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Old 12/06/2018, 06:39 AM   #451
Subsea
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Hmm... now I'm thinking that my single gramma is not enough. I may have to add some more as well. I really like the idea of having a small Group of them. They are just too cool. Do I remember correctly that this a species that does best in odd numbers?
Because I was encouraged by Michaelís success with a school of Royal Gramna,
I added 6 to a tank with a residet gramna. Even though I was not witness to obvious aggression, I never saw the six again. I had excellent results adding a school of 8 Pajama Cardinals.

I have always added odd numbers of fish in a species, I see little point to it. Michaelís advice on ratio of male to female is most important to follow.


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Old 12/06/2018, 10:14 AM   #452
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Because I was encouraged by Michaelís success with a school of Royal Gramna,
I added 6 to a tank with a residet gramna. Even though I was not witness to obvious aggression, I never saw the six again. I had excellent results adding a school of 8 Pajama Cardinals.

I have always added odd numbers of fish in a species, I see little point to it. Michaelís advice on ratio of male to female is most important to follow.
Oh! So the additional grammas are no longer in there? Hmm... that is not good.

Michael, did you take the grammas through TTM in addition to QT? If so, what size tank did you use?


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Old 12/06/2018, 02:30 PM   #453
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Thanks Dawn!

Barnacle Blennies are ridiculously cute! I think the patrons of the "Crabby Patty", on SpongBob were modeled after them.

One behavior I didn't see much of in v1 is 'beach time', where they venture out from their holes and gather on the sandbar. They size each other up and challenge each other in a sort of Darwinian Playground. I think they realize the tank is theirs (for now), and they're enjoying the space.

Ever since I lost the grammas in v1 to ICH, I've been counting the moments until I can have them again. The fake wall with the gramma caves is the perfect match for their preferred topography. Watching them surf the current effortlessly along the wall is a beautiful, natural part of their lifestyle, and a ball to watch!


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Old 12/06/2018, 02:56 PM   #454
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Sorry the grammas didn't work out for you Patrick. I think It's harder to make it work when there's already an established fish. I think the ideal is a group of uniformly small size grammas, all added at the same time. The most aggressive one will grow faster and turn into a male, locking the rest into femalehood. Then you have a (relatively) peaceful harem group, with a natural order.

The odd number of fish thing seems to be one of those lingering, 'conventional wisdom' things. Or maybe it has merit. If anyone knows, please chime in! If I was a fish in a school, would I care if we were in an odd or even number?


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Old 12/06/2018, 03:09 PM   #455
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McPuff, I just got the grammas into QT yesterday. My plan is to observe them, to see if they show any signs of illness. If so, I'll probably do the Tank Transfer Method. Hypo-salinity is also an option.

My QT is a 40 tall, with PVC pieces secured to egg crate on the back wall, and on the bottom. I bought this size specifically to be able to QT schools of small fish. It's definitely on the small size for a group this big, but I'm hopeful they can endure it for a month or so.

In my book, you're an expert on the subject, so I'd love to hear your recommendations!


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Old 12/06/2018, 03:09 PM   #456
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I love the pics again, and those barnacle blennies are the bomb. I bet it's fun to watch them out in the open challenging each other like that. Again, I love seeing the wall, it turned out so good. I look forward to seeing it with the macros and such that grow on it. The intersection of the two walls is hardly seen, and appears to be a continuous wall making a bend. Well done!


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Old 12/06/2018, 03:48 PM   #457
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If I was a fish in a school, would I care if we were in an odd or even number?

Would you even know the difference between odd and even? Or be able to count?? Haha


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Old 12/06/2018, 04:13 PM   #458
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Oh how I love barnacle blennies! Their antics are adorable.


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Old 12/06/2018, 05:03 PM   #459
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Thanks Dawn!

Barnacle Blennies are ridiculously cute!
One behavior I didn't see much of in v1 is 'beach time', where they venture out from their holes and gather on the sandbar. They size each other up and challenge each other in a sort of Darwinian Playground. I think they realize the tank is theirs (for now), and they're enjoying the space.
I only have just the 2 but I have seen them do that. I had no idea what was possessing my supet shy barnacle blennies to come out of their holes and lay on the sand. I was actually worried that they might be sick! I will quit worrying and start enjoying it.


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Old 12/06/2018, 07:24 PM   #460
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Thanks for the compliment on the new fake wall Kevin! I'm happy with it. It ticks all the boxes. One of the barnacle blennies has taken up residence in a hole right in the corner transition part. With it coated in diatoms, it blends in well with the old part. I look forward to getting some cool life on it.


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Old 12/06/2018, 07:28 PM   #461
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My thoughts exactly, Sam. I don't think it matters to them. I think it must be a 'logical conclusion' that someone came to, and it got repeated.


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Old 12/06/2018, 07:34 PM   #462
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Thanks for chiming in, Sugar Magnolia! It's nice to hear from you again. We seem to be reaching a consensus that barnacle blennies are great. I'd love to have more!


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Old 12/06/2018, 07:40 PM   #463
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You know Dawn, it almost seems like they have a split personality. Most of the time, they're cautious, staying safe in their holes. Then, on rare occasions, they like get out and show off. Or, they'll cruise around, shopping for a new house. They're very social with each other, which adds to the entertainment!

It sounds like you're really enjoying your blenny tank! Woo!


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Old 12/06/2018, 08:00 PM   #464
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The Royal Grammas are settling into QT. Acclimating seven fish at once is challenging! Hopefully, they can get through quarantine without much stress. I'm feeding them well. They seem to be doing OK. Tonight I noticed one of the mollies in QT scratching. I immediately initiated lowering salinity. I'll get it down to hypo levels over the next day or two. We'll see how it goes, and I'll decide if additional measures are needed.

Today I drip acclimated around forty or so mini strombus snails, and added them to the display. I hope they like diatoms! The two mollies I have in there have already made a dent in them. Now it's time to diversify!

It looks like I have to wait another week on the manatee grass. That will actually work out well, as it's been pretty cold around here lately, and it's supposed to warm up next week. Can't wait!


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Old 12/07/2018, 07:39 AM   #465
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Those blennies are cool.
I did 5 royals, QT in a 10g for 2 weeks. I got small ones. They all made it thru TTM and Prazi. I would have to look to be sure I still have 5. One got large and the others are 1/2 that size. Each one has a spot in the rocks equal distant from the others. They do socialize in the am before lights on and at night before lights out. Same with the P-jammas. And of course at feeding time they dont care who's around. Its a free for all.


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Old 12/07/2018, 08:44 AM   #466
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It sounds like you're really enjoying your blenny tank! Woo!
I am loving the blenny tank. Usually I hate keeping up 2 tanks but the blenny tank is so easy and entertaining. It's not just the blennies, it's also the many inverts (shrimp and crabs, especially) that add to the joy. There is always something interesting going on in their world's as well.



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Old 12/07/2018, 09:42 AM   #467
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Michael, I would definitely suggest TTM at some point as grammas are so susceptible to ich. And with TTM you're basically ridding your new fish (and your system) of the parasite. This also means you don't have to bother with hyposalinity... and that sounds like a pain to me. Makes QT really straightforward. Prazipro and medicated foods and time. Done.

That said, my TTM tanks are about 6 gallons each. I suppose I could take 4-5 small grammas through 12 days in those small tanks. They typically won't eat too much anyway and only 3 days per tank means the water doesn't get too fouled anyway. I'll have to see what kind of price I can get from my LFS.


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Old 12/07/2018, 10:23 AM   #468
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Thanks McPuff! I appreciate your input. I've seen you work miracles with your quarantine prowess!

I love how TTM works. It is an elegant solution. But it is more complicated in my case, with seven grammas. Hypo salinity is the simpler option for my situation, I think. All I have to do is remove a bucket of water from QT, then add another bucket back of fresh water. And repeat until the desired salinity is reached. I'm doing this over the course of a couple days. The fish stay right where they are, so they don't have to endure the stress of capture and transfer, etc.

With TTM, I'd need to set up multiple buckets and put multiple fish in each, which would also be stressful for them, and complicated for me.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a believer in TTM! I just think with seven fish, I'd like to try the simpler option first. I can definitely make it happen though. I'd just need to set up some buckets with pvc pieces or something, so that multiple fish could cohabitate with as little stress to them (and me) as possible.

I'm going to study up on TTM in the meantime, so I'll be ready to commit to it, if/when the time comes. Also, I will continue mulling it over, and how best to do it with seven fish.

It sounds like you might be attempting it. Let's share our experiences and see what we can learn together.


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Old 12/08/2018, 04:53 PM   #469
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Today I've seen the first sign of green - some film algae on the glass. I think I'll go ahead and move Seymore (the cucumber) and Mom (the conch) over to the display. It would be good for the wife if I could break down the holding tank asap. My home office is kinda cluttered. The QT will stay up and running until I move all my schools through. Then I'll go back to my previous arrangement in the display cabinet, with a 20 and a 26 gallon QT.

In my search for Mom, I grabbed some macro algae that had some mini serpent stars in them. I added them to the bucket for acclimation to the display. Woo Hoo! I wonder where those came from. I found about six.

Interesting time for my tank. Starting up an ecosystem from the bottom up. I'm letting Nature teach me the next steps to take to assist in the process. Early days. Next wave of life will likely be worms and pods. I may try live mysids again. When I added them to v1, they got gradually picked off. If I could get them in before more fish are added, maybe they could build a sustainable population. That would be sweet!


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Old 12/08/2018, 05:52 PM   #470
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Has anyone noticed the irony that a 19 page thread about weeds has none? Here's some old pics to wet your appetite:
































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Old 12/08/2018, 07:02 PM   #471
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Has anyone noticed the irony that a 19 page thread about weeds has none? Here's some old pics to wet your appetite:





























Those pics are some of the most beautiful that I have ever seen.


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Old 12/08/2018, 08:12 PM   #472
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Woo Dawn, thanks! You're so kind!


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Old 12/08/2018, 08:58 PM   #473
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Today I lowered salinity in QT down to 16ppt. One more bucket ought to get me there tomorrow. Everyone looks good and I've seen no further scratching. The royal grammas are getting along surprisingly well. Aggression is pretty limited, which is better for everybody. One of them is large, probably male. So the harem order may already be decided. That's cool! In my first attempt, with the same number of fish, there was a long period of general jerkiness between them. These fish seem mellower.

I got the cucumber and fighting conch into the display, after a long drip acclimation. When I looked for the sea stars, I could only find one in the bottom of my bucket. I found the others hitching a ride on Seymore! I got the coral skeleton out of the display. The former blenny resident is integrated into the 'rock group' now, which is now three. Plus one in the barnacles, and the fifth is back in his hole, high up the new fake wall.

I did some mods on the new fake wall. I hand drilled some holes through it to provide subsurface water flow to the wave box. This has nearly eliminated the bubbles. I also trimmed the top of the wall down a little, for improved flow. I'm gradually figuring out ways to optimize the wave box's performance. Once I get my ro/di setup working properly again, I'll be able to dial in the water level, which really effects wave height.


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Old 12/10/2018, 07:46 AM   #474
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Wow, you've come a long way in a short amount of time. It's fun to watch your progress. The old pics still amaze me, thanks for bring them back!


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Old 12/10/2018, 09:48 AM   #475
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Thanks Kevin! Getting my tank back up and running took a lot longer than I expected. A lot of that was because of procrastination, and a lot was just life. Once I got through the major system hurdles I gained some momentum. Right now, all I have going is sand and rocks. It's not much to look at. But it is good to focus on the substrate, and adding the little guys that are so important to the ecosystem.

I'm of course anxious to get the manatee grass in. Should be this week! The two, little shoal grass plants have both put out new leaves, so that's encouraging. The snails, conch and cucumber all seem to be enjoying the diatoms. The mollies too. They've done especially well cleaning the back wall. I should be able to add worms soon. I just want to make sure there is enough for them to eat. They can probably get by on much less than I think.

It was fun, going through old pics for inspiration. It was also helpful to see what I liked, and what I didn't like. V1 was a jungle of color and life, and a whole lot of fun. Plus I learned a lot.

It will be another learning experience this time around, since I'm planning for things to be a bit different. I really want the manatee grass to dominate, with much less emphasis on macros. This will mean I'll have to modify my methods to get there. One of the biggest differences has already happened, with the large quantity of yard dirt included in the substrate. I'm thinking (hoping) that, with a fertile substrate, I'll have less dosing to do. The grasses should take off quicker, since they won't have to wait a year for the substrate to accumulate nutrients.

Of course, we'll have to see what Mother Nature has to say about all this! I'll be listening…


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