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Natalia's Reefbowlocalypse: all good


natalia_la_loca

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11 hours ago, natalia_la_loca said:

 

wow that’s so rad!! I’m really glad to be an inspiration. Yeah, from what i can see, it’ll be necessary to remove the hinge and change out the gasket to prevent salt creep and inhibit evaporation. Btw I hope you start a thread!

I will, sorry to derail yours a little 🙂 My wife actually stole the jar back, I guess she wants to try a mossy terrarium lol...so I'll make a thread once we find a new bowl. Thanks for inspiring us all!

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natalia_la_loca
3 minutes ago, Lebowski_ said:

I will, sorry to derail yours a little 🙂 My wife actually stole the jar back, I guess she wants to try a mossy terrarium lol...so I'll make a thread once we find a new bowl. Thanks for inspiring us all!

lol no worries, look forward to seeing it!

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natalia_la_loca
On 7/21/2023 at 11:13 AM, Snow_Phoenix said:

Such a cool-looking bowl! So colorful too! 🥰

thank you!! i’ve really been working on fine-tuning the color mix since getting rid of dinos…trying to place corals so that their colors complement one another. there are still some more things i want to do, but it’s getting there!

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natalia_la_loca

The glitterbomb goni is growing so well! Is starting to provide a really nice contrast with the intense orange of the lepto and the HG micromussa.

 

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The amazeballs goni is looking just incredible. Such a beautiful coral. sorry for blurry pic, it moves a lot!

 

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The only problem spot in the bowl over the past week: the AOI zoas. Unfortunately this is exactly the pattern i remember from other caribbean zoa morphs: pinched, fading polyps. If the pattern holds, they will continue to fade and shrink until they disappear.

 

IMG_2917.thumb.jpeg.c669f7a65ee84f17329e3614618f0cd5.jpeg

 

What the reefbowl has in common with my old Nuvo 8 is low nutrients. Since the dino incident, i’ve been dosing Neonitro and Neophos after the water change to bring NO3 to 5ppm and PO4 to 0.1ppm, but when I tested this week 4 days after the WC, both were undetectable again, so on a hunch that this might be a low nutrient issue, I’ve repeated the dose. At any rate this doesn’t look to me like the (probable) bacterial issue that’s hitting some of my zoas in the Evo. (otoh it could be a different pathogen.) Anyway, i’m going to try to maintain those levels of nitrate and phosphate for a while and see if that helps. idk anything about their natural environment, but i wonder if maybe caribbean zoas need more nutrient-rich water, or are outcompeted by other corals for nutrient uptake.

 

Another possibility is that there’s some kind of beneficial bacteria in caribbean environments that is missing here. So i’m thinking about ordering some Caribbean live sand from Aquabiomics, which they say is full of beneficial microorganisms (verified by their tests) and free of coral pathogens. Unfortunately it’s out of stock atm.

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2 hours ago, tidepooldreamer said:

Fingers crossed for the AOIs! Gonis are both looking gorgeous; I love the movement they add to a tank.

agree!!! gonis are so amazing. i’m thrilled at the colors and varieties available now.

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natalia_la_loca

No improvements from the AOIs so far. Given how well the rest of the bowl is doing, i’m not willing to make drastic changes. c’est la vie.

 

cloudy day video from today (click to view, hopefully it loads):

 

 

 

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natalia_la_loca

latest addition to the reefbowl (and probably the last addition for a while because i’m running out of room again): a Care Bears goniopora from SBB Corals. i've been wanting to get one of these for a few months now. i have 2 duncan colonies in the bowl rn, so i’m going to trade one of them in at the LFS to make room for this incredible goni.

 

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i forgot to mention that i stopped daily dosing of bottled bacteria a week or so ago. No ill effects seen in corals (the AOI trouble started before I discontinued dosing). I figured i’ve gone years without any bac dosing at all, and now with the dinos gone, i want to go back to not having to mess with the reefbowl on a daily basis because super low maintenance is one of the best things about this kind of system.

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  • 2 weeks later...
natalia_la_loca

Last week I removed the bigger duncan and moved the amazeballs goni to take its place. Now the balance of colors is better and everything has more room to grow.

 

I also discontinued nightly peroxide dosing last week; no ill effects observed. After the last water change, I bumped up the nitrate dosage to 10 ppm with phosphate dosage staying at 0.1 ppm. No improvement from the AOIs. Everything else looks great.

 

Also experimented with a new idea for coralline algae removal: I snapped a razor blade in half with pliers and used a hemostat to reach it into the bowl. And it works!!! Way faster/easier than a mr clean magic eraser or a piece of velcro.

 

Rainy day pics from yesterday, a few hours after the water change.

 

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  • 5 weeks later...
natalia_la_loca

the bowl is cruising along. This pic doesn’t show it (took it a couple weeks ago during another rainstorm), but i think the AOIs may have turned a corner? at the very least, they seem to not be getting worse and i think they’re starting to color up. That said, i know better than to get my hopes up about ambiguous signs of recovery. everything else is doing great. i love this bowl.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
natalia_la_loca

Now it’s really starting to look like it did before the dinos took over.

 

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The AOIs are still pretty janky as you can see. Everything else is fantastic. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
natalia_la_loca

still doing really well. i’ve started yanking out polyps of pink and gold zoas as they try to crowd in on the vice zoas.

 

IMG_3681.thumb.jpeg.007d8248ea4e614d26172a15463c4708.jpeg

 

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natalia_la_loca

i should have known I’d jinx it by posting about the AOIs, they look like crap again. If they recover this time, i’ll just keep quiet about it 😝

 

On the other hand, everything else looks great. This is my favorite time of year for looking at the reefbowl.

 

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water change day.IMG_4098.thumb.jpeg.7c1ba902742acacc09d3e167eaf1fb28.jpeg

 

IMG_4097.thumb.jpeg.43725c762640c7a01360786865db8576.jpeg

 

The AOIs are holding on, but the surrounding zoas are encroaching as the AOIs recede. Pretty sure they’re not going to make it much longer.

IMG_4099.thumb.jpeg.f5186f39ac0e09c6eed52473a2faf378.jpeg

 

other news: the Betta Stik heater has failed; this was the second one to fail in the 7.5 years I’ve had the reefbowl. The temp controller alerted me when the temp hit 72f, so i was able to replace the heater right away. I’m now running my last Betta Stik and on the lookout for a new backup heater with similar dimensions, as Betta Stiks were discontinued ages ago.

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3 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

I just was looking at a post from August and now. What a difference in just a few months. Congrats!

I was just thinking about that last night. Like, the reefbowl was a horrifying moonscape only eight months ago. It’s wild how quickly it’s bounced back. Granted, I’ve added a bunch of new corals, but the survivors have really rebounded too. 

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  • natalia_la_loca changed the title to Natalia's Reefbowlocalypse: all good
natalia_la_loca

I feel like i’ve come full circle on how I feel about dosing an algicide. Like, yes it nuked the shit out of the reefbowl, but it also prompted me to change things up and add some corals that I never would have added otherwise. And all nuisance algae are completely gone now. I don’t have to spend a single second worrying about encroaching bubble algae or hair algae or bryopsis or anything. In a bigger tank I’d still go with natural predators (as I’ve done with the Evo), because an algicide is such a blunt instrument, but that’s not an option with a reefbowl. If I were ever to do it again, I’d take precautions to prevent a dino outbreak, but if i’m being honest, I’d definitely dose it again. It was worth it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
natalia_la_loca

I turned the blasto around the other day because it was hard to see. This made me realize how much it’s recovered. It was hit very hard by the dino outbreak and while it still isn’t fully recovered, it’s looking so much better. The holy grail micromussa in front of the blasto is colored down because it’s being shaded by the big goni and/or the nephthea. I don’t mind the new color, but i’ll move it to a brighter location if i see signs of atrophy.

 

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The care bears goni is a slow grower, but that’s okay in a reefbowl. The colors are unbelievable, it’s like a piece of candy.

 

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natalia_la_loca
16 hours ago, fenderchamp said:

the bowl seems to be looking better than ever, 

 

It is a little difficult to say for sure without a Current FBS. 

 

here are some pics from this afternoon!

 

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During the last water change, i moved a little bubblegum digitata frag out in the open because it was being shaded to death by the amazeballs goni. it’s visible at bottom right, badly bleached. I think it’ll recover.

 

The AOIs are holding on. I’m still not optimistic, but they’ve got some fight in them.

 

IMG_4275.thumb.jpeg.1dcec46a08ff4af54bb22b9b6d9e4069.jpeg

 

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