Dawn's 56 gallon natural nutrient garden

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vlangel

vlangel

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Well, it saddens me to report that my orange spot blenny Marmalade died. He was a really cool fish with a great personality. I did not even know that he was sick, although he would scratch himself on the sand occasionally. The cleaner shrimp would also clean him sometimes so perhaps he succumbed to ich. I will definitely miss him.

On a more positive note I have released Plank, the carpenter wrasse into the display. He did not head to hide in the rockwork but instead hangs near the powerhead. No one is harassing him and he is eating so I am optimistic.
 
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vlangel

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Plank continues to do well. He now leaves the area near the powerhead to chase food and is eating voraciously.

I went and picked up another salt acclimated molly, a female to keep my male molly company. While I was there I saw some cute baby occellaris clowns and came with one of them too plus a cluster of feather duster worms. Lil baby clown is eating and doing well although is not interested in hosting the rainbow BTAs. O well.

My feather duster garden is growing now to 5 large Hawaiian type and 4 smaller white and red and white and green. I have always loved feather dusters and they seem to do well in this high nutrient tank.
 
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vlangel

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Well sad news, we went to visit our kids out of state for 4 days and Plank, the wrasse didn't make it. I had an auto fish feeder that fed 2Xs a day but he started acting reclusive right before we left, which is never a good sign.

Everything else looks great. The new baby clown looks fatter and the new female salt acclimated molly seems well settled in with the male (they are in my fuge). Coral, macro algae and seagrass look real good.

It's nice to have a tank system that can be left for a long weekend trip and come home to everything as it was when you left.
 
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Ozzie, the baby occellaris clownfish is fattening up nicely. I try to control my own weight but I like to see my fish nice and plump! LOL.

Dave, my hubby knew I was wanted a mandarin and wanted to get me one for Christmas. I have had to re-home mandarins in the past because I could not get them trained onto frozen so I got cold feet about even getting a captive bred mandy.

So I have been contemplating what to get in place of a CB mandarin. KP Aquatics has a lot of things that I think could add interest to my reef. I am considering a yellow ball sponge, a corkscrew nem, a pistol shrimp(which possible could pair up with the corkscrew nem), a green RFA, a fighting conch and 2 rooted halimeda which would all be about the same cost as a captive bred blue mandarin from live aquaria and that is including shipping. There is much less risk to these animals and they would be overnighted.

The tank is already active enough to be interesting but this would greatly add to the diversity and fits in well with the natural look of my tank. I do not think that any of these additions would add any stress to the current inhabitants either.
 
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vlangel

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I did actually place an order with KP Aquatics and it came today. I have always read that this company has a good reputation and I will vouch that it is well deserved! Everything about how this ordered was handled, (from communications to shipping) was done well.

My order came when it was projected to arrive and everything was not only alive but looked excellent. Also KP Aquatics was generous in that they sent me 4 masked gobies (instead of the 3 that I ordered), they sent 3 rooted halimeda instead of the 2 that I ordered and the yellow ball sponge was almost the size of a tennis ball!

Everything was packaged in it's own bag, even the masked gobies which are tiny. The box included some heat packs which kept the animals comfortable. They were all active and healthy looking when I opened the box. Some of my masked gobies are already eating, a mere 2 hours out of the box. I could not be more pleased!
 
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vlangel

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Here is a top down pic of 2 of the masked gobies in the baby net. They were wild caught so I guess they are savvy about staying hidden if I release them in the tank. I do not have any predators fish but these gobies are small enough to fit in a few of my fish's mouths. Hopefully that is not their destiny!
 
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Oh wow, it took me a second to spot them. They sure are tiny.
Yes, they sure are. I released them yesterday and of course have not seen hide not hair since, ha ha! I am feeding the tank heavy so they should be okay and hopefully when they get comfy in the tank I will see them.

Here are some pics of the other things I got. Halimeda in this pic.
This is the green RFA.
FTS
In general the tank is doing well. I moved my frog spawn which I think was too shaded to a more open spot in the barnacle (right behind the halimeda) and I hope it will do better there.
My macros in the fuge are doing ok, except the red grapes. The seagrass is also ok I think but a lot of them have stubborn algae on the top of the blades. I am thinking of cutting that off simulating manatee grazing event. We will see.
 
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I did not show pics of the yellow ball sponges which is in the back under the overflow, a nice shady spot for it.
Also the corkscrew nem is in the back on the left side. It move up a bit so I hope it does not keep moving until it gets in a place I do not want it to be in.
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting
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vlangel

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Good news, 2 of the masked gobies have been spotted and they were eating! That means probably the other 2 are alright as well.

They were not near each other however, in fact were at opposite ends of the tank. I wonder if they are a schooling fish after all??? It's fine with me as long as they thrive.
 
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Here is a close up of the shoal seagrass after I trimmed the tops to rid it if algae. It definitely seems to be growing, although Oh so slow.

The fishroom where the fuge is located is too narrow for a real FTS but here is my best attempt.
 
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I saw 3 gobies last night so I am pretty sure that the 4th is probably in there too and just fine. I have seen them eat which pleases me. The tank has a lot of copepods so they are probably feeding on those as well. They although secretive are a cool little fish and I love them.
 
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I am working on making my refugium more suited for the shoal seagrass. I have been watching a thread on RC from a gentleman who added regular dirt to his deep sandbed to cater to the seagrass. I had added a little back 8 months or so ago before I got shoal grass. My seagrass is hanging in there but was not flourishing the way I thought it should by now.

To help it, I suspended my Coralife Quad HOT5 Fixture instead of the cheap par 30 LEDs. I bought bulbs that are specific for growing a planted tank. They got greener almost immediately so I think that is helping.

I also added another gallon of garden dirt to the substrate. That was tricky with the seagrass already planted. What I did was syphon out about an inch of sand from around the seagrass. Then I very SLOWLY added the dirt. I put filter floss and ran an Aquaclear filter to help clear the cloud away. That worked pretty decent and then I covered the dirt with sand again. It turned out ok, and everything seems to have survived it.
 
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In other news, everything I got from KP Aquatics is doing well. Last night I noticed the Rice Krispies, the pistol shrimp had taken up residence with Flame my firefish goby. I never expected that as firefish are not even true gobies, they are more in the dart fish family. All the same, they are in the same burrow. Fish can be so fun when they do something unexpected!
 
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Today I am waiting on an order from GCE, of mostly macro algae. They are late which has me a bit worried.
I ordered sargassum, halimeda sample pack, dragon's breath and ricordia. The sargassum will go in the fuge and everything else in the display tank.
 
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new pics, new pics.. we need new pics. LOL
Ha ha, I think I hear the pot calling the kettle black since I did not see any recent pics in your thread either. OK, when I get my tanks (display and refugium) cleaned up to show worthiness, I will post pics.
 
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Ted, here are pics of the fuge. The Sargassum is in the top right.
This is the Sargassum. It needs high light and to tumble to thrive. Hopefully my coralife quad t5 is enough light and I put it in the most turbulent area of the fuge. Hoping for the best!
The last pic is of some Codium with grass shrimp all around. The grass shrimp help clean the algae off the blades of shoal grass plus they reproduce and some of the larvae shrimp are hopefully feeding the display tank.

I will take pics of the display when the lights come on.
 
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