Monday, March 20, 2006

I was going to post a picture but my camera is acting up.

I have noted a couple of things. The ribbon gorgonians in the small reef have not opened in four days or more. Sometimes when that happens they will end this phase by shedding the epidermal tissues,
In the large tank the finger leather closed today. It has shown considerable growth over the past month or so, It is all glossy looking so I suspect that it too is about to shed.

I am going to do a 10-gal water change tomorrow on both systems. I am hoping to suck out some of the small blue flatworms out of the small system.

Checked the pH on both and they were around 8.2. Nitrates still reading 0.0. Both tests are Fastest. A pH meter would be nice but is just not in the budget at this time.

Friday, March 17, 2006

This was a cutting from a larger parent leather and as it shows it has really taken hold - after only a few days. Visible in the background is the coralline also getting a get start.

Alk tested today at 3.6 and Ca at 475. I have yet ti see any Nitrates or measureavle Phosphates.
This is the 10 gal refugium under the 29 gal reef. There are two other lights that are out of view due to them being on the door. The green hose goes to the protein skimmer. The return from the skimmer is the hose on the right. The other two hoses come from the tank. Yhe fan (on the left) is on 24-7. The floating algae has to be thinned very often (not a Caulerpa).

My camera: A Sony FD Mavica), Recorded on a floppy and moved to the PC directly.
It does not show real well thanks to the lousy MH light. I tried to touch up the picture but it still does not show.. This is the smaller of the two Florida Flower anemones in the larger reef. It is giving off gametes (spawn) a little like a volcano. I think that using the magnifying glass I can see the larger eggs. This time the current is blowing the spawn towards the larger anemone in back and now it is also smoking. Together they are beginning to cloud the water. Hopefully the filter feeders and protein skimmer will take-up the surplus. What is my chance of having little anemones? Probably not great.

Last night one of the Peppermint shrimp iin the small tank hatched out its eggs. This nearly always occurs after the lights have been off an hour or two. I have raised them through 5-6 stages (several years ago).

Friday, March 10, 2006

The following are photos of the reefs before the move.

Back to the large system.

In view are a Pavona, Acropora bali (sometimes referred to as the "slimer" and Montipora and a patch of starburst in the shade.
This is the center if the 29 gal. tank. All seen in this photo were started from frags from the larger tank. (This was in Moses Lake).
Here is Nemo in his coral garden: a gorgonian, some shrooms and devils hand leather. The corraline algae covered the back and sides and infringed on the front.
It became so thick that it broke off in sheets.
Here two of the fish are in view: a neon goby and a cherub angel. Only the neon goby survived the move.
This is the protein skimmer on that 29 gal reef.

The following come from the 29 gal reef. This tank received lots of natural sunlight.

Visible are the montipora, leathers, zenia, starburst and pavona.
The original colony of Pavona in the large tank. On the left can be seen the Pavona in relationship to its neighbors. It proved to be very territorial.
A lime sponge that came out of nowhere.

On the left are three Zenia looking very nice.

The following are photos of my two reefs taken in June 2005 before I broke them down in October to move. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. As a note there had been no significant water changes in months. First the 50 gal. system.

On the Right
This is an overall view. Look at these large, gorgeous pom pon zenia.

On the left: Note the zoos and shrooms battling for space. In the end the shrooms won.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

This was my 29 gal reef. The Pavona on the background grew from a small fragment glued to the back. (The tank set in the kitchen in front of a window so it was receiving some natural sunlight. The artificial lighting was 2-55 wt 10K Power Compacts, on about 12 hours/day). It became so heavy that it eventually fell off (when we tried to move the tank). The coral on the left is a Montipora and on the right a finger leather also referred to as Devil's Hand. All of these were frags from the large tank.
This Montipora was grown from a small frag and eventually had to be trimmed frequently because it wanted to take over the 50 gal tank it was in. I wished then, at that time, I had had a way to market those frags, Pieces that were accidentally broken and fell to the sand went on growing. One note: At this point the tank went anywheres from 4 to 6 months without a water change. The Nitrates never exceeded 5 PPM.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I decided that protein skimmers were just too expensive. This is my first attempt a building a venturi skimmer. The black connector comes from the garden dept and is usually part of drip irrigation systems. Just before the fore-said part is an adapter inside cutting the ID to about 5/16th". In the outlet an elbow was cut to deflect the air bubbles upward and prevent bubblrd from returning to the sump. It produces a very dry foam as long as the powerhead is clean and working at its best. The outlet is 3/4" (not visible in this photo). When it is working well the blue airline can be heard sucking in air but an air pump is added to increase the water/air mixture. The only drawback: Feeding, adding supplements or putting your hand in the tank and the foam stops it working for a few minutes. (There is a much better photo on another page).

Right side of large tank: The cleaner shrimp is barely visible. (I could not seem to completely avoid the reflections).

The left side of the current lg reef: Same two clowns. On the bottom of this frame is a Florida Flower anemone, furry mushrooms and a cabbage leather

Three tools needed by every reef keeper: all-plastic turkey baster for feeding and to blast sediment from seditary critters such as corals and sponges; an old credit card for scraping algae from the glass or acrylic tanks and then a toothbruch for cleaning powerheads, algae from tank and live rock, skimmer cups, etc.

On the right: This is the refugium/sump under the larger system. The lighting is a 55 wt PC bulb and PC yard light by American Lighting. They are on only at night. The fan is on all the time. The air pump goes to the skimmer and to the refugium side. the refugium also has a plenum.

On the left: The new 29 gal system. The fish is a new Cherub Angel.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Mar 5:
The small colony of pom pon zenia was all of this species that survived the move. Actually it has grown considerably the last couple of months. I keep up the alkalinity, Ca and iodine. Give it plenty of light and current and it seem to grow. In Moses Lake this zenia got to be almost a pest at one time having, like, 11 large colonies all merrily waving away in the current.
At the base are 3 or 4 pretty little zoos that I am hoping will spread out as it was before. In the old tank I had two morphs that covered every bare rock and spread up the sides of the tank. It was pretty colorful.
The zoos in the upper left corner are rose colored in the center. I bought them from a lfs and glued them there. Sprouting in the middle of them is a purple branching algae or a finely branched gorgonia. It is too early to tell at this point. ( at a later date I noticed that it is an algae).

Thursday, March 02, 2006

This is a Florida Flower Anemone in my 29 gal reef. In front is a piece of "live rock" I received about three weeks ago. I received about 22 lbs in a styrofoam box with no outer protection. The rock was bare and very dry by the time it arrived. The box had split but the UPS man had taped it up otherwise all the contents would have been lost. The is rock in both tanks but I don't see anything "alive" about it. There was no guarantee as it had been shipped the slowest route.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

This is my new tank here in Newport. The lighting is a 175W 10K bulb. (I don't recall the make). It is a fairly new bulb and I had hoped that the green tint would have disappeared by now.
The tank has a plenum, It was started with live sand from three sources. The live rock is basically from my tank in Moses Lake. It now has lots of coralline, spirula tube worms and even a little sponge. Below is a 20 gal long glass aquarium that has live rock and live sand. The protein skimmer is an older in-the-sump CPR augmented with an air stone. It generally produces about a half cup of skimate every couple of days.
Live stock: 2 ocellaris clowns, a Banggai cardinal, a Bicolor blenny, one scarlet cleaner shrimp and a Peppermint shrimp. The are two large Florida flower anemones (that have remained put), There are two Flame scallops that are doing well. There are some frags from the Montepora that survived the trip. A colony of singularia. A rock with furry mushrooms that also hase several tube worms and brittle stars.
There is a ribbon gorgonia and a few zooanthids.
Yhe water quality is good: no nitrates, alk around 9-11 and Ca around 400.
The system has an automatic top-up to which I add coral calcium twice a week. I use NaHCO3 with a small amount of Boric acid as buffer: generally 4-6 tsp/week.
The salienty is kept around 34 0/00. IMO keeping it at normal salienty encourages the microfauna and other 'pods. The tank has lots of critters in the sand. There are always some copepods and recently I have begun to see mysids in some of the crevices.
The pump to the tank is a Rio and there are two rotating powerheads for circulation.
The tank gets afternoon sun (such as it is here on the Oregon coast) from windows across the room and when that happens the tank is a pleasure to behold. I will try to post a picture if I can remember to do so.
I retired and my resources are limited so at present I cannot afford to stock it and get better lighting as I would like. But then I have kept marine aquaria for over 40 years. I have kept reef tanks since '88. I started when I hauled the seawater and built my tanks and filters. I kept some invertebrates long before it was popular.

March 1, 2006

This was my best coral before I moved from Moses Lake, Wa. It was also amoung the many mortalities of the move.