Baycoral.com. I´m going to focus on Xenia first because people are always emailing me about the ones in the 50-gallon tank. I´m going to start with the Brown Pulsing Xenia that grow like weeds, but I hope to soon offer more types of Xenia. I´m personally enthralled by the varying shapes, colors and textures of the different Xenia species. The rhythmic pulsing motion of the polyps is hypnotic and unique. These are the reasons I´m so strongly drawn to Xenia, and I hope other hobbyists also share my feelings. I´m going to offer Xenia to local hobbyists because there are certain large or delicate species that may not ship well. A local pickup instead of an overnight shipment with its risks would help increase the survival rate of a Xenia purchase.
I´m using a 20-gallon growout tank at work with a 29-gallon sump. One 6700K 55-watt power compact light and two 20-watt Triton lights sit above the coral propagation tank. A 20-watt Vita-Lite sits above the Caulerpa racemosa growing on the Cercona rocks in the sump. The sump return and two MaxiJet 900´s controlled by a Red Sea Wavemaker control the water flow in the 20-gallon tank. A CPR SR2 protein skimmer sits in the sump. A Blue Devil and a Cleaner Shrimp are in the 20-gallon tank to add some color. I may move the Blue Devil since it likes to dig.
Sunday, January 23, 2000
I´m so sad. For some reason, all the Brown Pulsing Xenia I had in my coral propagation tank crashed. Last Thursday, I put a lot of them out of their misery before they completely disintegrated by scraping the darkened, shriveled Xenia off their plugs. Crashing Xenia can be pretty disgusting. A vile, smelly fluid oozed out of the crashing Xenia as I took them out of the tank. The leaking fluid reminds me of the Ebola bleedouts in The Hot Zone by Richard Preston and my roommate´s dog that I found one morning with its GI system liquefied in a pool around its carcass - a victim of parvovirus. When multicellular animals start oozing fluid because of death or sickness, it becomes apparent that we´re mostly made up of sacks of water that can quickly lose their structure and shape and dissolve into a mess...
I´m not sure exactly what caused the crash, but thankfully, all the Xenia I have back home are doing fine. The button polyps, Green Star polyps, Cleaner shrimp and hermit crabs in the coral propagation tank appear to be doing fine - it was only the Xenia that had problems. I´m going to grow Green Star Polyp cuttings in the coral propagation tank for two weeks. Then I´m going to try to put one Brown Pulsing Xenia cutting in and see what happens. I added enough Seaflor Special Grade Reef Sand and Aragamax Oolitic Select to the coral propagation tank to cover the bottom with 3.5 to 4 inches of substrate. I want to see how effective a live sand bed is without any plenum. Without any fish and only one Cleaner shrimp and a few small hermit crabs, I hope the detritivore population will be undisturbed.
I brought the Blue Devil home on Friday, and it dug and spit out some sand in the first few minutes, but since then, it has been a non-digger.
In addition to the Caulerpa racemosa, I put some of the wiry red algae that´s been growing in the far right rock in the 50-gallon into the 29-gallon sump at work. I hope the red algae grows and provides extra living space for detritivores in the refugium.
Monday, January 24, 2000
I looked at the undersides of some of the live rock in the 50-gallon and noticed a few areas of white sponge growth. One area is pretty impressive since it covers a few square inches inside the cave on the right of the tank. The sponges are a positive sign to me that there´s small particles of food to filter in the tank - a benefit not only for the sponges, but also for the corals.
I´ve been setting my alarm at 6:00 am in order to get in a morning bike ride or run. On the days I don´t work out, the extra time in the morning gives me time to perform a water change. I like doing this since it frees up my time on the weekends.
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