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ReeferND

30l Build

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billygoat

Sorry to hear about the blenny. 5 inches is a pretty good size; it's possible he just got old. But it sounds from your description of his behavior that he may have had an internal parasite or some similar condition that ended up starving him out. That's the thing with fish; a lot of the time you just never really know what happens to them, and that can be pretty vexing. 😓

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ReeferND

@billygoat Yeah, it's never easy to see something you care for die. I have a UV sterilizer on the tank in the hope to avoid any parasites, it has been on since day 1. I always have to remind myself of the countless fish that die in LFS around the world. At least I gave Benny a solid 7 months of a good life (I hope anyway) as opposed to just dying at the store. My LFS are awesome guys and great reefers but they are constantly getting new orders in and I know there is no way they are selling that many fish in my small town. I am probably fooling myself but it helps me sleep. 

 

Anyway, enough whining,  I have a legit question for anyone reading...... I have an algae problem. Pretty sure it is just green hair algae. Its red under my lights but green when I turn lights on or take some out of the tank. Most of it is in the "sump" of the tank but I do have some on the rocks too. Benny never ate the stuff, he (from day 1) always just ate the pellet and mysis I fed the other fish. GFO didn't work and I hate running gfo for very long. I would prefer a natural way....like a fish. Any suggestions besides algae blenny

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billygoat
15 hours ago, ReeferND said:

@billygoat Yeah, it's never easy to see something you care for die. I have a UV sterilizer on the tank in the hope to avoid any parasites, it has been on since day 1. I always have to remind myself of the countless fish that die in LFS around the world. At least I gave Benny a solid 7 months of a good life (I hope anyway) as opposed to just dying at the store. My LFS are awesome guys and great reefers but they are constantly getting new orders in and I know there is no way they are selling that many fish in my small town. I am probably fooling myself but it helps me sleep. 

 

Anyway, enough whining,  I have a legit question for anyone reading...... I have an algae problem. Pretty sure it is just green hair algae. Its red under my lights but green when I turn lights on or take some out of the tank. Most of it is in the "sump" of the tank but I do have some on the rocks too. Benny never ate the stuff, he (from day 1) always just ate the pellet and mysis I fed the other fish. GFO didn't work and I hate running gfo for very long. I would prefer a natural way....like a fish. Any suggestions besides algae blenny

I know just how you feel about all the fish languishing in little cubes in LFS all around the world. I really do feel bad for them, especially since so many of them are cared for by people who know very little about their individual needs and probably would not have the resources to meet those needs even if they did know. But I like to think that we hobbyists are at least helping out by taking what few of those fish we can and trying to give them a better life after all they have been through. 😞

 

Of course, it's also true that if it wasn't for us and the demand we create, LFS in general wouldn't even be a thing... so there's certainly a lot to think about there. 🤔

 

As for the algae, hermit crabs and emerald crabs can be great for eating hair algae. Certain larger snails (Turbo, Trochus, etc.) will also plow through the stuff, though many other snails will probably not be very interested. Sea urchins are also great for removing hair algae, but can also bulldoze your rockwork unless everything is very firmly glued together. If you go for an urchin I recommend one that will stay small, like a tuxedo urchin if you can find one.

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ReeferND

@billygoat thanks for the suggestions!! I would like to avoid hermit crabs as they (in my last tank) just started eating all my snails 🤣. I think I am going to up my CUC game here and see if that doesn't help. I am thinking trochus snails but my lfs will probably only have turbo but that's cool. I really love urchins but the vast majority of my corals are not fixed in place yet. So bull in a China store situation there I think. But perhaps I will get some small ones, let them feed for a couple months, then take them back. I will gladly pay 30 bucks for the algae to be gone even if that means not having a permanent resident in the tank. 

 

Tank is doing awesome. All corals are attaching to the rock work (now my headache begins with controlling these buggers). All have grown, my torch is doing something wierd though.....see picture. It feels really hard, like skeleton. Will they do this to attach themselves? What I am referring too is the white, almost slime looking, masses on the left of the two headed branch and the right of the single headed branch. Again, the are very hard. I would need a knife to actually brake them away. Thoughts?

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ReeferND

Hey everyone, quick update. I have decided for the moment not to get any new fish. I think in this young system, 3 should be good until I really hit that stable environment. Everything is doing amazing, corals are encrusting their plugs and everyone seems happy. Other fish are still eating like pigs and have no signs of illness. This has lead me to believe that algae blennys are just delicate in terms of their diet. There was lots of food for it to eat and it did not. Darwin award was handed out.

 

I am truly considering getting a Facebook page to let the guys and gals at BRS know that their 4 month cycle really works! I wish I would've done this the first time...noob.  For a new tank, it just seems incredibly stable compared to my friend's tanks that rushed it. All of them are struggling with this and that and are envious of how easy I have it. 4 months for corals is a long time (I actually got closer to 5 months before corals) but it seems to be paying off. 

 

So, I know this will be looked down upon by some but hey it's my tank.....does anyone know of where to find or have some gsp? I really want the back wall to be apart of the tank and I love the gsp walls. I am aware of the risks but it looks awesome and I want to do it. My LFS never has it, my go to online shops never have it. I would like quite a bit of it but just cant find it. Any help would be awesome!!

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ReeferND

Hey everyone. Been gone for a while but decided to give those of you still following an update. Tank is doing good. I still have some algae/cyano issues but they can be delt with/are natural just a bit too much for my liking. I do have a question though. I have some things growing in the sump of the tank. They are white, about the size of a qtip head and have an array or 4 or 5 tentacle looking things coming off of them. I have been watching them for a while now and they haven't changed, so I dont think they are larvae or anything. From my research i think they are pineapple sponges. Can anyone confirm. See the two middle pictures below.

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mitten_reef

white stuff = pineapple sponge.

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billygoat
1 hour ago, ReeferND said:

I do have a question though. I have some things growing in the sump of the tank. They are white, about the size of a qtip head and have an array or 4 or 5 tentacle looking things coming off of them. I have been watching them for a while now and they haven't changed, so I dont think they are larvae or anything. From my research i think they are pineapple sponges. Can anyone confirm. See the two middle pictures below.

Yep, definitely pineapple sponges! Completely harmless, nothing to worry about. 😊 The only problem I've run into with them is when they start to grow inside of the float sensor for my ATO. Once they get big enough they start to interfere with the movement of the sensor, but it takes a long time for them to accumulate and it's easy enough to scrape them off.

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ReeferND

@mitten_reef @billygoatthanks for the confirmation. I really appreciate it. Would you consider their presence a sign of a young, healthy tank or are they the result of high nutrients, etc?

 

I just check all params:

alk=9.0

calc=455

Mag=1400

Ammon=0

Nitrite=0

Nitrate=2

Phos=0.03ish (gotta love the salifert test)

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billygoat
6 minutes ago, ReeferND said:

@mitten_reef @billygoatthanks for the confirmation. I really appreciate it. Would you consider their presence a sign of a young, healthy tank or are they the result of high nutrients, etc?

Pineapple sponges are super common in all sorts of home aquariums. They are passive filter feeders that grow in shaded areas and subsist on whatever detritus and other material is present in the water column. As far as I know their presence is not associated with any nutrient problem, and they are nothing at all to worry about unless they grow in such a way that they begin to block equipment.

 

I have a ton of these sponges growing in my sump chambers and prefer to just let them do their thing. As long as your critters are doing no harm, more biodiversity is almost always a good thing. 😊

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ReeferND

@billygoatyou know every now and then it is awesome to have something popup that doesn't do any harm. These early tanks are just stressful, so everytime you see something new you assume it must be bad cuz nothing is stable. I couldn't agree more about diversity too. Ecological complexity is very difficult in a glass box with 20ish gallons of water. I love the idea of having sponges too. They filter a ton of water and in many ecosystems are indicators of water quality. They are starting to plug my return pump though, so some of them are meeting their poriferan creator tomorrow 😀

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ReeferND

Well....this is going to be fun! I have dinos, yyyaaaa. I have been dosing dr Tim's waste away and one and only. Plus doing a h2o2 regiment of 1ml/10gal every 12 hours for 2 days now. Not much change. I know those are kinda working against each other but I give many hours between bacteria and peroxide doses. Peroxide shouldn't remain in the water for long. Everything is fine with me doing it. I was a bit worried but only the zoas close after dosing and only stay closed for about 10 minutes. If this doesn't work, I will continue dosing the dr Tim's and switch to dino x. Gotta love this hobby!

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ReeferND

Well, the 3 day blackout did nothing. If anything it made it worse. FYI, be careful dosing Dr. Tim's waste away. I had been using an older bottle to slowly ramp up the dosage over a week (in prep for this fight), I got it to where I could dose 4 caps without any ill effect. I ordered a new bottle because mine was running out and dosed 4 capfuls......holy ****. pH dropped from 8.27 to 7.65 in like 30 minutes. My old bottle must not have been healthy bacteria. Was pretty scary and caused me to not get a wink of sleep that night.

 

Each day of the blackout I dosed bacteria. The first day was an entire bottle of bio spira and a dose of waste away (the 4 capful episode). The next 2, I dosed 5ml of microbacter7 and 1 capful of waste away (still dropped pH by about .5 to .7). I took the tank wrapping off today and yeah it got worse. The stuff on the sand had receded abit but the stuff on the rocks just took off. So here is my dilemma, the reason I have dino is an ecological imbalance in the system. I do have some bubble algae and turf algae but very little. I need to find a way to make this system more sound. So, I am going to be ordering a ton of pods, continue to dose microbacter7 every day or so and waste away 1 time a week. I will be (let me hear it) dosing dino x starting Wednesday. Again, I know this isn't the cure but my corals are starting to show signs of stress and anything that can potentially help me get rid of them before I lose everything is worth it to me. Hopefully it will work and then I can continue building my ecosystem. I am really considering adding an algae reactor to the tank after the dino x treatment. 

 

Man, what I wouldn't give to have cyano and gha! This is going to be the fight of my life.

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billygoat
28 minutes ago, ReeferND said:

Man, what I wouldn't give to have cyano and gha! This is going to be the fight of my life.

You certainly did get the worst of the bunch. 😞 But it sounds like you have a plan to move forward and that is much better than just trying things willy-nilly. Good luck! I'll be rooting for you.

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VaporCountry
23 hours ago, ReeferND said:

Well, the 3 day blackout did nothing. If anything it made it worse. FYI, be careful dosing Dr. Tim's waste away. I had been using an older bottle to slowly ramp up the dosage over a week (in prep for this fight), I got it to where I could dose 4 caps without any ill effect. I ordered a new bottle because mine was running out and dosed 4 capfuls......holy ****. pH dropped from 8.27 to 7.65 in like 30 minutes. My old bottle must not have been healthy bacteria. Was pretty scary and caused me to not get a wink of sleep that night.

 

Each day of the blackout I dosed bacteria. The first day was an entire bottle of bio spira and a dose of waste away (the 4 capful episode). The next 2, I dosed 5ml of microbacter7 and 1 capful of waste away (still dropped pH by about .5 to .7). I took the tank wrapping off today and yeah it got worse. The stuff on the sand had receded abit but the stuff on the rocks just took off. So here is my dilemma, the reason I have dino is an ecological imbalance in the system. I do have some bubble algae and turf algae but very little. I need to find a way to make this system more sound. So, I am going to be ordering a ton of pods, continue to dose microbacter7 every day or so and waste away 1 time a week. I will be (let me hear it) dosing dino x starting Wednesday. Again, I know this isn't the cure but my corals are starting to show signs of stress and anything that can potentially help me get rid of them before I lose everything is worth it to me. Hopefully it will work and then I can continue building my ecosystem. I am really considering adding an algae reactor to the tank after the dino x treatment. 

 

Man, what I wouldn't give to have cyano and gha! This is going to be the fight of my life.

I had a small outbreak of what I'm pretty sure was dinos. I picked up the innovative marine UV sterilizer, installed it and they went away. It may be worth a try.

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ReeferND

@VaporCountry I have one and have had it installed on the tank since day 1. I am actually considering getting a 25w pentair sterilizer for the tank. I will eventually want a larger tank and it would also work for that tank so it wouldn't be a waste of money in that aspect. I did order some nitrate and phos from brightwell, I am going to be dosing dino x and increasing nutrients. This has worked for many people so I am hopeful. I really cleaned the tank the other day, sucked out dinos and brushed rock. It certainly hasn't come back with avengence yet. But my system is running zero nitrates and zero phos, so not ideal. This is where I get kinda confused....I know my system has nit and phos but is being obsorbed by biomass. You know at the end of the day, this is a new tank it's just not stable enough. More nutrients, a big uv, a product to hopefully help me a bit, and time are probably my best options. I really hope it works....I am NOT tearing down this tank! I will win.....just maybe some tears along the way. Fish, inverts are happy and eating. Most corals look ok. I know what kind of dinos I have and they dont release many toxins....until they die...BRS is gonna get rich with all the carbon I am buying 😁

 

All that being said, if anyone has suggestions like @VaporCountry i greatly appreciate them!

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Wonderboy

Nutrients and biodiversity is the key - phyto alone can produce the surplus nutrients necessary for other organisms to thrive by both dying and growing in your system. I would suggest dosing too much phyto (grow it if possible) regularly, immediately. You could use those bottled nutrients to make a couple cultures. Check out page of 5 @Joevember's pico - he had a similar issue. I wouldn't worry very much - turn it green and watch the stupid, simple lifeforms die lol (or be eaten).

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mcarroll
On 8/15/2019 at 12:30 AM, ReeferND said:

Nitrate=2

Phos=0.03ish

Even as far back as August I didn't see any pictures that showed anything but very bare-looking rock and sand.  I couldn't see the algae mentioned.

 

Also, the test numbers you posted never indicated any excessive nutrient issues.

On 8/21/2019 at 1:14 AM, ReeferND said:

Well....this is going to be fun! I have dinos, yyyaaaa. I have been dosing dr Tim's waste away and one and only. Plus doing a h2o2 regiment of 1ml/10gal every 12 hours for 2 days now. Not much change. I know those are kinda working against each other but I give many hours between bacteria and peroxide doses. Peroxide shouldn't remain in the water for long. Everything is fine with me doing it. I was a bit worried but only the zoas close after dosing and only stay closed for about 10 minutes. If this doesn't work, I will continue dosing the dr Tim's and switch to dino x.

In spite of the evidence, you're hitting the tank with GFO, bacterial treatments, hydrogen peroxide and worrying about algae...

...which are the kinds of things that ultimately caused the tank reboot...

...and what has now caused a dino bloom.

 

To put it in a nutshell, dino's are triggered into a lifestyle-switch by phosphate starvation.  Normally they're a very anonymous, phtosynthetic macroalgae epiphyte, not unlike many diatoms we see in microscope shots of green algae.

 

In the short term to stop the progression of dino's and limit damage:

  • lose the GFO
  • lose the bacterial treatments
  • cease water changes
  • stop anything else you're doing to limit or remove nutrients  
  • feed your fish the right amount -- no less

What's the cleanup crew like right now?   

 

Any sign of copepods and amphipods?  How are they acting?

 

IMPORTANT:  If the cleanup crew or your pods are sluggish/missing, then you'll want to start running activated carbon to remove dino toxins.

 

Also in that case you'll want to immediately raise phosphates to >0.10 ppm and nitrates to at least 5-10 ppm to stop the dino bloom (and it's side effects) as quickly as possible.  Actively maintain those levels via testing and dosing until signs of dino blooming have disappeared.

 

Can you post a new full tank picture? 

 

Also please post a few detail shots of the algae growth the tank has right now -- dinos and anything else still growing.

 

Flow off and daylights (or camera flash) on for the pics if at all possible.  🙂 

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ReeferND

@mcarroll thanks so much for the reply, I really appreciate it! You are right about my aggressive treatment. There are so many posts about what to do with dinos and many people saying "just tear it down, its over". This time around, i am not going to do that. I did pull the GFO a week or so ago, will probably never use gfo again, it has caused me nothing but trouble. I purchased brightwell neonitro and neophos about a week ago and have been keeping nitrates at 5 and phos at 0.1ish. Thinking of maybe raising that a bit. Dinox, in conjunction with the above treatment, has been working very well. I will post some pictures tomorrow but short and simple is that the tank is turning green, I have algae growing (including some unsightly bubble alage) and I am excited about the algae. The dinos are gone from the glass and almost gone from the rocks. Still some remains on the sand but sand in those areas is also starting to turn green. So.....maybe moving in the right direction?

 

When the lights are on, the corals and fish look great. My cleanup crew is just exploding! The trochus snails are apparently mating and I have about 40 new snails in different stages of development all over the tank. The serpent star eats like a pig and is getting huge. So I dont see any problems with the CUC at all. I have never had many pods, but they are in there (plus worms and such when I shine the light on the tank at night).

 

I didn't see your post until after I dosed more bacteria this afternoon. Is there a reason why dosing bacteria is bad? I just assumed that if I was going to be killing the dino, that dosing bacteria would provide an organism to occupy that space.....I absolutely could be wrong.

 

I did my 3rd dose of dinox this afternoon. I am hoping to be done soon, and with the reduction I have seen so far, I should be. I will be keeping my nitrates at 5 and phos at around 0.03 for the remainder of this tanks life. 

 

Is there anything else i should be doing? I really appreciate the help! I love this hobby so much, just wanting some success....

 

Thanks again.

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mcarroll

I would probably even cut out the DinoX.  The idea is to let the tank achieve its own equilibrium as much as possible, with the minimum "help" from us possible. 

 

Adding bottles of bacteria isn't useful for a few reasons, not exclusive to: A) blooming dino's will use it directly as a food source, much like phyto B) bacteria were never in short supply to begin with so there's no actual "gap" and C) it does nothing to improve microbial diversity and might even hinder it by using up already-limited resources.

 

If you have any friends or stores that have really healthy reef tanks, get a scoop of detritus or sand from their tank along with some water and dump it directly in to your tank.  Detritus would be my first choice.

 

If you want things to buy that will help, add things like mysid shrimp, amphipods and copepods as well as new corals and fish....corals and fish both bring tons of healthy diversity into a tank (including nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria, at least for corals).

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ReeferND

@mcarroll thanks for all the advice! I actually dont live by any reef stores or other people that reef. Nearest one is 120 miles away. I live in the middle of no where 🙂 I just placed an order with algae barn for a ton of copepods and some shrimp. I will follow your advice and stop dosing bacteria and dinox. I definitely want to find an equilibrium! I am fine with letting the tank go ugly to find that equilibrium, regardless of the cost. When i first saw that i had dinos, i almost considered just letting it go...see what happens. Maybe i should've done that! Thanks again, and if you think of any thing else I could be doing please let me know! 

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ReeferND

@mcarroll sorry for the delay. I had a sick bat on my hands that needed some tlc. Here are some pictures. You can see that the brown (dino) has greatly disappeared and is being replaced by green cyano? Cant tell but its turning green. The rocks are starting to get really green, pretty striking against the purple coraline. I will post some more shots in a minute of the whole tank. The lights have been out for a while so the corals are closed but when lights are on, everyone is happy.

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ReeferND

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mcarroll

Is that pink/purple colored rock or coraline algae?  If that's coraline, it looks really healthy!  The greening is definitely a good sign!   Also, is that a nice patch of red cyano blooming out of the sand on the right-hand side?   Nice! 

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