Monday, June 3, 2013

our peppermint shrimp are gravid...

i debated whether or not to try to catch 'em so i could raise the little shrimp larvae but I've got my hands full w/ the brine shrimp so i passed on the opportunity. would have been fun though!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

phytoplankton update

brine shrimp water no longer looks like pee! yay! split the culture again this week and am experimenting with the phyto-food dosage and amino acid additive. will keep you posted...

greedy little starfish...

chomping on the snail cerith eggs!

Monday, May 20, 2013

japanese dendros update

i promised i wouldn't buy any more coral until my japanese dendros extended their polyps. they're still testing out the waters and haven't fully come out yet. hurry up already! :) *sigh!*

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

1st phyto harvest!

i split my starter nanno phyto culture super thin and ended up having to wait 2 weeks before i could harvest. i'm really happy with the results! it's super green with no icky smells under the sink! 

i ended up adding 1 liter of our 1st harvest to our brine shrimp grow out tank since the water was almost clear and was able to save a liter in the fridge as a back-up while the phyto culture re-grows after this week's split. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

green green nanno phytoplankton culture!

update: 2013-05-08
the nanno phytoplankton culture is doing well! super green and no nasty chunking on the bottom or strange smells! yay!

from 2013-05-02:
my nanno phytoplankton + phyto-food order arrived today. super excited to finally get my 'green water' experiment going! check out the difference in the water... the brine shrimp are swimming in the stuff i tried to use as a phytoplankton culture and the two bottles are the new nanno liquid culture that arrived today. i plan on cleaning out my brine shrimp grow-out tub tonight since i feel bad they're living in nasty urine colored water.

Friday, April 26, 2013

happy NPS!

i decided to wait up and take pictures of some of our more lively NPS specimens...

our orange japanese dendros are very motivated to extend their polyps, but haven't just yet. i can tell they're def thinking about it b/c they've puffed up their flesh up to the very edge of their tubes and stuck their tentacles out just a hair. i'm guessing they're still testing the waters.

the blueberry gorgonian is like a stick covered with baby blue colored snowflakes and the yellow symbiotic polyps on our orange sponge are super happy as well! they're out everyday several times a day.

phytoplankton culture experiment

after about 3 days my first batch of phytoplankton crashed and i had to throw it out. i tried another batch (LEFT) that same day and within 24 hours i had dark dense chunks settling at the bottom, which is one of the first signs of a crash. the first two batches were made with a warm water saline solution like the kind i used for hatching my brine shrimp cysts while my latest culture (RIGHT) was made with a cold water solution. i figure since the phyto-feast lived in the fridge the warm water was probably scorching and shocking the poor little phytoplankton. either that or my live phyto-feast is really old and is probably all dead. i guess we'll see how it holds up. so far so good!

UPDATE: 2013-04-30 
i ended up throwing out my second batch (LEFT) and starting over with a cold water solution.   sadly, both are starting to go translucent after only about 48 hours.  i started a thread on reef central to enlist the help and advice of others and they're saying i may be better off trying an isolated species as reef nutrition's photo-feast is a mixed bag. luckily, i had gotten fed up with all the failed experiments and ordered some photo-food formulation and a nanno culture from aqua farm nursery DOT com off of eBay the day before! i'll keep you posted how it goes...

ps: i make sure my culture vessels have plenty of aeration via my little DIY air bubble lasso! :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

lemon yellow sun coral colony

thought i'd post an updated picture of our new super happy lemon yellow sun corals. it's pretty little but there a bunch of little baby heads budding on all sides! yay for eBay! :)

cherry rhyzo

someone listed this gorgeous cherry rhyzo on eBay right now @ $275 or buy it now for $325! if i had that kind of $ to blow i'd be all over this bad boy, but anything over $100 is just nuts to me...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

our latest acquisitions...

orange japanese dendros + yellow sun coral! this is my first eBay coral purchase(s) so not sure of their survival rate but i really do hope these bad boys thrive in our tank!

Friday, April 19, 2013

imma grow my own brine skrimpz!

i sat in traffic for over an hour yesterday just to go to my LFS only to find they didn't have any frozen hikari brine shrimp with spirulina in stock!  no NPS corals either!  grr!

i've decided to grow my own b/c it's not worth the drive to the LFS (for the cheapest price) anymore and it's not worth the overnight shipping costs even if i order in bulk. i'll keep you posted how i get this show on the road...

dug through our misc aquarium supplies and found a couple air pumps, an old crusty DIY refugium and remnants of a brine shrimp hatchery kit. i cleaned off everything and planned to hatch brine in the little hatchery doohickey then grow them out on our window sill in the little refugium next to the main tank. wish me luck on my little brine shrimp breeding adventure!

i ditched the DIY refugium and went with a larger sterilite tub so the critters have more room to grow. i'd like to have multiple cultures going so i'm going to try growing some tigger pods in a tub as well along side the brine once i have my phytoplankton culture established

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

really great TED talk by enric sala about the current conditions of our coral reefs!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

our latest acquisitions...

the walking dendro was a steal at $40 since it's was originally listed for $120. it's normally a neon green but lost all it's color under an LED fixture. hopefully, we can bring the color back. it's already been cruising around the tank. i'll stay up late one of these nights and try to get a video of the symbiotic worm it's housing. some of the polyps on the sponge are extended so i'm pretty sure they're happy campers in our mostly nps tank. i think we're maxed out on cyphastreas t the moment. if i find a crazy awesome colored one i'll likely pick it up, but think we're officially at capacity with our current collection. i'm still holding out for an arcohelia. saw a couple on ebay so i know they're out there. oh and a spiral wire too! someday...