Here is my tank on it’s 4 month anniversary. In the last month, I lost a Cardinal from bullying by the larger Cardinal. May Ghost swim in peace. Other than that, my Anemone has grown by nearly 3/4 in diameter, and my Feather Duster has grown it’s crown by nearly a half inch. The Cardinal has grown by leaps and bounds, and the Clowns are displaying dominance towards each other. The Fire Fish hasn’t really grown as far as I can tell, but it has gotten much less flighty than it started. I had to relocate the peppermint shrimp to the sump, due to the fact that some species are known to pick at or eat Zoas if they don’t have aiptasia to eat. Once the colonies begin to establish themselves, I will reintegrate it back to the MT. The Chocolate Chip loves the sump, and can be seen moving between chambers and skimming the surface for particulates. As for the Cleaner Shrimp, he has longer antennae but hasn’t really bulked up a whole lot. I also downloaded an APP, Aquarimate, and have been scheduling regular maintenance cycles to keep from over feeding and maintain water quality. The APP is quite versatile, and I highly recommend it to any new Reefers. There is a slough of different applications and it will track your parameters with a flow chart to ensure you don’t have slow rising/falling parameters that may not be easily detected early on. Well I hope everybody has a great week, and be safe.
Update on my Zoanthids. The one with Pox is struggling to stay open. The polyps will stay half open or they will be fully closed. The Green Bay Packers are struggling a bit too. They aren’t doing the partial thing, but they are having issues with staying open for very long. I haven’t found any signs that they have pox but I am checking regularly and feeding when as many polyps as possible are available. I only feed every 3 days and so far I have had all 3 Zoas feed. The Chalice, however, only ate once, and the pellet was too big. Since then, I have crushed pellets, used reef chili and finely crushed flakes. I have attempted to turn off the jets and have tried spaying it with reef chili about 10 minutes before feeding pellets. So far no luck, but I doubt it will be an issue. It still looks healthy and has no problem ridding itself of unwanted food particulates.
The corals have been doing great!!! The Gatorade Zoas are opening about 6-8 hrs a day, and all the Zoas are putting off shoots. The Chalice still struggles to eat, but I have had success feeding all 3 of it’s tiny little mouths. It hasn’t left it’s tube and I think it is just shedding it’s old crown. I have heard mixed reviews about one losing it’s crown, but it was way too happy and healthy to be dying or trying to relocate. My lights are ordered; I got the T5 hybrid with an AI Prime 16HD. I also ordered an ATO( automatic top off). Hopefully, within the next few months, I can get them at full spectrum without bleaching or an algae outbreak. Also, my feather duster lost it’s crown. Besides the Dyno outbreak and the mysterious creeper stuff, I have been pretty lucky thus far. I’m considering getting more snails to replace the ones that I have lost so far. Anyway, if y’all have any advice on lighting or anything, don’t hesitate to shoot me a PM. Thanks and have a great day reefing.
Yesterday was my birthday so I went to REAquatics. They are an awesome frag shop, that specializes primarily in the saltwater hobby. No lie, I was a kid in a candy store. They had so much variety, I was blown away with their setup. There aren’t alot of options here in East Texas, so going there was a total dream come true. They had great prices, and the guys running it are so knowledgeable. They walked with me and helped me decide what corals would best fit my tank. I ended up feeling very happy with the service and the pricing. I bought 2 Zoa frags, 4 mushrooms, a bubble tip anemone and a torch coral. All the specimens were very healthy and vibrant. The torch didn’t take well to the move. Whenever I got home it was shrunken all the way to the skeleton and had a tissue like residue on the top. Today though, it has partially extended itself and looks to be getting healthier. I did lose one mushroom to a dip, but the other 2 seem to be doing OK for now. Next time, I will take better care with a shroom dip. Anyway, if anybody reading this lives around the Jacksonville, TX area, go check it out. They really did right by me. Hope everybody has a great day.
Well the BTA dissolved over night last night. I’m also all day without seeing my fire fish. I’m beginning to suspect either it tried snatching the fish, or that when the BTA died it poisoned the fish, being that it burrows just beneath where the BTA died. The fire fish seemed fine yesterday, but has been hidden all day today. The torch coral is doing great now, and my T5’s and AI prime are installed as of today. The old lights have been relocated to the sump, and I have a golf ball sized piece of chaeto in there to hopefully grow. I was supposed to do a water change today. However, with so many losses, I’m afraid the stress could overwhelm the tank. I’m thinking I will do the water change, day after tomorrow, and do a deep scrub when I do. That means that I will have to skip my water change after this change. I did get Hanna checkers and will be posting my parameters 2 days after the water change. On a happy note, the feather duster peaked it’s head out for less than a second, so I’m thinking it’ll be fine. Hope y’all have a good’n.
So I got lazy and took my water to my LFS and they checked my parameters today. I didn’t bother to record it. They all checked out good so I’m not worried. I did buy a few frags today. I bought a Favia and a Blastos. I also bought a flat rock to glue them to so that they have room to grow…a bit. Due to sweepers, I’ll be keeping the small. I also bought another fire fish today. He is eating everything he can find, and his stomach looks a bit pinched. He also shows aggression much more than any fire fish I’ve ever seen. I will keep an eye on it’s condition. I’m probably just being paranoid because there was another, very sick fish, in the same tank. Anyway, hope everybody has a great day.
So I finally broke down and used my Hanna Checkers. Just an FYI, the Marine Nitrate LR is a pain in the…butt. I seriously suggest watching the dilution specific video if you believe you are over 5 ppm. Anywho, here are my parameters:
Salinity - 1.026dSG
Nitrate - 0.25ppm
Phosphate - 0.14ppm
Calcium - 425ppm
Alkalinity - 8.1dKH
I still need to get a Magnesium, Iodine and a pH test kit, but this is what I got.
This is the 5 month picture of my reef aquarium. I’m not going to lie, I’m quite jealous of reefers that have majestic tanks in just a few months time. I know I’m new and patience is a virtue, but damn my corals grow slow. I understand that a lot of it is due to only relying on water changes to replenish parameters and elevated nitrate/phosphate levels, but at this point in the game, i was hoping to already see explosive growth. Besides the pity party, everything is healthy and getting healthier/vibrant. Thurseday the 9th I will be fully breaking down my tank to get holes drilled in my tank. I still have a terrible issue with skim, and the guy at REAquatics agrees that an in-tank overflow is the best way to go. Honestly, I 100% believe it too. I wish I had been more knowledgeable about how adversely skim would have been to my tank. At this point though, I believe sooner is better than later to address the problem, so I’m borrowing a 30 gal to retain my fish, rock and corals. I will be using the sump to hold the sand buckets with the hermits. I am going to try to do this within a 15 hr period, but I did take the following day off work in case I run into any hindrance. Hope y’all have a great day and God bless.
I broke down and took my 40gal breeder to REAquatics yesterday to get them to drill a hole in the bottom of my tank. It’s been a very stressful few days, to say the least. It took me 24hrs plus, to get everything set back up. I took as many precautions as possible to keep from losing livestock. As of right now, everything is still living. What tomorrow may bring… I redid my aquascape and wound up getting a lot more real estate. I like how it looks now. Surprisingly, I was able to rebuild my large cave better than it was previously. Below is my setup while I cleaned, got drilled, and preset my tank to reestablish my corals and fish.
A 30 gal tank my mother let me borrow.
All my rock work without coral plugs.
My sand…that is some stinky stuff. Nostrils be warned.
The process I used to breakdown involved:
1.Take all water out of display tank to fill the reserve tank.
2. Remove corals to RT and rocks to the sump. Lastly, relocate fish.
3. Use homemade filter to clean and strain sand bed. I basically took a water jug, folded a rag in it, zip tied it to above the sump, and use gravel cleaner down to the glass in all darkened substrate places.
4. Scoop all sand into buckets.
5. Clean tank, skimmer, heaters and replace all filter media.
The process to reassemble tank:
1. Reassemble plumbing, and let set until glue has dried.
2. Fill tank with sand and enough fresh saltwater to refill whatever I removed when I finished.
3. Move rocks in the sump back into the main tank, and empty sump of as much water as possible.
4. Make sure all heaters and jets are functioning. Now leave overnight to allow the sand to settle and the chemistry to rebalance.
5. Test water quality, don’t expect perfection. Salinity is most important here.
6. Start replacing large rocks with corals on them back where you want them. Make sure your salinity to exact to prevent reaclimation.
7. Remove fish and remaining corals back into the display tank. Used the holding tank water to refill my sump.
8. Turn on skimmer and be sure all devices to clean water are working and on.
9. Aquascape sparingly, this was especially hard for me. I moved rock, let sit an hour then work again. During this process I kept my overhang running as well. There is alot of nitrates, phosphates and who knows what else, floating around the tank.
10. Once water quality is reasonable, turn on the lights and allow corals to open up fully.
Here is a picture of my tank, after most of the sand has settled. The torch coral is a bit rough, and I accidentally crushed the new fire fish. I have the worst luck with fire fish, I did find the first one, it jumped out of the back before I hung the skirt over the hole in the back. Other than that, all the corals seem to be doing great.
My newest addition to the tank is a new mushroom and an arrow crab. I found so many bristle worms in my tank, I figured an arrow crab couldn’t hurt. I have yet to see it even go for the bristle worms. I may have to relocate it to a second tank and force feed it, to help it get an appetite for them. My torch coral isn’t looking too good either. I noticed it was extremely retreaded last night, then today it was only partially extended. Hopefully everything will be fine. I have about 60 snails and 5 hermits coming tomorrow. I also bought 3 bags of pods to reseed my tank after the massive die off from moving everything. That mysterious sponge vine is making a comeback, not looking forward to attempting to use the starfish to try and extract it. Anyway y’all have a good’n.
6 MONTHS IN!!! I made it this long in and haven’t killed everything thing…yay. It’s kinda sad that killing everything is the benchmark I’ve set for myself but look a me go. I figured since all my monthly pictures are all daylight, I should do my 6 month with black light. All my corals are quite lively and my water parameters are still a bit too perfect. Each time I check my nitrate is under 0.5 ppm lately, I’d like it at 5 but I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth. My phosphates are staying at 0.1 which I would like it around 0.05 myself. My alkalinity is stable at 8.1 dkh, which I may start dosing to keep it around 8.5 dkh, and my calcium stays at exactly 465 now that I started using formula 28 sea-lab blocks. My salinity is really hard to keep stable right now, but here soon I’ll be getting my ATO online and that will be an easy fix. I also bought a auto temp cut-off to ensure if one of my heaters gets stuck in the on position, it will kill power to both heaters. All my lights are officially bought and par meter tested. I have a 2ft Hybrid T5 4 bar with 2 AI Primes. I run 14 hrs of lighting and my sandbed is set to 100 par with the center about 150 par and the uppermost rockwork being around 180-260 par. I know I’m running too long of a lighting schedule but I feel safe keeping it like it is and my coral coloration is off the charts. I absolutely love this hobby and wish everybody the best. Happy reefing.
To add to my 6 month anniversary, I’m going to give individual pictures of each of my corals with their name…as best as I can tell. Most of my corals didn’t have the names associated with them when I purchased them.
Tested my parameters today with all my Hanna Test Kits:
I’m not chasing numbers here, but…my Nitrates bug me. I over feed my fish and I haven’t changed my water in over a month. My sock was so nasty, it was over flowing. Another problem I have is my Alk. I bought Brightwell Alkalin 8.3. I put 10mL with about 2 Gal of RODI water so my ATO will dose my tank. I have no problem with high Cal, that is a God send to me. As long as my phosphates are reading I’m fine with that as well. I feel the low Alk and low Nit are hindering growth for me. I know there are nitrates, they are just getting metabolized before they can be seen in my checker. Anyway, hope everybody is well.