PS its been over 15 years since I've kept a marine aquarium so I've forgotten just about everything..lol Well Here we go!!!
Start Date: 04/16/10
Tank: 47 gal Extra Tall (AKA Column)
Dimensions: 20 in L x 18 in W x 30 in H = 46.75325 US gallons
Water Type: Salt Water FOLR - Fish Only Live Rock
Average Water Condition:
Temperature: 80 Deg F
Softening agents: N/A
Hardening agents: Coralife Marine Salt Mix, Live Sand
Lighting: (2) aquarium Fluorescent Lights in separate Hood fixtures, Natural indirect sunlight.
Fluval FX5, Stock sponge media, Bio Balls in all trays, Medium Grade floss, Polishing grade Floss, Charcoal.
Cooling: Large room fan pointed at the tanks and air conditioning in the room.
Substrate: Live Sand and LR Ditrius
Decoration: Live Rock
(3) Domino Damsel (Dascyllus trimaculatus)
(3) Blue Damselfish - (Chrysiptera cyanea)
Every other day during Cycle
Water Change Schedule: 25% Monthly
Notes: This tank is being prepped for SW FO Predator tank. In about 4 Months after it is cycled I will add (1) Red frog fish, (1) Voltans Lion Fish, and possibly an eel of some kind.
First set it up
Pic of LR and Sand.
Domino Damsel Next to Live rock
Scientific Name: Dascyllus trimaculatus
Max Size: 5½ inches
Temperature: 74 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit
Origin: Pacific and Indian Oceans
Blue Damsel among the live rock
Scientific Name: Chrysiptera cyanea
Common Name(s): Blue Damselfish, Blue Damsel, Blue Devil, Blue Devil Damselfish
Max Size: 2.5 inches (6.4cm)
Temperature: 74 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit
Origin: Indo-Pacific, Australian Pacific
04/19/10 - Added: Background, 1Lb LR, 4 LB LR ditrius
Close Up of LR and Gravel Bed.
04/21/10 - Ok well just as I had hoped the additional 1 pound of LR and 4 Pounds of Live Sand did the trick ammo appears to be cycled now...whooohooo!!!
Here is latest readings 0-.50-5.0. Nitrite seems to be climbing steady so I don't think it will be too much longer. I noticed since I repositioned the nozzles on the fx5 the damsels don't seem to like the current that much. I trimmed down the output about 25% they seemed to like it better.
Aggresive Blue Damsel BehaviorThis is a night time picture. During the day time all the fish occupy the middle to upper region of the tank and all get along fine. During nite time (when lights go out) however I have observed fish A - (Blue Damsel) Flaring and chasing any other Blue Damsel (Fish B & C) away from the bottom of the tank, and I mean the whole bottom of the tank...lol I imagine this is due to the lack of real estate as in the small foot print of the tank. I know they can be aggressive towards their own kind but I only know this from reading and I am not personally familiar with Blue Damsel behavior. I'm thinking now that the tank is cycled and I will be adding more structure to the bottom of the tank this might resolve some of the aggression but I also think I may just take the other two Blue Damsels back to the LFS and replace them with something else.
04/22/10 - Removed the Yellow tail Damsel and added 2 more Domino Damsels. This seems to have diluted the night time aggression of the one Blue Damsel.
04/23/10 - Added 8 more pounds of Cured Fiji live rock an 30 pounds of CaribSea Aragonite sand. Adjusted SG when dust settled from adding sand. Decided to Go ahead with Lionfish and Frog Fish if tank tests ok in evening.
04/24/10 - Evening test looks great!! 0-0-.25. Double Checked the water test at LFS when we went to pick up new fish. All was perfect!! Picked up A med Voltans LionFish and a smaller Orange Angler fish.
04/24/10 Tank with new LR, Sand and New LionFish and FrogFish!!
Red Voltans LionFish Making himself at home - He ate a damsel 1 hr after he got into tank!! We will see how fast he grows I may need a larger tank sooner than I thought.
Scientific Name: Pterois volitans
Common Name(s): Common Lionfish, Red Firefish, Turkeyfish, and Butterfly Cod.
Size: Up to 15 inches
Tank Set-up: Marine: Coral or rock, plants
Reef Compatible: With caution
Tank Conditions: 72-78ºF; sg 1.022-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4
Minimum Tank Capacity: 45 gallon
Swimming Level: No specific level
Care Level: Easy
Reproduction: Egg Layer
Orange FrogFish - One of his eyes doesnt look so good I will let the pet shop know just incase it doesnt clear up in a week. I hope it does clear up cause this guy is Really Awesome!!
04/25/10 - Voltans on the prowl for Damsels - WOW what a fish!!
04/25/10 - Observations and test results:
This tank cycled very quickly and I attest that to perfect water conditions, good circulation, and LR. It obviously does not take as much LR as some might believe to cycle a marine tank. In my limited experiance it depends on the bioload and the quality of LR.
Adding LR from a reliable source that is cured will not spike nitrogen if you add it in small quantities at a time.
Commercially packaged Live sand does not work!!...lol
Damsels are very hardy fish and ideal for cycling a tank.
Blue damsels are very aggressive towards thier own kind.
Yellow Tail Damsels are very docile.
Domino Damsels are awesome and by far lease aggressive towards their own and towards others.
Red Voltans Lion fish - One of the best fish I've ever owned. 1st off let me say these guys are very intelligent. The first think I look for in a predator fish is how they regard their keeper and how long it takes to regard their keeper. This guy wasted no time I think it was the second day when he first looked at me and you can see their eye scanning up and down as you get close to the tank. He was not in an aggressive stance just casually observing me and accessing me. Very impressive. He also already knows the difference between family members and visitors. Tonight we had company and when they went up to the tank he flared as they backed away he followed their movements continuing to flare then I went to tank and he assumed casual stance. I was amazed.
Another tool I use to gauge the intelligence of a pred. is their problem solving techniques. 1st off he wanted a choice corner nook of the tank, unfortunately the frog fish beat him to the spot. How did he handle this? Well I observed over the next several hours he approached the frog fish from several different angles including from above. Each time in full flare trying to bully the Frog Fish out of this spot. Of course the Frog Fish outwardly payed his antics no mind. After trying every possible angle and tactic that I could think of(including flinching to see if his adversary would jump) he gave up. He was also smart enough to not try physical aggression. Another display of his problem solving skills is in his hunting techniques, Damsels are very quick and agile. He easily picked off the first 2 he has eaten due to the element of surprise, but now that they know his agenda the other 4 are trying everything they can to avoid him. Despite their attempts I have observed the lion Fish employ 4 distinctly different tactics(details later) in trying to find the best way to catch his prey. I am really impressed with this fish.
typically I don't name fish till they have been alive for a month but I feel this guy has earned his stripes so I have named him "Mufassa" The Lion Fish...lol.
As for the Frog Fish he moves very little so far but he does move so I know he is acclimating to the new environment pretty well so far. Well Ill post more later, its time to turn in for the night.
04/26/10 - Called My LFS that we got the Frog Fish from and told them about the eye. The manager was very nice and said he would take care of me if it turns out not to heal in the next few weeks. I hope it heals I don't want to trade him out he is so ugly he is beautiful...lol
I'm now researching how to raise SW acclimated feeder mollies. If I can get them to breed they will be ideal feeder food. Economical also. Hmmm guess its time to get the FW feeder bucket going as well.
04/26/10 - Took pics of both eyes on Frog Fish.
04/26/10 - Frog Fish Bad Eye
04/26/10 - Frog Fish Good Eye.
04/28/10 - Sent pics to LFS of FrogFish eye and missing rod (illicium) with its lure (esca), don't know how we missed this till I got him home but hey you live and learn. I guess I was just so excited. They were awesome and said bring them my water and the fish and they would do an exchange. Took fish back and picked up a beautiful
Histrio histrio "Sargassum Angler",a small Snow Flake Eel and a Monster 10" Pleco for the 135 G tank. This time, I verified both the Histro & Snowflake were eating before I left the LFS with them and took inventory of all anatomy and its functionality including illicium and esca of the FrogFish..lol If everything works out OK this should be the last fish I put in this tank for hopefully a year till they grow into a larger tank. I'll have pics later when we all(the fish and myself) settle down.
04/29/10 - Ok finally have some pics of the new guys.
Hispid Anglerfish - (Antennarius hispidus) Flaring his fins to ward off the Snowflake Eel behind him.
Interestingly enough I was told this guy was Histrio Histrio. After some research I found he is actually:
Antennarius hispidus - Common names: Hispid Frogfish (Shaggy Frogfish) - Hispid Anglerfisch, Zottiger Anglerfisch. Often mistaken for Histo Histo. Im still trying to get all of his info will update as available.
05/04/10 - Hispid ID Update -
Species Name: Antennarius hispidus
Synonyms: Antennarius hispidus, Chironectes hispidus, Lophius hispidus
Common Names: Hispid Frogfish, Hispid Anglerfish (Shaggy Frogfish) - Hispid Anglerfisch, Zottiger Anglerfisch.
Family: Antennariidae (Frogfishes)
Order: Lophiiformes (Anglerfishes)
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned Fishes)
Max.Size: 20.0 cm / 7.9 inches
Temperature : 72°F - 80°F (22°C - 27°C)
Specific Gravity : 1.020 - 1.025
Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 - 12°
Origin: Atlantic, Southeast and Western Indian Ocean,
Northwest, Western Central and Eastern Central Pacific
14" Snowflake Moray Eel
Scientific Name : Echidna nebulosa
Common Names : Snowflake, Bosch's, Clouded, Floral, Starry, White and Zebra Moray Eel
Care Level : Moderate
Size : Up to 24 inches (61 cm)
Life span : 4 years or more in captivity
pH : 8.1 - 8.4
Temperature : 72°F - 80°F (22°C - 27°C)
Specific Gravity : 1.020 - 1.025
Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 - 12°
Origin / Habitat : Indo-Pacific
Temperament / Behavior : They like to hide in small caves in the live rock. They will probably get along well with larger fish but will try to eat smaller fish if the opportunity arises.
Breeding / Mating / Reproduction : Very difficult to breed
Tank Size : 75 gallon minimum with a tight fitting hood
Compatible Tank Mates : Avoid keeping them in an aquarium with small fish and crustaceans.
Reef Tank Compatible? : Not recommended for reef aquariums since they will eat most shrimps, snails, smaller fish and can be heavy water polluters.
Diet / Fish Food : Primary diet in the wild is crustaceans and fish small enough to eat. Frozen and freeze dried foods may be accepted.
Tank Region : Bottom, need plenty of hiding places.
Gender : No noticeable differences between males and females.
Well that's all for now...enjoy!!
05/01/10 - Forgot to mention on the 29th I noticed the blue Damsel was gone, I think the eel got him. We finally named all of the new fish here are their names:
Red Voltans = "Mufassa"
Hispid Frogfish = "Blue Eyes"
Snowflake Moray Eel "Rayquaza" (named after a snake like Legendary Pokemon..lol)
05/01/10 - "S2" Water Test: 0-0-0 SG: 1,022.
05/01/10 - Hey Just above is my sons first post!! He actually did the water tests himself including filling the vials. I made sure to supervise the filling of the vials though cause I want to make sure there are no accidents with Mufassa. Fed all the fish live feeders and surprisingly even Ray (Raquaza) picked off a few. Blue Eyes caught 3 on his own then I hand fed him 3 more. I think everyone is adjusting well. Time to add some base rock when I get a chance.
Blue Eyes blending into the rocks (click pic to see whole view).
05/07/10 Observations: - Had a slight ammo spike yesterday due to overfeeding. I'm still trying to get the hang of spot feeding these particular fish, and making sure everyone gets their fill. All fish are eating frozen food now except Frog Fish.
The frog Fish will only accept live or recently killed food, even going so far as to use his powerful jet to blow it away. This is an amazing fish he sits there and turns his face away from the food, then if I persist he blows at it, reminds me of trying to feed a baby...lol I question my decision to add the the snowflake eel to this tank, The benefits are: Adds color and livleyness, the kids love it, and he stirs the sand and keeps any solid waste in the water column where it is promptly sucked up by the filter, the down side is that he is a heavy bio load, he eats A LOT!! , and is very aggressive and I think his growth rate will out pace the other inhabitants.
Today 24 Hrs after spike all readings are within tolerance. I have found what I've read on nitrification in marine aquariums to be true - It does take marine BB longer to process Nitrogen compounds then it takes the same BB in FW.
*Special Note* To date I have done Zero water changes on this tank, I have only added water and/or salt as needed to account for evaporation and to maintain proper SG.
If tank isn't scraped for a week I'm Starting to notice Coral deposits and algae on the glass especially where the tank gets direct light(usually curtain is closed on side of window by tank but nice weather has altered that scenario..lol). It all comes off very quickly with the magnetic scraper, I think the key is doing it on a weekly basis. I am also amazed at the capacity of such a small quantity of LR to process Nitrates. I wish there was something natural like this for FW...lol
Water perameters, Fish: colors, Appetite, and behavior are all excellent!! I could not be more pleased with the progress of this tank, and...IT HASN'T EVEN BEEN UP FOR A FULL MONTH!! Amazing!!
05/07/10 Water tests:
SG = 1,022.
PH = 8.2
05/08/10 - Blue Eyes - Hispid Anglerfish (Antennarius hispidus) Flashing his "Esca"
**NOTE** Generally I hate and avoid altering photographs. Sorry I had to "PhotoShop" some of the background for this pic because there was some very distracting water spots there....lol
In this pic he is using his lure which is the ball on the end of the rod protruding from his head. The ball part is called an "esca", The rod is called an "illicium". The purpose is to "Lure" passing fish or crustaceans close. Making them think it is an easy meal squirming in front of a harmless rock. Then when it gets close enough He opens his mouth and gulps them down. Researchers have timed the speed with which members of this species gulps their prey and are baffled by the fact that the time it takes is actually faster than a human muscle neuron firing!!!
This is one of the few fish that can actually eat fish larger than itself. This is due to having a mouth that opens larger than his body and his stomach can expand seemingly exponentially!!
If you look real hard at the little furry looking patch just under his large fin facing you in the pic: you also get a glimpls of this fish other high tech gear. You may notice his gills are sealed at the back of his head. This is because this little guy has Jet assist..lol. That little furry looking spot is the out let for his gills!! He has one on each side of his body and he can expel water whenever he needs a boost and attain short bursts of very high speeds!!!
I would not recommend this fish to the beginner as I have learned it is hard to feed. It has to be spot fed and typically only accepts Live food. In a competitive tank like mines this presents quite a challenge as more aggressive fish will often beat him to the draw. I compensate for this by feeding the others frozen foods first then feed the live foods and since everyone else is full he has the dinner table all to himself. I think however I will work on a containment glass that I will slide into the tank on feeding time to isolate him and his meals...lol
05/09/10 - I primarily have 2 methods of feeding "Blue Eyes:
1) DIY spot feeding stick. ( If it worked well I would show you how I made it but it really crappy so I wont) It suffices to say at the end of the stick is a straw I stuff a recently dead or half dead fish inside it and wiggle it in front of him and the fish comes out and then he eats it.
2) I feed all the other fish frozen then I release the live fish and since the others are full Blue eyes has all the time he needs to eat his fill.
As of last night 05/08/10 I had a miss hap. Blue eyes went for the feeder fish (I was using method 1) and he mis calculated or who knows but anyway he bit the whole straw then proceeded to try to swallow the whole stick. I had to shake him off of it and he threw up a bit but the fish stayed down. He appeared confused but otherwise ok.. Anyway since that incident he will no longer eat from the stick.
05/09/10 - Blue Eyes wont eat from the stick I have to use method 2
05/10/10 - Ahh A little digging in some of the forums I belong to has revealed Angler Fish like ghost shrimp or the SW version which is Common Shore Shrimp (Palaemonetes vulgaris)!! I brought some DW ghost shrimp today. Filled up his tank mates on frozen food and then let the ghost shrimp free into the tank and he gobbled them up on his own. Now I just have to find an economical source or figure out how to breed them...lol I also got some assorted mollies and I will begin breeding them as feeders for marine tank. To set up the tank I used a 30 Gal Storage tote and slapped the fluval internal filter inside it and some muck from the 55 Gallon Hob Filter, and all seems to be going well in there. After feeding Blue Eyes the shrimp I put some Rosey Minnows in the tank and he would not catch most of them before they started to die. I tried the feeder stick on the almost dead ones and after 3 tries he finally accepted them. He ate 6 total some caught on his own and some from the stick. Noticed the tank is getting too much light have some brown algae on the very bottom next to the substrate. Also some in the sand and on the rocks. Cleaned it with the magnetic scraper.
05/10/10 - Water tests:
05/12/10 - Water tests:
05/12/10 - Observations
All fish ate well. Blue Eyes is back to eating from the stick with regularity now. I will keep him on it for a week with same food then start to change later on.
Rayquaza has a tremendous appetite. Wont be long before he needs a larger tank.
05/19/10 - Water tests:
*Note* Been kind of busy dealing with the 55 gallon tank emergency. Still have been testing and feeding and cleaning but havnt been able to post due to keeping an eye on the Balas.
Tank was low from evaporation Added about 3 Gallons dechlorinated tap water.
Skipped a feeding yesterday
I want to feed them every other day but it seems Rayquaza has other plans..lol
Rayquaza has a tremendous appetite!!
Mufassa is also huge eater if he skips a day of feeding.
The new system of feeding the frozen food to Ray and Fassa till they are full then putting live food in for Blue Eyes seems to be going well, Fassa still nabs a few but he is greedy and also prey orientated ( He just cant resist a fast moving smaller object...lol). Ray cant really catch the feeder guppies so I guess he knows this and doesnt bother as long as his belly is full.
Damsels are still hanging in there and actually growing to boot...lol
Going to have to do something about the window next to the tank. I am getting alot of brown algae now days.
I had dropped a plastic tie wrap into the tank back when I was first setting up the tank and didn't bother to get it as it was in a crevice and the tank is very deep. I had the opportunity to get it today and tried to pick it out however I noticed that now half of it is actually embedded into the LR. This implies that the Live rock is increasing in mass. Very interesting.
Darnit I just noticed I missed the tanks 1st month anniversary post!!! Oh well :( It was fairly uneventful, Fish are doing great and all is well.
Retested water after top off of tank SG is now back to 1,022
Mufassa Tracking a meal..lol
Blue Eyes "Mug Shot"PH: 8.3
Missed a few days postings I have been busy designing the new target feeding system for Blue Eyes. Also Had a little adolescent forum drama on one of the forums I frequent.. Worked on 55g, and Painted the backs of both this tank and the 55g Black.
Ok well first things first. Target feeding system. Here is a pic of it in action:
|Angler Fish Feeding Bell|
|Close Up of Blue Eyes In His New Dinning Room..lol|
The feeder is going awesome I just used it again tonight. Only thing the Mufassa now knows it means Blue Eyes is gonna eat when he sees the Bell so he hovers by it and when I put the feeders in he tries to get them through the plastic...lol I always give him a few when its over anyway.
I painted the Back of the tank Black with spray paint. It went really well. and looks great.
|New Back Ground - Spray Painted Back Glass Flat Black.|
It has been over a month since I started this tank, I have not changed the water yet, the water quality is fine, the fish are thriving. Here are some common issues I have been told by people who believed this would not work:
Q: The Foot Print is too Small
A: Yes it is small but if stocked creatively (with fish that use different strata of the tank) it is really more roomy than one might imagine.
Q: It wont cycle without more LR. It will ba a desaster and a failure and the fish will all die.
A: Well let me put it this way:
“Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.” - Nikola Tesla
Q: Those fish are going to be too large for that tank.
A: Yes it is a grow out tank. This means when they out grow this tank they will not be in it anymore...lol As to the current use of the tank as mentioned earlier they each use different strata of the tank. The Eel digs in the LR, the frog Fish occasionally swims but predominantly moves from spot to spot on the outskirts of the LR. It is a very slow moving fish. It walks most places it goes. The lion Fish Hovers occasionally he swims up or down but mostly he loves to hover slowly inspecting the tank and prowling for anything that moves fast.
Q: It needs more: Sand, decoration, Live Rock.
A: Yes my goal is to build this slowly learning the effects of each additional feature along the way.
It will eventually have all of those things. In fact this will eventually be a reef tank when the fish grow out of it.
Q: Oh tanks are fragile ecosystem and it may not crash now but in a year or two it will crash and fail.
A: Come on do you really believe that? This could be true for a reef tank they are far more complex than FO. Honestly this is FOWLR tank it is very simply a sum of its parts and there aren't that many parts...lol
As long as the BB is maintained and the properties of the water are maintained there is no mysterious tank crashing gremlin that waits for 6 months to a year and crashes the system...rotfl
Lastly I will say the thing that negative people fear most “Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.” - Nikola Tesla If I am wrong in my assumptions and statements then tile will reveal that fact. If I am correct in my methods then time will tell that as well.
Ok enough time spent on debunking negativity. I will get some more pics later on. Hope you enjoyed your visit. Don't forget to leave any constructive comments you may have.