Dec 22, 2009

Cardiff Bullet Reef Tank

I've heard your requests for an updated full tank shot of the Cardiff Bullet shaped Reef tank. These tanks are really neat to see in person, but the U shape really distorts what you can see on the sides of the tank if you are standing in front of it. There is a Toadstool and another purple Gorgonian on the left side, and a Turbinaria and an orange Gorgonian on the right side that you can't see in the picture. This tank would be displayed best if easily viewable from three sides. Mine is not.


Here are some closeups of my corals:

The green polyp Toadstool

My Aquarium

Pink Zoanthus

Pink Zoas

Super neon green Leptoseris

Leptoseris sp.

Pumping Xenia

Xenia sp.

Purple Blastomussa frag

Blastomussa wellsi

Peanut Butter Cup Zoas

Peanut Butter Cup Zoas

Green Favia lizardensis

Green Favia brain coral

Dec 21, 2009

Caribbean Blue Zoanthus

It's been a while since I've taken a photo of my favorite Zoas. I got a single polyp of these Caribbean Blue Zoanthus from in 2007 for $5! I think they sell nano frags now instead of single polyps, which makes more sense. They also have larger colonies for those of you with less patience than me.

I used to have these in my seahorse tank (before it was totally non-photosynthetic), but I had to remove algae from all around them all the time. I moved them to a coral-only tank in August, and they are doing much better. I think the lighting is better, and the water quality is pristine.

Before pic:
Caribbean blue Zoanthus

After pic:
Caribbean Blue Zoanthus

Dec 18, 2009

For the Love of Seahorses

If you haven't joined Reef Tools yet, and you are a marine aquarist, click here. Make sure you add me, "Felicia" to your friends list.


I wrote a short article about seahorse care for people who might be thinking about starting a seahorse aquarium. Check it out here. (Some of those photos might look familiar to some of you, dear readers, especially the last photo of my beloved seahorse Hoover.) I hope I didn't leave anything important out of the article. If you have any questions, please leave a comment, and I will get back to you!

Dec 16, 2009

Dwarf Yellow Lionfish

I got a new pet yesterday, my first ever Lionfish. She is a Yellow Dwarf Lionfish, the yellow variant of the Dendrochirus brachypterus. Acclimation was uneventful, in fact, she showed absolutely no fear and was curious about what was going on (I guess I wouldn't be scared, either, if I was so venomous!) She hasn't gone into hiding at all and likes to hang out in the open, calmly watching us walk around the kitchen. She's like a puppy!

Lionfish Face

Check out run by my good friends Renee and Greg Hix. Most of the photos on the site were taken by Renee, who is the best photographer I've ever met. Her macro shots inspire me to become a better photographer.

For more info on lionfish care, go to

Dec 12, 2009

"Jawbreaker" Crab

Check out this awesome hitchhiker my friend Cindy gave me. I think it's some kind of Xanthid egg crab or reef crab. I'm pretty sure it's not a good crab for reef tanks, though. I think it's pretty; it reminds me of a Jawbreaker candy. I'll keep it with my other bad crabs in my sump.

Reef Crab

Did you know that many colorful Xanthid crabs are poisonous?

Dec 9, 2009

Pygmy Coral Croucher

Today is an exciting day for all Caracanthus lovers! If you think Coral Crouchers are like pygmy Scorpionfish, wait till you see the Pygmy Coral Croucher. Today we found a very tiny Coral Croucher (aka Venomous Velvetfish) on an Acropora coral from Fiji. I'm pretty confident with the ID of Caracanthus unipinna because of the color and elongated tubercles. It's about the size of my thumbnail; I've never seen a Coral Croucher this tiny. It isn't spotted like the other Caracanthus, but it's pretty in its own right - the color of copper with a dark dorsal area.

Caracanthus unipinna

I've named my new acquisition "Penny" and have it acclimating into my coral tank right now. I think that will be the best place for it because there are no other fish in the coral tank, and the water quality is pristine. This tank is crawling with Amphipods and Munnid Isopods which will come in handy while I'm trying to wean this little fish onto frozen foods. I don't want to lose this tiny fish in the comparitively huge 25 gallon tank, so I bought it a little guppy breeding box. I'll keep "Penny" in there with a (somewhat) live coral frag until it is trained to eat frozen mysis and gets big enough to go into the main tank. Click here to learn more about Coral Croucher care.

I've had pretty good luck with Caracanthus in the past, and this one seems to be in good health. It really amazes me that this miniscule creature hitchhiked all the way from Fiji to my house in the middle of the U.S. continent. I'm really lucky to have the opportunity to care for and study this little known species of Caracanthus. Wish us luck!

December 18 UPDATE: Success! Penny voraciously attacked and ate a piece of frozen mysis a few minutes ago. That means I won't have to hunt for Amphipods and try to suck them up into the feeding syringe anymore. I'll keep you updated on Penny. I wonder how much bigger it will get?

November 2010 Update: Penny never got much bigger, but was eating frozen well. I decided to put it in the main tank where it disappeared. I knew there was a good chance it was still alive, but very small and cryptic. I moved my tanks recently and was sad that I didn't find it among the many other cryptic creatures I hadn't seen in over a year.