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Xanthine

Xanthine's Biocube 16

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Jackal227
8 hours ago, Xanthine said:

 

 

 

 

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)

 

 

 

 

If I remember right chemipure blue is just carbon and purigen mixed together.  I ended up using regular carbon and one bag of Purigen because it was much cheaper.  The Purigen lasts forever in my tank so I only have to change out the carbon.

 

Also, it looks like you may be dosing vibrant along with nitrates and phosphates to the tank.  Have you noticed any differences since starting?  I thought that Vibrant was a bacteria that is designed to remove nitrates and phosphates reducing overall nutrients.  It seems counterproductive to do both together.

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Xanthine
2 hours ago, Jackal227 said:

I thought that Vibrant was a bacteria that is designed to remove nitrates and phosphates reducing overall nutrients.  It seems counterproductive to do both together.

The overall plan with dosing to maintain nutrients above 0 is to help to fuel the biodiversity. The vibrant/microbacter7 (I'm adding 1-2 ml of each a week) are the good guys in the battle.  So yes they may/will reduce nitrates and phosphates - but I think the idea is they are competing organisms that in a healthy biome would thrive over the cyano. 

( It was suggested in the BRS cyano control video. )

 

For Vibrant itself - I have way too many variables to tell myself but here is another recent interesting BRS video with some comparisons if you haven't seen it.

 

Also after a good nights sleep, I had some more clarity and am okay again with being patient on this increased nutrients + biodiversity method. 

It hasn't even been two weeks yet. I can't throw in the towel yet. PATIENCE!

I'm going to commit to testing and redose phos more often to maintain above zero levels - every day when I'm home. I might splurge and buy a hanna to make it easier. 

 

Overall, ignoring the cyano, the tank is doing ok.  It's mainly my candy cane that the cyano really seems to stick to and irritate. I'm going to move that coral to higher ground out of the cyano hot spots.

The astrea snails have been loving the increased algae - there's just not enough of them to keep up.

Maybe the nerite dying within 5 minutes of my last post was just a crazy coincidence.

I think I'm going to go to LFS and pick up some snails while waiting for holidays to be over so I can get my reefcleaners order. 

 

Being honest with myself, with the holidays I have slipped on my manual removal (as obvious from that picture above), because it is just so demoralizing and depressing.

But I spent a solid 30 minutes on manual removal/baster/scooping/netting it out yesterday, and the tank woke up looking much better. 

270365085_Dec272019(2).thumb.jpg.1392980f2500c9064d53ad027224482e.jpg

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Jackal227
21 hours ago, Xanthine said:

The overall plan with dosing to maintain nutrients above 0 is to help to fuel the biodiversity. The vibrant/microbacter7 (I'm adding 1-2 ml of each a week) are the good guys in the battle.  So yes they may/will reduce nitrates and phosphates - but I think the idea is they are competing organisms that in a healthy biome would thrive over the cyano. 

( It was suggested in the BRS cyano control video. )

 

For Vibrant itself - I have way too many variables to tell myself but here is another recent interesting BRS video with some comparisons if you haven't seen it.

 

Also after a good nights sleep, I had some more clarity and am okay again with being patient on this increased nutrients + biodiversity method. 

It hasn't even been two weeks yet. I can't throw in the towel yet. PATIENCE!

I'm going to commit to testing and redose phos more often to maintain above zero levels - every day when I'm home. I might splurge and buy a hanna to make it easier. 

 

Overall, ignoring the cyano, the tank is doing ok.  It's mainly my candy cane that the cyano really seems to stick to and irritate. I'm going to move that coral to higher ground out of the cyano hot spots.

The astrea snails have been loving the increased algae - there's just not enough of them to keep up.

Maybe the nerite dying within 5 minutes of my last post was just a crazy coincidence.

I think I'm going to go to LFS and pick up some snails while waiting for holidays to be over so I can get my reefcleaners order. 

 

Being honest with myself, with the holidays I have slipped on my manual removal (as obvious from that picture above), because it is just so demoralizing and depressing.

But I spent a solid 30 minutes on manual removal/baster/scooping/netting it out yesterday, and the tank woke up looking much better. 

270365085_Dec272019(2).thumb.jpg.1392980f2500c9064d53ad027224482e.jpg

The corals all look happy!

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Poodges

Looking good!

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Xanthine

Ok seemed to have solved the disappearing phos thing at least -- it was the chemipure blue! Took that out. Only have purigen and carbon back there now. Now hopefully can maintain phos above 0!

 

image.png.95afde7f95d21ae2c0df90fb27580595.png

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billygoat
On 12/28/2019 at 11:42 AM, Xanthine said:

Ok seemed to have solved the disappearing phos thing at least -- it was the chemipure blue! Took that out. Only have purigen and carbon back there now. Now hopefully can maintain phos above 0!

There you go! I hope that once your phos starts to climb, your team of good guys will gain the upper hand. It's an interesting approach and I'm very curious to see how it turns out. But yeah, in the meantime I think your tank looks fantastic despite the cyanobacterial christmas decorations. 😁

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Xanthine

Just a super quick text only update - but I think this method is working! I saw pods again on the glass yesterday for the first time in a long time!

 

I had a rough start to the new year -- got super sick/flu on New Years Eve and was down and out for awhile. Finally fever broke for good on the 12th. In the middle of that I had a work trip that I honestly don't know how I made it through. Tons of medicine, I was a zombie. And it was at Disney so kind of surreal experience overall.

 

BUT anyways, I'm feeling much better and so happy the tank is seemingly getting back on track. I'll probably post some pics and an update on my new Xmas tank goodies this weekend. 

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Xanthine

 I've seen a critter on my rainbow monti and managed to catch it with a syringe today.

My initial thoughts of 'oh, cool, more biodiversity' quickly became DAMMIT when I realized I think it is a montipora eating nudibranch. Fantastic. UGH!

Here's a pic using my little USB scope I got for xmas. It's super cool looking actually.

Now to figure out next steps...

 

NudibranchJan18.jpg.1452ed092e1792e7ed59d2151cec9dd4.jpg

Nudibranch.thumb.jpg.7d43439b5abb503970f593142f5d81b4.jpg

 

edit: Removed both my monti's, did a ReVive dip on each, scraped bottom with dental picks in case of eggs (didn't see any eggs or other adults, but did it anyways).

Looks like I will need to repeat this every couple days for awhile.  

This super sucks... but it could have been way worse because I was about to buy some more monti's from the Tidal Gardens live sale today.

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Xanthine

Update - my latest 'method' to my ongoing cyano battles has been focused on increasing nutrients (phos/nitrates) and increasing biodiversity (dosing phyto, vibrant, microbacter7)

 

Phosphate: I'm continuing to dose phos to keep it above 0. I got a hanna ultra low phos checker and honestly hate it. I don't like fiddling with that hanna reagent packet, or how it has the short auto turn off time that inexplicably doesn't show the last result when turned back on.  And no audible alarm when it's ready, so I have to set a google alarm just like I do with my other tests. I can understand why people with color blindness or shade perception issues like the digital aspect, but it's just not for me.  Back to salifert!

 

Nitrates have stabilized on their own in the 2-5 range. 

 

Corals:

The stylo at the top seems to be recovering, but it's about 50% bleached after being covered in cyano.

The candy cane button ate yesterday again so I am hoping it will also recover.

The trumpet zombie coral may have used up it's 9th life  - the combo of the red wiry algae AND cyano was just too much I think. I have it hidden in the back left corner for now - maybe it will surprise me again. 

Monti's both are pissed but handled the dip and scrub ok.  I'm hoping the montipora eating nudibranchs don't totally kill them but realistically I know it's a high likelihood. 

There's a 'new' little GSP island rock and some GSP I glued on the back left wall - both from my little tank that I'm breaking down to allow it to function as a QT again. They are mostly pink/purple right now since I was bad at remembering to turn the light on consistently in that little tank, but I'm hoping they get their green color back. They actually came from the same colony as the GSP on the back right wall.

Duncans and cespitularia continue to be rock stars, love them.

And my faves, the torches, are also doing awesome! The purple especially has some new heads and a healthy appetite.

 

Inverts:

Since my last main update post I got another CUC order, but only about 50% survived. A conch, the fancy hermits, and most of the snails didn't survive shipping. The turbo and cheapy 'assorted' hermits did though, and are doing great with algae control. Turbo is working well on the red turf algae as I had hoped! All of them seem to oddly avoid the right rockwork hair algae though. 

The cleaner shrimp still has his nasty parasite. I kinda gave up trying to trap/net him for now, and instead am just feeding him more heavily. He is still molting frequently and seems healthy other than having the mutant freak isopod attachment.

 

Also -- the tank is now 2 years old!!!! To celebrate I just bought a hammer, a red goniopora, and sympodium that should arrive on Tues.  I also ordered a diamond watchman goby to help stir up my sandbed and hopefully help with cyano. And a conch. I may end up transferring the goby over to my puffer tank if both the conch and goby are too much for my sandbed to support. 

 

Here's a FTS from this morning. Prior to any cleaning/cyano removal. The sand looks rough but it's actually better than it has been in awhile. 

Slow and steady, maintaining course!

 

757978137_Jan19(2).thumb.jpg.2a0febd54b624c46155836d21f9f97ca.jpg

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banasophia
On 1/18/2020 at 7:54 AM, Xanthine said:

 I've seen a critter on my rainbow monti and managed to catch it with a syringe today.

My initial thoughts of 'oh, cool, more biodiversity' quickly became DAMMIT when I realized I think it is a montipora eating nudibranch. Fantastic. UGH!

Here's a pic using my little USB scope I got for xmas. It's super cool looking actually.

Now to figure out next steps...

 

NudibranchJan18.jpg.1452ed092e1792e7ed59d2151cec9dd4.jpg

Nudibranch.thumb.jpg.7d43439b5abb503970f593142f5d81b4.jpg

 

edit: Removed both my monti's, did a ReVive dip on each, scraped bottom with dental picks in case of eggs (didn't see any eggs or other adults, but did it anyways).

Looks like I will need to repeat this every couple days for awhile.  

This super sucks... but it could have been way worse because I was about to buy some more monti's from the Tidal Gardens live sale today.

DDABB6FD-01FA-465C-BB0F-D808036D81C1.jpeg.e0e55cb9c45061e3cb388669d5116d57.jpeg


Happy tankiversary!! 🥳 Your tank is so nice, I hope you’ll be able to get the cyano back in check soon. 
 

Your leather actually looks a little like mine did when I had a leather eating nudi, so you may want to check it too, to see if you have any on it... look closely, mine really blended in. 

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Xanthine
1 hour ago, banasophia said:

leather eating nudi

I didn't even know those were a thing! Looks like I'll be doing more inspections. How did you get rid of yours? I'm looking up flatworm exit now.

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billygoat

Great update @Xanthine! You have shown great persistence in the face of all that obnoxious cyanobacteria. In fact I am nearly certain that the average reefer would have given up on it ages ago! But not you - and you have a beautiful tank to show for it, cyano or no. 👍

 

Congratulations on your two year tankiversary! I wish you many more happy returns. 🤗

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Xanthine

Thank you for the kind comments @billygoat

I attribute much of my persistence to this forum and people like you! 

It helps keep me focused, encouraged, and inspired.

No matter what happens I never feel alone and there is so much information to learn from other reefers here.

 

In today's news, my power went out literally 4 minutes after my liveaquaria boxes were dropped off.

Perfect timing, actually, because I turn my pumps/lights off during acclimation anyways. It was only out for about an hour - whew!

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billygoat
6 minutes ago, Xanthine said:

Thank you for the kind comments @billygoat

I attribute much of my persistence to this forum and people like you! 

It helps keep me focused, encouraged, and inspired.

No matter what happens I never feel alone and there is so much information to learn from other reefers here.

 

In today's news, my power went out literally 4 minutes after my liveaquaria boxes were dropped off.

Perfect timing, actually, because I turn my pumps/lights off during acclimation anyways. It was only out for about an hour - whew!

I feel the same way! I can't imagine that I'd have come as far as I have in this hobby without everyone here on N-R being so helpful and supportive, especially because I don't frequent an LFS or know any other reefers in my area. It really does make a big difference! 🤗

 

That's quite a scare with the power outage! Glad to hear everything worked out. What new livestock did you get?

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Xanthine

The ratio of enjoying my tank to dreading my tank has been much improved lately. 

 

I have Reef Fusion 2 set up dosing alk with a Jebao DP-4 and I wish I did this a long time ago!!! I think the corals are all enjoying the stability and it will really help while I'm gone on long work trips.  Right now I have it only dosing 1ml every 3 days to be on the safe side, (previously I was dosing 1ml every day by hand) and monitoring/supplementing as needed. After a month I'll readjust, and may add RF #1 too. 

 

I want to give a shoutout to my blue cespitularia, aka wacky inflatable tube man. I feel crazy admitting that watching that coral sometimes makes me laugh. I need to share a video. I love it so much. 

 

Here's my morning pic. I left the kinda cheesy HDR+ effect on for this one, kind of interesting. I may get a new phone soon. LOTS of issues with the camera on my Pixel 2XL. The pictures will be 100% crisp sharp focus on the screen, but look like fuzzy crap once the pic is snapped.  Have a few different third party camera apps I'm going to try out to see if it will improve. I still love the phone otherwise. But if I can't take pics of my coral the way I want, it's gonna have to go lol.

 

1286043593_Feb12020.thumb.jpg.e63986f296c8efbf1a484e879fce0c78.jpg

 

Newbies to the tank include - the hammer (bottom middle), red goniopora (next to/behind hammer), and an impossible to really see blue sympodium to the right of the big duncan. 

I took soooo many awesome closeups of each of these. Well, they looked awesome on the screen at least. Too blurry to actually be worth uploading. I'll try again soon. 

 

 

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Xanthine

Had a mini freakout tonight.

I was doing my nightly detailed nudi check on my monti's, and saw some kind of weird white crab!!

628654103_crab(2).thumb.jpg.80559d267fd64e7a63af43febd618197.jpg

 

I took a ton of pics of it, then finally yanked it out with tweezers....and immediately realized it was just a hermit crab molt. Whew! 

 

On the subject of the nudis - knock on wood- I found that one on Jan 18th, dipped and scraped both montis...and no sign of any since.

I just may have been lucky enough to catch the one that had hitchhiked in from my CUC order before it laid eggs!

 

In other hitchhiker news, I have tons of what I think are collonista snails. They are super cute and tiny. It's possible they are actually baby turbos or astreas - lots of arguing on various forums about ones that look the same as what I'm seeing, so I'll have to wait till they get bigger to verify.

 

(And something is definitely wrong with my pixel camera - I had to take pics of my insurance card today and it was impossible to get a clear picture. Perfectly focused on the screen, but totally fuzzy picture result.  I thought maybe it was just impacting reef pics from the weird lighting spectrum but nope. Might see if I can do an RMA or roll back android version to prior to the latest camera updates, boo)

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Xanthine

Just a quick pop-in.  My tank has been doing great in terms of increasing biodiversity, both macro and micro. I'll post some scope pics eventually showing nematodes and fun stuff (and not so fun stuff, like dinos). I did a neat time lapse on some cyano under the scope, showing it react with H2O2 and also lose color.  

 

I also decided I just couldn't deal with this extended cyano any longer, and did a chemiclean dose last week.

I felt like my good guy army was building up well, but that bad guy was just too strong for it to be a level playing field.

So. NUCLEAR OPTION - and now the battle can resume more fairly. 

Just 48 hours later and my sand was clean, and I saw both coral and invert activity improvements. 

 

Here's my conch doing happy conch stuff - you can see his snout below the sand line there cleaning on the glass. And those eye stalks! ❤️ 

 

39147833_Conch(2).thumb.jpg.6e7d00890fb00009d7f5352db1cc82a7.jpg

 

And here is my goniopora starting to finally settle in, now that it's not battling a constant covering of cyano.

208860005_goniopora(2).thumb.jpg.b07e7e55ed894a4af0bd5c705d7774e4.jpg

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billygoat

Glad to hear the ChemiClean treatment was a success! I hope the good guys in your tank will take advantage of this opportunity to permanently gain the upper hand. 😊 Love that conch too! They have such derpy faces. If I had a slightly bigger tank I would definitely get one.

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Xanthine

I started feeding PE Calanus. I like the smaller size, compared to mysis, and how easy the cubes pop out of the foil pack.

It gives a beautiful relaxing snowglobe effect and has a really long hang-time before sinking.

And it's so small my clown and crabs don't steal out of the LPS mouths as much.

Probably won't buy it again since it's more expensive (relatively speaking), but nice to have in the freezer to go through my feeding rotation variety.

 

PECalanus.thumb.jpg.2cc97e55b4627ebc74bb2c91e35f5a09.jpg

 

Not sure what happened, but I woke up to my rainbow monti bleached out white. pH/organics/phos/ca/mg/KH all tested in my normal range. The melonberry monti is now fading on the edges too. 

 

The cyano has so far not returned. In its place - having some diatom bloom, and increased hair algae - plan to refresh my CUC soon.

 

Also sad news, my royal gramma in my other tank apparently had its murder protocol activated. It used to occasionally flare at my bicolor blenny and my valentini puffer, but the other day it started attacking. At one point I saw the entire long puffer snout inside the grammas mouth - like a snake trying to swallow an egg. My poor gentle sweet innocent doe eyed puffer did not make it.  I'm so upset with myself that I didn't get the puffer out in time. I'm going to try to transfer my bicolor blenny to this biocube and leave the whole cubey to the gramma for now. 

 

Due to coronavirus my typical work travels have been cancelled, so more time to work on the tanks!

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Xanthine

With the cyano gone, the tank is certainly much improved overall.

Good news -  my Cespi is having a baby!!!

MarchCespi.thumb.jpg.d17c5b7b86ea1fa4b674dc37a1c94856.jpg

 

Seems like it wasn't too long ago she was just a babe herself:

August24.jpg.9548be5c3b9ac078305f3868785c4a3a.jpg

(Ok that was actually 30 weeks ago, looking at calendar. Geez time flies!)

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billygoat

Looking good in here! Keep an eye on that Cespitularia though... it'll reproduce all right, and often in a pretty serious fashion! I think I remember @Jackal227 having to cut his back every couple of months. 🤔

 

Anyway, I've always liked the look of this tank, but with the cyano gone at last I have to say it looks amazing. Can't wait to see it continue to evolve and grow. 

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Jackal227
13 hours ago, billygoat said:

Looking good in here! Keep an eye on that Cespitularia though... it'll reproduce all right, and often in a pretty serious fashion! I think I remember @Jackal227 having to cut his back every couple of months. 🤔

 

Anyway, I've always liked the look of this tank, but with the cyano gone at last I have to say it looks amazing. Can't wait to see it continue to evolve and grow. 

Ya mine grows like crazy.   It's pretty easy to just cut an arm off to prune it.  The issue that I ran into was that it would shoot out runners that would attach to the rocks and they started growing ontop of my Sunny D Palys.  That's when I removed it from the rocks and put it in isolation on the sandbed.  It's easier for me to control there.  Removing from the rocks wasn't easy,  I had to scrape little bits off with a dental pick. 

 

It's a beautiful Coral though! 

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Xanthine

Well that didn't take long - yepp @billygoat and @Jackal227  you're both right - lol

Not even a week later - my brand new cespi babies have already had grandbabies! Spreading out and growing up at same time.

Apparently my tank has finally hit a sweet spot for softie growth (the GSP on the back wall is also doing great)

I'm sure soon I will be dreading the impending tank takeover but for now I'm so excited!

248149834_CespiGrandbabies(2).thumb.jpg.da4f381ab46cfb54a1c59d1cea8a9497.jpg

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Xanthine

I didnt mention this yet -  the day or two after my puffer was killed in my other tank, my hydor heater exploded and filled my house with acrid electrical smoke. Thank goodness my travels have been cancelled, so I was at home to catch it relatively quickly. The only damage besides the heater itself was the black soot on the white plastic lid of the JBJ, but that mostly wiped clean.  

IMG_20200401_123724.jpg.932a613b92721a850242ddb99a33e237.jpg

 

I moved my blenny and his favorite rock from that tank to my biocube, and did some rescaping to make a cespi island - full tank pic coming soon once the corals resettle. 

Until then - here's a crab doing crab things - using portrait mode on my pixel is letting me take some pics in focus again!

Crabby.thumb.jpg.049b159a58205b3e56cc683069d80717.jpg

 

 

 

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Xanthine

Ok I got impatient - not the best pic, but it will give the general idea. Also shows the diatom + hair algae a bit. I'm moving my CUC from the JBJ to here soon.

 

April12020.thumb.jpg.70963218cd8185dbe20b8bc65294ba79.jpg

 

 

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