a quick Hello from myself and my salty critters

Discussion in 'Welcome!' started by HiFidelity, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Hello everyone, I'm Fidel and I was referred to this community by the nice gentleman at Aquatic Collection
    I'll start with a little bit of background;

    I've helped a friend of mine maintain and move his 90g bow front over several years now but my own has been smaller fresh water stuff.

    I have been putting off setting up my own reef tank for quite a while since I hadn't yet found the ideal location in my home for it as I have been doing a bunch of remodeling which is still ongoing. Eventually I want to go to a big tank but when I came across this Odyssea B45 I figured what the heck it's small enough if I have to move it it's not too difficult.
    So I ended up with this oddball Bow Front 45 gallon tank and a very small live stock that I am going to slowly add to as I go along when time allows.

    I currently have the tank situated and running great in a nice cozy spot in my formal living room

    There is some funky built in filter/lighting/canopy setup with this tank that I began modifying and I have it running with a Aqua-C Remora protein skimmer into the filter where I'm keeping some LR, Carbon pad & Mechanical media. I plan to replace the floss with Chemi Pure & a Purigen bag. Basically I've turned the filter into a mini sump.

    I have one lonely Fish but he is the life of the tank, he is extremely interactive and makes use of every inch of his environment, unfortunately for 3 weeks now I've had no luck locating a similarly sized Ocellaris, everything I've seen at every LFS is about half his size. We already have a sparkling relationship, if my arm is in the tank he is either bumping it or swimming laps around it, he is nearly hand fed as he literally swims to the surface to grab his food before it even breaks the surface. Sometimes I wonder if he hates me because he often tries to get into a fight with me by nipping at my arm or whacking it with his tail, I guess I can consider it tough love :D



    My CUC is still very small, only 2 turbo snails & 2 margarita snails but the tank stays pretty clean, of course I plan to throw in a dozen more snails, a conch, a dozen hermits, 1 emerald crab and a cleaner shrimp. I will add them slowly as I increase fish count.
    There is an ample amount of LR to offset the lack of size of my overhead sump, there is about 40-45lbs of LR in there


    I'm keeping 2 types of soft corals at this point, a bunch of kenya trees which seem to be growing out of control. I also have 2 mushrooms (please feel free to ID them if you can) which are also growing pretty fast for being mushrooms, there are two small ones on the back of the rock what you see in the picture is the bigger one. I do have a question here, do you think I should remove that tube worm feather duster thingy that the mushroom is leaning against or leave it? there is an abundance of which throughout the tank I've noticed.






    There is a small bed of LS, I may or may not add more depends on my total livestock needs.

    Well that's all I have so far, I have been observing and joining more forums than I can count. The last one I tried posting in got me 0 replies so I am here now I figured it's best to involve myself in a local forum where I can eventually join the events and meets :)

    Please feel free to respond with suggestions and advice as I consider myself new and still absorbing a lot of info and of course I want to make sure my tank is sustained at optimal conditions. I am a bit of a softie when it comes to dying pets (regardless of how small) hence my very very slow and patient process, I figure with this hobby the "slow & steady wins the race" mindset is ideal.
    I'm sorry if I posted too many photos, I'm a photographer and obviously love taking pics of my pets haha

    Now I have to go test my parameters since I did a water change last night.

    Anyway thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed my thread :)
  2. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    Welcome to BAR Fidel !

    I started off with a Odeysea tank also...and ended up doing a lot of mods like you have done. IMO Kenya trees and mushrooms will dominate anything else you try to put in there. Keep the tube worms though.

    Once you become a member, you will be able to enjoy the full benefits of the club. :)
  3. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    "He" is almost certainly a "she" if she has been apart from other clownfish for while. This also explains the territorial behaviour.

    Watch out for the kenya tree. I removed it from my display tank a year ago and am still plucking sprouts frequently.

    Congratulations on taking a patient thoughtful approach. You'll enjoy the hobby more and are less likely to get burned out.
  4. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Welcome to our place in space.
  5. tankguy

    tankguy Supporting Member

    Welcome Fidel , you will find those Kenya Trees will be everywhere very soon.
  6. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    thanks everyone :)

    are these kenya trees completely worthless? it doesn't seem anyone likes them, and the mushrooms are rather slow but I do like how they look. If I isolate them on islands of rock surrounded by sand will they still spread like forest fire?

    I just finished testing all my parameters (the ones I have test kits for) and they are as follows

    8.3 PH
    0 amonia
    0 nitrite
    20ppm nitrate
    1.0258 sg
    76 temp
    6.72 dKH

    I'm glad I caught the low dKH tonight, I have 2-part "Precision Integrate" liquid buffer. I only added 3/4 the recommended amount of only the KH buffer solution since my PH is normal and I don't have a calcium test kit, I'll test again tomorrow for dKH & buffer accordingly.

    Jack the clown shall now be Jill since you're probably right about him being a she.
    I would love some suggestions as to what other fish I could possibly keep with my clown, so far I'm only familiar with clowns, tangs, wrasses and damsels. I think I want to keep hearty fish for the most part and no more than 5 in there. Then I can focus on Corals which unfortunately I still only recognize by shape & colors rather than types & names but I am slowly learning, perhaps in the future I can impress someone with my level of care and attentiveness enough to get myself involved in the DBTC and become a member of the club but as I mentioned in my earlier post I am a very very patient man.

    Aside from the livestock my near future plans include redesigning the built in lighting and run custom CF/LED combination once I get my hands on a sheet of acrylic & finish figuring out how many lumens etc. I'll need for healthy coral growth.

    Thanks again for the responses
  7. lattehiatus

    lattehiatus Past President

    Glad you found us, Fidel!

    The internet has enabled us to instantaneously share knowledge and observations with experts and hobbyists worldwide. However, when you need a few buddies to help you move a tank, or you need 30 gallons of saltwater for an emergency water change, there's no better resource than the local club. :bigsmile:

    The photosynthetic invertebrates you currently have may actually prefer more nutrients in the water. It could be interesting to see whether they thrive more should you be inclined to remove the carbon, Purigen, and Chemi Pure.

    It's not quite accurate to suggest that kenya trees are worthless - if you enjoy them then they have value! However, as others have pointed out they tend to grow quickly, and it should be noted that it is one of the corals that are considered non-eligible for entry into most frag swaps, including BAR's swaps.

    You probably won't have any issues with aggression between Jill and another ocellaris half her size - the smaller occy is unlikely to be recognized as a threat to her dominance. In fact, giving her a mate similar to her in size will probably result in a power struggle between the two. A smaller fish is also more likely to be an adolescent/male, which decreases the risk of trying to pair two females. :bigsmile: The most important thing is to make sure you find her a healthy mate, and quarantine any new fish for a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks before introducing them into your Odyssea.
  8. Kmooresf

    Kmooresf Supporting Member

    Welcome Fidel. Wanted to compliment your photo's. A couple of those clown shots are fantastic! I have such a hard time taking pics of my fish. Coral at least hold still. ;) I'm sure you will enjoy this club.
  9. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    I reccomend you stick with snails and shrimps, no crabs. Often times they will wind up going rogue and eating your snails or each other, or something else you don't want them too.
  10. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Guest

    Welcome! I have to agree that you've got some great photography skills since its super hard to get a decent shot of clownfish since they're always moving. And yeah, kenya trees aren't worth much, but if you like them then that's all the matters! Really that's all that's important in this hobby. Don't worry so much about value and names, just put what you like in your tank so that you'll enjoy it :) Also, I really like the green stripe mushrooms. Once they start splitting, they can grow into a nice little colony of mushrooms pretty quickly.
  11. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Hi & thanks for the kind remarks, the trick is a lot of light. In the photos my clown was constantly swimming & I was trailing her with my camera set to continuous focus, with enough light you can set the shutter speed very high so that even while the fish is moving you can get a freeze frame shot of it thus rendering a very clean & crisp picture like the ones you see above.

    I'm not loving the trees, they are kind of bland & take up too much real estate on my rocks, I'm going to put them all in an island and anything that ends up on the sand will get flushed.

    & folks, I'm going to be picking up a couple of peppermint shrimp this weekend (hopefully locally) because I just located a young aiptasia nestled between the trees. anything specific about this shrimp? I understand they aren't very difficult to keep...
  12. denzil

    denzil Past President

    Welcome to BAR, Fidel! I'm a hobbyist photographer and I'm sure that I can learn quite a few things from you as well. Check out the Reef-A-Palooza thread; I just posted the URL to my SmugMug from our trip down to SoCal this past weekend.
  13. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    you guys are awesome I was up early at 7:00 AM reading your responses 8)

    lattehiatus, I have no chemi-pure or purigen yet all I have in my make shift sump is LR, biomax, some blue floss & a small carbon sponge (not to be confused with activated carbon ie, chemi pure) so far that seems like enough. I plan to ditch the biomax and add more LR rubble so that eventually I have nothing more than LR & floss in the sump. I still have not purchased a phosphate test kit but soon I'll have one and once I test I figured if I detect any I could use the purigen to control it, perhaps not even regularly. What do you think? oh I also started dosing iodine since protein skimmers tend to pull iodine out of the water, I also plan to purchase a bottle of kent essential elements. But now I think I'm going to hold the brakes till I decide what to do with these trees, I'm not in love with them (I already suspected no one else would want them either so I had no hopes of trading frags out)

    Now on to the matter of Jill, your opinion completely opposes that from all the LFS near me (not that I think you're wrong) but what you said makes sense the only part I'm confused about is the 6-8 week quarantine, how come the long period of time? and how can I quarantine a fish for that long if I have no refugium?

    Kmooresf, thanks for the compliments I have been a photographer for about 17 years now and I'm armed to the teeth with specialized photo equipment, I actually didn't use my SLR on those photos out of laziness but instead used my canon g11 compact digital camera but I do have macro lenses that'll magnify the heck out of my subjects. I also use underwater strobes that I can stick into the top of the tank just under the surface (hence the strong colors) which allow me to get very crisp light in the shots without allowing it to refract at the surface.
    I can perhaps make my skills available to the community later once everyone gets to know me better :party:

    Coral reefer, I appreciate the opinion and I must agree I find myself hesitant about crabs since I've heard from others too that they can be questionable, the one I am really excited to have is cleaner shrimp but I want to have more fish in there before I get one so that hopefully it will start giving my fishes the spa treatment haha, by the way when you said crab I'm assuming you are referring to the emerald crab or hermit crabs included?
    how many snails and hermit crabs (or shrimp) should I have for this tank? I've heard & read from several sources that I should have at least a dozen snails!! my 4 snails in the tank now are not allowing any algae to accumulate anywhere, I've observed them cleaning every single inch of plastic surface (all my submersed equipment) the other day one of the smaller ones spent a whole day in the return spout making it spotless. Though they are not doing a great job cleaning the glass but I take care of that with the magnet every 2-3 days....
    oh & I found a baby bumble bee snail roaming the sand bed late at night when the lights are off, I had no prior knowledge of his presence in there.

    Thanks again, loving these responses.
  14. lattehiatus

    lattehiatus Past President

    If phosphorus becomes an issue, you would probably be better off with GFO instead of Purigen. Purigen predominately binds with amines (nitrogenous compounds), so while you may slow the accumulation of phosphates with Purigen, I suspect you will have better luck lowering phosphates with a media that targets phosphates. Of course that doesn't suggest Purigen has no benefits - it could be useful in a quarantine tank or if you are having nitrate problems.

    Each individual fish has its own unique "personality" - generally speaking with ocellaris you won't see any bullying behavior unless the question of dominance is not settled, and that question may never come up if there is a significant size difference between the two. One guy told me that he introduced six juvenile ocellaris into his tank with a reclusive ocellaris female several times their size. The lone female started swimming in the open and by his account, started protecting the juvies against any tank mates that ventured close. There are no certainty here, so it helps to have a plan to separate the two fish in case there is aggression. :)

    Quarantine: A quarantine tank is a tank that is completely separate from your current tank, to prevent the introduction of pathogens (as the name suggests). There is really no hard and fast rule for duration and type of setup, but basics are outlined here: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/blog/quarantining-marine-fish-made-simple

    I suggest 6 to 8 weeks as a conservative measure, to allow for the full life cycle of internal parasites, bacteria, protozoans, etc. to run its course. If you observe any outbreak of disease within this period, you reset the clock after completing treatment. You increase your level of confidence that you are not introducing any problems into your tank with a longer quarantine period, but there are other considerations that may limit the length of quarantine, and the only way to ensure that you don't introduce any pathogens into your display tank is by not adding anything to it, so take the recommendations with a grain of salt. ;)
  15. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Denzil I would be more than happy to share some knowledge if you are having difficulty with any particular shots, what I can say in a nutshell is lighting is everything; when you take pics of corals, anemones etc. the tank light is sufficient but you have to color correct & white balance in post process (notice the dominant blue tint in the photos you took? pics still look great though), if you are taking pics of moving specimens (ie fish & anything that swims) you almost always have to have a strobe or a flash of some sort mounted off-shoe (not on top of the camera) and directed into the tank, it's best to use 2 to flood the tank with light from end to end thus allowing you to use a high shutter speed and moderate f/stop (too low of an f/stop and focusing becomes tricky). White balance & color correction is still required but minimal since strobes/flashes are calibrated to provide neutral light color. Please feel free to send any questions in my direction as they arise, I must admit I really enjoy photo talk :)

    Since I don't have a phosphate test kit yet I can only assume by the rate at which algae grows that there are no indications of high phosphorus so I'm glad I hadn't bought purigen yet and of course I am religiously doing my weekly water changes, nitrates are not a problem they are always at
  16. lattehiatus

    lattehiatus Past President

    Sorry for the delay in coming back to your thread, Fidel! Just a couple of thoughts:

    - I'm sure you are aware, but PO4 may not be the limiting nutrient for algae. It's possible algal growth is limited by another nutrient, such as iron (Fe), so while you may be correct that PO4 is not an issue, it could be a dangerous assumption. :) It's easier to test for PO4 than Fe, and PO4 is more likely to accumulate in our glass boxes!

    - You are right, when it comes to quarantine, people have different treatment methods with varying success. I've heard some people have good results with treating all incoming fish with copper. I can't speak for others, but I prefer no medication unless it's necessary (because I personally don't use antibiotics or enemas when I don't need them :bigsmile:), although lately I've started using PraziPro to treat for internal parasites on all wild caught fish because it seems to be gentle enough to not have any adverse side effects on the fish (such as loss of appetite) and has no impact on the biological filter. I consider freshwater dips to be a viable alternate to medication in many instances - there is one LFS that has very healthy and vibrant fish, and they attribute a large part of that to freshwater dips, since QT is really an option for them. Overall it's easier to not medicate in QT if your fish arrive healthy from a good reputable store.

    - Corals should be dipped at the minimum, there are a variety of different dipping regimens out there. BAR typically provides a dip at our frag swaps, because we encourage safe swapping! :D

    - Pardon, but I'm not sure I understand the question about different treatment for ocellaris? Could you please spell it out for me? :)
  17. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Hello David and no worries about the delay I am deliberately taking my sweet time with this.

    I don't like guess work with my parameters but I've been much too busy and hadn't had a chance to expand my test kit, but as I mentioned I'm keeping a strict schedule on water changes just to be on the safe side.

    I was thinking I'll follow a similar approach to what you described; quarantine, treat with PraziPro then keep close observation for anything visible for at least 4 weeks. I don't like the idea of treating the fish with so many different medications unless it's really necessary but PraziPro seems gentle enough and worms are not a visibly observable condition. That along with freshwater dipping should probably do the job...

    my question in regards to the article you referred pertains to this statement;

    "This article is intended as a basic quarantine guide. There are many methods to deal with diseases, and some fish require more special consideration than what I've outlined here. For example, clownfish are prone to Brooklynella which can be treated with Formalin baths. These alternative methods and species-specific treatments are beyond the scope of this article. But if all aquarists adopt simple quarantine procedures such as the one I described, captive fish will live longer and thrive in the home aquaria. For anyone who's never quarantined before, you will be stunned by how much healthier your fish look and behave without worms, flukes, and ich."

    Since my first addition will be a clown should I look into a clown specific procedure or will the dipping+PraziPro do the job?
    Also would it be a good idea to treat my current clown with prazipro? The previous owner's aquarium husbandry habits weren't exactly great.

    Sorry I keep asking you all these questions :p
  18. lattehiatus

    lattehiatus Past President

    You're doing the right thing by asking questions! Just remember that any response you get, including mine, is susceptible to error, so definitely do your research and draw your own conclusions. :)

    Since Jill is the only piscine inhabitant, she is effectively in QT. There is the risk there are dormant protozoans/bacteria/parasites that could infect newly introduced fish, however I would consider the chance to be small if you've had the tank set up for some time. I would recommend researching clownfish diseases so you have some idea of what to look for. Some places to start are WetWebMedia online, or Joyce Wilkerson's "Clownfishes Book" (for more clownfish-specific info) and Martin Moe's "Marine Aquarium Handbook" (for more general disease information).

    Ultimately I am skeptical that even the most rigorous QT practices can prevent the introduction of pathogens into our aquariums, and the best way to prevent fish disease is the practice of good husbandry: clean water quality + fish well-fed on a wholesome diet. Like most animals, fish that are provided a complete nutritional profile and have a proper environment (to reduce stress) develop an immune system that is equipped to stave off diseases. In the course of your reading you will probably find people talking about "fattening up" their fish in QT, which is along the lines of this school of thought.

    HTH! :)
  19. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    David thanks yet again for your great insight

    Since I last posted I have purchased gloves, several test kits including copper Phosphate & calcium (only need magnesium kit now) I have a persistent low KH problem that my buffer isn't correcting so hopefully once the kits get here I can figure out what the issue it...
  20. lattehiatus

    lattehiatus Past President

    Glad to be of service, Fidel! Sorry if I missed it, but which buffer are you using? How are you replenishing alkalinity/calcium?

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