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Seabass's Caribbean 40 gal

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seabass

So I had this tank running for a few months before I started this thread.  It has been woefully overdue for a water change, so I figured that the nutrient levels might be getting high.  Also, I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't test the levels prior to adding the macroalgae.  Anyway, I tested them tonight and they were 0 on the Hanna ULR Phosphorus Checker and 0 using a Salifert Nitrate test kit (low range method).

 

Granted, I haven't kept any fish in here, but I have a number of snails, a couple crabs, and more than a dozen anemones.  Plus, I feed the tank lightly every other day.  So I'm thinking about dosing some nutrients. :unsure:  I'm kind of thinking that I should.

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seabass

OK, so I didn't think this out completely. :blush:

 

I dosed 1ml of Miracle-Gro (diluted in a quart of water).  I use 2ml of it per gallon when making water for phytoplankton, so I didn't think the dose was ridiculous.  One of my RFAs turned inside out for a minute (then returned to normal).  I retested the parameters:

  • 200ppb phosphorus (0.6ppm phosphate)
  • 1ppm nitrate

I proceeded to dump some phytoplankton in the tank to help consume the phosphate.

 

Interestingly, the algae started pearling:

062217a.jpg

 

I considered doing a water change, but I've decided to wait this experiment out and see what it looks like tomorrow.  In the future, if I decide to dose Miracle-Gro again, I'll dilute the mixture so that I only dose 0.05ml of it (per 20 gallons).

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Weetabix7
13 minutes ago, seabass said:

OK, so I didn't think this out completely. :blush:

 

I dosed 1ml of Miracle-Gro (diluted in a quart of water).  One of my RFAs turned inside out for a minute (then returned to normal).  I retested the parameters:

  • 200ppb phosphorus (0.6ppm phosphate)
  • 1ppm nitrate

I proceeded to dump some phytoplankton in the tank to help consume the phosphate.  Interestingly, the algae started pearling:

062217a.jpg

 

I considered doing a water change, but I've decided to wait this experiment out and see what it looks like tomorrow.  In the future, if I decide to dose Miracle-Gro again, I'll dilute the mixture so that I only dose 0.05ml of it (per 20 gallons).

 

Lol, dilution sounds like a very good idea!!

 

The one time I added Phytoplankton to my Macro tank I saw a large amount of pearling as well. 

I normally see a decent bit of pearling closer to the end of the light cycle anyway, but there was about twice as much on the day I added the Phyto.

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seabass

Weetie, do you think it's the phosphate in the phyto that's causing the pearling?  That'd be my guess.  If that's the case, I just made the situation worse.  :rolleyes:

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Weetabix7
19 minutes ago, seabass said:

Weetie, do you think it's the phosphate in the phyto that's causing the pearling?  That'd be my guess.  If that's the case, I just made the situation worse.  :rolleyes:

 

No, I think the pearling is happening as a result of photosynthesis. 

Why would the phosphate cause it?

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seabass
1 hour ago, Weetabix7 said:

No, I think the pearling is happening as a result of photosynthesis.  Why would the phosphate cause it?

Well yes, it's consuming CO2 and producing O2 due to photosynthesis.  But you've noticed that dosing phyto can lead to pearling (or increased pearling).  Obviously the phytoplanton itself isn't aiding photosynthesis, so I'm thinking it's the phosphate in the phyto water that's causing an increase in photosynthesis (much like adding CO2 does). 

 

Pearling isn't just equated to O2 production (and CO2 consumption), but also to growth.  So my theory is that if low nutrients are limiting growth, the introduction of ferts/nutrients will increase growth (and therefore, increase pearling).  IDK, kind of speculating here a little bit.

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Weetabix7
9 hours ago, seabass said:

Well yes, it's consuming CO2 and producing O2 due to photosynthesis.  But you've noticed that dosing phyto can lead to pearling (or increased pearling).  Obviously the phytoplanton itself isn't aiding photosynthesis, so I'm thinking it's the phosphate in the phyto water that's causing an increase in photosynthesis (much like adding CO2 does). 

 

Pearling isn't just equated to O2 production (and CO2 consumption), but also to growth.  So my theory is that if low nutrients are limiting growth, the introduction of ferts/nutrients will increase growth (and therefore, increase pearling).  IDK, kind of speculating here a little bit.

 

I see.

You were equating increased pearling to increased nutrients in the water (from phosphate in the phyto water).

I was equating increased pearling to even more photosynthesis happening by the phyto in addition to the already present Macro. 

At any rate, a simple phospate test of your tankwater should answer your question of whether or not too much phosphate was added in the phyto water.

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seabass

Hmm... I didn't consider the phytoplankton itself pearling.  I suppose that any phyto actually on the macro might contribute some, but I wouldn't think it would be noticeable.  Oh well. *shrug* :)

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seabass

So this morning, the tank tested at 57ppb phosphorus (0.17ppm phosphate).  I'll test it again towards the end of the light cycle.

 

I thought about trying to test my phyto culture, but it's so dense green that I can't imagine it working in a Hanna Checker.  Maybe someday I will check my tank before and after I dose phyto.

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Weetabix7
55 minutes ago, seabass said:

So this morning, the tank tested at 57ppb phosphorus (0.17ppm phosphate).  I'll test it again towards the end of the light cycle.

 

I thought about trying to test my phyto culture, but it's so dense green that I can't imagine it working in a Hanna Checker.  Maybe someday I will check my tank before and after I dose phyto.

 

Hmmm.

I'm very interested to see what the result is at the end of the day. 

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seabass

Tonight: Phosphorus 5ppb (0.015ppm phosphate) - perfect.  I suspect that it will be undetectable tomorrow. :(

 

It's amazing how quickly the macros consumed the phosphate.  After I dosed the Miracle-Gro, I had visions of cyano all over the place.

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Weetabix7
9 minutes ago, seabass said:

Tonight: Phosphorus 5ppb (0.015ppm phosphate) - perfect.  I suspect that it will be undetectable tomorrow. :(

 

It's amazing how quickly the macros consumed the phosphate.  After I dosed the Miracle-Gro, I had visions of cyano all over the place.

 

Pretty wild, huh?

This is why I have to feed my tank. 

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seabass

Yeah, GFO has nothing on macroalgae (algae is cheaper too).

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Squared

What about fish? That's how I kept my macros fed lol. My angel and puffer ate sooo much.

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seabass

Yeah, I still need to think about fish.  I was considering a Royal Gramma, Blue Reef Chromis, or Chalk Bass. However, I'm probably leaning more towards Masked Gobies.

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seabass

I tested phosphate today; and as I expected, it was undetectable.  However, I've decided to try to source some cleaner sources of nitrate and phosphate for dosing.  But I will be dosing nitrate and phosphate.

 

Yesterday I picked up a package at the post office, from John at Reef Cleaners.  I actually messed up and mistyped my address (substituted a 9 for a 0) and the package was undeliverable.  I saw that on the tracking info, so I called the automated USPS number to let them know I'd pick it up when they opened the next day.  So two day shipping became three. :mellow:  I was kind of scared what I might find when I opened the package.  I imagined a stench coming from the box.

 

Anyway, I opened the box and found it pretty much normal (as you might expect a next day air shipment).  I got Caulerpa paspaloides (palm caulerpa), four blue leg hermit crabs (and some empty shells), and a bag of Pods+ (I used dry rock and sand, so no pod life to speak of).  All four of the hermit were alive, the pods were fine, and the caulerpa looks like it will make it.  Another positive experience with a Reef Cleaners order.  John does a great job, and I'm glad he's around for us.

 

062417a.jpg

Packages of pods and caulerpa (I didn't take pics of the crabs and shells, but I'm sure you can imagine).

 

062417b.jpg

Pods.

 

062417c.jpg

The new caulerpa (before the lights came on), with my fighting conch snail in the foreground.

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seabass

@Weetabix7 was kind enough to forward me this link: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=653143&page=2

 

It got me thinking that besides the dosage, Miracle-Gro is probably a poor choice strictly based on the ingredients and proportions.  I already own an alternative (Micro Algae Grow from Florida Aqua Farms), I dosed 0.1 ml of it today.

 

However, in the future, I plan on separately dosing iron, nitrate, phosphate, calcium, and magnesium.  Seachem has the Flourish line of products which includes:

  • Flourish Nitrogen (derived from potassium nitrate, urea)

  • Flourish Phosphorus (derived from potassium phosphate)

But instead of Flourish, I plan on ordering the following from aquariumfertilizer.com:

I also ordered Brightwell Aquatics Ferrion (iron).  I'll use BRS two part for calcium, magnesium, and alkalinity if needed.

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seabass

So I haven't been running any filtration in this tank.  There's a HOB filter on it for flow, but it doesn't have any media in it.  Anyway, a couple of days before I got the macroalgae, the water got a little cloudy.  It looks a little like a bacterial bloom.  I suppose that it is.  Could also be another RFA spawning event.  I really don't need anymore RFA babies, so I'm kind of rooting for bacterial bloom. :lol:

 

I plan on doing some overdue maintenance on this tank this week.  It  should help with the cloudiness.  Maybe I'll even put in a filter cartridge. ;)

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Weetabix7
36 minutes ago, seabass said:

So I haven't been running any filtration in this tank.  There's a HOB filter on it for flow, but it doesn't have any media in it.  Anyway, a couple of days before I got the macroalgae, the water got a little cloudy.  It looks a little like a bacterial bloom.  I suppose that it is.  Could also be another RFA spawning event.  I really don't need anymore RFA babies, so I'm kind of rooting for bacterial bloom. :lol:

 

I plan on doing some overdue maintenance on this tank this week.  It  should help with the cloudiness.  Maybe I'll even put in a filter cartridge. ;)

 

The only media I use is carbon, which I do change regularly. 

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GregEmmitte

@seabass check out AlgaeBarn.com. You can get pods 10,000 at a time lol

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seabass

I appreciate the link Greg!  That's a lot of pods. :wacko:

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GregEmmitte

Yea I started using them after I lost my first mandarin. Wanted to be sure my next mandarin never ran out of food. 

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Lula_Mae
On 6/22/2017 at 10:51 AM, seabass said:

So here are my thoughts for this tank.  I plan on establishing the macros before adding any coral (getting used to balancing the nutrients).  I'm not too concerned about the RFAs, as they have put up with my seagrass tank,

100511a.jpg

a massive invasion of hair algae,

012316a.jpg

plus bouts of cyano, flatworms, etc, etc.

 

*Mind wandering*  Anyway, back to the plan.  It might be quite some time before I add any coral.  Then I'd like to try a gorgonian or two.  And then finally, I'd like to try a sponge or two.  I'm in no hurry; plus, I'm a bit reluctant to try to juggle everything all at once.

I once saw a purple angular sea whip similar to the one KPA sells in a LFS and thought it was gorgeous.  Recommending it as a gorg to try eventually (I have yet to own one myself so take that for what you will lol).

 

I like the tank, but then I may be partial to macros. :happy:

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seabass
17 minutes ago, Lula_Mae said:

I once saw a purple angular sea whip similar to the one KPA sells in a LFS and thought it was gorgeous.  Recommending it as a gorg to try eventually

Thanks for following along, and for the suggestion.  I would love to try one!  I'll have to keep that in mind when I'm ready.  But that probably won't be for awhile.  I can't wait, but I feel that I have to.

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Lula_Mae
2 minutes ago, seabass said:

Thanks for following along, and for the suggestion.  I would love to try one!  I'll have to keep that in mind when I'm ready.  But that probably won't be for awhile.  I can't wait, but I feel that I have to.

Yeah I have to wait until I get a bigger tank to try out all the things I want to since 5.5 gallons isn't a lot of water lol.  But practicing patience builds character, right? :lol:

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