My First Battle Box!

True to form, it has been a while since I came to the site to provide an update. There’s a lot I probably should talk about, but I don’t have pictures of too much and what good is a post without pictures!?

One cool update is that I got my very first Battle Box from Battle Corals. Adam (the owner of Battle Corals, not me Adam) is a super nice guy. I let him know that I wanted all branching corals, nothing encrusting, and not much green. We emailed back and forth a couple of times and I decided to place an order for the $300 Battle Box. That is supposed to come with 6-8 corals. Mine came with 10!

I was totally blown away by what I got. Take a look: (crappy cell pic)

Insane combo, right?! These corals have all since moved up to the rockwork and every single one has already shown significant encrusting. I’ll post up an update on each coral when I can get some pictures of them. Maybe today!

Back from the dead…

With the 50g Cube finally back up and running I was able to break down my two holding tanks. One was for my fish and the other was for my corals and inverts. This was a good window to finish quarantining the inverts and corals, but man the corals did not do well in holding. Only one actually died, but all of them receded back pretty severely. I’m not 100% on why since the water quality should have been great considering it was all new water to begin with. I suspect having zero nutrients was part of the problem.  I did add some food to the tank each day to give it something, but nothing really helped. It was just a matter of time before either the new tank was ready and the corals could move in or they would all die. Thankfully it was the former and not the latter.

I should have taken some pictures on day 1 when they first went into the tank, but honestly I thought they were going to just fade away so I didn’t bother. To my surprise they started looking a lot better the very next day. The “before” pictures are from 6 days after going in.

Before – Zoanthids on Day 6

You can see the zoanthids (bam bams to be specific) in this image are clearly unhappy, but they’re opening up. When they first went in, they were barely opening at all. You could just see a hint of orange.  And now here they are today, just 4 days after the last picture. Yes, there is some algae but it will die back. The polyps are starting to look right again! They’ve got lashes again and they’re wide open.

After – Zoanthids on Day 10

Same thing goes with these acans. These were shrunken down to mostly just exposed skeleton and a bit of tissue in the middle of each section. This coral came back from looking entirely dead once before so I had hopes it would recover. The rate at which it has recovered has been awesome! Again, here we are with the day 6 “before” picture.

Before – Acans on Day 6

Already most of the polyps are back out and they have their feeding tentacles out. Wonderful! Then just another 4 days later…

After- Acans on Day 10

They’re all totally full and starting to jockey for space.

Needless to say, I’m really happy to see things coming around. Unfortunately it isn’t all good news. There are some things that I would rather have seen die but somehow they’ve survived… Texas. Trash. Palys. These things just won’t die!

Texas Trash Palys Back will Survive the Apocalypse

Can you see those son’s of b’s back there!? They were in an unheated tub of low salinity water in the dark for 4 months. HOW DID THEY SURVIVE!? I pulled the rock and saw these remnants and thought to myself, “Nah… they’re dead. There’s no way they lived through that…” I WAS SO WRONG! I think I’m going to pull this rock out before they have a chance to take hold. They’re damn near impossible to eradicate otherwise.

All in all this is great news. My tank is back up and running and corals are growing. Not much more than that to ask for 🙂

My first SPS…

I’ve always been a LPS/zoanthid kinda reefer.  I’ve had the odd SPS here or there in old tanks, but they were usually the first to get clobbered by my algae issues.  I was also pretty intimidated by them.  Listening to the horror stories about calcium reactors freaking out and rapid tissue necrosis was enough to keep me sidelined with them.  Aside from the fact that they can be craaaazy expensive.

Now that my 50g has been up for about 18 months I think it is fairly stable at this point and decided to try adding an SPS to the tank.  There’s an area right under my Kessil A360WE that is too intense for any zoas that I know of.  I figured it might be a good spot to try a small SPS garden (is that a thing?).  A member of my local club gave me a great deal on a Red Planet acropora frag.

I added it to the tank on January 23, 2017.  The polyps immediately came out and it looked pretty happy to me.  I think it needs to color up a bit more, but it already has a nice deep red to it.

Red Planet Acropora added on 1/23/17

I shot a video of the polyps while I was messing around with my 90mm lens.  I thought it was kinda fun looking so I uploaded it to YouTube.

If it makes it, I’ll put up another post later showing the growth progression.  Wish me luck!

Weird/New Way to Frag Zoas and Palys

I think we are all familiar with the standard way to frag zoas and palys.  You cut them off a rock or cut a frag plug and glue them on another.  Pretty simple, right?  I usually wind up whacking a few polyps in the process and as a result I’ve tended to just go with “natural frags” by putting a piece of rubble next to a colony and waiting until it grows onto it.  I came across a really cool thread on Reef2Reef.com where “GoFish” talks about a new and quite possibly brilliant approach.  Just cut the top of the polyp off an glue it to a plug and you wind up with two polyps…. How could that work!?

Continue reading “Weird/New Way to Frag Zoas and Palys”

Macro Shots!

I bought myself a Tamron 90mm macro lens on a whim and I love it!  It takes pictures that are amazingly better than my kit lens.  Here are a few I took recently.  I’m still getting used to taking pictures with it, but I’m slowly getting better!  I’ll try and put a post together with details about how to set your DSLR to get great results.

Continue reading “Macro Shots!”