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Natalia's Reefbowlocalypse: all good


natalia_la_loca

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natalia_la_loca

Well, it's been a big week for the reefbowl!

 

I officially screwed up big time by putting a frag with a little bit of hair algae in my reefbowl and not treating it immediately. In just a few days, filaments of hair algae sprouted from nearly every surface. It must be a consequence of having an unfiltered system...I've dealt with hair algae many times but have never seen it spread with such ferocity.

 

Because the entire reefbowl was affected, I brought out the big guns. I drained the bowl and applied 35% hydrogen peroxide to almost every surface, letting it sizzle for what felt like an eternity but probably wasn't more than a minute, and then filling the bowl twice with new saltwater.

 

I was concerned about directly applying peroxide to sensitive frags, so I took most of them out and dipped them for a minute or two in a cup of tank water with a glug of peroxide. It's probably good that I did, as some of them were (and are) very unhappy even at that dilute strength. The xenia was a total loss (not surprising, but hope springs eternal). The sinularia necrotized badly but is showing signs of recovery. The montipora digitata bleached but is still alive. The euphyllia, leptoseris, acan and zoas were all EXTREMELY pissed but are slowly coming back.

 

And all of the hair algae is dead.

 

Here is the carnage, about an hour post-treatment. I suspect there was still a fair amount of peroxide in there despite the two 100% waterchanges afterward, because the bubbling continued for a while. I did another 100% waterchange the next day.

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Four days later. It still looks like nuclear winter in there, but the corals are starting to come back--and the hair algae isn't.

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Rastas and rings of fire yesterday--note peroxide bubbles

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Rastas and rings of fire today

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The euphyllia has been surprisingly sanguine about all this ruthless warmongering.

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Meanwhile, back at the shrimpbowl, the mossball has apparently gotten bored with its endless laps around the upper edge of the bowl, so now it spends about half its time on the bottom. Who knew a mossball could have such personality? I think it needs a name. I'll call it Albert.

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natalia_la_loca

Can we see a pic of your macro lens?

 

Here you go. The macro lens that clips to the phone is at left; at right is the wide-ange lens that screws onto the macro lens. It's a simple little thing, but effective for getting better pics out of a phone.

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natalia_la_loca

Sorry about the hair algae, but all I can say is, YAY PEROXIDE! That stuff works magic. Where'd you get the 35% stuff?

 

Yup, it works wonders! Although in retrospect, I'm pretty sure I could have knocked back the hair algae with a less catastrophic dose of peroxide. Hopefully with appropriate precautions I'll be able to avoid this kind of crazy collateral damage in future. I got the 35% at a health food store.

 

 

SO it is designed for the phone, cool!

 

Yes it is :)

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Hopefully with appropriate precautions I'll be able to avoid this kind of crazy collateral damage in future.

 

Nope... not happening. You're not one to avoid the cray cray. ;)

 

Good looking rastas, btw. Share. :)

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natalia_la_loca

Nope... not happening. You're not one to avoid the cray cray. ;)

 

Who, me? :lol:

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Good looking rastas, btw. Share. :)

 

I will...once they recover from the tough love I've been doling out!

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natalia_la_loca

Albert the mossball was running laps around the surface of the shrimpbowl again yesterday. This clump of algae moves around almost as much as the shrimps!

 

I know it's just a matter of gas accumulation and release or something, but it's still strangely entertaining. I never would have expected this much movement in a bowl that has no source of circulation besides the gentle vibration from the airline in the reefbowl next door.

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Per the breeder's instructions, I still haven't fed anything to the shrimp. Apparently the biofilm on the rocks and the surface of the glass provide them with plenty of food, although there is noticeably less on the rocks now. I may add some phyto-feast in a couple of weeks if the biofilm continues to disappear.

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natalia_la_loca

The reefbowl continues its recovery from my big peroxide algae kill a week and a half ago. Since then I've zapped a few strands of hair algae that were trying to regain a foothold. In these small (really small!) applications, I'm using a Q-tip or paintbrush to apply the peroxide rather than carpetbombing the whole bowl.

 

And I've started adding more stock. I scored some nice frags from the Cherry Corals live sale and a frag swap :happydance:

 

I've become more rigorous about controlling for nuisance algae on new frags. In addition to Bayer dips and removing frags from their plugs, I'm brushing non-coral tissue areas with 35% peroxide, and then giving them a good rinse before adding to the bowl.

 

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And here's some love for the mossbowl. It still has a couple of brown patches. Maybe I'll put it outside for a while.

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  • Like 7
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Loving the updates and the moss bowl :)

 

where did you get albert? I have been looking for moss balls online but all I find is fresh water ones...

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natalia_la_loca

Loving the updates and the moss bowl :)

 

where did you get albert? I have been looking for moss balls online but all I find is fresh water ones...

 

Thanks :) I got Albert here at petshrimp.com. This is the only source for brackish mossballs that I know of. The story behind them is interesting. Supposedly they spontaneously appeared in the opae'ula breeding tanks run by the owner of petshrimp.com. There is a thread with more info here.

 

They appear not to be the same species as marimo balls. They are darker than marimo balls and stay very small (mine is about the size of a blueberry). At $20, they are very expensive for their size, but I don't think the price is all that high compared to the huge expenses we're accustomed to in reefing. They do grow and multiply albeit very slowly.

 

For what it's worth, there are anecdotes about people having success with marimo balls in brackish water. I've read that for marimo balls, the salinity should not exceed 1.008. But there are lots of other stories about marimo balls falling to pieces in brackish water, and in any case I like the small size of my brackish mossball.

:wub: Super colors!

 

I know, right? Not bad for $20 :happydance:

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Thanks :) I got Albert here at petshrimp.com. This is the only source for brackish mossballs that I know of. The story behind them is interesting. Supposedly they spontaneously appeared in the opae'ula breeding tanks run by the owner of petshrimp.com. There is a thread with more info here.

 

They appear not to be the same species as marimo balls. They are darker than marimo balls and stay very small (mine is about the size of a blueberry). At $20, they are very expensive for their size, but I don't think the price is all that high compared to the huge expenses we're accustomed to in reefing. They do grow and multiply albeit very slowly.

 

For what it's worth, there are anecdotes about people having success with marimo balls in brackish water. I've read that for marimo balls, the salinity should not exceed 1.008. But there are lots of other stories about marimo balls falling to pieces in brackish water, and in any case I like the small size of my brackish mossball.

 

I know, right? Not bad for $20 :happydance:

 

This is interesting :) I've been planning out a shrimp bowl and doing some research :) We have a sunroom that I think would get enough light to grow some green film for the shrimps and I love the idea of the moss ball. They look cool!

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natalia_la_loca

This is interesting :) I've been planning out a shrimp bowl and doing some research :) We have a sunroom that I think would get enough light to grow some green film for the shrimps and I love the idea of the moss ball. They look cool!

 

I would totally do it if I were you. These shrimp are virtually trouble free, zero maintenance. Other than adding a drop of Zeobak a couple of times (and even that probably isn't necessary), I've literally done nothing to the shrimp bowl since setting it up.

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Natalia you are being a trooper good job

 

people think that early guiding of algae from new reefs means this is how it will always be, nope. must trust

 

by not purposefully allowing algae to take over, then trying to set up any number of reactive things to do to your tank, you are forcing it to comply and the work -lessens- not maintains. your substrates are open to colonization anywhere there isn't coral flesh to exclude it...and we can see you are on the way to reversing that heh.

 

the algae you see isn't indicative of water quality problems, its indicative that you don't have parrotfish and a hawksbill turtle who do this job among others in nature, in purely pristine waters, that still grow algae

 

for sure it is not fun to use something so caustic that one drop in your eye can blind you in that eye (eye protection aka high school chem teacher reminder) but hey, we are keeping reefs in bowls you already broke 9 biology laws the higher ups would confer upon us.

 

if we check algae threads, we never see algae sprouting out of the mouth center of a brain coral, its always on some exposed hard substrate, maybe its septa, but not where flesh is

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natalia_la_loca

by not purposefully allowing algae to take over, then trying to set up any number of reactive things to do to your tank, you are forcing it to comply and the work -lessens- not maintains. your substrates are open to colonization anywhere there isn't coral flesh to exclude it...and we can see you are on the way to reversing that heh.

 

the algae you see isn't indicative of water quality problems, its indicative that you don't have parrotfish and a hawksbill turtle who do this job among others in nature, in purely pristine waters, that still grow algae

 

for sure it is not fun to use something so caustic that one drop in your eye can blind you in that eye (eye protection aka high school chem teacher reminder) but hey, we are keeping reefs in bowls you already broke 9 biology laws the higher ups would confer upon us.

 

if we check algae threads, we never see algae sprouting out of the mouth center of a brain coral, its always on some exposed hard substrate, maybe its septa, but not where flesh is

 

Thanks Brandon. It's still feeling pretty touch and go at the moment, but I'm taking seriously my role as apex algae predator of the reefbowl.

 

BTW, I can now confirm that while 35% peroxide definitely weakens colonial hydroids, it doesn't wipe them out completely. I superglued one yesterday.

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natalia_la_loca

I'm pretty sure one of my opae'ula shrimp is already carrying eggs :happydance: She's spending most of her time hiding inside the caves in the rockscape (I've read caves are important for getting them to breed), so I haven't been able to get a decent pic of her. Here's a different one who was on the glass yesterday.

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Back at the reefbowl, the zoas are looking much better.

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New zoas: vamps in drag. I keep going back and forth on whether I like these or the petroglyphs more. I was able to buy a lot of my old zoas back from the LFS, but the petros, utter chaos and blondies were nowhere to be seen.

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natalia_la_loca

I did a feeding of Rods Food Coral Blend last night, followed by a 150% water change. I've been seeing some diatoms and the trochus snails (I have two now) are having a field day. Exported lots of snail poop with the water change.

 

Before refilling the bowl, I zapped a few specks of hair algae that were trying to reemerge. I think this hair algae might be some type of bryopsis as the filaments have a pinnate shape. The corals are much more tolerant of these small, targeted applications of peroxide...all were open this morning before the lights came on.

 

Zoa rack last night just before the water change

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I've reduced the photoperiod to eight hours to discourage nuisance algae. I wonder if I should reduce it even more, as the bowl receives ambient daylight from dawn to dusk.

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natalia_la_loca

Wait how do you do a 150% water change?!

 

Do a 100% water change, fill it halfway with new saltwater, drain again, and refill. The purpose is to dislodge more detritus (important because the bowl has no filter) and also to remove hydrogen peroxide that I applied in the drained bowl to kill hair algae.

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

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