Felicia's 40B Predator Reef

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by FeliciaLynn, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Oops! The website was acting up last night and I guess it got posted multiple times.

    Yeah, I'll probably be due for an upgrade by the time they all grow up. Right now Mushu is probably already close to full size (Fu Manchu's max out around 4.75"). The other two are tiny, so it'll take quite a while for them to reach adult size. Also, since they're not active swimmers, they don't need nearly as much space per size as other fish in the hobby. Mostly its just a consideration of bioload and making sure they each have enough territory to feel comfortable. Its the eel that will probably outgrow the tank first. I just like him so much that I had to enjoy him for a while and when he gets way too big, I'll find him a nice new home in a bigger tank (or I'll upgrade ;) )

    Haha, sorry! Its stuck in my head now too. Wanted to use a song about lions, haha!
     
  2. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Finally time for an updated FTS. A friend of mine in LA is downsizing her tank and was selling off the bigger pieces that she wouldn't have space for. I ended up buying her 7" squamosa clam. She bought it back in September of 2013 when it was about 3". Anyways, she gave me a great deal ($60!) and also sent me her bali slimer colony. Interestingly enough, she grew her bali slimer colony from a frag of my original colony that I lost in a crash. Its fun to have my same lineage of slimer back! Anyways, the clam is so big that I had to do some rearranging/rescaping to make it fit. I ended up taking out the small front center rock and replacing it with my three clams to be the centerpiece of the tank.

    FTS 5/28/15
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    Left side
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    Middle
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    Right side
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    Ok, now for some photos of the new clam. It is absolutely huge! Here's a photo of me holding it when I unpackaged it to put it in the tank.
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    Look how gigantic it is next to my little squamosa (~2.5").
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    All three clams together.
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    Falkor really likes the new clam. Here he is checking it out right after I put it in the tank Wednesday morning. Its like he's giving it a hug [​IMG]
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    He's made a burrow underneath it.
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    One of my two ruby red mithrix crabs cleaning its shell.
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    And here's the slimer. Draco was photobombing [​IMG]
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    Here are some coral shots from tonight.
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    The starry blenny.
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    Some shots of Draco.
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    The antennata is still being shy, but here she is hanging out on the rock below the duncan.
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    Ahruk and Nav like this.
  3. Apon

    Apon Volunteer

    nice score on the clam! make sure your eel doesn't go into the clam....I have seen some fish do that. Hopefully your lion fish don't develop a taste for clams too, I know trigger do.
     
  4. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    The eel stuck his head inside the opening in my derasa clam a couple times when I first got him, but he didn't bit anything and the clam didn't get upset or even close. Now he leaves the opening alone since he realizes it isn't a cave. I haven't seen anyone have any issues with lionfish and clams, so I think that's ok. None of the lions have shown any interest in the clams so far.
     
  5. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Alright, I just finished editing the video clips I took last night, so here's a new tank video!
     
  6. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    The lionfish were being super active today so I took a video of their antics.
     
  7. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    I took some top downs of the tank earlier.

    Bali Slimer
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    Slimer and the purple sponge
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    New hydnophora
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    The BTA's
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    Duncan
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    The clams
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    The antennata was finally out and about a bit. She's still pretty shy.
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    Managed to get all three lions together in a couple shots!
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    denzil and jonmos75 like this.
  8. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Another quick video. The predators are being quite the hams tonight!
     
  9. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    I successfully completed another water change and full cleaning yesterday without any lionfish stings [​IMG] I thought it might be difficult avoiding the lions, but it really isn't bad at all.

    Anyways, did all my water testing before the water change and it does look like some of the levels have dropped a little because of the new clam and slimer. I had increased my dosing from 8 mL of each part of B-ionic to 15 mL of each to try to compensate for the new additions. I knew that wouldn't be enough, but didn't want to raise any levels quickly or anything. I've now increased up to 20 mL per day of each and I'll slowly increase that until I get the levels stable again. Here's what the levels were from my testing yesterday:

    1) Alk: 9.3 (down from 9.9 a week ago)
    2) Ca: 390 (down from 400 a week ago)
    3) Mg: 1050 (down from 1200 a week ago)
    4) PO4: 0.03
    5) Nitrates: 25 ppm

    The alk and ca drops were pretty small, so that's good. Just need to find the right dosing amount to stabilize those. The Mg concerns me because I've never needed to dose Mg before. I've always been able to maintain it with water changes, but dropping down to 1050 concerns me. I just ordered a gallon of ESV B-Ionic Mg to add to my dosing.


    Nitrates are too high, so not sure what's going on there. Nothing in the tank is showing adverse effects. This was before the water change yesterday, so it should be lower now. I did a 10 gallon (~25%) water change. I also added a bunch of chaeto to my fuge over the weekend, so hopefully that will help reduce the nitrates.
     
  10. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    Since you have several clams you might consider carbon dosing to reduce the nitrates. They will happily consume the bacteria produced (what doesn't get skimmed). Perhaps a little vinegar or vodka when you do you Mg dosing.
     
    FeliciaLynn likes this.
  11. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    I can't imagine lion fish trying to eat clams myself.
    Tank looks great. Don't let your guard down. Gonna need to do lots of water changes or something else to keep those nitrates down while feeding those guys enough to keep them happy. Make sure you have lots of flow through the chaeto if you want it to grow rapidly.
     
    FeliciaLynn likes this.
  12. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    This is an interesting idea! I had never given vodka dosing much thought but now you have me reading up on it. It might be ideal for the predator system since they are messy eaters and nitrates can become an issue. Do you vodka dose in your system? I don't really know anything about it, so I'm researching it now. Has anyone read this article? I might just follow the dosing recommendations it gives. Do those seem reasonable?
     
  13. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Yeah, after observing their behavior for a couple weeks now, I can't imagine that either.

    Thanks, Mike! Yeah, I am trying to stay on top of the nitrates. I'll probably do an extra 10 gallon water change in the middle of this week to lower them even more. Do you think vodka dosing might be a good solution? Any other good suggestions? They only get fed 3 times per week, so I feel like the total food going into the system isn't much more than what I was adding before. The predators are just supposed to be messy because they're inefficient in utilizing the food they eat. One thing I did think of that might be contributing to nitrates is my filter sock. I've just been changing it once a week with my water change, but I wonder if its becoming a nitrate factory. I'm going to increase to changing the sock twice a week.

    Thanks for the recommendation for the chaeto. I added a Korallia nano powerhead to my fuge because I've been having a hard time keeping chaeto alive, and I think you're right with the flow suggestion.
     
  14. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    I have cautiously experimented with both vodka and vinegar dosing. I am still deciding which, if either, I should make part of my routine. I started by adding a very minimal amount two days before a planned water change to see if I can see any difference in the skimate produced. So far with the tiny amounts I am using I haven't seen any results. I still plan to test increasing the amounts of each.

    That looks like a good article and includes fairly much all the aspects.
     
    FeliciaLynn likes this.
  15. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    If you are considering kalkwasser for your dosing then vinegar seems to be the way to go. I can't remember where the article I read was on using kalkwasser diluted with vinegar but the summary was that adding vinegar makes managing kalkwasser usage easier and also provides carbon dosing.
     
  16. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Keep me posted on how it goes. I think I'll give water changes and chaeto a chance to lower my nitrates. If that doesn't work, I'll have to give this a try. Thanks for the suggestion and info! Definitely a good option!
     
  17. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    That's interesting! I'm dosing B-Ionic right now because I have a ton of it.
     
  18. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Got some photos for you guys! I have some very photogenic fishies [​IMG]

    Starry Blenny
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    Draco
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    He was sitting on the urchin, which is on one of the fighting conchs.
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    Mushu
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    Mushu and Draco
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    Mushu, Draco, and the blenny
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    Falkor and the urchin
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    New green nepthea
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    Really nice PE on the slimer and hydnophora
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    Fox coral
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    Bowerbanki and red sponge
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  19. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    And a tank video!
     
  20. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Finally got a few decent shots of the antennata last night. She's starting to get less shy and is out and about more now.
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    Here's the antennata with Draco. They get along well and often sit by each other on the rocks.
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    And Draco was being a ham like usual, so I had to take some photos of him. He's way too good at posing for photos!
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    The starry blenny was also being very cooperative for photos.
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    Here's one of my two fighting conchs vacuuming the sand bed.
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    And here's Falkor.
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