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--chris--

Chris's IM30 - 'MI' New Frags are here!

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On 12/23/2017 at 5:01 AM, --chris-- said:

I graduated from the Bachelors program I was in, I am so happy to be done with school.

Congratulations!

 

How frustrating the phosphates you were seeing, it's so common in source water. Has the second DI stage seemingly made a difference in the algae after more water changes?

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On 1/25/2018 at 9:31 PM, Christopher Marks said:

Congratulations!

 

How frustrating the phosphates you were seeing, it's so common in source water. Has the second DI stage seemingly made a difference in the algae after more water changes?

Thanks!  

 

So again, lots of catching up to do.  Life has kept me busy.  With the new degree came a new job offer, I accepted in mid January.  I onboarded (flew out of town for a week) in the first week of Feburary, then got home and now work from home full time.  

 

The tank seem to stabilize.  It didn't get any better nor did it get any worse.  I continued to change 5 gallons every few days but the tank just looked off....the fish were eating and looked good, but in general lethargic.  The big red rock of shrooms I had shrived up and stayed closed, but the purple shrooms looked good.  The green sin started staying closed all the time but the neon green toadstool opened and continued to grow.  Lots of mixed signals....

 

Checking the params showed everything was in line, but No3 and Po4 still showing up in tests (but no longer in the source water).  Temp was 80, s.g. was 1.025, ph was 8.0, daily checking at different times showed pretty level params...I was really at a loss for what I was seeing and not being one to make rapid changes without evidence I adopted a "wait and see" approach to the tank.  Well life got me busy and my waiting and seeing took 2 months until I got back to digging into why the tank looked bleh...by this time the Bangai cardinal vanished, one of the knight gobies was gone, the blenny was gone and the clowns had the first stages brooklynella (sp).  SOMETHING WAS OBVIOUSLY WRONG.

 

At this point I started to doubt my tools used to check params.  The first thing I did was use my digital cooking thermometer/probe to verify tank temps...and thats when I found out the tank was COLD!  71 F (!!!). I double checked my Inkbird heater controller, it was reading 80 F.  I made sure the probe was not sitting on a heater, a pump, out of the water etc...but none of those things were the case.  

 

It looks like I had a double whammy of problems, one masking the other.  The first problem was the source water containing P04, this explained the algae explosion and general tank decline (i thought).  then when I fixed that and started to "wait and see" how things would look things got worse.  Somewhere around xmas time the heater controller must have lost calibration somehow.  The tank heaters never turned on after that because the house stays around 68-70, so not only was the tank way below normal temp levels but the water temp was probably fluctuating daily with the house temp.  

 

Its been one week since I figured out this problem and the fish appear to have bounced back.  They are much more active (back to normal) and the coral that survived have started to settle back in.  I have started vodka dosing again, up to 1 ml/day now.  I am considering adding chaeto to the back chamber but would need to get a light for it.  

 

My long term plan is get a better method to control the temp (Apex?), keep the water changes up and feed heavy for a bit to ensure the fish make it through ok.  

 

 

tl:dr

 

One problem masked another problem, took me way to long to figure it out and I lost some fish and coral :(  

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I scraped the glass with a razor today, changed another 5 gallons then retested P04 and No3.  I pulled some empty snail shells, old frag plugs, etc....just some clean up that I should have done awhile ago.  Po4 is zero (Red Sea kit) and No3 is between 2-4 PPM (Red Sea kit).   Vodka dosing is at 1.5 ml/day.  

 

Some good news, the clowns appear to have bounced back well and are doing their egg laying shimmy on the rocks again.  The GSP is pissed off, has not opened since the temp was raised.  Most of the zoas and palys are ok, but some random polyps are closed.  The Hammer and toadstool appear normal.  

 

I am still trying to decide between a Reefkeeper lite and a Apex Jr.  as well as toying with the idea of adding chaeto and that new IM hang-on fuge light to a back chamber to (maybe?) replace the carbon dosing.   

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Welcome back @--chris--!

 

Fixing the temperature should really help get you back on track, colder tanks seem to grow even more algae as they get a competitive advantage. I vote you add some chaeto to the back :)  

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Posted on a local forum that I'm looking for chaeto.  I'm in SE Michigan if anyone here is nearby!  

 

 

Still researching a controller...

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Traded a kessil I had and $60 for a lot of nice zoas and palys, shrooms and rics plus a RKL with temp probe.    

 

This is just a few things, on an old galaxy s6....

 

 

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I would just drain the tank, replace the sand bed (with newly washed), take those rocks , remove what corals I could, then dip them in tank water + enough peroxide to make it bubble for 10 min. Replace adding 100% new water, run some PO4 remover to eat up the phosphates as the algae dies. 

 

I have done exactly that and was algae free in days.

 

Most corals can handle peroxide fine, I dip zoas/palys, acans, mushies, ect. 

 

Some people just dose the entire DT with peroxide which has been shown to work as well.

 

Just throwing that out there if you want to burn it all down with fire :haha:

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9 hours ago, Tamberav said:

I would just drain the tank, replace the sand bed (with newly washed), take those rocks , remove what corals I could, then dip them in tank water + enough peroxide to make it bubble for 10 min. Replace adding 100% new water, run some PO4 remover to eat up the phosphates as the algae dies. 

 

I have done exactly that and was algae free in days.

 

Most corals can handle peroxide fine, I dip zoas/palys, acans, mushies, ect. 

 

Some people just dose the entire DT with peroxide which has been shown to work as well.

 

Just throwing that out there if you want to burn it all down with fire :haha:

Lol, oh I want to burn it all down but I don't think the rock would stay together if I pulled it out.  Its stuck together with 2 part which made it solid for the first year.  But now when I manipulate stuff on the rocks I can feel the bond points have turned into joints and there is some movement.

 

I should mention that the algae was a vibrant green two weeks ago and it is now a dull brown with small patches of green....and getting covered in cyano.   I've been siphoning out all I can every 2 or 3 days and replacing 20% of the water in the process...but I may do the whole tank peroxide dip after I research it.

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Started dosing h2o2 yesterday along with vodka after talking to a local I trust.  

 

Today will be day 2.  Pics to come as things improve.

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Time to embrace this tank for what it is.  A disaster! 

 

Day 3 of h202 dosing, doing 1 ml at 9 am, 1 pm and 6 pm.   Some pics to monitor progress (ugh they are ugly...and embarrassing)....

 

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Since misery apparently loves company I am here to tell you that’s pretty much what I’ve had going on in my tank for quite a while. I also had a rather sudden onset of that brown algae on top of the gha. 

 

I ended up doing a 3 day black-out followed by fluconazole (Reef Flux). The brown stuff was gone when the lights came back on (I thought it was Dino’s, not sure). The fluconazole takes about a week to start killing the gha then the algae sort of starts to fall apart and the CUC will eat it more readily. I’m also dosing H2O2 to my whole tank now but I think the Reef Flux helped the most.

 

Tamberev’s suggestion above is good to but I didn’t want to pull my tank apart either. I would recommend doing a black out at least, that brown algae started killing my corals and gorgonians before I figured out it might be Dino’s. Blackout plus H2O2 dosing is one of the recommended treatments I’ve seen so your on the right track at least. Wouldn’t hurt to up the flow or blow it off to get it out of the tank and into the filter too. 

 

I went into more detail on my tank in this thread

 

it gets a bit off track, but it’s a good discussion 

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Thanks for the advice!   I'll setup a blackout for the next few days and keep the dosing up.  

 

My skimmer is pulling out a lot of gunk, it's filling up the cup daily now....before it would take 4 or 5 days.

 

I'm trading most of my new frags to a friend for a 48x24x12 tank a a 48" NEP 6 bulb T5.   That is going in my office, I just want to "cash out" of the frags in this tank since things are so shakey right now and I've been looking for that size tank for over a year.   It all works out. 

 

  

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If you're removing most coral from this tank for awhile, the more drastic measures @Tamberav recommended may be worth the trouble. Having to rebuild the rock isn't fun, but physical removal and dipping seems to go a long ways to fixing the problem once and for all.

 

The new office tank sounds pretty rad, it's 12" deep?

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On 3/24/2018 at 4:26 PM, Christopher Marks said:

If you're removing most coral from this tank for awhile, the more drastic measures @Tamberav recommended may be worth the trouble. Having to rebuild the rock isn't fun, but physical removal and dipping seems to go a long ways to fixing the problem once and for all.

 

The new office tank sounds pretty rad, it's 12" deep?

I may just do that.  How does GSP hold up to H202?  

 

I picked up another bag of carib sea sp. grade so I can siphon out the funk that currently covers the bottom of the tank.  If I do this "big" push I will need to spend some time planning it out before I get comfortable with it.  I will also have to accept that my rock work may just fall apart when I take it out and deal with that after.  

 

I got the new tank & light yesterday.  While driving home my wife says "why not just get a bigger tank for upstairs?"  LOL are you playing with me?  We explored this idea a few times but without removing furniture I don't wee where or how....anyways I will be revisiting that idea again.  If I can get a bigger tank with a sump/fuge I would be happier :)  Maybe we can re-arrange...?  

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Can you bleach the rocks? :) Good aggressive way to get it nice and clean while the bacteria remains in the sand.

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I could bleach the rocks, but Id rather not (at this point).  

 

I just washed the sand, got it ready.  I checked the water planning on doing the sand removal tonight but the temp is 2 degrees higher than tank temp...I don't know if it will cool down in time to do it tonight.  

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, --chris-- said:

I may just do that.  How does GSP hold up to H202?  

 

I picked up another bag of carib sea sp. grade so I can siphon out the funk that currently covers the bottom of the tank.  If I do this "big" push I will need to spend some time planning it out before I get comfortable with it.  I will also have to accept that my rock work may just fall apart when I take it out and deal with that after.  

 

I got the new tank & light yesterday.  While driving home my wife says "why not just get a bigger tank for upstairs?"  LOL are you playing with me?  We explored this idea a few times but without removing furniture I don't wee where or how....anyways I will be revisiting that idea again.  If I can get a bigger tank with a sump/fuge I would be happier :)  Maybe we can re-arrange...?  

 

 

I scrubbed my GSP with a tooth brush and applied H2O2 directly to my large GSP patch outside of the tank and let it do it's thing for a few minutes. It is/was pissed but I am 48 hour after treatment and the polyps are slowly coming back out. No color change or die off of the mat as far as I can see. It is acting just like GSP does in my experience, closed up for a few days sloughing off a slime coat before a big growth spurt. I am not worried and confident it will be back to normal in another couple days! :D 

 

When the wife says "lets add another tank" you just smile and say yes! LOL

Edited by Hippieheadshot
typo's
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I really want to fix this mess quickly, but two things:

 

1) I am 99% confident that since my rock is anchored with two large pieces on the bottom, if I pull it out of the tank it will fall apart.  I really like my rock work and have alwasy wanted to see it "grow" in.  

2) The age old paradigm "Nothing good happens fast in a reef tank" keeps banging around in my head

 

With that said, nothing is off the table at this point.  If I don't see progress on the current method (Vodka & h202 dosing along with large WCs and substrate change) I will consider busting up the rocks to rid the tank of this scurge!

 

I am also thinking of doing an order with ReefCleaners to expand my CuC a bit.  I am thinking 3-4 fuzzy chitons, 1 emerald crab and 20-30 more snails.  Thoughts?  

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More than 1 emerald crab, I liked the red ones better but it’s your tank ?

 

6 or so of several different types of snails (margaritas, trochus, money cowries if you can find them, Cerith, nerites) is probably better than a ton of one kind. However, I have yet to see a snail eat hair algae, hermits will to an extent but they’ll also kill your snails and each other. Besides that they’re pretty cool though. ?

 

But regardless you’re going to have to remove the bulk of that algae by hand. Even fluconazole only killed the ‘top layer’ of my hair algae. So far that’s the only thing that’s made a significant and lasting (ie 3 weeks so far) improvement in my tank. 

 

Good luck

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20 minutes ago, Lynaea said:

More than 1 emerald crab, I liked the red ones better but it’s your tank ?

 

6 or so of several different types of snails (margaritas, trochus, money cowries if you can find them, Cerith, nerites) is probably better than a ton of one kind. However, I have yet to see a snail eat hair algae, hermits will to an extent but they’ll also kill your snails and each other. Besides that they’re pretty cool though. ?

 

But regardless you’re going to have to remove the bulk of that algae by hand. Even fluconazole only killed the ‘top layer’ of my hair algae. So far that’s the only thing that’s made a significant and lasting (ie 3 weeks so far) improvement in my tank. 

 

Good luck

 

I agree with @Lynaea throwing a ton of snails won't do much good. I would see if your LFS or a online retailer can get you 5 turbos or margarita snails. I also used reefcleaners and would "renew" ever 9 mo or so and it never did any good. After the heavy manual removal I bought 5 turbos and they have been going to town cleaning up the scraps! I have a couple before and after photos on the thread I linked above showing how they cleared that up.

 

Keep in mind they are only going to take care of the short stubby algae, I have not heard of them going for it once grown out.

 

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@Hippieheadshot @Lynaea

 

Roger that!   I'm looking at getting a good mix, I current have about 15 astrea and a handful of cerith from my last @johnmaloney /reefcleaners order.

 

The algae is starting to lose color but detritus is collecting in it.  When I do WC I get clumps of HA by just siphoning the rock, so things might be getting better.   

 

I still need to find time to get the old sand out, I have about 35 gallons of water matched up and ready to go.

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Just completed a big WC (18 gallons), sucked all the algae off the sand bed and dipped everything that was loose in a 50/50 h202 solution.  

 

This is one hour post work, I'll keep this thread updated.

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I am thinking I need more flow.  Even though the tank is primarily softies, I still don't think I have enough flow with the single Jebao RW4 (100%, wave mode).  Am I crazy?

 

I like the icecap 1k gyre....

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