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Reeftank Log 02/2000

February 18, 2000

I was finally put some digital video of pulsing Xenia up on the Web site. I still have to learn how to better integrate digital video files into Fusion. It appears there's an easy way to place a digital video and controls on a Web page so that when someone wishes to view a video, another page won't be opened when they wish to view a video file. Until the pipes get larger, I think I'm going to limit the video window size to 160x120. 320x240 looks nice, but unless one has a fast connection, video files soon grow to large for an impatient viewer to download quickly. Checking the Web server logs to see how popular each file is will give me an idea of what I should do.

Last weekend, I dropped by Peter C's house to exchange some items and to take a look at his tanks. Peter has a wonderful 100-gallon freshwater tank with two large discus in it. He knows how to lay out a beautiful planted tank with Vallisneria, Pygmy chain swords and Rotala. He had a very interesting looking catfish that was very thin. I miss the thick growth of Vallisneria I had in my tank in SLC. It was a 20-gallon long so it was a bit short for the long leaves of a Vallisneria plant. Right now, the Cryptocoryne root growth is so thick in my 29-gallon tank that it's hard for a new plant to penetrate the substrate.

Peter also had a 20-gallon tank with a Rubbermaid sump. He's been having problems with a thick, fibrous red algae growing all over the rocks and substrate of his tank. Other than the algae, his tank is doing great. He has multiple species of Xenia pulsing and spreading all over the rocks. His SPS corals are growing well. The only disappointment is the Tridacna derasa that hasn't grown too well. Thinking about his setup again, I think Peter should purchase a CPR SR-2 for his sump since it looked like he had a very small skimmer. I think the SR2 would do a much better job removing waste and also disperse more CO2, making less available for his nuisance algae. In the meantime, I suggested that he should cut his main tank photoperiod to 4.5 hours a day and keep the light over his sump running at 8-10 hours a day.

I brought over some Caulerpa racemosa and Gracilaria for his sump. Hopefully, the two macroalgae species will out compete whatever's growing in his main tank. Peter was gracious enough to provide me a Green Slimer SPS frag and with another Xenia species. I found out why they call it Green "Slimer" when I superglued the frag to a piece of live rock in my 50-gallon tank. Green Slimer produces copious amounts of slime. It's amazing how such a small frag can produce so much slime. I wonder if the slime is only produced when the coral is under stress or whether it produces the slime all the time. I actually had two frags of Green Slimer. The larger frag was glued correctly. I mistakenly glued the smaller frag upside down since it had no tip to give me direction toward its correct orientation. Not until I placed the light back on the top of the tank did I notice that the flutes of the coral were pointing downward. By then, both frags had been superglued to their locations. Instead of stressing the frag some more, I decided to see how the frag would do upside down. Since the frag was in a good location in respect to light and current, I hoped the frag would do okay. I theorized frags must break off and land in "imperfect" positions all the time. But if the conditions are right, new growth will occur. After a week, both Green Slimer frags appear to be doing fine.

The white feathery Xenia seems to have the fastest pulsing action of all the Xenia. It's doing great near the surface of the tank. I hope it spreads quickly to act as a visual counterpoint to the Xenia elongata. The white Xenia appears to be doing better on the far right rock. The silvertip Xenia is doing well on the left rock. The waving hand Anthelia has recovered in the 29-gallon refugium. I placed Peter's new Xenia from last week in the 20-gallon and it all its polyps have full extension.

I moved the tri-color purple tip Acropora to the right. The Xenia elongata was blocking too much of its light in its former position toward the top center of the tank.

One night, I woke up at 2:00 am. I decided to take a look with a flashlight at the 50-gallon tank and 29-gallon refugium. I didn't see any really large bristleworms, but I did see a frenzied multitude of peppermint shrimp zooming all over the substrate of the tank. I'm still trying to figure out why none of them are growing larger than 1 cm. Is something eating them?

I have a type of Caulerpa growing very well in the 50-gallon tank. I don't want so much of it, but the yellow tang won't touch it. I wonder what could naturally remove this type of algae.

March 20, 2000

A person's perception of color is quite interesting. I've always thought of the Red Mushroom corals in my tank as "red". But one time, my friend Sean was over and he said that the "orange" mushrooms were really beautiful. I said, "those mushrooms are red, not orange!" I guess one could call them orange, although I think they're a lot more red than orange. Two days ago, I was at the Patagonia Outlet's President's Day sale and I told my sister-in-law, Betty, that the Red Velocity Shell would look pretty good on her. She came over to take a look at the shell and she said, "No, it's too orange."  The velocity shell was the same color as the red mushrooms. I canīt wait until people start getting infra-red or uv wavelength implants for their eyes. How will a reeftank look to these people?

The colors of a coral can be so different depending on the lighting over a tank. I have a lot of lighting toward the blue end of the spectrum on the 50-gallon tank. One's eyes adjust to the blue, but the heavy blue lighting quickly becomes apparent in video and pictures of the tank. White Xenia has a blue tint in the recent digital video I took of the specimens. And corals will also change color depending on the wavelength and intensity of the lighting. The green star polyps underneath a 55-watt 6700K and a 55-watt 7100K have a bright green tint. Under only a 55-watt 6700K, the green star polyps lose their bright green intensity. A 7100K also brings out the fluorescence in a coral that a 6700K can't.

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