrimp still hangs out around it, but doesn't really go into it much anymore. The clowns certainly aren't going into it, and the anemone crabs (who have paired up with no problems) prefer to stay in the Euphyllia divisa.
8/10/02 to
8/17/02
  • I've added a lovely little brittle star (looks like some sort of filter feeder) and a striped black and gray serpent star. I've only seen the new brittle star once since then and the serpent star has disappeared, but I'm hoping that they're both doing well and will be more visible once they've settled in.
  • The new bubble anemone suddenly shriveled up and died... I swear I'll never try to wedge another one in this tank again!
  • The big Pocillopora colony was getting TOO big and I've pruned it. That led to pruning the Pavona colony since the Condylactis is starting to sting it. I've removed the bigger brown and green Caulastrea because it's been sending out lots of sweeper tentacles, and I've fragged it into several pieces.
  • I've moved the Euphyllia to a spot with less current, to allow it to expand its tentacles more. The clownfish have moved back into it since the anemone is gone (they're still ignoring the Condylactis).
  • Both anemone crabs are now living in the Condy, so at least that piece of real estate isn't going to waste.
  • The Fungia/Cynarina combo rock was moved to the left side of the tank, to make room for the Euphyllia.
8/18/02
  • I've been very bad. I dropped by Aquatic Outlet in Inglewood and they had this rock with three different colors (yellow, orange and reddish orange!) of Tubastrea growing on it. So I bought it. Fortunately I did have room for it, and it didn't involve using a crowbar.
  • This evening I noticed a burning smell coming from the tank. It turned out that one of the light's pins were loose and the endcap was burning! Fortunately I was able to replace the endcap with a spare. I also tightened all the endcaps.
8/30/02 to
9/2/02
  • Had a fun weekend meeting some guys from Reef Central, and did some frag trading. I got some red Zoanthus and an Acropora frag from Project Reef, and a gorgonian frag and a chili coral from Old Yeller Tang. Mescalito and Nelson helped take some extra frags off my hands too. Reeefer came by and picked up some macroalgae prunings, and we spent quite some time talking reef tanks. Meeting great people sure is a big part in making this hobby fun!
9/8/02
  • Traded some sump gunk (detritus and the critters that come with it) for some Protopalythoa and Zoanthus polyps. Thanks, Jimmy F!
  • Since I had to siphon out the sump to get the mysids that Jimmy wanted, I ended up doing a partial water change.
  • Trimmed the Sinularia and rearranged the corals a bit to open up more room.
9/16/02
  • Went shopping and added a few more critters: a blue Linckia starfish, a pink and green Fungia, a small colony of cat's eye tunicates (Clavelina?), a yellow sea cucumber (Cholochirus robustus), a small red gorgonian, a baby Tridacna clam (dark with yellow spots) and a small orange sponge on a rock (got the rock for free!).
9/22/02
  • Traded in some frags at Aquarium City in Sherman Oaks and took home a piece of orange sponge, an orange Scleronepthya and a royal gramma.
  • The red gorgonian started to lose tissue in areas that I've touched it! I guess that means next time I shouldn't hold the stem with my bare fingers. The tunicates seem to have shrunk; and I don't know if that's because they're growing new bodies or if they're just not doing well at all. The Linckia seems to be doing well, even though I didn't do the hours-long acclimation that's being recommended these days. Oddly enough, the previous Linckia that I tried the slow drip acclimation on didn't live more than a few days. I'm hopeful that since this one is still cruising around after a week, it'll do fine and live a long long time.
10/11/02 to
10/13/02
  • The MASLAC frag swap was great! I got to sell or trade most of my extra frags, and brought home a nice big chili coral, a small gold crown Sarcophyton, a purplish Montipora digitata frag, a well-branched Pseudopterogorgia frag, and some green striped mushrooms. And they all fit in the main tank too!
  • Anthony Calfo, who was our guest speaker at the MASLAC meeting, dropped by and got to see my tank and take lots of pictures. I should have made him autograph the stand or something! And I should've taken pictures! Maybe next time I'll start some sort of guestbook for visitors.
  • I got to give a frag of the "Myron" Acropora back to MASLAC co-member Myron, to replace his mother colony which had died a while back. Sharing frags is good insurance!
  • Pulled out as much macroalgae from the propagation tray as I could, because I'm going on vacation and I didn't want to come back to a solid mass of algae. All I left was a strawberry basket's worth of Chaetomorpha. I also cleaned all siphon tubes, and made sure the overflow box slots were clear so that nothing clogs.
  • Some vermetid snails were irritating my blue Tridacna maxima, so I killed them by injecting them with CaOH paste. While I was at it, I killed a few more that were spreading a little too much slime around on the corals.
10/28/02 to
11/3/02
  • I'm back from vacation! Looks like the tank made it just fine. One Tubastrea got knocked over (probably by the tuxedo urchin) but my dad levered it back upright and it's doing fine.
  • The Cholochirus cucumber has split into two while I was gone! The rear half doesn't seem to have any feeding tentacles yet, but is otherwise looking okay.
  • The Chaetomorpha algae completely filled the propagation tray and I had to do some MAJOR pruning. I can't imagine what the tray would look like if I didn't prune all the algae back so hard before I left.
  • Some of the corals needed pruning, so I've taken frags from the Pocillopora, and have started putting tourniquets on some soft corals so I can minimize the size of the cuts on their branches.
  • I've added a small batch Southdown sand to the tank since I have a bunch sitting around that I almost forgot about.
11/8/02 to
11/10/02
  • Won another Coralife actinic light at the MASLAC raffle, along with a green tree leather coral.
  • I finally pulled out an overgrown Sinularia, allowing some Ricordea to get more light.
  • The yellow cucumber's hind end is now showing some feeding tentacles too.
  • The Fungia corals looked like they needed more light so I moved them off the sand and onto a "rubble zone" closer to the surface.
  • I couldn't see the baby black and gold Tridacna so I moved it from its bed behind the Myron Acropora and put it beside the blue Tridacna in the middle of the Turbinaria. Boy, that's a lot of nouns ending in "a."
11/15/02
  • Traded some Red Sea Xenia frags with "fridmani" from Reef Central, and got a nice rock with assorted orange and green Zoanthus polyps.
  • Traded a Pocillopora frag with fellow MASLAC co-member Wilbur and got some nice blue mushrooms with red spots, and an Montipora capricornis frag that I've glued to the overflow.
11/24/02
  • Traded some excess corals (Sinularia, Zoanthus) and a bunch of Chaetomorpha algae with MASLAC co-member Mary and brought home two Zoanthus rocks: one with pink polyps, another with green and white polyps. The green and white Zoanthus had some mushy areas on the colony but the tuxedo urchin is eating the dead parts and I think it'll be okay.
  • Trimmed the Pavona a bit, and gave away some frags to friends who gave me a ride to Mary's.
  • I moved the bigger chili coral to a place near the back of the tank because it just didn't seem happy where it was under a ledge.
11/26/02
  • We had a power outage at around 4:30 this morning due to high winds. When it seemed like it was going to last for more than a few minutes I dug out my battery operated air pump to keep a current going in the main tank. Unfortunately the water level dropped to the point where one of the baby Pocillopora colonies that had attached itself to the overflow was exposed to air until the power came back on at about 10:00, and the exposed branches seem to have lost quite a bit of tissue even though I wet them now and then with a turkey baster.

12/01/02 to
12/15/02

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • WhoooHoooo, what a week! I've been too busy to add entries to the diary, so now I've probably forgotten stuff but here goes....
  • Some vermitid snails on the blue Tridacna maxima were irritating the clam's mantle, and I tried injecting the snails' tubes with CaOH slurry. However, the snails simply pulled in and closed off their tubes with their operculums, and a few hours later were back out and giving me the finger. So.... I took some big toenail cutters and crushed the suckers right off the clam's shell. Now the clam is extending fully again, and is happy as.... a clam.
  • I did the same thing to a vermitid that seemed to be irritating my Pavona cactus colony. I snipped the tube and I think I got the snail's head, but I'm not sure if the things regenerate because I think something is starting to stick out of the tube again and it looks suspiciously familiar. I'll know when it spews mucus webs all over again.
  • The MASLAC Christmas party at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific on the 8th was a blast, and I won some frags at the raffle. I took home: a couple of orange Montipora capricornis frags, an encrusting tan Montipora sp., a reddish Acropora, and some zoanthid polyps with green and purple centers and brown tentacles.
  • I removed some rocks from the main tank, and repositioned others to make more room.
  • The frag swap at Larry's on the 15th was great! I went there with a few frags that were already spoken for, and brought home a few new corals: some Xenia and zoanthid polyps from India, a red Pavona frag from DoomWeasel, a couple of Ricordea florida (one rock with orange polyps, another with a powder blue polyp) from gennet, a green Montipora digitata frag from Project Reef, and an Alveopora branch from Old Yeller Tang. Thanks Greg Rothschild, for giving me a ride!
  • Also brought home a 50-gallon tank! I'll eventually move everything into it, but first I have to build a stand... fun fun fun! Thanks to evets, for giving me such a great deal!


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