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Journal One Zero Three

Nick potts

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25 Sep 2014
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814
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Torbay
It’s a fair point and has been considered. To be frank, may just continue lighting the floss and binning it periodically.

Algae does grow on the floss and it’s convenient just removing the strip of floss, replacing and letting algae grow back again. NO3 sits between 2-5ppm, PO4 between 0.03-0.5ppm just lighting the floss. Feeding schedule is regular as can be so this is possibly all that’s needed.

Finding it’s very easy to over complicate matters with marine when simple but regular carries the system a long way.

It is very easy to go OTT with marine.

I remember driving myself mad trying to get PO4 to undetectable levels with all sorts of gizmos and reactors, even started dosing vodka to the tank, in the end, I worked out it was easier to drink the vodka and relax a little bit (though I never stopped fussing over water parameters, but it was a full SPS system so a little more fragile)
 

Geoffrey Rea

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More corals added:

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Placements are weird as leaving gaps for specific species that might enjoy a home in certain spots. Just have to wait for availability. Should hopefully grow out and be ‘full’ all things willing.

Clean up crew added too. Sand sifting Goby and Star Astraea snails:

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Goby is brilliant white with electric blue markings. Handsome and love him. He whacks his tail against the thermometer when he wants feeding, so nice to have feedback from a fish. Astraea snails are likely to do well due to the permanent light spill from the 1200. Won’t go hungry and algae is managed. Just need to keep an eye on their numbers.

The ‘dead’ montipora that went in is doing well:

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Growth tip is as it should be:

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Good lesson, don’t give up on a coral.

Alveopora and Goniopora’s are growing well in this setup:

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Some spreading stuff added too:

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Acan producing new polyps and spreading on to the rock:

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Sad thing is none of these colours are representative of what they look like in real life, but without a filter you just get blurple. They’re something special under varying light.

Simplified the sump further. Three stages mechanical, bio media, skimmer:

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Small skimmer but well matched after the floss, fine mesh bag and more floss. Altogether adds up to easy control of NO3 and PO4 against load and feeding. Tank is fed a lot and managing a stable 5ppm NO3 and 0-0.5ppm PO4 depending on method of extraction. Tank is drawing 10-15ppm Ca per day but still monitoring this closely to get a better average for dosing. Alk is regularly between 10-11dKH but suspect this will drop to 8-9 in the long run. pH is always between 8 and 8.3 under this arrangement, in winter, with windows closed and the house loaded with everyone breathing.

Getting to this point has involved a thorough mental workout as well as a few ass kickings. Marine seems to be good at getting you to scratch your head if you want to understand as many relationships as you can. Fun!

Not unhappy for the tanks three month birthday today. It’s going in the right direction.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Keen to know how the Goby fares and how you feed?

He ain’t going hungry. When away this is the back wall of the tank.

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The Clowns and the Goby swim up the glass when they want to snack on pods.

Six cubes of frozen minimum go in per day, usually in sets of two. Pellets get shoved in the sand near his den for him to find. Target with a coral feeder and give him a decent pile of Mysis shrimp once per week in the same spot.

Usually up at all hours so the system gets fed throughout day and night, broadcasting. The copepod population is steady but the tank also gets phytoplankton at regular intervals so not surprising.

In return he turns all the sand over everyday. Fair trade.

Keeping so few species in this setup that it’s relatively easy to meet their demands in novel ways. Working on new ones. Hoping this works as understand Goby’s can drop dead a few months in from discussion. Keeping this one active, hunting out food and offering a varied diet so we’ll see how he goes.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Three and half month update:

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Marking this period as it is now a week before the glass gets dirty on this setup, a most welcome change. Seems to have shifted up a gear and coralline coverage accelerated rapidly.

Took a punt on some more corals that were fading in the store, the SPS nest at the top wasn’t too box clever when it went in. But glad to say it’s recovering, colouring up and spreading back over the skeleton:

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Getting spread off some of the corals onto the rock. Even the nugget of Cyphastrea is making slow but steady progress over the days now:

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Probably seems silly to be getting excited about such small amounts of growth, but very pleased to be seeing any growth at this early stage. Appear to be getting some things going in the right direction. The War coral is off onto the rock as well:

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What isn’t going right is the Anemones and the Hammer coral. The Hammer coral seemed to suffer a bacterial infection, then declined rapidly. As for the Anemones, they’ve turned brown but continue to feed. Not doing anything to aid the situation as unsure if this should be a worry, an unforeseen consequence of a parameter shift, or an ongoing reaction to something that hasn’t even been noticed.

Most things are showing growth and colour though so reticent to react. Goniopora and Alveopora are thriving in the setup:

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Montipora are also doing well, as is the freebie digi that was thought dead:

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Assuming the purple tips occurring at the bulging lower down are new growth tips for branching?

Macromussa and Blastomussa species seem content in their placing. They feed well but no major growth as such yet:

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Same story with the Duncan, Trumpet, Psammocora and Montipora hybrid. Stable is good enough for now:

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On the setup… the floss for mechanical backed up with the small Bubble Magus skimmer is staying. Much more control compared to the refugium and since removing the chaetomorpha, not having to dose micros at all to achieve good colouration beyond what is in the 25% weekly water change.

This may change with time but can’t see the benefit on running a refugium for the time being. The tank is teeming with pods and other life so a refuge for them is not a justification. The K1 media in the sump is housing a ton of pods without anything messing with parameters so it makes the refugium moot for now.

Also corrected flow. Got some Cyanobacteria appearing in dead spots:

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Installing the second gyre solved the problem overnight. Woke up next day and it’s been gone since.

As for the fish, the clowns keep hosting the most ridiculous areas but each to their own. Goby is doing well and has trained me to feed him by flicking his tail on the thermometer:

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Does it like clockwork which is really useful if you forget to feed, he’s not shy in giving you a reminder when you’re walking by the tank. What he lacks in colour he makes up for in personality.
 

mort

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That Seriatapora guttatus is showing classic signs of a alkalinity drop, so the shop probably bombed their alk. I'd keep an eye on it whilst it's recovering as the bare skeleton can be plagued by algae and if it gets a foot hold its near impossible to get rid of. In the past I'd have just fragged the good bits from something like that so interested to see how you patient approach works.

The digitata is showing signs of growth and yes those points are where the branching will appear. In the same way that your encrusting corals are beginning to spread you tend to see slow growth to begin while they are initially encrusting, before a period of much faster growth. So you will likely see a boom in the next few months.

I can't see the anemones but if they are going brown, it's likely a light issue. It's quite common that they pick a spot where they are happy but the light isn't quite strong enough to maintain the full colour. The other option is that they have simply changed colour due to,available light and the previous owner/shop had more light over them. Either way I wouldn't be worried if they aren't moving around and are eating.

Blastomussa welsii and Duncans are very similar in that you don't really see new growth even when they have some. You get tiny little new heads forming around the edge of the polyp and these are shaded by the polyp. If you have a look at night you might be able to see little bumps forming which is very quick on Duncan.

I also love the chalk goby. They are by far the easiest, mostly well behaved, sandsifter out there.

All in all its a truely stonking tank for such a young age, a real credit to your skill as a aquarist. Normally at this age I used to have to go in with a scythe to cut back the hair algae.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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That Seriatapora guttatus is showing classic signs of a alkalinity drop, so the shop probably bombed their alk. I'd keep an eye on it whilst it's recovering as the bare skeleton can be plagued by algae and if it gets a foot hold its near impossible to get rid of. In the past I'd have just fragged the good bits from something like that so interested to see how you patient approach works.

The digitata is showing signs of growth and yes those points are where the branching will appear. In the same way that your encrusting corals are beginning to spread you tend to see slow growth to begin while they are initially encrusting, before a period of much faster growth. So you will likely see a boom in the next few months.

I can't see the anemones but if they are going brown, it's likely a light issue. It's quite common that they pick a spot where they are happy but the light isn't quite strong enough to maintain the full colour. The other option is that they have simply changed colour due to,available light and the previous owner/shop had more light over them. Either way I wouldn't be worried if they aren't moving around and are eating.

Blastomussa welsii and Duncans are very similar in that you don't really see new growth even when they have some. You get tiny little new heads forming around the edge of the polyp and these are shaded by the polyp. If you have a look at night you might be able to see little bumps forming which is very quick on Duncan.

I also love the chalk goby. They are by far the easiest, mostly well behaved, sandsifter out there.

All in all its a truely stonking tank for such a young age, a real credit to your skill as a aquarist. Normally at this age I used to have to go in with a scythe to cut back the hair algae.

You’re a legend @mort thank you for the info.
 
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