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Nano Sapiens 12g - Ye Olde Mixed Reef

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Nano sapiens
48 minutes ago, Elizabeth94 said:

Beautiful beautiful tank. 11yrs? Gosh its been around for almost half my lifetime XD 

 

No issues between the rics and yuma? For some reason I thought the yumas were a bit more aggressive. Didn’t know they played well together. 

Thank you  :)

 

Common misconception, 'Yumas' are 'Rics' (the two species are the Caribbean Ricordia florida and the Indo-Pacific Ricordia yuma).  I've been keeping these together for decades and they peacefully coexist.  The only concerns I've had are that over many years one or the other species of Ric *may* become dominant over the other (can't say which since each tank is different).

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Nano sapiens
38 minutes ago, WV Reefer said:

 

Happy Birthday Reef!! 🎉

 

That fat GBG is the best. 😃 

Definitely a porker! 🐽

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Nano sapiens

RIP, 'Chunk 2':

 

1382195142_OldGBG_070219.jpg.25cc11979047c8523717324e7290ee45.jpg

 

I had this one for over 3-1/2 years.  It lost the ability to eat properly when the oversized jaw muscles nearly closed off the esophagus, so he wasted away over the last two weeks or so.  Now, there are three fish...and that's enough for ~10g of water.

 

In other news, I'm still battling a very tenacious 'Molten Lava Leptoseris'.  This is what it looked like in it's heyday as it tried to take over the neighborhood (light blue eyed encruster on top):

 

20190112_103521.jpg.fb2925e9a009d59925cd1ffbdfb9d0ad.jpg

 

A massive scraping got about 90% of it off, but for months I've been removing small remnants.  After I got tired of that I tried coating it with a Kalk paste (applied out of the water so it could soak in).  Surely, a PH of 12 should have killed it, but noooo...  Last resort is a full covering of the effected areas with pink epoxy:

 

1015593843_12gPinkEpoxyCoverings_091719.thumb.jpg.691d95fc3daefe3056fb3573f2504738.jpg

 

At the end of the month I'll be removing the epoxy and if it's still alive underneath I'll nominate it to Guinness for 'World's most resilient coral'!

 

Still dealing with brown dustings of sand bed cyano/diatoms.  PO4 and NO3 are slowly coming down with larger water changes/vacuuming and reduced feeding, but they have a ways to go (especially nitrate which is still around 35-40 ppm).  Interestingly, PO4 of up to .08 and NO3 up to 60 ppm (highest they've ever been in this system, currently sitting at .04 and ~40 ppm, respectively) caused some minor algae outbreaks, but had little observable effect on the corals themselves.  In fact, some, such as the Acans and the Ponape Birdsnest, actually look better than ever).  The elevated nutrient situation was caused by my attempt to keep a 3+ inch nocturnal Calliogobius hassellti well fed and healthy for the year that it was in the tank and the fish's ability to eat up just about everything in the system causing a lack of macrofauna biodiversity.  It is interesting to see how adaptable corals are to widely varying system conditions over time in a mature system.

 

Thanks for looking!

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WV Reefer
7 minutes ago, Nano sapiens said:

RIP, 'Chunk2':

 

1382195142_OldGBG_070219.jpg.25cc11979047c8523717324e7290ee45.jpg

 

I had this one for over 3-1/2 years.  It lost the ability to eat properly when the jaw muscles nearly closed off the esophagus, so he wasted away over the last two weeks or so.

 

In other news, I'm still battling a very tenacious 'Molten Lava Leptoseris'.  This is what it looked like in it's heyday as it tried to take over the neighborhood (light blue eyed encruster on top):

 

20190112_103521.jpg.fb2925e9a009d59925cd1ffbdfb9d0ad.jpg

 

A massive scraping got about 90% of it off, but for months I've been removing small remnants.  After I got tired of that I tried painting it out of the water with a Kalk paste.  Surely, a PH of 12 or more should kill it, but noooo...  Last resort is a full covering of the effected areas with pink epoxy:

 

1015593843_12gPinkEpoxyCoverings_091719.thumb.jpg.691d95fc3daefe3056fb3573f2504738.jpg

 

At the end of the month I'll be removing the epoxy and if it's still alive I'll nominate it to Guinness for 'World's most resilient coral'!

 

Still dealing with sand bed cyano.  PO4 and NO3 are slowly coming down with larger water changes/vacuumings and reduced feeding, but they have a ways to go (especially nitrate which is still around 35-40 ppm).

 

Thanks for looking!

 

Poor chunk 🙁

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Nano sapiens
2 hours ago, WV Reefer said:

 

Poor chunk 🙁

After 3-1/2 years of entertainment, he'll be missed...

 

Now I'm down to an even older Yellow Line Goby, an Eyebrow Barnacle Blenny and a Saddled Blenny.  I expect the Yellow Line to finally pass this year (but I thought so last year, too, and he/she is still bopping around!).  I think the system as it is today would be just about right with the bioload of just the two Blennies.

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Nano sapiens

Well, that's a fine how-do-you-do (a new automatic way to time-release those 'essential trace elements'?) :wink:

 

2036396662_12gBoltinBackChamber_092019.jpg.47da5749174c126aacda506fbec12f1d.jpg

 

On a whim, I was checking out my rear chambers for anything moving (hoping to see some form of motile life) and saw what looked like a small live rock.  Wondering how a piece of live rock could get in there, I reached in, took it out and found it was actually a bolt!  I have absolutely no idea how this got into one of my three back chambers.  The bolt is not even of a size that I use anywhere on or near the aquarium...

 

I am however seriously suspecting this corroded bolt as possibly contributing to my pods, mysids, micro-brittlestars and bristleworms disappearing from the system.  May also be contributing to my persistent 'brown cyano on the sand bed' issue as well as some green and brown hair algae that started showing up about 2 months ago (adding iron to a system often spurs algae growth if other elements are not limiting).

 

Have to add 'stray bolts out of nowhere' as another thing to look out for in this hobby :wacko:

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billygoat

I've heard stories of similar problems resulting from bits of metal buried in the sandbed, so I imagine you are absolutely right about this corroding bolt contributing to your algae/invert problems. Excellent find! It's great that you were able to remove it so easily. I hope this incredible system becomes even more beautiful now that it is gone. 😊

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Nano sapiens
8 hours ago, billygoat said:

I've heard stories of similar problems resulting from bits of metal buried in the sandbed, so I imagine you are absolutely right about this corroding bolt contributing to your algae/invert problems. Excellent find! It's great that you were able to remove it so easily. I hope this incredible system becomes even more beautiful now that it is gone. 😊

Based on the bolt's condition, I suspect it's been in the system for just a few months.  I could easily have missed this had I not checked and got curious (the back chamber that this was in is only 2" x 3" wide).

 

I had a similar issue in my old 55g about 18 years ago where things started to go downhill for no apparent reason.  I trawled the substrate with a net and came up with a good sized rusty fish hook!  

 

Oddly enough, all the LPS and SPS look fine (other than a pale Sunset Monti).  In fact, the Acans, especially, have popped new heads out in all directions so they must be liking something (maybe the added iron)?.  My Hermits are a bit slow these days it seems, but otherwise doing their thing (Hermits are tough little buggers). 

 

There's always something to learn, even when things go sideways  :smilie:

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Wooder00

I’m a long-time NR lurker and just wanted to drop a line in praise of this tank. Absolutely inspiring!🙌

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Nano sapiens
9 hours ago, Wooder00 said:

I’m a long-time NR lurker and just wanted to drop a line in praise of this tank. Absolutely inspiring!🙌

Thank you!  I see you joined in 2013 and that this your first post, so I am honored that you decided to post up in here 👍

 

Do you have a reef tank set up currently?

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Wooder00
20 hours ago, Nano sapiens said:

Thank you!  I see you joined in 2013 and that this your first post, so I am honored that you decided to post up in here 👍

 

Do you have a reef tank set up currently?

I’ve had a 6g Edge mixed reef since 2013 that has had it's good moments and bad; bouts of dino, hair algae explosions and such.

 

Just upgraded to a 13g Mr. Aqua bow front with a sump that I hope to redeem myself with. I’m going to start a tank journal at some point soon....in the mean time, I’m going to keep reading your entries, learn and hope!

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Nano sapiens
3 hours ago, Wooder00 said:

I’ve had a 6g Edge mixed reef since 2013 that has had it's good moments and bad; bouts of dino, hair algae explosions and such.

 

Just upgraded to a 13g Mr. Aqua bow front with a sump that I hope to redeem myself with. I’m going to start a tank journal at some point soon....in the mean time, I’m going to keep reading your entries, learn and hope!

13g...sounds like a good upgrade 👍  If you have any questions about anything you read in here, feel free to ask away.

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BulkRate

I'm starting to get the itch to replace my large spattered hammer coral with a smattering of acans as well... totally get the whole "caring for this doesn't give me joy anymore" criteria.

 

Awesome tank... thanks for  posting the huge progression series at the beginning!

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mcarroll
On 8/4/2019 at 7:17 PM, Nano sapiens said:

dinos/diatoms still, but luckily not the type that negatively effect corals and not enough of a bloom to smother anything.  Raising PO4 to .08 - .1 ppm did little

Cool if you are fine living with them and they aren't hurting anything.

 

But if you want to kick them out, the phosphate trick is kind of a single aspect of the middle of the plan, not necessarily the key to getting rid of them.

 

 if there was a thread specifically for your Dino issue can you PM it to me? If not in this is interesting at all, make a thread for it and link it to me. In any event I'm interested in seeing what all you have done in the past already… I'm happy reading it if it's already in a thread somewhere so you don't have to regurgitate it all.  (hoping it's not spread all over a long journal thread though...hard to coherently read anything like that 😉)

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Nano sapiens
3 hours ago, mcarroll said:

Cool if you are fine living with them and they aren't hurting anything.

 

But if you want to kick them out, the phosphate trick is kind of a single aspect of the middle of the plan, not necessarily the key to getting rid of them.

 

 if there was a thread specifically for your Dino issue can you PM it to me? If not in this is interesting at all, make a thread for it and link it to me. In any event I'm interested in seeing what all you have done in the past already… I'm happy reading it if it's already in a thread somewhere so you don't have to regurgitate it all.  (hoping it's not spread all over a long journal thread though...hard to coherently read anything like that 😉)

Thanks for that.  Long story short, I performed the simple 'straining through a filter test' and there was no clumping together, so what I have appears to be either a type of cyano and/or diatoms.  It's been coming and going for years now and isn't affected all that much by the P04 or NO3 levels, but near '0' seems to work best.  Cooler temps in winter also tend to minimize the bloom, so I'm going to just ride it out until the spring and see how it turns out.

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mcarroll
5 minutes ago, Nano sapiens said:

Thanks for that.  Long story short, I performed the simple 'straining through a filter test' and there was no clumping together, so what I have appears to be either a type of cyano and/or diatoms.  It's been coming and going for years now and isn't affected all that much by the P04 or NO3 levels, but near '0' seems to work best.  Cooler temps in winter also tend to minimize the bloom, so I'm going to just ride it out until the spring and see how it turns out.

Definitely not dino's then...so no need to "dino/diatom" them anymore.  😉

 

If it's minor and not worth commenting/worrying on, then that's cool nevermind the post. 🙂 (A little cyano is normal IMO.)

 

But if it's still happening with any significance and we dig into it, I'll bet we can come up with a better "normal" for the tank.  Different numbers, more/different cleanup crew....something....

 

Re: cooler temps... 

 

Is your tank outdoors or why does it's temp vary so much with the weather? 

 

Controlling tank temperature is one of the primary tank goals after salinity.

 

It could be that you need to look at it in reverse: 

 

Perhaps instead of focusing on the cooling in the fall to make the algae less, you actually need to focus on the warming temps earlier in the year.  If cooling makes them go away, then by extensoin, warming brings them on.  (This is the natural trend outside out tanks too....along with warming in the Spring comes upwelling of nutrients as well.)

 

To me this sounds like potential....but I don't know your answer to the first part yet.  Could be that it's not worth worrying about.  Let me know.  🙂

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Nano sapiens

Tank gets to 81 in the summer and down to 77 in the winter, so well within reef keeping norms.  Most natural reef areas swing a lot more throughout the year.  Based on a few years experience with this nuisance, I suspect that it is encouraged by certain salt mixes (possibly due to anti-caking agents and/or other factors that may effect different tanks differently).  Currently I use a mix of different salts (including Red Sea Blue Bucket which uses ocean derived evaporated salts as it's base), so in a year or so when I've run out of my current mix, I'm planning on switching to a single high quality lab grade salt mix.

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mcarroll
40 minutes ago, Nano sapiens said:

Tank gets to 81 in the summer and down to 77 in the winter, so well within reef keeping norms.

Well within normal for wild reefs, which might vary from around 70F up to almost 90F.

 

But those swings are associated with lots of trends we don't or can't replicate....and not all of them are good or welcome, such as algae blooms.

 

The Spring bloom is real in the wild, and it's temperature associated, along with other factors.....sounds an aweful lot like the algae trend you're seeing in your tank.

 

For home reefs that we can really compare more closely with, most folks have the temperature locked down with no seasonal variation.

 

 

78.8-80.6 degF is recommended (for example) in The Captive Reef by Dana Riddle (great book; buy it), along with a thorough explanation including the fact that stony coral growth seems to be optimal in that tight range. 

 

This is the range that most folks target and lock onto.

 

1 hour ago, Nano sapiens said:

I suspect that it is encouraged by certain salt mixes

Hm.

 

We're only betting here, but I'll wager there's no connection to the salt-mix whatsoever based on nobobdy else having this experience even though LOTS of people use that salt.

 

If the algae growth is related to water changes, then I'd guess it's related to the increase of one or more nutrients....iron would be a top suspect, but not the only one.  Macro-nutrients are reduced in water changes (which can be a problem), but micro-nutrients and trace elements are usually boosted (which can also be a problem).

 

In addition, there's really very little difference between most mixes you'd really want to consider.  It's a pretty old formula and I've never heard of pollutants like anti-caking agents being added.  e.g. Most salt mixes will cake right up - and fast - if you leave them exposed to humidity or get moisture into the bucket somehow.

 

There are some weirdo mixes you'd be better off avoiding....none all that popular.  I don't think you'd have any different experience with the main salts from Instant Ocean, Tropic Marin, Red Sea)

 

This is still what's in most seawater mixes (you could use this formula yourself): https://aslopubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.4319/lo.1967.12.1.0176

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Nano sapiens
9 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

Well within normal for wild reefs, which might vary from around 70F up to almost 90F.

 

But those swings are associated with lots of trends we don't or can't replicate....and not all of them are good or welcome, such as algae blooms.

 

The Spring bloom is real in the wild, and it's temperature associated, along with other factors.....sounds an aweful lot like the algae trend you're seeing in your tank.

 

For home reefs that we can really compare more closely with, most folks have the temperature locked down with no seasonal variation.

 

 

78.8-80.6 degF is recommended (for example) in The Captive Reef by Dana Riddle (great book; buy it), along with a thorough explanation including the fact that stony coral growth seems to be optimal in that tight range. 

 

This is the range that most folks target and lock onto.

 

Hm.

 

We're only betting here, but I'll wager there's no connection to the salt-mix whatsoever based on nobobdy else having this experience even though LOTS of people use that salt.

 

If the algae growth is related to water changes, then I'd guess it's related to the increase of one or more nutrients....iron would be a top suspect, but not the only one.  Macro-nutrients are reduced in water changes (which can be a problem), but micro-nutrients and trace elements are usually boosted (which can also be a problem).

 

In addition, there's really very little difference between most mixes you'd really want to consider.  It's a pretty old formula and I've never heard of pollutants like anti-caking agents being added.  e.g. Most salt mixes will cake right up - and fast - if you leave them exposed to humidity or get moisture into the bucket somehow.

 

There are some weirdo mixes you'd be better off avoiding....none all that popular.  I don't think you'd have any different experience with the main salts from Instant Ocean, Tropic Marin, Red Sea)

 

This is still what's in most seawater mixes (you could use this formula yourself): https://aslopubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.4319/lo.1967.12.1.0176

This reef aquarium has had this seasonal temp range swing for over 11 years now and has only seen this sand bed issue over the last few.  I've been at his for 35 years and have had reef tank's with broader swings and haven't seen this sandbed issue, so the mild swing is not an issue.  The reduction in the bloom is from a metabolic reduction due to reduced temps in winter.  

 

I have changed up salts in the past and sometimes this would eliminate the problem for a while, then it would pop up again, then disappear again (that is why I have my eye on the salt at this point).  More and more salts these days do vary enough to cause differences in our systems with the advent of additives such as probiotics, vitamins, etc. and people have reported issues on the forums.

 

Obviously, some factor or factors is triggering this and figuring that out definitively has so far been elusive.

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mcarroll
10 minutes ago, Nano sapiens said:

This reef aquarium has had this seasonal temp range swing for over 11 years now and has only seen this sand bed issue over the last few.

Yes! More info....

 

Yields more info.....

 

From the same book (The Captive Reef, 24 years old) and the same paragraph.   "Bacterial activity doubles for every 10 degC increase in temperature."

 

Whether there are more factors at work (I agree there probably are) or not, it seems like it could be advantageous to close the range of your temperature swing.  Your tank isn't young anymore....old tank syndrome is a thing, and I think your tank has it.  🙂 

 

If you set your heater(s) at the high point of the temp. range you see, wouldn't that take 99% the variation out (at least down to the accuracy of your heater thermostat) with almost no effort or change on your part? 

 

This is how I managed temperatures back when I had a big halide system.  I just ran the tank at about 82 degF all the time so it wouldn't fall more than a degree or less after lights-out.

 

Back to old tank syndrome...

 

Egad!  Is Advanced Aquarist back?!?!?!?  🙌

 

https://www.advancedaquarist.com/2006/10/aafeature

"Feature Article: Old Tank Syndrome" By Julian Sprung

 

Not saying all of that directly applies since the article is pretty comprehensive but most of it is just practical observation of things which very well might apply.  Good article!  (The bacterial mysteries at the end are less mysterious these day...Global microbialization of coral reefs.)

 

I haven't detected the changes in salt you mention...and change like that is something it seems like many folks have consistently claimed over the years.   

 

Reef Crystals seemed to get more grinding time, becoming a finer powder, around 10-20 years ago.  That didn't seem to change the makeup though.  Can't think of anything else.

 

The other reported "salt problems" I'm sure we've both heard about have all been stereotypical newbie blaming the salt for whatever doesn't work.....that's an ancient trend in the hobby so I ignore those reports anymore.

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Nano sapiens

I prefer to run my system a bit cooler as I'm not looking for higher growth/metabolic levels in a mature 12g cube.  

 

I do not see any of the typical old tank syndrome symptoms as the corals are doing just fine and higher nuisance algae is nicely in check.  Having a bolt corrode in the system was not all that helpful, but no noticeable negative effects (may have contributed to current sand bed issue as I can't say how long it's been in the tank).

 

I'm a bit more open minded when it comes to possible salt issues, but I agree that many are too eager to blame the salt.  Before I pin the issue on my mix, I'll have to have a pretty good indicator that points in that direction.

 

What I most likely is that I have is an 'invader' that came in with either a frag, or fish.  Looking around the reef Forums I see 'rust colored sand bed algae' posts quite often.  Sometimes the algae disappears permanently, sometimes it comes and goes and sometimes it just never goes away.  I don't remember this 20-30 years ago (or dinos for that matter), but the 'cyano mats' were fairly common back then as was the typical hair algae, bryopsis, etc.

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mcarroll

Seems like it would be worth getting a sample under a microscope in that case.  For curiosity's sake/to find out what likes these conditions so much, if no other reason.  😉 

 

What's your water change regime like in the time while this has been going on?  Hard core?  Rarely?  Without gravel vacuuming or with? 

 

Has this very incarnation of the tank been running that long or has it been moved/re-tanked at any point?

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Nano sapiens
3 hours ago, mcarroll said:

Seems like it would be worth getting a sample under a microscope in that case.  For curiosity's sake/to find out what likes these conditions so much, if no other reason.  😉 

 

What's your water change regime like in the time while this has been going on?  Hard core?  Rarely?  Without gravel vacuuming or with? 

 

Has this very incarnation of the tank been running that long or has it been moved/re-tanked at any point?

I know that you are not familiar with this system, so this should give you an idea of how it's run:

 

It's the same 11+ year old system in the same place as when it started.

 

Getting a microscope is on my to do list if it's still around come spring time.  In the meantime, it just takes a few daily puffs from the turkey baster to clear it off the gravel and twice a week cleaning off the bottom portion of the glass if I'm feeling picky.

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Rehype

Hey nano!..How about a FTS for old times sake?

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Nano sapiens
2 hours ago, Rehype said:

Hey nano!..How about a FTS for old times sake?

Well there you go, I was just thinking about some of the 'old timer' names here on NR, including yours...and here you are!  :)  How you doing, Rehype, and have you got a tank going at the moment?  Last I remember that you had gotten yourself a Pax Bellum algae scrubber.

 

As for that FTS, I'll see what I can come up with this weekend, so stay tuned  :)

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