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Old 09/23/2019, 08:57 AM   #1076
Michael Hoaster
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Thanks Kevin!

The tanks is doing well. QT is at 25 days so they're just about done. One of the Allen's damsels looks a little skinny, so I may hold him longer, but the rest look great.

I think I've got some manatee grass on the way, so I will probably try to get that planted before I introduce the new guys. I'm not sure yet.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 09/23/2019, 09:51 PM   #1077
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What is killing my brown grasilaria? Allelopathy, me thinks.

Suspects include the fern caulerpa and ulva, both of whom have grown a lot lately. Also, the turtle weed is a known allele-combatant.

It's kind of weird for me, because I want it gone, but now that it's going, I wonder about the cause, and could it kill the plants I want to keep? Mind you I'm not trying to save it either. But now, I'd like to replace it with some other ground cover between the grasses. I want to provide cover for the little guys, like pods and micro stars.

Another new plant popped up recently that I need to decide on keeping or not. I need to decide soon because it can be invasive. Its Dictoya, which I'd automatically get rid of, but it looks to be the kind with some blue iridescence. So it could be pretty. Hence my quandary.

I've finally succeeded in getting some of the petticoat algae growing on the back wall. They're tiny but it's a start. This could look very cool up there. Another candidate for the wall.

With the weather cooling down up here at 7500 ft, I think I'm starting to keep the tank water temp below 80. Maybe the codium, which has died back over the summer, can come back. I'll keep an eye on it. I think there are two whole plants left. I do hope it rallies. It looks great among the grasses.

Oh, and I think I will have some new manatee grass plants soon. I'm really looking forward to filling in my little meadow. The ones I have left are doing well, including the ones I transplanted. But there is a big empty space I'd like to get filled.

Coming up on ten months. Still aways off from the vision for this aquarium. I'm moving in the right direction!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 09/24/2019, 10:34 PM   #1078
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Another view from the end. The reds have really filled out. The mangroves continue to grow taller. Further back you can see the fern caulerpa climbing the back wall, and the ulva on the sand bed is growing exponentially. So yep, plants are growing. The tank is maturing and the ecosystem is still evolving.

It's getting close to time to introduce some damsels! Can't wait.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 09/26/2019, 01:09 AM   #1079
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Qt 28 days.

Today I was observing QT, mostly looking for clues to why one of the damsels is skinny. It shares the tank with another, so I watched for aggression. There was some. So I decided to move the aggressor to the adjacent QT, with one damsel in it. So the skinny one gets relief and the other, a new tank mate.

What happened after I put the two fish together looked like love at first sight. First they got close and still, appearing to size each other up. They seemed to realize very quickly that they were opposite sexed. At that point passion took over completely. If that wasn't spawning, it was very good practice. I think these two are going to get along…

One interesting thing I noticed with the Allen's Damsels in the display, is that the two fishes' coloring were slightly different. I wondered if it was a gender difference. Seeing the new pair in QT, I'm seeing a similar difference in coloring. Could it be possible to sex these fish by color?



4-6-2019


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Old 09/28/2019, 12:14 AM   #1080
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I got three of the allen's damsels introduced into my display today. So exciting! I'm fascinated with fish introductions. Watching their initial reactions, their gradual adjustment, and lots of other social interactions is riveting.

At first, all three hid out. Then one brave sole popped up and started the process. A while later another came out. Eventually all three came out and interacted with the two establish damsels. They hung pretty tight for a while and kind of schooled. It will be interesting to see how they do in the morning.

A few pics:













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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 09/28/2019, 08:29 PM   #1081
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I had some catching up to do Michael. I loved hearing how when you moved the aggressor out of its QT and into another QT that they really hit it off. Kind of like a Hallmark movie and I am a sucker for a happy ending.


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Old 09/28/2019, 10:38 PM   #1082
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That was a surprise, for sure, Dawn. A whirlwind romance. Now that they're in the big tank, I haven't seen them interact that way. Otherwise they're doing great. They colored up better today too. They're still settling in. Everybody is adjusting to each other. I'll watch them for a couple weeks to see if I want to add more. I'm enjoying the fish watching!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 09/29/2019, 08:08 AM   #1083
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How exciting! The tank looks fantastic and must really pop with all that moving color explosion from the Allen's damsels, and combined with the contrast of the other damsels looks great. What are your plans for future stocking of fish other than more damsels?


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Old 09/29/2019, 09:05 AM   #1084
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Thanks Kevin! Having more of these beauties in the tank is great. I'll decide on more damsels or not after I see how they settle in. As for non-damsels, I'm thinking a harem of captive bred Orchid Dottybacks. I'm also looking into something a bit bigger, like a dwarf angel or a tang, or something else.

The trick with choosing a bigger fish is to get one that doesn't disrupt the overall system. Ideally it would contribute to it. So I've been looking at fish that eat detritus, like some of the dwarf angels and tangs of the Ctenochaetus genus.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 09/30/2019, 06:58 AM   #1085
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I think that your stocking plan will result in a really amazing tank (not that it isn't already)!


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Old 09/30/2019, 09:19 AM   #1086
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Nice of you to say, Kevin!

Right now, I'm leaning towards a Herald's Angel. From what I've read, they seem to eat more detritus than algae, but some algae. I guess the big question for me is would they go after any of the macros I'm trying to keep?

In a perfect world, this fish would help with detritus cleanup and take small nibbles here and there of my macros, so I wouldn't have to prune.

The Ctenochaetus tangs have a mouth designed for detritus, but they tend to get a bit bigger than I'd like.

Kevin, do any of the angels you've kept sound like what I'm looking for?


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 09/30/2019, 12:06 PM   #1087
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Michael
The tank looks great. Big changes happened when I was away. Its alive !!!!!


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Old 09/30/2019, 04:58 PM   #1088
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Hey thanks lapin! Nice to hear from you again. How's that 500?


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 09/30/2019, 11:22 PM   #1089
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I exported a lot of the ulva I had on the sand bed. It looked cool but it was getting huge and I worried that it was shading out some seagrass. I left some there to start it up again. I also decided to remove the Dictoya that was growing on the back wall. It had some iridescence but not a lot, so I made the call. I would not be surprised to see more of it pop up.

The new damsels are fitting in well I think. Everyone seems to be getting used to each other. It's cool to see a bunch of different sized ones. You can see how they change as they grow. Unlike a lot of damsels, these get prettier as they get older.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 10/01/2019, 07:08 AM   #1090
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Yes, I kept a Herald's angel many years ago and it was very hardy. It ate everything that I gave it to eat, not picky at all. It even ate flakes when I went on vacation. I think if you can get it to eat food that you introduce into the tank, it shouldn't have a huge effect on the overall balance of your tank. It may graze a little bit, but a full belly will keep it from grazing too much, I suspect.

This was way before ordering fish on-line, so whatever the LFS had to choose from, that's what you had to choose from. I was hoping for a lemon peel angelfish, but decided on the Herald's because I needed a splash of yellow in my tank. I'm glad that I chose that fish, because it got along well with everything, and, as it turns out is quite beautiful. The faint orange and green pastel markings on the fins and tail look like an artist's fine detail. They're a beautiful fish. I think it would look wonderful in your tank.


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Old 10/01/2019, 11:54 PM   #1091
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Awesome Kevin, thanks! I really like the Heralds'. I just don't know if one would wreck my macros. Gorgeous fish! I'll keep reading.

I may move the last Allen's Damsel up to the display tomorrow, depending how it looks. It seems to be finally getting fatter. That would bring them to six. I could probably add more but when I think of adding a harem of Orchid Dottybacks, it makes me think maybe I shouldn't. I'll keep watching and thinking…


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 10/03/2019, 11:32 PM   #1092
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Today I got the last Allen's Damselfish into the display. It's the smallest and skinniest, so I was worried it might get picked on. It dove into the live rocks for a few minutes, then popped out to join the rest. Would they notice the one additional member? It kind of blended right in, even joining everyone at feeding time. Smooth! Normally, with 'normal' damsels, you couldn't do that. But with these mellow souls, no problemo!

I'd highly recommend these fish except for their uronema problem. If you are not seriously ready to invest in the meds and time and effort, don't bother. It's heartbreaking to watch them die so quickly. IF you can get them through QT, they grow more beautiful as they grow bigger-stunning!

The fern caulerpa is crisscrossing the back wall, but snails are eating the 'fronds' quicker than they can grow back. It's weird because the ones on the sand bed have not been eaten. The brown grasilaria that's been dying off is still mostly gone. Some is coming back on the wall but it's full of snails, so I don't know if it will succeed.

I added a second peppermint shrimp last week. Having two will hopefully give me babies. I don't expect any to survive into adults, but you never know. Most will be eaten by the fish.

The tank looks so much more lively with all the damsels. I think there's room for a few more, but I'll watch them a bit longer before I decide.

All three QTs are shut down now, and will get disinfected before another round. I may be giving the big one in my office to my wife for the winter. She wants to bring in our garden pond goldfish, before it freezes. Maybe now I can clean up my office…


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 10/04/2019, 08:29 AM   #1093
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I've been MIA for a while now. Good to see the progress! Are those mangroves?


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Old 10/04/2019, 08:32 AM   #1094
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Hey McPuff! Yep, those are mangroves!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 10/05/2019, 10:03 AM   #1095
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I am so happy to hear how well the damsels adjusted to moving into the display, even the small skinny one. Damsels are underrated in my opinion. Affordable does not equate to less desirable.


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Old 10/07/2019, 03:08 PM   #1096
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That's great Michael! Sounds like things are going well. How is the manatee grass doing this week?


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Old 10/08/2019, 11:58 PM   #1097
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Thanks Dawn! I went camping over the weekend. When I returned, there were only five Allen's damsels visible, so I presume the small one perished. Ugh. Maybe I should have kept it in QT longer.

I agree, they're underrated. They're nearly perfect aquarium fish. Finding and learning about 'my' damsels has been very rewarding. For now I'll watch them to see how they interact, and how their social structure evolves and stabilizes. I find it very entertaining.

Next, I want to figure out what's next for the plants. I think I need to prune back a few, and choose a direction. It feels a little unfocused right now. Most of that is because the plantscape is still in transition, but I want to steer it along towards the vision.

I have to be more patient in this second version, since I want more specific plants this time. For example, I really want the turtle weed to cover the back wall, but so far I'm just happy to keep what I have alive. It seems very touchy, so I'm not confident ripping a chunk off and sticking it up on the wall. I just have it against the wall. I hope I can make it happy enough to grow and spread.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 10/09/2019, 12:04 AM   #1098
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Thanks Kevin! It's humming along. The manatee grass looks good this week, if a little overrun by the fern caulerpa. I'm not sure I like the look. If they don't do well on the back wall, I may not want it at all. I think this weekend I'll make some choices and some changes.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 10/09/2019, 12:15 AM   #1099
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Here's a shot from my bike ride Saturday in Crested Butte. Enjoy the fall colors, everyone!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 10/09/2019, 07:07 AM   #1100
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That looks beautiful! Our trees are just starting to turn now for the most part. I think that a lot of our trees lost leaves early because of our drought situation, but that's a guess.

Sorry about the potential loss of your small damsel. Maybe it will turn up. You have a lot of hiding spots in the wall.


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