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Old 05-17-2012, 12:47 PM   #31
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Something to keep in mind is that if your live rock was kept wet during your trip home then you likely won't have much of a cycle. I used all live rock in my 55g and let it sit for 2 weeks before testing and everything was 0. I had 2 clowns in the tank from day one so there was an ammonia source. My rock came straight out of a display tank It's been 2 months now and ammo is 0 nitrites 0 nitrates 0. This doesn't mean you won't have a cycle but if your dosing ammonia and it is going down without seeing an increase in trites and trates then it is processing properly and you should be ok to start slowly adding livestock. Start with snails and if you want crabs.
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:18 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdpuffer View Post
Something to keep in mind is that if your live rock was kept wet during your trip home then you likely won't have much of a cycle. I used all live rock in my 55g and let it sit for 2 weeks before testing and everything was 0. I had 2 clowns in the tank from day one so there was an ammonia source. My rock came straight out of a display tank It's been 2 months now and ammo is 0 nitrites 0 nitrates 0. This doesn't mean you won't have a cycle but if your dosing ammonia and it is going down without seeing an increase in trites and trates then it is processing properly and you should be ok to start slowly adding livestock. Start with snails and if you want crabs.
The live rock came out of the tank at the store, went into a foam containers, we drove home which was 15 minutes away, we took the rock upstairs, and I put it straight into the tank without doing any arranging. The aquascaping came later... so the rock was still obviously wet when I put it into the tank at home.

I spoke to the expert at the LFS today, and he said if the levels continue to be low, I'm safe to add in the first of the cleaning crew on Saturday... The bloom continues to grow, and by Saturday there should be lots of food for the new occupants. He suggested that I start with 3 smaller turbo snails and 5 hermit crabs and then work my way up from there.
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Old 05-19-2012, 06:26 PM   #33
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Well, a fresh update. I added the first of the cleaning crew today. A modest amount, but they started in on munching on stuff right away. They look very happy the buffet.

In all I got 3 smaller turbo snails, 5 blue-legged hermit crabs, and one Halloween hermit crab. The latter is probably bigger than all 5 of the other hermits combined.

Some pictures:

Getting ready:


Once they were into the tank, they all started exploring and eating as they went. I'm not sure how many more of these guys I should get. Either way, I'm expecting at least 2 weeks before getting any more inverts.

More pics:






Glad to see them in the tank
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:51 AM   #34
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You float acclimate? Most people use the drip acclimation.
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:37 AM   #35
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For these guys, float acclimate was fine since they are pretty hardy. When I do shrimp, or other inverts that are more sensitive to changes in salinity, I may end up doing drip. I try to make sure my salinity matches the tanks from the LFS. There's a conflict of sorts though, in that I've also been told to never include water from someone else's tank when bringing new fish. so how does one drip acclimate without including water from the livestock bag?

So far these guys have been doing a great job, but I am curious as to how many more of them I might need, and how many would be too many.
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:57 AM   #36
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Okay... a short update and some new pictures. Yesterday I noticed a small aiptasia on the backside of one of the rocks... not really in a reachable position. We decided to get a single Peppermint Shrimp and a few more blue-legged hermits. Not surprisingly, the Peppermint Shrimp, which my daughter has nicknamed "Pepperme" has started exploring all the hiding places in the aquarium first.

On the other hand, I've started noticing other hitchhikers in the aquarium, which is quite exciting... but as always, it's a "Oh! That's new... I wonder if it's good or bad." There's a number of things, but the two I was able to take pictures of was the anemone that I had first found when we rearranged the live rock into its current configuration.

Here's a pic of it, but you're going to have to look carefully. It's smack in the middle of the pic, and it's essentially nestled into a hole, with just the edges of its tentacles sticking out. The tentacles are too short and wrong colour for aiptasia, but I'm not sure what kind this one is:


The second picture shows a number of tiny white polyps on the upper part of our top piece of live rock. They're really small, and I'm not sure if this is eeensy aiptasia growing, or if these are polyps from a surviving piece of coral. Any guesses?


I've also noticed some feather-like bits sticking out in silhouette in various nooks and crannies in the rock... at least two species of starfish of some sort... plus these long white tentacles that periodically extend from various tubes in the rock.

Looks like we got lots of hitchhikers... Still don't know if that's a good or bad thing!
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:34 PM   #37
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Sorry for the bump, but a bit of an update. Looks like the smaller polyps may be a resurgent White Star Polyp Coral (Yay?), and the other is a benign Anemone (forget the name).

Our Halloween Hermit Crab traded in its shell for a bigger one this morning, but I am concerned that the shell is both too big and too heavy. "Jack" (as my daughter calls it) has been literally dragging this shell around instead of balancing the shell on his back. I nabbed another (lighter) cone type shell and put it in the tank just in case Jack gets tired of lugging this thing around. It's comical to watch, but I worry that he might hurt himself or get stuck with the weight.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:39 PM   #38
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I had my smallest hermit take the biggest empty shell ha after a few days dragging he was confronted by the largest hermit and they traded shells
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:23 PM   #39
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Well... "Jack" seems to have adapted to his new shell, although curiously enough once on the sand, he drags it around... there's even a small trench showing where he's been.

The little guys do seem to be keeping the algae largely under contol, although there are a few places where it's getting a bit long. If anything it's collecting more on the sand now than on the rocks...

Also, we've ended up with another new anemone that crawled out of the rock... good size too. I'll snap a picture of it and post it in the identification forum when I get a moment.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:21 PM   #40
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A few more pics to share. Things are starting to mature nicely:

First a shot of the three anemones in our tank, all posing in the same frame. Two are at the bottom and one is at the top:


A couple of what may be pest starfish. I'm not sure of the type, but if you can help me that'd be great:


Our Halloween Hermit Crab "Jack" along with some proof that the reason he was hiding for a few days was because he was moulting:


Our new Cleaner Shrimp:


And then our two new Emerald Crabs:




All told things are going well. I even saw one of the baby brittle stars crawling quickly about the rock, although it looked as if it had a run in having only 2 1/2 arms... but that didn't seem to slow it down.

As of now our tank population looks like this:
Purchased Livestock:
15 Red Tipped Hermit Crabs
1 Halloween (Orange Striped) Hermit Crab
7 Trochus Snails
1 Peppermint Shrimp
1 Pacific Cleaner Shrimp
2 Emerald Crabs

In addition to this, we have those tiny starfish, the tiny brittle stars, 3 rock flower(?) anemones, several tube worms with a pair of long thin strands they extend into the water... plus at least two coral species that are very very tiny at the moment, but starting to take hold.
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