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Old 05-12-2004, 07:56 PM   #1
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Hrmph..Updates on 20g..

Some of you may remember my post about my mother spontaneously adding two blue damsels without telling me to our 20g SW tank. One died, but the other one has been healthy for the few days I have been home so today I spent half an hour catching the little booger and then I returned him to the store. I also did my first-ever DIY project for the SW tank today. That's right, I broke out the office scissors and made an eggcrate cover for it. My skills are amazing.

One of the nicer things about the eggcrate though is now to feed stuff in the tank we no longer have to lift up the entire light hood (it covers most of the tank-top). For frozen stuff we just set a cup on the hood to thaw, dip it in the opening where the filter is, then drip it in through various holes accordingly. The pearl bubble caught three big thawed brine shrimp today and our fire shrimp finally got to come back out now that it doesn't have to compete with the damsel (they were sharing the same cave and the damsel took all the food, and sometimes it turned around and hit the shrimp with its tail 8O).

Casualties while I was away? Unfortunately, yes. Besides the damsel that died, which I have been unable to find, my parents told me about how our torch coral was slowly wasting away. I came back and it had about half a head of healthy polyps left. I tried to frag it but I guess I did something wrong because the skeleton just kind of fell apart. =( The only clues as to the cause of death were a bunch of elongate, white worm-things stuck to the outside of the skeleton. However, they never moved and when I tried to squash one it felt just like a part of the skeleton.

Our elephant-ear mushroom has grown a lot, though it has been a little irritated as of late (I had to keep moving it around while I did various things to the tank). The pearl bubble is beautiful now- sort of reddish-brown instead of white-green with big bubble-tips. The red mushrooms decided they didn't like the rock they were on and detached, but most ended up on sand and shriveled up. I put two that I found onto another rock at the other side of the tank and they haven't moved from there and are responding to the light, so I hope they will be okay.

I found out that my mom hadn't done any water changes for a month so I did one the day after I got home. All the readings are fine, though. I'm not sure whether to start using the additives (Ca, Alk, and "Reef Elements") again..

All of the invertebrates are fine besides the torch and the red mushrooms. My mom bought 10 "right-handed hermit crabs" as part of a clean-up crew package-- does anyone know anything about these? I've been watching them and they haven't attacked the blue-legs or any of the snails, but I don't know if they're really safe or not.

Another thing mom didn't do was ask me about what to do if the macroalgae starts growing everywhere. Suffice to say that before I did the water change I eliminated the "forest" down to a few manageable crops. However, there are no other kinds of algae that are visible except coralline algae that came in on a new rock my parents bought a while back. It's pretty nice to look at.

So ends my SW tank repair story for the moment. My next task is to get a Remora protein skimmer so that we can get another fish (not a damsel, certainly) and anything else we want to get.

I'll update this in a bit with some pics. Right now it's hot out and it's making me too lazy to do so. :P

Oh yeah, we also have a big copepod (I guess? Little white bug things?) population now from the macroalgae and because there's nothing in the tank that eats them. There are some other unidentified things on the new LR that I'll get to at some point, and there are also mega-bugs (3/4"-1") that look like ghost shrimp which come out at night and scoot around picking stuff out of the sand.

Okay, I'm done now. =)

55g freshwater - tetras, catfish, loaches
10g freshwater - firebelly newts
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Old 05-12-2004, 09:55 PM   #2
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I broke out the office scissors and made an eggcrate cover for it.
Not sure what you mean here. "Eggcrate" for a tank top is made of plastic. It's the stuff you find in some flourescent light fixtures. Its about a 1/2" thick or so lattice of 1/2" square holes.
Do you have a pic of your project?
Sorry about your torch. Don't worry about the month of no water changes. I change mine infrequently - doesn't slow anything down. Regular water changes are debatable anyway. They certainly don't hurt but don't sweat it if it doesn't happen on schedule.
Sounds like overall your tanks doing very well.

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Old 05-12-2004, 11:18 PM   #3
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Yeah, I bought some eggcrate from Home Depot and cut it up with scissors to fit the tank because I didn't know what else to cut it with. Very messy, but it worked.

Pics of the whole tank in the morning...right now I'm going to bed.
55g freshwater - tetras, catfish, loaches
10g freshwater - firebelly newts
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Old 05-12-2004, 11:55 PM   #4
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Ok, so I understand that Damsels are kinda like the guppie of the marine world, but are they really so undesireable that you would get rid of them so fast? Although I do not plan on adding any to my tank, I think the three-spot damsels are rather pretty.
Hardware: 37 gallon SW tank and stand by Oceanic Systems, Magnum 350 Pro Canister Filter (half carbon), CPR Bak Pak 2R skimmer, Maxijet 1200 Powerhead, RenaCal 150 W heater, Compact fluorescent lights with moonlights. 40 lbs of liverock, 3" sand bed.

Software:2 Tank-Raised Ocellaris Clowns, 1 Purple Firefish, 1 Electric Orange hermit crab, 18 Blue Legged hermit crabs, 8 or so Nassarius snails, Xenia, Blue, green, and Green Striped Mushrooms.

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Old 05-12-2004, 11:58 PM   #5
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they are very, very aggresive
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Old 05-13-2004, 09:18 AM   #6
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The damsel my mom bought was little and had not yet acquired its aggressive tendencies, so it might be easy for someone to believe that they aren't aggressive. However, our tank also has the issue of not having a protein skimmer to deal with, and I'd rather not stress the system at such an early stage (~4 months). And I wouldn't want to wake up to the "non-aggressive" damsel one morning to find that it had changed its mind and my clownfish is in tatters. But for me it was mainly because I don't think we have enough filtration to safely support more than one fish and all the inverts. Damsels are very colorful and cute, but I don't know that they belong in smaller systems unless you want to keep one by itself.

That is solely my impression from reading about them though-- not from experience.

55g freshwater - tetras, catfish, loaches
10g freshwater - firebelly newts
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20 gallon

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