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CarolinaShoreReef

CSR’s Lucky Lagoon 25 - Month 8

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Forgot the ATO off yesterday when doing my drip acclimation. Tank’s back up to 1.025.. guess that’s one way to do it. 

 

Tiki and Bar are loving their new mansion lol. 

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Glad everything is working out 

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Finally all caught up.  Lucky??  No kidding!  What a sweet setup.

 

I was actually going to ask about your GFO reactor.  How does it fit?  Do you like it?  Your phosphate level is on point.  The tank looks pristine in your pics, and look at that white sand!  No algae or cyano?  I don't run a reactor, just some media in the back filter caddies, but wonder if I need to step it up as I am showing some green hair algae that I never had before, and my corals are a touch more brown than I like.  I don't mind the tiny little tufts of algae for the CUC and angel to nibble, but don't want it to escalate!!

 

This hobby is so expensive, and I can't bring myself to dish out for a Hanna checker for phosphate, so I am going to use a friend's to check and get a baseline... and I am going to order the Red Sea Phosphate Pro test kit and compare.  I've seen mixed reviews on phosphate tests at best, so, meh.  At least I can offer another review!

 

How do you like that stand? And did I read that you are a beginner in the hobby? Can't be true.

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35 minutes ago, sugar said:

Finally all caught up.  Lucky??  No kidding!  What a sweet setup.

 

I was actually going to ask about your GFO reactor.  How does it fit?  Do you like it?  Your phosphate level is on point.  The tank looks pristine in your pics, and look at that white sand!  No algae or cyano?  I don't run a reactor, just some media in the back filter caddies, but wonder if I need to step it up as I am showing some green hair algae that I never had before, and my corals are a touch more brown than I like.  I don't mind the tiny little tufts of algae for the CUC and angel to nibble, but don't want it to escalate!!

 

This hobby is so expensive, and I can't bring myself to dish out for a Hanna checker for phosphate, so I am going to use a friend's to check and get a baseline... and I am going to order the Red Sea Phosphate Pro test kit and compare.  I've seen mixed reviews on phosphate tests at best, so, meh.  At least I can offer another review!

 

How do you like that stand? And did I read that you are a beginner in the hobby? Can't be true.

Haha thank you, it’s a treasure box for sure. 

 

The GFO reactor fits really well and I can’t really tell you about it’s performance yet, as the tank was taken down from my lfs and set up here. They did infrequent water changes and had cyano in it. When I moved it, I swapped out the sand bed, that’s the only reason it’s so clean because it’s only been a week haha. I just added my fish from my 5g so we’ll see how the bioload is affected. 

 

Yeah the guys at the LFS convinced me not go with Hanna checkers. I’ll be slowly getting a mix of the above mentioned brands and parameters, starting with PO4. But I though the Hanna and RS pro were within a couple dollars of each other? Is there something else you need to buy with the checker, I thought it came with the reactants? 

 

I love the stand!! It was included and I could t believe it. Yes, I’m only at month four of being in the sw hobby. I’m going as slow as I can but I take as many opportunities as I can! 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, CarolinaShoreReef said:

Haha thank you, it’s a treasure box for sure. 

 

The GFO reactor fits really well and I can’t really tell you about it’s performance yet, as the tank was taken down from my lfs and set up here. They did infrequent water changes and had cyano in it. When I moved it, I swapped out the sand bed, that’s the only reason it’s so clean because it’s only been a week haha. I just added my fish from my 5g so we’ll see how the bioload is affected. 

 

Yeah the guys at the LFS convinced me not go with Hanna checkers. I’ll be slowly getting a mix of the above mentioned brands and parameters, starting with PO4. But I though the Hanna and RS pro were within a couple dollars of each other? Is there something else you need to buy with the checker, I thought it came with the reactants? 

 

I love the stand!! It was included and I could t believe it. Yes, I’m only at month four of being in the sw hobby. I’m going as slow as I can but I take as many opportunities as I can! 

 

 

Ah!  That's why the sand looks so good!!  Make sure you keep up with vacuuming :) I was slack with maintenance and then it bit me in the butt after a few months. 

 

As for testing... the Hanna checker for me in Canada is ~$81... 15% tax in NB, lol.  The checker comes with 6 reagents, meaning 6 tests AFAIK.  I would need to purchase more reagents at the rate of 25 for ~$18.  It ain't cheap, though people seem to swear by them and won't use anything else.  The RS Phos Pro test kit, which claims to have 100 tests per kit, would be ~$40.  That's my kind of price point.  I hope the RS will come within its claimed accuracy and range... if it does, it'll serve it's purposes for me just fine.  I run a "high nutrient" system so I really just need an idea, more or less. 

 

I use a mix of API, Salifert and Red Sea kits.  They all have pros/cons!  I love API Nitrate for quick checks.  Salifert for alk, calc and mag because I love titration tests. 

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7 minutes ago, sugar said:

Ah!  That's why the sand looks so good!!  Make sure you keep up with vacuuming :) I was slack with maintenance and then it bit me in the butt after a few months. 

 

As for testing... the Hanna checker for me in Canada is ~$81... 15% tax in NB, lol.  The checker comes with 6 reagents, meaning 6 tests AFAIK.  I would need to purchase more reagents at the rate of 25 for ~$18.  It ain't cheap, though people seem to swear by them and won't use anything else.  The RS Phos Pro test kit, which claims to have 100 tests per kit, would be ~$40.  That's my kind of price point.  I hope the RS will come within its claimed accuracy and range... if it does, it'll serve it's purposes for me just fine.  I run a "high nutrient" system so I really just need an idea, more or less. 

 

I use a mix of API, Salifert and Red Sea kits.  They all have pros/cons!  I love API Nitrate for quick checks.  Salifert for alk, calc and mag because I love titration tests. 

So do you actually vacuum your sand or just skim it’s surface? I’ve seen people do both. The guys at the LFS I go to just skim theirs (personal tanks) and that’s what I’ve been doing for my 5g too. Haven’t had nutrient problems with it either. Just get some ugly greens and purples growing in the middle of the bed but I don’t worry about it too much. 

 

Ah I forgot you’re in CA. The guys at LFS swear by th RS pro. 

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11 minutes ago, CarolinaShoreReef said:

So do you actually vacuum your sand or just skim it’s surface? I’ve seen people do both. The guys at the LFS I go to just skim theirs (personal tanks) and that’s what I’ve been doing for my 5g too. Haven’t had nutrient problems with it either. Just get some ugly greens and purples growing in the middle of the bed but I don’t worry about it too much. 

 

Ah I forgot you’re in CA. The guys at LFS swear by th RS pro. 

Oh I vacuum my sand thoroughly.  I use a standard gravel cleaner you would get for a freshwater tank.  The tube is small enough to get between and around corals and rocks.  I have a shallow sand bed, but on average 1 inch or so.  Some places a bit more, some less due to the clowns kicking it up!!  It takes a bit of practice getting a good technique for siphoning sand of detritus, but not actually removing any sand.  I do get right in there.

 

In deep sand beds you DO NOT disturb the sand, but only the top as you've described, otherwise you defeat the purpose of DSBs if I recall.  Though with shallow sand, which I prefer, you may find you need to keep it clean.  When I said I was slacking on maintenance, I got to a point where I was only cleaning the surface of the sand (or not at all some weeks) and I was not blowing/blasting the rocks of detritus, and failed to clean the back chambers.  Sooo... just be careful, and if you notice nutrients creeping up or any sign of cyano and/or algae, you will want to step up the maintenance and water changes.  It really makes all of the difference, and got me out of a real mess I had put my tank in last year.  Haha...

 

Not trying to lecture you whatsoever!  You seem to be doing GREAT.  You're leaps ahead of me when I was at your stage in the hobby.  Just keep it in the back of your mind should you ever develop some algae and run out of ideas :) 

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4 minutes ago, sugar said:

Oh I vacuum my sand thoroughly.  I use a standard gravel cleaner you would get for a freshwater tank.  The tube is small enough to get between and around corals and rocks.  I have a shallow sand bed, but on average 1 inch or so.  Some places a bit more, some less due to the clowns kicking it up!!  It takes a bit of practice getting a good technique for siphoning sand of detritus, but not actually removing any sand.  I do get right in there.

 

In deep sand beds you DO NOT disturb the sand, but only the top as you've described, otherwise you defeat the purpose of DSBs if I recall.  Though with shallow sand, which I prefer, you may find you need to keep it clean.  When I said I was slacking on maintenance, I got to a point where I was only cleaning the surface of the sand (or not at all some weeks) and I was not blowing/blasting the rocks of detritus, and failed to clean the back chambers.  Sooo... just be careful, and if you notice nutrients creeping up or any sign of cyano and/or algae, you will want to step up the maintenance and water changes.  It really makes all of the difference, and got me out of a real mess I had put my tank in last year.  Haha...

 

Not trying to lecture you whatsoever!  You seem to be doing GREAT.  You're leaps ahead of me when I was at your stage in the hobby.  Just keep it in the back of your mind should you ever develop some algae and run out of ideas :) 

Okay awesome I’ve seen more people on here vacuum the bed thoroughly too. I’ll be doing that as well. I’ve got about 2” all around since I plan on keeping a leopard wrasse too. 

 

I usually clean the back chambers as well. I just need to put the pond matrix into a bag when I do a wc for easy rinsing and cleaning. 

 

I dont mind it all! I learn from it and I’m lectured at Monday through Friday at school so I’m used to it haha! ?

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Keep an eye on any wrasse you get.. Polarcollision had a leopard and it became aggressive enough she had to remove it from her 24. They do get large so can end up with an attitude in such a small tank. 

 

I was thinking about wrasses but will be going another direction after seeing polars trouble. Some people get lucky though. 

 

Glad the clowns are enjoying the upgrade. After having clowns in bigger tanks I will never put them in anything smaller than a 15g again. 

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4 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

Keep an eye on any wrasse you get.. Polarcollision had a leopard and it became aggressive enough she had to remove it from her 24. They do get large so can end up with an attitude in such a small tank. 

 

I was thinking about wrasses but will be going another direction after seeing polars trouble. Some people get lucky though. 

 

Glad the clowns are enjoying the upgrade. After having clowns in bigger tanks I will never put them in anything smaller than a 15g again. 

I will have to watch out for it. I’ll read that thread as well. I’m thinking of getting a yellow coris wrasse to eat the nudi and then trade it in after a while but idk. I have no idea how to go about treating the nudi in this tank because everything is grown over the rocks? 

 

Yep my intentions were always to put them in a larger tank within a year and I didn’t want to get a pair at first for the tank, but the one I really wanted was a pair so I got them to sort of force me to upgrade tanks lol. I’m glad everything has worked out well so far! ?

 

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1 hour ago, CarolinaShoreReef said:

 I’m thinking of getting a yellow coris wrasse

I absolutely loved my yellow Coris wrasse 

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I’m going to start taking back to the LFS a bunch of the zoas/palys on rock plugs that I can remove. I’ll fill in those locations with LPS like acans and chalices and who knows what else. 

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I actually really liked the zoas, but acans and chalices are cool too

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15 minutes ago, Livia said:

I actually really liked the zoas, but acans and chalices are cool too

I’m just giving back the ones with brown and black colors. The fruit loops and other colorful ones I’m going keep, otherwise this tank will look a lot like my 5g one as far as colors and corals go. I also have nudi so I’m leaving a few colonies of those colors because I’d rather they eat those than the fruitloops haha. 

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I’m playing no more games here. Lol had this lying around, as my dad stopped using it. Going to get it mounted soon to watch the tank while I’m at the library those long long nights. I can also talk to my fish from anywhere in the world... ? 

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Siblings just sent me a pic of the tank. Notice how the RBTA walked like 8” in just a few hours to photo bomb the pic. ?

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Is he going to bother them? 

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RBTA wasn’t interested in the euphyllia. 

 

Does anyone one know what kind of RBTA this is? The guys at the LFS said it was a really pretty one that got ticked off when one of them did a wc and forgot the ATO on and you know the rest.. that’s why some of the coral have a bit of die off too. I was just wondering because I can’t find any that look like this. 

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Im guessing it’s like this but with really retracted tentacles? Been like this for months now before I picked up the tank. 

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I’ll be moving out all of the corals I care about from the 5g into the lagoon now, pretty much just the tongue and duncan lol. Done taking big risks on that one. It’s going low maintenance now with just softies in there, the one candy cane and the beautiful gorgonian. 

 

I also just did a live feeding again! 

 

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