So, we are in month 6 of the big tank build. After a massive clean and two months of cycling I’m sure you’re all expecting to see a beautiful mixed coral reef now… I think I was!

Sadly, this is not the case, much to my own disappointment.

What I can report is that when people tell you, everything goes slow with marines, they are not kidding! Slow… very slow… and very very slow. I spend every day looking at my tank for new growth of any kind, and most days I am bitterly disappointed, but there are occasional little wins that give you just enough of a boost to continue with this ridiculous hobby.

The Good

I now have some spots of coralline algae growing! That’s a very exciting thing for someone who’s entire display tank is filled with bright white rock that slowly turned green with algae, to have a refreshing splash of purple is somewhat reassuring that the tank is heading in the right direction.

Orange Shoulder Tang & Blue Tang
Orange Shoulder Tang & Blue Tang

The inhabitants of the tank seem fit & healthy, and to top it off there is very little squabbling amongst them (Captain A##hole excluded… see the bad section for more info on him).

The tanks water parameters remain stable, despite the bits listed in the very bad section. Ammonia is a steady 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate, 10ppm, pH 8.0, Alkalinity 10.6, Calcium 480 & Magnesium at 1320. I’m happy with the numbers and as I say, they remain stable which is the most important thing.

Acan coral with new heads
Acan coral with new heads

Some of my corals are finally developing new heads, after being in my tank for about 9 weeks. The Acan has at least 4 new heads appearing & the Blasto’s have a couple each. The are all fed PolypLab’s ReefRoids & they get a Mysis shrimp or two each once a week.

The Bad

Hermit Crab
Captain A##hole

For those of you who have skipped to the bad section to read about Captain A##hole, here it is. Captain is a hermit crab in my tank. He leaves the corals alone (thankfully) and he doesn’t seem to interested in my snail, but he does insist on patrolling the aquarium looking for any other hermit crabs and trying to rip them out of their shells. I wouldn’t mind this so much if any of the other hermits had shells bigger than his own, but they don’t. Nothing has a shell bigger than the one he has, other than the empty shells dotted around the tank. Honestly, he is just a bully.

The reason he hasn’t gone into the very bad section is that he is on his last warning. If I catch him at it again, he is being sumped! So he does have a get out clause which has saved him from making the very bad list.

Other bad news, I have lost two inhabitants in the tank. The first being my Firefish Goby, the second being my Cleaner Shrimp. To be honest I was absolutely gutted about both.

Firefish Goby
Firefish Goby

The Firefish Goby was an unfortunate accident. I dropped the lid on the aquarium which resulted in a very loud bang and sent him into an absolute panic. In his blind panic he swam right into a rock and caused himself some damage to his belly. His belly ended up bloating up and eventually he died. RIP.

The other is a mystery…

Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
Skunk Cleaner Shrimp

The Cleaner Shrimp… I literally have no idea what happened here. All other fish, corals & cleanup crew were fine, all water tested fine, I just can’t figure this one out. I am putting it down to SSD (Spontaneous Shrimp Death). If that isn’t a thing, it should be. RIP.

Bristle worms. Creepy little sods that they are! They are not a bad thing to most, but to me, they are creepy, earning them their place in the bad section. I am hoping that my Carpenter’s Flasher Wrasse helps to keep them in check, but we shall see.

The Very Bad

Dino’s (from Google images)

Well Dino’s. I have been battling them for over 2 months now. At one point my rock was completely covered in the bloody stuff, but it is now retreating. I can only hope that my tactics continue to work & that one day my tank will be “Dino Free”…. oh to dream of that day!

If you are going through a Dino Battle yourself, you are more than welcome to check out my Top 5 Way To Battle Dino’s blog, if it helps just one person start to win the war, then I feel like my entire website is worthwhile!

This Ridiculous Hobby

Side view of the aquarium

In opening to this blog, I called this hobby ridiculous. I stand by that statement (even though some reefers will be reeling at it!).

It is ridiculously expensive, ridiculously time consuming, ridiculously disappointing sometimes and ridiculously addictive!

There are times when I am sat looking at my tank and I am completely in love with it, despite the Dino’s. I have never been so immersed in a hobby or so addicted to sitting and watching something for no real reason, other than just the shear joy of watching it.

I can’t walk past it without fiddling with it, I can’t sit in the same room as it without at least glancing at it and I love watching the personalities coming out in the fish.

Getting a marine tank and sacrificing my beloved tropical tank has been worth every penny and every hour spent. This hobby may be ridiculous, but I love it!