Day 335 commemorates the 11 month period the 400g and 60g have been running. During that time, I've watched corals grow into colonies and fish get fatter. The biggest hurdle was a big setback about eight to twelve weeks ago when I realized the tank was overdosed with bacteria. Corals faded, green pigment vanished in many corals, SPS died back. I've discussed this in detail in my blog on ReefAddicts.com, and will do a video on Youtube to talk about it to help others avoid similar fates...
This is a Collonista snail. It's a little hitchhiker, and doesn't grow to be bigger than a bb. Usually you'll see them late at night coming up the glass as tiny round dots. Great little grazers. In one of these two pictures, you'll see an astrea in the shot for a size comparison. This little guy was actually bigger than most. I do feed a lot. lol
Shooting a few shots with my macro lens yesterday, I spotted an oddity on a branch of the staghorn coral and focused on that area momentarily. It looks like a SPS polyp captured a small piece of a LPS hammer's tip that came off somehow. It's about the right size and shape. It was moving in the flow, held on by mesenterial filaments. Hope it liked the snack.
What's a vermetid worm? It's a creature that casts a web into the water column to trap food as it blows by. Webs appear quickly as soon as the worm smells food in the water. To eat the trapped bits of food, the worm reels in the webbing and consumes those morsels. The web may irritate nearby corals, or you the hobbyist. You can break off the calcified tube and cover the spot with super glue gel to eliminate this pest. If you leave it be, you may end up with more of them in the tank. Here's the page in the ID section on this site:
I recently purchased some new ballasts and bulbs for the 400g. I've been observing the livestock and debated whether to change the current configuration to only 250w bulbs or to upgrade all the way across to 400w bulbs. For the past 10 years, I've been running 250w - 400w - 250w bulbs because the center bulb was always a 20,000K bulb and the outer bulbs were 10,000K. This worked nicely, and it looked like the sun was shining down in the center. PAR was equalized since the bluer bulb's lesser intensity was punched up with the additional watts.
"When I'm just not feeling all that great about my tank, it's always nice to take some time to enjoy it from above. Stopping the pumps and gazing down or using a Top Down Photo Box to give me crystal clear access to look at each coral gives me a whole new appreciation for the life growing in my closed eco-system, which helps spur me on for another duration. This reef setup is only 5.5 months old... so much more to come."
So I updated the website to the latest software, following the instructions to a T. And it broke the site. I should have saved a screenshot.
It took me about two years to redesign melevsreef.com, my main website that I've cared for since roughly 2002. It has helped countless people over the years, and during my travels people come up to me often thanking me for said information provided assisted them in their reefkeeping. In early 2012, I began building a new version to replace the aged website -- using a database-driven CMS (content management system) instead of HTML-code that I was so very familiar with.
The tank is running very smoothly, and is oblivious to the weather outside. It's been icy cold, and then a few days later in the 80s. They call this winter, but it doesn't feel like it to me. Here are a few pictures from February.
Everyone has been asking me about the newly repaired tank, if it has been set up, when am I going to reveal the latest aquascaping, etc. The tank is empty, just as it arrived.