A lot has happened and has come and gone in the tank since the last update.
First the worst news.
The fifteenspined Stickleback has deceased 😦 Not sure why, he was doing fine now for over 4 months and I net fed him daily with either tiny live prawns or unthawed mysis shrimp. However he was getting slimmer and I would have given him another two days before I would have returned him. Unfortunately I shouldnt have hesitated so long. I think he would have needed tons of live mysis shrimp to do really well, my mysis breeding attempts werent fast enough. Here a few old and new pictures for his tribute.
The test kit returns zero phosphates. But still I have lots of hairalgea and this dreading red bacteria on the sand. It usually grows around the anemones where there is less ground traffic and sand disturbance. From what I read this red bacteria live on the phosphates and consume them straight when they appear so thats why the measurement returns a zero reading. I have been sucking them off before/while doing a water change and that has kept them very much in check but I am thinking of getting a phosphate reactor as I will always have excess phosphates with so many fish in the tank. On the good side nitrates are back to zero 🙂 They where down to near zero way before the appearance of the red bacteria on the sand so I guess rearranging the live rocks to a very low flow area in the sump has had a fairly drastic good effect and encouraged anaerobic bacteria growth.
Camera at last
Happily finally received my first proper camera. All previous pictures and some of this post where done with the SAMSUNG Galaxy Xcover2 Smartphone. The new camera is a beginners DSLR Nikon D3200 with the kitlens 18-55mm nothing fancy but shocking difference to what I am used to of course ;-). Only getting used to the settings and doing a lot of trial and error but the results are satisfying already. I wasnt sure will the kitlens be suitable for aquarium photography or will I need a proper macrolens but so far I am quite surprised.
New inhabitants doing well
So far the new inhabitants from the last two weekends are doing well.
The purple seastar (Henricia sanguinolenta/Henricia oculata) is surprisingly active on top of things and can be seen a lot which is nice of course.
Some nice new small anemones…
Gem Anemone Aulactinia verrucosa
Horseman Anemone Urticina eques. This one is all the way back in the AQ and I was still able to make such a “close up” shot with the kit lens which I didnt expect 🙂 See the nice little shoot of coral weed on the rock? Amazing detail at 50cm distance.
One of the beadlet anemones has given birth to about 23 tiny 2mm baby anemones. Most of them have disappeared after a day or have probably been snacked by the Nudibranch. Perfect timing as I wouldnt have been able to shoot this with the phonecamera.
The Seahare Aplysia punctata from a previous post is doing really well and seems to grow very fast (about 1cm in two weeks!). Actually there is two and they fascinate me a lot with their weird shape and skin texture. I read they feed on red algea when juvenile and then go over to green and brown ones and grow up to 7-20cm! I believe these ones are feeding on the red hairalgea at the moment as the brown seaweeds in their path dont show any signs, also their colour apparently changes according to the colour of algea they are eating. Would be brilliant to see it go green at some stage.
A few more small very nicely coloured beadlet anemones and a snakelocks have joined the tank as I couldnt resist their stricking colours. According to some research I read the green beadlet anemone is actually a seperate species but I am unsure if this one is not just a colour variation.
The Corkwing Wrasse of previous posts was returned as it has grown a good bit and was replaced by a tiny much redder one. Beautiful colours but very difficult to shoot as they are always busy. I like the way they use the oversized end of their dorsalfins as the main propulsion when scooting the weeds.
I am still trying to breed Mysis shrimp and Hippolyte varians in a small tank for interest and also to add them to the Displaytank as a food source. Whatever survives is very nice to look at too. More to this in a later post but here a shot of a massive female Mysis shrimp I found recently. Its about 3,5cm!
The still not yet clearly identified crab is a great addition. Fairly active and adding some different seaweeds to mainly his head part almost daily. Not sure if it falls off and needs to be replaced or if its just a fashion thing 😉 I was worried that it will get bullied or does bully but it seems to fit in well doing his own thing. When I made these shoots I knew the camera was worth it already 🙂
The three spined Sticklebacks seem to be doing well and getting bigger, only one is always a bit behind and has never really gone as crazy for the flakefood as the others but is also growing. Always busy and very good swimmers especially when the food gets swirled around in the flow of the wavepumps. Will try to make some videos soon hopefully. Also a nice shot here of one of the twospotted gobies.
One of the striped brittle stars from last year is showing its self every so often especially after an addition of a bit of phytoplankton. Also seems to have grown a good bit since the introduction.
Now last but not least the bare rock with Coral weed and Carragheen shoots is starting to really get overgrown 🙂 Also the badly perforated Fucus (aka snail dinner) acts as a host for Ephiphytes some of them are actually extremely nice to look at.