Tank reached 38 years old...in 2009!

Paul B

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Yesterday I threw about 25 small mud snails in my tank. Today,I can't find even one. :cool:
I am waiting to go out to dinner and I was watching my tank with the room lights off. (Yes,i am weird)

I noticed my new, smaller 6 line wrasse which I have not seen in the week or two since I added him. If you have a pair of fish it is hard to know if you have two unless you see the both of them at the same time. In my tank I can go months before that happens as the structure is a huge system of caves that go from one of the tank to the other.

The smaller 6 line wrasse looks pregnant although I didn't think she was old enough to spawn.

I also found my new little bi color bleeny but I am pretty sure she is to young to spawn. A few more months maybe.
I am pretty sure my Rainsford gobies are spawning as they "live" in a hole in the gravel next to an undergravel filter tube. They may even be going under that filter plate but I am to stiff to get under the tank with a flashlight to look for them.



I don't have pictures of the 6 line wrasses because they are to fast, but these guys are also spawning.

 

Paul B

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We did have a great "driveway" party yesterday after boating. We all brought, or bought food and set up tables and chairs in my driveway.

I made the fireworks and most of the drinks and we had a nice turn out. It's not like the old parties because the Virus put a damper on that :(

But we do what we can do.

I found out the pool, which is huge and 12' deep is being "fixed" and should be filled and opened soon.
But with the Mandated Covid rules it is not going to be much fun.

WE have to hire security guards that will take your temperature before you go into the large fenced in area and sign you in. You have to be a resident, no guests. (Or Grand Children)

Only a certain number of people are allowed in and you have to bring your own tables, chairs and umbrella's. Normally, all that stuff is there. (I am surprised we don't have to bring our own water for the pool, but maybe that is in the small print)

The tables have to be 12' apart and they will count the people in the pool, maybe one of the guards will wear SCUBA gear to make sure you aren't swimming near someone.

If you walk near another table, you must wear a mask.

I think I will just stay home.:rolleyes:

WE have this large pool because this land used to be some kind of summer camp and Telly Sevellas owned most of it.
 

Paul B

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My good friend paulie collected this in Barnicut bay Jersey and sent it to me.
(He is a very nice, generous guy)
It is some codium seaweed with some limpets attached
.
At first I thought they were chitons, but they are limpets. Very common here on the east coast of the US and probably all over the world in intertidal zones or very shallow water. They are like very slow moving snails but they look like half of a clam or scallop shell.
They are nocturnal and slowly graze on algae.

This piece has 3 or 4 limpets on it but they may crawl someplace at night. Very cool.
The codium seaweed is also very common in the Atlantic right near shore. It lives a few months in a tank. The problem with it is crabs, and snails bite off pieces near the bottom and the thing floats. I never saw fish eat it. and I collect it all the time as it looks very cool. I wish it lived longer in a tank.
This is it in my tank

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Paul B

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Some day I need to do some work on my tank. I need to move the entire middle section back a few inches because some of the corals are to close to the glass and my magnet cleaner hits it.

I did this once before and I don't look forward to it. I have to wear thick gloves so my fireclowns don't take my arm off and I have to break a lot of growing stuff and tear a bunch of sponge and that stuff is tough as wood. I will probably also break some montipora and other SPS.
There are two large, like 6 or 7" anemones back there that won't be happy and my powerhead is also back there that feeds the skimmer/reverse undergravel filter and algae scrubber.

The middle section from about where the copperband is to about the gorgonian on the right side is needs to go back a couple of inches.
This is an older picture and the corals are not that big here.

 

Paul B

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For Sale "Free".
This picture is about 3/4" thick and is a solid piece of acrylic about 7' long.
I am putting a Murphy bed on that wall and it won't fit anywhere even though I love the thing.
I live near Riverhead Long Island



 

Paul B

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Today I collected water and while that was being diatom filtered my friend helped me trim sponges. He actually removed a few pounds of them and I am very happy. I can't do it because I have two fingers bandaged up and I can't get them wet.
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When you cut this sponge it exudes a milky stuff that makes the skimmer go nuts and it kept overflowing on the floor.

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I collected water from here and we had a huge storm last night so it was filthy which is why I have to filter it.


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This is what it looked like in the bucket during collection. Not exactly pristine coral reef water.

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All my thousands of brittle stars climbed up to the highest point and spawned making my water milky.
Them and urchins do that when you change the temp, water conditions or when I walk in front of the tank in my Speedo.

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Of course as I was filling containers with filtered water we got side tracked and it overflowed on the floor. Twice. It looked like Noah's flood and now my floor is very dull because the salt dried on it. I can't clean it until I get my stitches out.
 

Paul B

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Thank you Mongo, I appreciate it.

Great Success.
We hear all about “Great Success” all the time in life and especially on these forums. What is Great Success?
I think it was Great Success when Neil Armstrong first stepped on the moon. I am not sure if some ancient Alien, millions of years prior stepped there first and maybe opened a casino or possibly an Lfs where he sold quarantined fish.
Would that diminish what Mr. Armstrong did? I don’t know.

It does concern me when a hobbyist keeps a certain fish and boasts that he or she has great success. He may say something like “I kept a Moorish Idol and had great success”. He immediately ate franks and beans and I had him since I moved out of my parents basement last week and got a real job running the French frying machine at McDonalds. His Pop Eye receded and He doesn’t have “too many spots” and rarely swims in a corkscrew fashion.

To me Great Success is keeping any creature until it dies of old age. I feel my own Mother had great success raising me because I am pretty old and if I croak tomorrow I can say I died from old age.

Real Great Success is great if it really is an accomplishment to a point where we can all learn something from it. Having great success and keeping it to yourself may be great for you, but it doesn’t help anyone.

Imagine if my mentor and friend Leonardo DiVinci never revealed his masterpieces. What if he just scribbled on the tile walls of his bathroom using a permanent marker from Walmart without ever showing anyone his genius.

What if he called his friend Michaelangelo to ask him if he could use methylene blue for a dye to paint the eyes on his girlfriend, Mona, Mona Lisa. And Michaelangelo just sent back an emoji.

I understand Michaelangelo didn’t like giving out advice much and he would get mad and start to yell if he was disturbed too often. Laying on your back for five years to paint a ceiling while not even having one Gatoraid or one Chiropractic appointment will do that to you. He even used to yell at the Pope who had no sense of humor and would constantly threaten to Excommunicate him. I read that his Pope hat was too small and gave him migraines.

One person Michaelangelo never yelled at was Van Gough.

He wouldn’t hear him anyway because he stupidly cut off his left ear after his main squeeze dissed him for texting her while she was having her nails done.

Another person who almost had great success was Galallio. He discovered the world was round by turning around his refractometer and looking at the stars. The Pope, who used a swing arm hydrometer really hated him
for that and Excommunicated him so all this time he was living in hell where everyone is in quarantine. Of course they exonerated him like 500 years later which was nice of them.

Getting back to fish, very few of us have Great Success because we don’t stay in the hobby long enough. If we leave the hobby in only 8 years we will fail at having great success as most fish related things we keep live longer than that.

That is with the exception of seahorses and pipefish which at one time were not even thought of as fish, but insects. (No really)
Bangai Cardinals have one of the shortest lifespans at about 4 or 5 years so if you want great success and you know you will leave the hobby next year, get one of those.

SPS corals are actually immortal. Mine are not, so I don’t have Great Success with those. Each polyp has a lifespan (I don’t know what it is) but when a new one is “born” it grows on top of it’s parent. (not all SPS do that) Talk about snowflakes. I know a lot of Young adults like that.

One 41 year old I know who lives right near me still lives with his parents. They support him, feed him, clothe him and lend him their car. That should have been my parents. They wanted to throw me out when I was 12.

I have a very old reef tank, is it a great success? I don’t think so. I have no corals that are as old as the tank and my corals are not growing up the walls. Rarely does a Supermodel come over to help me with water changes and I was never asked to speak at one of the world summits in front of nation leaders or CPAs.

I can say I had great success keeping some fish past what is assumed to be their lifespan.
Even though I was here when the hobby started, I failed to convey most of the knowledge I acquired which I believe to be correct. Of course thousands or maybe millions of people disagree with me on every aspect of the hobby from thinking fish even need seawater or can live in damp sawdust. That is fine because I have been wrong so many times.

Just this morning my wife was yelling at me for something but I forgot what it was. Something about yogurt I think.
I do remember I used to think fish could never become immune to parasites. I even wrote in (I think) FAMMA magazine that being immune to parasites was like being immune to bullets.

I wish I could retract that but It was in the 70s and very few people are still alive from then anyway.

I now know that fish can be immune to everything except maybe being Ex communicated.
Unless of course they are Angelfish.
 

Paul B

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I just did some tank maintenance (one large rock with coral fell and some are hitting the front glass) and am still surprised that some of my fish are living way past what their life span is supposed to be. My Janss pipefish and bluestripe pipefish are over 5 years old. Maybe 6. Five or six years for most fish isn't a big deal but for pipefish it's pretty good. I would like to get more but I can't find any except on line.

My Ich magnet Hippo tang who never ate greens of any type is looking fantastic and is a beautiful Royal blue. My other ich magnet copperband is also perfect looking, but I would expect nothing less.
My 6 line wrasses still appear to be spawning as are the Rainsford gobies, watchmans and of course the fireclowns. You can't stop those from spawning and it is about all they do. At least the other fish sometimes take a break.

The only two fish of the same species I have that are not spawning are the little citron gobies. They must be two males, females or can't make up their mind. I don't know but they never hang out together. Hopefully some day one will change sex and they will spawn.

I have to back away from the tank at least 6' of my hippo tang won't come out. Either he is really shy or he hates me. I should have gotten two of them when they were young. I wouldn't be able to add one now as this one would probably ex communicate the new one.

 

Paul B

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I am turning our guest bedroom into a gym for my wife and it will have a Murphy bed in there in case Murphy comes over. I did the electrical and Cable work this morning and I will hopefully paint tomorrow.
So now to relax I gave my whiteworms a bath. I really don't like to start new cultures all the time and this one is probably 10 years old.

Eventually the culture stinks because it is mostly worm poop. :sick:
They eat constantly so they have to poop and they are not potty trained.

I just flood the culture and pour it into a plastic bucket. Then I stir it a few times as fresh water is added by having the sink on low so it overflows. I do that for maybe 20 minutes so the dirt is once again fresh like a lotus blossum.

Then I pour that into a big wide mesh net and drain it. Squeeze it slightly so the worms think you are hugging them and dump it back into the cleaned plastic container that is their home. (after I clean it of course)

That also eliminates all those mites because they float.
I then add more damp soil and am good to go for another 6 months or so. :p
 

Paul B

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I am fairly sure I will never start up a new tank. If my tank ever crashed now, I would probably leave the hobby as I have been in it since the 50s and I think that is long enough. My wife and I would do some more traveling and maybe buy another house in the tropics someplace. Maybe open up a resort for retired Supermodels.

But if I ever "had" to set up a tank from scratch maybe because we are being attacked by Vampire Neanderthals from Bayone New Jersey and the only way they would leave you alone is if you set up a new tank, then this is what "I" would do.

If I only had ASW, which is fake seawater I would get that, hopefully on sale and I wouldn't care what brand it was as I don't think it matters. I would also use gravel like crushed coral or like I use now dolomite, but I think that stuff is extinct. ;Wideyed

I personally would also put in a reverse undergravel filter. When you stop laughing I will continue and if your tank is older than mine and you don't use a reverse UG filter, write your own thread and I will go and buy that house in the tropics and read your thread as I am drinking a rum punch while being massaged by an out of work coconut picker.

Put in some rocks, as many as you can afford. If you are near the sea, collect some of those. If you can get live rock, it is better.

I would add a dead shrimp, clam, emu, road kill or any other dead thing. If it's a 100 gallon tank I would add 2 dead shrimp or maybe 3. It doesn't matter as we won't be eating that shrimp. The bacteria will.
I personally would also add a hand full of garden soil with no fertilizer, bug killers, week killers, roach killers, mole killers oil stain remover, STP etc.
If I lived near the sea, I would add about a cup full or two of mud from there. (I would also collect NSW but I am assuming you can't or don't want to.

If you can get NSW but you are afraid of parasites, pesticides, hypodermic needles, pollution etc. You are in the wrong hobby or in NaNa land and should never follow anything I write. o_O

The water should get cloudy and maybe even stink. That is fine. Sometimes bacteria stinks. The bacteria will eat the shrimp. They will start to like you, not so much the shrimp.
You can test the water if you have nothing to do but it is not necessary because you are "not" putting in fish now.

After the water clears, throw in another couple of shrimp. The water will clear again. You can keep adding shrimp as the water clears.

Buy a fish, not an Achilles tang, pinecone fish, purple tang or anything expensive, but the cheapest fish you can find. Maybe a clown.

This is opposite what I do in my tank now but this is for a brand new tank with new water, new rock, new bacteria and maybe a new girlfriend.
Take that fish and put it in a separate tank using water from the tank that just cleared with the dead shrimps. Add some copper like it says on the bottle. If you can get it also add some quinicrine hydrocloride (10mg/gal) but if you can't get that or something similar, don't worry about it.

Throw some thing in there for the fish to hide but "not PVC elbows" as fish hate anything new and white. I would break up some new red bricks from Home Depot. If you have old bricks you can use them but not with tar, shoe polish, anthrax etc. on them.

You will need to change some of that water every day along with copper and add water from your main tank. Replace that water with new water.

Stick the fish in there for ten days. No more. Feed it small pieces of clam or better live blackworms. If you can't get that use LRS food.

After ten days put that fish into the main tank. He may get some spots. Leave him there. People on forums will tell you to catch him and treat him for 72 days and leave the tank fallow.
Forget those people and go and watch TV, not Oprah or Dr. Oz. Go for National Geographic.

Any spots should clear up. If not, he will die and you will have try again, but I think he will be fine. That fish is now immune and you can put him in the same tank with a sick leatherback turtle or manatee, but don't.
Change some water as the nitrates are through the roof.

Then get another fish, not a clownfish because the first one will think who he is and may kill the first one. Maybe get a bleeny or gobi.
Do the same thing.

After some time, maybe 4 months don't do that quarantine 10 day thing. Just put new fish in.

The theory is that no new tanks with new water are healthy no matter what you do. Most of those tanks will have problems no matter what you do. Moses, Noah, Jacques Cousteau and a marine biologist with more degrees than a thermometer could help you set up a tank from scratch and you will most likely have problems.

Don't worry about it unless you stupidly started the tank with a $200.00 clown triggerfish which I said not to do.

The ten day "quarantine" period is because that new clown will have parasites as "ALL" fish from the sea have. You don't see them i the store because the fish is in copper or some other parasite medication. The store owner won't tell you that but that fish is not in chicken soup, it is in medication.

When you remove him from medication he will show spots. It is normal and not important as we actually want the fish to have some parasites. The fish will never become immune unless he is infected just like if you never get measles, you are not immune from it.

Unfortunately you need the fish to be in contact with diseases. Sorry people who quarantine this is "my" method. You can write your own method as many people do.

This entire method counts on the fact that a week ago that fish was in the sea, maybe swimming around the feet of Angelina Jolie and her 15 kids. He was eating fresh food at every meal and that food all
"HAD PARASITES" in it. Fish were meant to eat that as I have never seen one in Burger King unless it was on a plate with special sauce or whatever they put on fish as I don't eat there.

That clownfish was immune in the sea as he was swimming and eating parasites his entire life. That ten day copper treatment isn't long enough to remove the fishes immunity but 72 days may. Eventually we have to introduce fish from the sea "with" the parasites and diseases because we actually "want" to have a breeding population of parasites to happily live along with the fish. Remember, no parasites = fish with no immunity.

Now that those fish are immune, buy whatever fish you want. It doesn't matter as long as you followed this and didn't quarantine or medicate too long. That ten days won't kill all parasites. And we don't want it to, we just want that weakened fish from the store to build up some strength to fight them off while he is getting his immunity working.

Now keep feeding those fish something with live bacteria in it like worms or clams.

 

Paul B

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This morning we went to Walmart, and I never go to Walmart. There is one close by and I think I was there twice, counting today. I needed 9 gallons of boat antifreeze and they have it for like $2.50. Home Depot charges $5.00.

While we were there my wife saw this elliptical machine which normally sells for like 4 or 5 hundred bucks and they had it for $150.00 which is stupid cheap.

I tried to buy it but it was chained to the rack 5' high and the thing is like 200lbs so I needed help. Of course no one works there and the few people who do work there have no idea what I was talking about.

The thought of buying something that was chained to a rack was totally foreign to them and they didn't know how to call anyone who knew how to unchain this thing.

Now I know why I never go to Walmart.

On our way out, with just the antifreeze I saw they had a "Customer Service" counter so I stopped there. They actually had someone standing there and she was a Supermodel. I wanted to ask her why such a beautiful and apparently intelligent person would work there for probably minimum wage, but I didn't.

She said she could "probably" find someone to go there and un chain the machine but I declined because I figured it would be a big waste of time. :rolleyes:

Thats why people buy from Amazon and these stores wonder why they are going out of business.
They also have like 20 check out lanes, but only one was open. ;Meh Horrible place and I will not go back until next year when I need antifreeze.
 

Paul B

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It kind of looks like this now.
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This morning like most days I got up and took a walk outside to watch the sunrise and nature in general. Today I surprisingly didn't see any deer, woodchucks, Muskrat Sally's, hawks, peacocks, supermodels or road kill.

A school bus did stop near me at about 6:15 which I thought was a little early for kids to go to school. I think when I went to school it started at about 8:00 but we didn't really have any clocks in my one room school house so I am not sure.

As I walked, the first thing I came across was this "Deer Crossing" sign and I rushed past that because I didn't want to get hit by any deer at that time in the morning.
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There also wasn't any mist hanging over the grass like there usually is. It was quieter than normal and totally beautiful. I was wishing my wife could have come along but then in all that quiet she would have said something like:

"You know today you should really paint the front door, figure out what we are doing with the spare bedroom, go buy the paint for the hall way, call the car dealer because I want a new car as soon as they come out, see if our accountant can come over for dinner, ask our Daughter what the plans are for Thanksgiving etc.".

And that would be the end of the peacefullness.

I knew I was getting near the end of the road from the smell of wet horse. This is an affluent neighborhood and you can tell if you look close and pay attention. One thing that stood out is that the horses wear designer boots.
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So I walked about a mile and a half to the end of the country road where it ends at a larger road. At that junction there is this windmill. It’s a silly place for a windmill and I am sure it was someplace else a hundred and fifty years ago. The thing is there because there is a catering hall nearby and brides go there to take pictures. They have to be quick because as you can see it is totally falling apart and if any actual wind hit it, it would collapse into a large pile of termite infested sticks.
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I don't see the attraction of taking a wedding picture in front of a defunct, dilapidated excuse for a windmill unless maybe the Happy couple want to try to convince people they had a destination wedding in Holland.

I am sure Holland has much better windmills so the people there most likely take pictures in font of Starbucks.

Behind the windmill is a dirt road which I have never been on so I went that way. It led to this "shed" which seems to have been built at the same time as the windmill by Columbus. I went in being careful the roof didn't collapse and I listened closely to make sure Otis the town drunk wasn't living in it.

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The only things in it were ancient lawn mowers in varying degrees of rusting into the ground. I looked around for something to use for a steam punk project with no luck so I left as the place was making me itchy.

I bet not long ago someone went in there and something scared him out of his underwear. No, really! I saw someone's underwear stuck in a tree and for that to happen, you really have to be running pretty fast.
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I don't know what scared him but I wouldn’t know how to describe how my underwear ended up in a tree so I got away from there.

About two thirds of my way home, there was dense brush on both sides of me. To dense for anyone or anything to get through. But a sort of clearing opened up where I could see back into the thicket.

thicket.jpg

I didn’t want to get too close as the sun wasn’t really up yet and I didn’t notice any underwear in the trees but all of a sudden, out of the quietness I heard this very low, very close rumbling. Exactly like a lion sounds just before he pounces on the gazelle on the African Savanna, ripping it to pieces before swallowing it alive, not that I have ever been on the African savanna or saw a gazelle being eaten alive but I do watch David Attenbury describe it on National Geographic TV.

A thousand thoughts went through my head like how many lions are on Long Island New York? Not many I thought and the nearest lion was probably in the Bronx Zoo 100 miles away.

But maybe it was a pet that got away. Maybe it escaped from the Bronx Zoo and walked the hundred miles along the expressway undetected.

I wasn’t sure what it was but it sure sounded like the low rumble of a lion. A very big, very hungry lion.

I heard it again and I started walking faster, much faster. Almost running now and at my age, running doesn’t mean going so fast that bugs get caught in my teeth.

Then, all of a sudden, I heard the unmistakable sound of a tractor trailer horn. It was the diesel engine of the truck echoing through the brush and I assume the driver had it in the wrong gear.

OMG was I relieved.
 

Paul B

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I had to take my wife somewhere today and it was near a LFS so I went in. Total waste of time. All he had was a bunch of Bangai cardinals. I bought two small ones just because i was there but I don't know why he even opened.
He didn't even have a hermit crab, not that I want one.
 
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