Flashy Fins

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Flashy Fins last won the day on May 8

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About Flashy Fins

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  • Birthday 06/18/1983


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    Vancouver, WA

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    Oregon City

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  1. So cool! Your rockscape looks really nice, too.
  2. El-P-Ssssssssss!!! That's a picture of the month in waiting!
  3. I agree! I will say, this tank has been easy in some ways I didn't expect it to be. I manually top off the water and find once every couple of days to be sufficient. When I set up the tank, I was worried I'd be topping off 2-3 days a day, but it just doesn't evaporate that quickly. Must be the short lighting schedule each day. Lights come on around 9-10 pm, since I'm not in my bedroom during the day to see the tank. Sometimes I fall asleep while they're still on, but usually I'm up late enough to see them turn off. By that point, it's 2 am and a good reminder I should go to sleep! For tank maintenance, I simply mix up new water and do a 100% water change every few weeks. Because the rock structure is one piece, it's easy to remove and put back in a minute later, so beneficial bacteria isn't lost. Haven't had any issues with corals or anemones reacting poorly to this routine, since I make sure to match temp and salinity each time. I also give the glass a gentle wipe down with a magic eraser whenever algae builds up. The heater was removed, because it was keeping the tank too warm, and I don't miss the eyesore of it one bit.
  4. I'll get some pictures up soon, although it's slow going and challenging to stock. I added several corals a couple of months ago, but most had to be removed because they couldn't take the amount of light they were getting. It's only a 2-bulb T5 fixture running for 4 to 5 hours a day, but it's just inches from everything and too much for many types of LPS I was hoping to keep in there. So far, only 2 corals have kept their vibrance and done well: an orange cycloseris plate and a particular green favia (two other favias had to be removed after they started to bleach). I also added 2 maxi-mini nems, which handle the light just fine, but one crawled off to a corner with the good side facing the wrong way/its foot facing the front glass, and neither is as brightly colored as I'd really like, so I may swap them out for better ones. Still no substrate, no fish, and no crew inverts, other than a single cerith I tossed in a while back. I have some summer trips coming up, so I'm emptying out my QT tanks to make things easier on the tank sitter, which means I'm at a standstill with buying new livestock. August is a more realistic timeframe for me to really get this thing properly stocked. It'll take more trial and error to find corals that are a good fit.
  5. The conclusion seemed to be that it was stung by another coral. That's good news if I end up with a replacement lepto, since I wouldn't just be tossing in another urchin snack. Entering to win this one! Mile, I still have your win from the last share the love, but I'll make sure it gets to Coravalis this month.
  6. Never kept an eel, but the blue ribbon eel is a dream fish for me! Have only seen them in photos/videos and would probably go nuts if one was really in front of me. I also like dragon eels. Saw a stunningly bright orange one in a sketchy shop once for such a low price it made me think it was smuggled. Otherwise, I don't recall ever seeing another in person. The most likely eel I'd keep someday is the zebra eel, since I've seen many successful tanks housing them with a variety of reef fishes, and they are not known for being impossible eels to keep alive or outrageously expensive to acquire. Would take a much bigger tank than I have now, however! Photos all swiped from google image searches to make this thread pretty.
  7. We are breezing through the list of borrowers and almost to the end of it, with the exception of the members whose turns were skipped. If any of the following people would like to borrow soon, or if you no longer wish to remain on the list, please let me know: @Salty Pickle @youcallmenny @Paratore @HenryLimpet
  8. Keep 'em coming! Wish more people showed off their corals; this is sometimes how I figure out what I like, when frags don't really look the same in stores.
  9. Holly and Sean, you guys are fantastic cheerleaders! I do enjoy planning things out and making sure I have a variety of shapes, colors, and textures, but that doesn't mean I never have regrets. Things often look different than I imagined they would or colors look duller under my lights than they did under strong blue lighting wherever I bought them, so I spend a lot of time rearranging corals and trading things out. Some of my frags have amassed blobs of glue larger than the actual coral from being placed in different spots so many times! Worst is when I add anemones and change my mind on them. I was able to remove a couple of maxi-minis I regretted (level 10 difficulty, nearly killed one of them), but I have not been able to remove a rock flower nem I want out; not sure it's worth it to keep trying, since it's small, and I can just add more colorful things around it, but I know my stubborn self well enough to be sure I will try again and again. As I add new livestock, I try to make sure it all harmonizes and doesn't look like I just keep tossing in more stuff with no rhyme or reason. Zoanthids worry me with their propensity to take over, so all the zoas I have are currently isolated to a single piece of rock I can easily remove (barely visible in the photos above, but I'll take more pics soon). Once I have most of the stony corals I want in place, I plan to strategically add the zoa frags onto my main rocks, but I want to acquire several more corals before doing that. Speaking of new additions, I'm not too sure on some of those SPS frags I've added and may switch some of those out. I love the green stylo and the orange setosa; the others, I'm mixed on, but I'm trying to give them a chance to rebound some color and vibrancy before I write them off. I don't think six weeks in my dirty QT tank with low flow did them any favors, and they've only been in the display a week, so they deserve some recovery time. There's a green slimer frag that looks really dull, a mini colony of purple stylo I'm not sure I like the color of (near the sun coral in the FTS), and another type of purple stylo that is a nice color, but not as nice in shape as the cat's paw stylo. We'll see. I've never been a big SPS fan, but it's hard filling in the top space with brain corals. I may try a gorgonian or two, but that beautiful monster of an urchin has a horrible reputation for eating gorgs, according to my research. I might still chance a yellow finger gorg, because I can't get over the giraffe look of them. I'm treating with Chemi-Clean at the moment. Added several airstones for extra oxygen like the instructions recommend, so fingers crossed this stuff bombs the cyano and gives me a leg up keeping it out. I got lazy for a bit with water changes, which is my only method of nutrient export, so I'll have to bump those up again to keep this nasty stuff at bay. Tank looks weird with all the airlines and stones, so it's hard to get nice pictures, but I did snap one of this incredible open brain: Absolute stunner from Cuttlefish & Corals! He had three similar beauties in the tank the week before we took our party bus tour, and although I technically did nothing wrong, I felt like a sneaky little bugger picking out the best of the bunch and buying it a few days before. Yucky cyano mess, today is eviction day! I've siphoned out so much sand trying to get this stuff under control in the last few weeks, I feel like that method is going to leave me with no sand if I keep at it. It's never been a good way to deal with it, anyhow, since it literally comes back just hours later. Will report back how the Chemi-Clean treatment goes!
  10. Man, I'm a slacker when it comes to updating lately! Going through my photos, I realize I tend to post things in various places on the forum and forget to include them in my tank thread, so this is a mix of old and new. A few of these pictures might be getting old for the regulars who've seen them multiples times, but I promise there are new ones in the bunch. My rarely seen, but rather photogenic nem-less pom pom crab. I think not having anemones causes him to feel extra vulnerable, so he stays hidden. Nice little treat when he does pop out. Unfortunately, that jack-o-lantern lepto was later stung by another coral and died. Stunningly beautiful urchin, ID'ed to the best of my amateur ability as Salmacis bicolor. Unfortunately, I can no longer keep fooling myself into believing he's reef safe. He has cleaned off large patches of my Montipora setosa. Given my rigorous QT procedures, I'm confident I don't have monti-eating nudis, and the damage always appears directly after I've spotted the urchin on top of the monti. He has also taken noticeable chunks off my blue sponge, which I sometimes see bits of in his poop. His bad behavior hasn't gotten him kicked out yet, but I suspect the day will come when he munches on something I can't forgive him for. He is an omnivore and enjoys squares of nori, so I try to shove those under him regularly. Comparison of the new urchin under my old one, who was kicked out for being too plain looking. He now lives in a tank owned by someone far less superficial than me when it comes to an urchin's appearance and who finds it necessary that his urchins eat algae, rather than coral. My barnacle blenny spends most of his time in his bolt hole with only his head sticking out, as they do in the wild, but he's comfortable enough to lounge with his whole body exposed at times. It makes me happy that he feels that relaxed. He reminds me a bit of a lizard and is a fun little fish to have. BAD SHRIMP! This coral was a stunner for weeks in my QT, then ended up with a tiny tear in his flesh during the move to display tank. It was almost nothing, a tear so small you could barely see it, but in a day's time, my largest sexy shrimp had pecked away nearly all of its flesh! Although only one of the shrimp seemed guilty in this case, all three sexies were evicted. They were irritating my pink flowerpot before this, and I realized I was no longer getting much joy out of having them. I had maxi-minis in there for them, but the shrimp were all too aware of the lack of predators in my tank and rarely spent any time on the nems. Now, they live in a fish-filled tank where they'd better stay put on their host anemone, lest they become dinner! I placed the coral in a container with no lid, which the shrimp were surprisingly wary to go inside of, and it made a full recovery in short time. Spectacularly neon! Treasure I found at Seahorse and almost didn't ask the price of, because I didn't think I could afford it, but I was happily wrong about that! When it puffs up, all I can think is, "Plate coral or jellyfish?" Freaky in the loveliest way! The yellow feather duster, I found at TPA in Salem. Always on the hunt for unusual things like this in bright colors. Need to get myself a coco worm soon! Unfortunate news about this sunburst anthias... A tiny spot of lympho turned into a large chunk of it directly on the gills, leading to some trouble that did her in. It's not usually a fatal disease, but the location was the worst place to have it. It's possible it ruptured and led to an infection, but I couldn't tell much from the corpse. You can see some redness near the face in this photo, so something bacterial was probably going on due to her weakened state (lympho was on the side of her body you don't see). Very frustrating to lose a fish after it so smoothly sailed through QT, ate like a pig, and seemed to be settling in well, but sometimes it happens. The silver lining is that the famous Cindy Lou from Sirena's tank took her place and has done really well, quickly becoming queen of the tank! Cindy is a nicer looking specimen and larger in size, which contrasts really well with my other fish. It's not how I planned it, but when is anything in our tanks ever how we planned? I'm just happy to have my favorite small fish again! (I would say favorite without the qualifier of small, but ain't no anthias a match for an outlandishly colored parrotfish! ) Speaking of fish, how many can you spot in this photo? The Helfrichi is rather obvious, but there are actually 4 fish in the shot. Challenge yourself to spot them! Or just give up and see them circled out. The red Eviota goby is the smallest, a fish I added about a month ago and didn't see again until just the other day. How surprised I was when a little flicker of red caught my eye! Confirmation he's alive! I've seen him a few times since, so I think it was just a period of getting used to the tank and working up the courage to wander out. He's still very shy, but he wasn't in the store tank, so I have hope it's just a matter of time till I see him out more often. Finally, this beauty is mine! Regretfully, I sold off a well-loved forktail blenny before I moved, then had trouble finding another. I snatched up the first one I saw in a store without looking it over well (they were crowded, I was overly excited - bad combo), only to get home with it and notice a terrible face injury. I did what I could to help him, but that fish was doomed from the start, unable to swallow any food. Back to the drawing board, I was more observant with the next couple I saw in stores, choosing not to buy them. After a seemingly never-ending quest for a healthy specimen, I caved and bought a trio from Diver's Den. I got them all through QT, chose my favorite to keep, and found new homes for the other two. I must admit, I considered attempting to breed them, since there is excellent info available on breeding fang blennies, and it sounds to be a manageable task for a dedicated aquarist. However, that would mean setting up another tank, a larger one at that, and buying a few more blennies to allow me to weed out excess males. As much as I'd love to give it a try someday, I'm glad I talked myself out of it for now. Similar in shape and size to the Helfrichi for now, the blenny will eventually grow larger. Fang blennies are open-water swimmers, never hiding in the rocks that way most blennies do. I love looking over at the tank at any given time and seeing fish swimming around in plain sight. My yellow clown goby and neon goby are ever-visible, as well, but of course they perch and hop more than they swim. Nothing like having fish that come right up to the glass to greet you when you're in front of the tank. BIG FAT EMPTY SPACE where I should be posting pictures of all the corals I've added in the last month or two, but since it's midnight and my lights are out, they will have to wait! Updated FTS! I regret that some of the corals aren't fluffed and puffed out to their fullest, but considering how many tank photos I've taken this year and not gotten around to posting, this is more of a "JUST GET IT DONE AND POST IT" image! I take photos often, but I don't always like them and/or I convince myself to wait another week or two, till certain corals are out of QT and in the display, or I've cleaned up the algae/cyano/whatever I feel is making things ugly. Basically, I'm great at coming up with excuses for putting off updates! Hoping to outgrow that habit. I am dealing with a nasty cyano problem, but I've added a couple more conch snails to help out, and I have a box of Chemi-Clean waiting for me to get brave enough to go for it. Maybe I'll get to it this weekend and snap some photos to fill in that space up there ^. Why do I still have no background/that weird green color showing through from my wall?! (Love it for my dining room; do not love it as a reef backdrop!) I forget it's like this until I take pictures, because in person, I'm focused on the fish and corals. I tried black contact paper months ago, but failed miserably to get it smooth and ripped it all off. Must try something else soon. If it's still green in my next update, someone tell me to get it together already!
  11. Oh, no! I'm so sorry to hear about Fred and hope you can save Ginger. Do you know what's going on in the tank? I have meds on hand if you know what you need. Reef2reef is, by far, the best forum for help with disease issues. Give me a shout if there's something they recommend that isn't available at a nearby shop. I know it doesn't help your seahorses, but it might comfort you to know that Cindy Lou Sunburst is doing fantastic over here. She is queen of the tank and chases off anyone who gets too close; she likes her imaginary bubble.
  12. Ok, done deal.
  13. Next is the deposit and meeting up. I'll PM you to work out details.
  14. The USB model was the more popular one for a while; it's just been the last few borrowers requesting the handheld, so I wouldn't make much of that. If you read through some of the early posts in this thread, there's info on the USB one that makes me think it's the better meter, but the trade-off is needing to download software. No biggie for some; perhaps bothersome for others.