Everything seems to be ticking along nicely at the moment. The KH dipped a little following the addition of the carbon dioxide filter and I've had to up my dosing rate as a consequence. I'm hoping it means that the corals are happier with the higher pH values and have increased their growth rates. Unfortunately perhaps, also due to the dip in KH (down from approx 7.0 to 6.5), the coralline on the back wall took a bit of a beating. It's not a problem as such but clearly I need to keep a better eye on the alkalinity level.
Swipes the porcelain crab, Petrolisthes galathinus, has settled in nicely and is proving to be a star attraction with the rest of my family (after Lurch the conch, who still remains the absolute favourite inhabitant). She has made her home underneath the left-hand rock pile and spends the majority of her time hanging out with Edna & Kylie (the two wrasses), filtering out small morsels of food from the water.
Ming, the Pom Pom crab (Lybia sp.) has also settled into the left-hand rock pile, in a small hole, way under the ledge. He's still pretty shy and we don't get to see him out in the open very much as of yet, I did manage to capture a sneaky shot of him in his hidey hole using flash today however.
It's pretty time consuming trying to take individual photos of all the corals individually on the same day so there just a small selection below, I'll work on adding the rest later in the week hopefully.
To finish, I just have to share a couple more shots of Crystal the Red Spotted cleaner shrimp, Urocaridella antonbrunnii, because she is the most incredible looking shrimp.
I've just been having a quick play around with the on board flash on my camera in the hope of getting a reasonable shot of Crystal, my Bruun's cleaner shrimp (Urocaridella antonbruunii). She (or he, I have no idea) never stops swaying so taking a picture without flash almost always results in some motion blur. I expected the shots to be rubbish but was actually pleasantly surprised at the outcome. Next time I hope to catch her facing the camera instead of looking away.
Crystal is the best shrimp in the world! OK, I may be biased in that regard but she is a model citizen and has never bothered anything else in the tank. She doesn't try to steal food from the LPS corals or irritate them in any way. I know this can be a problem with certain other ornamental shrimp and I have certainly found that out myself in the past. Ugh, Lysmata amboinensis, never again! Crystal tends to be most active at night when she can be found swimming freely around the tank. During the day she likes to rest under her favourite rocky overhang waiting for the pumps to go off and signalling feeding time.
She really has the most amazing red and white markings and how about those awesome 'wave form' looking spines along her back! I never knew they were there until I saw them in this photograph. Too cool!
A new month and a new FTS. Besides a few new corals not that much has changed really. The Stylophora is showing some nice growth, the Lobophyllia and Acanthastrea look good, the zoanthids are, err, surviving. I think that all the nudibranchs have gone now and the remaining heads are opening up once again, I did lose a few of the orange ones that were on top of the rock, they simply melted away. Too much light/too little light/too much flow/too little flow? Who knows?? To be honest I've never really been that successful with zoas, perhaps the water is too clean? I'm considering feeding some coral foods to see if it helps them at all.
Acro #1 looks the same, it was knocked off the rockwork by a naughty hermit crab and when I stuck it back down it was in a slightly different orientation so it's difficult to tell if there has been any growth or not. Acro #2 has shown a tiny bit of growth and the damaged tips on the lower left-hand branches have regrown. I do think that they have lost a little colour though, another reason to try feeding perhaps, plus the nitrates and phosphates are still undetectable which according to current thinking is not ideal for SPS these days.
Since the Pink Streaked wrasse was added the Nudus gobies and Red Striped goby have moved to the front right of the tank. I get to see a lot more of them now which is really great. The tank has settled down nicely again. I need to relocate the Lobophyllia as Lurch the conch keeps knocking it to the left in his quest to clean the lower rocks. I am also thinking of adding a plating coral to the rock that sits above the pistol shrimp and Whitecap's home (I've seen them again today btw, two days on the trot I think that's a record, lol!) in order to give the entrance to the burrow a bit of shade, I think that will help them to feel more comfortable and hopefully they will become more visible. At the moment the lighting is really too bright for them.
I've been trying to get some shots of the Possum and Pink Streaked wrasse but it's proving difficult as they don't sit still like the gobies do. I will keep trying. Oh and last but not least Crystal the Bruun's cleaner shrimp shed her exoskeleton again last night so she seems fine too.
Day 57: I'm loving the new crusty additions. The Bruun's cleaner shrimp is an amazing little thing, we have named her (no idea of the sex actually!) Crystal as she is pretty much completely see through with just a few spots of colour and her insides visible. She is pretty hard to find unless you are specifically looking for her.
The crinioid squat lobster is all over the tank, in a new location every day. We have named him Stripes, not very original I know. I'm pleased just to be able to admire him, I'm sure in a bigger tank with more rockwork he would be almost impossible to locate once introduced. He has really long chelipeds (the first pair of legs with the claws) they look rather unwieldy to me but I guess they are perfect for him. I wish that I could keep him with a crinoid friend but crinoids are extremely difficult to care for long term due to their filter feeding requirements. Luckily squat lobsters do not need them to thrive in a reef tank environment.
Day 53: Time for some crustacean action! I have a particular fondness for shrimps and crabs and am hoping that with a smaller tank I'll be able to introduce and actually observe some of the more reclusive species. In keeping with the smaller theme I chose a Bruun's cleaner shrimp, Urocaridella antonbruunii and a crinoid squat lobster, Allogalathea elegans. I also introduced a couple of Striped Nassarius snails, Nassarius sp. to scavenge excess food, fish waste and detritus in addition to keeping the sand turned over.
Hi, my name is Lisa and I live in Derby, UK. I am a self-confessed reefaholic!