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Unread 05/02/2019, 07:51 AM   #851
Michael Hoaster
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Thanks for the heads up, McPuff. I checked vermetid snails out. I don't think what I have is that. They employ a mucus net. Mine has arms that are branched in a zig zag pattern, that fold in, one at a time. They remind me of the feeding tentacles of the sea cucumbers I've seen in Kataro's tank.

I'll keep an eye on it and I'll see if I can find out what it is.


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Unread 05/02/2019, 04:58 PM   #852
Michael Hoaster
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I may have identified the mysterious creature in my live rock. Pseudothyone belli, the Hidden Sea Cucumber hides it's body in rocks or sand, leaving its feeding tentacles and mouth exposed to capture drifting food. If it is, it's appropriately named - I can't find it today.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Unread 05/03/2019, 05:36 AM   #853
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Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
I may have identified the mysterious creature in my live rock. Pseudothyone belli, the Hidden Sea Cucumber hides it's body in rocks or sand, leaving its feeding tentacles and mouth exposed to capture drifting food. If it is, it's appropriately named - I can't find it today.
Very cool! Pics please. :0)


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Unread 05/03/2019, 07:57 AM   #854
Michael Hoaster
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I couldn't find it all day yesterday. I'll keep looking today.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Unread 05/03/2019, 09:23 AM   #855
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Or a video (wink wink, nudge nudge) Just kidding, no pressure.

It's weird how stuff like that just disappears and then, when you have just about given up on it, appears again, healthier than ever.

I am so glad that your tank is coming along so nicely, just as you planned. It must be so fun to watch!


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Unread 05/05/2019, 08:04 AM   #856
Michael Hoaster
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Thanks Kevin. I still can't find it again. Oh well. I guess I'll see it when I see it.

I am thrilled with my tank's progress. To have gotten through dinos and cyano before the five month mark is good! Having a plan and having it work is also very gratifying. A few more lower food chain residents, plants and fish, and I can really kick back. For now, I've got a few pest macros to eradicate, but other than that, I just need to observe and learn.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Unread 05/07/2019, 10:37 PM   #857
Michael Hoaster
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The Hidden Sea Cucumber remains hidden. I do remember seeing what looked like a small, pinky finger-size cucumber when I first got the live rock. That must've been it.

I think it might be time to add another bag of pods. As the plants grow in, there's room for more. I think I have enough snails now. I've noticed it coincided roughly with the end of my algae phase. They are probably a bigger key to my good luck than anything I've done. Or was it the pods? Or the ulva?

As I work to increase biodiversity, my young ecosystem matures.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Unread 05/08/2019, 04:46 AM   #858
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
The Hidden Sea Cucumber remains hidden. I do remember seeing what looked like a small, pinky finger-size cucumber when I first got the live rock. That must've been it.

I think it might be time to add another bag of pods. As the plants grow in, there's room for more. I think I have enough snails now. I've noticed it coincided roughly with the end of my algae phase. They are probably a bigger key to my good luck than anything I've done. Or was it the pods? Or the ulva?

As I work to increase biodiversity, my young ecosystem matures.
We would still love a video tour when you have time.


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Unread 05/08/2019, 06:02 AM   #859
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They are probably a bigger key to my good luck than anything I've done. Or was it the pods? Or the ulva?
Or a combination of all three good choices


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Unread 05/08/2019, 06:25 AM   #860
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Michael, if the cucumber is small you may not see it very often. I have 3 cucumbers and I see 1 of them quite a bit. Hardly ever see the other three... and they are not small. Maybe 4-6" each. No idea where they go. Thankfully, the one I do see is also very pretty, believe it or not. :0)


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Unread 05/08/2019, 10:09 AM   #861
Michael Hoaster
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Thanks Dawn. I should do a vid. Even though my tank isn't quite prime-time, I could at least show it before I get the water movement to a decent place. The wife wants to go camping, but the weather looks iffy, so I may be able to find the time.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Unread 05/08/2019, 10:21 AM   #862
Michael Hoaster
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I think you're right, Kevin. But I have to admit, the UV was also instrumental, in the dino-fight at least. But getting natural consumers and competitors in early was a big benefit. I was also lucky I got the kind of dinos that didn't kill the critters that ate it.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Unread 05/08/2019, 10:28 AM   #863
Michael Hoaster
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Thanks McPuff. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, given its name. I would think the tentacles would be visible most of the time, but not easy to spot in my tank. I'll keep making the rounds with the magnifying glass and maybe it'll turn up. My white, Florida cucumber, Seymour, is rather pretty, as cucumbers go. What kind is your pretty one?


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Unread 05/09/2019, 06:41 AM   #864
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Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
Thanks McPuff. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, given its name. I would think the tentacles would be visible most of the time, but not easy to spot in my tank. I'll keep making the rounds with the magnifying glass and maybe it'll turn up. My white, Florida cucumber, Seymour, is rather pretty, as cucumbers go. What kind is your pretty one?
I'm not actually sure. It's black with a bright pink belly. Just did a quick search and I see it listed as, get this, a "black and pink cucumber!" :0) Holothuria edulis Based on the online prices, seems like I got over a 50% discount by buying at a swap! Gets about 12" apparently. Mine is probably 8-9" right now. It is the only one I've seen in person actually.

There are 2 Florida cucumbers that I don't see often unless I really look. And I've got 1 tiger tail that I hardly ever see. Last I knew it was in the same place for about two months straight. I think it wiggled it's way in between some rocks so who knows if it's still doing well. I assume so but never know.

Regardless, I do like having cucumbers and the black/pink is super active by cucumber standards. Definitely recommend them to anyone seeking an ugly but awesome invert for their reef. :0)


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Unread 05/09/2019, 06:49 AM   #865
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I love cucumbers. I have a large Caribbean species in my Caribbean tank. As you said McPuff, I rarely see it.


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Unread 05/10/2019, 10:23 AM   #866
Michael Hoaster
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Agreed lifeoffaith. What's not to love? They eat dirty sand and poop clean sand. Elegant!

In my experience, they can starve to death, if there's not enough detritus. That happened in the reef version of my 180, years ago. They get smaller and smaller. So I never keep more than one. I even toss some sinking pellet food in the tank occasionally just for them.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Unread 05/10/2019, 12:31 PM   #867
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Agreed lifeoffaith. What's not to love? They eat dirty sand and poop clean sand. Elegant!
Too bad there isn't a land version for kitty litter...


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Unread 05/12/2019, 06:47 AM   #868
Michael Hoaster
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That would be handy! And pretty gross…


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Unread 05/12/2019, 08:15 AM   #869
Michael Hoaster
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Saturday I got a little bit done with the tank.

I did the tedious job of removing a pest macro that is trying to get established. It's a black/brown grasilaria, I think. I've seen it in two growth forms, or phenotypes. One is a thicker-stemmed phenotype, not far from the 'tree grasilaria', which looks OK. The other is more of a bushy turf that grows prolifically, and adds a rather dull color, dragging down the vibrant colors of everything around it. I had it in v1, and was never able to eradicate it. This time around, I'm determined to get rid of it, before it gets out of hand.

I pulled a few rocks to remove some bubble algae too. I have very little of it, and I'd like to eradicate it too. I considered getting an Emerald Crab, to go after the green bubbles, but after a little research, I decided against it. They eat small snails. While I was at it, I went ahead and modified my rock scape, as I had planned, to get a more natural looking arrangement. Only a few rocks were moved. I think I'm happy with it.

I pulled the Codium I had placed up on the fake walls, and put it back down among the grasses. After living with it for awhile, I decided it didn't look right. I like it much better on the sand.

I ordered some Caulerpa mexicana from eBay. Once again, I was disappointed. It was about one part caulerpa, two parts beard algae, which was inextricably tangled in a green mess. I picked what I could out of it and removed as much of the beardy stuff as possible, and put it in one of my QTs. Hopefully I can salvage some usable caulepra, without adding a pest. That someone would sell that makes my blood boil! It's like they cleaned out their tank, and sold the stuff they should have thrown away. Very disappointing.

I did a quick clean of my canister filter, and removed the charcoal, as well as the sponge filters, which are no longer needed. What remains is a little bio media and calcium media. I am continuing CO2 injection, through the intake.

I've seen no fish scratching for the last couple weeks or so, which is a relief. However, after reading a bit, I still have concerns. I could have ich in the tank. I don't know! I may not know until I try to add new fish. So I'm hesitant to start quarantining another round of fish. Rock and a hard place…

The Neon Damsels are growing, and growing more beautiful! Living jewels. I decided the enigmatic tuxedo damsel needed a name. My wife said his black and white coloring reminded here of prison clothes. So his name is Papillon.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Unread 05/13/2019, 06:04 AM   #870
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Nice update on the tank Michael. It's always a crap shoot when buying on ebay. Hopefully, the caulerpa will tank hold in your QT and you can frag off of it.

Papillon is a cool name. I love the original movie with Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen. I haven't seen the remake, but it's on my list of movies to watch.


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Unread 05/13/2019, 10:34 AM   #871
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I too remember the original movie Papillion. You better screen the top so he doesn't try to jump out and escape! Ha ha! I have not seen the remake either but how does one improve on Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen?

So when do we get to see the new rock scape?


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Unread 05/13/2019, 02:27 PM   #872
Michael Hoaster
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Yep, Papillon is a classic. When I add more of the tuxedo damsels, I guess I'll have to give all of them french names. My target numbers are 5 total tuxedos and 8 total neons.

I have noticed a couple of downsides to keeping schools of fish. First it will difficult to name each fish, since it will be challenging to tell them apart. Also, it requires extra vigilance to observe each individual, to make sure it is eating, behaving normally, etc. But having had some practice, I know it can be done.

I meant to take pics last night, after dark, but I forgot. Here's a few I just took today.


The new rock layout. I see now one of the reds got loose. This arrangement gets the rocks further away from the glass at the end, easing maintenance. Overall it is less square and has a smaller footprint. There are now three rocks that rest on top of others, adding room for more fish to hide and sleep.



The grasses. I'm trying to strike a balance between keeping them clean and pretty, and allowing detritus to build up, as it does in nature. This will give additional cover and food for the detrivores.



One of the neons. As they grow, the shiny area grows too. Gorgeous!



Papillon, cruising.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Unread 05/14/2019, 04:32 AM   #873
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Beautiful pics Michael. I like the looks of the rockwork closer to the back wall. It gives the impression that they (the rocks) tumbled down from the wall, the way they would in nature.

I thought I would really miss the fake mangrove root but I admit that I don't. I love the way the reds and greens play against each other. As an artist, red and green are compliments of each other and perhaps that is why it is pleasing to the eye.

So do the mollies get names too? Have any of their offspring grown up?


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Current Tank Info: A 56 gallon naural nutrient macro reef that flows into a 30 gallon fuge with macros/seagrass that flows into a 20 gallon sump.
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Unread 05/14/2019, 12:18 PM   #874
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I love the pics Michael. I agree with Dawn about the rocks looking like they came from the wall based on your layout. Nice! Everything looks very healthy!


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Current Tank Info: 101g 3'X3'X18" Cubish Oyster Reef Blenny tank, 36"X17"X18" sump
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Unread 05/17/2019, 10:39 AM   #875
Michael Hoaster
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Just back from camping in Moab. Spring greens and flowers in the desert!




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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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