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IntoTheMystic last won the day on January 11 2017

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About IntoTheMystic

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    Toad Fish
  • Birthday 07/14/1974


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    Oregon Coast

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    Newport, Oregon

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  1. IntoTheMystic

    June Hatfield Marine Science Center Meet 2018

    Nope. That animal is currently on exhibit and looking very good! Thanks for asking.
  2. IntoTheMystic

    June Hatfield Marine Science Center Meet 2018

    It's a lot of fun for me to host you guys! I'm very much looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and reconnecting with you all. I'll have some 'scopes set up and will be doing some kind of animal health procedure. Those that want to glove in and help out will have the opportunity to do so, as well. After the big Visitor's Center remodel recently, my lab is in a bit of a state of transition as well, with old systems coming down and new ones currently under development. Please come early and spend some time checking out the new VC, too! It was a major upgrade and I think it will meet with your approval. We're pretty stoked about it. I'm also looking forward to whatever culinary delights the gifted chefs in this outfit are planning for this meeting. As mentioned, there's a Weber grill available, along with ovens for reheating, fridges for storing and staging and a nice courtyard area. Who knows? I might have to throw down and bring something to contribute to the potluck as well. Might even be edible. See you soon! 🍺 Sid
  3. IntoTheMystic

    Help identify unknown pest in my tank

    I have never dealt with this gangster but given its appetite and its ability to quickly construct a tunnel of that length and diameter, I figured it had to be some kind of eucinid or similar badass ravenous worm. Sorry to be way late on the thread. Past week's been a blur. Good luck with this thing and keep us posted. Ya reckon it could be trapped? Something irresistible and funky like garlic carnivore gel or a chunk of raw fresh shrimp marinated in fish oil in a worm trap might work. I'd sho'nuff be motivated to bag this trophy.........
  4. IntoTheMystic

    Harlequin Shrimp & Asterina's

    Nossir, around 3% of the species in the Asterina genus eat corals.
  5. IntoTheMystic

    Harlequin Shrimp & Asterina's

    Sadly, those exhibits were taken down a few months ago due to the extensive remodel in the Visitor's Center. Lots of dust, noise and debris = bad for critters and acrylics alike! However, the long-term result was many fewer Asterinas and I never saw them eating coral tissue again. This approach removed them from 1 exhibit almost entirely (found 1 about every two months) and put the reproductive hurts on them in two other exhibits. They mostly reproduce by binary fission, which is why so many of them appear to be misshapen. The key is to keep up with the manual removal before the lights come on. I was harvesting them first thing in the morning five days a week. They like eating the algae and biofilm on the acrylic, where it is easiest to get to and they have the best grip. It will take a while but manual removal can work.
  6. IntoTheMystic

    Harlequin Shrimp & Asterina's

    Harlequins are cool animals and will most likely take care of the Asterina problem but the problem is that they are obligate star eaters. They eat the tube feet off the stars but around 3% of this genus will also eat coral tissue. After they munch all the Asterinas and brittle stars, they will starve out, which is problematic. An ethical way to get around this might be to move them from one of your systems to another or cut a deal with two or three other PNWMAS members to help them keep their Asterina populations under control. It's a bit of a biosecurity risk but might be a better alternative. The first time I saw these sea stars eating SPS tissue in one of my exhibits, I decided to proactively manage these suckers by manually removing them. Each morning before the lights came on, there would be dozens on the inside of the acrylic. I used a fine-mesh net to harvest and remove them. It took months and short of natural controls, you can never get them all but it made a definite impact. After a while, I only saw them occasionally but kept up with it. I'll admit that this approach is a bit tedious but it does work and it rewards the OCD coralhead that lives in most of us. Asterinas are mostly photophobic. If you go the manual removal route, use that to your advantage.
  7. IntoTheMystic

    White Growth on Arabian Dottyback

    Pretty hard to see what it might be in that image. If you can get a better shot or three and post them, I may be able to provide a bit more information.
  8. IntoTheMystic

    Target Feeding Theif

    You know you're a fish and invert geek when: You look at the first snail image and think, "Pretty nice shot of this marauding bulldozer." Then you see the second shot and think, "Look at the extension of that mantle tissue. That is one happy mollusc." Guilty.
  9. IntoTheMystic

    This fish needs a name...

    The Name of this Fish is Talking Heads. This is a bit of a touchstone for some of us here, I suspect.
  10. IntoTheMystic

    Smart idea for mounting power strips

    Very good idea. If you don't have a copier handy, you can also use a pencil and a piece of paper. Lay the paper over the powerstrip and use the pencil to create a stencil. What I like about this method is that you can cut the paper to fit the space where you want to mount the strip. Simply place the stencil into the space, drill your pilot holes et voila! Much less tedious and much more exacting than measuring distances. Or, you can use xmas_one's method and cut out the stencil. Either way, you get a snug, secure mount for the powerstrip! Something near and dear to any aquarist's heart for sure.
  11. IntoTheMystic

    Shark egg...maybe??

    http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/2012/05/04/beach-bling-clinging-wing-oyster/ Thought about this some more and thought it might be a larval Turkey Wing mollusc. But the link above suggests an oyster. Either way, looks like a cool hitchhiker to me.
  12. IntoTheMystic

    Shark egg...maybe??

    That bony knob in the third image sure looks like the umbo of a bivalve shell. Pretty sure that's a hinge right below it, which would confirm it. Looks like a juvenile mollusc of some type.
  13. IntoTheMystic


    Blue's right. I would quarantine this animal at least 4 weeks to ensure that, if it is Cryptocaryon irritans, you have interrupted the life cycle. That's key. Longer is even more advisable. Siphoning targets the tomont life stage, where they are on the bottom of the tank dividing into hundreds of theronts. They then hatch into the free-swimming larval stage, where the medication can affect them. Copper and other Txs really can't do much about the 1st stage, trophonts, and the second stage, the tomonts. It's a pain to deal with but very rewarding if you can save the fish through aggressive husbandry. Multiple water changes each day also help you stay ahead of NH3 on what may be an uncycled quarantine tank. My students made a siphoning tool out of the brush attachment of a vacuum cleaner snugged onto 1" PVC pipe with a hose attached. This works great for brushing and hoovering up the tomonts and makes siphoning 2-4 times a day less of a chore and much more effective. Just remember to sanitize and clean that thing well between siphon sessions. Again, good luck chef!
  14. IntoTheMystic


    If you have the space, the best option would be to remove that animal and put it in a quarantine tank. Then treat with an over-the-counter medication at the recommended dosage. In addition to treating the tank, you'll also want to gravel-vac the bottom of the tank aggressively, at least 2x/day to interrupt the life cycle, along with water changes. In the meantime, get that animal lots of greens like nori and algae-based foods. Here's a good diagram of the life cycle of this protozoan: http://www.rk2.com/uv-information.php Treat from within with appropriate foods. Treat from without with medication and aggressive husbandry. Good luck, chef!
  15. IntoTheMystic

    MACNA 2017 Recap

    Hey folks! MACNA 2017 was a lot of fun and, as always, very interesting. In addition to the usual frag vendors, acrylic tank crafters, abjectly awful and horrifically expensive brisket sandwich slingers, and a whole slew of professionals and hobbyists, there were some new and interesting trends that I thought I'd share with you guys. Lots of phytoplankton start-ups. In addition to the established players that have been around for a while like Reed Mariculture and AlgaGen, there were several new vendors showcasing common phyto strains, such as nannocloropsis, isocrysis, tetraselmis, etc., along with diatoms, flagellates and other critters for 'pod cultures, larval fishes and coral feeding. It's a cool trend if their QC is good enough to keep undesirables out of their clients' systems. It's also a positive trend if there are enough hobbyists that need fresh phyto to feed their corals, larval animals and gutload their 'pods and naups. Grab 'n' Go systems for retailers. These are very simple closed systems with modules that hobbyists can grab and take with them without making a mess in the car or in the store. They're buying the container along with the livestock, ostensibly saving the retailer time chasing that one particular ocellaris in a tank full of 350 Nemos. It's also an innovative marketing display. Long-term, the system is not built for healthy water and healthy animals, as the bio- and mechanical filtration is a mesh in the outflow trough in the back of each tier and, by design, the turnover in each cell and the system as a whole is pretty poor. However, I thought it was an interesting design. They might be good for bettas but not much else longer than hours of operation. It was also a reminder that this conference is for retailers, too! Next up, quite possibly the coolest algae scrubber I've ever seen. I spoke with the designer and builder, who blanched a bit when I referred to it as a scrubber but the concept is the same. It's kinda tough to see but the core of the unit is encrusted with 2-3 different types of high-output LEDs encased in a polymer tube designed to resist crazing from the heat. Inside the LEDs is a sealed tube of water. The water heats up, rises to the top of the sealed tube and heat leaves the system via the heat sink you can see there at the top of the unit. The algae grow on the coiled strands you can see that run the length of the unit. Lots of fancy plastic fabrication and beveling on this thing. Light passes through the logo next to the name for a bit of extra coolness. As you might guess, these things aren't cheap but they appear to be well made. I believe he told me this unit, the biggest one I saw in the booth which stands 30-32 inches high, retailed for around $1,800.00. If I took a chunk like that out of my budget at work, I'd probably lose my job after they re-assembled my employer's head but such is the stuff from which daydreams and deliciously low NO3 and PO4 params are woven. Nice unit. I'd love to build a teaching system around this thing. PImpyoursump.com. I have to admit, this Bashsea gear is pretty and definitely caught my eye but I was not overimpressed with the gauge of the acrylic. Plus, unless the buyer wants to spend as much time cleaning their sump as they do their display, it won't stay very pretty for very long. Then there's the attendant gurgling, pump noise and salt spray. They're cool, no doubt, but unless you want to showcase it in your living room (and good luck selling that to your SO,) you're better off spending half as much and having a more robustly built custom sump built by a crafty acrylic fabricator you know. Then there's this, also at the Bashsea booth. Skimmer or pinball machine? This unit stands around 48" high. The guy evaded three different attempts to get a price. If you have to ask..... I guess. But even still, let's say you have unlimited resources and want to connect this ringtailed screamer to your 1,500-gallon reef system. Sure looks like it could handle that volume. If I bought something that pretty, I'd want to keep it pretty but there isn't enough single malt in the world to get me to disassemble and clean the auger-looking thing in the tube on the left on a regular basis. Interesting hybrid system. When people find out what I do for a living, they often ask if I have any tanks at home. I don't but this got me thinking about it. It's made by a Canadian outfit called Brio and retails for (yikes!) $500.00. 9.5-gallon FW tank on the left, sump under and growing tray on the right for nutrient export. Small recirculating pump in the sump and LED readouts and controls on a panel in the back to tweak lighting duration and intensity. I had visions of fresh basil, chives and cilantro dancing in my head while I loitered in front of this thing, along with rummies, cardinals and a coupla Otocinclus. I've no intention of spending that kind of money on this system but it got me thinking about building something on a larger scale in my lab further on down the road. Saw lots of new rolling mechanical filtration systems with paper media, do-it-yourself automated home WQ testing units, 4-5 new rivals to Neptune Apex controllers/monitors and beautifully designed skimmers that also looked impossible for an adult to clean properly . Another trend was Chinese manufacturers, who I assume have been building pumps, skimmers and other LSS components for name brands for years, who are now trying to build their own brand awareness. Some of the gear looked pretty good, some of it looked pretty cheesy but it probably won't be long before we're debating the merits of an Aquarium Jalale pump versus one made by JIAYU. Overall, this was another great experience and in a very cool city. If you've never made it to a MACNA, they're pretty much fish- and invert-geek nirvana and well worth checking out to talk to vendors, get lots of free swag, see the newest/latest in gear, food, tank, LSS design and other stuff and generally have a great time. The raffles have uncommonly nice items and are held each of the three afternoons and if you scout stuff you need on Friday or Saturday and linger on Sunday afternoon, you can score some new gear on the cheap, as the vendors usually don't want to pack it back up and take it with them. Also, most of the speakers are very good, as are the workshops, both of which go on all day for each of the three days. The next MACNA is in Las Vegas in early September 2018. I've never had any desire to visit Vegas but I'm already registered and am looking forward to it. Hope to see you guys there!