Jump to content
sublunary

Tiny Fish, Big Tank - sublunary's RSR 250

Recommended Posts

sublunary
1 hour ago, Tired said:

Oh, cool! That's really rare in aquaria, though I guess it doesn't help that not too many people keep gorgonians. Did you see any others releasing any other gametes? It would be amazing if they spawned successfully and actually landed more gorgonians, though I'm sure all those eggs probably wound up as fish snacks.

I didn't see any others releasing gametes, and I only have one of that species.  I'll settle for the free fish food, and the extra motivation to indulge in night time tank viewing. 

Share this post


Link to post
vlangel
On 12/28/2020 at 10:14 PM, sublunary said:

Thank you.  I always find losing animals makes me lose my confidence for a bit, even if other things are going well. 

 

I did have a nice confidence boost tonight though.  I went to check out the tank during moonlight, and noticed a few little white spheres floating around.  The more I looked, the more I noticed, gently floating up and around like a slow motion snow globe.  I traced it to my tall orangey gorgonian. 

 

 

I've never had a coral spawn before, so I'm super excited.   I love how the hobby gives me these moments of unexpected beauty. 

That is super cool and something I have never experienced.

Share this post


Link to post
sublunary

I've had a couple of weeks to adjust to the Reef LEDs.  I've finished up my acclimation period, so they're at full strength.  I chose the 20k setting, which runs 100% blues and 50% whites.  I honestly prefer a much whiter tank, but picked a bluer setting to hopefully favor the corals a bit more than the algae.   The tank looks pretty purple, which I don't love, but don't entirely hate.  I'm down to a manageable amount of GHA and haven't had to do any manual removal in quite a while.  The corals seem to be liking it.  Some of the zoas I had nearly given up on are opening now. 

 

I find it really interesting that 2 clumps of sympodium getting different amounts of shadow have noticeably different colors now. 

20210107_181252.thumb.jpg.29a36fbf9a44a11007b502cbb93f0b94.jpg

 

The lights were advertised as being designed to focus more light into the tank, creating less shadowing in the tank and less lightspill into the room.  Compared to the Primes (which were admittedly a few inches closer to the water surface) there is sooooo much more light spill.  Light everywhere.  And yet some of the shadowing inside the tank is a bit worse.  Oh well.   I can deal with both.

 

I'm really liking the moonlight setting.  With the primes, I could set moonlight, but kind of had to guess at what color channels and intensities to use, and never found one I liked.  The automatic moonlight channel on the ReefLEDs is a great gentle light that looks fairly natural to me.  I don't think they were running long enough to give them credit for the gorgonian spawn, but it's possible. 

 

The one thing I really don't like about them is that they SUCK for photography.  The AI Prime app had a nice big button for "All On" so that with one click I could make the lights a good mostly-white blend that was pretty easy to take photos under.  No such button from Red Sea.  I really wish lighting apps would include an option to schedule a photography mode that would last for a set time the way pumps have a feed mode.    I should set up a custom schedule that's just 24hrs of mostly white that I can switch to for pictures.  I don't know why I didn't think of that before. 

 

Look at all this purple.  It's awful.

fish.thumb.jpg.99f88d113618e59fb33cc1356d62c707.jpg

 

You can barely see the fish.

fish2.thumb.jpg.dc6248ede25dd78c2f1112f9481530ff.jpg

 

 

As you may be able to see above, my brown slime is still an issue, and is getting a bit more pernicious. I finally got a decent enough sample under the microscope and it's definitely dinos.  I'm not able to make a firm ID of what kind though, so if you think you can help, please head on over to my:  Dino ID Thread

 

So I'm hoping to get a more narrow dino ID to so I can make a game plan.  I stopped doing water changes once I started suspecting dinos.  Nitrates are still over 25, phosphate still low but detectible.  I'm siphoning them into a filter to remove some without removing water.   I'm kind of hoping I have one that I don't need to buy a UV for, mostly because I know I'll get so nervous about hooking it up that I'll procrastinate on it...

Share this post


Link to post
sublunary

I've got a preliminary ID of my dinos as amphidinium.  The amphididumim behavior described in most guides I've seen doesn't seem like mine - they are frequently confined to the sandbed and don't form strings.  Mine are on every available surface and very stringy.  They aren't supposed to kill corals and CUC like other strains.  I've had quite a few losses I attribute to them.  But the more I compare microscope videos the more convinced I am.   And they're one of the hardest to get rid of.  Yay.  

 

I've spent a while reading the big R2R threads and gathering materials, and more or less have a plan.  Amphidinium are not light dependent, and blackouts don't seem necessary.  They hunker down in the sandbed at night instead of going into the water column, so UV fixtures don't seem to help.  I'm reading mixed reports on whether regular removal of dinos, by siphoning through filter sock is actually helpful.  Raising temps only seems to help people temporarily.

 

The main solution seems to be increasing biodiversity and particularly increasing diatoms to outcompete the dinos.  This includes having detectible nitrates and phosphates, increasing silicates, and making sure diatoms and other critters have what they need to multiply.  Having diatoms take over seems to be the key.  

 

I haven't done a water change in quite a while, so my trace elements have probably been pretty well depleted by the dinos.  My nitrate remains high (between 25 and 50).  Since my last post, my phosphate bottomed out, even with increased feedings.  Kh and Calcium are kept pretty stable by dosing.

 

So here's the plan:

I've been siphoning dinos into a 5 micron filter sock a couple of times per week.  I'm going to make that a bit more frequent. 

I'm going to do about a 10% water change this weekend to get some trace elements in there for the diatoms to use.

I started dosing silicates about a week ago at a very low dose.  My Si test kit arrived today, so I will be able to ramp that up in an informed way going forward.

I have started dosing NeoPhos to get/keep my phosphate detectible again.

I'm going to keep dosing my home brewed phyto and copepods. 

I'm getting an IPSF order on Thursday for a microfauna boost.  A few people have had success covering the most infested parts of their sandbed with IPSF's wondermud so I figure it's worth a try.  This will also replace some of the sandbed worms I've lost. 

 

Some people have said they've only had success beating ampihdinium with removal of their sandbed.  I really, don't want to do that, so cross your fingers it won't come to that.  I like my sand-burrowing critters.

 

There's a lot of conflicting stories and not a lot of success out there, so I may be in for a long ride.  

 

FPG came out to flip it's fins at me as I was working today.  It didn't appreciate the flash,  But at least I have a photo to post...

1013012292_2021_01.23FPG.thumb.jpg.410ede6a6e670dfd5749b7735b0a1490.jpg

 

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
vlangel

Wow, I feel for you!  It sounds like you have a solid plan however.  I wish you the best of luck.

Great pic of the FPG.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Ocean_dreamer89
On 1/9/2021 at 6:23 PM, sublunary said:

The one thing I really don't like about them is that they SUCK for photography.  The AI Prime app had a nice big button for "All On" so that with one click I could make the lights a good mostly-white blend that was pretty easy to take photos under.  No such button from Red Sea.  I really wish lighting apps would include an option to schedule a photography mode that would last for a set time the way pumps have a feed mode.    I should set up a custom schedule that's just 24hrs of mostly white that I can switch to for pictures.  I don't know why I didn't think of that before. 

I had this same issue with my ReefLED 50.  There is a fix for it, but it's kind of hidden in the app and not a one button push.  I'll do my best to explain how with screen shots.

 

Go to the main menu for your light and click the 3 dots on the upper right

IMG_0603.thumb.jpg.b979e0f2da0158d44ac1fba2879c0f8c.jpg

 

It'll bring you to this menu and click Manual

IMG_0604.thumb.jpg.2cb147e25ce98b65c81e0ab71791afd6.jpg

 

You'll then be able to adjust the lights using the slider.  When you exit out of this mode, it'll go back to your schedule for your lights.

IMG_0605.thumb.PNG.2b2bd0a4f4c7041e271e30e6944bb6d9.PNG

 

Hope this helps!

Share this post


Link to post
sublunary
On 2/7/2021 at 3:24 PM, Ocean_dreamer89 said:

 

Hope this helps!

Oh wow, this helps so much!  I might never have figured that out on my own.  Thank you!

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Ocean_dreamer89

No problem! I had to comb the web to find that out haha

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
sublunary

Update on the dinos - I hate them and they are winning.

 

First step is to raise the PO4 to around .10.  According to the math on the back of the bottle, about 20ml of neophos should do the trick.  Ha.  I'm increasing my dosage periodically and am currently around 80ml twice a day and barely keeping it around .02.   Some of the corals look a bit perkier since I've started dosing - particularly the leathers and clove polyps.  So perhaps they are sucking it up that quickly?

 

For manual removal, I've been alternating siphoning dinos out and just turkey basting corals and changing filter floss.  The dinos are back covering the corals less than 8 hours later.  It's frustrating not to be able to get ahead of it. 

 

I've stopped dosing silicate right now, because I think I need the PO4 higher before diatoms can take hold.  

 

I tried adding the IPSF wondermud, but that doesn't seem to have done anything.  The dinos just moved onto the top layer of substrate.  They included some ulva, which some people had reported would chemically suppress dinos.  It doesn't.  They are happily growing right on the surface of the ulva (just like the other macros I have in there).   (None of the macros are growing, so I don't think they're sucking up the PO4.)  One of the other suggestions floating around is to cover the sandbed in chaeto, which I will try once I get PO4 higher.  But I don't have that much hope for it. 

 

I'm fairly sure I've lost all of my herbivorous snails bigger than a collonista.  The urchin seems to be finding enough to eat, and will actually eat some dinos.  I thought I had lost my feather duster, but was happy to see that it had only shed and regrown it's crown.  I was also happy to see one of my pom pom crabs the other day, so they are hanging in there.  The fish are all doing well. The Rainford goby has started eating pellets, which is funny since it always takes a few tries to catch them.   It was grabbing pellets off the water surface yesterday and actually shot water out of the tank in the process. 

 

The whole thing extra disheartening because it's the one year anniversary of adding water.  I'd like to be posting growth pictures and discussing plans to order mandarins.  Instead I'm drowning in brown gunk, and seeing no end to it.   Sigh. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

Keep up with the phosphate. If 80ml isn't doing it, try more. 

 

It's good that the Rainford is on prepared foods. Take advantage of that- stuff it whenever you feed it. That'll help keep it fat. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
sublunary

Things are still ugly in the realm of the tiny fishes.  Dinos everywhere!  Rocks, sand, floating along the top of the water.  Everywhere.

 

Even so, I think it's getting a bit better.  The sand doesn't get as completely covered as it had been.  There are several spots of some weird looking gunk that the dinos won't grow on.  Not sure if it's a bacterial mat of some kind, or something else.  But it's interesting.  I'm getting green hair algae on the power heads and return nozzles. I never thought I'd be quite this happy to see GHA.  I'm less happy to see all the bubble algae (green and red).  That will be my next battle if I ever kick the dinos...

 

I've succeeded in getting the phosphate up enough that it's been between .07 and .11 for the past three weeks.  I'm still dosing phosphates twice a day, but I've been able to cut the amount by about 2/3.  I started adding silicate again.  My nitrates are the lowest they've ever been - between 2.5 and 5.  So I'm debating whether I need to dose those up a bit as well. 

 

Something is making the water slightly cloudy.  I'm not sure exactly what, Just something else to make things less than pretty. 

fts.thumb.jpg.c5c1d3d1e9854dc928c3c74114fe230e.jpg

 

I've been seeing a pom pom crab and porcelain crab pretty frequently lately. 

20210305_192547.thumb.jpg.75691d337d77620312ab42bdd6d50532.jpg

 

Fish continue to do well.  The rainfords continues to eat everything in sight, except nori.  The yellow assessor disappeared for about a week, but reappeared today like nothing happened.  Yellow rose goby has been more skittish, and I haven't seen the pistol shrimp in a while, so I'm a bit worried the pistol is gone.  Flaming prawn gobies are still making occasional appearances to flash disapprovingly at me. 

20210226_190458.thumb.jpg.9356e823f5e1912814d6116477309b2e.jpg

 

 

What I'm most happy about right now is the microfauna.  Copepods have always been good, as well as these other shield-shaped tiny bugs I haven't ID'd yet.  I finally, finally have amphipods again.  My tanaids are multiplying.  Collinistas are still an army.  I've picked up a handful of baby snails that might be nassarius or marginellas.  I even saw a sphaeromatid isopod, and I thought they all died out like 6 months ago.  That gives me a lot of hope. 

 

And because I am a glutton for punishment,  I decided it would be a good idea to start up a 5 gallon AIO pico.  I got some free live rock from a local reefer, and a couple pieces from an LFS.  Using one of the AI Primes that's no longer over the main tank.  I figure it will help keep me engaged in the hobby if I have something that's not drowning in dinos.  I'm also debating using it as a refuge for a couple of corals that are not doing well in the main tank.  The snake polyps cannot stay dino-free for more than an hour and are really looking rough.  But I'm not sure how to do it without ending up with 2 dino tanks.  So it's just hypothetical right now.   I sold it to B as a temporary tank for that purpose.  But I'm kind of tempted to get some RFAs and try my hand at nems.  But who knows.   This was a couple weeks ago already.  It's hit the diatom phase now (and you know I put it under the scope to make sure lol).  

20210305_135125.thumb.jpg.02d687973cd58e7327479e282d117992.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

Any plans for mobile critters for the new tank? You could always go with the opposite of this one, and put something big in there. Sure, it'd be a bad idea and not good for the fish, but think of the symmetry!

(Don't do that.)

 

More nitrates can't hurt, as long as you don't dump the whole bottle in there at once. Whatever gets competition going against the dinos.

 

What are those pink corals in the right center of the tank, the ones that look like when a cat bushes its tail out? They look a bit like massive gorgonians, but I don't think that's right. 

 

I wouldn't go putting anything covered in dinos into a fresh new tank, particularly not one with clean rock anywhere in it. Maybe once it's got a nice big algae surge going on. 

 

For the snake polyps, are you able to hang them in the water column somehow, so a powerhead is cleaning them off? They might not like that very much, I don't know how much flow snake polyps like, but it probably wouldn't be worse for them than just being covered in dinos.

Share this post


Link to post
sublunary
On 3/13/2021 at 2:12 AM, Tired said:

Any plans for mobile critters for the new tank? You could always go with the opposite of this one, and put something big in there. Sure, it'd be a bad idea and not good for the fish, but think of the symmetry!

(Don't do that.)

You mean this shouldn't be my first foray into tangs?  😭

I'm not sure yet.  If I go for RFAs, might go for anemone porcelain crabs and venus shrimp, or something similar.  I know sexy shrimp are the obvious choice, but I've never been a fan of them. 

 

On 3/13/2021 at 2:12 AM, Tired said:

What are those pink corals in the right center of the tank, the ones that look like when a cat bushes its tail out? They look a bit like massive gorgonians, but I don't think that's right. 

They are corky finger gorgonians.  Normally, they are puffed up evenly all the way down.  Here's the best pre-dino picture I could find. 

corky.thumb.jpg.15b8bcf822d7faba8926a85b0affe4e8.jpg

Oh man, this was just three months ago.  If only I'd started dosing phosphate then....

 

On 3/13/2021 at 2:12 AM, Tired said:

For the snake polyps, are you able to hang them in the water column somehow, so a powerhead is cleaning them off? They might not like that very much, I don't know how much flow snake polyps like, but it probably wouldn't be worse for them than just being covered in dinos.

That might be worth trying, but I'm not sure if there's a level that the coral will like that the dinos don't.   From what mccarrol has said, dinos actually like high flow.  I have some stuff on a frag rack that I've moved into different flow areas, and so far haven't found a spot that doesn't attract dinos as of yet.  Maybe If I get desperate I can find a way to tie the frag disk to the screen lid and really suspend it lol. 

Share this post


Link to post
sublunary

6 weeks later things are still dirty, but a little more green.   Warning, this might be painful to see...

 

 

fts.thumb.jpg.c81989d4e3c7b611bafc6f69cf562167.jpg

 

Most of the time, there are still dinos on the rock and glass, but they are growing on top of green algae now.  I've gotten back to siphoning them out regularly, and they seem to be growing back slightly more slowly.   One of the many recommendations I'm trying is less glass cleaning, which is why parts of the glass look particularly atrocious. The back is abut 1/3 covered with cyano, which I guess is an improvement.  The sandbed is still pretty gross.

 

The sideways black contraption is a drop-in uv filter.  I narrowed down the causes of the cloudy water to a probable bacterial bloom, and the uv cleared it up.  I'm leaving it in and occasionally blowing dinos into the water column and hoping it zaps them.  Not super effective for amphidinium, but it feels like doing something.  *shrug*

 

The tank is using phosphate at about 0.15 ppm per day, and I'm dosing to keep it above 0.10.  I've gotten nitrates detectable and hovering around 1ppm.   

 

The corals are looking happier. At least the leathers, though they still aren't totally dino-free

 

leather.thumb.JPG.5e80a959cd0b34ff1699307d7957f420.JPG

 

1685657528_leather2.thumb.jpg.0e01925f56af09954aac7f8ed85bb89a.jpg

 

20210503_191321.thumb.jpg.5719c3e2e04d5dbd17d6519d10da3f6a.jpg

 

The cespitularia is happiest of all.  It has basically dropped a puddle of itself to start spreading.  I'm half tempted to move that puddle onto a rock and just let it take over.

 

cespitularia.thumb.jpg.258aece4cae20cf6d6891575dcbbd4d4.jpg

 

The pico is coming into its own.   It's quite a bit cleaner, but I'm learning just how hard it is to keep a bare bottom that way.  I get it clean, add water back, and the process of adding water finds more dirt and sends it flying.  I forgot to take a FTS, but here are some macros.

 

I am letting clove polyps take over as much of the bottom of the tank as they feel like. They are growing super fast compared to the ones in the big tank.

cloves.thumb.JPG.ea29b49cbca8e04e78107981fb37e90c.JPG

 

The three porcelain crabs are doing well.  There's one in the middle of those cloves.  This is the only one who felt like sitting for a portrait.

crab.thumb.JPG.c87d515a79cc76208aa5c62bcdd24014.JPG

 

I got my first 2 RFAs and both of them have moved into impossible to photograph places.  Because of course they did. Here's the best I could get. 

rfa.thumb.jpg.0627c8d14d1bac44da717a4a7d24c235.jpg

 

There's also a couple of zoa frags in there, and the snake polyps.  I felt confident enough to move them over after a good fresh water scrub, and it looks like that was enough.  They're not opening yet, but they already look a lot healthier.  If that goes well, there are a couple of other frags I might move over to let them recover.  

 

So yeah, still fighting, still going back and forth between depressed and optimistic.  But not giving up.  

fts.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

Hoo, look at all that! Good competition, at least. And no surprise your soft corals love the nutrients, they do great in dirtier tanks.

 

Once the dinos are down low enough that they aren't toxic to inverts any more, you might get a tuxedo urchin or two. They're great for eating longer algae, and they're fun to watch. They'll move small coral frags, but it doesn't look like you have anything small enough that they'd move it. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...