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FAQs about Live Rock Hitchhiker/Creature Identification 13

Related Articles: Live RockReef Systems, Refugiums

Related FAQs: Live Rock, Answering Some LR FAQs by James Fatherree, LR Hitchhiker ID 1, LR Hitchhiker ID 2, LR Hitchhiker ID 3, LR Hitchhiker ID 4, LR Hitchhiker ID 5, LR ID 6, LR ID 7, LR ID 8, LR ID 9, LR ID 10, LR ID 11, LR ID 12 LR ID 14, LR ID 15, LR ID 16, LR ID17 LRID 18, LRID 19, LRID 20, LRID 21, LRID 22, LRID 23, LRID 24, LRID 25, LRID 27, LRID 28, LRID 29, LRID 30, LRID 31, LRID 32, LRID 33, LRID 34, LRID 35, LRID 36, LRID 37, LRID 38, & Non-Vert IDs 1, Tubeworm ID, Polychaete Identification, Live Rock 1, LR 2LR 3, LR 4, LR 5, Curing Live Rock, Live Rock Selection, Shipping/Moving, Placement, Lighting, Water Quality, Live Rock Studies in Fiji Collaboration & ChartsCopper UseMarine Landscaping, Marine BiotopeSumps, RefugiumsFaux Rock,

... ID w/ poor images - 7/23/07 No new news this morning. However I do have 2 pictures of the bubble tip thingy. One first thing after lights on, waking up, mouth closed. The second you can see the tongue thingy hanging out and the base to the left. I would say this is a coral except it moved once when we first got the rock home and it has the base. The tentacles will expand with water at the tips just like a bubble tip, they will also get slender and stretch out longer. Took this from the top of the tank after moving the rock it's on so I could get the shots. Take care Bridget <Too small, blurry-unresolved to make out definitively. Bob Fenner>

Need some help please on an Id - 7/23/07 Hi everyone! I need some help, please, on a Marine query titled: "Re: Stone crabs in my tank (not)". I've been helping Bridget with (obviously) a crab issue, among other things, but now she's needing an Id for something ) and I don't know what it is! It doesn't help that the two photos aren't very clear, but it's described as mobile, pink, almost BTA looking, but with a "tongue thingy" that hangs out occ. What the heck is that?! Anyway, I found the query this morning in my folder, but kicked it back out to Marine. Thanks, ahead of time, for y'all's help! Take care, -Lynn (Clueless in Seattle!) <Thank you Lynn... I too can't really make out what these are... need higher res., and sized images... The one is likely a polypoid animal, perhaps an Actinarian, but... Bob Fenner>

Bryozoans or feather dusters  7/19/07 I have always thought that the really small thing growing on my LR where feather dusters. But after reading about Bryozoans on you super site I'm now wondering . Here is a picture and a link to a short video 31 sec. http://s200.photobucket.com/albums/aa92/emccullough1/?action=view&current=feather.flv They are a little easier to make out on the video in the foreground. Thank you in advance . Your web site has been the absolute best for finding information on most every question I have. <Greetings! Perhaps uniquely among the WWM crew, I've (slightly) studied bryozoans and named a species, Jellyella eburnea, that encrusts floating things in the sea (like Spirula and Janthina shells). But I have to admit to not knowing the answer here. The video doesn't offer enough resolution. Bryozoan "polyps" are normally very small (sub-mm in size) and the tentacles (the lophophore) doesn't really wave about in midwater. Each polyp fits neatly into a small "box" and these make up the colony. The lophophore has a bent, roughly horseshoe shape. Marine Bryozoan colonies are typically calcareous or made from a tough, leathery substance; freshwater Bryozoan tend to look like lumps of jelly. Either way, their appearance is usually very distinctive. Colonial tubeworms are more varied and while some build tubes from carbonate or sand grains others live inside channels in rock or mud. The tentacles on tubeworms are either one or two spirals of feathery tendrils, very different to the lophophore of a Bryozoan. So, with all this said, I hope you can ID your beasties yourself, or failing that, send along a close-up photo that might reveal these salient features. Good luck! Neale>

Re: Bryozoans or feather dusters - 7/20/07 Thank you for your reply. And believe it or not that is a close-up the craters in the rock are about 1/16" to 3/32 " across the feathers are not visible to the eye. But from your superb discretion of Bryozoans I'm back to thinking they are some sort of tiny feather dusters. <Cool. Glad to be of help. Either way, they look like very interesting beasties. Cheers, Neale>  

Invertebrate Id's - 7/18/07 Dear WetWebMedia Crew -- <Hi there!> First, let me say thanks for your website. We've learned a lot from reading all the responses you've posted to everyone else. (That's a fantastic resource.) <Why thank you!> We are brand new to the aquarium game and have just set up a 55G tank with live rock (live rock came cured, everything settled very quickly and tank has been running smoothly for almost a month now), a few fish (2 scissortail goby dartfish and a dwarf tang, <(?)I'm not familiar with this fish but I don't know of any tangs suitable for a 55g.> ...will be adding more over the next month), <Go slowly/conservatively when choosing/adding more fish this early on, and be sure to keep an eye on water chemistry.> ...and a couple of Aiptasia-eating shrimp (which happily ate all the Aiptasia that came on our live rock over the course of a couple of weeks). <Yay, I love it when that happens!> We have a couple of questions, particularly about the remarkable diversity of invertebrate life that came on our live rock. <It's amazing, isn't it!> 1. In addition to the feather dusters and the pulsing xenia that came on the rock (xenia now seems to be growing slowly - new arms appearing on its base), we just discovered a Discosoma (is small, flat, approximately 1" when spread out, purple with green dots in lines spreading from the center). <Sounds pretty!> It seems ok, but our question is that it moves. It is sitting in a crevice in the rock. During the night and much of the day, it pulls into the crevice where we can't see it at all. For several hours during the day (particularly late in the day), it emerges, and spreads out to its full width. Is this normal? <Hmmm, not for any Discosoma that I've heard of/seen. I'm thinking it's probably not a Discosoma.> Is it ok? <Most likely typical for whatever it is.> We haven't found any indication of any behavior like this in the websites or books we've looked at. <I'd love to see a picture of this little guy. It sounds like it might be a type of anemone to me(?).> PS. Our light cycle is 130W blue actinic for 1.5 hours AM and 1.5 hours PM with 9 hours 130W white actinic in between. Xenia started growing once we increased the lighting about a week ago. <Yep, they appreciate more light.> 2. Last night, in the dark, I discovered a brand new tentacle (4" long, single tentacle, 2mm wide, broad bands of beige and dark, was beige with black dot at center of end of tentacle). Weird thing is that the tentacle hates light. <Heeee! I'm pretty sure I know what this is! Don't worry, it's good.> I'm wondering if it's an arm of a brittle star. <Don't think so!> If so, is it dangerous? <Aaaahh, run for the hills! <Grin> Sorry - no, it's okay.> Anything else it could be? <Well, without a picture, I can't be positive, but it sure sounds like a Peanut worm/Sipunculid. They're harmless little detritivores that always remind me of elephant trunks sniffing at the rocks. Color-wise, they are just as you describe, with or without bands. The body/band colors vary from whitish to beige, tan, brown, grey, and black. Please see these links for photos and more information re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pnutwrmidfaqs.htm http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-04/rs/index.php. > It was only one arm, moved slowly, but was very flexible, clearly controlled throughout (i.e. it was not waving in the current). <Typical for these guys.> Any sort of light I bring towards it makes it pull deep into the rock until we can't see it anymore. <Again, very typical.> (Can't get picture because don't want to shock the other creatures in the tank with the flash. <Understandable, and okay. Just check the photos at the above links for comparison/confirmation.> [I'm sure our corals are living on the edge having survived shipping and the whole new tank thing.]) 3. We've seen a small crab hiding in another crevice. We've only seen legs, even at night. We've seen definite small black claws and what look like hairy legs. I would guess that the current size is 1-2" including legs. <Hmmm, yes, watch out for crabs. They're cute, and seem harmless, when they're little, but most are opportunistic and can grow up to be trouble. Please see these links for more information on crab ID'ing and advice (see the Xanthid group at the first link): http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-12/rs/index.php http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/crabs/swcrabs.htm > Thanks for your help (and for your wonderful website) Dave and Laura <You're very welcome and thanks for being a part of it! --Lynn>

Re: Invertebrate Id - follow-up - 7/19/07 <<Hi Dave and Laura! Lynn here again.>> Thanks for your reply. <<You're very welcome!>> Here's a picture of the "Discosoma" and some other notes/questions. <<Okay, let's roll!>> >>...and a dwarf tang, <(?)I'm not familiar with this fish but I don't know of any tangs suitable for a 55g.> It's something called a "chocolate yellow mimic tang". It's supposed to stay <6". <<Gotcha, that one I do know! It's Acanthurus pyroferus, and although they can actually get up to 10' in the wild, they're apparently slow growers, and I've never heard of one reaching that size in captivity (now that's sad!). Depending on what size yours is now, you may be okay for a while. Just keep an eye out for stress related problems down the road (disease, aggression). Tangs need lots of space and don't do well when they feel confined.>> >...will be adding more over the next month), <Go slowly/conservatively when choosing/adding more fish this early on, and be sure to keep an eye on water chemistry.> We're adding an average of less than 1 fish/week and tank chemistry seems good... at least so far. <<Yep, sounds okay. Generally speaking, I wouldn't add more than one fish every two weeks. It just depends on the size/type of fish, set up, etc.>> We've got both live sand and 70 lbs of Marshall Islands live rock (so is high volume for weight) which had already been very well cured at our LFS. <<Nice rock!>> >> appearing on its base), we just discovered a Discosoma (is small, flat, >>approximately 1" when spread out, purple with green dots in lines spreading from >>the center). <Sounds pretty!> It seems ok, but our question is that it moves. It is >>sitting in a crevice in the rock. During the night and much of the day, it pulls >>into the crevice where we can't see it at all. For several hours during the day >>(particularly late in the day), it emerges, and spreads out to its full width. Is >>this normal? <Hmmm, not for any Discosoma that I've heard of/seen. I'm thinking >>it's probably not a Discosoma.> Is it ok? <Most likely typical for whatever it is.> >>We haven't found any indication of any behavior like this in the websites or books >> we've looked at. <I'd love to see a picture of this little guy. It sounds like it might be a type of anemone to me(?).> Unfortunately, it didn't appear yesterday, so we're worried it's died, but we've attached a picture of it from a few days ago (purple1.jpg). Sorry for the blurry pic. <<No worries, I know how difficult it can be to get those pictures! It does look a lot like a little Discosoma/shroom of some variety (possibly two there in the photo), but I'm sorry, I just can't see it/them well enough to tell. Hopefully, if/when it comes back out we can try again!>> >>2. Last night, in the dark, I discovered a brand new tentacle (4"... <Well, without a picture, I can't be positive, but it sure sounds like a Peanut worm/Sipunculid. They're harmless little detritivores that always remind me of elephant trunks sniffing at the rocks. Color-wise, they are just as you describe, with or without bands. The body/band colors vary from whitish to beige, tan, brown, grey, and black.> That's exactly what it is! Thanks! <<Yay, you're most welcome!.>> Also, any idea what this is? (red1.jpg, red2.jpg) The big leaf came on the live rock. The little (4mm tall?) pieces are spreading over the rock. <<Both appear to be some sort of Rhodophyta (red algae) although the larger pieces/whorls on photo 'red2' look not too dissimilar from some corallines I've seen. I'm sorry, I just can't quite see them well enough to determine/narrow it down for you. One thing to note though, it's a good idea to keep an eye on any algae that starts spreading over the rocks like you mention. That's a pretty good indicator of something that could get out of hand. Continue practicing good husbandry, keep nutrient levels low, and if you have a refugium with some competing algae, that's even better!>> Thanks
Dave and Laura
<<Anytime! -Lynn>>

Small tubes over rocks... Small Tube Snails (Petaloconchus spp)  7/11/07 <Greetings! Mich here.> Could you guys tell me what those small tubes are. <Hopefully!> They are coming out all over my live rock? They are hard, can't see anything coming out and some are linked in a single cobweb texture. <At first glance, I thought these were the calcareous tubes produced by the Serpulidae family of feather dusters. However, your description more closely fits Caribbean or small worm snails (Petaloconchus spp) and closer visual inspection would also indicate this to be the case.> I used to have some on bottom of rocks but they have started to multiply rapidly. <Not uncommon.> <You're welcome from one of the gals!>

Hitchhiker ID's and a couple other questions  -- 07/01/07 Dearest Crew- <Hello Ester! Mich with you again.> Let me thank you again for all the knowledge and support you provide! <On behalf of Bob and the Crew, you/all, are welcome!> My marine life is probably the most thankful since they are really the beneficiaries! <Very true!> Tank Specs: 5-month-old 75 Gallon 40 lbs. live rock 1/2 inch fine sand bed (I am looking in upping this to 3+ in the future) Remora Pro w/ Mag Drive 3 and skimmer box (I have to clean the collection tube, twice a day, to get skimmate since it gets buildup really quickly, but I do get brown skimmate every day since I perform this task). Rena Filstar xP canister filter (cleaned every Wednesday and Sunday) Two powerheads for circulation Corallife 260 watt compact fluorescent lighting system (12 hour cycle) 2 Ocellaris Clowns 1 Neon Goby 2 Peppermint shrimp 2 Cleaner shrimp 8 snails of varying types 11 hermits Feed with New Life Spectrum 1mm pellets in the morning and Mysis in the evening (making sure that nothing is left after 5 minutes) <Wow! Nice regiment!> I have not had any water quality issues due to my regular maintenance and weekly water change schedule so my questions do pertain to that, but if you need to know: Ammonia-0, Nitrate-0, Nitrite-0, pH-8.2, specific gravity 1.024 <All good!> My addiction in this hobby is for the live rock and all the extras you get with it! <I love watching the new life develop... A bit like magic!> But due to our limited budget, which I think is a blessing at times since it has kept our pace really slow, we can only get one piece a month. <Slow and steady.> My goal is to focus on the live rock until I get my 80 lbs. I want, and then move on to more fish or possibly a couple corals. <A wise, reasonable plan.> So (finally) question #1: my newest piece of live rock is long and flat, so I can either have 'side 1' up or 'side 2' up, but both sides have some interesting algae, so if you can help me with an ID so I can decide which side will be devoid of light... <Will try!> I believe that the first one on the 'side 1' image might be a type of Halimeda? The second, some type of red algae? <Yes. I am in agreement with you.> On the 'side 2' image I think the second one might be Dictyosphaeria cavernosa? and I have no clue on the first one in this set. <I'm not sure of the first photo on side 2, but I think both photos on side two are sponges, the second photo may be a Spiny Ball sponge (Leucetta sp.)> So which side do I put down and risk loosing the life do to lack of light? <I think side two is likely to thrive without light.> My other question pertains to HOB refugium... would the large CPR AquaFuge 2 be worthwhile to the tank (my Birthday is soon and I get to pick something out), or is it too small to really be effective on a 75-gallon? I don't have the space under or around the tank to get one that is not HOB. <Do you have a sump? This is where I would put a refugium if space were limited, but any refugium will benefit your tank. Though I'm not sure of the cost/benefit ratio.> Finally, while I have you, our future fish plans are for a Kole Tang and a school of Cardinals (5 maybe). Is this overstocked if you include what I have currently? <I think this would be ok, but I would go with one of the smaller species of cardinals.> Especially if I would like to someday get a coral or two? <Still should be ok.> Thanks again for your time, sorry this was so long! <Welcome! No worries! Mich>

Need help with identification 6/10/07 Hi Crew! <Hi Liz!> I bought some cured live rock for my new 90 gallon tank (ammonia and nitrates 0, no fish in there yet) and need help identifying the white things, for lack of a better word! I'm attaching a picture, which you will hopefully be able to see. <Nice picture.> I thought they might be Aiptasia, but they do not move or shrink away when I touch them. They're soft, squishy, and easy to rip off. What are they, do I want to get rid of them, and what's the best way to do so? <They are Syconoid sponges. You may read more here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spongeidfaqs.htm You do not need to remove them. They are harmless filter feeders. If for some reason you do want to remove them, your rip off technique should suffice.> As always, Liz
<Welcome, Alex>

Hitchhiker on a Rock, Blurry Photos  -- 5/13/07 Hello to you, <And to you!  Mich with you tonight.> I recently bought a rock with star polyp. The day after, I notice something on it, at first, I thought it was a little piece of dead hard corals.  But after looking at it longer, I found that it was moving.  Opening and closing like a clam, with two holes, like a clam (the Tridacnid Clams) and what look like lashes on one of the hole (again, like a clam). So I dub it a boring clam since it moved inside the rock when it feels vibration (that was me, kneeling too fast in front of the tank to look), and I was amaze at how fast it moved and disappeared, about an inch deep. But tonight, while I was watching it, something was bordering it and it was moving itself with a lot of freedom, squishing one side, then the next, up and down, like somebody moving his mouth and trying to get ride of a fly. After looking closer, I saw that it had no shell.  Now the big question, what is it? <Hmm, a very good question.  I do wish you photos were a little clearer.  Does you camera have a macro setting?  Most do, the symbol often looks like a little flower.  This might allow you to capture a better, more focused image.> Is it some kind of boring clam, or something else? <If it doesn't have a shell, it is likely not a boring clam.  Perhaps an ascidian/tunicate of some sort, better pics would help here.> I know from the way it has two holes that it's a filter feeder, but should I provide him with something to eat and what, phyto (DT's)? <I would continue as you are.> Sorry for the pictures, it's the best I could. <Look for the macro setting.  It will allow you to take better close-up pics and help us, help you to ID your critter.> Thank you for your time. <Wish I could be of more Karine

Re: Hitchhiker on a Rock, Blurry Photos, Now Not so Blurry Photos... ID ?    5/15/07 Hello again, <Hi Karine, Mich with you again.> I hope that this picture will be more helpful. <Is clearer, thank you.> I forgot to mention that the critter is half an inch from side to side. You say it could be an Arcadian <Ascidian>/tunicate, but wouldn't it be fix on the rock, this critter move very fast inside the rock and far enough that I couldn't see it. <May not be an Ascidian/Tunicate.  Unfortunately I'm still not sure what it is.  Are you sure there is no shell? It does kind of resemble a bivalve to me.  RMF any thoughts?>   Thank you. <I apologize for the lack of usefulness.  Mich> Karine <<This newer photo looks to me like a couple of anemones. Please read here re discerning the major groups of Cnidarians: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cnidaria.htm and the linked files above and where you find them in-text. BobF>>

A "Guest" Arrived on my Live Rock:  Velvet Swimming Crab (Necora puber)   5/13/07 Hi Guys, <Hi Kim, Mich with you.>   I just wanted to start by saying your site has been a tremendous resource!  It has helped me many times. <Wonderful to hear!>   I have tried hard to find an answer to my question without having to ask but I'm not having much luck.  I hope you might be able to help me out. <I will try!>   I purchased 75 lbs. of live rock recently and after about a week I found a "visitor"  I noticed a rather large (aprox. 2 inches) crab hiding in one of the holes in the rock.  After many attempts of trying to identify this crab I finally found out what he is.  It is a velvet swimming crab.   <Necora puber> His bright red eyes were the major give away on his ID.   <Ahh, yes, also called the Devil crab.> I can't seem to find much information on him other than he is very aggressive and gets about 4 inches across.  I was wondering what your opinion is on him.  Should I leave him in the tank or find him another home?   <I would not keep this crab in a tropical marine setup.  It is not a tropical species.  This crab is typically found in the North East Atlantic, off the shore of the UK!  I'm not quite sure how it ended up in your live rock.  This crab can pack a pinch that could bring tears to your eyes, so please be careful.  Perhaps a nearby public aquarium could provide a suitable home.> The tank he is in right now is a 72 bow-front FOWLER set-up.  Thanks for your time. <You're welcome!  Mich> Kim

Re: a "guest" arrived on my live rock (Necora puber)?, update: now Eriphia sebana.  -- 5/13/07 I must apologize, <No worries.> I just got a call from my LFS and they think they may have found out that he is NOT a velvet swimming crab. <Ahh, the initial ID did not make much sense, as Necora puber is a cool water species, but stranger things have happened.> After doing their research they now believe it might be Eriphia sebana. <This would be more logical.> We have been working for over a month to ID this guy.   <Could have sent a photo here.> Which from what little bit of information I can find on him makes more sense being that they are from Fiji.   <Yes, along with Australia, the Maldives...> Could you tell me a bit about Eriphia sebana?   <Will try.  Hmm, it seems I'm on a toxicology run.  What ever you do, don't eat this crab! Ingestion can result in PSP Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning and I suspect this potential for toxicity could also cause problems if the crab were to die in you main system.> Should I leave him in or remove him.   <I would keep him isolated.> I do have an empty 10 gal. with live rock already set up and cycled for a hospital tank....could I keep him in there?   <I think this would be wise.> If so...what should I feed him.   <Most crabs aren't too finicky.  I would offer a variety.  Reportedly this crab eats algae during the day and relies on predation for midnight snacks!> I'd hate to get rid of him, he is very neat to watch at night. <Watch, learn and enjoy!  But be aware he can be an aggressive crab so between the aggression and the toxic potential, you may need to keep this a species tank.>   Thanks again for all your help, <Welcome!  Mich> Kim

Strange Critter ID Please: Chiton   5/10/07 Hello there! <Hi Jo, Mich here!> I know that you guys are really busy but I was hoping you might be able to help me ID this critter. <Certainly will try!> We are currently setting up our second reef tank. The LR is from Indonesia as far as I know and this "thing" has showed up twice now, both times at night with all lights off. It seems quite shy and retracts slowly back in its hole as soon as the room light is put on.  I find watching the LR and the critters on it one of the best things in this hobby. <Heee!  Yes, I would agree.  One of my favorite parts too!  When I was setting up my tank most people just didn't understand when I would tell them how excited I was watching all the life emerge from the LR.  I would get comments, with undertones questioning my sanity: "So you've spent the last hour staring at rocks?" > We had new forms of life coming up in our 2.5 years old reef right up to the end and managed to ID most of them but this is really unusual. Any thoughts? It is flesh colour and I thought it was some sort of bivalve but it seems quite soft, a bit like an anemone. <Looks like a chiton to me.  They are reef safe and generally graze on algae.  A lucky addition!  Do enjoy it!> Many thanks for your time and looking forward to hearing from you soon Best regards,
Jo Vasey
Re: strange critter ID please photo now added, Chiton     5/12/07 Hi Mich and thanks for the quick reply! <Hi Jo!  You are quite welcome.> Are Chitons what some call "Stomatellas" (please forgive me if I've spelled this wrong)? <No, they are two different critters and your photo is not a picture of a Stomatella snail.> I did a search on Google but the critter doesn't look much like the search returned on chiton - the main difference being the lack of a shell on his back. <Many different species, not all have the "classic" chiton look.> The 2 black holes/openings look a little bit like craters? <I think you will find there are more than two "holes", there are likely 8 "holes" or eight linearly arranged overlapping articulating plates, which make up the shell on his back.> Any more thoughts? <Nope, I still think it is a chiton.  Please see similar photos here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/invertidfaqs.htm Chiton ID 9/9/03 and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snailidfaq3.htm Prehistoric worm...errr...??????? 1/30/04> I think I saw it last night quite longer and stretched inside the rock which is very porous and you can see through but could be wrong. <Likely so, they do tend to stay in the same location emerging typically at night to feed.  The behavior you described in your prior email is also consistent with a chiton.> It is really bugging me now. My LFS is kindly looking after my livestock during house move and upgrading the tank. We are getting our corals back soon - I am trying to decide if I should remove the piece of rock with the critter to the sump where it won't be tempted to munch on anything? <Most are harmless algae eaters.  If it were me/mine, I would not be concerned.> Many thanks again and looking forward to hearing from you again! <You're welcome!  Hope this gives you more confidence in the ID.  Mich> Jo

LR Growths 4/30/07 I have live rock in my tank and noticed white cottony like protuberances growing off the sides of the rock.  It looks like a feather duster in the making but the tube is white and cottony. It does have "feelers" on the ends.  <Most likely a filter feeder of some sort, probably a species of tube worm.> Could you please tell me what this is? <Take a look here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/feather.htm > Is it a parasite? <Extremely doubtful.>  I am  worried about the cat shark.  (it is the only fish I have in the 40  gal tank) <Much too small of a tank for this fish.> Thank you so much, Allie <Chris>

Life on Live Rock  - 04/20/07 I heard about your website a little while ago and I have to say it's a great place to get some great info. <Thanks.> Anyway, I was wondering about my live rock in my 56 gallon saltwater tank. I have 40 lbs. of live rock in my tank for about two months and everything went well with the curing process. There is a little bit of coralline algae, but I was hoping you guys could tell me how long it will take for more coralline algae and other life to emerge on my live rock. <Mmm...depends on how caustic your curing process was, how much die off you have.  Id the water parameters are acceptable it should not be long until life starts to be apparent...it's already there, just not as noticeable as it will be.  Hold off on adding fish as long as you can (be patient) as they will have a negative affect/impact on the microfauna populations.> Thanks for your time and help. <Welcome, Adam J.>

LR Growth of some kind... No Photo  -- 4/10/07 Folks, <Pete,> The more I read on your site the more I realize there is to learn <Heee! Yes, the more you know, the more you realize you don't know!> - thanks for such a terrific site. <Glad you like it and are learning from it.> I have a 29 gal with 34 lbs of cured live rock, 20lbs of LS, 1 lunare wrasse, <No! No! No!  The Lunare wrasse (Thalassoma lunare) needs plenty of room to swim, and should be in a tank of at least 75 gallons.  This is not a good fish for such a small system and it may take a bite out of your brittle star and torment your other fish ...to the point of death.  Please do more research before assuming care for any living creature.  This is not a good fit.  I do hope you are getting a larger tank in the near future or can find this fish a more appropriate home.  More here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/index.htm  and related links in blue.> 1 damsel, 1 tomato clown, 1 black long-spined urchin, <Would be better in a larger system.> and 1 brittle star.   All levels are good except for nitrates running about 60 at this point and coming down. <Too high!  Please read here to reduce your nitrate levels:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nutrientcontrol.htm  > Whisper 60 filter, zoomed powerhead.  All inhabitants and LR will be moving to a new 75 tank within a few weeks. <Oh, much better!  Still have compatibility issue with the wrasse.> The LR has been in the tank now for about 2 months and I noticed something growing on the rock and I would love to know what it is.   It about the size of a quarter, grayish in color.  Looks like a bunch of circles all connected together at their sides.  The circles have at their center a darker grey spot.  If I can get a pic of this I will send but don't have one available now. <Pictures make things much easier.  From your description I'm guessing you have a tunicate or sponge of some sort.  Without a photo hard give much more.> Any clues what this might be ? <See above.> Best regards and thanks in advance, <And to you!  Welcome!  -Mich> Pete

Re: LR Growth of some kind  -- 04/11/07 Mich thanks. <Pete, you are most welcome!> Some more questions if you don't mind. <Certainly> I have the new 75 gal tank setup.   <Yes, thank you for the reminder.> 80 lbs live sand, 70 lbs fully cured Pukani, Remora Pro with Mag 3, 2 ZooMed powerheads at opposite sides of the tank, and (don't laugh) a Whisper 60 filter just for some additional water movement and filtration.   <Ok, not laughing, though amused.> Lighting is currently a 50/50 fluorescent.  The LR went in the tank yesterday.  Salinity 33 gravity 1.024 Ca 340 Po 3-4 <High!> Ph 7.8 Nh3 0 No2 0 No3 5.  I know that the Ph is a little low - so I added some buffering agent.  Question:  Since I have so much live sand and live rock in the tank - will it cycle or need to cycle before I can put some of my 29 gal inhabitants in the tank ? <It may not cycle per se, but I would wait a couple of days to see if you have any detectable ammonia or nitrites.> I want to upgrade my lighting to the Current USA Outer Orbit (150W).  This seems to be a great light - thoughts? <Definitely better than what you have currently.  Is a metal halide pendant, correct?  Other than that, I am not familiar with this specific brand/light.> Also, based on the current setup of the 75 with NEW lighting could I place a few corals in the tank successfully and a "janitor crew" of snails and shrimp? <Yes, you should be able to successfully grow many types of corals.  Just, do some research before assuming care for any living creature.> Thanks in advance, <You're very welcome!> you guys (and gals) are the best! <As one of the gals, I thank you for the inclusion!  -Mich> --Pete PS - I tried snapping a pic of the growth - batteries were dead in the cam - I'll try again once they have recharged and then forward. <Sounds good, I'll be on the look out!>

Re: LR Growth of some kind...follow up -- 4/13/07 The light you asked about is a compact MH, actinic, with "moon glow" LEDs. <Sounds good.> What would you suggest for a chemical filter other then the Whisper. I don't want to go the refugium route yet and WD seem to be a bad idea, no room for a sump yet either. <Ho buoy!  You're not making this easy.  Again I would highly encourage you to consider a refugium if not now, then at some point in the future.  As far as chemical filtration the usually Carbon would be the obvious choice.>   PO reading you didn't like - what's is the expected range ? <Phosphates should be undetectable!> Thanks again! <Welcome!  -Mich> --Pete Things that Suddenly Appear... Out of the Blue... Waters...LR   3/21/07 Howdy! <Doody?>     Over these last few months, I have become accustomed to things suddenly appearing in my aquarium.   <Isn't that cool!> So far, I have been delighted to see a few nice big red mushrooms with green stripes come out of nowhere, Mysis Shrimp hiding in the shadows, and a couple of little colonies of polyps and small feather dusters suddenly sprouting. <Sweet!>     I've had a small hair algae problem, which is slowly becoming less so, mostly because I was over feeding my fish.  Recently I bought an Aqua C Remora-nano protein skimmer, and have been really surprised by the amount of gunk it pulls out.  I change out about 7 gallons of the 24 in the nanocube a week, and seeing so much bad stuff in the water just kind of shocked me.     Anyways... I've been running the skimmer off and on for about 2 weeks now, and I suddenly have some Caulerpa taxifolia sprouting up on one large rock in particular.  At least, I think its C. taxifolia, as it looks the same, but with shorter fronds that seem to me to have thinner blades...  Is it just now appearing due to the water conditions finally being "right" for it, or is there a better chance that it came in some other way and has gained a foothold?   <Not sure how it got there or if it matters, but if it's on the live rock in your display, I'd be pulling out as quickly as possible.>   I don't want it to take over the tank, but I do want to have some of it in there for good measure. <You can have some, just keep it in a 24 hour lighted sump, not in the display.  It will take over if allowed to and is very difficult to remove once established.  More here and the link in blue, especially the FAQS:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/caulerpaalg.htm > What do y'all think? <Get it out!  -Mich> Darby

Re: ,,,hot pink, ID without photo or much info, not possible  - 3/12/07 Hi there: <Hello Barbara, Mich with you today.> Found your site. Yeeha! <WooHoo!  A hardy welcome to you!> I bought a piece of L.R. On it, is what appears to be a coralline algae? <OK.> It is "hot Pink",,, breathe taking. <Very nice.> It would appear it closes up? <Mmm, not coralline algae.> Opens at dusk? <OK.> When it is closed. The creature looks like the rock it's attached to. <Hmm, many possibilities here.  Any chance you could send a photo?> I hope you, are able to help. <With a photo, hopefully, without, not so much.  Sorry.>                                                 Barbara Pearson. <Michelle Lemech> Athabasca, Alberta. Canada. <Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania, USA.>

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