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Old 12-15-2005, 10:47 PM   #1
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Into week 2 and a whole lot questions

As the title suggests, I have a number of questions to ask. The tank is a 29 gal that has had LR in it (about 40#) for about weeks and a half weeks. The rock was purchased from my LFS. The parameters have been zero across the board for NH3, NO2, and NO3 since it was started.

1) I am assuming at this point that I will simply not see a cycle. Is that a reasonable assumption?

2) After adding the sand and letting it settle down, I started to notice little green hairs on the glass and equipment. Is this the beginning of nuisance algae? Should I start stocking a clean-up crew to keep this under control?

3) I have found a lot of small aiptasia and what I now believe is a fairly large majano anemone (a bit larger than a penny). I was planning on getting a couple of peppermint shrimp to try and keep this under control. However, as I understand, shrimp are a bit more sensitive to my mistakes so would it be wise for that to be one of the first things added to the tank?

4) I have not gotten a good look at it, but there is a hitchhiker crab living in one of the rocks. I don’t have a fuge to put him in if I were to remove him. Should I try and take it out now, or wait until something winds up dead near his hole?

5) The rock I bought had tons of feather duster worms on it externally. In a few of the rocks, I have noticed what appears to be a crown poking out that will be retracted if I make to much commotion. I have never seen any sort of a tube. Are these also feather dusters?

6) One rock had a number of green star polyps (at least, I think that’s what they are). One site I had looked at described them as something of weeds. How much concern should I have about them taking over? What do I need to do to keep them under control?

7) The first night I had the rock, I watched this tiny little snail on the glass. I am not positive, but I now believe it is a whelk. Should I try and remove it now or try and confirm its identity first? Of course, now that I am aware of what it could be, I have had a really hard time finding it….

I guess that will do for the time being. I appreciate all the help you have provided so far.
Chris
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Old 12-17-2005, 12:08 PM   #2
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I don't consider myself to be an expert in any way, but since no one else has answered you, I'll see what I can do.

1) It is a reasonable assumption as long as you don't have fish. Most LFS worth your time will keep their LR in tanks for a sort of "pre-curing". So if it was in water when you bought it, you're probably making a reasonable assumption.

2) It probably is hair algae. Your best bet to get rid of it is to use RO/DI water and control PO4. PO4 in any quantity can cause a hair algae outbreak. As for the cleaning crew, you would need tons of snails and crabs. I have 25 blue hermits in my 29 and they don't clean the hair algae as well as PO4 control.

3) There are chemicals you can inject into the anemone to destroy it. I don't have much experience with this.

4) Send a picture of the crab for identification.

5) Yep, feather dusters. They are pretty cool looking and harmless.

6) I don't know much about these.

7) Probably a good idea to identify first.
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Old 12-17-2005, 01:20 PM   #3
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My tank is 2 weeks old to and I have a bunch of small aiptasia. I have 8 of them. One big one and a medium the rest are small. I have no Idea what it is eating. I just know when I got the LR there was just one.
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Old 12-17-2005, 01:40 PM   #4
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I am assuming at this point that I will simply not see a cycle.
Very possible if the rock did not have die off. You could test the theory by putting some food in the tank and see if in a couple days you see any levels.
Quote:
After adding the sand and letting it settle down, I started to notice little green hairs on the glass and equipment. Is this the beginning of nuisance algae? Should I start stocking a clean-up crew to keep this under control?
Normal diatom bloom. It should "burn" itself out in time.
Quote:
I have found a lot of small aiptasia and what I now believe is a fairly large majano anemone (a bit larger than a penny). I was planning on getting a couple of peppermint shrimp to try and keep this under control. However, as I understand, shrimp are a bit more sensitive to my mistakes so would it be wise for that to be one of the first things added to the tank?
A shrimp may not be the smartest thing to add but as long as you monitor levels and make sure your water is "matched up" for WC you should be fine. A turkey baster and hot water will also get rid of them. Just boil some water and take the pot over to your tank and just bast the aptasia.
Quote:
I have not gotten a good look at it, but there is a hitchhiker crab living in one of the rocks. I don’t have a fuge to put him in if I were to remove him. Should I try and take it out now, or wait until something winds up dead near his hole?
Not all crabs are bad. If you could get a picture or describe him someone could let you know if it is ok. I have several crabs in my tank without issues. If you have a crab living fine in your tank this increases the chances that the cycle will not happen and also that a shrimp may be fine.
Quote:
I have noticed what appears to be a crown poking out that will be retracted if I make to much commotion. I have never seen any sort of a tube. Are these also feather dusters?
Yes, they are feather dusters.
Quote:
One rock had a number of green star polyps (at least, I think that’s what they are). One site I had looked at described them as something of weeds. How much concern should I have about them taking over? What do I need to do to keep them under control?
A picture would help in identification. If they are star polyps they are no concern. They will grow and multiple in the right conditions but will be easy to control if needed. Talking months, not over night. I would only worry about the aptasia you described in earlier question. Just physically remove them if need be.

Quote:
The first night I had the rock, I watched this tiny little snail on the glass. I am not positive, but I now believe it is a whelk. Should I try and remove it now or try and confirm its identity first?
The snail is probably a welcome addition. If it is a whelk snail then leave it. They are also known as nassarius snails and are purchased for debris removal. Did it have a long "snout"? Either way I would confirm its identity before removal.
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Old 12-18-2005, 04:48 AM   #5
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For whelk information:
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-11/rs/index.php
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Old 12-19-2005, 04:28 AM   #6
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sadly pepper mint doesn't eat majano at all, they only go after aptasia.
all crabs are protentialy dangerouse,however size does matter, if its so small and u not going to have any slow fish such as dragonet, u should be fine.
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Old 12-20-2005, 03:28 PM   #7
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To use the boiling water method for aiptasia, can I just boil water in a kitchen pan? Would that lead to contamination with soap?
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Old 12-20-2005, 03:35 PM   #8
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To use the boiling water method for aiptasia, can I just boil water in a kitchen pan? Would that lead to contamination with soap?
Yes just boil the water in a kitchen pan. The water does not have to be "boiling" when you bast with it. Just make sure it was boiling and is really hot. Soap will not be a issue as long as you wash the pan out good.
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Old 12-21-2005, 12:40 AM   #9
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For the small quantity of water you use, and the fact that the pan should be well rinsed, I'd not be concerned with this.
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Old 12-27-2005, 07:51 PM   #10
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Hi,

I had much succes using peppermints (2) for ridding the aiptasia. Unfortunately it's always give-and-take with aquariums. The peppermints I have are very aggressive towards anything that's "under the weather" or stressed. They got my green carpet anemone, blue linkia, and I just caught them yesterday on my cucumber.
Another good reason for a QT, which I STILL don't have! In this case, the sump is sufficing.

If you are successful with the hot water, I suggest holding off on the peppermints.
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