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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
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445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Blog Created for XeniaGirl
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
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445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
up and running!

This being my first post, I wanted to list a few things that happened to get this tank up and running, because it's been an adventure already!

TANK: 12 gallon NanoCube
FILTRATION COMPONENTS: Purigen protein skimmer bag, carbon net bag, ceramic rings
INHABITANTS FOR START-UP: 1 piece live rock, 1.5 inch deep live sand, approx 1 lb. holy rock/dead coral rock (boiled)

This was my Christmas present and my boyfriend Isaac and I started it up last night. We added the live rock, 1/2 tank full of homemade RO saltwater from my mom, then decided we wanted more live sand so we created an unwanted instant cloud (whoops). We added all the rocks and turned the pump on. Took us a minute to figure out where we wanted the Purigen bag and then we turned on the lunars and let it settle overnight.
Today I've had the full lights on all day and the temp is about 79F. It was in the 60s yesterday and I wanted it closer to "actual" temperature since I can see we have an anemone (stowaway on the live rock) and some pods in here, don't want them to freeze!
We're going to let the tank sit for a few more days, running the lights as normal (lunars always on, keeping the main lights on when it's light outside). On Saturday afternoon we're going to get some xenia and frogspawn bunches from my parents and probably a few red-foot crabs or something simple.
I can't wait to see this develop!
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
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445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
finally - here are pics of the initial setup! If you look closely you can see a brownish-red weed anemone in the middle of the tank - the dark rock in the center is my starter piece of live rock.
More to come soon!
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
·
445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can already tell that I'm going to post on here ALL the TIME...
I took out the bioballs and ceramic rings today which created a minor mess and some pretty significant cloudiness in the tank. Thank goodness I decided to do this before I got fish or anything else in there! Anyway I also rinsed out both sponges and the tank is already looking clearer. One less thing to worry about...
hopefully I'll get a few crabs and some beloved xenia tomorrow!!! <3 <3 <3
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
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445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok FIRST LFS PURCHASE, yay!

*2 yellow-tail damsels
*2 small snails
*1 emerald crab (don't ask, the boyfriend wanted one)
*5 teeny reef hermit crabs (don't know what kind, black legs w/ white stripes, less than 1/2 inch long)

Also got frozen brine shrimp for the damsels and a few pieces of holey rock and dead coral. I got a decent-size piece of live rock from my parents that's COVERED in xenia - hope some of it decides to survive!
I'm dripping all the new guys right now, will take pics once I release them. I'm so excited!
Also tested the salinity and it was a bit high so I took out some water and added a bit of no-salt RO water, should do the trick.
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
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445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
pics from the "first cycle kamikazees"... I tried to get a shot of some of the crabs so that hopefully someone can ID them but I think they're camera-shy.
One of my yellowtail damsels is more purple than blue, he's really pretty but is already being a PitA, thinking that he can bully the other one. He might be taking a one-way trip here pretty soon to the Land of Store Credit.
The xenia is acting really finicky - it'll be out and blossoming for a while and then something will set it off and all of it will retract. But as you can see I have a TON of it! I love it--- my beloved xenia.:thumbup:
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
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445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
well... things didn't go exactly according to plan. The two damsels fought like crazy so yesterday Isaac and I bagged them up (redoing the rock formations in the process) and took them back. We got a beautiful fat Allen's Damsel and a bicolor blenny, named Petey and Mr. B respectively. They seem to be doing fine. Everyone seems to be eating well, especially Gimpy the Red Emerald Crab. My boyfriend and I sat and watched the tank and its inhabitants for over an hour last night.
The water is still doing just fine, too, thank goodness!
I'll submit pictures later today, when Petey decides to be blue instead of gray.
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
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445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
as promised, here is the pic of the newly-updated NC... Petey the Allen's damsel was camera-shy and decided not to make an appearance, but if you look closely you can see the head of Mr. B the bicolor blenny poking out.
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
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445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here is the most recent update...
I got a peppermint shrimp to take care of the aptasia and to help curb the detritus in the tank. I did my full-scale water test (nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, and pH) and everything was right in the "normal" range, so that was a big relief. :)
I'm getting my first big wave of green algae - apparently it's just part of the cycling of the tank, but man it's driving me crazy! I literally scrub the inside glass at least three times a day, it's gross! But I guess as long as it's normal, I'll handle it. :)
Oh - and the xenia is lovin' it in there!
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
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445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I know I haven't updated in a little while but life has been "interesting" since my last post... amongst other things, my computer crashed and deleted all my data files so I've been restoring it gradually...
The peppermint shrimp is doing ok but hasn't really done much regarding the aiptasia situation. I haven't quite figured out why... maybe he's getting enough other stuff to eat? Not sure yet but hopefully I'll find out!
The xenia is growing like CRAZY... I think within the next month I'll have to take some bunches of it in to the local fish store for some credit.
All the other inhabitants are doing fine - a few reef hermits have moved into bigger shells which is really cute. Some of them aren't quite used to the new shell and have parking/manuevering issues, it's hilarious! The fish are fine - quite fat, but fine.
The green algae epidemic has finally subsided, although some of it remains on the rocks. I guess this is the calm before the next storm...
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
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445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
yes... I'm posting again on the same day... but with good reason!
I just got back from the LFS and I ended up buying a few things. :) Such as...
-fuzzy urchin
-tiny bubble anemone
-3 more baby reef hermits (about 1/4 size of a dime)
-small piece of rock with a green mushroom, 3 yellow polyps and 2 button polyps

I checked with all the employees and they said that I should be good to go. My two concerns are...
1. I don't want the anemone or the urchin to sting anything like my fish and kill them
2. I want to make sure that no one starves, but at the same time that I don't overfeed anything

So for now I'm going to feed very conservatively and take it from there just by watching. I'll post pics here in a few hours after I'm done dripping the new guys.
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
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445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This is a pic I just took a minute ago... as you can see the xenia is going insane. The new bubble anemone is on the right, the urchin is front and center, and the coral rock is in the center on the bottom.
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
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445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No pics for now, but a brief update - my ammonia and nitrites are still not quite at zero, I don't think :( About to do a water test here in a minute... we did get one more buddy for the tank. Nigel the Sandsifting Starfish, and he's doing a great job! We modified the setup of the rocks slightly so that he can go on the sand all the way around the perimeter of the tank. I just hope that he keeps the level of waste down, since it's looked worse lately.
All of my polyps from that small piece of coral rock have finally opened up :D I feel like a new mommy. Isaac and I split up the rock into 3 pieces - 2 large pieces and one tiny fragment with just 2 polyps on it. The reason is that I kept seeing a purple bristleworm-looking thing sticking out from the middle of the rock, under the polyps, but it never left the rock. Turns out that we had THREE baby brittle stars who had hitchhiked from the LFS! So Isaac and I rescued them and let them out in the tank. I have heard that they can be destructive later on so we're going to keep an eye on them. Still... it was cool.
I'll post here in a little while with the results from my water test.:wavey:
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
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445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
whoops - sorry for not adding pictures the other day, I got sidetracked!
The tank is looking great - we thought that we lost our big green leather mushroom but he's still around. The xenia is starting to show up all over the tank so it looks like it's about time to get some out and taken to the LFS.
The ammonia isn't quite at 0 but the nitrite is, which is good. pH and nitrate still look ok too - yay!
I know that I'll probably end up going to the LFS tomorrow to look around and maybe get some more corals - the anemone is the only thing that looks unhappy right now, he's on the run a lot and isn't big and full like he was when we bought him. :(
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
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445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well the saga continues with my 12g NC... a few days ago I was at the high school where I work, and was about to start performing in a musical (I'm a band director and was playing in the orchestra) and my boyfriend was at home. He called me to say that our bulb went out in our tank but that he thought it was the lid itself... so... I was texting him back and forth and he was calling my parents (who bought the tank for me online for Christmas) to see if it was under warranty, what we should do, etc. After about 3 hours and 2 trips to the LFS by my boyfriend, we established that it indeed was just a burnt-out bulb. Thank goodness! So no lid replacements quite yet...

...

<tt><tt>Our tank is doing great, you should really get a "fighting conch" -he is by
far the best sand sifter we have and he's cool! He buries himself but
he moves really fast, and when he's under the sand all you see are his
big eyes, he's neat. He tried to swordfight our urchin this morning -
I guess Lurch the Urchin was going to try and pick him up thinking he was
an empty shell (Lurch holds shells on his back, I guess for protection
like armor) and Rocky the Fighter started trying to jab him with his
barb! It was really cool.
We have a stowaway anemone on one of the new pieces of rock - he's
white with a light green outer circle and he's neat! We're also
starting to get purple algae on the thermometer and the pump, yay!
Nigel the Starfish and the other crabs are doing well too, we thought
that we had lost our green mushroom but he's grabbed onto a shell
and is doing fine. Baby xenia and baby polyps have sprung up in
a few places which is also cool! All is going well!
</tt></tt></pre>
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
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445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Not so good lately... lots has happened but here's the basics...
I got 2 false perculas who were diseased, one died and I took the other back for store credit. I ended up getting two smaller false perculas from a different batch who were AWESOME. It was apparent almost immediately who would be the female (larger), they were eating, life was great.
But then...
Mr. B, my bicolor blenny, got a huge gash by his left eye and two days later he died. He had changed colors to that "Oh I just woke up" white and his breathing was incredibly fast. I cried my eyes out since I knew he was suffering and was probably terrified and yet I couldn't bring myself to just flush him while he was still alive... I guess that I had hope he'd come through.
About the same time, my huge purple-tip anemone was doing lots better - he had finally attached, was nice and fat, etc. He got a gash in the side of him or something, and he basically turned himself inside out and died. That was a nasty mess to clean up... and STINKY. So that sucked - but I learned around the same time, that he's a condy anemone, so he probably would have never hosted my clownies anyway. :( Bummer.
After Mr. B died, the tank was ok for a few days *meanwhile all this time, all the inverts and all corals are doing AWESOME, water specs are fine* ...The female clown had gotten in a love affair with one of our fighting conches and was literally following it everywhere. But then one morning I woke up and the male (smaller) clownfish was being eaten by inverts, he had died in the night. I snatched his body up to look it over - no gashes, no disease, just like... "ok he's dead but I have no idea why." Here's the really trippy part - the female clown was nowhere to be found. I even looked on the ground to see if she had managed to jump... no luck. No body, no pieces, no nothing.
NOW my sandsifting starfish is looking awful - 4 or his 5 arms are chewed off about 50% and he just looks like he's in a lot of pain. I feel really bad- I topped off with some fresh RO water about an hour ago, hoping that it's just the salinity (I NEED TO GET A REFRACTOMETER).
So... since my last post here I've lost all 3 of my fish and I may lose my starfish. :( I feel like such a murderer! I don't know what killed the fish still, but I sat up for about an hour late last night with a flashlight hoping to see a mantis shrimp (so that then I would at least KNOW what it was). I SWEAR I saw one, but only once. So who knows.
We'll be moving either in April or May so I'm probably not going to add anything between now and then. Still having to frag the xenia since it's growing like crazy. Everything else in the tank is fine - mushrooms are exploding, yellow polyps look LOTS better, button polyps are opening more but still retarded, and we're seeing lots of little things everywhere - from baby featherdusters to copepods out the ***. So that's good.
I just can't get over the losses of my fish. :(
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
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445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I wanted to update with a few more goings-on as well as a grocery list of what and who is currently in my tank, so I can keep track of frags, etc.

I bought a new, better hydrometer yesterday (on store credit from my xenia frags so it was free, yay!) which has been tested with a refractometer and is very accurate. I did a few tests this morning and this is what I have:
-Temp: high 70s (cold front last night) but will go up to 80 or 81
-salinity: 1.0235, perfect!
-pH: between 7.8 and 8.0... I think 8.0 but not quite sure


I'm trying to figure out how to raise the pH a bit, and after feeding them here in a minute I'll test ammonia/nitrate/nitrite later tonight.

Here's what I got:
-2 fighting conches
-1 emerald crab
-1 peppermint shrimp, who's a useless bum
-1 sandsifter starfish (but not for long, I fear)
-somewhere between 5-10 reef hermits
-3 snails
-small bubble anemone

CORALS:
-xenia
-yellow polyps
-mushrooms (3 red, 1 green)
-button polyps
-what looks to be the start of either clove polyp or something similar
-various baby featherdusters
-star polyps (we had frags a month ago or so but they fell off and I'm assuming are in the cave)
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
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445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well we're moved into the house! yay!
Yesterday the LFS, Dallas North Aquarium, had a 50% off all livestock sale. Isaac and I went there for our anniversary and we got a tiny 1" scooter blenny ("Skeeter") and a GORGEOUS 3" maroon clown ("Bachi"). We dripped them for about 35 minutes last night and I just fed them some mysis a minute ago. Everything looks good!
We've re-arranged the rocks since we moved a week ago - looks like our red mushrooms are reproducing, we found about 3 small ones that we didn't know we had!
The move SUCKED - we took out as much water as possible and bagged up most of the rocks. We kept the peppermint shrimp and a few crabs in the tank too, and set it up with new water as soon as we got to the house. Everything was unplugged/bagged for just over an hour.
Throughout the process, we lost one of our two fighting conches which sucks, they're the best sandsifters EVER. I think we also lost a hermit or two but it's hard to tell, since I honestly don't know how many we had when we moved the tank. Other than that, we did GREAT! All the corals are doing fine and are growing - yippee!
My plans in the next few months are to set up a "frag" tank - just a basic 10 gallon tank to put frags in, with small pieces of rock for them to attach to. This tank will also serve as a back-up if a fish needs to be quarantined due to illness, bullying, etc.
Hopefully everything will keep thriving like it is now!
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
·
445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
aaah! So much has happened lately! School's out for the year, Isaac and I are engaged, and life is as busy as ever. :)
On May 27, we took in $15 worth of xenia (which is gradually becoming my NOT favorite) and got the following for our nano:

-1 banded goby sandsifter
-6 tiny reef hermits
-2 astrea snails
-1 baby emerald crab

We also got 5 gallons each of topoff/RO, and salt water.
We had our water tested that day too - everything was good except the pH was a little low so we bought some buffer. I've had issues lately with the pH being unsteady - a week ago it was too high! Hopefully this will even it all out.
For the last month or so, my corals/polyps have looked burned - they're not opening at all, especially the yellow polyps and the zoas. The last few days they look better - we did a big water change about a week ago and will do another one tomorrow, probably. We also rinsed out the sponges in the filter - I HAVE to get better about remembering to do that. But the polyps already look better, esp the zoas - they're opening up so I can see their pretty faces. :) Our yellow polyps have always been finicky so hopefully they'll look better soon too.
The maroon clown and the scooter blenny are both doing beautifully. :) One of our red mushrooms has split off - that was interesting to watch, and both of them look fine.
We're starting to get some red/brown algae all over the place. It looks somewhat like hairy algae because it's kind of stringy, but it's not slimy and it doesn't stink. If the pH buffer doesn't help I may have to do something about that.
We also still have Gimpy the Pink Emerald Crab and Jacques the Peppermint Shrimp. One of our fighting conches is alive but we lost one a while back, I think during the move to the house but I can't remember.
I WILL get better about updating on this thing! :)
 

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life is BeAuTiFuL! <3
New 16g BioCube Gen 3, April 2021... back at the habit!
Joined
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445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just wanted to post on here before I forget...

Everything is doing fine in the tank... our bubble anemone is visible but not by much, and the yellow polyps still look rather pissed, but the fish and invertebrates are doing great! The mushrooms are all splitting and reproducing too which is neat.
Today I went at the tank with a razor blade, a bowl, a few towels, and a turkey baster. I scraped a lot of the crylline (or whatever you call it... the purple) algae on the glass and sucked out a lot of the xenia frags that have been collecting everywhere. I also took out all the empty snail-or-crab shells that I could find and boiled them. In removing some of the water with the xenia, Isaac checked the salinity and added a bit of salt water.
I will do a water change in the next few days but everything is looking good!
 
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