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mogurnda

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Everything posted by mogurnda

  1. mogurnda

    dead fish scare

    I first thought the title was "Dead Fish Care." I figured you could either cook or toss it, depending on freshness. I have this problem all the time with the FW loaches. They lie in the most unlikely positions in the middle of the day.
  2. mogurnda

    Work tank?

    I am in a biology department, and have access to RO water and an IT department willing to let me hook up an Apex controller to the LAN, so have it a lot easier than most. Before you set it up, make sure they don't shut off environmental controls on weekends or holidays, and that they do not spray insecticides. My office got to 99 degrees on July 4 this year (saved by the chiller), but in previous years, I learned which animals can take the heat (sea slugs) and which can't (amphipods) before I understood that facilities shut everything off during holidays.
  3. mogurnda

    Glass Lids?

    This may sound heretical, but has anyone but me gone back to glass lids on their tanks? I haven't used glass tops on my coral tanks for about 18 years, but have recently gone back. It started in my algae culture tanks, when I realized that growth was not limited by light intensity, and I put the lids back on my 90 reef while I was away this winter. Even with some splash and salt deposits, I only lose about 20% of my PAR, but I'm only using the LEDs at 60% anyway. Cuts the evaporation rate by about 80%, so I don't have to think about the ATO as often. Corals have as much color and growth as ever so far. Anyway, is it time to rethink the topless thing? Now that most people have shifted to LED fixtures, which put out more than enough PAR, and don't have the heat issues of halides, is there a benefit to being lidless? I guess is looks cleaner, especially for a rimless tank, but otherwise it just means you have to top off more and use some form of screen to prevent the occasional fish jump.
  4. mogurnda

    Glass Lids?

    My tanks always sit high, so I miss out on the top view. Good point.
  5. mogurnda

    Pure Reef Systems

    This is why I hesitated to post anything. No matter how bad a businessman is, someone will defend them. I stand by every detail of my story, and have the emails to prove it. I eagerly await additional details. If he has been thrown under the bus, he earned it.
  6. After 5 years, I think I have the tank I want. I learned a lot with the first tank, which I won in a WAMAS raffle in 2004. For some of the details, look here. The tank evolved, then came the opportunity for big change when we wanted to redo the floor. It got moved temporarily, and sat by the side of the room for a fewmonths while I waited for the new stand. I learned how much I like a drilled tank, and could not wait for my redesigned sump. Joanna was very patient waiting for the room to get back in order. The stand arrived, and thanks to help from neighbors and WAMAS members, it is set up and running. The goal was to be self contained and simple, with as little visible plumbing as possible. I still need to tame a few wires, but it's close to what I want. The cabinet below the stand is a bit cramped, but works. I am very happy that I left 18" behind. It makes working there infinitely easier. The overflow is a modified Calfo horizontal, running 1/3 the length. I am so glad I got rid of the AGA megaflow, which took up way too much real estate on the already cramped bottom of a 90. Quick summary: 90 gallon AGA Horizontal overflow with two 3/4" bulkheads going to 1.25" modified Durso drain. 29 gallon sump Euroreef skimmer Eheim 1260 return DaveCo Ca reactor (i.e. DIY) Vortech MP40 AquaController Jr Sunlight Maristar 2X250 MH, 2X54 T5
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Agreed. Also, do you have tridachnid clams or something else that the pyramidellids will parasitize? Otherwise, you may as well ignore them.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. After many years of doing expensive research to - hopefully - benefit human health, I have decided to try a different approach. I wanted a relatively cheap project that answered a fundamental biological question, but wanted it to be fun, and to have my students in Mexico and my undergraduates here take part in it. I decided to try to understand how kleptoplastic organisms, those that steal chloroplasts from their food plants and use them to perform photosynthesis, regulate their exposure to sunlight. As many of you may know, Elysia crispata, the Caribbean lettuce sea slug that some of us have tried to use for algae control, sucks the juice from its food plants and uses the chloroplasts. They continue to eat, but can get by for months just living off sunlight. Here is one on a reef in Bonaire, from a few years ago. People have studied the symbiosis in other species of Elysia, including E. chlorotica, which lives in the Chesapeake. What is getting the most attention is that the slugs need algal proteins to maintain the chloroplasts, and there is evidence that the slugs are expressing genes from algal DNA. After that, it gets a bit controversial, with some saying that the slugs have actually incorporated algal DNA into their genomes (“horizontal transfer”) and others saying that it is not present in unfed juveniles. Very interesting question, but not mine. I want to know how a slug knows when it has had enough sunlight. There are hazards to being in the sun too long (predation, radiation damage, free radicals), but you want to get as much energy as you can. How do the slugs sense the intensity of light (eyes? photosynthetic byproducts?), and how does it count the amount of time it has been exposed? With a very simple nervous system, which has really big neurons, the slug should be able to reveal its secrets. The first step was finding them. I had found Elysia diomedea at the marine station at Bahia de los Angeles when I had worked there in the past, but it took a week to figure out that they are out in the morning, and not the afternoon. I was working on another project most mornings, but managed to find them on a day off when I had all but lost hope. This one is near some Codium, a possible food plant (still not known). To be continued…
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. mogurnda

    Invasive Coral Tank?

    Will have to take some new ones. It's the tank in my signature, but has evolved a bit.
  16. 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.
  17. mogurnda

    Gorgonian/Heliopora allelopathy?

    Based on the field guide written by our speaker Ned DeLoach, it looks a lot more like Pseudoplexaura to me.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. mogurnda

    Anyone own a Olympus TG-5?

    Thanks! I have not used other lenses with it, sorry.
  23. mogurnda

    Anyone own a Olympus TG-5?

    I got the TG-4 last year, and have been very happy with it. Very small and light, and, as the name says, tough. Great for underwater and for macro photography. Official max depth is 50 feet, but I took it to 65 on a few dives (could not use the housing on that trip). I just love being able to stick it in a pocket, and have it ready for anything, wet or dry. A few examples.
  24. mogurnda

    My clownfish made a home in my zoas

    Years ago, I added a GBTA to a tank with a pair of ocellaris clowns. They totally ignored it, and continued to hang out in my toadtstool leather (see avatar), Anthelia, and some zoanthids. After a few years, the female died, and I got a new little juvenile (one of Doug Arthur's babies, named "Doug"). Doug immediately dove into the anemone, the (now) female followed. Nine years later, they haven't left.
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