Perseverance Reef

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I was watching some new creatures in the DT on the glass. Turns out I have acoel flatworms. I read that damsels will eat them. Hopefully the acoel flatworms leave me some pods. I could tell the pod population was noticeably less than it was even yesterday.

We move in 2 weeks. Once we get there I want to set up a tank to culture pods, asterinas, and frags. I hope no flatworms end up in that too.

I also read that blue velvet nudibranches, which are not really nudibranches, will eat acoel flatworms. So will damsels. I might get a damsel or 2 in a couple of weeks. I was thinking about getting some damsels soon anyway so I will get some soon.
 
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I was watching some new creatures in the DT on the glass. Turns out I have acoel flatworms. I read that damsels will eat them. Hopefully the acoel flatworms leave me some pods. I could tell the pod population was noticeably less than it was even yesterday.

We move in 2 weeks. Once we get there I want to set up a tank to culture pods, asterinas, and frags. I hope no flatworms end up in that too.

I also read that blue velvet nudibranches, which are not really nudibranches, will eat acoel flatworms. So will damsels. I might get a damsel or 2 in a couple of weeks. I was thinking about getting some damsels soon anyway so I will get some soon.
I believe specific damsels will eat them as will several wrasse species if you have a deep sand bed. If you're looking at damsels already though, that's definitely going to be an easy decision!
 
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Despite their reputation damsels are among the most beautiful fish in the reef. They also admittedly can be a bad choice for us depending on what kind of fish we want to keep. They certainly can be aggressive but there are ways to minimize their aggression. Oh and they eat flatworms.

Oh I forgot to add that if and when I upgrade to my dream tank it will be a damsel heavy tank. I would also like a coral beauty or flame angel, and a tang. My dream tank is a 125 or 180. I'd be excited for any tank 90 or larger though. For now I want to get this tank established and thriving. I might actually keep the 45 going when I upgrade however since I will have worked hard to get the 45 thriving. I'd also get to use it to seed the new tank. Of course whether or not I upgrade is going to depend on when I can find the right tank for a decent price. I won't even entertain the thought of putting even a juvenile tang in anything smaller than a 90. I know many do but as fast as they grow I'd have to rehome it within 6 months give or take. I would rather keep fish that I could, ya know, keep. Plus with a tank full of damsels; a juvenile that would be ok temporarily in my current system would get bullied to death. Quite literally.
 
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About 2 hours ago I noticed that my little feather duster worms relocated somewhere where I can't see them; or they got eaten. I suppose they could have died off from lack of nutrition. I only glanced at the system for a few minutes. Later today I'll take a better look.

The white acoela worms are still on the glass. They'll make good fish food but I worry that they're decimating the pod population. I'll take some scrapings from the front of the tank and put it under the microscope. That should tell me what I need to know.

I went to top off the the tank and I noticed the water level was higher than normal. I meant to clean the sponges that go to the small sections of PVC that keep the noise down in the overflow. Thankfully the water is where it should be in the DT.
 

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About 2 hours ago I noticed that my little feather duster worms relocated somewhere where I can't see them; or they got eaten. I suppose they could have died off from lack of nutrition. I only glanced at the system for a few minutes. Later today I'll take a better look.

The white acoela worms are still on the glass. They'll make good fish food but I worry that they're decimating the pod population. I'll take some scrapings from the front of the tank and put it under the microscope. That should tell me what I need to know.

I went to top off the the tank and I noticed the water level was higher than normal. I meant to clean the sponges that go to the small sections of PVC that keep the noise down in the overflow. Thankfully the water is where it should be in the DT.
My micro feather dusters disappeared. I found them colonizing the sump shortly after that. My guess is they don't like the semi intense lighting in the DT. On my old tank and in my 5 gallon they're in the live rock in shadows.
 
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I wondered. I did see one out this morning but it looks like several of the worms built their tubes right into walls in the rock such that they can't get out, or at least it looks like they can't get out. I was thinking maybe they wanted to go towards darkness.
 
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I've been trying to take pictures of my two Mexican turbo snails in order to see how the coralline on them either shrinks or grows. I have a rock or two that are starting to get some but mainly where the mature rock from my friend's system are touching the old rock. Here are some pictures from when I first got snail number 2. Because it had a lot of coralline on it I got the idea of using both snails as a barometer of sorts both for coralline health and overall tank health. Needless to say I am not relying on just snails to tell me how my tank is doing. Anyway here are pictures of the second snail from June 30 when I got it and tonight. The green coralline in tonight's picture is the same coralline that's started colonizing some of my old rock. Once I upgrade my lights hopefully the purple will come back. I'd love as many colors as I can get of course.

PS... I got a better picture of snail number 2 showing almost all of the shell. It's amazing how quickly the pink coralline has grown. I also posted a picture of snail number 1 accidentally. I deleted and replaced it with the right picture. I'll post snail number 1's pictures later today. The first picture is of snail number 2 the day it came to Perseverance Reef in late June. The second is of snail number 2 as of last night, 7/11/22. The second picture was taken from the top of the water column so there's some rippling.

IMG_20220630_180435784.jpg IMG_20220711_214234072.jpg
 
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I finally cleaned the cyanobacteria off the front glass. It was time. For the sake of the snails I left the algae on the sides and back of the DT.

I looked 1 last time for feather dusters and as it turns there are still at least 3 in the DT. They were out unlike Sunday night. The clowns have made themselves a home in the corner. They fan the sand right towards where the feather dusters are/were. I can see why they moved.

I got a picture last night of one of my Asterinas. This one has 7 arms. I also got a much better picture of snail number 2. As a result I will edit my post above this one to include that picture as well.

At about midnight I went to look at everything 1 more time before lights out. I didn't have my phone with me though so I couldn't take a picture of it but I found an isopod on one of the rocks. It was healthy looking. I also saw pods on the rocks. Seeing the abundance of pods makes me hopeful the acoel flatworms won't destroy the pod population. I wouldn't mind having a couple of them in there but there are too many.

In preparation for the move I've begun as of last night to take apart a couple of tables I had that I don't need. I disassembled the first table. Tomorrow I'll get the second one done. Since I already glued the legs when I built the tables (but not the sides) it will save me a lot of time. The 2 fronts and 2 backs will make up the front and back frames.

This puppy will be 6 feet long and 2 feet wide. It will be built to hold the 45 gallon tank but it will also be able to hold a 55, 75,90, 120, and my dream tank, a 125. I might never upgrade but I probably will eventually.

Since I am using 2 x 4 construction I doubt the stand would support a 180. For now though it will hold the 45 and accommodate the sump (which is a 30 gallon, yeah I know, I was going to use the 37 but I decided it would be easier to work in the 30 assuming it passes the leak test).
 

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I started work on the new stand Wednesday night. There's a a slight change to the plan. I am going to make the stand 5 feet long instead of 6. If I ever need to add length I'll build a second piece that matches hight and width. That said things are coming along nicely. The wood I am using is being recycled from other projects. It's 2x4 and in great shape.

I am still amazed at the amount of pods in the system, especially on what was dry rock. Well that dry, dead rock isn't so dry and dead.

Finally I am getting more green algae on the glass. My snails and Asterinas will likely be appreciative of it. I am also seeing seeing less cyanobacteria now. I do have diatoms on the sides and back. They are diatoms this time and not dinos.

Speaking of algae what I thought was coralline on the rock isn't coralline. It is indeed just green algae. I posted a thread where I asked if what I had was coralline or not. I saw some raised circles that looked like lime green coralline to me. The people who responded to me said it was just green algae. They were right although I was holding onto the hope that it was coralline. I know for certain the two snails have coralline on them. The pinks and purples give it away lol. There are greens as well but I know the greens on the snails' shells are coralline from the LFS's system.

So far the Asterinas are doing well. I see them on the glass a lot more than when I got them. The clownfish are doing great. The xenia colonies are thriving. The (probable but not 100% for sure) pipe organ coral seems to be doing well but it is hard to see since it's facing backwards. It's on the same rock with the massive xenia colony.

Once we move I'll break the pipe organ coral's frag plug from the rock it's on and get it on another rock where it can get better lighting. Until I move the tank changes will be minimal at best.
 
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Things are looking good this morning. I decided to take a picture of my pipe organ coral. Because of its position in the rear I can't get a good picture of the base. I got a good picture of the polyps though. There are definitely some new polyps on it. Somewhere in this build journal is the picture of when I first got the rock it's on. At least I think it is.

The stand is a little closer to being done. I cut most of the wood I'll need to build the skeleton last night. Today I'll start screwing the pieces together and make sure everything is leveled before gluing it up. I decided to leave the stand at 6 feet. I was going to cut down the larger frame but I can easily extend the frame the 9 inches I need. I have tons of glue and plenty of screws. I am going to take my time with it so that everything is just right. We have 10 days until the move and we are almost done packing. That'll give me enough time to get the stand done in time for the move.

I plan on upgrading the plumbing with time. Right now I have two drain pipes that enter the sump and the return pipe. There's no manifold and there are no unions or gate valves. Right now I don't need to dose anything but I will in a few months. Thankfully there will be space for a small manifold in the new stand. I know I'll need to dose ALK, CAL, and possibly trace. As well as the chaeto is doing I won't need an ATS. I am going to use the 10 gallon tank (my current sump) as an ATO. As a result I'll probably make 3 or 4 taps in case I need them down the line.
 

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I began the glue up of the front frame this morning. I now have the back frame glued up. That's the frame I have to extend. Since the two tables they came from were different lengths I cut a couple 9 inch pieces as well as some pieces that are 18 inches or so. They'll help support the 9 inch sections and give me much more surface to glue so that 9 inch piece joins well enough that it's as if it was always part of the boards it is joined with strength wise.

I am anxious to get this move done. Even though we're only moving a block away to another part of our complex I worry about die off. I also worry about whether the corals will adjust well to being moved and rearranged. I know it'll probably go well though.

Last night I caught a glimpse of what might have been micro brittle stars in the sand and in some of the old rock. I must admit I'd love a small army of them lol.

Green algae is making some headway now. There is GHA in the nozzle of the circulation pump. Green algae is expanding on the front glass and to a degree on the back glass. This is good because the Mexican turbo snails, limpets, asterina stars, and hermit crabs have been all over the rock with the smaller xenia colony. There's still green algae left but not nearly like there was.

There are also diatoms. That makes sense given the system still has the silicates from when the tank was first started. I don't think dinos consume silicates. Now that the dinos are gone it is like the tank has "cycled" again algae wise at least. It's now about a month or so since the dinos got outcompeted. That is how long it took to get to the green algae phases in the other tanks I've had over the years.
 
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Since it's been a while since I spent any time checking the sump I decided to do so this morning. The sump is absolutely teeming with life! The front glass is full of pods of all kinds. There are more isopods than amphipods but the amphipods are catching up.

I have resorted to running the lights for the chaeto for 12 hours or so. When I was running them 18 hours a day my nutrients crashed a couple of times. It was very brief but I actually saw dinos grow just a tad the last time my nutrients crashed. At 12 hours a day the system is slowly developing green algae and lots of micro flora and fauna.

I haven't harvested any of the chaeto yet because I want the pods and other beneficial life to grow into a self sustaining colony that even with potential pod eating fish, shrimp, corals, etc the colony wouldn't miss a beat. The chaeto is of course a breeding ground for the pods and for other creatures like micro brittle stars so keeping the right amount of it is critical.

Of course there needs to be a balance. Too much of a good thing is too much. After the move is done and the system has had a month or so to settle down I'll start slowly harvesting some chaeto and see how it affects the system. The system needs to become stable. Figuring how much growth I'm getting, both pod wise and chaeto wise and harvesting based on that should be a good start towards stability for the reef.

I noticed this morning that the chaeto has become a lime green color in spots. I'll try running the lights for 15 or 18 hours a day for a bit to see if that helps. Thankfully none of the chaeto has turned white yet. I'd like to avoid that. The system will be stressed as it is. We move in just 8 days now. My wife and I are excited for the change in scenery and for some time to relax. I believe Perseverance Reef will be happy in its new spot and I'll be able to concentrate on getting said reef the stability it needs.
 
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I might be getting a slightly bigger tank soon. I say "may" because it was used for a snake and the person selling it never had water in it as a result. If it holds water it'll be a steal. She also doesn't know the dimensions. She is going to measure it this afternoon. If everything checks out and the seams look good then Perseverance Reef will be moving to a 120 gallon tank. I hope it works out but if it doesn't I won't lose sleep over it.

I might also be getting some utter chaos zoas and a very bright green candy cane coral. This is more likely I think. If the 120 works out I'll be getting new corals and a new tank. I am indeed excited about the possibilities.

I have been absolutely flooding the tank with food. The pods are eating me out of house and home. Well, more like eating all the algae that was on the wall of the sump. I have some Asterinas in the sump as well. I haven't seen the bristle worms since I put them in there however. As much chaeto as I have the worms can stay in hiding. I wouldn't be surprised if a brittle star or two were in there too.

As for the display all the animals from clowns to corals are doing well. The Asterinas are cruising the glass. Slowly but surely green algae is getting a foothold in the display tank. I still have cyano though but it's getting better.
 
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Just a quick update. I got pictures of the 120 gallon tank and the dimensions of said tank. It's not a 120. It's a 55. Needless to say I passed on it but do not fear. When it's the right time, the right tank, and the right price, I'll get to upgrade.

In the meantime we're almost ready to move, and I'm getting some awesome corals this weekend. I'm stoked. The price is awesome too at 20 bucks per frag. I'm getting 3 polyps of utter chaos zoas and at least 10 polyps of bright, minty candy cane coral. Hopefully the corals will bring even more coralline spores and beneficial bacteria. Maybe even pods of different species.
 
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I am meeting the person who is selling the candy cane and utter chaos tomorrow instead of today. There is a neighbor who is buying a headboard near where I am getting the corals. Since the 2 corals (and headboard) are 40 miles north of here I'd rather save the gas and go there tomorrow. The GSP are here in town as is the cabbage leather. I'm picking them up in 30 minutes. There WILL be pictures!
 
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Well the next set of corals that I was going to pick up tomorrow will have to wait a week. I got a 75 gallon tank for 41 dollars. I got the tank, stand, a heater, and filter. There may be more in there. The guy who sold it to me thought it was a 100 gallon tank but I knew it wasn't. I thought it was a 90. Turns out it was/is a 75.

The stand is in good shape. The center brace in the stand (that keeps the frame the tank sits on at a uniform width) needs to be glued. The brace needs the nails to come out (1 side of the brace popped out of the frame) and when I glue it I'll use screws instead of nails to keep it in place and clamped down real tight. I'll see if there's anything else that needs help structurally and fix them. I'll also clean the outside of the stand real well. Once that's done I'll add outlets and switches to the outside of the stand to control the pumps both individually and as a group.

The cabbage leather coral has opened up a bit. The GSP fell out of the hole in the rock I placed it in. I put it in another hole in the same rock.

IMG_20220723_204627679.jpg IMG_20220723_205502751.jpg IMG_20220723_134211915_BURST000_COVER.jpg
 
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We are just about ready to move. Tomorrow is the big day. As a result this will be the last build thread update until the move is done and the new tank is running.

The cabbage leather is doing well. It's open and it doesn't seem to want to move off it's rock.

The GSP is still closed although I see the polyps through the stolons. They aren't coming out. I'd expect they'll at least open a little a few days after the move.

My move strategy is a little different since I have a 75 now. I put the 37 in storage. I'll keep the 10 gallon tank to culture phyto in. The 30 will be the new sump. As for the 45 (the DT) it will be in our new bedroom.

All the animals are doing well except for the GSP although they were recently fragged and then acclimated to my system so they're still stressed out and getting used to my water I Imagine.
 
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Well I thought it would be the last update. I thought I'd have to wait but this was too good not to share. I got the money today after all. I got not only the 2 corals but 2 others as well. As you know if you've been following I had an utter chaos zoas frag and a candy cane coral held for me. The seller gave me three heads of duncans and an unidentified mushroom. All are in the tank now.

I have pictures of them. Since we're moving tomorrow I left the frags on the sand for tonight. I have the whole thickness of the disk of the plugs above the sand.

The pictures show the corals I got tonight after being in the tank 5 minutes. They were opening nicely but the lights went off shortly thereafter.


IMG_20220725_215123729.jpg IMG_20220725_202034069.jpg IMG_20220725_215212322.jpg
 
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At long last the tank move is done. We have a few things to get from the old apartment tomorrow but at least I have the 75 up and running. The sump has not been set up yet but tomorrow depending on how I'm feeling I will work on that.

The moving company didn't do the best job exactly. They were in such a rush that they left our patio furniture, our dresser, and several other items. I won't name names but they came highly recommended. I wouldn't recommend them however.

As a result of how things went we had to do far more of the move ourselves than my wife and I expected. That made what should have been a 2 to 4 hour tank move about 8 hours.

The good news is everything survived that I can tell although there was a Mexican turbo snail that fell on the faux hardwood floor (over solid concrete). I examined it and saw no cracks in the shell. Because the company doing the remodel left dirt and dust everywhere I rinsed it in tap water for about 30 seconds. It closed tightly but has not reopened yet. Hopefully it will survive. There is a second Mexican turbo snail I couldn't find tonight even though I brought it over as well.

All the corals seem to be ok. After they rest tonight they should open up a bit more tomorrow.

I added most of the water from the old system. I then added new saltwater as well. It was like doing a 50% water change. This is the first time since the dinos went away that I've done a water change. Once I add the sump I'll add new saltwater to fill it as well. That should help replenish trace elements. Hopefully the corals will all open up even more once they get used to the new tank.

I took some pictures just before I took the 45 down and I took more when I got everything transferred to the 75. I'll share them tomorrow. For tonight it is time for some much needed rest.
 
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