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Xanthine

Xanthine's Biocube 16 - the journey continues

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billygoat
9 hours ago, Xanthine said:

This black stuff seems to offgas some sulfur compounds - almost threw up doing a water change, blech!

Sulfur compounds! That would have me a little bit worried. Definitely sounds like some extremely nasty stuff! 😬

 

Does that cyano grow anywhere other than your sandbed? I wonder if there is something in the sand that is feeding its growth, or if it's just a general water quality thing. 🤔

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Xanthine
On 11/17/2019 at 9:40 PM, billygoat said:

Does that cyano grow anywhere other than your sandbed?

I'd say it's 95% on the sandbed. The black smelly stringy junk is gone  - we're now onto a brown phase that is slow growing.

This brown kind doesn't smell as sulfury- more like that faint smell after doing fireworks vs pure sewer trash. 

I wish I had my old work Jerome analyzers to see how much H2S it was really putting off . (Reminded me of @Ratvan's office tank)

My theory is that it was from cyano that got buried under the sand instead of manually removed, then decayed when in a less aerobic environment.

 

Anyways - I feel like I'm just along for the ride with this cyano. The changing color morphs and behaviors are interesting to watch, and my corals aren't too bothered since it's just on sandbed. Never know what tomorrow will bring though. Maybe I'll get purple or orange next!

 

The other issue I need to sort out is the red turf algae / gelidium. It's really taking off again and I want to get it under control.

The manual dental pick route I've been doing for almost two years now off and on is just exhausting and not very effective.

The previous turbo snail did a great job of maintaining it , but since my corals/rocks aren't glued down I know I risk a bulldozing disaster. 

Online research is pushing me towards an urchin, but of course there is conflicting info on which species. Seems to be leading towards tuxedo. 

But I think I'll have the same issues, or even worse, as far as my unstable rocks/corals. Hrmmmm

Gelidium.thumb.jpg.5521067b01ca5ad1259a3c6422aaf045.jpg

 

And here's a FTS (after cyano manual removal this morning):

 

Nov242019.thumb.jpg.fc6b2e18286e6bc89a87507ce606ccc4.jpg

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Ratvan
15 hours ago, Xanthine said:

I'd say it's 95% on the sandbed. The black smelly stringy junk is gone  - we're now onto a brown phase that is slow growing.

This brown kind doesn't smell as sulfury- more like that faint smell after doing fireworks vs pure sewer trash. 

I wish I had my old work Jerome analyzers to see how much H2S it was really putting off . (Reminded me of @Ratvan's office tank)

My theory is that it was from cyano that got buried under the sand instead of manually removed, then decayed when in a less aerobic environment.

 

Anyways - I feel like I'm just along for the ride with this cyano. The changing color morphs and behaviors are interesting to watch, and my corals aren't too bothered since it's just on sandbed. Never know what tomorrow will bring though. Maybe I'll get purple or orange next!

 

The other issue I need to sort out is the red turf algae / gelidium. It's really taking off again and I want to get it under control.

The manual dental pick route I've been doing for almost two years now off and on is just exhausting and not very effective.

The previous turbo snail did a great job of maintaining it , but since my corals/rocks aren't glued down I know I risk a bulldozing disaster. 

Online research is pushing me towards an urchin, but of course there is conflicting info on which species. Seems to be leading towards tuxedo. 

But I think I'll have the same issues, or even worse, as far as my unstable rocks/corals. Hrmmmm

Gelidium.thumb.jpg.5521067b01ca5ad1259a3c6422aaf045.jpg

 

And here's a FTS (after cyano manual removal this morning):

 

Nov242019.thumb.jpg.fc6b2e18286e6bc89a87507ce606ccc4.jpg

It definitely would have been interesting to see, not sure how i feel about being known a the H2S tank Guy

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Xanthine

So I decided against the urchin for now. I have my hands in the tank way too much to have to worry about a ball of spikes moving around. 

Instead, I'm going to pick up another turbo snail next time I order some inverts.  

I'm planning on turning my 'problem' of having non-glued rockwork/corals and turn it into a positive.

Since nothing is glued, I can remove each of my 4 main rocks out one by one, and put them in my pico with the turbo to mow down the red turf.

 

Today I got 3 new corals - a rainbow monti, a 24K lepto, and a blood orange lepto, all from Tidal Gardens. I am in disbelief how fast I got polyp extension - it seriously came out of the dip and was ready to go!  I'm addicted to the various glow colors already. 

I also got a feather duster (well, they sent 3 actually!) - 100% because of seeing the worm photo of the month on the front page every time I load nano-reef.  

 

Nov2719.thumb.jpg.3db59114d909b3671d875e53d30e5c23.jpg

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Poodges

Nice additions! What's the blue coral in the top left of your FTS?

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Xanthine
13 minutes ago, Poodges said:

Nice additions! What's the blue coral in the top left of your FTS?

Thanks! It's a blue cespitularia from liveaquaria. It's a bit creepy with the hand-like appendages but that also makes it fun to watch. I will need to take a picture next time I do a water change - when it gets ticked off, it ties its arms up into knots like a pretzel - really bizarre!

 https://www.liveaquaria.com/product/2753/?pcatid=2753

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Poodges
52 minutes ago, Xanthine said:

Thanks! It's a blue cespitularia from liveaquaria. It's a bit creepy with the hand-like appendages but that also makes it fun to watch. I will need to take a picture next time I do a water change - when it gets ticked off, it ties its arms up into knots like a pretzel - really bizarre!

 https://www.liveaquaria.com/product/2753/?pcatid=2753

That’s what I thought it was.  I have a frag in my tank too. Mines kind of hidden but I wish it was more visible. Is it a fast grower for you?

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Xanthine
26 minutes ago, Poodges said:

Is it a fast grower for you?

Yes! Here's some pics from aug 24, sept 30 , oct 11, where the side-arm is visible, really shows the growth well. 

 

August24.jpg.4155bb52ef66077d0538bec49ac784e4.jpg1017576173_Sept30(2).thumb.jpg.eefc54f9da72a7c30f7595f5a78553b2.jpg1611604817_Oct11(2).thumb.jpg.5afcc0d19482bbd9e1318baedf0b7625.jpg

 

AND I found a super potato-quality pic of it doing the pretzel move! Although I think it's actually more challah bread vs pretzel...

 

pretzel.thumb.jpg.992bb6ea54d47c486ead36ffd8c9117b.jpg

 

Also - I am so in awe of all the gorgeous variety coral you have in your tank, just looked through your journal!! With a valentini even!

Mine is a straight up murderer, although less so now that I've been feeding her clams. I'm slowly adding in some frags of fast growing things like xenia and GSP - and probably some of this cespitularia if it keeps up this growth rate.

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Xanthine

Whelp - this was bound to happen at some point I suppose.

I think it may even be a reefer right of passage. 

RODI flood!

 

 Oops.jpg.9968c28d1b11e6a4bde078e4d2b5bfff.jpg

 

I thought I was being  super careful! I have it hooked up to a bathroom sink upstairs - the only faucet with threads - with the waste line down the sink.

The unit itself is upright, in a 5g bucket, in case of any fitting leaks. 

The RODI water is collected in 1 gallon milk jugs, which are inside of a 5g bucket, which are inside of the bathtub, in case I forget and leave the water on. 

I set timers for every 45 minutes, so I can change the milk jugs out when full-ish. 

So - the issue - instead of my usual fill method with the water line inside of a jug, I just had the line going into a 5g so I could do a water change later.

Well, without the jug holding the line in, apparently the line hopped out of the bucket, and out of the bathtub too. 

It was probably less than 1 gallon total (thank goodness I check every 45 minutes!), but enough to flood the bathroom and apparently seep down into the floor to the ceiling below. 

 

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billygoat

Oh no! That's certainly no good! I hope there isn't too much damage to your floor. 😥 Those RODI lines can kind of crawl around a bit when they are active, as the pressure turning on/off gradually pushes them around. But the fact that it jumped all the way out of your bathtub is pretty crazy!

 

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WV Reefer
On 11/27/2019 at 9:33 PM, Xanthine said:

Yes! Here's some pics from aug 24, sept 30 , oct 11, where the side-arm is visible, really shows the growth well. 

 

August24.jpg.4155bb52ef66077d0538bec49ac784e4.jpg1017576173_Sept30(2).thumb.jpg.eefc54f9da72a7c30f7595f5a78553b2.jpg1611604817_Oct11(2).thumb.jpg.5afcc0d19482bbd9e1318baedf0b7625.jpg

 

AND I found a super potato-quality pic of it doing the pretzel move! Although I think it's actually more challah bread vs pretzel...

 

pretzel.thumb.jpg.992bb6ea54d47c486ead36ffd8c9117b.jpg

 

Also - I am so in awe of all the gorgeous variety coral you have in your tank, just looked through your journal!! With a valentini even!

Mine is a straight up murderer, although less so now that I've been feeding her clams. I'm slowly adding in some frags of fast growing things like xenia and GSP - and probably some of this cespitularia if it keeps up this growth rate.

It will grow like a weed once it gets going. I have to pull mine out in clumps. 

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Xanthine

Fiddle fiddle fiddle. That's what I do. 

It started yesterday with a deep cleaning of the sand bed  (Remove, tap water rinse till clear, saltwater rinse).

Since that's where the cyano is, theoretically that's where the crud must be, despite even the 'dirty' water showing such low nitrates and phos.

Today I continued that work, then with half the sand out realized...wait why do I even have this much fine sand in there? I don't have any gobies or critters that burrow besides nassarius snails. The depth and fine granulation makes vacuuming a hassle. So - I just didn't put it back in, lol. 

 

I've also been going back through my journal history, and thinking about what I generally like about others tanks.

I realized - I need my arch back.

I know people think arches are basic and boring and 'rule of thirds' and all that jazz, but whatever. I like arches! Basic and proud of it *sips PSL for effect*!

 

So, I took all the coral off the rocks and piled them along the front.

Put a little protective cover over my euphyllia since I'm clumsy.

(I'm proud of thinking of that; apparently I am learning from my past mistakes! I swear I get so much use out of that API test kit cover.)

)CoraltotheFront.thumb.jpg.4dd20f711f591bfe9176a410073692f7.jpg

 

 

Did some rearranging and .....

THE ARCH HAS RETURNED!

I took the after pic right after, so everything is mad still. I'll work on the coral placement more after things settle.

I'm already so much happier with it. No more rubble pile, it actually looks somewhat intentional now!

Dec2ndAfter.thumb.jpg.6e224527ee038413069445ff63aee5ef.jpg

 

 

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Jackal227
2 hours ago, Xanthine said:

Fiddle fiddle fiddle. That's what I do. 

It started yesterday with a deep cleaning of the sand bed  (Remove, tap water rinse till clear, saltwater rinse).

Since that's where the cyano is, theoretically that's where the crud must be, despite even the 'dirty' water showing such low nitrates and phos.

Today I continued that work, then with half the sand out realized...wait why do I even have this much fine sand in there? I don't have any gobies or critters that burrow besides nassarius snails. The depth and fine granulation makes vacuuming a hassle. So - I just didn't put it back in, lol. 

 

I've also been going back through my journal history, and thinking about what I generally like about others tanks.

I realized - I need my arch back.

I know people think arches are basic and boring and 'rule of thirds' and all that jazz, but whatever. I like arches! Basic and proud of it *sips PSL for effect*!

 

So, I took all the coral off the rocks and piled them along the front.

Put a little protective cover over my euphyllia since I'm clumsy.

(I'm proud of thinking of that; apparently I am learning from my past mistakes! I swear I get so much use out of that API test kit cover.)

Dec2ndAfter.thumb.jpg.6e224527ee038413069445ff63aee5ef.jpg

 

 

The arch looks great.  I think it fills out the tank better.

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WV Reefer

^agree 

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billygoat

I agree that the arch looks wonderful. Should be stunning once all of your corals are re-positioned and opened up again.

 

I think it's a good idea to remove some of the sand too. It seems to me that there is little reason to keep a sandbed deeper than 0.5" or so unless you are specifically planning to keep livestock that depend on it (e.g. jawfish, pistol shrimp, etc.). Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end for your cyano troubles!

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Xanthine

I'm pretty sure my cleaner shrimp has a bopyrid isopod parasite - yuck!

Watching videos on how to remove it and working up some courage....

 

CleanerIsopod.thumb.jpg.45ddd99c0d8b013e341bfaf30536b66b.jpg

Shrimp.jpg.79fe975e9543a0ded67a9443fbd9d2a9.jpg

 

 

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banasophia
29 minutes ago, Xanthine said:

I'm pretty sure my cleaner shrimp has a bopyrid isopod parasite - yuck!

Watching videos on how to remove it and working up some courage....

 

CleanerIsopod.thumb.jpg.45ddd99c0d8b013e341bfaf30536b66b.jpg

Shrimp.jpg.79fe975e9543a0ded67a9443fbd9d2a9.jpg

 

 

Oh yeah, @metrokat just removed one from a shrimp a few days ago ... check out her Instagram!

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Xanthine

Finally researched enough to feel confident to perform the procedure. Prepped my work area anddd...oh wait, I have to actually catch the shrimp first. Dangit!!

 

In other news, I added an inTank fish guard and an Xp Aqua Duetto ATO (yay holiday sales!)

The addition of the fish guard meant that the horizontal gaps leading to chamber 2 are now covered, which lead to some flow restriction issues - the display water level was over the rim edge and almost overflowing.  To fix this, I (finally) removed the plastic tab btwn chambers 1 and 2 with some snips, and problem solved. 

 

Dec82019.thumb.jpg.cc6f99afef44263da46226e583aa772c.jpg

 

Also did some more manual red wiry algae removal - my frogspawn has been really irritated. Used tweezers and dental picks to remove as much as I could, then target coated the worst areas with hydrogen peroxide. The treated parts are turning bright orange and dying already. Man I hate this stuff.

 Frogspawn.thumb.jpg.124a8c7bebf1f3313efc2ae020f8d46c.jpg

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DNR88

Have you ever tried to put the rocks more in the middle of the tank, instead of against the back? 

 

In my (humble) opinion this would make the tank look better and there are benefits in flow and it prevents accumulation of dirt. 😊

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Xanthine
1 hour ago, DutchNanoReefer88 said:

Have you ever tried to put the rocks more in the middle of the tank, instead of against the back? 

 

In my (humble) opinion this would make the tank look better and there are benefits in flow and it prevents accumulation of dirt. 😊

That's a good suggestion, agree about the flow benefits.

Unfortunately I have to take my rocks out of the tank for manual red wiry turf algae removal on a somewhat regular basis, and my rocks aren't glued. (I also obsessively rearrange things often)

So, I rely a bit on the support from that back wall for extra stability.

 There is at least a little space for the most part, only a few actual points of contact with the wall. 

(Enough space for this cute little parasite host to keep hiding from my net today, dangit!)

 

HidingShrimp.thumb.jpg.cd673f8a98349771d813f9ae04cacc04.jpg

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metrokat

Removing the isopod was absolutely DISGUSTING to do and I'm not sure how I managed to do it to my peppermint but it's fairly easy. I used a dental pick tool and tweezers. Good luck catching the shrimp and for the procedure.

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Xanthine

Well another week away for work trips meant another week of tank neglect and KH drops without me dosing.

 

I was happy to come back to the salinity being exactly the same as when I left - ATO's are awesome!!

 

Unfortunately the cyano has returned - bright holiday red this time around! Sadly, not the same type that stayed on the sandbed- this stuff is all over my rock, corals, and snails too. Pretty much everything is somewhat irritated. 

 

I bought a third brand phosphate testing kit. My API and Seachem always read zero, which seems to be generally frowned upon nowadays. Salifert also shows as 0 doing the main test with 10ml. However, after doubling to 20ml test volume - I finally saw some light blue color change.  So, ok, I do at least have a tiny amount of phosphate. Probably not a healthy amount though.

Same for nitrates - even the dirtiest bottom of tank filter vacuumed gunk water reads like 0.2-0.5ppm.  

 

I'm now trying a different approach, inspired somewhat by a recent  BRS short video about cyano.  that challenges the concept of always needing to reduce nutrients. 

 

Dosing with Flourish Nitrogen and Flourish Phosphorus to increase my nutrients, followed by dosing Microbacter7 , Reef phyto, Reef plus, and Vibrant (different days rotating).

I'd like to get my phosphate level up to 0.05 , and my nitrates around 5ish.

Not exact #s but just consistently having non-zero is the goal.

Feed and strengthen the good guys so they can outcompete the bad guys. 

 

I know I will likely get lots more nuisance algae (already seeing some ) - but I'd rather have that, which can be more easily managed by a CUC, than these constant yet ever changing outbreaks of cyano/dino BS.

( Also still haven't caught the shrimp yet to do parasite removal. He just molted again. Need to put the trap back in)

Dec162019.thumb.jpg.37d02c12d059ebe85d9b51c77c9cd9ad.jpg

 

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billygoat

Welcome back! 🤗 Shame to hear about the Cyano, but I am super intrigued to see if this new approach bears fruit. I feel like it might just be the thing you need! 

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Poodges

I like the arch! Just did a little rescape myself. You’ll beat the cyano! At least it’s festive 😬

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Xanthine

Merry Christmas from my festive CyanoTank.

 

Dec262019.thumb.jpg.c3710e96a847760be2c69c0622a08bf5.jpg

 

At least with this bright red stuff, it's almost certainly textbook red cyano.

After manual removal it turns all the water in the waste cup pink within a few minutes.

 

Same as my last big cyano outbreak, I'm dropping alk fast and have had to double my normal dosing just to stay in the 8 range. 

 

As far as the nutrient dosing --  my nitrates have stayed stable at 2ppm after the first 5ml dose on 12/15, with only one top off of 1ml  added on 12/19.

Phosphate keeps testing 0, except the day after dosing when it is ~0.03.   

Which makes sense I think from the amount of algae I'm seeing in addition to the cyano. 

(Or - does chemipure blue absorb phos? I have carbon, one nano chemipure blue packet, and purigen as my chemical media in chamber 2)

 

I've been busy with the holidays and work travel and got off my expected testing schedule (other than KH), so I don't really have a good dataset.

 

Although I want to be patient and see how my nutrient + beneficial bacterial dosing works out for longer term balance, (Wow - it's only been 11 days of that so far despite feeling like months!!)....the coral are getting pretty stressed - especially that candy cane. I'm thinking of a round of chemiclean. Or maybe it's just time for a CUC refresh - this red cyano isn't killing off all the snails/crabs like the dinos and other assorted weird outbreaks have in the past, so it might be ok to add more now. The asterina's are loving it so that is a good sign that it isn't toxic, I think? (Edit: Nevermind, dangit, literally right after posting this I found a dead nerite snail on the sand, swarmed with nassarius....)

 

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