Jump to content
Nano sapiens

Nano Sapiens 12g - Ye Olde Mixed Reef

Recommended Posts

Nano sapiens

TG Update:

 

Sometimes things can get mighty strange in a reef aquarium...image.gif.2bc54718840287bd20b7da1012aae123.gif

Long story short, I had a funky alk test kit that was reading 9.5 dKh, but the actual level per the LFS and a second test kit showed 12.5 dKh (I was running this high level for well over a month, yikes!).  On top of that, I just happened to be playing with lighting spectrum and intensity during this time ('slaps own hand'), so there was bit of collateral damage:

Ponape BN (lost all green pigment due to higher light) & very unhappy BOP BN frags:

 

1352503996_12BNBleachingIssues_112620.thumb.jpg.8011deaf7e30dfe5d8a47b0811312e6d.jpg

 

 

Fallen Horizons Leptoseris:

 

85892558_12gFHLeptoserisGrrenPigment_112620.jpg.74cf3c91ddecbd3e8db22377d699ddcd.jpg

 

Having the Birdsnests bleach is expected as they are typically the first to show displeasure when something is amiss. The normally all orange Lepto's response was to have the most highly illuminated areas go black and then loose tissue, or where not quite so brightly lit, develop fluorescent green pigmentation (a last-ditch defense).

On top of this (or because of it), when I tried to bring alk down to a more typical 9 dKh by consistently reducing my normal 70% Kalkwasser/30% RO top off, I had to reduce all the way to pure 100% RO to get a lowering reaction (took nearly 2 weeks to get from 12.5 to 9 dKh!). Slow alk decrease was most likely likely due to corals/corallines' much reduced calcification. The main fix is to change lighting back to a 'known good spectrum and intensity' (from my log book), monitor parameters closely/keep them stable until kalkwasser/RO usage is back up again, keep slightly elevated iodine levels (can help bleached corals recover) and just be patient as they slowly recover.

Thought this was interesting. I cleaned the system and all equipment today. Within the pump's internals, I have noticed a purplish/reddish coloration over the past month or two (ever since I carbon dosed for two months). Definitely got my attention, and the impeller and Q-Tip below show the reddish bacteria (the brownish bacteria on the top is from the return outlet):
 

135764122_12gBacteriaonImpellerQTip_112620.jpg.f082c3c703a73c2a636487cc2f80b529.jpg

 

 

Ok, on to pics of things doing a bit better...

 

This side wall is coming along. Just waiting for the Zoas to fill out:

 

915775166_12gRightSideView5_112620.jpg.d943ba0a14240c98534aef79d2b3b375.jpg

 

 

I removed a remnant Superman Rhodatis that was causing my Acans some grief and used the spot for this nice little two polyp orange Homophylllia bowerbanki:

 

174612222_12gJackolantern_Banki_Acans_112620.thumb.jpg.21971cc52f748481b944b206b396ad35.jpg

 

 

The already old school 'Lunar Eclipse' Zoa.  Within 15 min of setting in place this guy was already puffed up. I'd forgotten just how large these guys get! (the Sunny D's are slightly over 3/4" across). Praying that the Acans play nice:

 

2038275457_12gLunarEclipseZoa_112620.jpg.7cb14b6bf8337249c5054934dec37a02.jpg

 

 

 

 

image.gif

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Nano sapiens

Imagine that...a Eunice worm!

 

I just happened to be looking at one of my small hermit crabs picking on some algae and all of a sudden this little iridescent head full of thick tentacles whips out of an overhang and bumps the hermit's shell.  Then it comes out a little further and does it again.  Whoa...

 

The little Eunice terror is maybe 1/3 as thick as a pencil and very colorful.  I tried to get a pic by luring it out of it's lair with a piece of salmon, but it took the food faster than I could snap a pic.

 

I have no idea how long the worm has been in my system, but I haven't had any new live rock since the tank was setup over 12 years ago.  I suppose it's possible that it came in on a frag plug, but if it did it would have had to have been really small and have survived my typical 1 minute FW/Iodine dip.

 

At it's present size it poses no danger to my 2-1/2" Eyebrow Barnacle Blenny.  It didn't seem interested in attacking the tiny Blue Legged hermit, just getting it out of it's territory.

 

Having just read up on Eunice (and related genera), there are many species and many different size ranges from 10 mm up to 3 m.  Some are strictly carnivores, some omnivores and some herbivores.  I can definitely say this one eats meat, but considering that if it's been in this aquarium for the whole 12 years, then it's likely an omnivore getting by on a variety of foods.  Luckily, it doesn't seem to have a taste for coral, though.  I have seen a really tiny 'mini-me' worm version in my sand bed, but whether this one is a different species or offspring from this larger species...can't say.  

 

This is one of those 'cool but creepy' finds.  I'm going to keep the little fella up until it misbehaves, and if that happens, I may set up a little pico tank for him like this one:

 

Pet Eunice Worm

  • Like 2
  • Wow 2

Share this post


Link to post
debbeach13

So intriguing to find him after all this time. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Nano sapiens

'Bob' 😈

 

440826486_12gEuniceWorm_112920.jpg.c7ec292a84dab7615d638e625013822c.jpg

 

Thank you Mr. Halloween Hermit for pissing 'Bob' off enough to have him come out.  The little bugger even bit the hermit's leg, which did move him on to other pastures.

 

I think Eunice are so creepy due to the 5th tentacle that comes right out of the center of the forehead.

  • Wow 3

Share this post


Link to post
debbeach13

Great picture of him. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Nano sapiens

Pavona maldivensis slurping up a baby earthworms

 

?hash=c807f1a589e48992e0febb0b85f2eb4c

 

Eventually, the piece will be sucked under the skin and slowly digested.  Still one of my favorite corals 👍

 

 

Traveling Circus Troop of Hermits performing their 'death-defying triple mount' 😉

 

Gnag 3 Hermit Crabs_121220.jpg

image.gif

image.gifOn a more serious note, I suspected issues with my old Seachem Mag test as the aquarium was using way too much (nearly 32 oz. in 2-3 months).  I ordered a new Aqua-Forest test kit and it was reading close to 1800 ppm (so around 400 ppm more than the Seachem).  With water changes, I'm lowly seeing a reduction (down to 1650 ppm today).  Interestingly, at that very high Mag level only one type of tough stringy algae (likely from the Cladophorales family) is present and film algae on the glass is totally absent, even after 7 days.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Nano sapiens

Well, after more than 5 years it looks like my Violet and Hyper-Violet LEDs in my DIY array have had their last day in the sun:

 

1684859303_VioletLEDDamage_121920.jpg.6996e9e03f7fe5f52f03f0f5a0972dc3.jpg

 

Although all eight of the emitters still lighted up, I figured that the shattering of the lenses and the obvious degradation would have to be reducing the light output.  I took PAR a measurement of just the Violet channel's output with the resident LEDs, installed the new ones and matched the same PAR number.

 

Based on the PAR results for the new LEDs at the same controller level as the old, the violet channel had lost nearly half of it's expected light output.  So now I can run this channel at a lot lower controller setting and keep the same illumination intensity with a lot less heat buildup.  I'll have to keep an eye on the eventual PAR reduction over the long term with these Exotic V and HVs.  It appears that the combination of higher power and degrading lenses (due to the energetic wavelengths produced) take their toll as none of my other LEDs (which are just as old) show any degradation.

 

Removed a tall Neon Green Capnella (tended to flop over and 'sleep' inside either the Duncan or the Blasto), Xenia (didn't quite fit with all the 'shrooms) and the last Rhodactis 'shroom (started to kill off Acan polyps) and all went to the local LFS.  The aquarium now looks better to my eye not being quite so full and it's also easier to do maintenance.

 

Alk issue is resolved, but found that my SeaChem Mag test kit was way off.  Tested against a brand new AquaForest kit (verified with the supplied calibration fluid) and tested the aquarium water at nearly 1800 ppm.  Very likely a contributor to my BNs not doing so well as well as the stark reduction in Kalkwasser (Alk and Cal usage).  At this point, after a number of water changes it's down to 1590 ppm and I'm hoping for some pigment recovery as it gets a bit lower.  Luckily, everything else looks fine, just growth has severely slowed down.

 

New FTS with the new V/HVs LEDs and slightly reduced whites:

 

1795241723_12gFTS_121920.jpg.ed2c7ffb65bbced63b0558bcdf66c51a.jpg

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
debbeach13

I like the new look.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Nano sapiens
7 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

I like the new look.

Thank you!  It's kind of an 'in-betweener' lighting specifically to assist my light damaged Leptoseris (typically a lower-depth/lower-light coral). 

 

IME, Leptos need slower and more careful acclimation to higher light and fuller spectrum.  But even then, they have lower tolerance limits than many other plating/encrusting stony corals.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
A.m.P
1 hour ago, Nano sapiens said:

Thank you!  It's kind of an 'in-betweener' lighting specifically to assist my light damaged Leptoseris (typically a lower-depth/lower-light coral). 

 

IME, Leptos need slower and more careful acclimation to higher light and fuller spectrum.  But even then, they have lower tolerance limits than many other plating/encrusting stony corals.

I burned the heck out of one, multiple times too, grew like a weed in 50 or less PAR, other folks throw them in 300 without issue, corals are weird. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
farkwar

Are you able to take a razor

 

And shave the 'lens' off

Share this post


Link to post
Nano sapiens
1 hour ago, A.m.P said:

I burned the heck out of one, multiple times too, grew like a weed in 50 or less PAR, other folks throw them in 300 without issue, corals are weird. 

It's actually the PUR level, not PAR per se, that greatly determines if the amount of light that a coral receives is within it's tolerance zone.  With an LED array that has lots violet, deep blue and blue, it's easy to burn corals at what seems to be relatively low PAR.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
A.m.P

That's accurate, but even cheap Chinese boxes have 85%+ PUR output, so it's not terribly relevant most of the time.

 

I definitely think the type of lighting and spectrum matters quite a bit, but it gets overstated compared to other parameters, which may or may not be from marketing rubbing-off on people.

Share this post


Link to post
Nano sapiens
1 hour ago, farkwar said:

Are you able to take a razor

 

And shave the 'lens' off

Hmm, I suppose that could be done.  The problem is that the degradation is a lot more extensive as can be seen the photo, so replacements were needed.

 

I did actually have one fail last year and I would have expected the others to have followed suit over the next year or three.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Nano sapiens
1 hour ago, A.m.P said:

That's accurate, but even cheap Chinese boxes have 85%+ PUR output, so it's not terribly relevant most of the time.

 

I definitely think the type of lighting and spectrum matters quite a bit, but it gets overstated compared to other parameters, which may or may not be from marketing rubbing-off on people.

For sure, other parameters can play a crucial role in whether a coral will burn or not.  PUR comes to mind as one major part as it was at the heart of T5/Halide vs. LED debates back-in-the-day (Acros that were doing well under 400-500 PAR MH or T5s would burn in the same PAR under LEDs with their higher PUR).  LED arrays can also produce significantly different PUR depending on their emitter composition/power output and also how the aquarist adjusts the various channels.

 

I burned my Lepto by experimenting with increased violet, hyper-violet and cyan.  Had the orange colored corals, especially, popping like black-lighted pumpkins, but it was too much for the orange Lepto  😞

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Bantha

This beautiful tank is very inspiring. Is the baffle serving any use purpose for you? Do you have a wall of live rock behind it?

I wonder if its feasible to follow this kind of low tech approach with just a plain tank instead of an AIO to save money.

Do you think it would be possible to substitute the live rock with dry rock? I know dry rock can be tough regardless of the setup, but since this build relies heavily on the live rock it may be hopeless.

 

I hope you don't mind me asking so many questions to inspire my first reef setup. I'm very intrigued by simple and naturally balanced systems.

Share this post


Link to post
Nano sapiens
19 hours ago, Bantha said:

This beautiful tank is very inspiring. Is the baffle serving any use purpose for you? Do you have a wall of live rock behind it?

I wonder if its feasible to follow this kind of low tech approach with just a plain tank instead of an AIO to save money.

Do you think it would be possible to substitute the live rock with dry rock? I know dry rock can be tough regardless of the setup, but since this build relies heavily on the live rock it may be hopeless.

 

I hope you don't mind me asking so many questions to inspire my first reef setup. I'm very intrigued by simple and naturally balanced systems.

 

Thank you, and I see that this is your first post :welcome:

 

In answer to your questions:

 

1.  Is the baffle serving any use purpose for you?

The baffle (aka: 'false back wall') is there so that equipment and media (if used) can be hidden from view.  Without it everything is a lot harder to conceal.

 

2.  Do you have a wall of live rock behind it?

The only items I have behind the false wall are a pump, heater and thermometer.

 

3.  I wonder if its feasible to follow this kind of low tech approach with just a plain tank instead of an AIO to save money.

Yes, it can be done.  Besides a more organized place to put equipment, media, etc., AIOs have a 'grated overflow' which allows the surface scum to continuously be removed from the display.  Using a standard tank, you'd need to investigate other options.  My suggestion would be find a good condition used AIO as the price might not be too far from a new standard tank.

 

4.  Do you think it would be possible to substitute the live rock with dry rock?

Back in the early periods of modern reef keeping many successful setups were accomplished with a base of dry rock and true live rock on top.  In a small aquarium, you don't need much rock so just a few pieces of live rock either from the ocean (KP Aquatics, Tampa Bay Salt Water, etc.) or from an established aquarium should do the trick.  If you do have to go with all dead rock for some reason, then you'll need to seed it with the appropriate bacteria and other organisms.  'Bacteria in a Bottle' (lots of companies sell this stuff) can be used initially when beginning an aquarium (don't need to keep buying it once added initially), but the bacteria/microorganisms that promote and sustain a reef tank ecosystem need to come either from the ocean or from an established reef aquarium.  There are a few companies that sell this such as GARF (Geothermal Aquaulture Research Foundation) and IPSF (Indo Pacific Sea Farms). 

 

Best of luck!

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Nano sapiens

And moving right along...

Ahh, the enjoyment of watching Magnesium's slow decline, but at 1420 ppm (high was 1775 ppm) it is approaching something a bit more normal. The Ponape Birdsnest is finally turning from solid pink to showing a bit of the typical green pigmentation and accompanying fluorescence so it's headed in the right direction, but this one will need a few more months to get back into prime coloration.

One coral that has taken advantage of the instability caused by first high alk, then high mag, then the digitate hydroids weakening the Zoas is my Leptastrea. While everything else was in a 'wait and recover mode', this coral has been expanding to the point where I had to put up a zoa frag roadblock (I took the opportunity to peroxide the algae, so in ~2-3 weeks it'll be all gone) and I'll have to place another block in a different place next week to try and keep it fully contained.  Typical of Leptastrea as they are one of the first stony coral colonizers on new or damaged reefs where conditions are somewhat unstable:
 

12g Stop the Lepto Zoa Rock_020621.jpg



My Sunny D's took a hit from high HV intensity (explained below) and a pair of sneaky and persistent digitate hydroids. Within a few short days the columns and heads turned olive green (which the hermits love to munch on). Doubtful that any of these that are closed up will recover, but thankfully a whole bunch down below were unaffected:
 

12g Damaged Sunny Ds_020621.jpg



After replacing all old V/HV LEDs in my DIY array with new ones and matching PAR at the midpoint of the tank, I noticed that some corals at the outer corners were showing typical light distress symptoms (had to drop overall intensity to compensate). This was a good indicator that I have some hotspots specific to the HV emitters (high PUR) located at the outer edges of the array. So I've ordered two types of half-density diffuser material from Rosco to see which one will help distribute the light more evenly while still allowing some amount of shimmer.

I upgraded my Tunze 210 gph pump to a Sicce 251 gph. Perfect upgrade as the additional flow is noticeable, but hasn't upset any of the coral. Now I won't have to clean the pump every week just to keep enough flow volume like I had to do with the Tunze.

 

CUC:  Out of the few Trochus and Stomatella snails I had during the high Mag, only one Stomatella came through.  I've always liked these little slugs and this one hangs around my overflow grate cleaning both sides day and night.  I don't normally name critters, but as an exception this one I've named 'Stommie' 🙂  All the hermits are doing their thing with special recognition for the slow, but ever-so-steady Halloween Hermit and his liking for old colonial hydroids and a willingness to tackle the uber-tough Cladophoropsis algae (90% of it is now gone with its help).

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Nano sapiens

Getting Back on Track:

 

Flow:  New Sicce Silence 1.0 providing a visibly stronger and more consistent flow.  Kalkwasser usage is up around 50%, so calcification has been enhanced.

 

Magnesium:  I tested Mag twice yesterday and it's finally dropped down to a more normal 1350 ppm.   Really like the precision of the AquaForest Mag test kit as both test results were identical.  AF also supplies a sample to check your accuracy against and when I tested I was within 30 ppm, which is good enough for Mag IMO.  What I noticed after this abnormally high Mag episode is that I can't find any micro brittle stars and I don't see any of my resident mysids, either.  Whether the high Mag did them in, or something else...hard to say.  The negatively effected SPS are getting better due to a combo of reduced lighting (-15% from the previous), normal Mag level and increased flow.

 

PUR:  After having replaced all my Violet/Hyper Violet emitters and matching the previous PAR levels produced by the old emitters, I expected no issues.  However, I noticed that some corals directly under the new HV were showing signs of over lighting.  Considering that HV is known to produce high PUR, this was a good indicator that I had PUR hotspots on the 4 corners.  To mitigate, I ordered two types diffusion material from Rosco and decided to use their 'Cinegal 1/2 Density Soft Frost' (#3004) since it is less dense than the Cinegal Tough White 1/2 Density Soft' (#3027) and allows through about 1/2 of the shimmer compared to using no diffuser (important to me as I'm not a big fan of the flat T5 look).  Since I mounted this material on top of a 1/32" sheet of clear polycarbonate, I'm seeing ~15% reduction in intensity compared to no shield at all.  Perhaps not quite as good as I'd hoped, but considering that the light has to go through two different layers and I run modest light intensity anyway, it's not a big deal.  The main thing I'll be looking for in the next couple weeks/months is if the corner corals show reduced stress (more expansion) and just the general condition of all the corals.

 

The diffusion effect at a low setting:

 

20210213_115349.thumb.jpg.e351fd54c4629a6f4c032ac1628ffc4c.jpg

 

 

Ponape Birdsnest is doing a little polyp wiggle dance as the fluorescent green pigmentation comes back (super hard to capture the fluorescence on a photograph):

 

302182303_12gPonapeBNHalfRecovered_021321.thumb.jpg.93ca658b2d1a8b7ab833c0946dfaa65c.jpg

 

 

Sunset Montipora below took a beating, too, but it's coming back

 

726362601_12gPonapeBNRecovery_021321.thumb.jpg.090f7e718ed8dbaed033ed6f7fbcd50e.jpg

 

 

Attempting to contain the Leptastrea (Eyebrow Barnacle Blenny is not amused):

 

2098222391_12gLeptoserisBlockade_021321.thumb.jpg.372ac1dc76986fdea5595ea247313f5b.jpg

 

 

Fallen Horizons Leptoseris still struggling, but sloooowly gaining lost ground:

 

924939642_12gFHLeptoserisDamage_021321.thumb.jpg.42007d3cd44d4d33a4350bbc0c766293.jpg

 

 

Repositioned the Duncan to a more upright position to avoid a bunch of extending Rics on the left and back away from the expanding Blasto colony upfront:

 

2025166529_12gDuncanBlasto_021321.thumb.jpg.2db9f4d0665c9ee20446665a3436f72f.jpg

 

 

1136804008_12gFTSFrontRightOblique_021321.thumb.jpg.1c400308aca2aba501d18a0b666da857.jpg

 

Alrighty then, 'maintain and sustain' for the next couple months and see how this all plays out 🙂

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
debbeach13

Sounds like your changes are working and every thing is headed in the right direction.

Share this post


Link to post
Nano sapiens
4 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

Sounds like your changes are working and every thing is headed in the right direction.

Yes, I'd say it's on the up-and-up 🙂

 

Over the many years, I've found that ups and downs inevitably go hand-in-hand with reef keeping, so it's best to just roll with it.  I post the highs and lows not just as a record, but also so that whoever is viewing doesn't just see a bunch of glamour shots taken when the tank is at it's best.

 

Frequent and honest assessments of a system's status can lead to small improvements, that when taken together, add up to a greater whole.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...