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Corner cube reef ~photo journal~

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Corner cube reef ~photo journal~

Postby melfish » Fri 08 Apr, 2016 5:51 pm

Introduction:
Hi! I've been keeping freshwater planted systems for around 10 years now, and this is my first saltwater/reef aquarium.

System Objectives: A fun and easy low tech, relatively low maintenance reef.

System Type: Just soft corals and LPS for now.


Display System:

Strike up Date: 20th January 2016.

Display Tank: 50x50cm wide by 60cm high rimless/braceless from Mary-Anne’s Aquariums. There are two viewing panels, which are starfire/low iron glass. Backing is just black vinyl from a sign writer.

Display Lighting: 165w MarsAqua LED (ideally Hydra 26 or 52 HD).

Stand: DIY stand sitting on the end of my daybed.

Hood: None, open top.

Sump: None.

Refugium: None.


Support systems:

System Water: NSW from 100% Reef Safe.

Display Water circulation: Jebao WP10. Also getting a cheap powerhead to break the surface tension.

Skimmer: None currently. Considering Tunze Comline DOC 9004 but figured extra water changes are probably more beneficial in a tank this size, esp without dosing.

Evaporation Top Up: Manual.


Chemical Support:

None as of yet.


Current FTS:
Image
Image

:clownfish:
Last edited by melfish on Sun 11 Sep, 2016 5:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Corner cube reef

Postby NewyReefer » Fri 08 Apr, 2016 7:14 pm

Awesome start that scape looks cool in that tank!!!

Yes i would definitely invest in a skimmer but in my experience i wouldn't use the Tunze i didn't get good results with mine at all.
I used the Cadlights skimmer and it had amazing results compared to the Tunze bad part is you can only get it from the states and i had to use a small stepdown transformer to run it.
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Re: Corner cube reef

Postby wayne2.0 » Fri 08 Apr, 2016 7:45 pm

You could get away with the water changes but the skimmer adds oxygen to the water more then just surface agitation plus if water changes is the only thing you are using the tank will be at risk should you be unable to do them for any reason, even something as simple as a sprained ankle that alone a holiday.

Some good quality cheap skimmer pop up on gumtree and the sales on this site from time to time.

It's good to see you are resisting the temptation to heavily stock to fast.
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Re: Corner cube reef

Postby coral1 » Sat 09 Apr, 2016 8:43 am

looks like you are off to a good start :thumbsup:
i also think it would be worth having a skimmer so many benefits
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Re: Corner cube reef

Postby melfish » Wed 13 Apr, 2016 3:29 pm

NewyReefer wrote:Awesome start that scape looks cool in that tank!!!

Yes i would definitely invest in a skimmer but in my experience i wouldn't use the Tunze i didn't get good results with mine at all.
I used the Cadlights skimmer and it had amazing results compared to the Tunze bad part is you can only get it from the states and i had to use a small stepdown transformer to run it.

Thanks! :) I'm surprised that you didn't like the Tunze, I've only really heard good things. What didn't you like? Was it just not pulling much from the water? It's a shame because as far as skimmers go they don't look too bad. Had a look at the CAD Lights, the HOB-150 is cheaper and rated for higher tank volume but they don't give any info on it's footprint. I'll send them an email. I'm a bit limited because it has to be in the tank (no sump/close to wall so can't fit anything HOB) and quiet (tank is in a bedroom).

wayne2.0 wrote:You could get away with the water changes but the skimmer adds oxygen to the water more then just surface agitation plus if water changes is the only thing you are using the tank will be at risk should you be unable to do them for any reason, even something as simple as a sprained ankle that alone a holiday.

Some good quality cheap skimmer pop up on gumtree and the sales on this site from time to time.

It's good to see you are resisting the temptation to heavily stock to fast.

Some good points there. They definitely seem better to have than to not. I'd like to get one when I have some spare cash but it doesn't seem too urgent just yet when there isn't much in the way of fish in the tank.
I've definitely been sticking on the safe side r.e. stocking, partly because it's just easier to maintain water quality, esp without any filtration. Thankfully corals are another story :thumbsup:

coral1 wrote:looks like you are off to a good start :thumbsup:
i also think it would be worth having a skimmer so many benefits


Thankyou :) I think I agree with you. Will get one fairly soon down the track.
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Re: Corner cube reef

Postby NewyReefer » Wed 13 Apr, 2016 4:41 pm

Yes it wasn't producing very good skimmate could just never seem to get in dialed in. rhe Cadlights 50 is hang in tank the same as the Tunze and its quiet i originally seen in used in American nanos so i decided to give it a shot and it was producing a really nice cup a week of dark smelly skimmate. Also less microbubbles then the tunze.
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Re: Corner cube reef

Postby melfish » Wed 13 Apr, 2016 10:47 pm

NewyReefer wrote:Yes it wasn't producing very good skimmate could just never seem to get in dialed in. rhe Cadlights 50 is hang in tank the same as the Tunze and its quiet i originally seen in used in American nanos so i decided to give it a shot and it was producing a really nice cup a week of dark smelly skimmate. Also less microbubbles then the tunze.

Oops didn't realise that line could also be hung on the wall of the tank. Thanks for the suggestion, they look like a great option so far, and nice that they're more affordable. Might give it a go
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Re: Corner cube reef

Postby melfish » Wed 13 Apr, 2016 11:38 pm

Some photos of the setup. I was collecting all the bits for about a year and a half before it all finally came together.

Sealing the stand. I just used a clear varnish with slight gloss. The gaps at the edges probably could have used some gap filler but oh well ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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The background was just black vinyl from a sign writer. I think I paid around $12 for 2 metres. Cheap, pretty easy to apply and IMO the best looking non-permanent option. Just mixed some dish detergent and water in a spray bottle, sprayed both the glass and the vinyl, and had someone slowly peel off the backing while I smoothed it down and got the bubbles out with a ruler. Like covering books in primary school :nod: I didn't have any trouble trimming the excess off afterwards with a stanley knife
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I got a box of CaribSea South Seas base rock for the rockwork. I didn't add any live rock to try to avoid pests. In hindsight it would have been interesting to see what life came out of it.
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I planned out how I wanted the base rock outside of the tank, which of course didn't actually fit when I went to put it in :roll: This is how it ended up, before sand. The island only came to be because I couldn't fit that piece in the main rockwork, but I like how it looks. I didn't use egg crate underneath.
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Space in the back corner to hide equipment
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Then came the bag of sand. Dry (not live) special grade reef sand from CaribSea. The 6.8kg bag was a good amount for this tank.
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Finally in place and filled! No light at this point, just heater and wavemaker. It took about 2-3 days to clear up.
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Re: Corner cube reef

Postby melfish » Thu 14 Apr, 2016 12:38 am

Some of the equipment I'm using.
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The heater is just a cheaper one, PetWorx brand. I keep a close eye on my temp out of habit and have spares should it cut out but I've never had any issues with cheap heaters if they're replaced yearly (much older and they start to lose their heating ability). I'm sure lots of people will disagree with my but that's just in my opinion/experience. I've heard horror stories about cheap heaters, but also top of the line ones. If I were to go away I'd probably add a backup in there too for peace of mind.

I'm using a Jebao WP-10 Wavemaker. It's fairly compact and hides nicely in the corner against the black background. I have serious issues with the noise of this thing. On the lowest, constant setting (H3) it's a bearable hum, but the higher power settings are noisy enough to hear from two rooms away. It's a shame because the W1 (intermittent power to create a wave) and Else (random) modes are great but I never use them the sound is just ridiculous. I think it's luck of the draw with Jebao wavemakers- others have said they can't even hear theirs when they're standing right next to the tank. I think another factor is noise from other support systems. As I have no sump or other pumps, there's nothing masking the noise of the powerhead.

I was planned to use this digital thermometer off eBay but didn't think it through. The probe is metal- you see the issue here. I've ordered one that looks to be all plastic and am using an old school glass thermometer in the mean time. Both of these were about $2 each. This one is now in one of my freshwater tanks and seems reliable to me. It runs off some kind of button battery from memory.

This is my little RODI system. It's the 'Aquarium RODI Filter' from Pacific Water Technology.
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This little thing does exactly what I want it to. It takes roughly 30 mins to make 10 litres @ 70 PSI. Probably not the go for a big tank or making lots of ASW but all I need this for is to top up evaporation. The tap water TDS reads something around 130 going in and is 0 coming out. I have two 10L water storage containers from Bunnings which I fill up all at once when I run out. It's so easy to just hold one over the tank and turn on the tap every couple of days. Even with the open top I find I don't really miss an ATO system. However if this were to be an SPS tank it might need something more stable/precise.

The owner of the store I got it from (his name was Helmut) was really friendly and helpful. He assembled it for me in store and gave me the washer for the laundry tap (the same one that hooks up the washing machine) as the one it comes with is too large for this. I was worried about whether it would be able to get the water to 0 TDS so he gave me an extra carbon filter at no expense. This means it has 2 carbon filters, a membrane and DI resin. The single issue I have with it is that the connection going into the membrane canister can leak a few drops as it's not the same high pressure connectors as the rest of them. If anyone is interested I can get a photo of this. It really doesn't bother me at all though. My choice to connect it to the tap probably wasn't a great one as it's a hassle to disconnect the washing machine, connect this for use, then disconnect it and connect the washing machine again every time I want RODI. This isn't much of a problem now that I have the water containers though. They last me weeks before they need refilling. All in all this filter was only $84 and is perfect for my purposes, and it was so nice dealing with this company.
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Re: Corner cube reef

Postby 555combo » Thu 14 Apr, 2016 7:07 am

Looks good. Shame about the WP-10. I had one in my nano and it was almost silent. Might be worth pulling apart and putting together again just incase something isn't aligned right.

I now have 2 RW-8 in my new tank and they are essentially silent unless you are really listening for it.

Looking forward to seeing this evolve.

Getting nostalgic for my nano :)
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Re: Corner cube reef

Postby alto » Thu 21 Apr, 2016 3:05 pm

Hi Melfish, great write up and photos.

I've been thinking of getting the Pacific Water RODI filter as well. Wondering if it does a good job for you? In case i don't get the free carbon filter, do you think it still will give the necessary results - ive been thinking of keeping LPS corals. Wondering how often you need to replace the different stages ... i can imagine the carbon would need to be replaced quite frequently.

Hmm.. wonder if there is some sort of split tap that you can use to solve your issue of having to disconnect your washing machine each time you need RODI water.

Cheers
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Re: Corner cube reef

Postby millotoli » Fri 22 Apr, 2016 9:53 pm

Nice work, scape looks cool,
What corals are you thinking for the high pillar?

Have you got a photo of the tank on the stand ?
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Re: Corner cube reef

Postby melfish » Thu 05 May, 2016 2:06 am

Sorry for the late response guys.

555combo wrote:Looks good. Shame about the WP-10. I had one in my nano and it was almost silent. Might be worth pulling apart and putting together again just incase something isn't aligned right.

I now have 2 RW-8 in my new tank and they are essentially silent unless you are really listening for it.

Looking forward to seeing this evolve.

Getting nostalgic for my nano :)


Thanks for the idea, pulled it all apart and gave it a thorough clean but it's still just as loud :( must have been unlucky. Such a shame because it would have been a great unit otherwise!

alto wrote:Hi Melfish, great write up and photos.

I've been thinking of getting the Pacific Water RODI filter as well. Wondering if it does a good job for you? In case i don't get the free carbon filter, do you think it still will give the necessary results - ive been thinking of keeping LPS corals. Wondering how often you need to replace the different stages ... i can imagine the carbon would need to be replaced quite frequently.

Hmm.. wonder if there is some sort of split tap that you can use to solve your issue of having to disconnect your washing machine each time you need RODI water.

Cheers


Hi Alto, the mini rodi unit is great but I would only recommend it for small amounts. I asked for an estimated life span when I bought it and he said for my use the carbon would last about 6 months. I forget how long he said the membrane/resin would last, but it was longer than the carbon. I only use it for topping up evaporation though- wouldn't recommend it it you have a big tank or are using ASW as it would definitely burn out faster, and also take a long time to put out enough water for water changes. If you're concerned I'd get a tds meter (I have one that works perfectly from eBay for less than $10) and see how it performs and if you're not getting to 0ppm you can always add on an extra carbon filter afterwards. The same shop sells replacement/extra parts and I'm sure he'd help you out with the tubing :nod:

The split tap is a great idea. I'll have to have a look around Bunnings. The only issue is it would also have have some kind of valve for each connection, otherwise the RODI would be running non stop :dead:

millotoli wrote:Nice work, scape looks cool,
What corals are you thinking for the high pillar?

Have you got a photo of the tank on the stand ?


Thanks! Glad you like it :thumbsup: I've actually been thinking about what to put on that top pillar lately and I'm not sure. I'd like to utilise the lighting up there but at the same time there isn't much space between it and the water surface. At the moment I have my goni up there because he's loving the extra light.

Edit: oops forgot that last bit, I don't think I have a decent photo but I'll get one and post it v soon :)
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Re: Corner cube reef

Postby melfish » Mon 25 Jul, 2016 11:22 pm

So many catch up posts to do :madface:

So the cycle was started on Jan 20 and the clowns were added in March.

A green mushroom and bubble tip anemone were also added, as well as a nassarius snail. Horrible photo, but you can get an idea of where things were placed.
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The anemone moved to a shaded position underneath an overhang on the first night.
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Found a pretty little tube worm that came in on the mushroom's rock. Glows orange under actinics
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Re: Corner cube reef

Postby melfish » Tue 26 Jul, 2016 1:31 am

The anemone didn't come out for light or food for 2-3 weeks. I figured it would come out itself when it's ready. At the end of march it started poking out for light and I was able to feed it, but it had lost size and colour by this point. It also went through random phases thereafter when it wouldn't come out, making the situation worse.
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Also at this time I saw a dusting of diatoms on the sand and rocks, and first signs of green and red algae up the top. Not sure what the red algae was but it didn't seem to be cyano.
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Re: Corner cube reef ~photo heavy~

Postby melfish » Tue 26 Jul, 2016 2:13 am

30 March: added a maze brain and a goniopora. Maze brains have got to be my favourite coral and will probably always be my favourite thing in this tank. I swear they don't get enough attention :-x
Acclimation followed by Coral Revive dip
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Even with the dip, I have at least a couple of small bristleworms that smuggled their way into the tank
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I fell in love with this piece for its blue colour, rather than the typical green and dark red, but also because it vaguely represents the anatomy of a human brain from the front (which happens to be my field of study :clap: )
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The goniopora was placed on the sand to begin with as I wasn't sure how much light it wanted
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A couple of days later I picked up this zoanthid. The store called them starburst but google doesn't really show much for that name. I've seen them around in other stores but haven't seen a name. The centre is actually a light green. I didn't realise at the time that there is actually another type on here- they're closed in this photo but will show up as I post more recent photos
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Anemone was still shrinking :( :poke:
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Re: Corner cube reef ~photo heavy~

Postby melfish » Tue 26 Jul, 2016 2:29 am

8th April:
This is how the tank was looking at this point
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Re: Corner cube reef ~photo heavy~

Postby millotoli » Tue 26 Jul, 2016 7:57 pm

and at this point... July ? ;)
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Re: Corner cube reef ~photo heavy~

Postby melfish » Tue 26 Jul, 2016 9:21 pm

millotoli wrote:and at this point... July ? ;)

Getting there :nut:
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Re: Corner cube reef ~photo heavy~

Postby melfish » Tue 09 Aug, 2016 2:20 pm

So to continue. It was around March-April I think when I realised the diatoms had a disgusting smell. I then learned what I actually had was dinoflagellates. I hadn't noticed the slime starting to take over the back side of my goniopora. This was the damage after cleaning it out
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I moved it to a higher position because it didn't seem to be acclimating well- it never opened up much. It seemed to like the brighter light and started opening up a little more. You can kind of see the dino in the background here. It really was a lot worse than it looks- like a thick slimy layer over everything. I think my photos were all after water changes so you never really see the extent of it. You can see growth from this stuff literally by the hour :furious:
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After trying to keep on top of the dino with water changes and manual removal I read some people having success with Chemi Clean. I already had some as I had used it to treat cyano in my freshwater tank. Air pump and filter added for treatment.
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After two rounds and no change I ditched that idea.
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Re: Corner cube reef ~photo heavy~

Postby melfish » Tue 09 Aug, 2016 3:24 pm

Nassarius snail constantly trying to take food from the brain
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Re: Corner cube reef ~photo heavy~

Postby melfish » Tue 09 Aug, 2016 4:16 pm

Next addition was a leather with this hitchhiker?
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Also some hydroids
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Settled in
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I also got a sand sifting starfish and a red a blue mushroom at the same time.
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Re: Corner cube reef ~photo heavy~

Postby melfish » Tue 09 Aug, 2016 4:42 pm

Definitely freaked out the first time I saw the leather shed
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The tank at this point. I moved the goni up once again to the top of the tank. The more light it got, the better it looked
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Re: Corner cube reef ~photo heavy~

Postby melfish » Sun 11 Sep, 2016 2:32 pm

21 April: BTA finally moved from underneath the rockwork to a brighter position. In hindsight I should have tried to move it myself but thought it would sort itself out.
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FTS and sand sifter getting around
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Brain with its feeders out- check out the fat one on the left :roflmao:
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Looking prettier
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Spotted this after a water change, assuming I was stung by something in the tank, probably the brain? Red and inflamed with small bumps. Burning and itchy for a few days after :roll: excuse old nail polish
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Re: Corner cube reef ~photo heavy~

Postby melfish » Sun 11 Sep, 2016 2:52 pm

26 April: Maze brain's sweepers nearly reaching the toadstool (/devils hand/miscellaneous leather/whatever it is)
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Feeding time is an interesting look
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:alien:
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Re: Corner cube reef ~photo heavy~

Postby melfish » Sun 11 Sep, 2016 4:06 pm

30 April: More brain coral sweepers.

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Link to bigger video. The embedded version is a bit hard to see/low quality
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVoTfr0VAQI
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Re: Corner cube reef ~photo journal~

Postby melfish » Sun 11 Sep, 2016 4:26 pm

9 May: beginning of the hair algae outbreak
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13 May: New tools: coral glue, Julian's Thing to feed the anemone/corals, Bubble-magus magnetic glass cleaner in medium
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And a new sinularia
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....And xenia
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Re: Corner cube reef ~photo journal~

Postby melfish » Sun 11 Sep, 2016 4:41 pm

May 14: Starting to open up
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Spotted a free paly
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FTS
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Re: Corner cube reef ~photo journal~

Postby melfish » Sun 11 Sep, 2016 4:56 pm

15 May: Tube worm update. Grown a lot
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Always has to be in the photo
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Re: Corner cube reef ~photo journal~

Postby melfish » Sun 11 Sep, 2016 5:03 pm

Clownfish hobbies include sleeping motionless and upside down at the water surface to induce heart attacks in owners

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