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Old 07/20/2021, 03:49 PM   #2051
Michael Hoaster
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Thanks Kevin!

It's kind words like that keep me going! I almost lost control of it. There's still more to do. I need to get a new water change vac, so I can vacuum up some detritus. I'm waiting for the transplanted grasses to take root, so I can do an erythromycin and blackout treatment. In the meantime, I've been obsessively picking caulerpa stragglers off the sand bed, every few days. Its impossible to get them all in one go.

Not surprisingly, all this work has me thinking about adding new fish to help out. I went ahead and fired up my large (36 gal) quarantine tank today. I'd like to get it properly cycled this time, to avoid ammonia spikes.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 07/21/2021, 09:13 AM   #2052
Michael Hoaster
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Well that didn't take long. Yesterday afternoon, I swung by my 2 LFSs, and picked up some fish! First, I got a juvenile Sailfin Tang at one store, then I got 4 Talbot's Damsels at the other.

Both of these species will help out with tank cleaning. The damsels will eat algae and detritus, the tang will eat algae and hopefully get my Caulerpa under control. There is also a chance he may go after my prized red macros. I imagine that it may eat ALL my macro algae, eventually.

How will I deal with that? At this point, I think I am ready to let things change in my tank, if I end up with less algae labor to do. With my tall tank, it's brutal, back-breaking work, and it's (I'm) getting old.

I've never kept this tang. They get huge! My wife won't have any trouble seeing this one!

These damsels hang towards the bottom, so I'm hoping the Allen's Damsels tolerate them without too much aggression.

QT2


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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 07/24/2021, 01:39 PM   #2053
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
Thanks Dawn!

It's funny. It took A LOT of work, just to get it back to this state. Even the grasses were overgrown. To me it looks a little less impressive than the last pics, but it was time to reign it in!

I'm also amused with how it went from peak lushness to 'rat's nest' in a couple weeks. That's entropy I guess!
LOL, the whole entropy thing is a constant thorn in our side, isn't it! I suppose it keeps us from getting complacent, ha ha.

Speaking of not getting complacent, I see you may be taking your reef eco-sysyem in a new direction? Perhaps I can help by sending some leftovers from my tank. I will PM you about that.
I will be excited to see the new fish plus the new direction. Incorporating everything with your seagrass should be fascinating.


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Old 07/26/2021, 12:22 PM   #2054
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After a year of not being able to buy fish, it must be fun to shop for them and add fish again, from the initial gramma purchases earlier this year to now. I'd love to see a dwarf angel in there or a blenny, but, I'm biased LOL. Whatever you choose will be fun to follow.


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Old 07/26/2021, 12:27 PM   #2055
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Oh, I was just going over the KP site and saw that they carry pike blennies. Ever thought of them? I watched YT vids about them and they're pretty cool.


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Old 07/31/2021, 11:36 AM   #2056
Michael Hoaster
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Thanks Dawn. Not sure if I'll be going in a new direction or not. I'm really just trying to make my life easier. A 30 inch tall tank on a 36 inch high stand, means I'm working on a step ladder, and it's back-breaking work to work on the tank. I feel a bit like a hypocrite, telling folks to make sure their tanks are easy to work on, when mine is not!

I received the package! Nicely packed. Looks good! Unfortunately, the anemone didn't make it, but the sponge and codium look great.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 07/31/2021, 11:45 AM   #2057
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Thanks Kevin. I really want some type of pygmy angelfish, but I don't want anything that eats sponge, so, rock and a hard place…

Those pike blennies are cool. I've actually tried them, without success. From my brief experience, I'd say they are best kept in a slow-moving species tank. Similar to a mandarin, it is a slow feeder, but not as picky food-wise. With that big mouth, they can eat bigger stuff, like mysis.

If I ever did a species tank, they'd be on my list!


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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 07/31/2021, 12:07 PM   #2058
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A quick update on the new fish - they're doing well. No signs of illness. I have added no medications. The only thing I've done is hypo salinity, which takes care of ick and maybe a few other things. I've had so much better luck with locally bought fish.

I may do a water change on the quarantine tank today. I bought a new gravel vac yesterday to change some water in the display.

QT12


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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 08/06/2021, 01:20 PM   #2059
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I realize that I have been MIA lately. I am still in SC watching grandchildren. Ha ha, it was easier watching them on our own turf!

I can imagine that a tall tank on a tall stand is amazing for viewing but cleaning it needing a step ladder not so much. When I took care of tanks, I learned pretty quick what I would not do for my own tank, ha ha!

I also understand easier. After seahorses I wanted the same thing. Maybe most of us that have been in the hobby a long time come to this place eventually.

I am glad to hear that the new fish are acclimating in quarantine well. That will be fun having more fish. I do enjoy all my fish a lot. The different shapes, colors and personalities can add a lot of interest to a tank. Of course that is coming from an aquarist whose main interest is fish, ha ha!


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Old 08/10/2021, 09:56 AM   #2060
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Same here. No grandchildren yet though.

The tall tank and stand is a tough combo. I need help. I'm very interested to see how this pair of Tangs will 'help me out'.

The fish in QT are doing well. I lost one damsel. No clue what happened to it. It shouldn't be too much longer on quarantine. I need to count up the days…looks like 22. So I'll be adding the new fish to the display around the weekend!


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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 08/14/2021, 11:03 PM   #2061
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Simulated Manatee Grazing Event today. The Manatee Grass really got scalped. I had to scrap off more Spiroid Worms from the glass. I'm leaving the Caulerpa to grow, with the new tang coming. I ran out of time to get pics. Maybe tomorrow.

I wasn't able to move the new fish into the display, but I started the process of raising salinity with a QT water change. It'll take a few days to raise it to the display's level. You can go down in salinity much faster. Going up, they have to work harder to osmoregulate, so you go slower.

The new Codium Dawn sent me is looking great. Even with the warm temps this time of year, it's doing well. I left them alone until today, were I found a new spot for them. The purple photosynthetic sponge Dawn sent looks like it'll make it. I'm not sure yet where I want to put it. If the new tang clears off the back wall, that would be where I'll put it. I think I still have another sponge up there, amongst the caulerpa. I'm keeping them on the sand, for now.

I clipped one of the tall sargassum weeds. It had fallen over, and wasn't coming back up. I may prune some more of the Sargassum. It's getting kinda shaggy.

I'm kind of excited about the new fish, and how they will effect the ecosystem. Change is imminent. Bottom line, I'm hoping for less work for me.


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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 08/15/2021, 04:01 PM   #2062
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I am excited for you and the new changes, especially the new fish. I am glad that it seems like the codium and sponge are going to make it. My tank temperature has been around 77 this summer. Having the sump in the basement definitely helps keep my water from getting too warm. I keep the AC at 77-78 also. What is your water temperature this time of year?


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Old 08/16/2021, 08:41 AM   #2063
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Thanks Dawn. I was watching the tank yesterday, imagining how it will look with the new fish. Can't wait! This time of year my tank temps hang around 79-81.


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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 08/16/2021, 03:01 PM   #2064
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Oh so your water temperature is definitely warmer than mine by several degrees. I have had codium recede but probably not due to temperature. I was not aware that it was sensitive to that but I am glad that you let me know, even though in this tank system that is not an issue.


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Old 08/29/2021, 03:25 PM   #2065
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Hey Michael, any update on the new fish and if they have moved into the display tank yet?


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Old 08/29/2021, 05:02 PM   #2066
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Hey Dawn! Now that you mention it, yes, I have an update.

I'll start with the bad news. I lost two of the four Talbot's Damsels in quarantine. I believe the cause was aggression/chronic stress. Even though they were juveniles, and in a 3 foot long tank, and had an abundance of hiding spots, they just got territorial and aggressive. What did I learn? No more than two fish per quarantine tank.

The Sailfin Tang and two Talbot's Damsels are now in the display. They're doing great and the tank is alive with movement. I've seen the Talbot's Damsels pick pods off the glass and the sand. I named the new tang Stanley. I've watched Stanley follow Scarlett, the Tomini Tang around the tank, which is cute. Right now they look close to the same size, but Stanley will grow into a much bigger fish.

I'm very excited about adding these tangs and bottom-feeding damsels to my tank's ecosystem! I expect they will alter it immensely. THAT will be fun to watch. I remember with the Atlantic Blue Tang I added in my previous tank, it gave me 6-8 months of pruning vacation. His pruning looked waaaay better than mine too. But then it reached the point where almost all my macro algae was gone, and I made the call to remove him. This time, I'm less concerned with losing macros. Though I do have a few I'll probably want to save.

But I'm most interested in the alteration of the ecosystem. What do I hope will happen? I hope that these new players help the tank's ecosystem to clean itself. So I don't have to. Two big guys, added to the clean up crew, basically. Two tangs, with different mouths, eat different algae, so there's little resource overlap, and different algae get eaten, that before did not. Change.

As I get older, I need this stuff to get easier, so I better get smart. Nature will teach me how to do it. I'll try to follow along. It's a wonderful journey…


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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 08/30/2021, 04:59 AM   #2067
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I am sorry about the aggression in the QT situation. Damsels I think are especially bad. Even in my display, I started off with 6 healthy yellowtail damsels. I am down to 3, and I feel like it is the same reason that you lost damsels. Of course my display is only on the large size of small at 30" across and 56 gallons.

Hey, that is exciting however about the new fish being in your display tank. I love sailfin tangs. They have such an elegant shape with their big round fins. That would be fun watching Stanley follow Scarlett. I am guessing that you have not seen any aggression amongst the 2 of them? I know multiple tangs in a tank can be a problem but since you have chosen 2 tangs that target different food, you should be good. It was good that Scarlett was added first too since she seemed shy by nature and will be the much smaller fish in the end.

I hear ya about making the tank easier to manage in terms of maintenance. That is what my tank has morphed to as well. Ha ha, getting older will do that to you!


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Old 08/30/2021, 09:50 AM   #2068
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I have found that keeping multiple damsels can be challenging. Even the least aggressive ones can be pretty mean, and as they get older, they just get meaner. Talbots' are considered one of the mellowest, but since they are more tied to the substrate, they tend to get territorial. The two remaining I have are doing very well in the big tank. They should have plenty of room to avoid each other, if they choose. The (also mellow) Allen's Damsels have chased them a bit, but everyone seems to be settling down.

Scarlett was kinda mean to Stanley, at first. She would charge at him, but pull up without contact, so I knew it was just a matter of time. Now I think she likes the company of a similar-sized fish. The best thing is that they kind of inspire each other to feed naturally on algae. It's almost a competition. That's good news for me! I've let the tank get more overgrown, to see if they'll take care of it for me.

To some extent, I think getting older is the mother of invention!


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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 09/26/2021, 04:50 PM   #2069
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Hey Michael, any updates on the tank? How are Scarlett and Stanley doing? Are they making your job easier as you had hoped?


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Old 09/27/2021, 10:17 PM   #2070
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Hey Dawn. Scarlett and Stanley are doing well and I've been testing them by being super-slack. So far, they haven't made a big impression. Stanley isn't going after the caulerpa-not yet at least. Maybe he'll acquire a taste, but if I'm wanting to get rid of caulerpa, I may need to consider another fish. I think I'll wait around and see if his taste evolves over time.

I've been camping a bunch as the leaves turn at high elevation. Got around 4-6 inches of snow one night in Steamboat. Here's a shot in Crested Butte:


Beaver pond. A shot for aquarists.

Sorry I haven't been around much lately. So much 'outside fun' right now, so the tank gets neglected. I'm sure I'll get back in gear as it gets colder.


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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 09/28/2021, 04:44 AM   #2071
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Wow, what a gorgeous shot of Crested Butte! Enjoy all the beauty the outdoors has to offer this time of year. I do not believe that there is a more rejuvenating activity to engage one's time in than appreciating the magnificent scenery of our world. I am a little jealous. Right now Dave and I are somewhat tied down with helping his aunt with health appointments, plus Dave has been been struggling with the fit of his prosthetic leg for the past 2 years. Hopefully that is about to change and we are thinking of riding the motorcycles north to the wilds of PA to Benezette this weekend to see the elk. Pennsylvania does not have as dramatic scenery as the states along the Rockies but even the Appalachians are beautiful in a subtler way.

In other news I got a part time job(3 days/week) at a Pet Supplies Plus taking care of their animals. I knew a lot from my former petstore job but that was over 10 years ago. Much has changed and I have forgotten some things so right now I am at the overwhelmed stage. I am hoping to be a blessing to my employers and to experience the satisfaction of doing the best job I can for them. They do not handle saltwater but they do have a very nice freshwater section.


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Old 09/28/2021, 10:06 AM   #2072
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Thanks Dawn. I just love this time of year! I hate that summer is ending but I love the color. I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta. The southern Appalachians always blew me away with their vivid colors and their variety of color. Nowadays, I like to follow the colors, starting at elevation, and moving all the way down to the desert. Our anniversary in October coincides perfectly with desert fall colors.

Congrats on the new job! That sounds nice. Enjoy!


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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 09/29/2021, 07:33 AM   #2073
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I too am conflicted about summer ending but like you, I enjoy the amazing colors of autumn. Our backyard has mature deciduous trees that make for a spectacular fall palette of color at its peak. It's pretty surprising for a suburban neighborhood but we bought this home because of the beautiful lot it sat on, ( that and it was a great deal since the house needed some TLC).

I am hoping that our motorcycle ride to Benezette has some fall foliage already in progress since it is north.

So you made quite a geographical change from Atlanta suburbs to CO, the Rocky mountain state! How long have you been in Colorado?
Dave and I live less than 10 miles from where we grew up( we met and worked on the same farm as teens, so lived fairly close to each other). The area we grew up in is rural and we both like farms. Unfortunately about all we could afford is our 2 acre farmette. Actually it is plenty since we have fruit trees, and a garden and tons of wildlife.


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Old 09/29/2021, 07:41 AM   #2074
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https://photos.app.goo.gl/vgL5XJYPzC5pzXnX9

Speaking of the wildlife that I love so much, look what I just saw out my window in my fenced garden LOL? Apparently my deer fence is not deer proof, LOL!


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Old 09/29/2021, 08:38 AM   #2075
Michael Hoaster
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We've been in Colorado since 1999. My brother moved out here first, and he kept telling me how great it was. With year-round fun, it's just a matter of picking the right toy.

Gorgeous shot of your garden and yard! Who can blame the dear? We have a fenced section of our yard for a garden and our dogs to run around. Bears routinely break in and often take a dip in my 6 foot diameter pond.


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