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Reef Safe With Caution

pcon

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Hello Reef2Reef! Long time lurker, recently active community member, first time build thread contributor.
Finally feel my tank has grown worthy of sharing, and I am soon to acquire one of my personal minor grail fish after years of hunting. Figured no better time to start a build thread. Comments, criticism, and feedback, are much appreciated!

In this first post I'm going to introduce the title culprits, and give a tank overview. Stay tuned for detailed rundown of equipment and updates on new tank members in the coming days.



BASE STATS:
The tank is an Aqueon 75g, with a diwhy 75gal sump. Reef Lighting is done by two Kessil 36owe, Refugium lighting is an H80. Lifeguard Carbon and GFO reactors, Eshopps S-120 Skimmer. Jebao DCP 10K return, Vortech MP40 right, Gyre left, and 2 small powerheads in the rocks, provide flow.
This tank has been running for 2 years, however it was moved in February.

Coral Munching Culprits:
As the title suggests this tank is focused around several high potential or known coral eaters. Currently 1 known coral eater, and 1 high potential niper.

The Coral Eater:

Blenn (Salarias ramosus) the Starry Blenny
Coral of Choice: Gorgonian Kabob

High Potential #1:

Chaetodon burgessi


Favorite Foods: Anything new gets a few tastes, and then likes eating pods from between zoas so small patches close up every hour or so.

Ancillary Community Members:
Yellow Watchman Goby (Cryptocentrus cinctus) [Mr. Murper]
High-Fin Shrimp Goby (Stonogobiops nematodes)
Cleanup Crew: Blue and Scarlet Leg hermit crabs, Nassarius and Cerith Snails, 1 Red Emerald Crab
Sump Monsters: Lightning Maroon Clown Pair (Premnas biaculeatus) [Theresa May & Philip May]


Coming Soon(Tomorrow Fingers crossed): P. Venusta Pair

Stay tuned for updates. Sorry in advance if I stole someone else's title, I did a couple searches and turned up nothing, but it was far from exhaustive.
 
Corals.com

CDavmd

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Nice! I too have caught my bicolor blenny scraping tissue off of SPS. I thought I had flatworms or STN but caught him in the act! Back to the LFS he went and got replaced with a model citizen Midas Blenny. He was easy to catch too- lived in a cluster of barnacle shells I had in my system. My hand went in and he hid in the barnacle. Picked up the cluster of barnacle and easy peasy he was removed lol!
 
Lazys Coral House

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@pcon, that is a beautiful reef! Thanks for sharing it with us! Looking forward to following this tank journal!
 
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pcon

pcon

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Thanks for the compliments everyone, they mean quite a lot. As we all know these tanks are a labor of love, and just a few months ago it was far more of an ugly duckling.

A quick update on current events:


My first time using Air freight carrier directly. Cannot recommend this highly enough. Text that they got to the airport in the morning, message as they took off and touched down, and finally the best email: Package-Live Var. Ready For Pickup. Quick bolt to the airport, give them the Tracking number and ID and they popped out with my box of fish. After a quick jaunt back home I was so pleased to see two beautiful Paracentropyge venusta.




The pair was expertly acquired for me by Marine Collectors, and the whole experience has been fantastic. I have been looking to form a pair for about 3 years now, and was drifting toward more readily obtainable species locally, P. multifasciata, C. multicolor. I finally reached out to Marine Collectors for my birthday in April. The pair is currently drip acclimating and I will update as they get into the tank.
 
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pcon

pcon

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They are finally in the tank! The acclimation went well by the end the small one was swimming normally and eating flake and pellet in the bucket! The larger one is seeming a little grumpy about shipping and is a little slow to recover will keep an eye on him.
One expensive arbys cup refill.


Typically my fish get 3-6 weeks QT/conditioning before going into my display. the quality of Marine Collectors care and Quarantine Process, as well as the sensitive nature of venusta, I decided to take the risk and introduce them directly to the display. The lights are off so it's too dark for my phone camera. The small one is settling in well in the display. I was concerned the butterfly would give them trouble, however it seems the Starry Blenny is the issue. The Blenn is very unhappy with his new roommates, and has been flying around the tank and even bit the large venusta. Funnily enough the small venusta came over and chased him off. I expect aggression to die down over time, I think the two, the Butterfly and the Blenny got a little used to being the only ones to roam the tank. I will update as things go.
 
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pcon

pcon

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Now that there is little I can do but be anxious I can actually reply to specific comments.

Nice! I too have caught my bicolor blenny scraping tissue off of SPS. I thought I had flatworms or STN but caught him in the act! Back to the LFS he went and got replaced with a model citizen Midas Blenny. He was easy to catch too- lived in a cluster of barnacle shells I had in my system. My hand went in and he hid in the barnacle. Picked up the cluster of barnacle and easy peasy he was removed lol!
Seems I am not the only one with blenny bad luck, my first ever fish was a bicolor who ate micromussa. Catching them using barnacle clusters or other sort of hide is a great method and one of my favorites. I have been liking nets less and less for my personal home use.

Thanks everyone for the compliments on the pictures, there should be a fair mix of Cellphone pics like today and DSLR pics when I have the time. Any feedback on pics or other are always welcome.
 
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pcon

pcon

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Following! I have no idea what half those fish are!
Thank you! I am really enjoying this grey zone of unusual but attainably priced fish. Sort of things you see after you are into the hobby but wouldn't see every week or month at the local store. But who doesn't love the common stuff too, I absolutely love my starry blenny, and maroon clowns. So we will see where it goes!
 
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pcon

pcon

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Venusta are settling in nicely Small one (presumed female) is eating like a champ, pellet, flake, frozen. The big presumed male is still not eating like I would like, he picked at some fish eggs last night but hasn't really attacked any food yet.



Yesterday I was puting in a small amount of food in ever 15 to 30 minutes, changing to a new food about every hour for the evening. Today they are getting food every 30min-1hr from a mixed slurry.

 
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pcon

pcon

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Venusta are settling in well. The excellent prepwork by Marine Collectors and the hourly or more frequent feedings for the first few days has really paid off. The pair can be seen begging for food with the blenny and butterfly, or cruising around the tank in search of hidden morsels of food. They are down to frozen 5x a day and autofeeder with a mix of dry fish, crab and coral foods 2x a day, Will be going down to frozen 3x a day with the autofeeder for the long run. The angels and the whole tank are on a variety of foods. When I worked in a fish store I would often get the question what's the one frozen food I can throw in my tank to feed everything? Who hasn't grown tired of mixing the smelly concoction to squirt into the tank. My answer lately has been SFB Coral Cuisine, It has a nice blend of particulate size from phyto and zoo for my corals, to mysis and calanus plankton for my fish. Prior to the addition of the angels I perhaps relied a little too heavily on Coral Cuisine. Since the new addition foods have been based around a diverse angel formula heavy diet Cycling through cubes of, Hikari Mega Marine Angel, SFB Angel and Butterfly, Ocean Nutrition Pygmy Angel Formula. This is inter-spliced with SFB Reef Plankton, Emerald Entree, Fish Eggs, and Coral Cuisine, Hikari Bloodworms, Dafnia, Rotifers, cyclops, Coral Gumbo, and base mega-marine, and finally LRS Nano Reef, and Fertility Frenzy are joining the ranks of staple foods.
Are there any foods people feel I am missing? I probably need to be emphasising veggies better, (Myself and the fish) the autofeeder is predominantly herbivore pellets. Perhaps I should Supplement with the Herbivore Sera O-Nips or Nori on a Clip.

Some pics to go with the food rant. Feedback, comments, questions always welcome.

Male


Female




The pair grazing at the base of the two rock towers, that they lay claim too.
 
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pcon

pcon

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Man it has been a rough summer. Some good things going on outside my reef, some bad things going on in.

Lets start with some of the good stuff. I finally finished my undergraduate degree! And now am job hunting, if anyone is in need of an engineer with an extensive background in complex mechanical systems and underwater robotics, please feel free to PM me. Lol.

I got a new puppy, a welsh terrier named Archie.






I also had the privilege to travel some, and visit my family in northern California. While I was there I got to visit the Monterey Bay aquarium and the Steinhart Aquarium at the Cal Academy of Sciences. Unfortunately this was before they placed the Peppermint Angels on display, so I will have to go back. But here are some highlights:


Steinhart's White Alligator


Monterey Bay Aquarium's Oceanic Sun Fish


Monterey Bay Aquarium Clarion Angelfish


Monterey Bay Aquarium Large Reef Notice the aberrant pyramid butterfly with a yellow face on the lower right.


Monterey Bay Aquarium Kelp Tank

While The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a world class gem. The Steinhart aquarium stole the show for me.


The 100,000gal reef tank was one of the less impressive tanks there.


I felt similarly about the huge freshwater tank with airipima, huge redtail cats and other freshwater monsters

It was the smaller tanks which were truly impressive, especially the twilight reef exhibit.



I apologize for the quality of some of these images, running double duty of exploring for my self and guiding the less fish interested family.

EDIT to deal with pictures, Post continued below
 
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pcon

pcon

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repost cause the pictures disappeared

u88sxUH.jpg



l9tFpKT.jpg



DvNyitt.jpg



The highlight fish for me were these two which I had never seen in person before:
cu4pDr5.jpg


Prognathodes guyanensis

4zeuTJT.jpg


Gramma dejongi



Unfortunately my home reef tank has had some issues. I lost my Burgess Butterfly and Male Venusta Angel to a mystery disease that slipped through QT. I also lost my large birds nest colony, started doing some Iodine and it RTN'd in 2 days.

Fj7b9Ae.jpg



In response I have tightened up my QT protocol to include gram negative and positive antibiotics. I also did two rounds of praziquantel incase it was flukes or black ich was in the display.

I also added a 40watt UV sterilizer.
nU7fcey.jpg



The remaining venusta is doing well and its growth indicates that it has changed from female to male.
HH10ddX.jpg



TOVcgp1.jpg



GwBqi1S (1).jpg
4zeuTJT.jpg
 
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pcon

pcon

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Decided to pull the dead birdsnest and frag and move some of the monty frags to fill the space. Some other small coral location adjustments.

69872694_428911981315236_645753796152000512_n.jpg


Some changes to the plumbing. Replaced some old black pond hose that connected the return pump and hard plumbing. In its place some silicone tubing. Rotated the UV unit 90 degrees to help facilitate purging of air bubbles. Added a BRS reactor with mixed carbon and GFO, to the second valve of the manifold. I used to run Lifeguard stand alone reactors, the small for GFO and large for Carbon. However I slowly neglected them and I didnt find them as useful as the extra cables and plugs they were using.

69748279_356862508530573_1640125728328515584_n.jpg


69567890_495935257870239_2515013422676967424_n.jpg
 
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pcon

pcon

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Rock structure on the right collapsed last night. Rearranged the monty, dealt with some unexpected frags from the rock fall. No major problems. Rotated the rock to a more stable position and added some superglue insurance. Gave me a nice new pass through.
F642F7BB-DEE5-44FA-80F0-5BD2FE8D653C.jpeg


2C44AD11-7939-43D1-9836-21A663831A4B.jpeg
 
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pcon

pcon

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Minor Update, Start with some bad cell phone pictures.

69989273_416831902167988_5239766788660527104_n.jpg

Always enjoy the conch when it is cleaning

69867250_751250175339911_2845065317024006144_n.jpg

Sump monsters clearing space to nest

69347428_3455921741088305_5090034638059995136_n.jpg

Remaining venusta is doing well,

Unfortunately with the loss of the Burgess pest anemone have returned to the display. This brings a butterfly to the top of the acquisition priority stack. So if anyone has thoughts they are welcome.
69589507_488857218512925_566323100476506112_n.jpg


In other funny reef news, cleaned my skimmer 2 days ago and just today I noticed this by the sink.
69648733_494807708018814_4969045645554876416_n.jpg


The Diffuser plate from the skimmer. The skimmer is working well still so I guess it will run without until I next change the collection cup.

69520870_986962205056038_7681465836854312960_n.jpg


Production is nice and brown, seems to be working equally well or better so we shall see where it goes.
69215353_2318441681750831_4819135829337178112_n.jpg
 

Angel_Anthias lover

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How concerned are you about high phosphates in your tank?

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