Going to be covering three weeks, as I’ve not been able to post before now.
Friday 5th evening saw the water finally complete the nitrogen cycle, with both Ammonia and Nitrites at zero and Nitrates at about 40. With the tides the way they were I planned on getting water Saturday morning (high tide 9ish) and sand and some clean up crew in the afternoon (low tide about 3ish). However, the rain was torrential in the morning. Plan B was to get some water after obtaining the sand and clean up crew, as the tide starts to come in.
My plans for the clean up crew were netted dog whelks and some hermit crabs. We managed to get five and three respectively. Since the hermits have been put in the tank at least two, maybe all three, have changed shells.
For algea clean up I have a number of limpets that came with the rocks that managed to live through the cycle and are doing a great job of keeping the algea in check. Also one of the rocks must have had some periwinkle eggs, as there are numerous small periwinkles in the tank as well. Another critter spotted during the cycle was a tiny star fish, possibly a cushion star.
We chose Bigbury on Sea to get the sand (and clean up crew) as the sand isn’t as grey as most of the other beaches. With only Sophia in tow, we hit the beach.
The rock pools were covered in small snakelocks anemones and Sophia managed to persuade me to get one for the tank. After previously enquiring about how to collect them, a credit card was perfect for the job.
Sophia also managed to catch a small shanny and two common prawns. Whilst I hadn’t planned for fish and prawns this trip as they were all small, I didn’t think it would be a problem.
I also acquired some wireweed and coral weed, whilst the wireweed appears to be doing fine, any red algae seems to die off, going brown in colour.
A hitchhiker on the algae was a tiny sea hare (I believe).
A hitchhiker in the sand was a tiny chiton. It stays on the glass usually under the sand in the day.
The sea hare has also been spotted moving around at night.
The following weekend (Saturday) we went to Heybrook Bay, again with only one daughter, but this time Jess. The rocks were covered with beadlet anemones which we decided we’d come back for next week, as Jess wanted another fish. The weather wasn’t great and we only managed to come back with a rockling and what I believe is bifucaria bifurcata. The bifucaria bifurcate didn’t stand well so I have it at the back of the tank between the rocks and the glass, no sure if there is enough light and/or flow here though. I also put some bifucaria bifurcate and sea lettuce in the refugium.
Since putting the rockling in the tank, I’ve only seen it out once…
Lifting rocks on gravel that were just out of the water, we came across loads of amphipods. We got as many as we could, putting most of them in the refugium, quite a few of them seem to end up in the filter sock, however I try and get them back in the tank when i change socks.
On the Sunday I got more water and picked up some some wrack (not sure exactly which kind) which had some nice red tufts of algae. However again red algae doesn’t seem to like the tank and it’s now all brown.
Yesterday I spotted some small critters in the wrack, which I’ve not been able to identify yet.
Also I spotted another tiny sea hare in the return bay of the sump, possibly travelled in from the refugium. I carefully managed to get him in the main tank onto the wrack.
Tanks shot before the wrack went in. The rock at the top was placed in last week. As it had red algae on it, I was hopeful that it might survive, but again the pink has turned brown.
Tank shot today, with the wrack. For some reason the snake locks has completed deflated.