Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Diary of a 54-Gallon Tank: More Updates

The tank has been progressing very nicely over the last few months. At this point I have 4 fish in the tank; The pair of black Ocellaris Clowns, the Orchid Dottyback and the newest addition is an African Flameback Angel. This fish really adds some nice color to the tank, the dark blue body with a brilliant yellowish/orange back really stands out in the tank.

I have also added two skunk cleaner shrimp. I have found these guys to be invaluable in a reef tank. They are great at helping to clean up any excess food the fish don't grab and they will also help clean parasites off the fish. While I haven't seen any of the fish cleaning with these guys like I have seen in my past tanks, I am hoping that is just a good sign that the fish are very healthy.

In addition to the couple of "trial" corals I added in the beginning of the set up I have now stocked it with 9 SPS corals from ORA, 4 SPS frag corals from local hobbyists, one frag of xenia (from local hobbyist), one ORA Gold Maxima clam and one frag of Duncanopsammia with 5 heads (from local hobbyist). Below is a list of the corals currently in the tank:

  • ORA Borealis Acro
  • ORA Red Planet Table Acro
  • ORA Blue VooDoo Stag
  • ORA Verde Acro
  • ORA Purple Capricornis (Montipora capricornis)
  • ORA Spongodes (M. spongodes)
  • ORA Neon Green Montipora digitata
  • ORA Nathan's Green Milli (Acropora millepora)
  • ORA Marshall Island Blue Bottlebrush
  • Green Slimer Acro frag
  • Green Birdsnest frag
  • Pink Tipped unidentified acro frag
  • Brown unidentified acro frag
  • Pink Xenia frag (has two stalks)
  • Duncan frag (5 heads)
  • Hammer Coral Euphyllia sp (2 heads)
  • Orange Ricordia
At this point I am pretty much done adding corals to the tank. I now have to be patient and let them fill in the voids in the tank. I would still like to add a coral or two that would sit on the sand bed, probably something like a fungia or heliofungia. Or maybe I will just add a few more clams and let them grow out.

I have unfortunately had one death in the tank. I initially picked up a pair of the Flameback Angels (a larger one and a smaller one). The smaller one did not make it through the first night. I assume she was weak and the trauma of the move and acclimation was too much. I was going to replace her with another one but I think for the time being I am going to leave the single Flameback in the tank alone. I also lost one ORA frag. It was fairly badly banged up during shipping and it didn't recover and RTN'd fairly quickly. You can see it in a picture below.

And finally you might notice from the tank picture that the frags from ORA appear to be "stuck" in the rock work. Their frags come in on some large plugs that work great if you are putting your frags on eggcrate racks, but not so great for liverock placement. I ended up pulling the rock out of the tank and drilling holes in to it to put the plugs in. This worked out great and was much easier to do then I thought. Here are a couple of pictures of the process.


1) THE DRILL BIT
2) THE DRILLING STARTS

3) THE HOLE IS DRILLED
4) CORAL FRAG FITS NICELY

I am hoping to get some better pictures of the tank over the next few days that I can share and will provide more updates on the tank at that time.


Happy Reefing Everyone!