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It's... Aliiiiiive!

Posted 10/27/2012 at 09:07 PM by ACBlinky

Not surprisingly, because I'm so excited to be back in the SW game, I've been staring at the tank a lot. I'm seeing more life every day.

There are definitely some zoanthids on one of the pieces of rubble -- they must have been very stressed living in a dark rubble bin, but now that they're in the light with good flow, they seem to be recovering. Two of them are beginning to open up, and there are a number that are still tightly closed but look a bit larger than they did.

Near the zoas there's a tiny colony of something, could be hydroids. I'm keeping an eye on it.

One critter I thought to be a sponge, because it's ball-shaped, may actually be a teeny coral. If I can get my hubby to take some pictures of the tank with his GoPro, we might be able to get a close-up underwater shot and ask for an ID. Whatever it is, it looks harmless.

Worms -- we're seeing LOTS of feather dusters, from the teeniest I've ever seen up to about 1/4" across. One is a very interesting greenish hue, one is bright red, most are a generic white.

Sponges -- there are black, ball-shaped sponges smaller then pencil erasers, and we've got one big yellow patch that I'm sure is sponge as well.

I don't see many pods yet, but I have seen some shed exoskeletons floating around when I 'dust' the rocks with a turkey baster, so I know they're there!

Lastly, there's some Caulerpa (probably C. racemosa, hard to tell yet), some interesting bubble algae (larger, flattened bubbles with bumpy surfaces), a tiny patch of fuzzy turf-like algae (brown/green in colour), and some diatoms are also starting to show up on the rockwork. I haven't seen any growth yet, but it looks like there are pieces of large brown macroalgae on one or two rocks that might regenerate.

I'll probably take some pictures tomorrow and post them. I can at least show everyone the finished rockscape, if not some close-ups of the interesting things we're seeing. I'm quite pleased with how things are progressing!
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