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Friday, December 29, 2000

The yellow tang's stomache was full when I came home last night. It looks like he's finally eating the Tang's Delight.
posted 9:31 AM

Thursday, December 28, 2000

I have to apologize to all those reefkeepers who've been emailing me that I've been neglecting to reply to in a timely manner. I appreciate that they think that I can be of help with their questions or problems. I'll try to catch up with all the messages.

I finally changed the water in my 20-gallon tank after months of neglect. Thank God the the tank is stable so I had no major algae problems. I have a feeling the green star polyps in the tank were sucking up any excess nutrients. I plan on adding a large refugium/sump made out of a Rubbermaid container to this tank system and getting rid of the BakPak II skimmer. I'm interested to see what type of conditions will result from a skimmerless system.

The white polyps in the 50-gallon tank are definitely Xenia since they're pulsing. I'll have to wait a little bit to see where they came from They are all over the tank and growing quickly... I'll have to do a water change with this system this weekend. Like the 20-gallon, there hasn't been any water change for months. Yet, things appear to be flourishing in the tank. I am down to only two green chromis now, but I'm not sure whether I want to replace them with anything. I was thinking of buying four more green chromis to create a small school. The chemical warfare going on in the tank is very interesting. Soft corals, coralline algae and encrusting corals are turning white and dying where the stinging chemicals from hard corals are touching them. I can't wait to see what happens when the SPS corals start touching each other.

I used a drill and jigsaw to cut holes into the tops of the Rubbermaid and Sterilite containers I'm using to create refugiums. I made my first holesaw cut into a Rubbermaid container for a bulkhead, and it was interesting to see the nice round hole that a holesaw makes. I hope I'm as successful cutting into acrylic. I should be receiving the 13-watt kits from AH Supply later on this week that I'll use to light the refugiums.

Received my shipment of Tangs Delight from Stockly's Aquarium of Hawaii at www.ecosaqua.com, and both the Tang's Delight and the small shrimp included were still in good shape. The yellow tang in the 50-gallon tank still hasn't really taken to the Tang's Delight. I wonder if it's different from the Tang's Heaven from IPSF. I just remember how the yellow tang would munch on the Tang's Heaven until its stomach was full.
posted 1:10 PM

Thursday, December 21, 2000

I should be thinking about my two-month old daughter, Ally. I should be thinking about work. I should be out bicycling or running. I definitely shouldn't be thinking about CounterStrike. But all I can think of right now is how to set up refugiums for my tanks at home and my tank at work. All the tanks I have are doing pretty well, but adding an exterior refugium to all of them would free up display space in the tanks. It's funny how I set up my main 29-gallon and 50-gallon tanks to share the same sump. The idea was to use the 29-gallon as a refugium. The problem is that there's now large Entamacea quadricolor and maroon clown, a rock with a colony of monstrous Xenia, and a Cellpore rock with a lot of sawblade Caulerpa on it. I hope to set up a plastic refugium underneath the 29-gallon that will hold the Cellpore rock and the sawblade Caulerpa so that I can get a better view of the anemone. Right now the anemone is pretty huge, and I think it should split again in the next 6 months. I've put screens around the powerheads so that a wandering budded anemone won't get sucked up by a powerhead again. In order to make the plastic refugium, I'm going to use a Sterilite box. Right now, I'm debating on whether to use the overflow from the 29-gallon tank to supply water to the refugium or to use a pump from the sump to the refugium.

Both my 20-gallon tank at home and propagation tank at work don't seem to have as optimal conditions as the 50+29-gallon setup, and I think the answer may be to add a refugium to both setups. I think it also hasn't helped that I haven't changed the water in all my tanks for months! I have a CPR CITR in both the 20-gallon and the propagation tank at the moment, but I only see them as interim measures until I can set up larger refugiums for both tanks. One thing I definitely want to do is to drill holes in both tanks as outlets to sumps. The Lifereef overflow works great in the propagation tank, but it takes up a lot of space and a bulkhead installation would take up a lot less space. Wow, I just thought of using the present one inch overflow in the propagation tank as the feed or outlet for a refugium! I could then drill another hole for the sump. There's so little room in the 20-gallon tank that it would just be nice to have a bulkhead inlet in the back of that tank and direct it to a sump/refugium underneath the tank. I feel sorry for this tank since I don't look at it that much. I occasionally glance at it, but I really focus on my 50+29-gallon setup at home. Contrast this with when I first set up my 20-gallon tank and I would look at it for hours.

There's some small white polyps growing all over my 50-gallon tank. I don't think they're Xenia, but they do look like Xenia polyps. I'll have to get a closeup picture soon. Speaking of closeup pictures, I'm amazed at the quality of the pictures that the Nikon Coolpix 990 can take without any additional lenses. This is quite an amazing digital camera that I'll probably be acquiring sometime next year. Oh wait, I'm supposed to be saving money for the new kid and a house ;-)
posted 4:44 PM

Monday, December 18, 2000

I saw the bristleworm eating food yesterday. It has the strangest looking mouth which is a vertical, instead of a horizontal, slit. Children may be reading this site, so all I'm going to say is that the mouth looks like a part of a human female's anatomy - very disconcerting. I'll try to get video as soon as possible. Biggest bonus for me in the last year is the discovery of the Lifereef overflows. These overflows are FAILSAFE!!! I've had my old CPR overflows fail too many times when the small hole that you connect an airline to that sucks out excess air gets clogged up and the overflow breaks siphon. Thank god I've never lost anything due to overflow failure. I regret not posting much over the past six months, but I was mountain bike coach for Stanford University this fall, and my first child, Ally, was born October 16th. The tanks I maintain have been doing great though. It's shocking to see how small some of my specimens were a year ago. The white pulsing Xenia that were only the size of a silver dollar are now about 8 inches tall with a 5 inch head. I don't know where to put those babies! It's very interesting to see which one of my sps corals have grown a lot and which ones haven't grown much at all.
posted 9:12 AM

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