April 6 2012
The bloom of harpacticoid copepods that died down last month never came back. So right now I have no solution to the zooplankton issue. The amphipods are present in large numbers, hydroid medusae too. But I doubt any of these amount to significant biomass delivery to the main tank. I am now considering emptying the refugium to get out all the animals and see if I can recreate a harpacticoid bloom. There is nothing wrong with the phytoplankton production though. It is strong as ever after 3 months. But I have reason to believe that there is a lot of hydroids in the lower part of the refugium. There is even a young barnacle sitting on the Ice Probe chiller! Then again, it is also tempting to just let it keep running for a while and see where the amphipod bloom goes. The display tank is now full of feeding animals that have a potential for growing and becoming very nice. It is just a question of getting them food!
These amphipods have dominated among refugium animals lately.
Just a picture of my favourite anemone. I love the look of this one.
My double glass pane is not working quite as hoped. I have been able to see a foggy film on the inner window for some time. At the coldest part of the winter it got worse. So something is definitely not right. So it is back to the drawing board here. I need to wait until the water temperature is a bit higher, then I can remove the old sealant and spacer. I will try again with an aluminium square tube as spacer and butyl rubber based sealand. Hopefully it will work better then. Cleaning the glass well enough first is important too of course.
The problems with mist on the inner glass surface become very visible in the right light.
While freediving recently I managed to find a place with many tube anemones in the sandy bottom. I dug up a number of them and took the chance to remove the tubes. I hope they will secret out new tubes in the aquarium. So far they have survived well, but have some trouble getting into the sand and settling in the aquarium. There were also some peanut (not peacock) worms and other interesting creatures in the catch.
Tube anemones and other newcomers to the aquarium. Notice the cute little sand dwelling urchin on the left.
I struggle with these. The mortality is high. But a few are OK too, so it is hard to find a pattern that leads to a solution.
This one has been in the tank for nearly a year. It has been doing very well the last months after struggling initially. The growth is amazingly rapid now.
This is the same type as the one above, but it has never managed to get past the struggling stage. It is exposed to strong current.
This sea vase (Ciona intenstinalis) seems happy.
A dead Ascidia virginea. It lived for a long time, then finally gave in.