My First Saltwater Aquarium - Fluval Evo 13.5G

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HappilyReefing

HappilyReefing

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I've already gotten a bare spot between the small island and peninsula side of the tank with the new flow. It is also causing quite a bit of sand to swirl around and landing on my anemones. My big anemone's oral disk is almost all covered with sand!

I just changed the nozzle direction to point toward the glass and slightly more downward. Hopefully, this will reduce the amount of sand that gets blown around while still keeping water movement over the cyanobacteria problem area.
 
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Today, I worked on the QT. I usually do almost a 100% water change every week on this tank and work on the corals whether it be dipping or scouring them for hitchhikers or both.

I didn't dip them in coral dip, but I did work on manually removing pests and then putting them in a 3% H2O2 solution for a few seconds at a time. Once I got them back in QT, I noticed a few very tiny worms (flat or otherwise I couldn't tell) crawling on the glass which I siphoned out. They don't look like the ones I have seen before, but these were probably only about 1mm long so could have been babies.

I also pulled out a worm that I believe is a bristle worm. It looks like the worms I have been finding in QT on this batch of corals. The first picture below is the worm in question. It could be a fire worm? The second picture is of a worm that I pulled out two weeks ago.

These are the pests (along with the flat worms) that I don't want in my display although I think I am fighting an uphill battle at this point. I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet so I'll keep monitoring and working on the corals...

20220313_160749.jpg
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Meanwhile, I thought I had killed the feather duster on the acan accidentally because I was working on getting a worm in his general vicinity before I stopped when I realized that it may be him I was going after. I'm glad to say that he is still around and poked his feathers out when he got back to QT. This is the type of hitchhiker I want in my display tank!

20220313_151303.jpg


As for the scoly with the unidentified stuff on him, I went ahead and pulled everything I could see out with tweezers (or as much of them as I could). Then I used a dental explorer to poke the openings they were in and finally put them in the H2O2 solution.

I have seen both the feeding tentacles (close to the mouth around the oral disk) and the sweeper tentacles (along the outer perimeter of the top of the scoly) so I don't think the things I pulled off were part of the scoly.

BTW - The upright worm on the scoly (or whatever it was with the tentacles in an earlier post) does retract. It was missing one morning when I looked at the coral, but reappeared later that same day so definitely a hitchhiker (that I don't want).
 

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Might be part of the coral (as for the one on the Scoly), best I can figure it looks pretty attached to the coral and removing it may cause more harm than good.
The first two works might be dorvilleidae (I could be wrong), whatever they are they look harmless. Beneficial to the system as they clean the sandbed and eat detritus. Not harmful not to have though.
 
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Might be part of the coral (as for the one on the Scoly), best I can figure it looks pretty attached to the coral and removing it may cause more harm than good.
The first two works might be dorvilleidae (I could be wrong), whatever they are they look harmless. Beneficial to the system as they clean the sandbed and eat detritus. Not harmful not to have though.
I've already removed what I could from the scoly...hopefully, there's no lasting damage to him (fingers crossed).

I have read that some bristle worms are good for the aquarium as you mentioned (eats detritus, etc) while others should be avoided. Since it is so difficult to ID bristle worm species/subspecies accurately (at least for me), I figure all bristle worms should be excluded, good and bad.
 
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Just fed the corals in QT and keeping an eye on them in case there are any adverse effects from yesterday's ministrations. Everything is plumping up and looking good.

I do wonder about the hammer coral though. I have had these corals in QT for about 3.5 weeks now. I thought at first that I had left the hammer coral in one position too long without rotating him and the "lean" I am seeing was the coral trying to reach for the light source. Since I first realized this, I have rotated him twice.

With the rotations, his "lean" should be away from the light now, but he is still tilted toward the light source (which is to the left). I don't think this tilt is due to wanting more light and I see a little bump on the stalk, opposite of the coral head tilt.

I wonder if this is a new head starting? This coral is a branching hammer so I know that it will create another head off of the main stalk. I'm just not clear on how exactly it does so and my coral looks too small to try to create a new branch.

20220314_125824_1.jpg


In the meantime, I have been researching ways to kill the coral pests, not just irritate them enough to abandon the coral like what the coral dips do.

I found some threads on performing a freshwater dip with the corals for a few (30) seconds. It will effectively kill the worms, but are not harmful to the corals themselves (only for use on soft and lps corals, NOT for sps corals from what I've read). I'm going to try it on one of my scolys this weekend and see how it goes.
 
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Fireworms are the ones you don’t want, not super hard to distinguish on pics. In person I’d guess it isn’t so easy.
I can't tell what the worms look like without taking a picture and zooming in as they are pretty small and will shrink up until they are a little dot if disturbed. I usually catch them and put them in a white bowl or plate so I can take a picture and figure out what they are (maybe).

Even zoomed in, I can hardly tell what they are other than they are worms and have a segmented body. Although some of them are so very small that I can't tell from the pictures that they have a segmented body, just that they look like a worm (narrow body).
 

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Sound harmless. Pics are best of them in water.
Fireworms have a distinctive look:
1647284914053.jpeg

Just fed the corals in QT and keeping an eye on them in case there are any adverse effects from yesterday's ministrations. Everything is plumping up and looking good.

I do wonder about the hammer coral though. I have had these corals in QT for about 3.5 weeks now. I thought at first that I had left the hammer coral in one position too long without rotating him and the "lean" I am seeing was the coral trying to reach for the light source. Since I first realized this, I have rotated him twice.

With the rotations, his "lean" should be away from the light now, but he is still tilted toward the light source (which is to the left). I don't think this tilt is due to wanting more light and I see a little bump on the stalk, opposite of the coral head tilt.

I wonder if this is a new head starting? This coral is a branching hammer so I know that it will create another head off of the main stalk. I'm just not clear on how exactly it does so and my coral looks too small to try to create a new branch.

20220314_125824_1.jpg


In the meantime, I have been researching ways to kill the coral pests, not just irritate them enough to abandon the coral like what the coral dips do.

I found some threads on performing a freshwater dip with the corals for a few (30) seconds. It will effectively kill the worms, but are not harmful to the corals themselves (only for use on soft and lps corals, NOT for sps corals from what I've read). I'm going to try it on one of my scolys this weekend and see how it goes.
Could be a bud. Though the more common way of splitting is the mouth pinching into two and the whole head splitting into two. Definitely at a size where it can start.
 
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I have been debating for awhile about whether I wanted to get a Porcelain Anemone Crab or not to host my RFAs. I wasn't sure whether they would start messing with my clam or not, but thought that it would another fun symbiotic relationship to watch in my tank (especially because I currently have four RFAs lounging on Dragon Island).

A little bit of research seemed to indicate that these animals are peaceful and will tend to stay with the anemones rather than go walkabout. I doubt very much that the crab will climb up the arch to mess with the clam based on all that I have read unlike Tux.

While making a saltwater run to the LFS, I looked around their tanks. Lo and behold, the LFS had two animals that they were calling anemone crabs although the crabs did not have the same markings. After looking up anemone crabs online, I narrowed down the two types of anemone crab they had.

I believe one of them is a Porcelain Anemone Crab (Neopetrolisthes ohshimai) while the other one is an Indonesian Porcelain Crab (Petrolisthes galathinus). There is obviously a difference between the two since they don't have the same scientific name or markings, but from what I can tell, they behave much the same way. The Porcelain Crab tends to hang out in rocks and the Porcelain Anemone Crab likes to hang out with anemones, but beyond that, are there any other differences?

I went ahead and got the Porcelain Anemone Crab (because she was injured and had lost some legs/claw to the other crab) and she is currently in solitary confinement in QT to recover. I plan to wait for her to molt before moving her to the display. The molt will effectively get rid of any fish parasites that were on the crab. I don't believe that any coral pests such as worms will get on the crab and hitchhike to the display, but I have a little time to research that aspect.

Hmm, maybe I should wait for the crab to regrow the appendages she is missing before moving her to the display tank? I'm going to have to think on this further...
 
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Yikes! I checked the QT this morning and thought that the new Porcelain Anemone Crab had passed during the night. I saw the crab upside down in the holding container and was sad that she didn't survive her injuries :(. I guess they were too serious for her to heal. Here's a picture of her injuries. I think she is missing part of her mandible as well on the right side.

20220315_143303_1.jpg


While I mourned her death, I did a check of the rest of the QT and then went back to look at her again. And what do I see in the upper left corner of the container? Yep, I saw another crab hanging sideways on the container wall.

She was higher up than where she is now in the picture below (I think) and out of my line of sight. Apparently, she had molted overnight and was doing just fine. Whew! I'm glad I checked again before taking the container out of QT. That would have really killed her! I'll leave the exoskeleton in there for her to chew on if she wants (not sure if she will since she is a filter feeder).

20220316_063159_1.jpg


Decision time...I was going to wait for her to molt before moving her to the display tank. She molted much sooner than I expected. Do I move her today or wait?

I'm thinking I should wait until the next molt. I know that free swimmers (of fish parasites) can take up to 15 days (for velvet) to die so I'd rather be overly cautious than not. Although, if I don't have any fish in my display, it wouldn't be a big deal to move her...nah, I'll keep her in QT for a little bit longer.

I'll be able to monitor her progress as she's healing more closely in QT than in the display. I'm just glad she's not dead!
 
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Worms won’t go on a crab. Only thing I’d worry about is ich or velvet but that risk is minimal.
It won’t really matter if it’s in the dt or qt with missing legs.
That's good to know. I'm paranoid enough to think that worms can get on anything unless it's something that eats them.
 

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Yikes! I checked the QT this morning and thought that the new Porcelain Anemone Crab had passed during the night. I saw the crab upside down in the holding container and was sad that she didn't survive her injuries :(. I guess they were too serious for her to heal. Here's a picture of her injuries. I think she is missing part of her mandible as well on the right side.

20220315_143303_1.jpg


While I mourned her death, I did a check of the rest of the QT and then went back to look at her again. And what do I see in the upper left corner of the container? Yep, I saw another crab hanging sideways on the container wall.

She was higher up than where she is now in the picture below (I think) and out of my line of sight. Apparently, she had molted overnight and was doing just fine. Whew! I'm glad I checked again before taking the container out of QT. That would have really killed her! I'll leave the exoskeleton in there for her to chew on if she wants (not sure if she will since she is a filter feeder).

20220316_063159_1.jpg


Decision time...I was going to wait for her to molt before moving her to the display tank. She molted much sooner than I expected. Do I move her today or wait?

I'm thinking I should wait until the next molt. I know that free swimmers (of fish parasites) can take up to 15 days (for velvet) to die so I'd rather be overly cautious than not. Although, if I don't have any fish in my display, it wouldn't be a big deal to move her...nah, I'll keep her in QT for a little bit longer.

I'll be able to monitor her progress as she's healing more closely in QT than in the display. I'm just glad she's not dead!
If I had a nickel for every time I thought my emerald crab was dead after molting…
 
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While dosing All-For-Reef today, I saw both trochus snails on top of the arch so I scooped them up to work on the hair algae growing on their shells.

They were getting pretty hairy and I also wanted to get rid of that weird algae flower growing on the larger trochus. Here are before and after shots. I tried not to kill off too much of the coralline algae on the smaller snail.

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20220316_101306.jpg


I started by trying to scrape the algae off with a dental explorer followed by holding them upside down in a 3% H2O2 (no dilution with water) for approximately 10 seconds. Then more scraping with the explorer and wiping off with paper towels.

After that, I dipped the explorer tip into H2O2, let it drip on the shell, then used the explorer to spread the H2O2. I did this a few times alternating between snails. I also did another upside down dip for 5 seconds. Finally, I soaked toothpicks in H2O2 and tried to get around the very bottom of the shells right where the opening was.

Before placing them back into the display tank, I did a visual inspection and one more wipe down with paper towels. It was a pretty traumatic experience for both and they are still recovering, but I can see that they have poked their heads out of their shells so hopefully they will be okay.

It's interesting that the longest patches of hair algae I have are on their shells. They must pretty much mow down everything else. Actually, I know they do. I watched the larger trochus eat through some brown stuff on the rock next to the alveopora and on the back wall with gusto yesterday.

Oh and today marks 9 weeks with my clam. Yay!

20220316_102504.jpg
 
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Maybe get some hermits? Or more snails? They clean each other, fun to watch.
When these two trochus snails were in the QT and in closer proximity to each other, I would find the little one riding the big one's shell and eating algae so I know they can do it.

I think in the larger tank, there is just so much other food that they don't bother to search each other out. They just crawl around and eat.

Tux is absolutely no help :rolleyes:. I've spoiled him rotten with the extra seaweed. I don't feed the snails, but Tux has trained me to hand feed him every other day. If you do decide to get a tuxedo urchin, don't do what I did. Make him work for his dinner!

As for hermits, I don't think I will ever have any because I think they are too aggressive for my other tank inhabitants. Maybe I'll change my mind some day (never say never).

I might consider getting a third trochus, but I think two is a good number right now for the size of my tank. I am planning to add a few more nassarius snails to sift the sand bed since my one little guy likes to hang upside down on the underside of the rock overhangs. Go figure!
 

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When these two trochus snails were in the QT and in closer proximity to each other, I would find the little one riding the big one's shell and eating algae so I know they can do it.

I think in the larger tank, there is just so much other food that they don't bother to search each other out. They just crawl around and eat.

Tux is absolutely no help :rolleyes:. I've spoiled him rotten with the extra seaweed. I don't feed the snails, but Tux has trained me to hand feed him every other day. If you do decide to get a tuxedo urchin, don't do what I did. Make him work for his dinner!

As for hermits, I don't think I will ever have any because I think they are too aggressive for my other tank inhabitants. Maybe I'll change my mind some day (never say never).

I might consider getting a third trochus, but I think two is a good number right now for the size of my tank. I am planning to add a few more nassarius snails to sift the sand bed since my one little guy likes to hang upside down on the underside of the rock overhangs. Go figure!
I must have had 10-15 or so astreas (basically trochus that don’t flip themselves over) in my 13.5. You can really pack a lot in there.
I personally haven’t found hermits to be aggressive but have read enough horror stories to see why someone wouldn’t want one.
Your urchin stories actually have inspired me to get one in my new 40B! I’ll be sure to keep him from stealing macros…
 
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I must have had 10-15 or so astreas (basically trochus that don’t flip themselves over) in my 13.5. You can really pack a lot in there.
I personally haven’t found hermits to be aggressive but have read enough horror stories to see why someone wouldn’t want one.
Your urchin stories actually have inspired me to get one in my new 40B! I’ll be sure to keep him from stealing macros…
Good luck with your urchin! They're sneaky little thieves.
 
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