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Old 11/29/2018, 04:00 PM   #426
Michael Hoaster
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Oddly enough I don't have one, lapin. I do have a styro cooler from Live Aquaria I could take a few pinches from. I'm reluctant to do anything in the tank right now. I just moved over some fish so I want to give them some peace. I'm not sure the test grass thing would be accurate anyway. I may just wait until I get the real thing, hopefully next week.

It's funny, the fish and the plants I've added would seem dinky in a nano tank! That's cool. I like to start small.

Signs of new life are appearing. I have a small patch of diatoms on the sand. My water still hasn't cleared, but I think the light is penetrating OK for the plants.


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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 11/29/2018, 07:40 PM   #427
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Hooray! I am excited to see this tank in action!


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Old 11/29/2018, 08:35 PM   #428
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Thanks Kevin! Well put - a helpful nudge. That's what I was going for.

Hooray! Yes thanks Dawn! Ah, aquarium life! How I missed you! It feels like I just moved back to the beach! It really felt like a part of me was missing. And now that part is back. I'm on the jazz!



Sandbar, before the manatee grass moves in. The simplicity takes me to a zen place…



Barnacle Blenny, chillin' down by the rocks. Top left you can see a one inch hypnea plant.



Barnacle Blenny, "Seems like a good barnacle. I could live here."



A little String of Pearls.



View from the right end. Middle plant was a freebie. Can't remember the name. It survived in my holding tank better than the plants I paid for. I'll get a better pic of it next time.



Shoal grass 1.



shoal grass 2.

It seems like a good idea to document the very beginning of this naturalist adventure! I'm already back on the couch, staring at my little slice of the ocean. I got the moonlight going tonight. With nothing to block the light, the shimmer on the sandbar was mesmerizing. It's good to be back…


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 11/30/2018, 06:08 AM   #429
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I love it Michael! And those barnacle blennies . They are adorable! Its going to be so much fun watching the grasses grow from sprigs to a seagrass flat swaying back and forth with the wave. Talk about mesmerizing! This tank is going to nail it !!!


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Old 11/30/2018, 09:10 AM   #430
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Those blennies are going to be so fun to watch! I love to see mine come out.

The tank looks great so far. You've really got something special and it's going to be exciting to watch it take shape.


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Old 11/30/2018, 09:18 AM   #431
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Thanks Dawn! I really enjoy the barnacle blennies too. When I stare at the tank, I can picture it with the seagrasses filled in. Can't wait for that!


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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 11/30/2018, 09:25 AM   #432
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Thanks McPuff! The blennies are comically small in big tanks, but they're just so darn cute. The tank's coming along, with a few things still to work out, but so far, so good!


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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 11/30/2018, 12:19 PM   #433
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Lookin great. It actually looks very professionally done. Something you might see at a large aquarium complex. Cant wait to see some green.


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Old 11/30/2018, 01:47 PM   #434
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Thanks lapin! That's high praise. I look forward to green as well!


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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 11/30/2018, 06:29 PM   #435
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Hey Michael
The progress on v2 has been wonderful to read about. I’ve been in the background cheering you on. I’m excited to see how the changes you made impacts your overall goals.


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Old 11/30/2018, 07:22 PM   #436
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Hey thanks wilder! I'm so glad you've enjoyed it! I think it will be cool to apply what I learned in v1 to this aquarium. I have so much more info, experience and a clear idea what I want this time. If all goes well, it shouldn't be too difficult to get where I want. The look will be more minimal and simple, I hope!


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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 12/03/2018, 07:13 AM   #437
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Everything looks fantastic so far. Yeah, those blennies are so cool. I want a species tank just for them now Your background, the sand bar, and the rockscape looks very natural, nicely done!


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Old 12/03/2018, 08:26 AM   #438
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Thanks Kevin!


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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 12/03/2018, 01:31 PM   #439
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No real progress on my part this weekend. I've just been observing the gradual progression of new life, or to put it more mundanely, diatoms.

I'm still playing around with the wave box. I removed the top, which made it more quiet and possibly work better. I'm finding that the water level plays a big part in it's performance too. Right now, I'm running the water level higher, and I'm getting almost no wave at all. So, I'm still checking all the variables to see how they effect it. Once I find optimum water level, that's where I'll keep it.

When I captured the blennies for transfer, I only could find four of them, so I just added the four, hoping that the fifth would turn up. Finally, I saw it today, still in the QT. Of the four that were transferred, two went straight into the back wall and disappeared. Today, one of them finally came out. She's now hangin' in the barnacles. So now there are two in the barnacles and one in the rocks. Hopefully the last straggler will emerge from the wall soon.

My next actions include getting another round of fish in quarantine, and hopefully, planting new seagrass. I've got more guys, like worms and snails, etcetera, to transfer over, from the holding tank, but I want to wait awhile, so they'll have food in the tank.


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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 12/03/2018, 07:00 PM   #440
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I am glad that the 5th barnacle blenny did NOT show DOA! When the last one in the wall makes its appearance your tank must just be streaking blennies everywhere at feeding time. I only have 2 but they zip here and there and back to their holes in no time at all. Of course your tank is more than 3Xs the size of mine so maybe its not as wild as I am picturing, LOL.

What sort of fish are you putting into QT next? And how many?


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Old 12/03/2018, 10:53 PM   #441
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Thanks Dawn! It was a relief. And now, three of them have found each other. They really loosen up when they're around each other. Separately they were hiding and alone. Two of them dueled for the rights to the barnacle today. It was a great nature show! Like an elephant seal beach duel, in miniature. Hopefully, the last one in the wall will come out and join the party. And there's the last one in QT to add. So not quite the dazzle yet, but I'm encouraged so far. They also eat more around each other. They're very competitive.

I decided to add the Royal Grammas next. Seven. For this size harem, I think it's good for them to have the tank to get settled. With only the blennies in before them, they can focus on establishing a peaceful hierarchy, without distraction. Seeing these fish together in my tank is my dream. I've kept a harem before, in v1, and it was so cool! Adding them this early in the introduction schedule indicates their priority.

Keeping groups of fish gives you much more natural behaviors. Each species performs it's own soap opera. Keeping multiple groups gives you multiple channels to watch. My challenge will be to add two more groups - of damsels. I don't know how many of each can coexist together in this tank. Right now I'm leaning towards five of each. You need enough, to spread around aggression. But few enough that they can have some space in a given tank size.

And then, there are the interactions between species groups. Getting the right combination is tricky. It helps if they hang at different levels in the water column. Also, I think it helps if they all look different from each other. Truthfully, I have no idea how it will go. I have given it some thought, now it's time to see if it works.


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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 12/04/2018, 06:26 AM   #442
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I love this plan. The blennies will provide plenty of benthic entertainment, while the royal gramma harem will provide grace and beauty to the upper and mid water column. This tank will be a fun one to watch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
Keeping groups of fish gives you much more natural behaviors. Each species performs it's own soap opera. Keeping multiple groups gives you multiple channels to watch. My challenge will be to add two more groups - of damsels. I don't know how many of each can coexist together in this tank. Right now I'm leaning towards five of each. You need enough, to spread around aggression. But few enough that they can have some space in a given tank size.
This is the entire principle of my tank with regard to fish. I have three benthic species though, and the only aggression, for the most part, is within each species, and that is minimal. The key is to provide enough hiding places and escape routes for them until they can establish their own territories. I'll save the details for a future post in my thread.


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Current Tank Info: 101g 3'X3'X18" Cubish Oyster Reef Blenny tank, 36"X17"X18" sump
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Old 12/04/2018, 06:40 AM   #443
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Hmm... now I'm thinking that my single gramma is not enough. I may have to add some more as well. I really like the idea of having a small Group of them. They are just too cool. Do I remember correctly that this a species that does best in odd numbers?


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Old 12/04/2018, 05:09 PM   #444
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Thanks Kevin!

You've proved that high density housing can work - with the right fish, and the right physical structure. I look forward to hearing more!


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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 12/04/2018, 06:23 PM   #445
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I think adding more grammas would work for you, McPuff. I'm not sure about that odd number thing. For harems, you want one larger male, and several smaller females. They all start as females. Whether they are in odd numbers or not doesn't seem to matter, as far as I know. I've read that odd number thing dozens of times, but I've never seen any scientific data to support it. I wonder where that came from. Maybe it makes more sense for loose schools?


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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 12/04/2018, 10:23 PM   #446
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The last blenny has emerged from the back wall. He hasn't found his compatriots yet. He's holed up in a hole in the new fake wall, at the left end of the tank. Now, if I could just catch the fifth one in QT!

The tank's coated in diatoms. I've never seen so much! I think I can start adding snails now. It's the birth of an ecosystem! I'll start adding detrivores soon. Mostly it's waiting and observing right now. Nature will teach me what I need to do next, if I'm smart enough understand it.

Hopefully I'll be adding plant material soon!


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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 12/05/2018, 10:24 AM   #447
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
The last blenny has emerged from the back wall. He hasn't found his compatriots yet. He's holed up in a hole in the new fake wall, at the left end of the tank. Now, if I could just catch the fifth one in QT!

The tank's coated in diatoms. I've never seen so much! I think I can start adding snails now. It's the birth of an ecosystem! I'll start adding detrivores soon. Mostly it's waiting and observing right now. Nature will teach me what I need to do next, if I'm smart enough understand it.

Hopefully I'll be adding plant material soon!
Ha ha, you sound excited about all the diatoms! I am guessing this is NOT the ugly stage to you because it is all part of the progress of life in your tank.


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Old 12/05/2018, 11:01 AM   #448
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I wouldn't call it excited. It's more like surprised. There's a lot of diatoms! I guess my well water has a lot of silica. But yes, it is the first sign of life, so yay!

All four of the barnacle blennies in the display have found each other. They're still squabbling over house holes, so they may not stay together. We'll see. With the grammas coming today, I wanted to get the last blenny out of QT and into the display. Since he was holed up in the dead coral, I just took the whole coral and put it into an acclimation bucket. I've now moved the coral into the display, so he can be reunited with his buddies. The trick now will be to get the coral back out without any blennies hiding inside!


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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 12/05/2018, 07:40 PM   #449
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I snapped a few pics tonight. It's not much to look at right now, but it's good to record stuff.



At center you can see the coral skeleton that has the last holdout hiding inside. Note the brown, diatom covered sand. The white spots are where little fish skirmishes took place. Also you can see micro bubbles in the top left. I'm getting them from the canister AND the wave box. Yay.



"Don't even think about it."



"What's going on over there!"



"Nada. Just chillin'."


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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 12/06/2018, 05:24 AM   #450
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I love it. I am thinking that even I need more barnacle blennies! They are just so darn cute!
Royal grammas will be perfect for your next group of fish. Like Kevin alluded, they will contribute so much beauty with the splashes of fuschia and yellow. I was lurking in v1 when you had the gramma harem and I thought it was so cool the way they had holes in your fake wall. I was fascinated by such a natural behavior that I had never witnessed even though I have had royal grammas. We do miss a lot of natural interaction keeping fish singularly and I look forward to seeing some of that natural behavior play out in your tank.


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