The thing about this hobby is that it is always remains a learning experience, be it 1 year, 5 or even 10 and beyond. No matter how far you have come, you still make mistakes, re-evalute and learn. And sometimes even decisions made years ago can come back and bite you in the proverbial butt.
My reef tank has come a long way since my early days, more than 10 years ago. At a glance, my tank is a wonderful stable and diverse system, teeming with life and a huge variety of corals living in complete harmony, or at least that’s what it looks like on the surface.
In truth the soft corals are taking over, with mushroom corals starting to cause damage to my wall hammer, and the zoanthids encroaching and pushing back my montiporas.
In the end I decided the only course of action was to tear down and rebuild two-thirds of the reef and throw out all the soft corals. Only my decade old Protopalythoa colony has been allowed to remain, being the slow grower it is has only doubled in size during that time.
Lesson learned? In the long run soft corals and stony corals do not mix, unless confined to their own little parts of the reef. It may work for a time, many years even, but eventually they can and will take over if given the opportunity.
Now I think it’s time I took all my zoas and built a zoa garden for myself.