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Dirté Sanchez
Just now, WV Reefer said:

 

I went to school with a guy named Dick Wilt. 😄 poor dude.  

LOL That's almost as unfortunate as "Mr Pitts" if you remember your Dead Poets Society

 

 

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Dirté Sanchez

Water change day! Made it a week and a half before the nitrates hit 20. Or who knows how high they really are. I so wish they’d come up with an electronic (affordable) nitrates reader. 

 

Got the SW/RODI mix down today though- for 4.5 gallons it took 1 3/4 cup of salt, plus another 1/8th cup to make it SPOT ON 1.026/35. So total of 1.875 cups of salt. 

 

Switched out the purigen bag for a Seachem Hypersorb Bag- figured I’d give it a whirl. It promised all these wonderful things so we shall see. The purigen was already exhausted- probably not using enough with all the feeds. Or may have to do smaller more frequent changes. Will keep working at this nitrates/filtration media/water change issue until I figure it out. 

E26C32F0-AFA9-4B71-9A7D-7855B26A9EE0.jpeg

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Dirté Sanchez

Got home and tested parameters tonight, and found that the Hypersorb bag I was testing instead of purigen, is doing next to nothing for my nitrates. While Seachem says it’s for both marine and fresh, I’ll lean towards it being more for fresh. So, I did a fairly quick 20% water change and put recharged purigen back in. Watched my critters sharply for the next hour to make sure they showed no stress from the recharged bag, since it was my first time attempting that feat. So far they’ve been okay so I hope I did it right. 

 

Will retest nitrates again tomorrow, while everything looked good on the test. The alk and Ca were a tiny bit low so I dosed with Reef Fusion 1 & 2. 

 

Otherwise still chugging along!

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Dirté Sanchez

Not completely sure why, but I’m still struggling a bit with higher than goal nitrates. The corals all look happy, as well as the fish, but I am not super happy with higher than goal numbers. Plus my ammonia tube was slightly off color yesterday, which really aggravated me. 

 

So yesterday I changed out my carbon for new bags, and since it was my last I ordered some Seachem Matrix Carbon and will see how theirs adds up. I’ve been happy with their products so far. 

 

Today my ammonia was back to straight yellow, but the phosphates had bumped a little and the nitrates were still naggingly increased at around 15. I did a smaller water change than my usual Sunday routine because the weather was too bad for SW/RODI making. But I also realized— I’ve forgotten to Turkey baste my rocks for the last couple of days too. So I’ll see how the results look tomorrow I guess. 

 

Glued my gorgonian up on the live rock and it seems MUCH happier now. Had to reglue my Dragon Eye zoa to the rock because my crabs were trying to take it for a walk around the tank. 

 

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WV Reefer
Just now, Dirté Sanchez said:

Not completely sure why, but I’m still struggling a bit with higher than goal nitrates. The corals all look happy, as well as the fish, but I am not super happy with higher than goal numbers. Plus my ammonia tube was slightly off color yesterday, which really aggravated me. 

 

So yesterday I changed out my carbon for new bags, and since it was my last I ordered some Seachem Matrix Carbon and will see how theirs adds up. I’ve been happy with their products so far. 

 

Today my ammonia was back to straight yellow, but the phosphates had bumped a little and the nitrates were still naggingly increased at around 15. I did a smaller water change than my usual Sunday routine because the weather was too bad for SW/RODI making. But I also realized— I’ve forgotten to Turkey baste my rocks for the last couple of days too. So I’ll see how the results look tomorrow I guess. 

 

Glued my gorgonian up on the live rock and it seems MUCH happier now. Had to reglue my Dragon Eye zoa to the rock because my crabs were trying to take it for a walk around the tank. 

 

582E5C41-D0BB-43DD-AAC6-839C3CBD2E0B.thumb.jpeg.3ad5c386bb0dce943e43c08595e38d06.jpeg

 

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Looks nice and clear in there though. 

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Dirté Sanchez
2 minutes ago, WV Reefer said:

 

Looks nice and clear in there though. 

It is- and every other day I find a nice crop of tube worms, which Erasmus the wrasse gets after. My growth of coralline is coming along on the back and side glass as well, though it’s not showing up in photos yet. So it makes me wonder, again, if I’m inept at running this test or the soap isn’t actually cleaning the test tubes in between uses or what. Seems odd that everything looks good but I keep getting crappy results. 

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WV Reefer
Just now, Dirté Sanchez said:

It is- and every other day I find a nice crop of tube worms, which Erasmus the wrasse gets after. My growth of coralline is coming along on the back and side glass as well, though it’s not showing up in photos yet. So it makes me wonder, again, if I’m inept at running this test or the soap isn’t actually cleaning the test tubes in between uses or what. Seems odd that everything looks good but I keep getting crappy results. 

Or......They could be spot on and it just doesn’t matter. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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billygoat
1 minute ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

It is- and every other day I find a nice crop of tube worms, which Erasmus the wrasse gets after. My growth of coralline is coming along on the back and side glass as well, though it’s not showing up in photos yet. So it makes me wonder, again, if I’m inept at running this test or the soap isn’t actually cleaning the test tubes in between uses or what. Seems odd that everything looks good but I keep getting crappy results. 

I'd say that the results are in the livestock! If your nitrates are sitting at 15 and everything looks great, well... maybe that's exactly where they ought to be 😄 

Definitely looking good in there. That NPS gorgonian is so delicate and beautiful; I kind of want one.

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Dirté Sanchez
1 minute ago, billygoat said:

I'd say that the results are in the livestock! If your nitrates are sitting at 15 and everything looks great, well... maybe that's exactly where they ought to be 😄 

Definitely looking good in there. That NPS gorgonian is so delicate and beautiful; I kind of want one.

I like him- he’s got some personality with when he opens his polyps or not. And he’s growing a new limb— another reason the test results drive me a bit nuts. The corals are growing, so how can the nitrates be bad? Again wishing for an electronic reader to verify with. 🤦🏽‍♀️

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Dirté Sanchez

ARGH!!! Follow up testing today on ammonia and nitrates revealed still increased levels. 

 

Ammonia - 0.25

Nitrates - 20

 

So after researching all my filter media:

 

In tank filter floss>Seachem phosbond>Seachem purigen>Fluval 100gm carbon bag x2>Filter floss>Seachem matrix>Seachem De*nitrate>return pump/heater/ATO (RODI water with some kalk to raise pH in ATO to 8.5)

 

I realized the De*Nitrate could be expended, and replaced that. I replace the filter floss about every day because of the brine shrimp I feed - they make it nasty. I rinsed the matrix. Replaced the phosbond and then moved it to the second chamber in the place of the second filter floss. Also, placed the De*Nitrate bag on top of the matrix bag, so that it's contacted first by the water. So, we shall retest everything tomorrow (its due anyway) and see if those changes have helped. I was most concerned that the ammonia was creeping, even after a good stirring with the turkey baster and water change yesterday. Usually it stays at 0. 

 

So, wish my tank luck!

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Dirté Sanchez

So, the good news was the nitrates did drop to 10 and the ammonia cleared. So changing the denitrate helped. I also put some Dr Tim’s waste away in there (a half dose) to try and help with some sludge removal. 

 

The bad news is, the harlequin eats too much, too fast, and she’s run out of str fish. My husband went to the LFS to try and buy more, which they didn’t have. Instead they foisted a serpent star on him and promised him she’d eat that within a week. Well, turns out harlequins don’t eat serpent stars, so she either knew this and lied, or doesn’t actually know what Harlequins eat and sold us a fairly pricey tank addition we weren’t needing. That while reef safe could still eat my snails or hermits. I’m pretty annoyed. 

 

So if anybody has any asterina surplus they’d love to part with, let me know! Maybe we can work something out.

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spectra
28 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

So, the good news was the nitrates did drop to 10 and the ammonia cleared. So changing the denitrate helped. I also put some Dr Tim’s waste away in there (a half dose) to try and help with some sludge removal. 

 

The bad news is, the harlequin eats too much, too fast, and she’s run out of str fish. My husband went to the LFS to try and buy more, which they didn’t have. Instead they foisted a serpent star on him and promised him she’d eat that within a week. Well, turns out harlequins don’t eat serpent stars, so she either knew this and lied, or doesn’t actually know what Harlequins eat and sold us a fairly pricey tank addition we weren’t needing. That while reef safe could still eat my snails or hermits. I’m pretty annoyed. 

 

So if anybody has any asterina surplus they’d love to part with, let me know! Maybe we can work something out.

They will eat the serpent star but the issue is they cant catch them.........there to fast.........hard for them to flip them over also with the long legs.......

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Dirté Sanchez
3 hours ago, spectra said:

They will eat the serpent star but the issue is they cant catch them.........there to fast.........hard for them to flip them over also with the long legs.......

Well, I may look into an urchin for her in the meantime or see if they have a tiny chocolate star- everything I’ve seen has been far too huge for my tank. I ordered a small breeder box in the hope of putting a couple of good asterinas in it to multiply,  but I doubt the chocolates they’re selling would fit. And I don’t have a refugium, or room to make one. Mostly I’m just super annoyed that she evidently didn’t know for sure and sold us something I wouldn’t have bought in the first place. 

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billygoat
1 hour ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

Well, I may look into an urchin for her in the meantime or see if they have a tiny chocolate star- everything I’ve seen has been far too huge for my tank. I ordered a small breeder box in the hope of putting a couple of good asterinas in it to multiply,  but I doubt the chocolates they’re selling would fit. And I don’t have a refugium, or room to make one. Mostly I’m just super annoyed that she evidently didn’t know for sure and sold us something I wouldn’t have bought in the first place. 

Do harlequins eat urchins as well? I thought they were only into sea stars. We have a few at the public aquarium where I work and I believe we feed them chocolate stars.

 

At any rate it's very ambitious of you to keep such a delicate and finicky animal in your nano! I know for sure that something like that would be way outside of my comfort zone. I am impressed with your dedication.

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spectra

Not sure on the urchins...…….

 

I have had them in the past and they are neat creatures for sure. I always had a sump that way could just wack an arm off the star and let them regenerate in the sump...….

 

I forgot one time I had a sand sifting star in the tank and put a pair in there...…..they proceeded to go right to the star and dig it out of the sand...…..they know where the food is. 

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WV Reefer
6 minutes ago, billygoat said:

Do harlequins eat urchins as well? I thought they were only into sea stars. We have a few at the public aquarium where I work and I believe we feed them chocolate stars.

 

At any rate it's very ambitious of you to keep such a delicate and finicky animal in your nano! I know for sure that something like that would be way outside of my comfort zone. I am impressed with your dedication.

 

3 minutes ago, spectra said:

Not sure on the urchins...…….

 

I have had them in the past and they are neat creatures for sure. I always had a sump that way could just wack an arm off the star and let them regenerate in the sump...….

 

I forgot one time I had a sand sifting star in the tank and put a pair in there...…..they proceeded to go right to the star and dig it out of the sand...…..they know where the food is. 

 

Everything I've read says they can and do eat urchins.  Same concept though, they have to be able to flip it over. 

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Dirté Sanchez
10 minutes ago, WV Reefer said:

 

 

Everything I've read says they can and do eat urchins.  Same concept though, they have to be able to flip it over. 

Yeah that’s what I’ve been seeing too. Guess this is the non-benefit side of small AIOs, lacking a sump and space for a refugium. I think the 🧙🏻‍♀️FSL has smaller urchins available that may work for this pinch, but I seriously doubt based on what I’ve seen in her tanks that there’s a chocolate star small enough to be appropriate. It’ll be good when I get my hands on some asterina and can let them multiply. 

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Dirté Sanchez

Yesterday was such a bad day, and today seems to want to go the same direction. Woke up yesterday (and today) to find the six line wrasse dead, and already feasted upon by the CUC. Grisly way to start the morning, aside from that was my favorite fish. I blamed the serpent star yesterday, because he was in the area of the crime when I went to bed the day before, and when I found him yesterday morning post-murder, he'd kicked off two legs in self defense. Not been eaten-either savaged or done himself. So something threatened him but I'll never know what. I hope the wrasse did it before he died. Anyway, serpent star met his demise in the LG freezer. Had many words with the evil 🧙🏻‍♀️FSL who sold my husband that thing, that the harlequin isn't even going to eat, but yet killed my favorite fish. Of course, the 🧙🏻‍♀️FSL is never wrong, and has 25 years experience doing this, so it HAD TO BE all my fault, and there's obviously something wrong with my tank that my creatures would act in such a manner. They refuse to refund, trade or return at this place, so I'm out quite a lot of money now. I got a new wrasse to replace the other because again-my favorite fish. But she was so rude- I now refuse to ever go back there. I'll just do all my stocking from online sites. 

 

At any rate, woke up this morning to find that the new wrasse was over bullied by the Pseudochromis and Black oscellaris. He was a second grisly site to wake up to, and unfortunately today the child owner of the tank found him. Many tears. These last two days make me want to throw the whole tank away, or at least part of me does. Now to test the parameters to see how disgusting the water is and what I have to do. 🤦🏽‍♀️

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Snow_Phoenix
25 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

Yesterday was such a bad day, and today seems to want to go the same direction. Woke up yesterday (and today) to find the six line wrasse dead, and already feasted upon by the CUC. Grisly way to start the morning, aside from that was my favorite fish. I blamed the serpent star yesterday, because he was in the area of the crime when I went to bed the day before, and when I found him yesterday morning post-murder, he'd kicked off two legs in self defense. Not been eaten-either savaged or done himself. So something threatened him but I'll never know what. I hope the wrasse did it before he died. Anyway, serpent star met his demise in the LG freezer. Had many words with the evil 🧙🏻‍♀️FSL who sold my husband that thing, that the harlequin isn't even going to eat, but yet killed my favorite fish. Of course, the 🧙🏻‍♀️FSL is never wrong, and has 25 years experience doing this, so it HAD TO BE all my fault, and there's obviously something wrong with my tank that my creatures would act in such a manner. They refuse to refund, trade or return at this place, so I'm out quite a lot of money now. I got a new wrasse to replace the other because again-my favorite fish. But she was so rude- I now refuse to ever go back there. I'll just do all my stocking from online sites. 

 

At any rate, woke up this morning to find that the new wrasse was over bullied by the Pseudochromis and Black oscellaris. He was a second grisly site to wake up to, and unfortunately today the child owner of the tank found him. Many tears. These last two days make me want to throw the whole tank away, or at least part of me does. Now to test the parameters to see how disgusting the water is and what I have to do. 🤦🏽‍♀️

Was it a green brittle star? I have had brittle stars before (brown banded and green) on four different occasions and none of them have ever actively pursued my fish. And I used to keep a lot of tiny bottom-dwellers like gobies and blennies with them. But I do feed them meaty chunks of frozen (squid or shrimp) directly every weekly. I notice with greens, which are mostly known as 'non-reefsafe' - the issue of them turning predatory is usually due to not being fed enough. Not sure what motivated yours to hunt down your fish though - but I don't think you're a bad owner.

 

Mistakes happen and sometimes fish up and die for no reason too. 

 

And I think you should avoid FSL unless it's an absolute emergency and you can't get your supplies anywhere else except from her store. Why give your money/support to someone who's constantly rude to you and makes you feel bad every time you shop? I had a FW LFS do that to me a few years back and now I only window-shop at their store, and purposely don't buy anything from them, unless I can't find my item anywhere else and only their store has it. Even then, I'm very curt with them and don't interact much. 

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Dirté Sanchez
50 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Was it a green brittle star? I have had brittle stars before (brown banded and green) on four different occasions and none of them have ever actively pursued my fish. And I used to keep a lot of tiny bottom-dwellers like gobies and blennies with them. But I do feed them meaty chunks of frozen (squid or shrimp) directly every weekly. I notice with greens, which are mostly known as 'non-reefsafe' - the issue of them turning predatory is usually due to not being fed enough. Not sure what motivated yours to hunt down your fish though - but I don't think you're a bad owner.

 

Mistakes happen and sometimes fish up and die for no reason too. 

 

And I think you should avoid FSL unless it's an absolute emergency and you can't get your supplies anywhere else except from her store. Why give your money/support to someone who's constantly rude to you and makes you feel bad every time you shop? I had a FW LFS do that to me a few years back and now I only window-shop at their store, and purposely don't buy anything from them, unless I can't find my item anywhere else and only their store has it. Even then, I'm very curt with them and don't interact much. 

It was a banded serpent star. I would never have bought one myself to begin with- they give me the absolute willies because they look like snakes. The bristle worms are bad enough!! But she foisted one on my husband and son Tuesday when she had no asterina stars to sell for the harlequin to eat. And I’m not sure why she didn’t just recommend using a chocolate star and freezing it or whatever. According to my husband, that day she wasn’t aware that harlequins supposedly ate those serpent stars, and asked her young assistant for confirmation, who is nice but usually tells people bogus stuff. Then when I go there yesterday she INSISTS they feed serpent stars to their harlequins “all the time”. Amazing how her manner changes- one day she doesn’t know, the next she’s an expert. So yeah- I won’t be going back. If there’s an emergency I’ll try to delegate it to my husband because she and I hate each other on sight. 

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StinkyBunny

Brittle stars are scavengers, serpent stars are out right hunters.

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Dirté Sanchez
2 hours ago, StinkyBunny said:

Brittle stars are scavengers, serpent stars are out right hunters.

That’s what everybody here said, backed up by the internet. But according this witch Fish Store Lady, hobbyists know nothing at all and I shouldn’t trust you, and anybody can post anything on the internet. And her book said no they aren’t they eat dead debris and scavenge only. She’s not worth arguing with- she won’t even make eye contact when you question her gospel. If it’s not her way it’s the wrong way and you’re stupid. I can’t stand her.

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Dirté Sanchez

So today hasn't been as horrible as I thought it would be, and the tank parameters were actually fine. I think my extra filtration kicked in and helped out with the death this morning. There was no need to do a water change, and I figure all the CUC will take care of debris. I haven't decided what to do with the purple pseudochromis, since I was able to snatch him out of the tank last night last minute and put him in QT. I was going to stick him in the jar when it finished, because he's such a jerk, and no one likes him - not the clown, and DEFINITELY not the goby. So, still divided on what to do with that particular problem child.

 

Great news for my day- my birthday/Mother's Day present was ordered!! Gonna upgrade the tank to a 50g with a regular sump system. So much more room and options to work with. I plan to take this Evo down and make it the QT tank, and move all the contents/inhabitants to the new tank when it's ready. Will save me quite a buck and make the inhabitants much happier, to have more room. I'm so excited about it! 

 

Of course, I will have to figure out what filtration to use on a classic sump now, since I'm completely unfamiliar with how to set it up. Suggestions appreciated!!

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Dirté Sanchez

Oh yeah forgot this— happy tank even with the fish loss.

 

61E51464-A157-49B1-A760-C0CBBD413217.thumb.jpeg.ad551301ae7b1fe08a9f3f6073468201.jpeg

 

FTS, week shy of three months old. 

 

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Snappys been growing under his rock- and now he and J Edgar have truly bonded and were hard at work expanding their tunnels, walls and dominion. 

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WV Reefer
1 minute ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

Oh yeah forgot this— happy tank even with the fish loss.

 

61E51464-A157-49B1-A760-C0CBBD413217.thumb.jpeg.ad551301ae7b1fe08a9f3f6073468201.jpeg

 

FTS, week shy of three months old. 

 

9A4A6E9F-116D-460D-BED5-55C0C04A0DFF.thumb.jpeg.8ae673096be2cdcd0c67318bed3b4b40.jpeg

 

Snappys been growing under his rock- and now he and J Edgar have truly bonded and were hard at work expanding their tunnels, walls and dominion. 

 

Everything is looking good. 😊 I love watching my goby and pistol...... they are so funny. 

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