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Cincyreefer513

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And I almost forgot. After 50 something days in the tank, this frag hitchhiker, a micro brittle starfish, finally appeared recently. I know where it lives now.

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Cincyreefer513

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Saturday, I participated in my first ever live sale on here during Reeftide's Pot of Gold Sale. I've followed along various ones on here before just to see what they were about. They looked fun and the way this one was set up I figured sure, why not.
Let's just say it was a long day, but it sure was fun and I bought too many corals lol. I had set a reasonable budget and only went over by $1. Not bad! However, afterwards my wife wanted to see what was available since she didn't follow along originally. Needless to say, we added a couple more to get the free shipping. I'm not sure when they will be coming in, but below is the list of ordered corals:

Splatter hammer
Blow pop zoa
Anti-Venom favia
Yellow Submarine favia
Nightcrawler favites
Jelly Bean favites
Pompeii chalice
Raja Rampage chalice
Meteor Shower cyphastrea
Green micro

In my tank it's going to be interesting finding spots to safely put everything, but I believe I'll be alright.
The main concern is adding this many lps all at once and managing parameters. I'm definitely starting to burn through some calcium right now. Alk had a very slight drop from the usual this week as well. I need to learn how to dose now so I know what I'm doing when the time comes. None of these are huge frags, but my guess is it won't take long for nutrients to start depleting. If anyone here has links to learning this stuff for dummies that would be great! Chemistry is hardly my strong point...

Lastly I'll end this post with a growth side by side. I really like taking photos and seeing growth. The hammer has really bulked up. The early shots were taken January 30th. The current photos were taken over this weekend.

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A couple more recent photos of the RG. He's still a very private fish. When the pumps turn off for feeding, he's out and about. When the lights are off, but there is light in the tank ie in the morning, he'll hang out behind or under the arch. It's still pretty uncommon to see him with lights on and pumps on at the same time. I'm hoping he'll come out more when we get other fish. He's definitely not nearly as paranoid as before, but not super active. Today marks 7 weeks I've had him and 8 weeks since getting the tank.

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These guys are probably the family's favorite creatures to watch right now. We call them elephant snails due to their snorkels. There are 2 large and 2 tiny ones in the tank. They are like sharks when any type of food comes into the tank and make excellent vacuum cleaners. I hate the slime coat they produce though.

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We have 4 of these guys - love them! This has been stuck in me and my son's heads (forward to 4 min 53 seconds):
 
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We have 4 of these guys - love them! This has been stuck in me and my son's heads (forward to 4 min 53 seconds):
Good stuff lol
Sadly I've lost the 2 small ones recently due to the RG killing them. He killed a small margarita snail a while back too.
I also lost my big margarita snail 2 days ago when a hermit crab attacked him for his shell. It's time to get some additional CUC soon.
 
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A ton has happened over the past week. Lots of new corals, sold a few too, new test kits showed I'm off on certain parameters so I've started dosing, changed out my entire RODI filters/membrane/DI, and I ordered my next fish (Mccosker's Wrasse) which will be picked up in less than 3 weeks.
My schedule has been busy so one of these days I'll get around to doing a real update or updates.
 

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Good stuff lol
Sadly I've lost the 2 small ones recently due to the RG killing them. He killed a small margarita snail a while back too.
I also lost my big margarita snail 2 days ago when a hermit crab attacked him for his shell. It's time to get some additional CUC soon.
I didn't know a RG would attack snails! Interesting... I also don't have hermits for that reason lol.
 
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I didn't know a RG would attack snails! Interesting... I also don't have hermits for that reason lol.
He killed the small margarita within 2 weeks of getting him. He's responsible for at least 3 snails and 1 hermit now. All kills have been right outside of his favorite cave and the shells remain strewn right outside both entrances as a warning to others that they aren't welcome.

I saw a hermit on the big margarita briefly and wondered if it was being attacked. Later that night, I realized that yes, it was.
The spaghetti worm made a meal out of the margarita snail's body yesterday...

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The hermit sporting the new shell.

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He killed the small margarita within 2 weeks of getting him. He's responsible for at least 3 snails and 1 hermit now. All kills have been right outside of his favorite cave and the shells remain strewn right outside both entrances as a warning to others that they aren't welcome.

I saw a hermit on the big margarita briefly and wondered if it was being attacked. Later that night, I realized that yes, it was.
The spaghetti worm made a meal out of the margarita snail's body yesterday...

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The hermit sporting the new shell.

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Ruthless creatures aren't they? lol Wow.
 
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I certainly have a lot of catching up to do on here, but let me take a moment to show off my reef's current state. It hit 3 months today!

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My phosphate has been getting rather high so today I plugged in the skimmer to see if it helps...

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Nice! What kind of toadstool is that on the left?
 
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Nice! What kind of toadstool is that on the left?
It's a green cap toadstool. It came with the tank and was in rough condition. Honestly I kinda wanted to get rid of it because it was pretty ugly. It was brown and looked unhealthy. However, over time, the cap turned bright green and the tentacles have a bluish tint to them. It has grown considerably and looks awesome. It has become one of my wife's and my favorite corals in the tank. She wants it moved to the top of the arch. I potentially will do that tonight during the water change.
 

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It's a green cap toadstool. It came with the tank and was in rough condition. Honestly I kinda wanted to get rid of it because it was pretty ugly. It was brown and looked unhealthy. However, over time, the cap turned bright green and the tentacles have a bluish tint to them. It has grown considerably and looks awesome. It has become one of my wife's and my favorite corals in the tank. She wants it moved to the top of the arch. I potentially will do that tonight during the water change.
It looks awesome! I have a "fat polyp" green cap that's much smaller, and it's driving me crazy by not wanting to extend its polyps lately. I guess that's typical of leathers sometimes though. I hope for it to grow fast so it can eventually be a centerpiece coral. Mine is green with pinkish polyps.
 

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It looks awesome! I have a "fat polyp" green cap that's much smaller, and it's driving me crazy by not wanting to extend its polyps lately. I guess that's typical of leathers sometimes though. I hope for it to grow fast so it can eventually be a centerpiece coral. Mine is green with pinkish polyps.

Mine looked like that a lot during the first couple weeks or so. How long have you had yours? Be sure to show yours off when it's finally happy!
 

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Mine looked like that a lot during the first couple weeks or so. How long have you had yours? Be sure to show yours off when it's finally happy!
I've had it a little over a month. It looks good some days, then will retract all its polyps for a few days. I may move it back lower in the tank when I rescape this weekend and see if that helps. Here it is a month ago, at the sandbed.
 

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Mine is currently in 245 PAR with moderate flow and loves it. If I end up placing it on top of the arch, it'll be in the 280s. Hopefully it doesn't get ticked off because it's really happy where it's at. My wife insists it must move so we'll see...
A lot of people place their toadstools in high light with success. Don't be afraid to try that within reason. I finally rented a PAR meter, but before, it was just a guessing game.

Yours looks happy in that photo though.
 

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Mine is currently in 245 PAR with moderate flow and loves it. If I end up placing it on top of the arch, it'll be in the 280s. Hopefully it doesn't get ticked off because it's really happy where it's at. My wife insists it must move so we'll see...
A lot of people place their toadstools in high light with success. Don't be afraid to try that within reason. I finally rented a PAR meter, but before, it was just a guessing game.

Yours looks happy in that photo though.
I need to rent a par meter - my local reef society has one you can use I believe. But I do think I'll relocate it back lower in the tank this weekend and see if it perks up. It did look happy in that pic.
 
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The toadstool was finally moved late last night just before a water change. My wife wants it to be the center piece of the tank. It's now on top of the arch which still should provide good flow. I actually looked at what my PAR is for up there and it peaks at 315 for 4 hours, not 280. Hopefully it'll handle the jump from 245 well. It was glued in place about 20 minutes before lights out and within 2 hours it was mostly open.

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I turned the skimmer off during the WC and when it turned back on, it wasn't skimming right. The side section of the back compartment won't allow for the skimmer to go all of the way down. For some reason it was skimming fine before I turned it off, but not after. I decided to move my ATO and some filter media around so that the skimmer could be placed in the middle. It took close to an hour to tune it. It was almost 1am when I finished. Hopefully it's good...

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And finally the FTS with lights off. You can see all of the green algae on the rocks. Green coraline?? A toothbrush won't do anything to it. It has become more abundant in recent weeks.

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