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Lisa166

15g on dormrooms: im nuvo 16 coral update p16

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Lisa166   

Hi, 

Not so sure I an doing things correctly.. 

I got as much water out as possible. Ammoninia was back up to 1.0 ppm. Did a water change of 50% and added activated carbon to the filter. 

How come the ammonia keeps getting back up? If it does that, is it even worth the 'soft cycling' idea or will everything die off anyway? 

 

Houdini got his new tank... and he was in it for about 5 minutes before he decided to climb out and check out the other side of the glass. So, he is back in the coolbox. But what to do with him?

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Lisa166   

As promised a good picture update now!
The live rock came in 6 days ago (last friday) and I have already learned so much more.
I started soft cycling on monday, my ammonia was above 5 when I started.
I have been seeing a lot of die-off, but: also a lot of new growth! Which is making me really excited!
Also seeing a lot of critters, especially worms and some small snails. The  fiddler crab moved back into the coolbox, after escaping the new tank I got him three times in under an hour...

 

Measured waterparameters today:
Ammonia: 1.0 mg/l
NO2: > 5 mg/l
NO3: +- 3.0 mg/l

 

At first I stacked up the life rock to make a pretty scape, but I took apart the scape to be able to do water changes as effeciently as possible for now.

 

At this moment the hank has about 6 kg of life rocks, and 20 l of water. But if the ammonia doesnt get too high over the weekend I will try adding more water, and less waterchanges. IMG_20170323_165145.thumb.jpg.07ed87a9218b0dd57251bf72b459e291.jpg

 

This is an overview of the tank as it looks now! Low water, loads of flow with two flowpumps and one has activated carbon added.

1.JPG.b767c2dc10c191290dd4de86b5f2b7ac.JPG

The things I have been measuring and doing so far. Not sure tomorrow will be 100%. It will depend on the parameters. Tonight I will also doing a 25% instead of 50%. As everything is looking rather happy atm. I will not have any time to do something on saturday, so going to look again sunday and measure everything and do waterchanges as necessary.

 

Screenshot_2017-03-22-15-28-51.thumb.png.c1da4f5b46d9629ab29aebfa8f6c6513.png

I have no idea what this is exactly, and whether I should see it as a pest/plague or just another happy little, welcome hitchhiker! It is really small, only about half a cm in width and length.

 

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Another creature that popped up yesteday, not sure what this is either. SHould I allow it to be there or do I need to remove it?

5.JPG.ae24f813ac795b6282fc3b523cdf3764.JPG

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Lisa166   

Since the site won't let me upload anything above 5 Mb in one go, I am making my degrading my pictures quality, so I hope everything is still okay enough to see!

Here are two other pictures of the pretty rock!4.JPG.67d64bd8d5f29faa025c21341e7266e8.JPG2.JPG.88012c58b7744b09abf77574226ac33c.JPG

I just love this rock so much! It has all these little holes and caves in it and loads of colors. I cannot stop looking at it, although I have to say, I also cannot wait to get myself some pretty zoanthids and a nice CUC!

 

Hoping to scale back on the waterchanges after the weekend, I took the rock out of the water today for a smelltest. I have to say, it already smells way better. Still not nice, but my room itself isn't smelling like dead fish anymore since yesterday. The stones themselves smell like the liverock you find on the beach when the tide is low. But when they are in the water, well, I don't really notice anything besides the soft sea smell of the water itself. Wishing you all a happy weekend already.
If anyone knows what the little hitchikers in my previous post are, let me know and please let me know if I should keep them or get rid of them (and how).

 

Thanks for reading!

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I don't think 100% water changes are a great idea. Unless the parameters (I.E. Salinity, Calcium, Magnesium, Alkalinity etc.) of the water going in are practically identical to the water it is replacing. If the discrepancy is too great, some of the more delicate and sensitive organisms that you are trying to preserve may die. I commend you for attempting the soft cycle. It's definitely labor intensive. 

Good luck and happy reefing!

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Lisa166   

Here is one last picture I could not keep from you. He is back in the coolbox, and walking around a little less (but I might have been stressing him out by moving him so often?), but still eating. I fed him algae flakes today that I got at a aquariumstore, which was another fun conversation:
These are best, because they smell most and you can make the best trap with it!
Me: No.. uuhm.. I do not want to trap him, I moved him to a coolbox, but he IMG-20170320-WA0016.thumb.jpeg.96e59efdfc34eac941f93c65bc32e677.jpegmay stay!

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Here is a pretty definitive guide to soft cycling. I've never done it myself so take what I say with a grain of salt. The above thread has been pinned and should be a sound and solid guide. 

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Lisa166   
2 minutes ago, yungKitten said:

I don't think 100% water changes are a great idea. Unless the parameters (I.E. Salinity, Calcium, Magnesium, Alkalinity etc.) of the water going in are practically identical to the water it is replacing. If the discrepancy is too great, some of the more delicate and sensitive organisms that you are trying to preserver may die. I commend you for attempting the soft cycle. It's definitely labor intensive. 

Good luck and happy reefing!

Thank you! I only did this once now. Which was when my ammonia was through the roof (over 5 mg/L). To do this I got well cycled water from a store though. So I made sure it was good water. The salinity was also spot on. And I am seeing more life coming back now.
Going to try scaling it back next week, which is also when I run out of water from that store. I will not do 100% changes with homemade water, as that would have only been made the previous day at the max. 

 

I am very much considering getting premade water at stores more often though, I do not think it is more expensive, to get 15L of RODI water I have the keep the machine running for over 2 hours with the tap fully open! And that is without adding salt (which also costs pretty much).

3 minutes ago, yungKitten said:

Here is a pretty definitive guide to soft cycling. I've never done it myself so take what I say with a grain of salt. The above thread has been pinned and should be a sound and solid guide. 

Thank you. Weetabix alsos already showed me that thread and it gave me some good advice indeed! I just never knew soft cycling was a thing, even though I spend many (Way TOO many) hours online researching salt water aquariums and how to start/keep/maintain them!

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On 3/22/2017 at 9:10 AM, Lisa166 said:

 So, he is back in the coolbox. But what to do with him?

Post on the I.D. forum to get a better idea of his care requirements. If you decide you would like to keep him, cater your tank to him or set up a separate system for him. Putting him in an environment that does not suit or even meet his needs is tantamount to torture. (If you believe crabs feel pain to begin with.)

3 minutes ago, Lisa166 said:

Thank you. Weetabix alsos already showed me that thread and it gave me some good advice indeed!

My mistake.

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Lisa166   

Thank you @yungKitten! He is a fiddlercrab, so we know what he needs and eats. He has been doing pretty well, walking around calmly and eating as well. It was just that I had to move him into the new tank yesterday, which i thought would be fiddlerproof, but turned out not to be, so i had to move him back. 

 

But, he has got sand, some water, and food. I change out the water and food regularly. So he seems to be doing pretty well. I haven't been able to find anyone who could take care of him besides myself. The shops just tell me to get him out of my tank (and probably mean that I should just let him die), and no one else seems to be interested. So he stays in there until I find a better option (either a good tank, or when I modified the new one well enough, or someone else to look after him without just throwing him into a wastebin)

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I think it would be cool to set up a Mangrove tank if you end up giving him his own home. 

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The very first hitchhiker picture you show looks like it might be some type of anemone, but it's not clear enough to ID for sure. 

I'm hoping it's not aiptasia, cause if it is that is a pest. Google pics & info on aiptasia. 

It could also be some type of coral tho, I can't tell for sure from the pic. 

I didn't see anything that you should worry about in any of your other pics. 

You are doing fine with the crab for now but it is true that you'll need to come up with some kind of long-term plan. 

I would suggest researching the care of fiddler crabs. 

Everything looks good to me though, keep doing what you're doing!!

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samnaz   

Welcome! It seems many people advise against live rock because of the hitchhiker risk and all but for me, observing and discovering life on the rocks outweighed the risk (perhaps I just got lucky that my rock was free of the bad pests). It was all I had in my tank for many weeks, and everyday I would examine it with a magnifying glass and discover new life popping up every where! Started with one little feather duster, now there are tons. 

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7 hours ago, samnaz said:

Welcome! It seems many people advise against live rock because of the hitchhiker risk and all but for me, observing and discovering life on the rocks outweighed the risk (perhaps I just got lucky that my rock was free of the bad pests). It was all I had in my tank for many weeks, and everyday I would examine it with a magnifying glass and discover new life popping up every where! Started with one little feather duster, now there are tons. 

 

That's how I feel as well!!

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Lisa166   

Hi all! 

This weekend has been busy, did a lot of extra researching on fiddler crabs. And you won't believe it, but, we do not think it even is one! (Classification is hard!) 

 

I came across marble crabs (metasesarma obesum), and that seems to be way more fitting to what I have. So, I tried to find as much info about them as I could, and set up a new tank for Houdini. Its still a little bare, but I want to put in some plants, some woods to climb on (mangrove style), and that must provide some more hiding places and make him.happy!

 

Screenshot_2017-03-26-18-38-31.thumb.png.1392d7a6df4d7fcda35efbb5dcc5b7fb.pngScreenshot_2017-03-26-18-38-44.thumb.png.9d0f9ea58abd31824f4cfa56817f9a4e.png

 

I put in the small piece of live rock, so there are at least some hiding places as well as algae for food. 

Screenshot_2017-03-26-18-38-37.thumb.png.17318ea5b22d5ce85b57e243aad1ffe2.png

 

 

We also checked the tank paramaters, and I am happy to inform you:

-NH3: 0.25 

-NO2: 5.0

-NO3: 3.0

 

This is the first time we saw the NH3 so low, even after not doing a waterchange yesterday! The rock is also looking good. The aiptasia is gone from the small rock, although I put that into houdini's tank for now. Still seeing some weird things popping up here and there, they look sort of similar, but the tentacles are more hairlike, and are white and black. They also seem to 'hide' themselves when I get near. They just get back into the rock really fast, so I hsvent been able to get a picture. They do stay at the same place the whole time.though. 

 

Also discovered a sort of white film on the back rock, it looks like powdered sugar or something. I am guessing it is some sort of die-off of something. 

 

Anyway, I guess I can scale back water changes. It should, after a few more weeks, go back to 0 on the NH3,'NO2 and NO3 right? Screenshot_2017-03-26-18-38-59.thumb.png.3c96bf7e95f203d6647757e7f5c76f05.pngScreenshot_2017-03-26-18-38-54.thumb.png.962d653e8b950c1098f70f6776eca54d.pngScreenshot_2017-03-26-18-38-50.thumb.png.f313345e748442f15c8f2a9428f9717e.pngyou can see the white film on this last picture, but its not really clear. 

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I was wondering just this morning how you were doing!!

You're making really great progress. 

I would agree that the white film is likely some kind of die-off or detritus from die-off. 

The hairlike things that pop in and out may be hitchhiker featherduster worms. 

At this point I would suggest not to do any more Water Changes until your tank finishes cycling, when you see 0 Ammonia and 0 Nitrite. 

Or at the very least scale WC's way back. 

I suspect your cycle will be done in approximately 2 weeks. 

 

You're doing a really great job with that Crab. 

Houdini is lucky that it was YOUR rock he hitchhiked in on!!

Most people would not go to the trouble that you have to find out what he needs and meet those needs. 

This tells me that you will do well with your Reef Tank as well. 

I really look forward to watching it evolve!!

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Lisa166   

Thank you! I came across feather duster worms somewhere, i just never realised these might be just that. 

Also explains why they did not react to the lemon juice at all, whereas the real aiptesia immediately disappeared! 

 

Thank you for all your compliments, I still have a lot to learn, but I do think learning is part of the fun, so I am really glad you are giving me all of this advice! 

Just wondering, if I do not do waterchanges, or do them way less, won't the build up of NO2 and NO3 kill off all the pretty things anyway? Or is that going to solve itself? What are hights of these parameters I should look out for now? 

I thought water changes were necessary as long as either of these three was above 0 (mg/l)? 

 

Thanks again! Houdini is walking around happily, on the rock, around the rock, under the rock, etc. 

 

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Lisa166   

The waterparameters where exactly the same as yesterday, did not do a wc for now. Shall measure again on wednesday. And probably do a small wc then? 

 

Houdini is doing well, he has been eating happily from some salmon I fed him. Screenshot_2017-03-27-20-06-47.thumb.png.d524e0bf233f89100b6fd283ee20c19c.pngScreenshot_2017-03-27-20-06-33.thumb.png.28e9d99635998e36e30a0297f2e45a36.png

 

the (expected to be) feather duster worms. 

 

Screenshot_2017-03-27-20-07-39.thumb.png.23759158dcc48613e91677a3a8ef1678.pnghoudini!!

 

Screenshot_2017-03-27-20-12-16.thumb.png.b5c4fb8c1f88cf9a07a54c892c800361.png

Happily eating from some salmon

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The first picture looks like a featherduster worm, couldn't tell for sure in the other pics. 

When I did a soft cycle, I mostly worried about ammonia, and once that dropped to safe levels I cut back on the daily WC's. 

The ammonia is the biggest threat to the life on the rock.

After that I think I may have done smaller WC's (20-50%) every 5-7 days.  

Houdini looks happy!!

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Lisa166   

Thanks once again!

My ammonia has decreased a bit more, but the die-off seems to be getting worse. More white film, and also not that happy looking macro algae, and some algae starting to show up on the rocks. Will do a wc, clean off the film and algae where possible. 

Not sure what else I can do. Will measure the salt etc, but that should still be allright. 

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You could do a small Water Change, I probably wouldn't do more than 20%. 

If you do that, I'd take the rocks out and swish them around and clean them in a container with the water you remove. 

I like to use a toothbrush to clean off debris at times. 

I have a toothbrush and turkey baster I keep on hand to use for stuff like that. 

Not sure if you have turkey basters in the Netherlands, lol. 

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Lisa166   

No idea what a turkey blaster is, but I indeed guessed that it'd be a good idea to clean them with a toothbrush. So I just did that, also added the second flowpump back into the tank. So everywhere is flow now. 

 

I will check water parameters again tomorrow. Can i ask what the reason is for stopping water changes when ammonia comes below 0.5, even when nitrates and nitrites are still so high? 

 

Houdini also got a water change and is eating some algae of a small loose rock i found in the big tank. 

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I could be wrong. I do that sometimes but I think the recommendation was to try reducing the water changes. Doing closer to 20% instead of 50%. I have not done a soft cycle in years so I am not the best source of info for this. Did you have any nitrites or nitrates yet?

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1 hour ago, Lisa166 said:

No idea what a turkey blaster is, but I indeed guessed that it'd be a good idea to clean them with a toothbrush. So I just did that, also added the second flowpump back into the tank. So everywhere is flow now. 

 

I will check water parameters again tomorrow. Can i ask what the reason is for stopping water changes when ammonia comes below 0.5, even when nitrates and nitrites are still so high? 

 

Houdini also got a water change and is eating some algae of a small loose rock i found in the big tank. 

 

Ammonia is significantly more toxic to the life on the rock than nitrite or nitrate. 

One of the goals is to preserve as much life on the rock as possible, and that is why you do frequent daily water changes while ammonia is high. 

However, you have another goal and that is to build up a stable colony of nitrifying bacteria in the rock that will be capable of breaking down waste produced in the tank. 

The nitrifying bacteria feed on the waste that produce ammonia, nitrite, etc. and they need to have the "food" to grow. 

You need to balance the needs of the beautiful life on the rock against the needs of the nitrifying bacteria that you want to grow. 

In the beginning, the ammonia is both a severe threat to the life on the rock, as well as being a food source for the beneficial bacteria. 

However, much of the beautiful life on the rock will die if you don't control ammonia levels that are toxic to it, so you accept that when you do WC's to control ammonia, you are "feeding" the beneficial bacteria less. It's a trade-off. 

Yes, nitrite and nitrate pose a danger to the life on the rock as well, but the danger is much less than the ammonia, so this is why you do less WC's. 

The threat to the rock life is lower and you need to "feed" the bacteria so that it will grow enough to support fish and corals and other life that you want to add to the aquarium. 

I hope this made sense. 

 

This is a turkey baster: https://www.amazon.com/Good-Cook-11-5-Turkey-Baster/dp/B004MF22M8/ref=sr_1_6?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1490801719&sr=1-6&keywords=turkey+baster

 

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Lisa166   

Thanks for explaining!!! 

I have only seen those turkey blaster things in the labs at uni, and never knew this was their english/american name. Thanks. 

 

Yesterday before water change:

No3: 3

No2: 5 

Nh3: 0.25 

 

Cleaned all the rocks with a toothbrush, it smelled awful. They smelled better when I cleaned them though. Took as much die-off off the rocks as possible, and its looking better (and smelling better). Unfortunately one of the macroalgae is looking seriously sad, he seems to be loosening from the rock as well. Just hoping he will survive, because it was the prettiest piece!

 

Changed the set up a bit to get a more sufficient flow throughout the tank. 1490870860791-1359468043.thumb.jpg.38a274f9c633d6c9aaf6c38a4bcd5ac9.jpg

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