Rebuilding A 20Gal After A Move

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Donya

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One of my zebra hermits in the non-reef making poor choices. It's fine, but the green brittle was pretty angry.

hermit_brittle_sm2.jpg
 

NickAu

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OMG I have never seen a green brittle before, that is one cool looking critter.
 
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Couple full tank shots. I must confess to having gone full cheesy with the non-reef. The left side of the tank was getting kind of crowded with most of my inverts wanting to hang out by/in the cave formed by the rocks and the open sandy area on the right was essentially unused and kept turning into ugly Caulerpa tangles. I didn't want to do another big rock pile since it can be tough to make them stable (and I've never found epoxy to help much when large hermits and urchins are involved), so I found an alternate solution that will let my crabs climb out of the water while providing an alternate cave for critters that like to be inside things. The big piece of cheese only just went in, so everyone is a bit wary of it at the moment, although the zebra hermits have been been on the top a few times already. Will have to see if the new addition satisfies the big hermits enough that I can remove the "crab basket" they like to use for molting (it's the thing on the left).

nonreef_fts.jpg


reef_fts.jpg
 
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I think I finally figured out what my little blue guy is...sort of. Previously I thought he was a species of Amblyglyphidodon and was wondering if he was stunted because he wouldn't grow and retained the big-eyed "baby face" that young damsels typically grow out of. I recently saw my little fish's likeness on another site, where it labeled as an undescribed deep water chromis. Interesting! I've tried to link to the pic on the other site, hopefully it shows up:

chromis1.jpg


My little dude hates the camera with a passion so I don't think I'll ever get a clean pic like that. Anyway, that would explain why my little blue guy was a one-off and I've never seen another in the five years since.
 
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Holy smokes, I actually got a pretty clear picture of my little blue guy, although totally by accident. I was trying to get the coral and he just darted in at the right moment.

bluefish_sm2.jpg


Unfortunately I will have to start breaking these tanks down soon. They have really flourished in the last year, but I have to move again (I thought I'd be staying put for longer when I set them up last year). Hopefully I can get these tanks back up and running quickly again after moving later this month.
 

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Sorry to hear that,
 
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Back up and running after relocation. Neither tank really needs the sponge filters that are in there anymore, but they are helping with pod production currently an not harming anything, so I'm going to wait a bit longer before taking those out.

both_tanks_cropped_sm1.jpg


Unfortunately, I lost two fish since my last post in this thread. Neither were youngsters an one wasn't really a surprise at all in that regard given how long I'd had it. Since that left one tank fish-less, I decided this week on a flame angel for the reef. I think that'll be it for me for fish even though it's sparse. The flame angel kind of reminds me of when I used to have a goldfish.
 
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Cool find today for my non-reef: Dardanus guttatus, the blue knee hermit.

dardanus_guttatus_sm2.jpg
 
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More pics as things settle in.

The reef is growing nicely.
reef_fts_2017_08_09_sm (1).jpg


The non-reef always looks like there's nothing in it. There are actually quite a number of hermits in there and a big engineer goby, but you wouldn't know it half the time.
nonreef_fts_2017_08_09_sm (1).jpg


Mr. blue knees has a new shell and is very pleased about it. I think he was starved by his previous owner though before being dropped off at the shop. It's common for that to happen to big hermits in sparsely fed reefs, who then get sacked when they become desperate and eat something more valued than they are. This guy was a bit skinnier than expected on the back end and and desperate for food in the first week in a way I've never really seen before. I fed him silversides, and he'd grab a huge piece he couldn't eat in one sitting and then alternate sleeping and eating it until every last scrap was gone. Now he's more a nibbler here and there, which is a sign of a happy healthy crab.
dardanus_guttatus2_sm (1).jpg
 

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Seeing this makes me want to go to the dark side.
 
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Good grief, since my last post I may have been been out of town more than in! Only was back to see my tanks for short periods of time in between trips lasting 1-2 weeks a piece.

Before I set off I set up two auto top off units, one per tank. They are AutoAqua Smart ATO Micro units. They work really well; just needed to make sure I cleaned the sensors between trips (it can get bio goop accumulating). The clip they came with to anchor the tubing was too small for my 20gals' thickness so I had to zip tie the tubing to the canister filter outlet, which has worked just fine. It's very nice to know I can be gone for a couple weeks with no one watching the tank and come back to see the specific gravity just as I left it.

Since I'm done with crazy travels for the next few months, I went to my favorite aquarium shop to see what interesting stuff was around. Got a couple halloween hermits (Ciliopagurus strigatus) for my reef tank and I *think* I have a Dardanus deformis (a type of anemone hermit) for my non-reef. The ID will remain fuzzy for a while though since I can only see his claws and feet. It's been several hours now and not even lovely smelly silversides can't persuade him to do more than poke a foot out. I might have to keep him in a breeder box until he eats if this is going to be the personality.
 
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Who's a pretty boy?
dardanus_deformis1_sm2.jpg


So far he has eaten about 1/2" of silverside tail and several algae wafers. It's pretty much following the same pattern of initially desperate eating that my blue knee Dardanus exhibited at first, so I'm going to let him spend the first night with a big pile of food in the basket before putting him in the main tank (unless he feels comfortable making his own exit before then).
 

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Who's a pretty boy?
View attachment 86070

So far he has eaten about 1/2" of silverside tail and several algae wafers. It's pretty much following the same pattern of initially desperate eating that my blue knee Dardanus exhibited at first, so I'm going to let him spend the first night with a big pile of food in the basket before putting him in the main tank (unless he feels comfortable making his own exit before then).
That's so cool! One day I want to set up a saltwater tank....
 

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