AshenEmberose

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Hey everyone! After doing tons of morph research, i found the perfect clownfish at my LFS for my future breeding project! This is also my first shot at a saltwater aquarium and its a nano, but I’ve done plenty of research and plan to document everything here to help newer reefers. I used to breed betta fish and those are some difficult fish so I think I’m prepared for these babies.
THE FISH
I bought them on April 29th, 2020.
My female was $69 and is an Extreme Black Snowflake with Bullethole, then my male was $80 and is an Absolute Zero Frostbite I love them so much already. The female was in a tank with a couple fish that weren’t clowns and the male was with another absolute zero frostbite female, but she was picking on him a lot. I was prepared for them to have a scuffle when introduced to the 10gallon aquarium, so I added the male into the tank first. The female was pretty spazzy during the drip acclimation, but the male was really calm. Once both added, the female only gave a him a few tiny pecks and then they bonded within a few minutes! They cuddle every night and its so adorable. A match made in heaven!
SETUP
I’ve decided that I wanted to try something different out after doing extensive research. I wanted to see if I could use things I already had to run this tank first to see which pieces of equipment are actually necessary to dish out a fortune on. I’m running a bare bottom 10gallon tank with a hang on the back auto starting filter and a sponge filter on the other side. I have a coralife digital thermometer, Aqueon 50watt heater, then for decor I have two leaf hammocks from when I had bettas along with one white rock, a bridge, and a faux feline skull decoration. The temperature stays at 78 and the clownfish love sleeping behind the thermometer temp reader.
CYCLING (since 4/12/20)
I used about a 50/50 mix of dechlorinated tap water and zero water from my home filter. From my research, tap water is mostly discouraged only because of potential nitrates and higher likelihood of algae growth, but in all of my freshwater live planted tanks, Ive never had algae, only diatoms, so I think my tap water is safe to test out. I used Instant Ocean Marine Fast Dissolving Sea Salt, 3lbs and it was $9.99. I discovered that despite it saying it was exactly for 10 gallons, it was a little too much, so my salinity went up to 1.030 I believe? So after hours of messing with a refractometer and getting loads of water on my floor, I finally settled on it being around 1.024. It might be slightly below 35ppm, but I’m not too worried because this means I have a slight buffer with salinity in case evaporation proves to be a problem. I used Dr. Tim’s One and Only Nitrifying Bacteria (4/29) before adding the fish just in case the bacteria colonies weren’t high enough yet.
FEEDING
My LFS told me that they are captive bred and came to them already being fed Reef Nutrition TDO Chroma Boost (small) and first day the female was eating them super quickly. The male would grab a piece and spit it out unless it was a tiny enough piece for his liking. I feed them twice a day. I turn off the bubble filter for feeding but leave the hang on the back on because the female seems to like when the food moves a bit. Today I took a clear plastic cup and cut a hole in the bottom to add the food in hopes that they will learn to eat from it and the male has better chances since he doesn’t swim as fast as the female. Will update on how the feeding cup station works out.
ADDITIONAL INFO
I will be testing the water parameters again after 1 week of running the tank to see how they fluctuate and if weekly 10% water changes are actually necessary. Some people have told me 20-40% once a month worked for them, and that’s been fine for my freshwater tanks, so I will document the similarities and differences. First test strip before adding fish read 0-20 nitrates, 0 nitrites, 7.5 pH, 180KH, and 180GH but I don’t think GH matters here. My LFS water tested 20-40 nitrates, 0-0.5 nitrites, 8.0 pH, 240KH, and 180GH. I will do another test on Wednesday, the 6th.

Feel free to ask any questions and show me pics of your clownfish! Here are some of my babies

F95DD1FE-1011-4615-BFC7-5A681A14A196.jpeg 34253FB8-1D51-4D72-B409-39559C5F1A1C.jpeg A02F0E35-5235-4297-9E1D-85ED14686B1D.png F86F8B5E-2420-46D8-9371-A8BB80F0DC82.jpeg
 

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AshenEmberose

AshenEmberose

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Hi man! That’s just awesome. Your fish look great and even tho you have informed well before starting this project, I’m really surprised on how well you pulled this one of. Mine are a bit less colourful, but I love their personality!

Great work!

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Thank you so much! Your tank is gorgeous! Your clowns look very happy and I love how the one has a very close misbar I believe its called. Gorgeous black outlines too. I can't wait to get a coral or two for this tank once its established enough. I’ve considered an anemone but I want to start with corals first since nems seem to be a little finicky. Thanks again for the support! I was a bit worried at first to post this since I know a lot of reefers are adamant about how you have to have this or this to have a successful tank and I’ve just gone down to the basics. Keep an eye out for updates my male ate today so I’m very happy about that.
 

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That is a very cute couple, I hope to see/read updates with lots of pictures!

I keep polymnus in a nano with a macrodactyla anemone and I use a bubble skimmer and an integrated filter, ocean revive leds and a nanosized powerhead. Luckily I managed to get the anemone to settle in the opposite end from the powerhead. I feed them 3-5 times each day depending on how fast the male manages to eat. I always ignore the female and just feed until I see the male have eaten. I feed them 4 different brand foods, and one of them is difficult for the male to eat because the pieces are harder, so it goes for the smaller pieces. It also always seem to let the female eat first, sometimes showing her the food without eating it unless it see that the female is busy eating elsewhere, so I guess they would divide bigger and smaller prey like that in nature as well. I also add rotifers or Copepods about once a month to keep them entertained, they tend to hold patrols where the most food is located.

When I first set up the Nano, I noticed that many say that a problem with small tanks, is that the fish cannot flee your hands, so I try to make a water change every third day to keep them being used to my hands in the tank. I don't use any additives, just the salt mix and I use a very simple filtering system to filter through tap water. The Anemone needs some phos & nitrates and I do get some degree of algae which the fishes seem to love to nibble away at nomatter how much I feed them.

IMG_20191028_163124.jpg
 
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That is a very cute couple, I hope to see/read updates with lots of pictures!

I keep polymnus in a nano with a macrodactyla anemone and I use a bubble skimmer and an integrated filter, ocean revive leds and a nanosized powerhead. Luckily I managed to get the anemone to settle in the opposite end from the powerhead. I feed them 3-5 times each day depending on how fast the male manages to eat. I always ignore the female and just feed until I see the male have eaten. I feed them 4 different brand foods, and one of them is difficult for the male to eat because the pieces are harder, so it goes for the smaller pieces. It also always seem to let the female eat first, sometimes showing her the food without eating it unless it see that the female is busy eating elsewhere, so I guess they would divide bigger and smaller prey like that in nature as well. I also add rotifers or Copepods about once a month to keep them entertained, they tend to hold patrols where the most food is located.

When I first set up the Nano, I noticed that many say that a problem with small tanks, is that the fish cannot flee your hands, so I try to make a water change every third day to keep them being used to my hands in the tank. I don't use any additives, just the salt mix and I use a very simple filtering system to filter through tap water. The Anemone needs some phos & nitrates and I do get some degree of algae which the fishes seem to love to nibble away at nomatter how much I feed them.

IMG_20191028_163124.jpg
Thank you for sharing your setup! I’ll be giving a big update on the 6th when I test my water again and if all is well, I plan on adding a little cleanup crew! I’m considering hermit crabs since I’m a little worried about emerald crabs getting snacky on smaller fish. Gonna wait on getting those til my fish are bigger. I don’t have any algae yet but my clowns aren’t the best hunters so the food floats to the bottom half the time, so I want something that’ll eat the food on the bottom of the tank. I’m planning on making a custom lid for the tank when I start getting into corals since I’ll probably have to use a better light than the ones that usually come with FW 10gallons, although I am tempted to get a low light coral and see if these LEDs will be enough for it. I’m really enjoying getting to experiment with the fundamentals of saltwater aquarium keeping and I can see myself enjoying this hobby for a long time.
 

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although I am tempted to get a low light coral and see if these LEDs will be enough for it. I’m really enjoying getting to experiment with the fundamentals of saltwater aquarium keeping and I can see myself enjoying this hobby for a long time.

It is a truly addictive hobby! Fish in some ways makes the best pets, they don't make noise and they don't make a mess except inside the tanks. I have read that emerald crabs easily starve in smaller setups so I am also fearful that they would harass the fishes but I also don't really want a hermit, because there isn't much to look at I guess.

Perhaps you could get some non photosynthetic coral like sun corals and place it so they eat the food instead.
 
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It is a truly addictive hobby! Fish in some ways makes the best pets, they don't make noise and they don't make a mess except inside the tanks. I have read that emerald crabs easily starve in smaller setups so I am also fearful that they would harass the fishes but I also don't really want a hermit, because there isn't much to look at I guess.

Perhaps you could get some non photosynthetic coral like sun corals and place it so they eat the food instead.
Non photosynthetic corals sound like a great idea! I might be getting a clean up crew today but if I can’t decide on any of them, I might try to find an easy coral that can handle my newer tank. Might do a water test today just so I can see if its stable enough to add more of anything. I REALLY WANT some sexy shrimp super badly but they are so hard to find it seems if you know of any CUC members that’ll eat fish food, let me know! I’ve accidentally left the light on in my tank for longer than intended and no algae at all yet so I’m not needing algae eaters for a while. The clowns just seem to miss the food sometimes. Also I have a barebottom tank so I don’t wanna get a pistol shrimp or goby til I try out a Live Sand system. Love those so much though.
 
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I just calculated the wattage for my 10gallon’s lighting that it came with and its more than I thought! It said 120V with 3A and i put that into a conversion calculator and it said I should have 360W in my tank! So 36W per gal. They look like white LEDs though so I’m not sure about the blue light ratio which i know corals tend to need. I’ll probably just try getting a low light or no light coral that column feeds or spot feeds and see how it does with my lighting system going on. Tbh if I need blue light, my chameleon’s enclosure is right next to my tank and if I get a new blue bulb for him, maybe the blue light will have some effect by being in the room? Hard to say, especially since the lamp is a good 4 ft above the tank and to the side, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ still a thought. This tank is one huge experiment that I’m in love with planning out. My LFS said a newer system probably wouldn’t kill xenia so fast growing corals might be fun to try in this tank since I have some things that work as small islands. Putting coral on my bridge decoration would be epic :0 super excited about that now! I’m gonna automatically assume that my tank as lower flow since the bubble filter on high is mostly whats making the water ripple. Depending on nitrate count I might add a new charcoal filter in to help my cycle out then add more beneficial bacteria. This is just speculating though on what the results could be. Nitrates should be pretty low though since it’s only been a little less than a week. But for some reason, people in this hobby are adamant about weekly water changes and I gotta find out why! There’s no way two fish can dirty up 10gallons in a week. I had 13 fish in a FW 10gal with only 1filter and didnt need to do water changes til 1-2 months. I’m pretty sure I mentioned this already, but I also had fish die of old age in that tank and didn’t have any huge spikes and there wasn’t a speck of algae or diatoms in that tank either. All I had were maybe two small plants in the tank and a moss ball. I’d love to make a DIY refugium but maybe put the macroalgae inside the skull decoration. I actually like the look of it. That’s another option for keeping things clean! Super excited. Probably gonna post another update soon
 

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Might do a water test today just so I can see if its stable enough to add more of anything. I REALLY WANT some sexy shrimp super badly but they are so hard to find it seems.

The clowns just seem to miss the food sometimes. Also I have a barebottom tank so I don’t wanna get a pistol shrimp or goby til I try out a Live Sand system. Love those so much though.

That sounds super and then you Definitely need to find a sexy shrimp! I don't know much about CUC, I was trying to keep Vayssierea felis, a type of tiny nudibranches that only eat tiny feather worms, but then a ton of spaghetti worms seemed to out compete the feathers (and all of my amphipods) and my Felis died of starvation ;Rage
I need a cleaner shrimp to deal with bristleworms and hopefully it will go for the spaghetti worms as well so I can try again with the Felis.

Perhaps your clowns will get better at noticing the food that they missed, I have a rock formation that covers the powerhead so the anemone doesn't end up shredding itself and annoyingly some pellets sometimes floats in there. But after 6months or so, the smaller clown started diving in under the powerhead to fetch them, which is great because the big one becomes totally tyrannical if the smaller one doesn't let it eat first. I try to avoid that it gets fat by only feeding enough for the smaller one to get something ;Nailbiting

Water changes depends a lot on what you keep and if you prefer to add nutrients through dosing or through the water change. I like using water changes because I want the hobby to take time. Somebody said yesterday in some string (I don't recall where though) that they only did water changes every 3months in order to siphon the sandbed because they had a really good sump and skimmer to deal with the nitrates and organic waste.

I guess some people really hate having algae so any nitrates would be bad. But I keep an anemone that likes some phosphates and nitrates in the water column and I know some corals hates them. Algae could also overgrow sensitive corals and destroy them, so I guess people who keep those kinds of corals really should hate algae with a vengeance!
 
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WATER PARAMETER RESULTS 5/5
They are exactly the same! My salinity is actually better after about 1cm of evaporation! Last time it was on the verge of being 1.024 but looked maybe 1.023ish or a tad lower but now its a perfect 1.024. My temperature stays around 78.1F-78.4 and rarely goes to 78.8 and never goes higher. Here are some pictures of this week’s test strip and my clownfish cuddling

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That sounds super and then you Definitely need to find a sexy shrimp! I don't know much about CUC, I was trying to keep Vayssierea felis, a type of tiny nudibranches that only eat tiny feather worms, but then a ton of spaghetti worms seemed to out compete the feathers (and all of my amphipods) and my Felis died of starvation ;Rage
I need a cleaner shrimp to deal with bristleworms and hopefully it will go for the spaghetti worms as well so I can try again with the Felis.

Perhaps your clowns will get better at noticing the food that they missed, I have a rock formation that covers the powerhead so the anemone doesn't end up shredding itself and annoyingly some pellets sometimes floats in there. But after 6months or so, the smaller clown started diving in under the powerhead to fetch them, which is great because the big one becomes totally tyrannical if the smaller one doesn't let it eat first. I try to avoid that it gets fat by only feeding enough for the smaller one to get something ;Nailbiting

Water changes depends a lot on what you keep and if you prefer to add nutrients through dosing or through the water change. I like using water changes because I want the hobby to take time. Somebody said yesterday in some string (I don't recall where though) that they only did water changes every 3months in order to siphon the sandbed because they had a really good sump and skimmer to deal with the nitrates and organic waste.

I guess some people really hate having algae so any nitrates would be bad. But I keep an anemone that likes some phosphates and nitrates in the water column and I know some corals hates them. Algae could also overgrow sensitive corals and destroy them, so I guess people who keep those kinds of corals really should hate algae with a vengeance!
My LFS said “No sexy shrimp at the moment, they are hard to come by right now. We have Pistol, Skunk Cleaner, Banded Coral, and Fire shrimp.” So I have to choose between these. Probably no to pistol shrimp with barebottom setup, need to research skunk cleaner and fire shrimp, but I know a lot about Banded Coral Shrimp. I really like Banded Coral Shrimp but some people say they are aggressive and recommend 20-30gal minimum which is odd for a shrimp imo. Super pretty though. I’m gonna talk to the people there when I get there and see what they think but researching the other two shrimp they got now so Im not dumb when I’m there. Some people on forums have said don’t get fire shrimp but idk why. Lets find out.
 
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UPDATE! I went to my LFS and got a coral banded shrimp and 3 blue-legged hermit crabs! The guy that have me my clownfish was there this time too and he said my clowns seem to be very attached to each other already. I tested the water parameters of their water for their invert tanks and noticed that the salinity was 1.029! That seems pretty high! I think it’s still in the safe range, but it’s interesting to see the difference and I’m glad I took extra time to make sure they got used to my parameters. The test strip came out with 0 nitrates and nitrates and everything else the same. I didn’t get to check the salinity of the water my clownfish came in and I regret that hardcore. They told me to not use their water if I wanted inverts bc they add copper so I followed that advice, but it’d still be cool to test. I asked the guy if ai needed to get iodine to supplement the tank with the help with the shrimp’s molt, but he said that should be found like trace elements in my salt mix already and a water change with new salt will be good. I’d only need iodine if I had a bunch of corals. Very good to know! I’m exhausted from today but enjoy a video of my coral banded shrimp.

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Well, sometimes I personally feel that people advice very expensive tanks for everything but when it comes to predatorial behaviour, it is definitely best to keep things far apart. Idk what reason there was for the shrimp to be in high salinity but the most important part is probably to keep the shrimp away from the copper they use to treat other livestock to make sure it is free of disease? Fishsellers have to deal with a lot of things, generally I am very forgiving about LFS, they keep all the "orphans" until somebody buys them and sometimes it takes too long before anybody picks them up, so what happens in the LFS, stays in the LFS imo. Perhaps the weather just got warmer and the lfs was still on a routine of water changes from the winter time, so a little more water had evaporated than usual?

Perfect shrimp! I never notice they were so edgy!
It is good to see your fishes bonding nicely, and your media quality is good, we all love seeing pictures and video here ;)
 
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Well, sometimes I personally feel that people advice very expensive tanks for everything but when it comes to predatorial behaviour, it is definitely best to keep things far apart. Idk what reason there was for the shrimp to be in high salinity but the most important part is probably to keep the shrimp away from the copper they use to treat other livestock to make sure it is free of disease? Fishsellers have to deal with a lot of things, generally I am very forgiving about LFS, they keep all the "orphans" until somebody buys them and sometimes it takes too long before anybody picks them up, so what happens in the LFS, stays in the LFS imo. Perhaps the weather just got warmer and the lfs was still on a routine of water changes from the winter time, so a little more water had evaporated than usual?

Perfect shrimp! I never notice they were so edgy!
It is good to see your fishes bonding nicely, and your media quality is good, we all love seeing pictures and video here ;)
That makes sense about the salinity. So far everybody is getting along perfectly! The shrimp did a little charge at one of my clowns that wanted to investigate him but they respected eachother after that. I had a mini freak out because I saw what looked like a dead hermit crab at the bottom of the tank, but thankfully it was just a molt! I forgot that they molt too not sure if I just leave it in the tank or not. The hermit crabs are adventurous so it’s cool to look around and see where they end up. Also I found some blue LEDs lying around and I’m gonna try adding them to the tank lid so if I do get corals, they can be low light and do fine. I think I need to top off the 1cm of water that evaporated because my temperature went up to 79.2F -.- not the worst thing that could be happening, but I didn’t think that would make a drastic difference. Might try to find an even smaller heater but that’s prettu difficult. And as usual, here are some more pictures and videos

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I must say the shrimp and fishes looks REALLY good together, with the way the red and black compliments eachother & they all have white areas. The polymnus I keep, doesn't move with the side to side movements like most clownfishes but with up and down movements and it is so cool to see those two move around and enjoy their home. I totally love the way clowns play around when they don't have a community of other fishes forcing them to be more subdued.

Oh yeah, finding nano sized equipment can be hard. One thing I am super happy for is my Mame skimmer, because it looks great in the display and I don't have a sump for stuff like that.

I don't think that a molt will pollute anything very fast, just pick it out when you feel that you won't disturb the fishes. People say that fishes in small tanks freak out because they cannot flee your hands in the tank but I try to just do it so often that the fishes keeps being used to it, they don't seem to mind toomuch ;Bored
 
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I must say the shrimp and fishes looks REALLY good together, with the way the red and black compliments eachother & they all have white areas. The polymnus I keep, doesn't move with the side to side movements like most clownfishes but with up and down movements and it is so cool to see those two move around and enjoy their home. I totally love the way clowns play around when they don't have a community of other fishes forcing them to be more subdued.

Oh yeah, finding nano sized equipment can be hard. One thing I am super happy for is my Mame skimmer, because it looks great in the display and I don't have a sump for stuff like that.

I don't think that a molt will pollute anything very fast, just pick it out when you feel that you won't disturb the fishes. People say that fishes in small tanks freak out because they cannot flee your hands in the tank but I try to just do it so often that the fishes keeps being used to it, they don't seem to mind toomuch ;Bored
I topped off the water today so now my temp is at 78.3F. My shrimp is super cool to watch ahhh I love him. He’s sticking to picking invisible stuff off the glass and the hermit crab shells from what I’ve observed, but I’m hoping I’ll see him eat the fish food soon. He puts his arms up in the air whenever I get the camera out I think my clowns aren’t too afraid of my hands, but I haven’t stuck my hands in the tank since I got them. The saltwater really dries out my skin so I’m trying to avoid contact as much as possible. Might get some safe gloves since I’m planning coral selection next. As long as water parameters remain stable in the next few weeks of testing, I don’t see any issue in getting some beginner corals. I’ll update my ideal coral selection for this tank once I come up with the plan.

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Getting gloves is good!! (Bristleworms tend to love my filter and I eventually managed to squeeze one tightly and darn it, those bristles stuck under the skin were itchy..)

I love how attentive shrimps are, they look as if they would ignore everything but they don't. My fishes are super good at determining if I am gonna intrude in the water or not. They obviously learn a lot, despite tales of them having a really short memory and all.

Each time I tried to buy "saltwater safe" prongs or tweezers, they were obviously poor quality and I never dared using them in the water more than 1-2 times before throwing them out. But my skin doesn't seem to mind the water, or perhaps it is just my habit of using essential oils that is helping me, idk.

Keep up the good work! Am looking forward to the updates ;Bookworm
 
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I must say the shrimp and fishes looks REALLY good together, with the way the red and black compliments eachother & they all have white areas. The polymnus I keep, doesn't move with the side to side movements like most clownfishes but with up and down movements and it is so cool to see those two move around and enjoy their home. I totally love the way clowns play around when they don't have a community of other fishes forcing them to be more subdued.

Oh yeah, finding nano sized equipment can be hard. One thing I am super happy for is my Mame skimmer, because it looks great in the display and I don't have a sump for stuff like that.

I don't think that a molt will pollute anything very fast, just pick it out when you feel that you won't disturb the fishes. People say that fishes in small tanks freak out because they cannot flee your hands in the tank but I try to just do it so often that the fishes keeps being used to it, they don't seem to mind toomuch ;Bored
I topped off the water today so now my temp is at 78.3F. My shrimp is super cool to watch ahhh I love him. He’s sticking to picking invisible stuff off the glass and the hermit crab shells from what I’ve observed, but I’m hoping I’ll see him eat the fish food soon.
Getting gloves is good!! (Bristleworms tend to love my filter and I eventually managed to squeeze one tightly and darn it, those bristles stuck under the skin were itchy..)

I love how attentive shrimps are, they look as if they would ignore everything but they don't. My fishes are super good at determining if I am gonna intrude in the water or not. They obviously learn a lot, despite tales of them having a really short memory and all.

Each time I tried to buy "saltwater safe" prongs or tweezers, they were obviously poor quality and I never dared using them in the water more than 1-2 times before throwing them out. But my skin doesn't seem to mind the water, or perhaps it is just my habit of using essential oils that is helping me, idk.

Keep up the good work! Am looking forward to the updates ;Bookworm
My shrimp molted today! SUPER CREEPY! But I’m glad everyone is growing. My clowns are eating well still and the hermit crabs explore a lot. Every now and then I hear a clink on the glass and I think its when the hermits fall off something

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Birdbrains?

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Oh creepy looking molt ;Joyful

Things falling, is part of why I am hesitant with snails and stuff, I don't want something stuck behind LR because it fell down or something.

I was thinking about getting a pistol shrimp but now I'll consider a banded shrimp, they are great. But my fishes are really loud, I don't think I could tell the difference on a pistol shrimp and clown clicks anyway.
 
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