1st Shipment Arrived


Premium Member
Dear Mary and Rich,

I wanted to let you know that the 1st shipment arrived tonight and I couldn't be happier. It was so much FUN to go through everything and pick out the critters I wanted, and to be honest, there weren't any critters I didn't want in there.

I asked you to pick me out some nice stuff as this was my dive into the reef hobby, and if what I got was just the base rock variety...I can hardly wait to see what's in store for me with the decorator and coral rock.

Found lots of hermit crabs, snails, decorator crabs, and lots of other life. The highlight was definitely when I found I had a pistol shrimp hitch-hiker. I also found one mantis shrimp, and he was beautiful. He hopped right out of the rock within the first minute of his rock being set out on the tarp. He's still alive and I'm looking for a home for him since I don't have a setup at the moment and can't get one ready for him by this weekend, but I certainly didn't consider finding a mantis a bad thing at all, especially if it's only one. :)

The rock is beautiful and I want to honesly thank you both for giving me a whopping great start into the hobby. Talk to you over the phone in a couple of weeks!


Andy :wildone:
Aloha e Andy,

Looks as though you and I are following parallel paths in this hobby; my first TBS shipment arrived night before last. It's been a blast just staring at all the life on the rock!
Aloha e Chris!

You're absolutely right. It's been a blast watching everything and trying to look into caves and caverns trying to figure out what's in there and seeing new things every day. I can hardly wait until the second shipment!

I wish I had a book that would help me ID everything I've seen on the rock, especially all the sponges. Orange, yellow, white, tan, gray, they're all there.

One rock is completely encrusted with barnacles and it's been a hoot watching all the hermits scamper around. I've never seen hermits out of their shells and compete over living space.

It's been 5 days now and I STILL have no ammonia traces in the water. I guess the die-off's been minimal due to the short shipping time, or my skimmer's just a great one. :) I have a EuroReef ES5-2 and I've emptied the collection cup probably 7 or 8 times since Friday. So, I know for sure that it's doing its job and keeping the water clean. I'll still wait until the two weeks have passed for the cycle...but it's HARD!


Andy :wildone:
Aloha e Andy,

Well, one week into it and here's where I'm at:

- Ammonia had a brief spike to about 0.75 ppm, which lasted one day. It's now between 0.25 and undetectable.

- Nitrites are way up! I've been doing water changes solely because of the high nitrite levels.

- Rocks are clearing up day by day. I'm constantly finding some form of bi-valve or tunicate where I thought there was just a lump of rock!!! Makes me worried that I may have put some critters face down in the sand.

- Snails and crabs emerge from the sand/rock to wave hello and then disappear for days at a time.

- Sponges are not doing well. Two of my rocks were each about 1/3 covered with an orange sponge. It has been gradually contracting and even breaking off in places. I hope it will survive.

- I've not noticed any pods.

- Something spit out a huge cloud of what looked like brown smoke out from under one of the rocks. I'm assuming it was something burrowing rather than some form of piscine self-immolation.

More info as it happens...
Aloha e Chris!

I too am one week into the cycle:

- I have yet to see an ammonia spike. The highest I've had is .25, otherwise all ammonia tests have been undetectable.

- Your post reminded me to go and test my nitrates. It's running just below 0.1 at the moment. I'll do a water change in the morning after the new batch has aerated overnight. Just a reminder, if you're using Salifert Nitrite test kits, and if you're looking through the side of the tube to compare on the color chart you need to divide by 10 to get the actual number.

- I THINK my rocks are clearing up...I'm still looking forward to adding my janitorial crew, I think that'll make a large difference. My rocks are FULL of barnacles and other bi-valves. There WAS a mollusk in there that was hanging out in the corner and then suddenly disappeared somewhere. It was WAY too big for something to carry it off and eat it, so I assume the mollusk just went and buried itself somewhere. As for putting critters face down...can't really be helped for most of the rocks. It's full of life on EVERY side.

- Snails and hermits I see out all the time. Though I have or had some decorator crabs and even an emerald or two and have yet to see them again since when I first put the rock in. There's snapping and popping, but I'm pretty sure that's just the pistol shrimp that came as a hitch-hiker, so I'm not all that worried about there being a mantis in there somewhere eating the crabs. Though, I DO admit that I see fewer larger hermits than I did on the first day.

- Probably about 75% to 80% of my sponges are healthy. It's fun to watch some of the orange ones contract. I even see little tiny sponges that are new all over the rocks, so I must be doing something right. But I do have a couple of the white sponges that aren't faring too well, and I've taken those out before they pollute the water.

- I've seen some pods, at least ones that look like pill bugs with large black eye spots. There have been also several tiny ones wandering around, but they were on the Fiji rock when I put it in there initially.

- I was watching and saw what appeared to be a cloud of brown and white being spit out from near one of the rocks. Couldn't get a good angle to see what it was, but there's something digging in there.

- Finally, I've found a couple of aiptasia. Haven't gone after them yet, need to get Kalkwasser mix. They're bigger and beefier than I had expected, but one's definitely aiptasia. There are two others that are white or clear and only have 6 or 8 tentacles. I'm not too sure exactly what those are outside of being some sort of anenomes. Does aiptasia come in white with 6 to 8 tentacles?

It's definitely been exciting. I've heard and read from one of the other guys who bought The Package down there got an octopus hitch-hiker in his second shipment. How EXCITING! Don't know what I would do with one, but I hope I get one as a hitch-hiker. I've heard that there's something going on in the Gulf that's making the octopus population explode.


Andy :wildone:
Back from the Keys

Back from the Keys

Thanks for the feedback on your Packages.......we really appreciate it!

Sometimes there is not much of a cycle......as we ship underwater....but you always need to be ready to make water changes if you need too.....

Had three weeks of bad weather in the Keys, but did catch some fish this week!
Richard TBS:rollface:
No problem, Rich! :)

Thought it might help people make decisions on getting The Package based on our experiences. Happy to help out. Just remember this free advertising and good testimonials when you and Mary pick out my goodies for the second shipment! :D

Just kidding.. :lol: Always happy to support a good company and product.


Andy :wildone: