- Jan 20, 2019
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Sorry this is a rather lengthy post. I started my tank in December. I have a 60 gl predatory tank. When I started the only knowledge of fish that I had was from my parents goldfish tank. Since then, I have learned a whole lot. I cannot list it all here. I like to have more action in my tank so I went with predatory fish, of course. All tanks should have coral so I also have some coral too. I loved triggers, lions, frog fish and eels. I chose to have a ribbon eel and a lionfish as my center piece. So for food, I have a 10 gl guppy tank. My filtration is a 10 gl sump + a 5 gl because we ran out of space and canister filter filled with rock.
My inhabitants so far are:
- Two maroon clowns
- Three domino damsels
- A pompom crab
- Two giant hermit crabs a little bigger than golf balls
- An anemone that lives on one giant hermit
- A porcelain crab
- For hiddy hole crabs (not sure of the real name)
- A feather duster
- One scarlet hermit crab
- For blue legged hermit crabs
- A spider decorator crab
- An arrow crab
- Lots of snails
- Candy apple zoa
- Green zoa
- Green star polyp
- Blue jay zoa
- Passion fruit zoa
- Bleeding apple favias
- And lots of pods
It all started when me and my sister pooled our money together and had 1,600 dollars so of course we wanted to do something cool with it and my dad suggested fish tanks. Our original design was to put a 4” wide tank in our wall with clear PVC pipe around it for a kuhli loach. Seeing as that did not hold many fish, we changed our plans to two large tanks on either side of the wall and connect them with clear PVC pipes for fish to cross. These tanks were saltwater but after a few months our tanks were not going to be connected anymore because of our species list. My tank was going to eat hers.
We started the tank with live sand and a few pieces of rock. The thought was that the live sand should shorten or eliminate tank cycle time. To get things moving, I got my first fish. I got two maroon clowns, a domino damsel, and a yellow tailed damsel. However, the nitrate kept climbing, long after they should have cycled. My nitrates were sky high so I filled the canister filter with rock and got a sump full of chaeto. The chaeto just kind of sat there. My fancy LED grow light was not appetizing to the chaeto. After 6 weeks of experiments, we tossed in a Home Depot flood light instead. The chaeto doubled in size in a week.
With the nitrates finally under control, it is time for some new fish. The gravel looked horrible covered with diatoms. So, I got another yellow tailed damsel and two more domino damsels, a decorator crab, and a diamond watchman goby to clean up the sand. The next morning, I found the head of the new yellow tailed damsel lying on the sand and the other yellow tailed damsel with an evil grin on its face. Hmmm, maybe I need to figure out how to introduce new inhabitants, especially with an aggressive tank. The goby was settling nicely. He was redecorating, and looked very proud of himself.
Meanwhile, creating the rock structure took some time (and money). I started with one large gray rock, two smaller rocks, and one live rock, named “Matilda”. (My Dad says, “Because it is “live”, it should have a name.) They were barely an aquascape, so I got some more rocks. I played around with it and came up with this:
After that I went on a trip for a few days and had someone feed my fish. Little did I know that the fish I had just added had marine velvet. When I came back: one fish had disappeared; the goby was looking a lot thinner; and the female clownfish was not eating and floating at the surface with her head above water. A few days later the female died. Soon after, the goby left too.
I did some research (which led me to join Reef2Reef). I found out they had velvet so I decided to FW dip all of them. Catching the fish was very difficult. It took a few days. The rocks had to be removed and I had to call in back up. Eventually they were all thoroughly traumatized but they were caught. The yellow tailed blue damsel died while being FW dipped. All the rest of them were put in QT. The only remaining fish were one of the new domino damsels and the male clown.
While they were in QT, they grew quite fond of each other. We also stocked up on inverts.
- A Hawaiian feather duster
- Three hermit crabs
- A green zoa
- Arrow crab
My first zoa were little green ones. They were adjusting nicely and had grown a new polyp in about a month. That is when my decorator crab took all but one polyp. It was messed with several times being knocked over. Eventually they got glued and are happy.
Anyways the first week of July I could finally move the fish back in. The domino damsel had gotten huge and the clown was the only original fish remaining.
My guppy tank was doing great. I had enough guppies for a lionfish. The only problem was it sitting near a glass door. It had way to much light and started to cloud up with green stuff. I fixed that problem by not giving it any light at all. But, it is a planted tank so all the plants started to die. I still need to fix it.
My pod population was doing great and I had also always wanted a mandarin goby. So I got one. I also got two more domino damsels and another maroon clown. I QT’d the dominoes and clown before I put them in it worked great. I did not QT the mandarin because I heard that they are resistant to parasites. Once I put the new fish from QT to the tank the mandarin died, and the original fish were showing signs of parasites. I had to recatch all of them. Removing rocks like last time. The original clown came willingly. The others took a while to catch. I tried a fish trap and I think I caught a hermit
I had all five fish in a 10 gl QT for two months. While they were in QT, I stocked up on inverts again.
- Candy apple zoa
- Green star polyp/ Aiptasia anemone
- Blue jay zoa
- Pompom crab
- A hermit with an anemone on its shell
- Passion fruit zoa
- Bleeding apple favias
- Four blue legged hermit cabs
The green star polyp I got with aiptasia. I intended to buy aiptasia. When put the aiptasia in my tank little green star polyps started sprouting up. Also the anemones did great as well.
Eventually the fish made it back in the tank safe and sound. I should also mention, I had trouble getting the fish not to kill each other but when you put fish in a traumatic experience together (QT) they bond well.
A week ago for four days I went on a trip to a lake. I had put an automatic feeder on the tank for various reasons. We have other tanks in my house and someone was feeding them. I had them feed my fish mysis shrimp one day of the week for variety. When I got back I realized the automatic feeder had no batteries in it. Somehow my piggy fish survived four days with only one meal.
Also when I came back from my trip I found my giant hermit crab had stolen the anemone from the other giant hermit crab. Her pride had also grown a ton. So I tossed her in the sump for a few days to clean up the sand down there. A few days later I put her back up and she was way less prideful and more timid. I wonder how long it will last though.
My clowns have successfully bonded and have been hosting everything. The original clown or female clown’s favorite hobby is chasing the glass scrubber.
I still cannot find that Mombasa lionfish I want. All the places I look seem to be out of stock. Any help is appreciated.
Pictures coming soon.