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olig

Oli's New Fluval 13.5

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olig

I have been having an algae issue recently with my tank so its not very pretty at the moment. I went into my fish shop and bought myself a pair of Trochus snails and whilst they they sold me some phosphate remover to add into my filter system which I have been told will help. I combined this with a large water change and it looks like things are starting to pick up a little bit now. 

 

The snails have done an amazing job at cleaning the rocks, I hadn't realised quite how bad they had got until I could see the clean patches next to the bits the snails have yet to cover. They haven't done any cleaning on the sand at all though so I picked as much of the algae out as I could but will need to look into getting some other clean up crew who are happier on the sand to help keep that as clean as the rocks. 

 

Yesterday one of my snails had me worried that he hadn't survived a week in my tank by not moving for nearly 24 hours, but happily this morning he has moved so must still be alive which is nice to know. 

 

I have also noticed that there are new hammers growing on my hammer coral which is exciting, do branching hammers grow new heads by the existing one splitting into two separate ones or by growing a completely new head from the base of the coral?

 

One final question is about my duncan, when in the shop where I bought the frag I noticed the remaining frags from that batch have all grown an extra 1 or 2 heads whilst mine hasn't grown much other than the mystery lump on the side  (see previous post). What do you think will be the main reason for them growing quicker in the shop than in my tank - I know the lights they have are better vs the stock evo one I have, but is there anything else you think I can be doing to help it grow or will it all be down to the light? 

 

Sorry for the long post!

 

 

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specore
On 9/3/2018 at 2:59 PM, olig said:

With this being my first coral please forgive the constant questions. Is the black lump on the side of the coral something bad, or is it something good like a new head growing?

IMG_20180903_195231.jpg

IMG_20180903_195807.jpg

Looks like a new head to me.  At least that's how my duncan looks when sprouting a new polyp.  

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lizzyann

 

2 hours ago, specore said:

Looks like a new head to me.  At least that's how my duncan looks when sprouting a new polyp.  

Specore, did yours have that dark area at the center of the lump?

 

I'm still new to reefing so take this with a grain of salt, but when my duncan started growing new heads that's the same area where lumps started appearing but they were light in color, similar to the polyp, definitely no dark spots. The photos are good, but it's still hard to tell exactly what that is. It almost looks like a vermitid snail under the "skin" of the duncan. Is the dark portion a hard shell-like thing or is it soft? Do you notice any antennae sticking out? Or strings of slime coming out? If it's some kind of pest or something maybe that could be why it's not growing as quickly but like I said, I'm no expert!

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specore
11 minutes ago, lizzyann said:

 

Specore, did yours have that dark area at the center of the lump? I'm still new to reefing so take this with a grain of salt, but when my duncan started growing new heads that's the same area where lumps started appearing but they were light in color, similar to the polyp, definitely no dark spots. The photos are good, but it's still hard to tell exactly what that is. It almost looks like a vermitid snail under the "skin" of the duncan. Is the dark portion a hard shell-like thing or is it soft? Do you notice any antennae sticking out? Or strings of slime coming out? If it's some kind of pest or something maybe that could be why it's not growing as quickly but like I said, I'm no expert!

Mine didn't, but by the shape it looks like a new polyp.  

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olig

Thanks both for your comments, its the dark bit in the centre of the lump which made me unsure about it as there's nothing like that in the main head. I have moved the coral since taking those photos which makes the lump harder to see and photograph but its not really changed much since I took these nearly 3 weeks ago other than maybe getting a little bigger. Would you have expected it to have formed into a mini head by now? 

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olig

To tuxedo urchin or not to tuxedo urchin...... I have been debating getting one for a little whilst as I think they look cool and I want to have something more interesting than the snails I have currently to eat my algae. However once I get ontop of whatever it is that is causing my algae problem I worry that I will run out of food for it any my snails which isn't fair on any of them, my second and bigger worry is that it will bulldozer / pick up my frags and make a mess of the tank / kill corals by leaving them the wrong way up.

what do you think? 

 

Also I have some new corals from trips to my local shop last weekend and the weekend before and I haven't written about any of them on here, so I will try get photos of these tonight! 

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olig

So I realise that I haven't updated this in quite a while - hadn't realised it had been over 12 months until I looked at my post date. 

 

My tank is going well, and having read some other peoples build descriptions I think I have been very lucky to not have had any disasters in the first year of having a salt water tank. The only real problem that I had was a bad case of cyanobacteria which took me a quite a whilst to sort out. Two of my corrals died during that which I believe is because they were suffocated having discussed it with the people in my local fish shop (reefkeeper rugby - been really helpful with everything!) 

 

I have quite a few corral's / frags now in the tank. My total stock list is as follows: 

2 mocha clown fish   

1 snail (the only survivor of 4, has learned to keep away from the hermit crabs) 

4 hermit crabs

1 emerald crab - quite large

 

2 x torch corrals

2 x goniapora 

1 x alviapora

1 x duncan 

2 x blasto

2 x trumpet / candy cane 

 

some have been in the tank for 12 months plus and a couple are only a couple of weeks old. I've really enjoyed watching the older ones growing new heads, some have more than doubled in size which has been really exciting to watch. 

 

A couple of photos are below: 

 

 

 

I think I need to get myself some better filters to help improve my photos but I intend to get some more photos to share soon. 

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Wonderboy

Looking great!

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Ratvan

What Lens Kit are you using at the moment?

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olig
On 9/5/2019 at 8:35 AM, Ratvan said:

What Lens Kit are you using at the moment?

The photographs which I have above were just taken on my phone and then had the settings played with. I have since got the D-D coral colour lens. 

 https://charterhouse-aquatics.com/shop/aquatics/accessories/coral-colour-lens/d-d-coral-colour-lens?gclid=Cj0KCQjwiILsBRCGARIsAHKQWLP5vqpJnsol5irjpToco89MEZed7VRWbBD7sVz6H4uUUgdaAgYKGQQaArfVEALw_wcB

I will put some photos up taken with it when my next update soon. 

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olig

photos as promised. I can't every get them quite as good as the ones shown on the website. (taken at my local fish shop - felt really guilty buying the lens kit online when I realised my shop was the one used in the adverts as I didn't know they were sold there. 

 

 

 

Edited by olig
edit as the link didn't work the first time
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olig

Recently I have started measuring my Nitrate, Phosphate and KH more frequently having realised I hadn't checked anything for a few months and that I had just been relying on water changes. This has resulted in my corals looking much happier, especially the gonieoporas so I new feel bad for negatiterng things for so long - but the past can't be helped and it will be kept much better going forward.  

 

One thing I have noticed with my improved measurement regime is that the KH has dropped from 11.6 (Redsea black bucket default) to 10.4 over the week before my next water change, and this has got me thinking - firstly should I be dosing to maintain this during the week and keep it more stable during the week - and if so how often? and secondly should I be worried about Magnesium and calcium? 

 

My default on these has always been to rely on water changes given this is only a 13.5 and I do between 10 and 20 percent water changes most weeks - but I'm also aware that only replaces what is used in that 10 or 20 percent of the water volume. 

 

I don't really want to buy the new test kits and stuff to dose if I don't need too, but also want to do what's best for the tank and corals in it - so please let me know what your thoughts are and what you are doing in your similar tanks. 

 

Thank you all

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olig

New full tank shot 🙂

 

 

 

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Wonderboy

Looking very nice!

 

If it's a small system, I just keep up with water changes and make sure to do a 80%+ WC to refresh everything every once in a while - dosing between WCs would help of course. Sometimes, I will minimally dose things (trace, iodine, alk) if I don't have time to make/change water (sm systems). For larger reef systems, testing and dosing 2 part and trace minerals would be wise to keep things stable between WCs, especially when things are grown out. 

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Christopher Marks

It's coming along great @olig!

 

I like to keep things simple, I think you could stay the course and perhaps increase the volume of your water changes on occasion. It's gotten you this far after all!

 

Dosing to maintain parameters can definitely be a good way to help increase coral growth, but it also creates a new complication in your maintenance routine. If you decide to start dosing, make changes low and slow. 🙂 

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9 hours ago, olig said:

New full tank shot 🙂

 

 

 

Olig  your tank is coming along nicely. You should post some pics in the Fluval Evo forum. I have the same tank as you and I’ve had it for a little bit over a year. I don’t know if you had changed the stock lights but you might consider getting an AI prime HD light, which you can program it from your smart phone or tablet.  

 

Here’s a pic of my tank:

 

 

56A13D18-9743-44EB-B108-2F2DB49F9F7B.jpeg

 

Also I would beware of doing large water changes especially over 40% unless you have a major toxin, disease, or chemical problem. The changes are too much of a shock to the livestock when doing such a large water change. It’s like one of the other members who posted, low and slow, and those are words to go by when having to take care of such delicate livestock. 

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olig

Thanks everyone for your comments. @reef-seeker I don't run with the stock light, I upgraded to the hipargero (link) from amazon which I have just placed ontop of the hole in the original lid to try stop the light reflecting out. I tried it once with the mount that was supplied with the light but the reflection from the water top and light spilling out of the side lit up the whole area around the tank which got the idea vetoed. Do you think that buying a better light will reduce the light spilling out and the reflection? 

@Wonderboy I have read about two part before, how does that differ from the Red Sea reef abc+? I use the Red Sea salt and two part coral food so have some of their literature about all the products so have been thinking about using that if I do start to dose. 

Logically I think that if a company designs all of their products to work together I should just use those products instead of doing one thing from one company and one from another - is there a logic in this or am I just falling for marketing hype? 

 

Thanks again everyone for the replies 🙂

 

 

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Guest

Olig,

 

 The only problem with keeping the hood on the tank with your light in the opening is that the tank might get hot. Keep an eye on your tank temperature and if it gets too hot try removing the hood and mount the light above the open tank. If the tank still gets too hot like mine does with the AI prime HD, I just added a computer fan to the bracket to blow down on the water and it keeps the temperatures in check.  I understand the light spilling out around it can be a problem and you can buy diffusers for some lights like the AI prime HD which helps target the light downward more. I have my tank sitting right next to my La-Z-Boy, so I just put a piece of black plastic on the lights edge so that light does not shine on my eyes. You could put some cover around the edge of your light as well, but make sure it doesn’t focus the light downward in one spot but kind of broadcasted out a little bit more. 

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olig

thanks @reef-seeker this summer I did have a couple of days with the tank getting slightly warmer than I would have liked when I needed to keep the light turned off all day, but days like that are quite rare in the uk - though much more frequent this year than previous years! With the temp inside my house getting warmer than the temp I want the tank at there wasn't much I could do for it other than point a fan at the tank. I guess this is a much bigger problem for you in Texas than it is for me in the middle of the UK.

 

Do you have a photo of your tank showing the light and the amount of light that spills out of your tank that you could upload? I do think that tanks with just a mesh lid and light on a mount look much cleaner and the idea of control from my phone appeals so going that way would be good if it isn't too much distraction from the tv with the tank being in my living room. 

 

thanks

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Gravity
14 hours ago, olig said:

Thanks everyone for your comments. @reef-seeker I don't run with the stock light, I upgraded to the hipargero (link) from amazon which I have just placed ontop of the hole in the original lid to try stop the light reflecting out. I tried it once with the mount that was supplied with the light but the reflection from the water top and light spilling out of the side lit up the whole area around the tank which got the idea vetoed. Do you think that buying a better light will reduce the light spilling out and the reflection? 

@Wonderboy I have read about two part before, how does that differ from the Red Sea reef abc+? I use the Red Sea salt and two part coral food so have some of their literature about all the products so have been thinking about using that if I do start to dose. 

Logically I think that if a company designs all of their products to work together I should just use those products instead of doing one thing from one company and one from another - is there a logic in this or am I just falling for marketing hype? 

 

Thanks again everyone for the replies 🙂

 

 

Two part is just a general reference for calcium and alkalinity supplements. They are most commonly sold in two solutions but there are single, three part and four part solutions too, usually adding magnesium and trace elements. Typically only the two parts are necessary for success but the other additives can result in better growth and coloration. It’s not necessary to use Red Sea as a “system” but if your happy with the quality of their other products and trust the brand then go for it. However, most people would start with kalkwasser, a calcium and alkalinity supplement that is added to top off water. Once this can no longer maintain alkalinity then move on to two part. 

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18 hours ago, olig said:

thanks @reef-seeker this summer I did have a couple of days with the tank getting slightly warmer than I would have liked when I needed to keep the light turned off all day, but days like that are quite rare in the uk - though much more frequent this year than previous years! With the temp inside my house getting warmer than the temp I want the tank at there wasn't much I could do for it other than point a fan at the tank. I guess this is a much bigger problem for you in Texas than it is for me in the middle of the UK.

 

Do you have a photo of your tank showing the light and the amount of light that spills out of your tank that you could upload? I do think that tanks with just a mesh lid and light on a mount look much cleaner and the idea of control from my phone appeals so going that way would be good if it isn't too much distraction from the tv with the tank being in my living room. 

 

thanks

Here’s a pic of the AI prime HD light that you were asking about. Forgive the blue color I took it off my iPad without the filters. Notice the black piece of plastic on one side of it. That is what keeps the light from shining in my eyes.

The next screenshot is a sample of the light schedule that you can change on your iPad or iPhone or android device. Also notice the computer fan behind the light on the upper part of the bracket. 

 

 

 

D9A33979-768C-4DC3-BA70-E771040C20DA.jpeg

C6553DFF-747C-40BD-AE68-4CE8AF19728B.png

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William

If you are looking for dosing options, I would look at the Tropic Marin “All-for-reef” it’s a one part balanced solution that I find works really well on nano sized aquariums. 

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olig

Thanks, I'll look into it

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olig

Hear I am again with lots of questions, what phosphate removal do you all run? I was running the fluval clearmax but my phosphate has dropped to 0.01ppm so I've pulled the bag out as I'm aiming for stable not dropping... I think the problem is the clearmax bags are designed for bigger tanks than the little 13.5

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Ratvan
32 minutes ago, olig said:

Hear I am again with lots of questions, what phosphate removal do you all run? I was running the fluval clearmax but my phosphate has dropped to 0.01ppm so I've pulled the bag out as I'm aiming for stable not dropping... I think the problem is the clearmax bags are designed for bigger tanks than the little 13.5

What's the reading without removal? 

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