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When you take pictures with a DSLR

I wanted to discuss that feeling that you get when you take a picture of your aquarium. Everything looks perfect to your eye, but the camera gives you a blue picture that seems less focused, slightly rounded, and overall it seems rather meh. Nothing that makes you want to share those images with others, at least not with any sense of pride.

Actinic pictures - Part 1

Taking pictures when all you've got are blue LEDs shining can be frustrating. Bottom line, it's unlikely you can take and share them instantly. The best method is to load them into some photo-editing software, and do some color correction to share something pretty others would appreciate.  I took about 100 pictures over the past 24 hours, and these were the ones that I felt were the most worthy.  I used Lightroom for post-processing.

When a Lyretail changes its sex

Did you know that if you get a harem of female Lyretail anthias, you'll end up with one or more males at some point? Lyretails are beautiful bright orange fish with a purple eyeliner like Cleopatra, when female. When one decides to change to male, the fish will turn bright purple, extending a spike on their dorsal fin and will express dominance over the females. This pictures today were unintentional, the fish swam into my field of view so I snapped a couple to share.

First, here's an example of a female.

That's surprising...

Sometimes we may notice tiny pockets of air building up in the area where the sand touches the glass. Occasionally you'll see worms, or pods, or just an empty tiny cavern to peer at, but this time I saw something different. This is a typical view, captured with my iPhone:

A pest I've not seen in a long time: red bugs

While taking a picture of the blue tort acropora that was recently mounted to the aquascape, I spotted something on the coral that I didn't want to see. To know for sure, I took a few more pictures with a couple of different lenses, trying to capture the exact spot I'd seen the first time.  It turned out to be real, I found two red bugs in my reef today.  

50 months today: The 400g reef & the Anemone Cube

It's been 1522 days, or exactly 50 months since the 400g was restarted. And it's really looking more beautiful each day.  I'm enjoying the open space above the corals, seeing how the acroporas have room to grow upward and the fish to swim. The reef is so colorful, and especially so when it's only lit with XHO lighting. I wish you could see it the way I see it because the camera just can't capture the beauty that the human eye can.  

Trying out Reef Welder in my reef

Several years ago, I got a coral from the LFS that I thought was a green slimer. Turns out, it was a Lime In The Sky, so I call it a Limer. It grew from a 1.5" frag into a decent colony about 12" tall over the years, despite what the Shadowcaster tried to do to it. A couple of weeks ago, I saw a white spot on the colony; clearly something/someone had broken a piece off. Looking beneath, I found it perched in the rockwork behind the Sebae anemone, doing quite well.

I built an aquarium cabinet for a frag tank

After the customer told me he wanted me to build his frag tank, he asked if I'd build the stand as well. I said yes. This is the project I undertook, using cabinet-grade plywood. I did use a lesser quality sheet for the top piece since it would never be seen, as well as the inner bottom panel which also is out of sight. The lumber was purchased at Home Depot, and each sheet was cut up on a CNC machine. The final cuts were cut on a compound miter saw, and then everything was glued and nailed together.