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Islandoftiki

John's 10 Gallon Custom Acrylic tank build!

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I picked up my new Yellow Watchman Goby and Tiger Pistol shrimp on my way home from work last night. Both are very small. The goby is about an inch and a quarter long and the pistol is just barely an inch long. Both look very healthy and active. They were obviously paired up at the LFS; I was happy to see that. :)

 

I got them home and did a nice long acclimation. Obviously my biggest concern was adding a new fish with my existing sixline. Upon seeing the new fish, the sixline was obviously mildly agitated, but nothing extreme or concerning.

 

I dug a small hole where I was hoping for them to make their home. The pistol shrimp went in first and went straight into the hole and began digging all the way to the other side of the rock. I then added the goby as the lights were turning off for the night. I figured this would give the two fish a brief introduction and then the sixline would go to bed and the goby would have some time to get familiar with her new surroundings.

 

The goby was released right in front of the pistol shrimp and immediately headed in the other direction. The pistol shrimp continued to work on his new home. The goby didn't run into the shrimp rest of the evening, but seemed to be doing well.

 

For the 15 minutes or so before the sixline went to sleep, she was inspecting the goby pretty thoroughly and turning herself sideways to it and raising her dorsal fin. She gave the goby a couple light nudges, but nothing excessively aggressive. She then went to bed and the goby had all night to poke around.

 

I got up this morning just before the lights came on to observe the initial morning interaction. The goby was looking well, and as the sixline woke up, she again seemed mildly annoyed that she was sharing her space with a new fish. The goby showed no interest in the sixline and went about swimming around. Any time she got close to the sixline, the sixline would raise her dorsal fin, but again, no physical aggression. The sixline didn't seem to be very interested in breakfast, but did eat a little. Everything else in the tank was oblivious to the new inhabitants.

 

My fiance is home all day and will be keeping an eye on their behavior, but I think they're going to be just fine after a couple days of getting used to seeing each other. No problems reported yet. :) Hopefully the goby and pistol find each other soon. :)

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Update from the fiance. Both fish are getting along fine. Mostly ignoring each other. The pistol has been busy, but she didn't think the goby and the pistol had bumped into each other yet, so they haven't paired back up yet. The goby hasn't started burrowing yet.

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Update: The goby has settled in comfortably to the first hole that the shrimp dug. I haven't seen the goby and shrimp together, nor have I seen the shrimp, but there are new piles of sand around the tank, so it's safe to say that he's been busy.

 

The sixline completely ignores the goby now.

 

EB79B123.jpg

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Update:

 

The goby is doing very well. She spends about equal time in her little cave and out milling around on the sand bed at the front of the tank. She seems to like cyclopeze the most. She doesn't seem to have much interest in most other foods. The sixline doesn't even notice her any more. Her pistol shrimp hasn't shown up since the day after he went into the tank, but he's obviously alive judging by the new sand arrangements that change from day to day.

 

I moved the goby's rock yesterday and turned it around making her a slightly larger cave. I suspected this was where the pistol shrimp was living because that rock has a natural cave formation underneath it. When I lifted it up, I discovered that the entire underside of the rock had be stuffed with every loose piece of red macro algae that had been scattered around the tank. How funny. I didn't find the shrimp though. Perhaps with the new rock arrangement, he'll find his goby a little easier.

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Great little fish. If your shrimp are anything like mine you won't see him for a couple days while his new exoskelleton hardens. I will make the exception of my coral banded shrimp. His antena are about 5" accross so he can't hide well.

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Great little fish. If your shrimp are anything like mine you won't see him for a couple days while his new exoskelleton hardens. I will make the exception of my coral banded shrimp. His antena are about 5" accross so he can't hide well.

 

Yeah, he's a tiny little dude. I'm not sure I could find him if I wanted to. I keep checking to see if he shows up in the goby's cave. I have no idea where he's living. Somewhere near the back of the tank by the look of the sand piles.

 

The cleaner shrimp have nowhere to hide though. Those huge white antennas stand out like a sore thumb.

 

Funny thing, BOTH cleaner shrimp are now carrying eggs.

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My new TECO Forbidden Fruit Palys! 4 polyp frag with 6 polyps! Woot!

 

And these things look even cooler in person than the pictures. I hope they take over the rock that I'm going to put them on!

 

1893E7CF.jpg

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My new TECO Forbidden Fruit Palys! 4 polyp frag with 6 polyps! Woot!

 

And these things look even cooler in person than the pictures. I hope they take over the rock that I'm going to put them on!

 

1893E7CF.jpg

 

Those are cool. I am stoked now...after seeing this pic I realized I have like 30 of these

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If they grow as fast as I suspect they will, I'll have some to share in the future. They're really nice iridescent pink. When I changed tanks, my old pink palys closed up and died. Good news is that these are way nicer than my old pink pallys and hopefully more hearty.

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Do you know if the pistol was paired with the goby before the lfs got them? Where they bagged together? When I got my pistol he was paired with a black banded goby which I have yet to see, but was told they would do fine with another goby, but the pistol paired up with the watchman the next day. The lfs I got them from said they had been together for a couple months but only watched then for 3weeks before purchase and were bagged together. I doing know what happened to the goby that came with the shrimp.... Maybe if I cleaned the rock out of the sump I would find him like the fairy wrasse that went thru the over flow twice. But I see the goby out alot more than both of them. Hopefully you will get to see them out making a mess stirring up sand soon .

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The two were paired up at the LFS when I got them. They were sitting in a box together with the goby next to the pistol and the pistol was keeping his antenna on the goby.

 

I think it's kinda weird that the goby isn't going into the cave where the pistol is now. She was spending most of her time in there until the other day, now I can see the pistol in there and she's not. Who knows. Some people have said it took 10 minutes for theirs to pair up and some have said a couple months. Time will tell. I specifically went with a Yellow Watchman and a Tiger Pistol because they seem to be the most likely to pair. It's still early. I suppose they might pair a little easier if the pistol would come out of his den for 10 seconds.

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The two were paired up at the LFS when I got them. They were sitting in a box together with the goby next to the pistol and the pistol was keeping his antenna on the goby.

 

I think it's kinda weird that the goby isn't going into the cave where the pistol is now. She was spending most of her time in there until the other day, now I can see the pistol in there and she's not. Who knows. Some people have said it took 10 minutes for theirs to pair up and some have said a couple months. Time will tell. I specifically went with a Yellow Watchman and a Tiger Pistol because they seem to be the most likely to pair. It's still early. I suppose they might pair a little easier if the pistol would come out of his den for 10 seconds.

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Ok, so what I thought was my pistol shrimp is actually just a very large pod of the same color/pattern. So, I'm afraid the pistol shrimp is AWOL. No idea if he's still alive. Any thoughts on how to find him if he's in there? Probably just have to wait it out.

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My hand blown glass protein skimmer arrived today. it's a limewood airstone type of skimmer and is small enough to fit in my 10 gallon tank next to the AC70 hob filter.

 

If I have time, I'll get it set up tonight. I'm getting over a cold, so we'll see if I have the energy after work. I'll be taking pictures and doing a full review of the product as well.

 

Here's what you get:

 

BB71B5F2.jpg

 

It's made by Gnome Glass and this particular one will cost you $60.00

http://gnomeglass.com/aqua/index.html

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very fun, I'm sure how it works (esp where skimmate collects), but I wanna see it in action!

 

whats the dimensions (diameter x height)?

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The skimmate comes out of that port in the top that you connect to a piece of clear tubing and run it into a container. In my case, an empty milk jug in that cabinet that the aquarium sits in top of.

 

That's their smallest one. It's 32mm (1.25") wide and 20cm (8") high.

 

I've heard a that limewood airstone skimmers work great, but you have to adjust them occasionally and replace the airstones every couple weeks. Shouldn't be a big deal in my little 10 gallon. So far, this is the only thing that I could find that will fit. They're pretty popular in Japan, apparently. I had a hard time finding one in the US with the exception of a Japanese MAME skimmer someone was selling on ebay for $200.00.

 

Another benefit of this type of skimmer is it's quiet if you have a quiet air pump... which I do.

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The skimmate comes out of that port in the top that you connect to a piece of clear tubing and run it into a container. In my case, an empty milk jug in that cabinet that the aquarium sits in top of.

 

That's their smallest one. It's 32mm (1.25") wide and 20cm (8") high.

 

I've heard a that limewood airstone skimmers work great, but you have to adjust them occasionally and replace the airstones every couple weeks. Shouldn't be a big deal in my little 10 gallon. So far, this is the only thing that I could find that will fit. They're pretty popular in Japan, apparently. I had a hard time finding one in the US with the exception of a Japanese MAME skimmer someone was selling on ebay for $200.00.

 

Another benefit of this type of skimmer is it's quiet if you have a quiet air pump... which I do.

 

Here are the instructions he emailed me:

 

*********************************

Here are some setup instructions (which will appear on the website once I take pics and edit 'em down... the work never ends!)

 

As a brief guide, start with the dome of the skimmer about 2 and a half inches above the water line. The slider mount is held in position by two bands of silicone airline - I'll include a bunch of spares, but if you ever need more just snip off pieces about 1/8" thick from regular airline (or, of course, visit my store :)). To adjust the height of these bands, lubricate the mounting rod (holding it under tank water works great, or just pass it through your fingers a couple times) and slide it up to the position of the top of the mount. Then, put the rod into the mount and add the second band. Please hold the hook, rather than the skimmer body, while moving the second band into position to avoid scuffing the glass. The band next to the diagonal cut can be slid down into the cut, to keep the skimmer from wobbling around. I recommend putting the skimmer's lower opening in an area of moderate to high flow for best results.

 

The airline mounts in the same way as the mounting hook - just add your airstone, put on one silicone band to hold the line in place, then feed the line through the mount, and then add another silicone band to keep it in position. Once all is mounted, attach your airflow. If the flow from your pump is not adjustable, I recommend adding a tee just after the airpump, with one line from the tee going to the skimmer, and the other end going to a ballvalve, which will release extra pressure. Adding a short length of airline after the ball valve will make it silent. Adjust the airflow to the skimmer until the first foam produced forms a head about 3/4" above the waterline - after you've achieved this, simply leave it alone for a while. Proteins will gather in the head of foam, which will get drier at the top and increase in surface tension. Soon, the top layer of foam will climb the walls of the skimmer, and once it gets to the top it will be ejected from the spout, down the skimmate line, and into the receptacle of your choice. As the skimmate moves through the spout, the foam remaining in the skimmer will sink below the water line - this is normal, and serves to help exchange the water in the skimmer body, increasing efficiency.

 

Being made of wood, the airstone will absorb water from the tank, and may need some adjustment after the first day in the tank. For a drier skimmate, decrease the airflow and/or increase the height of the skimmer relative to the water line. For a wetter skimmate, increase the airflow or lower the skimmer. For high bio loads, it is recommended to increase the airflow first, and skim on the wet side (skimmate should look like tea, not coffee :D).

 

In a couple months, the bubbles produced by the airstone will get less fine and skimmate production can drop - the remedy to this is to take out the airstone, and shave the layer of algae off of the bubble emitting sides with a sharp knife. This can be done many times, but please be careful. Still, they need to be replaced eventually, so whenever you need another I will have plenty :)

 

If you have any questions setting up, please let me know!

 

Cheers!

-Calen

*******************************************

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Thats a very cool Idea. I have run across these before but I thought they were to much $$$ for my budget but definately unique I hear that they work pretty well just gotta keep an eye on it that has the potential to pump a lot of water out of the tank if it goes haywire =) You do seem to be really on top of things with your tank so I dont see you having a problem with it good luck and I cant wait to see it in action.

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Jeramy,

 

Yeah, I could see if potentially emptying a couple gallons out of the tank if the air somehow got stuck on full blast.

 

I got it set up late last night and it was too dark to take any pictures. It only took about 10 minutes to connect everything and get the bubbles flowing.

 

A couple of notes...

 

Build quality is great. It's hand blow glass, and nicely done.

 

The air line valve I have is a ball valve and doesn't have the fine control I'd like in order to get this really dialed in. I need like a needle valve or something.

 

The wood airstone takes about 24 hours to break in and soak up some water, but it worked great out of the box.

 

The piece of airline tubing connecting the wood airstone to the glass tube was a little short and slipped off the glass tube in the middle of the night. I put a longer bit of tubing on it this morning, should be fine now.

 

Adjustment looks like it'll be fairly easy once I get the hang of what it takes to generate skimmate.

 

I have it set to produce what will likely be pretty dry skimmate for the moment, but I'll fiddle around with the airflow and height of the skimmer.

 

All in all, I think it's going to work great.

 

And Jeramy, you can make a skimmer like this out of a couple of a small disposable plastic bottle, some tubing and a limewood airstone... for like 5 bucks. Look up DIY MAME skimmers. I'd have built my own except that aesthetics were really important to me, so I went for the hand blown glass one.

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