Little Things

Can I interest you in a cuppa?

Can I interest you in a cuppa?

Let’s be honest.  Good or bad, day to day life is mostly about the little things.  Hitting on the right sentence, facing the overflowing laundry basket, kiddo feeling wobbly-wobbly, it’s all those small moments.  See the teapot above?  I love that thing, the little ritual of spooning out my favorite tea, pouring the water in and letting it steep.  Now that we’re in a bigger space, I feel like I can breathe better and enjoy those moments more frequently.  Let’s be honest, the dishwasher plays a big role in all of this.  Oh, the joys of planning a snack or meal and not stopping to calculate how many dishes/pots/pans it will create.

And the tank.  All the little things I get to watch in the tank now–and this is well before I purchase any livestock.

Full tank shot--now with live rock to jump start the cycle!

Full tank shot–now with live rock to jump start the cycle!

I got just a few pieces of live rock the other day, brought them home and put them in the tank, and surprise! The first hitchhikers. A patch of bubble algae–nuisance, though you can all snicker imagining me chasing these little green pimples through the water, a small patch of zoas (zoanthid, a type of soft polyped coral that looks like little flowers)–unlikely to survive the cycle–most living critters can’t tolerate the spikes in ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate that are an integral part of a new tank’s cycle, but still made me smile, a mushroom (corallimorpharian), and two red legged hermit crabs.  Hmm.

Many people consider them a necessary and valuable part of the “clean up crew” in a reef tank.  I don’t like hermit crabs.  They’re cute and interesting to watch, until they spot the shell they like better than the one they’re wearing, and murder the snail inside to appropriate it.  And then they decide switching shells and killing snails was great fun, and they go on a killing spree, ripping snails from their needed shells even when it’s a shell that wouldn’t cover their beady little eyes.  But, they could survive the cycle, and in the meantime I have no snails.  It’s nice to see a little life behind the glass.  Couldn’t get a shot of them yet, sorry.  One went half under a rock, the other is hiding at the back of the tank.

Poor tightly closed zoas, soon to melt away.

Poor tightly closed zoas, soon to melt away.

Most of the color on the live rock is coralline algae, a “good” algae that gives a nice purple color to the tank and ideally uses up the nutrients that would otherwise promote the growth of nuisance algae.

Left side

Left side

Right side

Right side

One of these days I’m going to find the tripod, still packed away somewhere.  It makes a big difference in the quality of the pics I can take through the glass.

It’s Friday, Fringelings.  I’m looking forward to Friday Night Madness with Fatigue and enjoying the little things. Excuse me while I go test the tank for ammonia levels.  Let the cycle move forward!  But no, you shouldn’t pee in the tank.


  1. It’s really neat that you’re posting your growing a living tank process. It’s not something I know anything about, so these updates are all fascinating.

    I used to have hermit crabs as, er, pets. Not underwater hermit crabs, and they were probably in woefully small space and undernourished, but you know how those tourist joints at the boardwalk are, selling hermit crabs for two bucks. I wanted a puppy which nobody got me (’til now) but I had two dollars for a hermit crab I could keep in a sandy fishbowl (and later a wire cage thing my dad built me)


    1. I’m so glad you’re enjoying, Jen! 🙂

      It really is a fascinating hobby, always something new to learn and observe.

      Never had the land hermit crabs–and yes, you finally have your puppy ❤


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