New to reefs, the club, and keeping a journal

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Corallus, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. Corallus

    Corallus BAR Sponsorship Coordinator

    Hi All -

    Just a couple of months ago, I was convinced by a "friend" (he must secretly own stock in an aquarium supply business somewhere) to take the plunge so to speak, into setting up a small reef. I've had freshwater tanks for more years than I'd like to admit and experiencing the learning curve of a small saltwater system has been a fun and interesting experience so far... Not really what I expected, but I am really liking both the process and my tank so far.

    Here's what I have...
    • 25 Gal 18" cube tank (Mr. Aqua brand)
    • Hydor internal skimmer, and single Koralia powerhead (will be adding a second)
    • Current Orbit Marine LED fixture
    • Home-made acrylic algae box with a 6watt Home Depot LED hanging above it.
    • 2 cbb ocellaris clowns, few zoanthids, 2 birdsnests and a couple of small LPS (canycane, cyphastrea), mushrooms, and a rose bubble-tip anemone.
    It's been setup since early Nov, 2014, so it's only a little over 3 months old right now. Aside to some early algae problems, and some playing with dosing levels, a crappy heater that would not hold a stable temp, and a crack in the first tank which meant I had to take it down and replace it... it's been problem free!

    The tank itself:

    Green birdsnest a couple of days after introducing it (early Jan)
    Pic taken a couple of days ago (early Feb)
    Kind of a bad shot of a couple of zoas... Don't know what kind
    RBTA - basically the king of the tank. Has doubled in size since I introduced a little over a month ago

    And, of course, the clowns

    My buddy who convinced me to start this whole thing gave me most of the rock - he's got a large system that he's had running for over a decade. A friend of his broke down his tank, so my buddy then had a lot of extra, and thus I was convinced. Those 2 huge fuzzy mushrooms, bottom left, also came from him.

    I'm about to go become a contributing member, and I'd like to come by the fragging demonstration this coming weekend in Hayward. I look forward to meeting folks and asking lots of basic, stupid questions!

    Coral reefer, Geneva and neuro like this.
  2. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    woooo cute love the tank!
  3. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Welcome to our place in space and thank you for becoming a $upporting member!
  4. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Hello and welcome,

    Looks like you're already doing a good job with this tank journal. Yup you just made one and you didn't even know it. They're aren't really any rules. It's just a way to write down what's happening with your tank. Good way to show off and educate people. It's also a good way to take notes on what you did and when, which will be helpful if you ever have to backtrack something to a certain event or addition to a tank.

    Those zoas on the left look like Fruit Loops or BBEB zoas. Both are considered mid-end zoas that will fetch some money. Google them to see if the pictures match your zoas. Always hard to tell in-person colors from pictures because cameras struggle to balance the colors we see.

    The zoas on the right kinda look like bam bams, clementines, or oxides.

    Very cool tank. Looks like you've been doing a bang-up job maintaining it. Looking forward to new posts/additions to the tank.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2015
  5. Corallus

    Corallus BAR Sponsorship Coordinator

    Thanks for looking and for the comments!

    Ender, I much appreciate your thoughts on the zoa cultivar suggestions. The orange ones do look most like the pics of oxides that I found. Mine are a bit slow growing compared to the others (fruit loops?) which I bought as a 2 polyp piece at Neptune and have done pretty nicely. I've also got a couple of nice looking green ones that I don't have tolerable pics of, but hopefully soon. Glad to hear they're desirable - should make it easy to find homes for them when/if they fill out well. I'm really liking the idea of the DBTC and trading with others in the club down the line.

    Now I have to get better at taking pics of critters in my tank. I should probably start with a good cleaning of the glass... In the little time I've spent with the camera in front of the tank, it seems one key is to make sure the camera lens and the tank glass are as close to parallel as possible to avoid distortion, anybody have any other quick tips for someone who otherwise knows how to use his camera?
  6. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Welcome and it's great that you started a tank journal! Look forward to meeting you on Saturday. :)
  7. Corallus

    Corallus BAR Sponsorship Coordinator

    So its' been just over a week since my first BAR get together - it was great meeting folks, and a real treat to leave with a couple of nice pieces to add (thanks Geneva and Fidel!). Here are a couple of updated pics of the tank, including the new additions, now that they've had a little time to settle in. But the biggest change was springing for a Kessil 350w. I just got it hung over the tank yesterday and am still trying to dial in the brightness and color - but regardless, it does give things a much different look than I had with the Orbit Marine fixture.

    The tank, with new light overhead - approx 4" of the surface of the water Tank02.jpg
    Closeup of my fastest growing coral
    Green slimer, courtesy of Fidel
    Finally go to mounting most of my zoas onto bits of rock
    And the orange cap.(from Neptune) and green/purple rim monti that was chopped up at the meeting, courtesy of Geneva. It threw off A LOT of mucous, I assume that's normal?

    I've got a couple of things growing on frag plugs in preparation for next month's swap. Looking forward to it!
    FeliciaLynn and Geneva like this.
  8. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Ah I'm so jealous of the rimless glass tank look. I don't like my acrylic tank. Your tank looks great by the way. Full of color. Also good color/shape arrangement. That little algae refugium in the upper right of the tank looks cool.

    Hit me up if you want some zoanthids :)

    Watch out for those green palys I see in the bottom right of the 2nd to last picture. They grow annoyingly fast and most people dont think they look good.

    Also the zoanthids on the upper left of the 2nd to last picture are Fruit Loops or BBEB zoanthids. Both are worth a decent amount of $.
  9. Corallus

    Corallus BAR Sponsorship Coordinator

    Spent a little time playing with the macro lens on my old DSLR this morning, made for a good excuse to update my thread :)

    First, a few fruit loop zoas

    Frogspawn from the frag swap last weekend

    Bird of paradise birdsnest, also from the frag swap

    Green birdsnest

    Green monti from Geneva, starting to develop a nice lavender edge

    Purple-green pocillopora from frag swap

    Closeup of my bubble-tip 'nem

    Hollywood stunner chalice

    Comments and critiques very welcome. Thanks for looking!
    Nav, aqua-nut, jonmos75 and 2 others like this.
  10. Ahruk

    Ahruk Guest

    Nice pics :)
  11. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Digging the pictures! Especially the close up bubble tip. Is your bubble tipped anemone normally that color?

    What camera/lens were you using?
  12. Geneva

    Geneva Supporting Member

    Rolf - really beautiful tank and pictures! So glad you found us! Everything looks great!
  13. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Looking good!
  14. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Bubble tip looks really bleached out, might want to make sure you feed it a bit when you feed your fish to see if it can color back up.
  15. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    I actually love the look of pink white bubble tips but yeah it usually means theyre unhappy.

    I have heard of people keeping pink/white bubble tips long term.

    I almost never feed my bubble tip anemone and it looks like every other bubbletip. Some people feed them silversides/shrimp every week.
    jonmos75 likes this.
  16. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Well I wouldn't necessarily say you must feed your anemones, but as bleached out as that looks it probably isn't getting as much energy as it needs from zooxanthellae algae that it still has.

    I will say I'm surprised to see it looking similar after almost 2 months though.
  17. Corallus

    Corallus BAR Sponsorship Coordinator

    Thanks for the comments - but now I'm a little concerned about the bubble tip... The color hasn't really changed much since I bought it, I picked that one out of the tank at Neptune because because I liked the light green-pink contrast (green base color does not come through great in the pics). I do feed it a small piece of squid about once a week. What else, besides color, do you look for to get an idea if these guys are happy? It's been in my tank since November, so going on 5 months now, with some growth, but almost no color change. Below is a current "full body" shot of it.


    Also, @Enderturtle , I'm using my old Nikon D80 with a 105mm Macro lens, and the only post processing I do is cropping
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
    Geneva likes this.
  18. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    I think if you can keep it alive long term like that then thats great. I love the color of that. Since you have a nano tank you dont really want it to grow big right?

    If the mouth is gaping open= BAD
    If it moves around the tank constantly= UNHAPPY

    Who cares if its not brown or orange like most RBT anemones. If anything, I wish mine looked like yours :p if it ever splits a clone, i want to buy it from you!
  19. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    White is never a good color for photosynthetic organisms. The fact that there still is some color means it could color back up since it's not completely devoid of zooxanthellae, but as long as it's not shrinking you might be doing something right :D
  20. Corallus

    Corallus BAR Sponsorship Coordinator

    What both of you are saying makes sense - I just don't have the experience to know what "looking healthy" looks like for this sort of animal. That being said, it's only moved once (a couple of inches after I did something to the tank, don't recall what) and I've never seen it's mouth open except when eating something. So to me, from my perspective of not really knowing what I'm looking at, it looks pretty healthy. But I understand the point about photosynthetic critters needing some color; white = reflecting lots of light, as opposed to absorbing it.

    I sincerely appreciate the comments and discussion, and look forward to more! @sfsuphysics, if you, or anyone else, has dealt with an anemone that's lost (or my case, did not have in my care) a normal amount of pigmentation, does that point to something being off with the water parameters? I think I maintain pretty standard reef chemistry, with the exception being the temp, which is around 81.

    This is where the club really pays off for me - advice and input from folks who've been doing this for a while and learned from mistakes before me. Thanks!
    Enderturtle likes this.

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