Jocco's Tank Phase 2

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by Jocco, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. Jocco

    Jocco Vampyroteuthis Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Staten Island, NY
    Hi All!

    We have added much life to the tank in the last 2 weeks and have learned a few things. Apparently you can have snails OR hermits. Good to know. Oops. We have 4 hermits, one we have named Jerk Face. His hobbies include pushing other hermits off the rocks that he wants to be on and messing with their shells even though he can't fit in them. We put 2 of the hermits in the BBQ Tank aka feeder tank.

    2 Peppermint shrimp we named Hoo and Deenie... because when we woke up the next morning they had promptly got themselves into our overflow box. We spent 2hrs trying to get them out, well, Rocco and a friend... then I stood on a tool box and caught them within minutes. :)
    We put some big holed plastic mesh over the area to not restrict flow, but to keep the critters out. 1 Fire shrimp was added a week later. And 1 Tiger shrimp (Sir Stewart), who is doing some work on a den in the sand, luckily, facing us! We're trying hard to NOT get attached, but they're pretty cool creatures.

    We tried a Sand Sifting Star, but maybe the tank is too young, or there was too much life, or we didn't give it enough time to acclimate... but it died a few days later. Sad. 20150321_162244.jpg 20150323_060659.jpg 20150323_185504.jpg 20150323_185756.jpg
    The Tiger Pistol Shrimp, The guys trying to get the Peppermints, Jerk Face... and Jerk Face being a bully seconds after the first pic was taken!
     
  2. Jocco

    Jocco Vampyroteuthis Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Staten Island, NY
    More pics!
    The critters have taken to the feeding straw, they get quite excited when they see it. The Fire shirmp is a fatty fatty mc pellet hoarder! The Peppermint have shed already - yesss - get fat!

    That last pic, in the fan things under the Hoo's tail, eggs? Or just the fan things folded up?

    Water pH still 8.4, Ammonia and Nitrates 0. Yippie!

    We've decided as long as all of the critters stay alive for a bit (while we over feed them), we'll get a fish or two, and if they survive (our inexperience) a few weeks and a water change, we're getting closer and closer to homing a Ceph!

    Today we saw octopus on ice at a market, made us a little sad. So many octopus, all dead, just ... there. Sad. Who eats THAT MUCH octopus that they can stock it at many markets in such quantity?

    20150331_200738.jpg 20150404_123230.jpg 20150404_160037.jpg 20150411_150109.jpg

    I call this phase 2 because the rock is cycled. I'm sure its not actually phase two. :)
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,078
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    You might wish to reconsider on the fish. Getting them out of the tank will almost certainly require a reassembly of your live rock and they should not be in the tank when you get a octopus.

    Sand sifting stars are one of those critters that probably should not be sold. They almost always starve to death even in a well established tank. Eventually they eat all of their food and there is not enough waste to keep up with their needs in all but the very largest aquariums. A better alternative is a serpent or brittle star (or two). I particularly like the red/orange brittles and keep them in all my octo tanks. We name them all Pesky and they tend to hang out with the octopuses (often helping us locate the den). They are often more visible than other serpents but all learn feeding time and can be seen at least at dinner.

    The peppermint shrimp (at least one of them IME) may survive the octopus. They are pretty wily and fast. When I have had a pair, one seems to get too curious about the new octopus and the other seems to learn to stay away after its mate becomes dinner. Sacrificing the fire shrimp is a bit sad though.

    I observed the same issue with snails and hermits which is kind of aggravating since the hermits tend to help clean the live rock and the snails the glass. I keep snails and use the brittles for the LR. Small crab species are good LR cleaners too but will definitely become octo food.
     
  4. Jocco

    Jocco Vampyroteuthis Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Staten Island, NY
    We just dropped a handful of clams in the tank, Hoo and Deenie are aaall over them cleaning and fussing with them. The Blood shrimp seems to not care (until they give off bubbles). The hermits haven't been down/around to investigate yet. I really think Hoo is preggers. We are not set up for this. A quick google is saying A LOT.

    20150411_214016.jpg
     
  5. Jocco

    Jocco Vampyroteuthis Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Staten Island, NY
    The fish... I don't know. I see this as that old stepping stone of "Get a plant, get a fish, get a dog..." I reeeeeeeeeeeeeally don't want to have the octopus die after week or two of introducing it to the tank.

    I must admit, I do not have a green thumb. I'm 31. Last summer I managed to keep Rosemary alive in a little planter pot on the steps outside. I was so excited it survived, we forgot to cook with it. Hopefully I have a wet thumb?

    Fish, I read and you've pointed out all of the cons. We'll probably get the brittle first. Maybe that'll sate my need/fear to go through all these stepping stones. Its out of fear of killing the octopus :( that I'll deal with a lengthly fish catching ordeal, lol.

    I'm a little pissy with my LFS - they were really quick to give me the sand sifter. Why stock the thing if you know its going to die quickly? They've given us other quick advice like we don't have to acclimate shrimp and hermits to a tank because they're so hardy - but we bought the Bloods in a pair as well, and one died. It was bugging Sir Stewart and was found right by the Tiger's den... but idk... maybe it was the not so acclimated process. It was $30 too... not impressed with the LFS. I hope it was a survival of the fittest nature death... and not bad advice.

    We were thinking about getting nudibranch - but the hermits will kill them too?
    Even turbos will die with hermits? And definitely the sand sifting snails, yes? So many sites sell a cleaner team that include both snails and crabs. I'm guess it is to get a big job under control and less about who can co-exist?

    Our pods came and went and are back in one corner, it seems to be a lower flow area. Tank life is cool. :)
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,078
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    The peppermint shrimp (as with most shrimp) are hermaphrodites, needing two to tango but each can provide both egg an sperm. It is pretty much impossible to raise them in a tank but the hatchlings make good food for corals (and baby octopuses). Peps are less predictable than some of the other common shrimps but I have found that keeping a pair (and only a pair) in a breeder net and overfeeding seems to encourage the process. Little acclimation is generally OK (temperature equalizing should always be done for anything though) but I am surprised that they said that for the blood shrimp as they are a delicate animal and most forums recommend a minimum of 1 hour to acclimate (several recommend twice that time). I have only tried one once (many years ago) and it died within 24 hours so I never tried again. Doing a quick search, it appears that changes PH is a major factor and slow acclimation the best bet.

    Not all LFS employees keep tanks or keep what the store offers. Turnover of animals in the store is, by design, a quick process so often they are not aware of longevity. I suggest finding a quick reference invertebrate book and taking it with you when you shop (or borrowing one at the store before you buy). Generally, they give good, albeit abbreviated, advice.
     
  7. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,891
    Likes Received:
    236
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I would skip the nudibranch. They are really cool, but delicate and usually very specific about what they eat, so if you don't have the right variety of algae, they will starve.
     
    DWhatley likes this.
  8. Jocco

    Jocco Vampyroteuthis Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Staten Island, NY
    Ah ok no nudibranch. Ty Cuttlegirl. DW, this LFS is Island known and has been open well over 10 years - The employees are known for their tanks. Thus my annoyance.
    I do not let customers out of my shop with conflicting products... pft.

    Yep. Both Hoo and Deenie are preggers. I wish we had something in there to eat the offspring when they hatch. Any octo friendly suggestions?
    We can put the creature(s) in the BBQ Tank if need be :)
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,078
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    The shrimp offspring will not live more than 24 hours and you will be lucky to ever see them. They are very tiny and will not show up as ammonia when they die off.
     
  10. Jocco

    Jocco Vampyroteuthis Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Staten Island, NY
    Oh. Bummer...
     
  11. Jocco

    Jocco Vampyroteuthis Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Staten Island, NY
    I've noticed some green growth, see the pics. I hope this is good :) Should we be cleaning off the shells?
    I also noticed a tiny clear rolliepollie type creature quickly darting here and there. I read these are good too. I can't imagine there is a ton of them in there yet but I guess where there is one, there will be many.
    What eats these lil buggers so we can keep it under control?
     

    Attached Files:

  12. ekocak

    ekocak Vampyroteuthis Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    92
    Location:
    Upstate NY, USA
    Tank looks nice!
     
  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,078
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Interesting green algae if it is as bright at it looks. There are only two living things I can think of that you want to clean off your rocks with a soft brush (baby bottle brush is my choice). One is green hair algae (more water changes, less/lower lighting and reduced feeding are the long term solutions) and a red/brown slim call cyanobacteria (also a water change end solution). Most everything else is a positive or benign part of the ecosystem.

    I am not sure what your rolliepollie is but controlling detritus (ie clean-up) critters is not a concern.
     
  14. Jocco

    Jocco Vampyroteuthis Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Staten Island, NY
    The green is very bright, new spring grass bright.

    We're at the over feed the critters stage, so this makes sense. And we are definitely due for a water change. We keep up the glass cleaning too, lots of red algae spots on the glass. We need a timer for the light, we are totally guilty of watching the tank when we're home. He has day shifts and I have night shifts, we likely keep it on too long.
     
  15. Pennyworth

    Pennyworth Wonderpus Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2013
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    New York City
    Your experience is mirroring mine very closely!

    I also started with the tank, then added pepperment shrimp and was surprised at how cool I thought they were, and was so excited when my wrocks started cycling.

    I also added a fire shrimp (which died...not sure why) and a sand sifting star (also died..and lesson learned. As D says, they probably should not be sold).

    One thing I can recommend is a spider decorator crab. I have had mine for about 2 years now, and it doesn't harm the shrimp at all, in fact the shrimp pick at its legs, and it is no threat to an octopus. The crab is not compatible with corals however, although I have read of some exceptions. I will have to get rid of the crab soon, as I want to start with corals, so if you are interested you could probably take him, as it will be easy for us to meet up.

    I am looking at getting a blue linkcia starfish soon, as they are blue which I think will look nice in my tank, and safe with corals. I had a red knob sea start for a while which was awesome, but also not compatible with corals.

    I have not encountered the issue with snails and crabs you mentioned, but I did some research when I bought all my CUC to try and make sure they are compatible with each other, and it seemed to work. It could also be I don't have enough in my tank, so they have plenty of room to themselves.

    Looking forward to seeing your progress.
     
  16. Jocco

    Jocco Vampyroteuthis Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Staten Island, NY
    I have shrimp shaped specks!!! The Peps still have eggs under them but there are a dozen or so teeny shrimp specks floating around! Congrats to Hoo and/or Deenie!

    Its 3am, just got home from work, and I feel like a lunatic, totally excited about specks. I even tried to wake Rocco up.

    In other news a 4th hermit popped up with a new shell out of no where! I thought it died a week or so ago. Woke up yesterday to 3 hermits grazing together (Kamikaze, Clinger, and Lil Guy in a new shell) on a conch. Jerk Face was off somewhere else.
    The tiger shrimp Sir Stewart, is reorganizing ALL of the sand and making tunnels all over the place lately. Very cool. I'm going to be sad when Sir and Jerk Face end up a meal to the octopus.
    The blood shrimp hangs out/bothers Sir Stewart, usually at one of the main openings of his cave, and doesn't come out a lot. Too bad. It is sooo bright.

    Ugh!! I wish the specks would cling to something so I can take a pic... lol.
     
  17. Jocco

    Jocco Vampyroteuthis Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Staten Island, NY
    @Pennyworth I was thinking about a decorator crab, they're cool, but my guy wants to get some sort of anemone or corals. We already have the "what do you want in the next tank" itch... so its all just a matter of time (and space) :)
     
  18. Jocco

    Jocco Vampyroteuthis Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Staten Island, NY
    Rocco was cleaning the tank and we moved a few picesnof rock around. We took out 2 of the conch just to do some rock scaping then put them back. Created more movement to hunt and hide. We scheduled a water change with out LFS. Until we get mixing and storing water, I don't think it is a bad idea.

    Is there a good place to read about how macro algae works? I want to create a more natural tank environment.
     

    Attached Files:

    tonmo and DWhatley like this.
  19. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2000
    Messages:
    8,737
    Likes Received:
    512
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Looking good! Very cool. :cool:
     
  20. Jocco

    Jocco Vampyroteuthis Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Staten Island, NY
    Thanks Tonmo!
    We feel like kids who bring up their art to a teacher :D

    Speaking of unidentified squiggles... what is this plant? It came with our Fuji rock and has had some growth.
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page