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Howdy everyone!

I made it into Seahorse today, the folks in there are awesome and super helpful.  I brought a sample of my tank water in and we tested it, the ammonia is indeed at zero, and so are nitrites and nitrates.  Hooray!  I do have some other issues however, like the pH (7.6) and alkalinity (5.4) being too low.  They recommended adding kalkwasser, so I picked up some of that and mixed it up, but when we read the directions we realized that we need to have some sort of slow drip system to add it to the tank.  So that's our next project, making a homemade drip system and hopefully getting the ph/kh on track.  I also picked up some snails and crabs, which are making themselves at home, and we did our first 5 gallon water change.  Hopefully that will help combat the algae, we ripped a bunch of the green hair out but not all, and there is also some turf algae and bubble algae around as well.  All part of the process!  Here are some pics highlighting some of the weird things we've spotted on the live rock:

1625010707_mysteryanemone.jpg.5616a9af53e13cd8ea74d9ac9a41cab8.jpg

is this some sort of anemone?

sponge.jpg.5442b11b81361715521f50a617dc76f3.jpg

Weird squishy white stuff- a sponge?

aiptasia.thumb.jpg.fea7a1a87b4fed66e6203cc2a83e3283.jpg

The dreaded aiptasia?

1605951643_algaeleafy.jpg.ea318fc24209aae0f58b2801835d7495.jpg

some of our leafy green algae under the scope.

 

That's all for now!

Thanks for reading, guys!

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I would say yes, yes and (unfortunately) yes.  Not sure if anyone turned you on to aphasia X but might be worth picking some up to stay ahead of the game.  Alternatively, you could pull that piece of rock out and burn it off.  Peppermint shrimp will also eat them if you are to the point you could have them.  Just tossing out some options...

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Do you have anything using Calcium and Alkalinity in your tank?  Kalkwasser is a great supplement but will overload your tank if nothing is drawing those elements down. 

 

Some good old fashioned water changes should bring your parameters in line for now

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Just curious, did you pick up some test kits at Seahorse today so you can check the water parameters on your own?  That's a long drive from Hood River!

If you did, you should test the parameters of some freshly mixed saltwater so you can gauge how water changes could adjust your tank water parameters.

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The anemone in the first image is probably a hydroid. I would adopt a zero tolerance policy on those or they will quickly reproduce and sting up your corals, like Aiptasia do. The squishy white stuff looks like eggs. When I zoom on the image, pretty sure I'm seeing developing eyes and perhaps a mouth or two here and there. If you can, try to get a sample of it and look at it under your microscope. In recent weeks and months, SuncrestReef has done a fine job documenting what a useful tool 'scopes are for reefkeeping and his (and others') macro photography is an asset to the community.

As for what the eggs might be, this is pure speculation but I fear they might be some type of worm. Take that with a grain of salt, as I'm probably more prone to parasite paranoia than many of you but I reckon it's more likely to be something undesirable than snails or other potentially beneficial critters.

Thanks for sharing these images with the group. You never know what's going to emerge from live rock. While it is endlessly fascinating, it is also ofttimes horrifying to a coralhead.

 

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Your first pic looks like a ball anemone to me. 

Very cool critter that I have been unable to keep alive long term. They do pack a sting so be careful what you place near it. They do not get much bigger than that and tend to stay in the shade. 

2nd pic looks like sponge. Looks like you have some good live rock besides the aiptasia in pic 3. Peppermint shrimp should take care of that. 

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Thank you all for the advice!

We looked up ball anemones and I think that is a good match!  Definitely looks like the little guy in our tank.  It hasn't really grown at all but I will keep an eye on it for now.  We're also keeping an eye on the sponge substance, and will take a sample to put under the microscope when we have a little extra time.

There are several tiny aiptasia, but it doesn't seem to be too much of a problem right now and I think the addition of peppermint shrimp when the tank is ready will be a good remedy.  

We do have all the test kits we need, and feel pretty confident about getting accurate results with the Salifert ones, so that is good.

Since our tank is just snails and shrimps right now, there isn't much using calcium and alkalinity- I think we will wait on the kalkwasser and see if another water change later this week will help bring the ph/kh in line.

Thanks again for all the input, more updates to come later!  😁

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