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Reeftank Log 12/99

Saturday, December 04, 1999

Received a mix coral order from GARF on Tuesday. The only disappointment from the shipment was the "green slimer" Acropora frag. It had broken off the plug in to two pieces and was oozing fluid. The frag was showing some bright fluorescent green polyps for a day, but was an empty skeleton by the next day. I also received two types of button polyps, two other SPS corals, a Xenia and a combo button polyp / Clavularia species. On Wednesday night, I purchased four SPS corals from Seascapes. They are the cultured corals from Coral Farms. The polyp extension and quality of the corals are great. They appear to be acclimating well to the 50-gallon tank.

Monday, December 13, 1999

I felt like Deuce Bigalow this weekend. On Saturday, I spent most of the day cleaning up the tanks at home and then going to work to set up a coral propagation tank. The worst part was that I actually enjoyed cleaning the tanks! I had to chuckle when I saw Rob Schneider's daytime job in Deuce Bigalow is a professional fish tank cleaner. Looks like a must-see movie like A Night at the Roxbury.

I slid out on my commuting bike on a slick wooden bridge three weeks ago. I had road rash on my right elbow and thigh. Luckily, I was able to use my left hand to do a lot of the cleaning and maintenance work inside the tank. I also had one Shoulder-Hi Aquatic Glove that I used on with my right arm so that no Brave Soldier ointment on my wound would get into the tank.

During the weekend of December 4th, I purchased a 5-inch Tridacna crocea clam from Seascapes. It has some pretty amazing colors. It has a deep blue turquoise color when you look at it from the sides, but when you look at it from the top, the clam looks green. It took me some time to arrange the rocks into a stable, flat shelf for the clam, but it has been doing well in its present location for over a week now. I notice that it generate slime on a daily basis, but it appears to be doing well with its mantle extension during the day. It retracts quickly when something passes over it and quickly expands again when the object causing the shadow has passed by.

The biggest shock of the month was when I was looking at the 50-gallon tank and a bristle worm over 6 inches long starts crawling in front. I tried to pull it out with some tweezers, but I only got the back half. The worm displayed quite a bit of energy when I tried to extract it. I was scared that some of its bristles would hit my hand as the wriggling piece was pulled out of the tank. I had to use a second pair of tweezers to get the back half out since the weight of the worm pulled it away from the tweezers every time I tried to take it out of the water. Some of the bristles on the bristle worm stuck on some of the new button polyps, but they expelled them after a few days.

I've added a 55-watt PowerCompact actinic to the front of the 50-gallon tank. It really brings out the fluorescence in the mushrooms, red open brain and clam. The tank is really bright. I've noticed some chemical warfare going on where the Xenia meets the new polyps at the top of the tank. The tips of the Xenia are white where they touch it looks like tissue necrosis.

Tuesday, December 14, 1999

Hooked up two MP900 Powerheads to a Wavemaster Pro on the coral propagation tank last night. The powerheads cleared up the silt from the aragonite substrate in the tank overnight. The Gracilaria is also cleared of silt and is being tumbled around the tank. I hope it starts sucking up any excess nitrates and phosphates since I used tap water to fill the tank. I think I'll try to add my first coral plugs this weekend. Ordered 100 shrimp from Ecosaqua today. They seem to be a good deal for $19.95 via Priority Mail. I hope they breed in the tank.

Thursday, December 16, 1999

I'm concerned about one of my SPS corals. It looks like it has some white areas. I feel bad since I might have caused it when I stirred up the sandbed last weekend by moving some live rock around in the refugium. I hope it recovers, and I hope what's affecting that specific SPS coral doesn't spread to the other ones in the tank. I'm going to hold off for awhile on any rearrangements in the 50-gallon tank and the 29-gallon refugium unless it's absolutely necessary. Last night, I placed a Maxi-Jet MP1200 in the top right corner of the tank and moved the MP900 below it. The MP1200 directs current diagonally along the top of the tank. The MP900 below directs current along the back of the tank since I don't want any dead current areas behind the live rock. I hope the extra pump doesn't cause any overheating problems in the summer. The two SPS corals from Steve Tyree are doing great. The Acropora formosa is spreading out at the base and it looks like it will eventually cover the epoxy that attaches it to the live rock. The Stylophora pistillata is also spreading out at the base. All the SPS corals in the tank have great polyp extension. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed on the SPS coral that has some white areas.

Purchased an Orange-Tail Damsel (Chrysyptera cyanea) for the coral propagation tank. The damsel is a bright electric blue with an orange tail. It's a costs a bit more than a Yellow-Tail Damsel, but it appears to be a larger and more unique fish. It turns dark blue when it's stressed, but it appears to have acclimated well to the tank.

Sunday, December 19, 1999

Super-glued some Xenia cuttings to aragonite/concrete plugs yesterday. There was separation of some of the cuttings from the plugs. It appears there was a higher level of tissue decay in the coral propagation tank than when I attached cuttings in the 50-gallon tank and the 29-gallon refugium. I think the coral propagation tank still hasn't stabilized in terms of the nitrogen cycle and that may be affecting the cuttings. Tomorrow, I'll try to glue all the cuttings that fell off.

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