The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged Ecoxotic 25 Gallon LED Aquarium System

Months back I moved the Lightning pair to the basement following the ongoing disease problems the pair was suffering through.  In short, this last ditch effort worked, and the pair (along with their Foureye Butterfly companion) have lived in a 33 gallon extra long since then.  Their Ecoxotic Cube Tank was bleached to sterlize, and then soaked with vinegar to take off all the coraline algae.  The tank was scrubbed, rinsed, and sat dry for months.

This story, combined with a lack of any photos, has led a few crackpots to suggest that the Lightning Maroon had in fact died / perished.  Well…I was down there shooting photos recently and thought “what the heck” ;)

Of course, the long term goal has been to restore them to the original tank, this next time set up with Bubble Tip Anemones and not much else ;)

Tonight I started down the path, filling the tank and adding fresh new substrate (Caribsea’s Fiji Pink).

Let’s see how quickly things clear up ;)

 

Yes, there is one sure fire way to get an update – heckle me into it via the comment system here at www.Lightning-Maroon-Clownfish.com

So for starters, let’s talk NPS (Non PhotoSynthetic corals).  Yes, I’ve had some Balanophyllia for a while now, as a somewhat local reefer grows them like crazy and they always end up donated to our club for fundraising…but no one out there actually pays what they’re worth, so I always do.  Well, they’ve been doing great despite outright neglect.  With a mandate to get some Tubastrea for our club’s fragging demo too, it seems I’ve become a NPS guy…at least a little bit.  We received an Aussie Black Tubastrea, and I wound up buying all the frags we made of that.  And I even went and found some orange Tubastrea recently to help round out the NSP nook in the Lightning’s tank.  Afterall, the hardscape we constructed did leave a large portion of the tank and rockwork shaded, so NPS is a logical addition there. And what I’m learning is that the fish benefit from the feeding too (since I make sure to include things like brine shrimp and fish eggs).  So it’s really no harm to feed the NPS since I have to feed the fish heavily anyways.  So without delay, here’s the NSP nook.

Tubastrea

Tubastrea

NPS Nook

Now I know you want an update on the Lightning Maroon, Ted, but I’m not ready yet.  Afterall, one of the reasons I shot photos today (since I shot these before you gave me that nudge) was to document the ORA Red Goniopora I’ve been keeping.  For a long time I’ve been watching it and thinking the polyps were not extending as far as they used to, but it turns out that’s not the case. The coral is in fact getting LARGER (so the polyps are the same length as always, just proportionately smaller).  How do I know this?  Well, I looked back to the photos I took for CORAL magazine last year and that was a dead giveaway.  But then again, so was this:

Out of control ORA Red Goniopora

Um, yeah, I didn’t put it that close to the glass last year.  Someone has been doing some growing.

So about those pesky PNG Maroon Clowns?  Yeah, they have been going through the motions of nest cleaning since MACNA 2011…aka September of last year.  STILL no spawns that I am aware of.  We’ve lengthened the light time period, the tank has gotten warmer with the onset of spring, and still nothing.  I know it will happen, and after being reminded by commercial breeders who’ve sat on clownfish for 5+ years before getting spawns, I know this can simply take a while.  So I’ll leave you with a full tank shot for now, which if nothing else is proof of how well the Ecoxotic Panoramas are growing the SPS corals these days!

Full Tank Shot - 3/26/2012


A portrait of the Lightning Maroon by Gary L. Parr

A portrait of the Lightning Maroon by Gary L. Parr

Turnabout is fair play – come here to shoot the Lightning Maroon Clownfish and expected to get shot yourself (granted, I asked for permission to both shoot and post ;) )

Aquarium photography legend Gary L. Parr shoots the Lightning Maroon Clownfish

Aquarium photography legend Gary L. Parr shoots the Lightning Maroon Clownfish

I have to say, Gary was a trooper – our club brought him to Duluth, MN, only to drive him 3 hours west to Bemidji, MN, and then back again.  Throw in delayed flights both ways (Chicago’s fault!).  Still, I have to say, it’s rare that an aquarium speaker gives such a universally accessible presentation – not a single person in that room left without learning something about photography.  I think it’s fair to say that many people were inspired.

If you want an update on the Lightning Maroon Clownfish, this time around I’ll point you to Gary’s post for his thoughts (and some more great Lightning Maroon photography) at Reefs.com - http://www.reefs.com/blog/2012/01/28/looking-at-lightning/ .  If you didn’t already know, Gary is one of the two voices you’ll hear most weeks doing the Reef Threads podcast too.  I haven’t listened to it yet, but I’ve already noted that The Lightning Project is a topic of conversation this week - http://www.reefthreads.com/?p=1351

For now, I’ll leave you with some rare glimpses of the master at work.  Gary spent most of the morning shooting as Little Miss Lightning wasn’t being very cooperative!  Gives you another look at the Ecoxotic tank too – the Rod’s Food shirt draped over it was to cut down on light spillage.  Enjoy!

Patience…it’s a virtue.

Well, there’s a lot of random things to update on, sadly the only thing I really would love to shout about (a spawn) hasn’t happened yet.

Meanwhile, a followup on the last pairing trial, the third attempt at a “Female Flip”, pairing a loner white stripe maroon with the massively larger “Labrador” white stripe maroon.  The short story is that we’ll never know if it was going to work, as the Labrador Maroon Clown died.  What I suspect happened was the bowl, which was tilted to allow tank water to circulate through, righted itself and in the process, closed off enough of the flow to cause the fish to asphyxiate.  Of course, that could also not be what happened – this fish was probably a decade or more old, and may have just hit the end of the line.  Hard to say based on the circumstances I found the dead fish in.  Before it passed away however, the smaller maroon showed up simply torn to shreds.  The best I could determine was that perhaps the small maroon had entered the larger fishbowl, received a beating, and then left.  If that’s the case, it would mean that the “female flip” had failed (or at least had not worked yet).

On the water quality front, things are again driving me nuts in the Lightning Maroon’s tank.  The pH hit a record high of 8.7 last night, and was 7.94 this morning.  This, despite having not treated the tank with anything to raise the alkalinity or calcium levels (i.e. no dosing of two part) for a week.   The corals are definite not looking happy; the Australian Blastomussa that had gone from 1 head to 5 heads appears to have died, and earlier last week I removed the Dragon Soul Favia that had also been previously growing well.  The Frags of Aussie Pink Goniopora and Green Goniopora are failing to extend their polyps as well.  I’m feeling terribly limited in options to deal with this problem given the small size of the tank, and that normally, it is simply a matter of depressed pH that occurs in smaller tanks.  Time to hit the reef chemistry books yet again and see if I can’t figure something out.  For now, I’ve reprogrammed the lights via the Apex to start turning off (thus slowing photosynthesis) if the pH hits 8.4, and then again more shut off at 8.5.  Still, I’ve not yet programmed things correctly, as the pH is 8.46 right now and the light that is supposed to be off, is not.  GRR.  This simply cannot be GOOD for the fish, and I’m leaning towards water changes + buffer to at least help eliminate or reduce the low end of the swing – i.e. perhaps 8.3 to 8.7 is better than what I’m currently experiencing.

The final update, our club’s Apogee Quantum (PAR) Meter is finally here in working condition.  I got to test PAR readings out of the modified Panorama fixture.  With the 4 12K Gen 1 Panorama Units, 2 blue Stunner Strips, and 1 Gen 1 Blue Panorama Unit all running, it’s a total drain of 77 watts.  For that 77 watts, with a semi-dirty cover glass, I am getting PAR readings of 150 to 250+ in the upper third of the tank where I have the majority of the Seriatpora corals growing.  At the bottom, the readings obviously vary, but are generally 60-100 (i.e. the ORA Red Gonipora is thriving at a 100 PAR reading).  As most of you know, these levels are capable of growing just about all photosynthetic organisms we may desire to keep, with the possible exception of Tridacna clams (which, per James Fatheree, really want PAR levels more like 500+).  Right above the glass – 700+.

It’s been almost 4 months since the Ecoxotic was set up for the Lightning Maroon…and some SPS!  Overall, I’ve been very, very pleased with the tank.  Unlike some of the other smaller tanks on the market, I love how easily and brilliantly this one cleans up.  Being glass, I can take a razor blade to it if the algae gets out of control.  Using 7th Generation Glass Cleaner, I can deal with some really nasty salt drips and spills.  But perhaps the best part is how wonderfully the stand cleans up.  Once Ike turned me onto Cabinet Magic, well, this tank can be restored to showroom quality in minutes.  The only thing I can’t clean up is the back plastic filter box; the moment it got coraline algae growing on it, I couldn’t get it off even with a safe-for-acrylic algae pad.

One of the questions I got a lot was about the skimmer.  People want to know if the built in skimmer really gets the job done.  Well, what can I say other than “it works”?

Of course, that was only a couple days after cleaning.  You should see it after a few weeks  – the sludge in the riser tube gets sickly.  Noise?  Well, it’s not whisper quiet – most all of the noise comes from the skimmer churning up the air.  Everything is pretty sealed up, pretty quiet, and since there are no fans on the lightning, well, this tank runs at a respectable and reasonable level of noise.

Of course, the thing people really want to know is how are the LEDs at growing coral?  Well, they are pretty darn good at growing the corals I’ve thrown in there.  The Birdsnests are branching like crazy, so light is clearly not an issue.  Still, color has been an issue, even on the Birdsnests.  Most of the Birdsnests browned out pretty much on introduction, but after a couple months the color was starting to come back.  At night, with the actinic Stunner Strip, and corals that are dull are popping.

Well, it turns out that there was a reason that Ecoxotic refined the Panorama units to include more blue.  It seems that the actinic blue wavelengths are important not just due to the florescence they create, but they also help actually develop the overall general coloration of the corals.  You see, while I really like the “white light” look, it’s good for growth but not so much for color.  Of course we kinda already knew about that, which is why no one runs 5500K bulbs anymore, let alone 10K by themselves!

Part of the solution?  MORE BLUE!  And so begins the a step-by-step addition of a second actinic stunner strip and an all blue Panorama module.

Here’s the stock Panorama setup – one actinic Stunner Strip and four of the Gen 1 Panorama Modules.  ALL of the photos before, during, and after, were photographed on manual settings so Shutter Speed (if I recall correctly, 1/60 on tank shots, 1/200 on light shots), White Balance (probably set at none or fluorescent..can’t remember now), Aperture (3.5 on full, 4.5 on closeups) , ISO (400 on tank shots, 200 on light shots?), all are identical to give a true comparison.

Step 1 – reposition the existing stunner strip to the open space on the left.  Take the cover off the pigtail and daisy chain on the second stunner strip.

Step 2 – Mount the second stunner strip in the far right space.  This was done using the clips and 3M double sided foam tape, as I did with the first one.

Step 3 – disconnect, and reroute the connection on the stunners to run on top of the Panorama modules.  Cap off the pigtail on the second stunner strip and tidy up the loose end with the included cord clips.

Step 4 – install the Stunner Strip Reflectors.  Now, seriously, these are a no-brainer…they just clamp on and are good to go.  I’m not sure how much more the add, but the certainly don’t hurt things.  Then again, look at how much more things *pop* once the reflectors are installed.

Step 5 – break out the all Blue Panorama unit.

Step 6 – Install the Panorama unit in the middle spot.  For this, I once again just used 3M double-sided foam tape.

And there it is.  “More Blue”!

Of course, it’s hard to say just exactly what the difference is until you see the before and after, side-by-side.  Before is on the left, after is on the right.  Again, the settings for all of these were the same, so the difference is accurate as seen.

So overall, things are looking good and I expect they’ll only get better.  I should again point out that corals were growing well under the stock lighting – this additional blue is to see how much more color I can bring to the mix via lighting.  Here’s some closeups after pimpin’ out the lighting a bit…

This is a bright red birdsnest I got from Frank, a local reefer.  Already shifting purplish after a couple days under the LEDs.

I believe Morgan called this one a Sour Apple Birdsnest..it was a minty seafoam with orange base, but here…well, it’s looking lavender.

The ORA Red Goniopora is lookin’ sweet!

The Alveopora is lookin’ sweet too!

Under the overhang, I’ve placed some Balanophyllias…they grow like weeds, got ‘em from Tiffany and can be traced back to a Diver’s Den offering on LiveAquaria.com.  I’ll keep sayin’ it – NPS is the new SPS!

That about wraps it up for the moment!  My next project – a third introduction of the little male PNG Maroon to the Lightning…will this be the time it works?

Weekend Update

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Short and sweet, after being gone for almost a week, and preparing to transfer in a mate this weekend, I thought I should take a quick snapshot of my water quality.

pH – 8.2
Alkalinity – 4.25 meq/L
Calcium – 420 ppm
Magnesium – 1170 ppm
Nitrate – approximately 2.5-5 ppm.

I’m continuing to dose C-Balance 2 part, although for a few days while I was gone I asked Frank to suspend the doses as I was getting emails about the pH being to high (via the Apex Lite controller…yes, insurance policy equipment added on before my vacation – more on that later).  I’ve since resumed 2-3 doses per day and haven’t seen the pH getting excessively high – the big difference is I’m dosing late at night and in the morning before the lights go on.  Given the slightly lower Magnesium reading, I dosed the tank with Seachem Magnesium tonight.

There’s been an explosion of baby Stomatella snails in the tank – I witnessed them spawning the day I added on the Vortech MP10w ES circulation pump (another of several equipment-related posts I still need to find the time to write up!).  Coral colors are restoring (I had some bleaching going on) although the Astralomussas I have remain bleached out but not dead (so there IS hope I suppose) – Jay thinks it was my getting the lights on a timer and lowering the photoperiod (the main LEDs are now on for 11 hours – I may cut to 10 soon).   Overall, corals are growing and doing well – the biggest problem is the Turbo snails knocking everything over even when it’s glued down or buried.  I’m looking forward to soon being able to remove these snails from the tank, as the hair algae crisis seems to have been solved.

Oh and that “damage” I thought I’d have to live with on the Lightning Maroon – it’s healing up.

Apparently the Lightning Maroon thinks it is a better decorator than me.  With the help of its three Turbo snail buddies, every frag in the tank is getting tossed around, overturned, and generally abused.  The Lightning has taken a shining to an Aussie Green Goniopora frag, but frankly this Goniopora isn’t big enough to host a Maroon Clown just yet!  Everything in a 5″ radius of the Goniopora is fair game to be moved..and I mean picked up and carried.  I haven’t seen it in the act yet, but I know it’s going on.

Pairing – yes, I have NOT paired this fish yet.  The reasons are simple.  #1.  I’m really wanting to let the fish heal as fully as possible from the damage it suffered while I was away at Next Wave and #2. Since next wave I’ve worked every day except one (when I had a big local club event I organized to manage) and I’ve been working on average 14 hours per day.  So no time to tackle any big projects let alone pay close attention to a new pairing.  It will happen.  Maybe as soon as tomorrow.

Have been having some unhappy corals…maybe a bit of bleaching going on, so I took a water test.  The results don’t lend me any help:

pH (Seachem) – 8.2
Total Alkalinity (Seachem) – 4 meq/L
Calcium (Salifert) – 420 ppm
Magnesium (Salifert) – 1230 ppm
Nitrate (Salifert) – undetectable

I’m guessing any nitrates and phosphates are being sucked up by the algae bloom, which has died back a bit.  I also should mention that in an earlier post I may have doubted my Salifert Nitrate test given it is 3 years out of date according to the sticker on the box.  Well, all I can say is that I tested another tank I knew would have high nitrate levels and sure enough, it did…25 ppm.  My take – the kit probably still works just fine.

I owe you guys pictures.  Lots of them.   I owe you updates too.  I’ll let you know I added on a Ecotech Vortech MP10w ES with the Vortech Battery Backup – sold a used MP20 to pay for the MP10 basically – the battery backup, well you can partially thank DFWMAS and Next Wave for that.  They also helped indirectly finance a Neptune Systems Aquacontroller Apex Lite (the majority of that coming from the rest of my birthday funds – thank you wonderfully generous family members!).  The controller is not hooked up yet..I just haven’t had the time and I think I’m going to need a wireless bridge in the long run for what I want to do.  All of these accessory additions are being done not because the Ecoxotic tank needs them (it’s awesome all on it’s own!), but to do what many people have criticized me in the past for not doing – having some “insurance” policies in place for a one of a kind marine fish.  Message heard, investments made.  More on those in future installments.

Birthday Corals

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Ecoxotic FTS - 2-15-2011

Ecoxotic FTS - 2-15-2011

Yeah, I took a small chunk of my birthday money and ordered corals for the tank.  While I really, really would’ve liked to pull the trigger on some of the fantastic Goneastreas that have been showing up in the LiveAquaria.com Diver’s Den, I really can’t spend that kind of money on coral for this tank.

So…I turned to eBay and found a seller from Peoria, IL, who goes by “woosaquatics123″.  What clued me into this vendor was a relatively good feedback rating (I always go see what any negatives and neutrals say, knowing that the one negative feedback I ever got from a buyer was a buyer who didn’t have a clue what he was talking about on a WISIWYG auction that even had a RULER in the picture).  That, and when viewing completed listings, it seemed that most frags sold for the opening bid.  I have a feeling that after this post, that might not be the case.  Of course, woosaquatics123 also had multiple small Goneastrea / Favia frags that were of interest to me, including a small 2 head frag of the “Reverse Prism Goneastreas” that have been showing up in the Diver’s Den.  I hate to say it, but $10 for a frag vs. $200 for a colony…sometimes you just have to pull the trigger on the $10 frag.

In the end, I lost a couple things that would’ve been nice to win (like a beautiful little Pink Goniopora) but I got my “colored chips”.  The score included an 2 polyp Aussie Reverse Prism Goneastrea, a 1 head beg-and-plead frag of Dragon Soul, a surprisingly stunning LE Joker Goneastrea, a Red/Green or Brown/Aquamarine Platygyra maze brain (color really varies with light), a nice Aussie red green and purple Blastomussa wellsi, a good sized chunk of Sympodium (fell in love the very first time I saw it) for 1/3 the going rate, and another surprisngly stunning Aussie Goneastrea that seemed kinda “normal” in pictures and has teal eyes and green skin.  There was also a mix-up…I got sent a Favites that I hadn’t bid on instead of another Favites I had bid on.  You know it’s a good seller when they say “keep the frag” and refund the payment for the coral you didn’t get.

Opening up a box from Woos Aquatics.

Opening up a box from Woos Aquatics.

In fact, I’ve withheld this post until my next round of auctions close.  Yeah, those things I missed were up again, as well as more pieces of some of the things that I really, really liked.  I don’t need to encourage potential competition!  Insurance frags.  That, and in a composition, it’s usually recommended to “reuse” certain elements in the piece more than once.  Ideally at least three times.  And so…no harm in having more than one piece of the same thing.

Here’s most of the corals added on 2-15-2011:

The "mistake" Favites - 2-15-2011

The "mistake" Favites - 2-15-2011

Aussie Goneastrea - 2-15-2011

Aussie Goneastrea - 2-15-2011

Platygyra - 2-15-2011

Platygyra - 2-15-2011

Dragon Soul Favia / Goneastrea - 2-15-2011

Dragon Soul Favia / Goneastrea - 2-15-2011

Aussie Reverse Prism Goneastrea - 2-15-2011

Aussie Reverse Prism Goneastrea - 2-15-2011

Aussie Blastomussa wellsi - 2-15-2011

Aussie Blastomussa wellsi - 2-15-2011

LE Joker Goneastrea - 2-15-2011

LE Joker Goneastrea - 2-15-2011

Some additional shots of corals that I traded fish for on 2-12-2011:

Green/Pink/Purple Birdsnest Colony from Cosmic Aquatics - 2-12-2011

Green/Pink/Purple Birdsnest Colony from Cosmic Aquatics - 2-12-2011

Incredible Hulk Clove Polyps from Cosmic Aquatics - 2-12-201

Incredible Hulk Clove Polyps from Cosmic Aquatics - 2-12-201

Sour Apple Birdsnest from Cosmic Aquatics - 2-12-2011

Sour Apple Birdsnest from Cosmic Aquatics - 2-12-2011

And finally, a couple more full tank shots of the Ecoxotic 25 gallon LED Aquarium System….

Ecoxotic FTS - 2-15-2011

Ecoxotic FTS - 2-15-2011

Ecoxotic FTS - 2-15-2011

Ecoxotic FTS - 2-15-2011

One final note – every coral that goes into this tank is going through a pre-treatment with Seachem Reef Dip.  I’d be an idiot not to.

The last installment of this 4-part series ran this morning on Reef Builders.  Check it out – http://reefbuilders.com/2011/02/17/ecoxotics-25-gallon-led-aquarium-stunner-strip-final-impressions/

I know some of you are kinda going “what does this have to do with the Lightning Project?”.  Well, in a hobby that is currently having a bit of a reality check where sustainability is the new goal, LED Lighting options are one more way in which we’re going to lower the impact of our hobby and even save money in the process.  For a captive breeding project born from a sustainable wild harvest project, using LEDs with the energy savings and material savings they represent (you’re not throwing out bulbs every 6-9 months) is just a natural extension of a project that is rooted in sustainability and reducing our impact.

Testing the waters….

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It’s been a while now and things are going well in the new Ecoxotic tank.  Between our son getting sick, me watching him because of it, and somehow still pulling more than a full work week, and then getting sick myself, I’ve been distracted from the project so being “patient” was easy.

I gave the water a test on Saturday morning, February 12th, 2011.  pH = 8.1, Free and Total Ammonia 0 ppm, Nitrite and Nitrate 0 ppm, and total alkalinity was at 1.5 meq/L.  Hit it with a dose of C-Balance two-part which brought the alkalinity up to 2 meq/L.  Still low, but easily fixable.  Having a little free time, it was time to call in some payment on the last 4 juvenile Black Ocellaris I had traded to Morgan at Cosmic Aquatics.  The trade of course, was for my seed corals  – “one frag of each kind of Birdsnest you have”.

In some cases, “frag” meant 4″ colony in Morgan’s mind.  I returned from my trip to Superior WI with a full on colony of a Green with Purple Polyps and Pink Tips Seriatopora histrix, as well as a several inch branch of  Pink with Purple Polyp version of the species.  I also brought back 1 small and 1 larger fresh frag of “Sour Apple” Birdsnest, Seriatopora caliendrum.  My fourth birdsnest, ironically, was a piece of a Birdsnest I had given to Morgan when he opened up his shop; my Iowa Ponape Birdsnest, which is currently considered S. hystrix but at least one author has mused it might be something else (like Seriatopora dentritica).  I chuckle because I think I’ve given pieces of it to several people in the Duluth area and yet I no longer had it myself.

Still on my “wishlist” for Birdsnests are an actual hot pink with white growing needle-tips S. hystrix.  I know they’re out there, I owned one for a couple years, but lately, most hot pink birdsnests I’ve seen around are dirty brown-pink.  I’ll also set aside a spot for the classic ORA Green form of S. caliendrum – it’s a stunning coral when grown out.

The coral fun doesn’t stop there, because I also traded some spare stuff for a Tricolor Clavularia and “Hulk” Green Clavularia.  These large and colorful clove polyp varieties are some of my favorites, and they were placed in lower light areas where I hope they’ll do well.  I’ve had both in the past, but killed both off with my normal “high nitrates” due to many breeding fish all being stuffed with food.

All of the corals were dipped with Seachem’s Reef Dip before being placed into the tank.   I was surprised to see that some small feather dusters that were growing at the base of a Birdsnest made it through the dip unscathed.  I know the naysayers will say this has NOTHING to do with the breeding project and yup..they’re right.  It has everything to do with keeping my wife happy though – for the first time since I set it up, she said it was starting to look “better”.   That’s definitely a step in the right direction…best thing I could hope for when I wanted to bring the Lightning Maroon up from the basement to live with us on the first floor.

So first, here’s some shots of the tank as set up Saturday evening.  Note that I’m playing with camera settings and Photoshop corrections to get real-looking images.  I’ve found that photographing this tank when lit up is difficult, primarily due to all the different light coming from the room, outside (if during the day), with or without onboard flash (I have a remote flash somewhere stashed away…probably should break that out).   Any shots without Flash, but otherwise automatic settings on the D5000, wind up being very purple-hued, which I’ve tried to handle in Photoshop for the time being.

Ecoxotic Reef Progress - 2-12-2011

Ecoxotic Reef Progress - 2-12-2011

Ecoxotic Reef Progress - 2-12-2011

Ecoxotic Reef Progress - 2-12-2011

The other interesting thing I picked up from Morgan was a half dozen Stomatella sp. snails, probably Stomatella varia.  These small snails are actually closely related to the Trochus, Astrea and Turbo snails we’re all familiar with.  Stomatellas have this nice habit of readily reproducing in the aquarium environment without any special care or intervention, provided of course that there aren’t predators that would eat them.  They stay small and are nocturnal, which means they can get into small crevices and places larger cleanup crews can’t, all the while staying out of the way during the day when you dont’ want to be looking at 50 snails on your front glass.  These made the perfect third snail species addition to my sustainable, all captive-bred cleanup crew.

Stomatella sp. - 2-12-2011

Stomatella sp. - 2-12-2011

So that’s what I did on Saturday.  I’ve been watching the water quality and dosing with C-Balance.  It looks like I might have a very slight level of Nitrite, so I haven’t pulled the trigger on the clownfish swap just yet.  As last week was my birthday week, I also treated myself with just a wee-bit of my birthday cash to some additional frags that arrived today, Tuesday, 2-15-2011.  More on those in a little bit.

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