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Xanthine

Xanthine's first reef tank - An LED Biocube 16 Journey

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Xanthine

Tank is continuing to do well with keeping alk stable around 8.3

Small amount of cyano over on the left side of the sand (the part I didn't wash) 

I'm only doing tiny amounts of manual removal daily now (like not even enough to have to replenish any water after!)

Some diatoms on the sandbed but not a concern at the moment. 

 

Good news - my trumpet coral and my blasto have risen from the dead!!! Both of those had been so matted down with cyano for so long, I didn't have much hope. But without a doubt both are coming back now.    Now to cross fingers for my zoas to join my zombie coral gang!

 

This is the first time in a long time almost every coral has some polyp extension going on at the same time. 

 

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I've had the hydor off for a while now - I keep awaiting the BTA to move and don't want it to get shredded. 

I swear though every time I unplug it, the whole tank does better.

Then eventually I'll put it back on because 'reef tanks need more flow than just the return pump' ...and things go ugly again. 

 

EDIT: I ended up switching the hydor out of this tank and putting the Jebao OW-10 from my other tank into this one. My husband was complaining about the sound the OW-10 was making in the other room when I had it on random mode.  

I'm now a believer in flow again - I just didn't have the *right* flow in my biocube with that hydor. It seems to be working much better in my 20 cubey, and so far the corals seem to like the OW-10 in the biocube. Lots of arm waving action! 

 

The BTA is nearly invisible here, but its directly southeast of the frogspawn, upside downish under the rock still. It occasionally will grab onto a mysis but then retreats back into the darkness and low flow area.  Previously I flipped the whole piece of liverock around to force it to be in the light....but it moved back into the depths.

I'm kind of ignoring it for now because I'm not sure what else to do?

BTA_.jpg.fac1ca3fc2f1c1751ded8bbed91db787.jpg

 

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Xanthine

Weekend update! 

I've been cutting down on the testing/dosing to every other day as things have stabilized.

Now that the cyano is mostly gone, the KH is staying more stable on it's own and I only need to dose 1ml of Reef Fusion #2 every other day to maintain above 8 dKH. 

 

I'll probably take the UV sterilizer out soon and keep in storage in case the dinos ever make a return (knock on wood)

 

My coraline is also coming back! It's one of those things that I don't really notice, but looking back at the pic from last weekend - there has been growth for sure on the back wall!

 

I'm having some hair algae on the rocks, which makes sense to see - now that the turbo and starry blenny aren't in there.

I might pop the turbo back over for a supervised target algae munching visit.

 

I'm really liking the Jebao OW-10 in this tank. I still have it set on the lowest speed, W1 wave mode, with slowest pulses. 

The corals seem to enjoy it but the clownfish is obviously not a fan. I'm hoping he will get used to it soon.

 

I added a hammer from my other tank to this one a few minutes ago. We'll see how it does. 

 

Overall it feels really good that my tank seems to be on the way to recovery. 

It's nice being able to just sit and enjoy the tank.

 

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Christopher Marks

Very positive progress @Xanthine, glad to see it’s recovering well. Slow and steady! Keep up the good work. 

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Xanthine

August update:

I was out on work trips most of this month.

Right before the first long trip, I noticed my turbo was acting unusually sluggish. I put him in the little tank (only had zoas, hermit, snails, little feather dusters) and hoped for the best.

Of course after I got back 5 days later, the house smelled awful and it was clearly apparent that snail had died and killed that entire tank with insane ammonia levels and weird white bacterial death mats.    I'm SO glad that the turbo was in that tank instead of the others. I'm also questioning that my husband didn't notice the death smell ....

I tried to rescue my favorite rock that was filled with feather dusters by setting up a trash can tank with air/heat/pump, then had to head out again for my second trip.

Anyways here's what the biocube looks like after almost a month of neglect - not so bad actually! (After glass cleaning and some cyano siphoning)

The weird black cyano seems to be gone, in it's place is a more traditional red cyano.

It's covering the hammer the most- I'm hoping it will recover but it is really receding into its skeleton and looks mad.

 

Also since my last post I moved some blue cespitularia from my JBJ20 to this tank - and it is really growing quickly! At least 10 new arms/heads? in the past 2 weeks!

 

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Xanthine

This week I was home - headed back out on the road for the next two weeks. 

I realized my newest bag of IO has been mixing lower magnesium (1125) than usual/prior bags (1230). 

My tank Mg levels have been trending down - esp after water changes. 

 

So I slowly have been dosing 10ml a day of Kent Tech M, to go from 1125 - 1155 - 1170 - and now today it's at 1200.

In conjunction with that, my calcium has been low too, at 345, so I've been doing 5mL a day of Seachem Reef Fusion #1 to bring it up - 345 -375 - 385 -and now today it's 400. 

(Alk has been relatively calm between 8.45-9.3)

 

Unfortunately also since my last post, the hammer developed brown jelly that QUICKLY took over - in a couple of hours. I gave it a Seachem Reef Dip and moved it to QT immediately to help protect my fav torch from also getting it.  So far the torch is still ok, but that hammer is dead dead dead. I'm bummed but glad it happened during the one week out of five that I'm home. 

 

So together with my parameters looking closer to targets, and getting the sick coral out, corals are looking better and starting to get more polyp extension again! 

Little bits of red cyano + diatoms on the sand but not too bad. 

 

(Please ignore the huge aiptasia next to the frogspawn. I've been battling that bugger for like a year. Peppermint shrimp, boiling water, lemon juice, boiling lemon juice, joe's juice - he keeps just coming back stronger. I gave him another injection of joe's juice a few minutes ago but I'm sure he'll be back in a few weeks like always. )

 

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Xanthine

Well looks like having my alk, mg, and ca at the generally recognized 'optimal' levels really makes a difference!

Pikachu.png.e6bedb10a67c7e253610cd4aee1d54f5.png

 

Since my last post, I added more sand - so now I'm seeing more diatoms, and put my UV back in. Some cyano on the back wall but decreasing.

 

My monti seems to have died? I'm confused because it was encrusting over the rock and doing well, but after I got back from my last work trip it seems to be covered in diatoms/algae. 

I directed more flow onto it and we'll see what happens, but I haven't seen any sign of polyps in awhile. 

 

I moved my purple torch and my duncan from my JBJ to here - I'm considering getting a Valentini in that tank so moving corals out. 

 

I also just added some GSP and Sinularia.  

I LOVE the way GSP looks but never got any because 'everyone' warns you it will take over your tank.

Every time I would see someone elses tank with it, I would get jealous! 

Decided to stop living in fear of a 'weed' and got some.

Honestly, I'd be super pumped at this stage of my reefing to be able to watch something grow quickly.  

 

I'm planning on making a GSP island once I rearrange my rocks and move corals around, so I glued some to real reef rock rubble that I put at the top left for now.  

I also glued some of it to flat rock chip, bottom right, that I might put on the back wall.  

 

Here's the tank just starting to wake up this morning:

 

20190921.thumb.jpg.3f76c0f2771fb95b95f2061a1b138222.jpg

 

 

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ReefAdoRe
On 9/21/2019 at 10:31 AM, Xanthine said:

Well looks like having my alk, mg, and ca at the generally recognized 'optimal' levels really makes a difference!

Pikachu.png.e6bedb10a67c7e253610cd4aee1d54f5.png

 

Since my last post, I added more sand - so now I'm seeing more diatoms, and put my UV back in. Some cyano on the back wall but decreasing.

 

My monti seems to have died? I'm confused because it was encrusting over the rock and doing well, but after I got back from my last work trip it seems to be covered in diatoms/algae. 

I directed more flow onto it and we'll see what happens, but I haven't seen any sign of polyps in awhile. 

 

I moved my purple torch and my duncan from my JBJ to here - I'm considering getting a Valentini in that tank so moving corals out. 

 

I also just added some GSP and Sinularia.  

I LOVE the way GSP looks but never got any because 'everyone' warns you it will take over your tank.

Every time I would see someone elses tank with it, I would get jealous! 

Decided to stop living in fear of a 'weed' and got some.

Honestly, I'd be super pumped at this stage of my reefing to be able to watch something grow quickly.  

 

I'm planning on making a GSP island once I rearrange my rocks and move corals around, so I glued some to real reef rock rubble that I put at the top left for now.  

I also glued some of it to flat rock chip, bottom right, that I might put on the back wall.  

 

Here's the tank just starting to wake up this morning:

 

20190921.thumb.jpg.3f76c0f2771fb95b95f2061a1b138222.jpg

 

 

Love your journal, thank you so much for sharing your battle, ups and downs. This is the truth of what happens sometimes (or most of the time?). Reading it gives me patience!

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billygoat

This tank is really very beautiful. It's great to hear that you haven't gotten discouraged and have just powered through all the challenges you've faced. You've got a lovely aquarium to show for it! 😊

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Xanthine

Happy Tank update!  

My Valentini puffer came in for my other tank (and immediately munched on some Xenia within a few minutes) - so almost all of the coral from that tank has been transferred into here.

I also moved the rocks around and started putting corals back up on the rocks.  I'm not totally satisfied, still too 'pile of rocks' for my taste, but it's a start.

(Next is getting that cespitularia off of that eyesore tile now that I know it's doing well in that spot. )

 

You may also notice some new inhabitants! Purple firefish, midas blenny, and skunk cleaner shrimp! 

Normally I wouldn't add so much at once but now that liveaquarias free shipping minimum is $149, I combined buying them with my valentini. And I knew I was going to be home for two weeks in a row so I went a little crazy! I'm going to keep a closer eye on my parameters and feed lightly for a bit.  

 

Also I recently refreshed my snail cleaning crew. The nerites went to town on the cyano - no issues now.  Side effect - they also love munching the back wall coraline - but that's a tradeoff I'm totally ok with!

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Xanthine

Here's the Toby puffer in my JBJ -  the reason why my biocube got the increase in coral 🙂

I took the main xenia frag out since she loves eating it, but some of the migrants/props stayed behind. They get nipped at but are still doing ok. 

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A rare pic of all 3  tankmates having a 'yellow butts club' meeting!

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Xanthine

Oops did an unintentional experiment -- forgot to plug my UV back in after turning off for feeding a few days ago....

Not 100% sure this is related to UV and not the increased bioload/feeding - but byebye white sand, hello red cyano again.

 

Also - I'm so glad I didnt chuck the monti when I thought it was dead a few weeks ago. It's definitely coming back 🙂 

UV is back on now, we'll see what it looks like tomorrow.

 

Oct919.thumb.jpg.b3fab6929ae00a1ed73027aef60a1e95.jpg

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billygoat

Interesting! Do you usually run the UV sterilizer 24/7? I wonder if that alone has been keeping your cyano at bay. 🤔

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Xanthine
52 minutes ago, billygoat said:

Do you usually run the UV sterilizer 24/7?

Yep - I saw improvement, and went with the approach of, hey, it's working, might as well leave it and not change anything.  

I'm so curious to see if it goes away over the next few days without changing anything else other than plugging it back in!

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Xanthine

Here's a fun side tank shot I like.

My Midas blenny has started to show off with puppydog antics, begging for food and attention. 

He's getting his color back and seems to be adjusting nicely. He learned very quickly the long pipette means target feeding time!

 

The cleaner shrimp is hilarious. He goes wild the second an algae wafer hits the water, and scurries to get a piece before the hermits do. His little feet move so fast. 

 

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In contrast - I haven't seen my purple firefish for a week now...not even during feeding.

I triple checked all the back chambers and all around the floor. I've heard they like to burrow and hide - I'm hoping that's the case but time will tell I suppose. 

 

Also - I think it's too soon to call it, but having the UV back on seems to have helped with the cyano, yay!

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Ocean_dreamer89
On 10/11/2019 at 6:51 PM, Xanthine said:

Here's a fun side tank shot I like.

My Midas blenny has started to show off with puppydog antics, begging for food and attention. 

He's getting his color back and seems to be adjusting nicely. He learned very quickly the long pipette means target feeding time!

 

The cleaner shrimp is hilarious. He goes wild the second an algae wafer hits the water, and scurries to get a piece before the hermits do. His little feet move so fast. 

 

Oct112019.thumb.jpg.dabdcb842f0beeb9d355c9f4b34f4d90.jpg

 

In contrast - I haven't seen my purple firefish for a week now...not even during feeding.

I triple checked all the back chambers and all around the floor. I've heard they like to burrow and hide - I'm hoping that's the case but time will tell I suppose. 

 

Also - I think it's too soon to call it, but having the UV back on seems to have helped with the cyano, yay!

If you don’t mind can you share the pipette you use to feed with and what you feed with it? I’m having trouble finding one that is large enough to spot feed pellets or mysis. And that’s interesting that the shrimp eats the wafers! I might try that.

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