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About mogurnda

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  • Birthday 10/26/1962

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    Silver Spring
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    aquaria, scuba, cycling

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  1. mogurnda

    Dave's 90 Gallon Renovation

    You saying I post too often? The anemone never splits unless it's really stressed, so I am hoping not to see a split for a while. You're first on the list, though.
  2. mogurnda

    Dave's 90 Gallon Renovation

    I just installed a Reef Breeders 48" V2 LED light, replacing the old IT2080. Love the low profile and the excellent colors. Thought it was a good time for a long-overdue update. Full tank shot. The anemone now owns about half the tank, with an island of mixed corals on the other half. The clowns love their mcmansion. They were posing, so I played with the macro function. The angels and engineers are being shy, so no photos of the rest of the fish today. Softies and hammer. The 27 cube with turtle grass and Bryopsis (for the slugs) has been enjoying the nutrients from the 90, and is getting overgrown. Time to thin the grass. The slugs are happy, though. This photo actually shows two, but they are squished together while mating. Some eggs from a recent brood. The group is producing about an egg mass per week, on average. Out for a morning crawl. More soon.
  3. Agreed. Also, do you have tridachnid clams or something else that the pyramidellids will parasitize? Otherwise, you may as well ignore them.
  4. mogurnda

    Divers Den

    I would be comfortable with a lot more fish being "beginner unfriendly." As pointed out in various posts above, it would have two positive effects. First, fewer beginning aquarists would buy fish they are not yet able to care for. We have all made those kinds of mistakes, and they will continue to happen no matter what, but higher price tags will discourage at least some bad choices. On the other hand, this is where a lot of the money is for the retailers, because an experienced aquarist can keep a fish for years, and therefore not buy much of anything once the tank is stocked. I haven't bought a fish for at least 4 years, so am not contributing much to the industry. Second, it will encourage captive breeding. One of the problems breeders like ORA face is that it's cheaper to buy many wild caught fish. They had to stop breeding mandarins because they couldn't sell them, for example. I expect that the number of species available will go up, and the prices will go down, when fish can be raised on a much larger scale. In my fantasy world, rare fish like carmabi basslets, which are very difficult to collect, will be more widely available once they are bred in captivity. I still think there is a big place for sustainable collection, which benefits local communities. The problem is that the industry has never come up with a credible way that we aquarists can be sure of the origins of our fishes. None of us want to contribute to the destruction of reefs for the sake of our hobby, but we have to trust an industry that, by necessity, wants to keep costs down. It's ironic that Hawaii, with some of the best practices, cut off collection. And Happy New Year to all.
  5. mogurnda

    Divers Den

    Nonsense. They can simply not sell them. By my count, Arking Mark has killed 5 so far in his "studies," with only one survivor so far, and he is more conscientious and experienced than most. I expect the pair will end up dying in the hands of another "expert" who doesn't understand his or her own limitations. Given the hundreds of species of all shapes, sizes and colors, I am at a loss as to why a retailer can, in good conscience, sell fish that are almost certainly going to die. The reefs face huge challenges, and I honestly don't know how big an impact this kind of activity has, but I do know that it makes the hobby look bad.
  6. mogurnda

    Solar Sea Slugs: my new project

    Has it really been two years since I last updated this thread? Lots and lots and lots has happened in the meantime. The colony is increasingly successful, and we are gearing up for another semester of experiments in the spring. One of the biggest changes in the replacement of the old, narrow slug system, with one that provides better access to everything. The top two tanks are a 20L for Bryopsis pennata, and a 15 regular for sea slug stock; the middle row has half-height 5's and 10's for Bryopsis plumosa, and the bottom has the sump, Apex controller, and a doser for NO3, PO4, HCO3, Ca, vinegar, and micronutrients. The biggest breakthroughs have been: 1) figuring out the conditions for sustainably rearing enough Bryopsis to keep the slugs fed. 2) finding out that the babies will only eat B. plumosa, and not B. pennata. They look very similar, but plumosa is finer. They start out very cute... Soon they have rhinophores and parapodia... and before you know it, they are all grown up (the girl below is about 2 months old). I am still fine-tuning the rearing procedures to be a little more predictable, but I am on the third generation. I just collected an egg mass from which I hope to rear the exact right number of little slugs for the students' experiments. They are susceptible to starvation and attack by protists during their first weeks of life, but at any other stage the eggs and baby slugs are essentially bulletproof. It will be exciting to do some neuroanatomy. Big thanks to WAMAS, by the way, for providing funds for some of the reagents we have been using. I hope to be able to show off some of the results before summer.
  7. mogurnda

    Pure Reef Systems

    Holy cow! I thought I was the only one. I had an awful experience with these guys back in 2016. I needed two holding tanks and two I-mazes (think narrow acrylic troughs) for research in Mexico in 2016. Because the equipment needed to be shipped to San Diego, and then put into a van to get to the field station, I had a very firm drop dead date. I made this clear when I placed the order. I placed the order on the last week of April. I also added a couple of 16" cubes to the order in mid-May, and they appeared willing to produce those as well (with the caveat that it was impossible to get more than a sentence out of them over email). As the deadline approached, my emails from the time show a series of requests for information from me, followed by silence or excuses from them. After they missed the final deadline for shipping on June 14, I sent a desperate message. I got a message back about how hard it is to make a tank that looks perfect, and that I should go to someone else if I needed it sooner. These tanks were going to a garage in Baja, why would I need perfection? What do these clowns think a deadline means? In desperation, I contacted Glass Cages, who got the tanks done and shipped to San Diego in the nick of time, without a hiccup. It was great to work with actual professionals. I never posted any feedback, because I did not want to seem like a whiner. Pure Reef seems to make beautiful sumps, but, to be as charitable as possible, they are not businessmen. I guess I was lucky that I only lost sleep worrying about whether I would be able to do my research, and that their lack of professionalism did not cost money as well.
  8. mogurnda

    Invasive Coral Tank?

    Will have to take some new ones. It's the tank in my signature, but has evolved a bit.
  9. mogurnda

    Invasive Coral Tank?

    Mine is going there. I am tired of hacking back Anthelia, red mushrooms, brown palys, green cloves and gorgonians, so I am letting the tank become Darwinian. Some of the SPS can still shade out the competitors, and the BTA will always keep half the tank for itself, but I don't have the time or energy to weed anymore. It's still pretty, and the fish don't care.
  10. mogurnda

    Gorgonian/Heliopora allelopathy?

    Based on the field guide written by our speaker Ned DeLoach, it looks a lot more like Pseudoplexaura to me.
  11. mogurnda

    Gorgonian/Heliopora allelopathy?

    That's my gorgonian, which grows in profusion in the 90 reef. I have had it mixed with all sorts of Acropora over the years, and they have always been fine unless they physically touch. A small twig of it certainly is not going to cause issues.
  12. mogurnda

    Photobucket fixed?

    Did they sack the møøse? It deserved it for biting my sister. Anyway, I am glad if this is true. I have been hosting more recent photos on my own site, but had no interest in re-doing all the old posts. Looks like they are back up again. Who knows, maybe I'll post some photos of the tank that are less than 4 years old.
  13. mogurnda

    biopellets opinions and who uses them?

    On the reef tank, I am dosing 45 ml per day. Any dosing pump will do. I am using a standalone dosing IceCap pump at the moment, and used a BRS pump controlled by my Aquacontroller before I dropped it in the sump. Any white vinegar is fine. I buy 5% vinegar by the gallon jug from Giant. The tank also has a Ca reactor. The fuge in the sump with chaeto and caulerpa, and in-line seagrass tank with Bryopsis, turtle grass and manatee grass generate a high demand for dissolved carbon. The pH dips a little when the vinegar goes in, but goes right back up. Neither the SPS nor the anemone, which now owns half the 90-gallon tank, are affected in any way. I am also dosing 50 ml/day in the macroalgae culture system, using one channel of a Bubble Magus doser. I probably should add more, but the system is stable at the moment, and I don't feel like messing with it. As far as the science, I needed a carbon source, because the growth of benthic macroalgae is limited more by carbon than by nitrogen or phosphorous (Atkinson and Smith, 1982, "C:N:P Ratios of Benthic Marine Plants" Limnol. Oceanogr. 28:568). In a reef system, the food and poo provide a lot of N and P, but less C. To encourage plant growth, adding vinegar, which is metabolized to CO2 by bacteria, gives the macros an edge.
  14. mogurnda

    biopellets opinions and who uses them?

    For the price of a biopellet reactor, pellets and pump, you can get a dosing pump and dose vinegar straight out of the jug. It's not just cheaper, but you can control the amount you put into the tank. With pellets, you are dependent on their rate of dissolving to set the dose of carbon. With vinegar, you can dial it up or down, depending on the demand. I have found that to be very useful when adjusting C, N, and P ratios for growing macroalgae. As far as hassle, I find keeping an eye on a reactor (keeping it fluidizing and not gummed up) more trouble than a dosing pump. There are plenty of people who prefer pellets. This is just my experience.