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CAfirstReef

C & A's 30L

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Hi All,

Originally I thought I would be getting a IM-10G but due to fish requests from the boss :) I had to change to a 30L!

Just set everything up on Sunday (2016-Dec-04) and here is my set up so far:

 

Updated 2018.01.05

  • IM 30L AIO tank
  • Eheim (Ebo) Jager 150W Heater (13 inch)
  • 2x Innovative Marine CustomCaddy
  • 1 Ecotech Marine Vortech MP10wQD Quietdrive with reeflink
  • Nano box quad long plus
  • IM Auqa Ghost protein skimmer
  • Tunze osmolator 3155 ATO
  • 18lbs of live rock
  • Carib Sea Arag-Alaive Special grade reef sand - 20lbs Aquaforest reef salt (not the probiotic one)
  • We also have an RO system

Wish list:

  • Neptune apex controller
  • Dosing system
  • Smart storage container for dosing fluids
  • Second MP10 for the other side of the tank
  • I'm sure there is more

 

Livestock/coral list:

 

  • 2 Clowns - Chip and Dale - from the rescue rangers - admittedly probably not always correctly understood

Inverts:

  • 1 Peppermint shrimp (Pepp) been around since Dec 2016
  • 2 Cleaner shrimp
  • 1 brown hermit - grew very fast by terminating his fellow hermits - named "the terminator"
  • 1 blue leg hermit - Volt
  • 1 Scarlet hermit - Scarlet (not imaginative...)
  • 1 emerald crab - Jiminy
  • a bunch of snails including burrowing snails
  • a bi-valve that came with the rocks
  • and my family of bristleworms - not sure on my feelings about them but I'm at a standstill with them atm

Corals:

  • 1 unhappy red monti
  • 1 rainbow chalice - also unhappy
  • a branching torch
  • a big torch that caught a cold
  • a single brain coral which amazingly seems to be doing well - knocking on wood
  • new - an acan piece 

other:

a nice bunch of algae :(

 

Some current images:

 

FTS 2018.01.23 - I seem to have forgotten how to use my camera...

39156427044_89305670f0_b.jpg

 

2018.01.05 I'm embarrassed to post - working on clearing algae and have been making good progress on that front for the last 2-3 months. The battle is ongoing to get things back in check.

 

31404410526_098550149f_k.jpgCleared up overnight by CA O-H

2016-12-05 First morning already all clear

 

31441040535_8a521ba835_k.jpgstill cloudy by CA O-H

31441039445_f756189799_k.jpgAdded Water! by CA O-H

2016-12-04

 

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Forgot to mention:

I have to admit that the landscape is what I call - "we have an 8month old that needs attention so throw everything in and pay attention to her :) " I need to figure out if I need more rock or how to set it up a bit better. Any suggestions are welcome!

 

I was also wondering if 24h after everything was set up, I tested the nitrate, nitrite and ammonia and everything is at 0, is that normal? Did I just test the water too soon?

 

Thanks all!

Chris

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Forgot to mention:

I have to admit that the landscape is what I call - "we have an 8month old that needs attention so throw everything in and pay attention to her :) " I need to figure out if I need more rock or how to set it up a bit better. Any suggestions are welcome!

 

I was also wondering if 24h after everything was set up, I tested the nitrate, nitrite and ammonia and everything is at 0, is that normal? Did I just test the water too soon?

 

Thanks all!

Chris

looks great and just tested the water too soon, a cycle can take 2 weeks+, how are you adding an ammonia source? You can buy bottled ammonia online along with bacteria in a bottle to jump start your cycle
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Looks good! Check out the 30L resource guide in the AIO forums. Feel free to check mine out, too (link in sig).

 

Nick

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Thanks guys!

Will take a look! The substrate came with a little packet of bacteria for a kick start, but I'll look into something more now, Thanks!

 

I also noticed a couple of things already around the aquarium. First one is a star that hitch hiked I guess and the other one I'm worried is an unwanted guest. (these images are a bit unclear as they are taken with my phone)

 

Not sure he'll survive but he did come out today when I got home from work to say hi!

31434079756_b4437a3726_b.jpgIMG_20161206_1756289c by CA O-H

 

Any idea who this is? please don't say the word starting with an "A" :(

30630058764_7e737d32cb_b.jpgIMG_1623184c by CA O-H

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Thanks guys!

Will take a look! The substrate came with a little packet of bacteria for a kick start, but I'll look into something more now, Thanks!

 

I also noticed a couple of things already around the aquarium. First one is a star that hitch hiked I guess and the other one I'm worried is an unwanted guest. (these images are a bit unclear as they are taken with my phone)

 

Not sure he'll survive but he did come out today when I got home from work to say hi!

31434079756_b4437a3726_b.jpgIMG_20161206_1756289c by CA O-H

 

Any idea who this is? please don't say the word starting with an "A" :(

30630058764_7e737d32cb_b.jpgIMG_1623184c by CA O-H

the star can stay and yes that is indeed aiptasia lol looks like you got a nice little bunch already, I have one big one in my tank that has not spread so I haven't really done anything about it but you may want to jump on yours!

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So I went back to the store and the owner said the rock he sold was fully cured and was very apologetic about the aiptasia, which he also saw. He of course wanted to sell me the solution... at least at a discount but didn't have any peppermint shrimp in stock. (He's a bit out of the way but has decent reviews in the area) I then ofc on my way home the next day, went to the LFS that is new and I haven't heard anything about yet, (bad or good) and sure enough, they had a few so I picked up a pair as well as some cool looking rock from them to top up my live cured rock load to 25lbs. I'm an easy sell... ooof all happened on the 7th. The store was amazingly clean and they actually guaruntee their rock :o i was shocked. Will be going back.

Updated scape below. The aiptasia is all gone, overnight, there is nothing left that i can identify, and my wife has been helping me look and we are both unable to find any trace of it.

This morning I tested the water (all zero still) and the shrimp are still ok, so I happened to be at the LFS... ooof bad story, I could not stick to waiting another week.... -_- and i picked up a cheap hammer for 10$ and a 5 hermits. (dwarf blue leg). Going to make sure it's not "on my way" anymore this coming week :)

Here is the updated FTS and pic of the shrimp both taken with a cell phone so not the best...

Just a quick question, should I still do a water change after a week with everything at 0?

31410385022_cfd71bcdf5_b.jpgIMG_20161210_1455378c by CA O-H,

 

30747724033_ba4c1eeee9_b.jpgIMG_20161210_1455495c by CA O-H

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Update at the 2 week mark

 

Ammonia is just over 0 but not at the 0.5ppm.

The NO2/3 levels are still at 0

My pH is a bit low, around 7.8/9 (I need to bring this up, right?)

and my KH is a bit low as well i think, Around 120ppm.

Can it be that the cured rock they sold me is really not going to cycle? I'm a bit nervous trusting them on this.

 

The 2 peppermint shrimp are alive and well! added a bit of food for them twice now and they just went for it :)

All hermits were accounted for last night,sometimes they're behind the rock and hard to find :)

 

The star that tagged along is also showing himself here and there, but what's even better is that there are 2 of them, both out and about! And I found what looks like a brittle sea star as well, he came out 3 night ago from a rock late at night. Very small, no in focus photos yet but I'm working on it. Definitely had 5 legs, a disk shaped body, and what looked like spikes on the legs. I thought it might have been a worm or something when it had just his leg showing, but then his whole body became visible and I was relieved it was not bristle worms or something.

 

I didn't think these guys would survive a move like that :o

 

I did flip around the rocks on the right side of the aquarium to allow the MP10 flow to not be as obstructed. The little hammer coral is doing well also. Open almost all the time. He closes during the switch from evening to moonlight. Will have to work on my nanobox's settings next.

 

No aquarium photos atm, but i have one photo i forgot of the inside where everything is plugged in from day onet. It's all organized a bit at least. The protein skimmer is sitting in there waiting for now. Will be powering it up in a week or so.

Cheers all!

 

31314090792_901225a4d4_b.jpgIMG_20161203_2133186c

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Hi All,

 

Things have been going well. Water parameters are in great shape. The shrimp are doing great too! They haven't gone down after 4 weeks now. Have had to supplement their feeding. with a couple pellets each. I've also expanded my CUC to include a tiny emerald crab last week (well 3 days ago) and a few more snails. all in all, I think the CUC is about 25 members now including 9 hermits and a scarlet reef hermit (also 3 days ago).

 

I have found a few passengers on the live rock though, other then the now obliterated aptasia (none to be found atm - fingers crossed it's gone!)

 

I have found a pair of 1.5" bristleworms and a small one on another rock, as well as the passenger in the images below. It must be a filter feeder as it hasn't moved in 4 weeks but i just recently moved the rock and now can observe it much better and it opens and closes! At first I just thought it was a part of the rock, but now it's for sure as I've caught it on camera as it opens and closes.

Any ideas as to what this is? It has a friend that's much smaller on the other side of this same rock actually that I haven't photographed but it's much smoother and looks like a clam (the other one that is) but i honestly have no clue, will get a picture of this one later.

 

As to bristleworms, there are many benefits to having them and negatives and they are creepy looking (just like the unknown). Any advice on removing them? I'm thinking a 6-line wrasse - or traps... would prefer a 6-line wrasse to do the dirty work, but I'm open to suggestions :) I do want to have a BTA at one point and I've heard they don't get along with bristleworms?

 

FTS to come soon! Thanks!

Cheers

 

32039187445_0743cd5265_b.jpgDSC_5924

31198198754_8442c6ecb3_b.jpgDSC_5925

32000218626_70bf303772_b.jpgDSC_5933

31198198824_ed497bf966_b.jpgDSC_5891

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N8ce job so far! I had a bivalve come in on a piece of live rock - it finally moved to another rock but I haven't seen it in months. I only have a few bristleworms and no anemones, so I can't advise on that, but bristleworms are usually good members of a cuc.

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Looks like a good start!

 

I have a 30L with the same light. Kind of wish I had put a sump on it.......

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Update:

Things are going ok, purchased a few corals which I'll post up soon, still need to glue things down.

Invert list is: 1-emerald crab, 1-scarlette reef hermit, about 10 dwarf blue leg hermits, 3 large turbo snails (just over 1"), 3 burrowing snails, 2 - peppermint shrimp, 1 ninja star snail, and 4 random snails.

both shrimp have done a full molt in the tank and are doing well

 

Also purchased a GBTA (named bubble-0-7) the day after my last post, however he's still getting used to the tank. I now realize, this may have been early but we're doing our best to keep him happy. been in the tank for around 3 weeks now and seems to be eating well, he does close right up during the night, not sure if he's supposed to do that. He's a small guy, about 2-3" max diameter

 

After Christmas we had some sales here so we purchased a few fish too - a pair of clowns (Chip and Dale), a royal gramma (just took on Grandma), (all 3 on the 26th of December) and most recently a 6-line wrasse (Beckett) on the 3rd of January.

 

We noticed on the 4th of January the clowns had some white spots on them and were breathing funny.... Ofc, it was MI. I have to admit, novice and naive, we went without a QT and just welcomed everyone into our DT. Not sure who brought it or what not, doesn't matter really - but we quickly set up a QT on the 5th and pulled half the filter sponges out of the DT into the QT and started treating everyone.

We quickly learned our lesson and were devastated that Grandma and Chip didn't make it, we honestly didn't thing we would be so attached to them in such a short period of time. They held on for about 3 days in the treatment tank but by the time i had the Cu level high enough, I guess it was too late. I raised it slowly as not to shock them and am holding it at about 0.35mg/L but it took me 2.5 days to get it there. Beckett and Dale are doing great now, it's been about 2.5 weeks in the QT and they are eating well (3 times a day - small portions in the am of high quality pellets and a proper feeding for dinner) moving around well and have gotten used to the PVC pipes instead of live rock. (btw, fishing out Beckett was a challenge!!!! you do basically take apart your landscape, at one point though, he tried to hide in a crevice on a rock which i just took the rock out of the water, he was still trying to get in that crevice while out of the water and i just let him fall into the net my wife was holding beneath. if i hadn't raised that rock out, i think i'd still be fishing for him 2 weeks later!) I don't have a light for the QT, so they only get daylight and some light from the room, not sure if that's ok for the two guys but they don't seem to mind. The LFS (not the one with the sale!) said it's fine... my trust in any LFS has though recently plummeted as you can imagine, probably to where it should have been in the first place.

 

Since then, things are basically back to normal other than our house with 2 tanks now :o . Corals are doing well, feeding with reef roids and keeping things stable. the DT's attraction now are bubble-0-7 and the two peps (haven't named them yet, it's hard to tell them appart, one had a bum leg when i got them but since the molt they are identical again) We have 3 tiny sea stars and at least 2 serpent stars also tiny. I feed Bubble-0-7 some frozen mysis dialy but i have to fight the pep's from stealing it from him so i distract them with omnivore pellets that they seem to love. he started off at the bottom of the tank on a rock but has since, in the last 1.5 weeks, been moving up and sits during the day about half way up that rock - open to the lights.

 

Will post some photos soon. Any advice is always welcome!

Cheers all!

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Been crazy busy over the last while.

Here is a FTS update that is long overdue, however this shot was a quick one right after my re-scape and gluing things down finally.

Livestock wise everyone is good, I got worried about the BTA and sent him packing back to the store for a better home for now. He was still looking good when he left and this will give my tank more time to mature. I've had a bit of trouble over the last month and I actually lost the one hammer coral on the right side and a single head off one of the others and I'm not sure why. worse is, I haven't had time to really look into it. Also that first green monticap, after 2 weeks in my tank went white -> brown :(. I did notice that my nanobox was not set-up properly after an update for some unknown reason, so I did a complete re-set up of it's settings but it seemed to be too late for the moticap. Not sure how to get it off the rock now... 

Anyway, I'm going to try to figure out why it didn't make it and see what i can do to fix it.

33218890143_de5a64ec40_k.jpg

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This tank has a lot of potential. 

The prettiest Reef Tank I ever had was actually a 30L, so I have a fondness for them. 

Hope things settle down for you and you are able to figure out the issues behind the coral losses.

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So it's been a while since I've posted and here is my story (if you need a long winded story to fall asleep and don't mind horror novels) Mainly because shortly after April I became hesitant in everything aquarium based, and algae started to grow and I didn't know what I was doing wrong. I realized some of the algae around June was red cyano and that frightened me... I'm not sure if rightfully so, but still I'm very cautious as I'm not sure of the safety of it for me or my family. Here I dropped off the band wagon even worse at that point and there was a stretch of over a month of no water changes just adding the RO water to my ATO.

 

Horror story! I know!:scarry: The desire to have a nice aquarium was actually suppressed by what was living in mine, of my own doing! ooof.:( Most often I bet this is the out point for newbies, but somehow, I got a second wind early November. (Might be the investment into the whole system and/or the fact we are really attached to Chip and Dale! and I honestly don't know how they are surviving all this!)

 

The aquarium never really smells, and it didn't bother us with any red flags  (irony there i guess). I didn't like the look of things, bought some more salt (Aquaforrest reef salt) and did a first water change wearing medical grade gloves, and a mask and eye protection (overkill possibly). BAM - it was amazing how things after 1 water changed looked different.  So I started doing regular water changes once a week - boy did the beast smell for a bit after the first few of those! Our mag float was not cutting it and you could barely see into the tank except in key spots...  an eyesore and an embarrassment.

 

Shortening up my long story, I'm somehow keeping up with water changes now, at least once a week. Since I've started that, I resumed researching our hobby (and oogling tanks like teeny's with envy) and have started testing my water's basic. This led me to start using NoPox under testing and I've been dosing small doses of 1.5mL to not shock my system which could just implode due to the neglect. Combined with the water changes, we have started to see the algae recede. My skimmer is cleaned every other day (another new thing to me), and things are looking better. I did knock down a few days ago the one branching torch with the mag float - that one is still in need of re-gluing.

 

Today I finally worked up the courage to scrap off the algae off the glass to actually see what's inside... First of all, scraping this algae off made the whole room stink like after one of those first water changes, but I'm honestly amazed at how clear the glass is - such simple things - and such amazement. Anyway, I still have quite a bit of algae, and I'm afraid after scrapping only the front glass and some of the sides, minus snail spots that were stubborn and didn't move in 20 minutes of scrapping, I may clog up my filtration (which I'm working on now). The side with the skimmer is flowing well atm but the water is so cloudy after all that work. Through my viewing holes that i had, I know it was not that cloudy before.

 

My primary goal right now is to clean up my water. Even after 8 weeks of water changes and the NoPox, i still have a bit of stuff on the water surface which I really don't like and I need to figure out how to get rid of that, plus all the algae in the images. Advice is VERY welcome.

 

Here are the dirty details of my filtration:

I have a 5 compartment filtration system on the back of the aquarium as is the case with IM's AIO 30L.

Here are all my mistakes -

  • Compartment on the right is a custom caddy with a sponge that's been there for (An initial research mistake and I can't believe I'm going to admit it) 1 year. second shelf houses a 6 month bag of Chemi-pure blue.
  • Second compartment on the right is the skimmer
  • Middle is the ATO and heater and return pump
  • Second left has nothing other than the fresh water return
  • and the Final left has...... close your eyes please - same as the right! :(

- I have reached out to get some help and here is the plan to fix this extreme wrong for my poor clowns and everyone else that has basically survived an aquarium apocalypse. Any suggestions or advice is always appreciated.

  • Right compartment for now will be empty
  • second from the right will be the skimmer
  • middle stays the same
  • second left will have marine pure high performance biofilter 8”x8”x1” block cut in half to make a 8"x4"x2"
  • left will have the custom caddy for now and just filter floss removed every 2-3 days (probably daily at first) and some kind of activated carbon - I have a spare bag of the chemi-pure blue which I may use at the start.

I'm going to do a water change tomorrow and after a couple hours or on Monday I'll do some comprehensive testing of the water. I try to do everything after my little one is asleep for the night so my time is limited. Last test was using a hanna checker for nitrites basically 0, and Nitrates using a red sea test were at 6. I keep my salinity at 1.023

 

After the clean up, i'm going to have to re-scape, might even remove some of the rock, I need better access to the glass and it feels crowded in there to me.

 

And here are some quick snaps of the mess I've made. The water is still cloudy here as I simply put away my extremely dirty scraper and grabbed the camera to take a quick photo. One is really out of focus but it's the worst spot of red algae atm - really hurting that piece of chalice coral. Chip is in the one photo of the red slime.

25677720118_e78f788792_k.jpgDSC_0834

25677721318_f32d08dc97_k.jpgDSC_0836

25677720328_8cfba66dde_k.jpgDSC_0835a

 

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Today after all the cleaning yesterday, Chip and Dale were really happy to see us again, right up front, interacting. I think they missed us as we missed them. The snails were out at full force too, haven't seen them move so fast/much in months!

 

Started to do the remodel of my filtration to match the plan above.

Dropped in the 2 pieces of the marine pure high performance biofilter block. Still gauging if the flow is restricted, don't want to dump out the sponge(s) on a whim and disturb my poorly maintained ecosystem with a shock to make things worse.

Another water change and some testing today. I used brand new red sea pro kits and the numbers are not as bad as I expected. KH is well off - I think my target is to be around 7.5-8?

Nitrates 1ppm

Phosphates 0.03ppm

KH 6.3

Currently I'm looking for solutions/suggestions for my algae problem - or any information about the algae I have that may be helpful. It looks outright awful and smells bad when the tank is disturbed. And I'll be working though raising that KH slowly.

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Here are my attempts at a better photo of the algae. I need to get a tripod i think.

The one is a bit darker red that's going down the rock, the other one is more red-orange but i think that's due to the lighting, however in the photos they look the same colour.

 

27805667289_bd560bbc4b_k.jpgDSC_0899

27805666559_9b55c7daf8_k.jpgDSC_0900

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Ok saw your issue and I’m following it 

 

you have done well in starting to fix your problem. That’s awesome!

 

more biofilter diversity is always a plus. I hope you have a very decent mechanical filter before your marine pure, because they will clog and be another issue down the road..

 

also with mechanical filtration, you want to rinse or replace the pads bi-weekly or along with your water change schedule. Which ever you choose will work

 

if you are going to use the chemipure replace it every month or two depending on bioload, that will kind of help with the smell due to the chemipure has carbon mixed in with GFO. What will remove the discoloration and smells is, yep you guessed it carbon. Which you want to replace, the same time you change/ rinse your filter pads

 

Good luck and keep posting!

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I think I made a mistake testing my KH last time. Last night I was at 7.8 - tested twice!

In the mean time, I've started my filtration remodel, removed the chemipure blue that's been in there way too long. Also added the marine pure bricks a while back and just giving them some time to seed with the sponges, another couple weeks I think, then they are gone. I've added filter floss on top which will be eventually replacing them, but just a thin layer.

Also the cyano issue I have is greater than I wanted to think. Seems to come back quite quickly, only means I had to go with chemiclean to get rid of it. Running that whole process over this weekend. Added it 30 min ago, along with an air stone and skimmer still working. Hopefully it works as I've researched.

The acan I purchased end of December is actually doing well. I know it likes it when I clean things up as it fattens up and just seems healthier a while after a cleaning. ;)

I'm focused on this chemiclean fix right now.

Fingers crossed fingerscrossed

 

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Quick note, The chemiclean is working wonders! It seems to all be clearing up. Even the main colony of cyano looks to be dwindling away. By end of day, I'll do my water change and see if I need to re-dose since it was such a widespread infection, however I think it's going to get everything! :happydance:

The surface of the water is clear and Chip and Dale are eating off the surface again! (they were waiting for their food to be falling to get it) All the corals look much happier too, more plump and what not.

I'm not going to let this happen again!!!! Things look so much better now! A bit of regular algae remaining to deal with but that will be easy :)

I'll attempt photos tonight.

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Clean up well underway. Chemiclean did wonders to the tank! Still need to scrape the back and Since Sunday I've been going in daily with a turkey baster to mix things up. Seems to help move things out of the tank. Lot's to do still but it's looking better.

 

I've forgotten how to take photos.... so here are a couple bad ones. the second is of this coral that has been through everything with me and surprisingly looks unscathed. Yesterday he got reefroids for the first time in months and he plumped up and ate like a champ. Not actually sure what he is, the store just called him a brain coral, was sold to me for $10 way back in the day.

 

39156427044_89305670f0_b.jpgDSC_0909

 

25993324458_2901dee185_n.jpgDSC_0903

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Things are looking good. I went to the LFS to re-stock my dwindling CUC. Got 4 margaritta snails, 4 Nassarius snails, 2 astrea and 2 mexican turbo's. I also was coerced into getting a blue tuxedo urchin. Never had one, have been reading about them and they were in my original plan to get one. We'll see how he does. Wanted to get a sand shifting star but they didn't have any, so urchin it was! Those aren't venomous they said, from what i read, that's correct i hope.

 

After dripping everyone in, I noticed a bit of debris on a monticap frag, and blew it off with my turkey baster, and well i also blew off some debris off the rock beside etc and now EVERYONE IS MAD at me.:angry: all my corals acted up! Even the brain/scoly puffed up and in level all across! the torches are letting off long white strings which i hadn't see since i glued them down! I hope things calm down. I didn't want to make everyone mad... :( The big torch looks like a bowl with little green balls sticking up, it's a mess in there! I hope i didn't stirr the bee's nest too much!!!!

 

On the bright side, that turbo that died on me suddenly after a year, I think he left an offspring. I see a small snail on the glass no more than 1/4" working his way around and does not look like the other snails.

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