Isn't that a lot more work?

Dustin07

Well-known member
Background:
Circa 2002 I, like many, started with 10g tanks focused on guppies/mollies etc in my first apartment as an alternative to my lifestyle of dogs, drums, and loud guitars. I was 19. That grew into a 35g hex, cichlid focused tank with locally sourced aquaculture and some interesting sticklebacks. Eventually things converted to salt. I custom built a 40g bow with a 20g refugium and jumped into seahorses. I frequently got the "you can't captive breed seahorses" from all the LFS, and so of course I started captive breeding seahorses. Zosterae being my favorite and preferred, I had a brief stint with Reidi's as well.

After well over a decade out of the hobby, my wife set up a 10g upright "toy" tank (like a petco bargain) which I stayed very clear of, knowing what would happen if I took any interest at all. After some time her goldfish had passed, and she was looking at starting the tank over. I think we must have been at the bar across the street because I said why not convert it to a nano saltwater tank?

"Isn't that a lot more work?".............

na.

Oh geez I have forgotten more than I ever knew.

The 10g became a passion of ours. it grew very healthy, our corals were growing like crazy, and then we took on a Cyano bloom while on vacation. Gross!
Luckily my LFS was very helpful, AND a co-worker had this "30g" tank + stand she wanted to give away. I stared at the tank for probably 3 months before committing to it. (I actually need to measure it cause I think it might be larger).

So now we have this.

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2 apologies off the bat:


I struggle to take good pictures with my phone, my wife's phone takes better pictures.
I spent the day cleaning, a small water change, etc after I took these pictures, but hey maybe honesty is the best policy.


Our fish, are prized to me.

2 clowns
2 damsels
1 chromis
1 orchid dotty back
1 cleaner shrimp
2 sexy shrimp
2 emerald crabs
X number of bumblbee, nasarious, and turbo snails.

The clowns are coming up on 2 years old since we bought them, and everything seems very happy. I don't really have any desire to add anymore fish to the tank. the bioload seems stable, our hodgepodge of tankmates get along well together and even though my clowns would rather host to my zoas than my anenome, they're happy.



It never occurred to me to start a "log" before, but my zoanthids are growing so fast, and the value of the zoanthids we are buying are increasing, so while we learn various struggles in algae I don't even remember having fought the last time I did this, improve lighting, filtration, count polyp growth etc, I figured a log might make sense.

I'm going to make a lot of mistakes. Despite the success I recall having when I was younger, it feels 100% new.

I'm blown away by the quality of my RedSea 50W LED lights compared to my options 20 years ago!
 
This weekend we picked up the Slimline Small Frag Rack that PNW customs makes.


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Along with 2 new zoa frags; a Fruit Loops, and a Blowpop.

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I took these pictures within hours of acclimating them to the tank, so to say the least I'm thrilled at how fast they started opening up.
 
here is one of the things that drives my motivation. If you know the name of these oranze zoas, or the smaller ones, I'd love to hear their "street" names.

The greenish/yellow ones started as a small frag of about 8-10 polyps and have left their plug to now expand over the rock. (i'll work on better pictures)

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the orange ones started with about the same number of polyps and spread like crazy. they were all on the left in this picture originally, so I grabbed their original colony, just to see what would happen and gently separated them last week into two colonies.

I'd love to try my hand at fragging/propagating. I've fallen in love with some of the pricier zoas out there like LSOH and if I can have luck with my existing Zoas then I might give them a try as well.
 
OK last picture/update for today.

the bottom two small frags here (again, I do not know their street names) were $9 bargain bin buys at one of my favorite LFS's here locally.

However, the larger foul looking one is admittedly a rescue:

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I picked these up seeing just a glimmer of pink in them, about 2 weeks ago. I can't remember what I paid but the colony was about 2x that size. half the colony fell off when it was bumped by either a snail or shrimp and knocked off it's previous rock (I had not glued it). so I moved this plug to the new frag rack, and DID glue the other half of the colony to a more permanent location.

They're a rescue. I'm not sure what to expect of them, if anything.

However I had some Palys last year that I thought had died from the cyano outbreak I had. When I found them in my tank, they were completely bleached out, bone white. I moved them out of the display but in a nice area of the tank where they'd get direct light. I forgot about them for a while then suddenly realized my 3 bleached palys were now recovering very well! so I moved them to a more prominenent location, with occasional direct feeding as an experiement, and they're now 6 or 7 polyps, growing larger, and started to reach a bit longer again.

since I have seen a lot of zoas and palys act "dead" for sometimes weeks or months at a time, I thought these mystery rescues were worth the risk.
 
here is one of the things that drives my motivation. If you know the name of these oranze zoas, or the smaller ones, I'd love to hear their "street" names.

The greenish/yellow ones started as a small frag of about 8-10 polyps and have left their plug to now expand over the rock. (i'll work on better pictures)

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the orange ones started with about the same number of polyps and spread like crazy. they were all on the left in this picture originally, so I grabbed their original colony, just to see what would happen and gently separated them last week into two colonies.

I'd love to try my hand at fragging/propagating. I've fallen in love with some of the pricier zoas out there like LSOH and if I can have luck with my existing Zoas then I might give them a try as well.
Top ones are Orange Bambam I believe. Bottom ones are almost certainly Eagle Eyes.
 
Top ones are Orange Bambam I believe. Bottom ones are almost certainly Eagle Eyes.

I believe you are correct on the bambams! The Eagle Eyes, do they generally have a very short stalk/polyp?

I see a few color combinations referred to as Eagle Eyes online, but one thing that is certain of mine is that they are very short and I think are semi-slower growing. The bambams for example were added to the tank at the same time, same place, same parameters and you can see how much more they have grown.
 
Again, I'm sorry for the poor photography...

my fruitloops continue to open and thrive:

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last night I "rescued" these from a 5g tank at work. they had shrunk considerably and hadn't opened in a week so I took them home to my tank and within an hour were starting to open up. I think once they open up I'll be able to get a picture more representative of their true color which is a beautiful blue.

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these are the palys I thought had died. These taught me a very valuable lesson: get the tank parameters healthy, but leave the coral alone lol. what I thought were 3 dead palys, after a few months, are now 6+ healthy polys.


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a couple more colonies I have going in this tank:

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a different angle on the orange bambams. the lower cluster all grew off of the original cluster (the top group) and is at least twice as big as the original frag I brought home:


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the most annoying PITA in the tank, our anemone lol.
he spent a month+ with his foot anchored in the middle of the front glass so we could never see him, just his "butt" on the display lol.
as I mentioned I have learned to leave things along rather than fiddling with them too much and stressing them out. so I waited around a month or 2 before I very gently pried him off and relocated him, hoping for a nice display. He moved to a bright sunny spot with decent flow on the BACK side of a rock. Jerk.

sooo my wife says..... hey nothing else is on that rock, why not just turn it around? LOL we finally beat him at his own game.

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I think the only thing I don't really have pictures of yet in this log are my cloves and pulsating xenia.
I have a love hate relationship with the xenia, but I think we have decided to let it and the cloves blend together (hopefully, we will see if one begins to snuff the other out) in about 1/3 of the tank area.
 
Looks great! I should really add some zoanthids to my tank

Thank you very much!
I feel like this tank started very a.d.d.
We had our 10g upright nano which was fun, full and vibrant. We enjoyed dates on Saturdays to the LFS to shop for a new frag. When we moved to this larger tank, I just don't think we had good vision and it feels "messy" and unorganized. But now it's starting to take shape as I focus on particular rocks to become strictly zoa gardens and other areas for my more "flowy" corals like the xenia... slowly.

What's funny is I'm considering setting up a 10g at my office that a co-worker just gave me. If I do that, I actually have a vision already in my head for that one, so maybe 3rd try is a charm, lol.
 
Looking really good!
thank you :D
I'm still trying to organize my garden a bit. once I really feel like things are figured out, I'm going to attempt a couple frags, and if it goes well, then I'm going to reach out to some of the pricier zoas like the LSOH I have my eyes on. ...
 
A couple shots of my fruit loops adjusting well in the main tank and the Utter Chaos frags I picked up for $10 on FB...
 

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I don't know the names of these two but they were $9.99 bargain bin pickups two weeks ago and doing really well:


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Nice, not a huge fan of Zoas and I absolutely hate commercial names but, you’re accumulating some really nice stuff. So, I can ignore the commercial names😉
 
Nice, not a huge fan of Zoas and I absolutely hate commercial names but, you’re accumulating some really nice stuff. So, I can ignore the commercial names😉
Ha, yeah I'm still wrapping my head around some of it. I don't even understand how "someone" ended up with a handful of Simpsons themed Zoa names that stuck..... But hey, I mean at some point somebody named the Weiner dog 😂 and that stuck too
 
I'm convinced that two things yield the best results on my Zoa's, and maybe all my corals to be honest:

A. Magnesium dosing. Which I intend to learn more about this, other people's protocols etc. I tested for the first time ever 12-18 months ago, found my levels were crazy low, started occasional dosing and had fantastic results.

B. Spot / target feeding. This seems like a 50/50 topic on the internet. Some people believe it's not needed, others swear by it.

I truly believe that when I spot feed my zoa's within 24hrs I'm noticing larger polyps that look stronger, more outstretched, and longer tentacles. The colors are more vibrant and they seem to just grow faster and stronger.

Also this guy wouldn't stop photo bombing me this morning 😂



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