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Flashy Fins

Flashy's 20g Fresh Start

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Hiya, PNWMAS!  As some of you know, last year was extremely rough on me and my tanks. Post tank crash of late 2015, I had just gotten things rolling again in 2016 with a 72g fish-focused and 40g reef tank. Unfortunately, over the summer, some terrible events did away with all time and money for reefing. I had an unexpected divorce tossed my way, which left me scrambling and eventually homeless for a month. Good friends let me and my dog crash on their couches, and a super special one let me set up a 20g tank in her living room till I had somewhere to live. I kept a few favorite corals and fish and sold the rest. Well, the 40g tank wasn't sold... that, I managed to bust during my attempt to pack it up and move it to Stylaster's garage. Sad day, as that one featured a long, slim overflow box and bean animal plumbing, beautiful work done by Arminius and Gumby. I hate that their efforts ended up in a dumpster, but alas, I had bigger problems to worry about than a tank. I don't think I could get away with a 40g where I live now, anyway.

 

Since I already had the stand for it, I kept a 20g long and enough rock to make a decent 'scape. Pardoned from sell-off were my nicer LPS pieces, beloved blue sponge, and a couple of fish. Sadly, I had to let some super cool stuff go, but now that I'm finally settled into an apartment of my own, I'm eager to jump back in. Funds are tight, so it'll be slow-going, but I do plan to add a couple more fish and many more corals over time. Sand was just added a couple days ago; I went bare-bottom till I was certain of the tank's placement. Moving it twice in the span of 6 months - not a sand-friendly situation!  I'm pleased to say, an urchin was my only loss after both moves, each of which involved some unexpected disasters that easily could've killed more livestock. With everything else going wrong, it was nice to have a lucky break with all corals and fish making it just fine. My purple flowerpot frag is taking time to adjust and doesn't open much anymore, but it expanded greatly before, and I'm confident it'll rebound. Most else is as good as it ever was.

 

 

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Weird stuff is growing wild on the rocks since the urchin died. He was apparently keeping things in check that I had no idea were in there. I don't get too worked up about algae, but I do plan to replace the urchin to keep the tank looking clean. The new one will have snacks ready and waiting!

 

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I know you're jealous!  $20 tank, cheap metal stand, outdated lights, Jebao wave maker, HOB filter, visible heater and thermometer... fancy, no? :laugh:  I remind myself it's quite appropriate, considering the recent homeless situation. ;)  Besides, I actually love T5 lighting and $1/gallon tanks and probably wouldn't go with anything better, even if I had the money. I'm happy with it and plan to focus on the livestock till it looks so amazing, you don't even notice the set-up is cheap! Will probably add a black background to reduce reflections and help blend away visible equipment.

 

There you have it!  My humbling fresh start, a slightly smaller tank than I started out with in this hobby. On the bright side, filling a small tank is exciting, because every piece you add makes a big difference. I'm looking forward to it!  :happy:

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Looks [language filter] good to me! Sorry to hear about your trouble:( If you are ever near Oregon city I have some king midas zoas I can frag for you for a freebie :)

 

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Looks [language filter] good to me! Sorry to hear about your trouble:( If you are ever near Oregon city I have some king midas zoas I can frag for you for a freebie :)

 

Thank you!  Funny thing, Oregon City is exactly where I ended up!  Didn't realize anyone else in the club was out this way. I would love to take you up on the King Midas.  :D  

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Oh heck yea! There are a few of us over here, welcome to the cool kids club haha. I'll frag some tomorrow and once it's healed you're welcome to come snag em! They are usually good after a couple days.

 

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Nice to see you back and doing well! I hope 2017 is fantastic for you!

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Tank looks very nice ! It's great to see you rose above everything and created something beautiful. That was a of a lot for you to go through. Glad you didn't give up!

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Welcome back flashy!! Divorce sucks... Been there done that and have the tee shirt ????. Everything will get better! The tank looks amazing!

 

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Cherany, I love this! You're so creative. It looks beautiful. That goni is legendary.

 

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Looking really nice!  I love the tight budget coupled with the Helfrichi.  :laugh:  

 

Seriously though, that goni is out of control and the sponge is really cool!  I'm totally jealous.

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Looking really nice!  I love the tight budget coupled with the Helfrichi.  :laugh:  

 

Seriously though, that goni is out of control and the sponge is really cool!  I'm totally jealous.

 

Thanks!  I actually tried to sell the Helfrichi, figuring I could replace it with a much cheaper royal gramma, but I paid $100 for the firefish and got no takers when I listed it for $60. I could've lowered the price, but new fish come with the hassle of quarantining, expense of medicating if anything pops up, higher risk of perishing than an established fish, etc.  All things considered, I decided just to keep the Helfrichi.  I've heard grammas can get a bit ornery in small tanks, so perhaps it's for the best.

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Good to see things are going better now!

 

I have plenty of zoas if you want some?

 

I may take down my RFA tank and well I have 2 green banded gobies still :laugh:  they are doing great! and in the 10 I can see them........in the 100 they would get lost.

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Good to see things are going better now!

 

I have plenty of zoas if you want some?

 

I may take down my RFA tank and well I have 2 green banded gobies still :laugh:  they are doing great! and in the 10 I can see them........in the 100 they would get lost.

 

Thank you!  Sure, I'd love some zoas.  :D  Anything brightly colored makes me happy. Are you going to the meeting at Holly's?

 

Glad the gobies are happy!   :applause:  

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Thank you!  Sure, I'd love some zoas.  :D  Anything brightly colored makes me happy. Are you going to the meeting at Holly's?

 

Glad the gobies are happy!   :applause:  

 

Trying to so if I do I will bring you something.

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WELCOME BACK!

 

Love that you kept that juicy open brain.

 

All the best to you and when I get my stuff together for sure will have some nice zoas for ya!

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Yay! Looks awesome Cherany. Sorry to hear all you've gone through, but happy to see you coming out stronger and happier on the other side. That's the kind of [language filter] that makes us stronger. It was great to see you at the last event, and I hope to see you at Holly's!

 

 

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Lots happening in the tank lately! After many weeks of quarantine, new additions are finally moving in! :mermaid:

First thing I had to do before adding more fish was to build a proper screen lid. I'd been putting this off, because I find these a pain to cut and put together, but I got the job done. The mesh appears white in photos, but it's actually clear and looks pretty good.

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I had to cut a small area to get my heater and wavemaker cords through, which does provide a spot for fish to get out, but frankly, most of my fish could fit through those 1/4" mesh holes, anyway! This is more of a 'better than nothing' situation, and it's certainly more attractive and functional than eggcrate. No suiciding, little fishies! :nooo:

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Putting this lid on meant that I had to take off the HOB power filter I was using. I think having it was helpful while getting the tank established, but it's not necessary anymore. If the need to run carbon ever arises, I can put it back on temporarily with the ugly eggcrate lid, which has space cut out for it. Keeping up on water changes is the plan for keeping the water looking clean and clear. :fish:

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I am loving this yellow-banded pipefish! I've only had blue-striped pipefish in the past, since they're supposedly the easiest pipes to keep, but after the latest blue I had in quarantine failed to develop enough of an appetite to keep him alive, I decided to try this guy. He's much larger and has the hunger to match! Quarantine was a breeze, because he gobbled up at every feeding. Thanks to TPA in Salem for such a fine specimen!

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Fathead sunburst anthias! :wub:  Possibly my favorite small fish in the entire sea! I've been itching for another of these for a long time. This one is young and small, without even the namesake fat head shape yet, but he's already a beauty and will only get better looking in time. He's still getting used to the tank and does a lot of back and forth between wanting to explore and wanting to hide, so I did the best I could getting pictures. Thanks to Cuttlefish for the sweet deal on such a spectacular fish!

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I'm pleased to say, these two have worked out their differences!  :drinking:  In QT, it was clear they didn't care for one another, which led to some hilariously passive-aggressive displays. They would swim thisfreakingclose to the other and shimmy their bodies, then back down immediately if one turned to face the other. All talk from both of them! Never any harm done, and after many weeks together, they've each finally accepted the other exists. I'm glad they're getting along now, but it was actually a blessing that they didn't in QT, because they both made it their mission at feeding time to grab everything they could get before the other one got to it. That competition led to a couple of well-fed fishes that otherwise might have been much slower to eat.

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The resident Helfrichi is beside himself with all these new guys coming in. Firefish are typically passive and peaceful, but without anything larger or more dominant in the tank, this one has developed quite a 'tude. I watched him nip the pipefish's tail a couple of times, and you can see the evidence here. Spying on them gives me the impression he wants to assert himself over the pipefish but is too chicken to do it, so he waits till the pipe has nearly swam away and grabs his tail. I expect this will subside as the firefish gets used to having neighbors. The good thing is, the pipefish does not seem to notice or care one bit. He's too busy hunting down all the pods I loaded the tank up with a few weeks ago!

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This new guy is constantly asking for trouble! The Helfrichi hates him the most of all the new fish and charges at him every time he swims by. The sunburst watched this go on a few times and decided to join in, now nudging the neon goby out of the way when it gets too near. Fishy see, fishy do! The ridiculous thing is that the goby runs off each time, then immediately comes back for more! It seems to be a game to him, which I guess is better than him crying in the corner because the big fish don't like him. :hermit:

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This eviota goby was also added to the tank, but he immediately disapeared into the rockwork, so I just have his photos from QT. It's only been a couple of days, so hopefully he pops back out at some point. I reckon the Helfrichi will not be a fan, since he dislikes the yellow clown goby and hates the neon goby. Steer clear of the big purple one, Evie!

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Resident yellow clown goby, guarding his bed after checking out the new additions. He seems both curious and a bit weary of them. 


Corals have been moving from quarantine to display, as well, so another picture-heavy update is coming this week! Updated FTS once I get everything into place. :peace:

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Nice update Cherany - good to see the new additions all doing well. Can't wait to see the tank with QT'd coral added!  Really love that anthias but all those fish are great choices... no surprise there. ?

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It's looking amazing! Good job on the top, I need to build one for my lagoon. Was that a kit?

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3 hours ago, PowderBlue said:

It's looking amazing! Good job on the top, I need to build one for my lagoon. Was that a kit?
 

I bought the window screen frame kit from Home Depot, but that only gets you the frame itself. The clear mesh, I had leftover from a piece I got from Matty years ago. He bought it from BRS.

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Well, that didn't last long...  terrible news to report. teardrop.gif

The pipefish got caught in my new scoly last night, and I had to pull him out, as he was still alive and desperate for rescue. The portion of him that had been swallowed showed some nasty white patches, and it's likely the back 1/3 of his body was paralyzed, based on how he swam after the ordeal. I watched to see that he was able to get to safety, then went to bed. This morning, he looked about the same, and I knew it was dicey expecting him to recover, but of course I had hope. This afternoon, I didn't see him swimming, and I got that sinking feeling things had gone downhill. Looked around and spotted him stuck in the powerhead, but pulling him out revealed it was too late. It was the back half of him caught again. Not sure if he died and then ended up there, or if ending up there was his demise, but I know when he was healthy, he was weary of the current around the powerhead and stayed away. Still, a paralyzed back end would certainly hinder direction.

Conventional wisdom is not to keep pipefish in tanks with large or aggressive LPS, because the chance of an accident happening is increased. However, I've kept much smaller pipefish with larger LPS before without issue, as have many others, so I was willing to risk it. Unfortunately, I think this one's longer length was a major disadvantage, as his tail grazed many things his head was safely past. During the day, it wasn't an issue, but at night with corals turned inside out and sticky for food, a graze became a fish immediately trapped. I gambled and lost, as we do sometimes in this hobby. Still stinks! :dejection:

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In better news, my barnacle blenny has been in the tank a month or two and is comfortable enough to sunbathe his whole body when I'm not around; I'll often walk into the room and see him zip back into one of his boltholes for safety. The other fish pay him no attention, not even the Helfrichi who hates everyone. He's grown from just over an inch when I bought him to about 1.5" now - monster fish, I tell you!  These guys top out at less than 2". Never thought I'd have a brown fish, but those red eyes and pink lips win me over! (Please excuse the bubble algae. I don't mind it, and neither does the blenny.)

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Sorry to hear about the pipe fish Cherany... that is sad.  Amazing how fast that blenny has grown!  I remember when you got him - love the pink lips!

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12 minutes ago, albertareef said:

Amazing how fast that blenny has grown!  I remember when you got him - love the pink lips!

Agreed! I should check in with Roy and see how the two I sold him have grown. They were smaller than the one I kept and hadn't even developed full color yet. I imagine they are colored up and quite a bit larger by now.

The quarantine tank now has 3 forktail blennies in it. :happy:  They made it through 4 bucket transfers over 12 days and seem very pleased with the upgrade to an actual tank. I notice they are not overly skinny, but certainly not as fat as they started out, so my task now is to get them eligible for Weight Watchers! :joking:   I keep looking at them and trying to choose which one to keep, but they're all gorgeous!  Leaning towards the smallest, because that'll allow me to watch him grow, but considering the shape and color similarity to my Helfrichi, perhaps the largest would be best to keep. Ahhh, too many good options!  Fantastic problem to have, right? 

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