Skicat's JBJ28 Experimental Mixed Reef

OP
SkiCatTX

SkiCatTX

Sustainable Reefkeeping
View Badges
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
337
Reaction score
379
Location
South of Houston
FTS with lots of reflection, not great, especially with the scratches and curved front glass which doesn't help, but coming along:
IMG_8087.jpeg


Since this was taken, I have moved the green Pavona right by the BTA and acro onto a plug, and moved the Green Hammer and Green mystery acro higher up out of the way and into that void just above them. Looks way better, need to pics again...

The black clown has been hanging out in the Green Hammers on the left side recently. I'm totally going to have to get him his own BTA...maybe a Lemon Drop? We'll see...
 
World Wide Corals - Quality Aqua-cultured Coral
OP
SkiCatTX

SkiCatTX

Sustainable Reefkeeping
View Badges
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
337
Reaction score
379
Location
South of Houston
Recently got back from a 14 week vacation and found that the Rainbow Bubble Tip Anemone had split. Also, the Nak*d Clown "Pumpkin" has been consistently chasing the Black Lighting Clown "Storm" (my daughter names all the fish :) ) around the tank. It never generally goes beyond nipping and general showing off, but I figured this was a great time to split them up.

Since Pinky died, the Waterbox 10 have been fallow, but still running, so I decided to move Storm and the new baby Rainbow BTA into their own tank.

In order to get the RBBTA out, I had to remove the rock it was on anyway, so I took this opportunity to rearrange things and mount some of the frags that I got a while back. As for the fish, I figured whichever one I caught first would be the one that moved to the WB10. That happened to be Storm, as he was quite a bit slower and less crazy about the net in the tank. It still took me about 20 minutes with two nets to get him.

Here is Storm and his RBBTA in the new digs (The BTA is under egg crate until it settles in that spot):
IMG_0069.jpeg


And here are a couple pics of the JBJ28 taken with my iPhone (under blues with no filter). I had to heavily filter the images, but they are fairly close to reality:
IMG_0073.jpeg
IMG_0076.jpeg


I'm not completely happy with the new arrangement, but I'll let it settle for a bit. Probably needs a few more things front and center...
 
OP
SkiCatTX

SkiCatTX

Sustainable Reefkeeping
View Badges
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
337
Reaction score
379
Location
South of Houston
Another month down. Mostly nothing going on, with one exception... some kind of outbreak on my candy cane corals. I have had these for many years, and fragged them a bunch of times with never a single issue. Then a couple weeks back a few of the polyps died overnight. One day they were all fine, the next several polyps were completely gone, clean white skeleton exposed.

I examined them closely, but found no obvious infection, parasites, bite marks, or anything. I waited until the lights were off for a while that night and looked again with normal and UV flashlights, but still saw nothing. Also, I noted that none of the other polps had any sign of a problem.

The next day, the same thing, several more polyps dead and clean. It was as if they had been dead for weeks, completely clean skeleton. However, this time a few other polyps were black, not white, but just a dead-looking black color. I might have thought it was a fish doing this, but for the black stuff, and the only fish in the tank where a clown and a lawnmower blenny, which are both fed well...

At that point I decided to frag the remaining pieces, cut off all affected parts, dip them in several different coral dips, and mount them on plugs on a rack. I treated the entire large colony, but left a smaller frag with a few heads on it, since it appeared fine. After the treatment, everything seemed OK for another couple days, no additional losses, until the same thing started happening to the remaining piece. One evening it had a hint of the black "death" on it, then the next morning half of it was dead as well. So I took that one out and cut off all the bad parts and dipped it too.

It has now been more than two weeks with no issues, the cuttings all seem fine, so I just glued all but two of the frags back on the rock. No more large colony, but the frags seem fine. I can only guess it was either an infestation or disease. However, after lots of searching I haven't found any mention of a similar issue online. Also, I haven't gotten any new corals in several months, and those I quarantined in theory, so no idea where it came from.

That aside, everyone else seems fine, anemone, fish, corals, etc. all doing well. I'll try to get some new pics up soon.
 
Earn WWC Rewards Points
OP
SkiCatTX

SkiCatTX

Sustainable Reefkeeping
View Badges
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
337
Reaction score
379
Location
South of Houston
Painting my office this weekend (and for the next few weeks, one wall at a time...), so I had to move the tanks and furniture away from the walls. A good time to clean up things and tidy up the wires. You can see the salt and freshwater taps from the attic water station, the two GFCI outlets I added last spring, as well as the outside air tap for the skimmers. These will all be hidden inside the stand for the new tank.

IMG_0405.jpeg


I also used the time to build a cardboard faux fish tank mockup of the big tank I'm considering. 60" x 30" x 21" (152x76x53cm) or about 165g (660l). This would be my biggest tank ever, I'd go larger, I really wanted 180 gallons, but I just don't have the room. I was mainly concerned about the shallow height, but I think it will work well. Hard to get good pictures with the cabinets and tanks all over the middle of the room. It does stick out into the room a bit, kind of sideways peninsula, and these pics kind of warp it a bit. However, there will be built-in shelves and cabinets around and over it, and I plan a frag tank on the right side next year, so I'm feeling good about it so far.

IMG_0400.jpeg



IMG_0391.jpeg


Note the stand will of course be the same size as the tank...though the pedestal look would be pretty cool...if it were physically possible, and I didn't need the space for the equipment... :)
 
OP
SkiCatTX

SkiCatTX

Sustainable Reefkeeping
View Badges
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
337
Reaction score
379
Location
South of Houston
Now that the tank is back in place, and half the office painted, I had some time to run about $250 worth of frags to my LFS. Now that I have some breathing room in the tank, I also took a few updated pics.

The Red Planet/Christmas Mirabilis/etc.-looking Acro is doing great and growing crazy fast...
IMG_0465.jpeg


Lots of full branches starting and it's covering it's rock. I already have a few frags growing as well.
IMG_0467.jpeg
 

[email protected]

Living the Reef Life
View Badges
Joined
Nov 18, 2012
Messages
26,956
Reaction score
28,477
Location
Ontario, California
Here is a series of Pumpkin and her Rainbow BTA, each taken with different lens gels and processing:

IMG_0454.jpeg


IMG_0486.jpeg


IMG_0452.jpeg


IMG_0461.jpeg


IMG_0447.jpeg
Great photos! That bta is beautiful!
 
https://www.omegasea.net/
OP
SkiCatTX

SkiCatTX

Sustainable Reefkeeping
View Badges
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
337
Reaction score
379
Location
South of Houston
After months of planning, I just placed an order for a new custom 180g Planet Aquariums tank! It will be a rimless 60" x 30" x 25" with 3/4" Sapphire and PVC bottom. I'm also working with Jeff at LifeReef for a custom sump, and Taylor at Exotic for a custom overflow, plus lots more to come...going to be epic...build thread will start shortly!
 
OP
SkiCatTX

SkiCatTX

Sustainable Reefkeeping
View Badges
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
337
Reaction score
379
Location
South of Houston
OP
SkiCatTX

SkiCatTX

Sustainable Reefkeeping
View Badges
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
337
Reaction score
379
Location
South of Houston
I have been reasonably happy with my Milwaukee digital refractometer, however, I am tired of having to constantly calibrate it. Each and every time I want to use it, even if it is just a few hours later, it must be calibrated again or it will not read correctly. The process of dropping RODI water, wiping it, pressing the buttons, then getting a sample, etc. over months is just a pain.

I decided to get one of these Hanna digital handheld meters:

Hanna Salinity Checker


It has about the same accuracy rating, but much more precision in the readout. Also, I just need to stick it in water and it only needs to be calibrated monthly!

Thing is, after calibrating it, it reads about 1.5 ppt lower than the Milwaukee. Interestingly, my Apex probe also read about that low when I last calibrated it, before it again went completely off like they tend to do... That makes me think the lower reading is actually correct. So, my water for the last 10 months or so is actually somewhere between 33.7 and 35.0 where I thought it was. It will probably mix my next batch of water at the higher level and gradually mix it in and raise my tanks.
 

Is Reef Conservation/Stewardship a factor in your hobby decisions? (private poll)

  • Very Important

    Votes: 183 55.6%
  • Somewhat Imporatant

    Votes: 105 31.9%
  • Not Too Important

    Votes: 28 8.5%
  • Not Important At All

    Votes: 13 4.0%

Online statistics

Members online
2,069
Guests online
5,666
Total visitors
7,735
The Aquatic Arsenal
Top