I received the results of my second ICP analysis yesterday. Cobalt and Aluminium are still elevated but there is a little less than before so maybe the TMC eco rock has stopped leeching or is a least leeching less now, time will tell. The nutrient levels are still low despite my feeding a ton of food and dosing extra nitrate. I have been seeing a little bit of green cyano on the rocks and the sand is looking a bit greener too. I'm still debating whether I should do anything about it or just wait and see. I'll probably just wait and see. Oh and I have been plucking out tiny bits of Ulva from the sand (mainly) whenever I see them, grrr! I'm resigned to have to keep doing this from now on.
The sun coral has christened the new rock, the first baby is coming along nicely.
The baby Trochus snails are doing really well. I've been moving any that I find in the sump over to the refugium. The refugium needs cleaning and they are better off in there, I want to avoid the scenario where they get crushed by an impeller or jam up my X-filter. I have discovered some in the DT too which I'm surprised about, I thought that they would all have been wrasse food but I guess they are able to hide well enough to avoid such a fate. They do blend in with the rockwork extremely well.
The Coco worm continues to do surprisingly well, it has extended its tube even more now. Kylie the Pink Streaked wrasse is keeping a beady eye on it for me.
I'm also pleased to report that the Menella gorgonian appears to be doing great now. It's finally decided to pop out another branch at the base, woo hoo! Unfortunately I can't get it to completely recover the sections that lost some flesh earlier on because hair algae has taken a hold. It's only possible to see the algae when the polyps are fully retracted but it does annoy me no end. When the algae grows long enough a hermit comes along and gives it a trim which I appreciate.
Unfortunately the Rei Yellow wrasse seems to have taken a bit of a disliking to Jessie the Rainford's goby, I have no idea as to why; a dominance thing maybe. There is no chasing or actual fighting but a fair amount of posturing goes on between the two. When they meet they both fully flare their fins and engage in some sort of a staring contest, Jessie may be the smaller fish but he stands his ground. Rei had better watch his step because if it comes to a choice he'll be the one to go. Catching him would be the issue...
A quick pic of Sunny the Sunburst Anthias.
One of the recently added Trochus snails has sprouted a lush growth of Ulva on his shell. From what I've read this algae seems to be doing the rounds at the moment and since I don't keep any big herbivorous fish, or indeed intend to, it could become a headache for me if/when it spreads. Also I've noticed the appearance of a few patches of what I believe to be green cyanobacteria on the rockwork. I'm hoping this doesn't get any worse. Lastly I discovered another tiny Aiptasia in the tank. . It was growing on the tube of my Coco worm, either it came in with the worm or it has settled onto the tube whilst it's been in my tank, I kind of hope it's the former and not the latter. Where there's one there's probably many more waiting to be discovered. Oh joy!
Now for some possibly good news, the Coco worm, Protula bispiralis 'seems' to be doing quite well so far. I'm basing this off of the fact that it's extended it's calcareous tube quite a bit over the last month. If it can lay down some new tube then it must be getting enough to eat, right? When I came to treat the aforementioned Aiptasia with Aiptasia-X, I tried to make it go in first by poking it but despite literally brushing the feathery head three or four times with a pipette it refused to retract. I went ahead and treated the Aiptasia anyway and it stayed out during the entire procedure. I was somewhat concerned by this lack of responsiveness but I just watched a hermit crab crawl over the worm today and it retracted quick as a flash so I guess it simply wasn't bothered enough by me.
Here's a few crappy zoomed in iPhone pics showing the tube growth. The first shot was taken on the 3rd June and the second was taken this morning, 4th July, just over a month later.
Also I made an exciting discovery whilst performing a water change. I was pumping fresh saltwater into the sump when I noticed some unusual ‘blobs’ moving around down there. On closer inspection I discovered they were baby Trochus snails. How cool is that! OK, I know it’s nothing unusual for snails to spawn in reef tanks but this is the first time I have actually had them settle out and grow into proper baby snails in my tank. So far I have counted 4 of the little chaps but I'm sure there will be more hidden away.
Here’s one of the wee chaps cleaning the base of the skimmer. He’d better not make his way into the pump.....
You may have noticed the excessive number of white spots in the background of some of my previous coral photos. Spirorbid worms have been having an absolute field day in the tank, they are literally everywhere, the back wall looks like it has a bad case of the measles. I have never seen these worms spread as fast as this in any of my previous tanks but then I've never fed so much food as I have been doing in this one. Those of you that like a nice clean back to your tanks will absolutely hate my tank, lol. Anyway this leads me nicely to the new items of livestock added (along with the 6 Trochus snails mentioned in my previous post). I had this wine-fuelled crazy thought that since the filter feeding Spirorbid worms were doing so well it might be nice try some other filter feeding worms too. It seemed a waste of postage to be just ordering 6 Trochus snails. This was might not have been a good idea but I'm going to give it a jolly good go. So I have added a Coco worm, Protula bispiralis, and a couple of other fan worms (Sabellidae sp.). I added them in May and after a month they were looking OK, other than that I couldn't really say very much. I don't know what an ailing tube worm looks like. Time will tell I suppose.
Here's a quick iPhone shot of the Coco worm, it's just so lovely and I never thought I'd be saying that about a worm.
Lastly before I post FTS I want to mention my conches. For the first time I actually have enough open sand to keep a pair of these totally awesome molluscs. Dyson was introduced to this tank after the cycle and Henry was moved over from the Reefer 170. Well, Henry must be a Henrietta because it was love at first sight for these snails and they have been making sweet love a LOT!
And here is Henrietta laying the eggs, forming a lovely snot ball of sand.
Finally a FTS (taken 19th June 2020) showing all of the fish bar one (Flash the Whitecap goby is tucked up in his burrow).
The fish list in order of purchase:
Tanaka's possum wrasse x 1 (18th December 2016)
Pink streaked wrasse x 1 (28th January 2017)
Yellow wrasse x 1 (21st August 2017)
Rainfords goby x 1 (19th August 2018)
Helfrichi firefish x 1 (1st August 2019)
Spotted mandarin (male) x 1 (1st August 2019)
Whitecap goby x 1 (12th October 2019)
Fathead anthias x 1 (7th March 2020)
Hi, my name is Lisa and I live in Derby, UK. I am a self-confessed reefaholic!