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Ratvan's Old School Pico - Contest Recap

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Ratvan
7 hours ago, Wingy said:

How deep does the Miracle Mud need to be?  If it doesn't need to be very deep you could add it to a shot glass and bury the shot glass in the sand.  Easy peasy.  

I'm looking into this now by making "root packets" (wrapping the mud in pantyhose/tights and planting that "bulb") 

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East1

Macroalgaes don’t have root systems, so mud as a root bulb won’t have much of an impact.

 

nutrient wise the fastest element that will be consumed in this tank will be iron, I’d suggest easylife ferro as a daily supplement to keep everything growing vigorously  

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seabass

Iron supplements can be beneficial to macro, but dose with care: https://www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/10/chemistry

I find that most macro will do fine without it.  However, if maximum growth is your goal, it may be worth considering.

 

On the other hand, I feel that nitrate and phosphate testing (and management) are essential.  Trace elements can become an issue if water changes and/or feedings don't replenish them.  But your maintenance plan (of water changes) should help maintain trace elements.

 

Algae don't have roots, they have holdfasts.  Some people like the addition of Miracle Mud to the substrate, I found it unnecessary and even potentially problematic.

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Ratvan
16 minutes ago, seabass said:

While algae don't have roots, they have holdfasts.  Some people like the addition of Miracle Mud to the substrate, I found it unnecessary and even potentially problematic.

So this miracle mud stuff is essentially the Marine Version of a Walstad Tank substrate? Pretty interesting, maybe something to play with at a later date. 

My window sill pond tank is due to come out soon (been running a few years now) as I know someone that wants my RCS colony, could be fun to try a macro and mangrove tank (with some changes to the Aquarium - make it more of a marine Paludarium?) 

I used my Amazon Gift card this morning to order a few things that I need, and that I want to have a look at 

 

  • 100ml Algae fertilizer phytoplankton f/2
  • Kent Marine Reef Starter Kit
  • Bigger Turkey Baster (the 5ml is driving me insane) 

Might take a few days for it all to arrive, which should be right in the middle of my trip to Japan next week. I have been training my PA how to top off tanks using Distilled Water, she also has min and max lines on the outside of the tanks to follow as well, I've told her not to worry too much about the Xenia tank as it should take a bit of punishment.

 

I am hoping that my light arrives this week so I can place the Xenia in it's own tank (that has not yet completed a full cycle) 

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Ratvan

Came back from lunch to notice that I have a lot more Detritus around the Live Rock in the centre. Seems Penny is working her own 1 crab wrecking crew

 

 

 

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Ratvan

So on the topic of Penny trashing the tank, not only did I find her in my HOB this morning snacking on the "blow offs/trimmings" from my main Macro's, which is better than the display Macro being eaten. I saw a couple of things that have been picked off my Live Rock, not sure what they are and having only a Mobile Phone to take photo's it is not the greatest shots. 

 

1st Picture. Little Mollusc shell, Penny picked this off the main Rock on Monday? She seems to be moving it around the tank for some reason. Have a few of these empty of the LR

2nd Picture. Has not come out great, but to me this looks like an Egg Sack, sadly this is the most zoomed in I could get. No idea what this is but looks pretty cool close up

 

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Could this be a Pineapple Sponge?

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East1

What sand did you use? 

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Ratvan
2 minutes ago, East1 said:

What sand did you use? 

EXTREMELY well rinsed "silica free" play sand (rinsed over a period of nearly a week) seeded with a handful or two of "live sand" taken from my LFS

 

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Ratvan

Hmmmmmmm new tank issues it seems this morning. 

 

My Grape Caulerpa Racemosa has gone transparent, a complete change from yesterday. Having looked online this seems to indicate that it has "gone sexual" so I will be spending most of the day trying to figure out how to cure that. So first things first I test water to see if anything had changed there and oh my....yes indeed it has. 

 

It seems that my Ammonia has gone through the roof, as a result of the Caulerpa going sexual or the reason why it has done so? No idea.  Reading at nearly 2PPM (possibly I struggle with the API Colours) so initially i thought that Penny had passed (hence ammonia spike) but no she is still her destructive self within the tank.

 

So at 9.30 I decided to dose the tank with Kent Marine Iodine (yeah that was fun working out that tiny dose). I plan to give it a few hours and keep a close eye on it. If by Midday it hasn't improved or has gotten worse it will be coming out 😞. I might try and trim off the clear sections as not all of it has gone transparent/white and see what that does.......what annoys me the most is that after tomorrow I am away from this tank for a week 

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Also you'll note that the Mollusc shell has moved again, might see if I can see anything inside it

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Derek Claxton

I have not had experience with the HOB you are using. How do you like it? I have a combination of HOB, Canister and sponge filters on my Salt and Fresh tanks.

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Ratvan
1 minute ago, Derek Claxton said:

I have not had experience with the HOB you are using. How do you like it? I have a combination of HOB, Canister and sponge filters on my Salt and Fresh tanks.

It's working okay, i am not really a fan of the HOB filters to be honest. Although the area's for Carbon at the back have come in useful for keeping cuttings of the Macro until I can figure out what to do with it.

 

In other news, trimmed down the Grape Caulerpa (not a lot left lol) and instead of planting direct in substrate i have placed it there and weighted it down with a rock. I'm going to treat this like i would Java Fern in Freshwater (do not plant Rhizome) maybe that'll help?

 

Also did a small water change (50%) and re tested. We seem to be good again.

 

I also left the "alleged" sexual macro on my Window, on top of one of my snail colonies, I want to see what happens to this...

 

 

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seabass
4 hours ago, Ratvan said:

yeah that was fun working out that tiny dose

Sometimes it's easier to make a solution (with say a dose large enough for a 25 gallon tank).  Then you just dose 1/10th of that for your 2.5 gallon tank.  And then you have future doses ready when you need them.

 

So nitrate is near zero.  Your macro problem might be related to lack of nutrients. :unsure:  That's usually why macros have problems.

 

Ammonia is an issue.  I hope your cycle becomes establish soon.  Fingers crossed.

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Ratvan
1 minute ago, seabass said:

Sometimes it's easier to make a solution (with say a dose large enough for a 25 gallon tank).  Then you just dose 1/10th of that for your 2.5 gallon tank.  And then you have future doses ready when you need them.

 

So nitrate is near zero.  Your macro problem might be related to lack of nutrients. :unsure:  That's usually why macros have problems.

 

Ammonia is an issue.  I hope your cycle becomes establish soon.  Fingers crossed.

Yeah i worked that out after working through a series of smaller and smaller pipette's lol, at least I will know for next time.

 

Ammonia yesterday was at 0 yesterday (Midday), it's strange because the other Caulerpa is growing like crazy, it has lots of new shoots forming off the leaves currently. The Blue Ochtodes has grown as well (maybe a couple of MM but noticeable to me) and the Gracilaria seems to be regrowing near where Penny broke it yesterday. Only the Codium seems to have not changed.... well and this Caulerpa going backwards obviously. 

 

I'm wondering if i have an issue with my API Test Kit, I had one ages ago with my Freshwater Kit. I think it was the Nitrates as well. It showed as 0 on the API but when I took it to my LFS it was over 80PPM. Will run a sample in later and see what is happening. 

 

At the very least this is very interesting.

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Snow_Phoenix

Part of my racemosa went sexual about two days ago as well - it's why I quickly moved my hermit in my pico. I needed something that will at least poop in there. Macros usually die off due to lack of nutrients. 

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Ratvan
19 hours ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Part of my racemosa went sexual about two days ago as well - it's why I quickly moved my hermit in my pico. I needed something that will at least poop in there. Macros usually die off due to lack of nutrients. 

I think it needed some serious pruning, could have needed dosing as well.

 

I came in today to see loads of new growth on it from Yesterday (all "Fresh Nodules"). All the Macro is doing well especially the other Caulerpa (cannot believe how quick this grows). This is going to be my last update until 22/04/2019 when I return to the office having being out of the country for a week  😖

 

In other news, lots of tiny tiny red worms (and compulsory blurry photo), need to see if i can find some magnifying sheets to make some Micro Viewing windows....

 

Excuse Penny's Poop in the Photographs I will water change as late on in the day as I can. 

 

I have also found some livestock that I want to add, will most likely be the week after I return

 

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Ratvan

No update on the tank today since I am still away for a another 7 days. However went to the beach today, mainly to look for sharks teeth. Found some cool little bits in the tidal pools.

 

And lots of empty shells. 

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Ratvan

So I struggled to sleep since today should have been my mothers 60th birthday. Went back down the beach to snap a few pictures and to see if I could spot Otters or Seals. 

 

Sadly saw neither but had a nice walk and cut back through the rockpools and got some nice snaps. Also picked up some more shells for penny. They're currently being boiled in RODI water and will be dried out today ready to add to tank on Tuesday.

 

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Tempestas

Wow. Those pictures are fantastic!

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MetaTank

Yeah very nice pics, and some cool shells! I’ve been going to tide pools my whole life, and I don’t think I’ve ever found a sharks tooth, that’s really neat

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yoshii

Beautiful pics and those shells are a nice find!

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Ratvan
4 hours ago, Tempestas said:

Wow. Those pictures are fantastic!

Thanks, finally got around to playing with my phones camera settings. Cant wait to get back to the pico now. 

 

4 hours ago, MetaTank said:

Yeah very nice pics, and some cool shells! I’ve been going to tide pools my whole life, and I don’t think I’ve ever found a sharks tooth, that’s really neat

I've found over 100 in the past two days, really wanted to find a Megladon tooth but no joy. 

 

4 hours ago, yoshii said:

Beautiful pics and those shells are a nice find!

Thanks you, I hope MPP enjoys them

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Ratvan

Well, 11 days have past. The last 4 of those this tank has been 100% unattended. 

Got some nice algae growth, (Red Cyano? Green Hair Algae) so this lunch time i'm going to pop down to the LFS to see if i can pick up a CUC that eats Hair Algae

100% water change completed this morning, sadly I have lost the Grape Caulerpa and the other Caulerpa seems to be going the same way.

 

Starting to re-think how i want this tank to look, possibly rip out and redesign. Will see how I feel later this week

 

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Ratvan

New CUC member added to the tank after a scrub down and water change.

Picked up due to the Pulsating Xenia on his shell. 

Turbo Snail, lets see how much damage this one and my Hermit will cause

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Snow_Phoenix
15 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

New CUC member added to the tank after a scrub down and water change.

Picked up due to the Pulsating Xenia on his shell. 

Turbo Snail, lets see how much damage this one and my Hermit will cause

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Are those tiny duster worms on his shell? 

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Ratvan
6 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Are those tiny duster worms on his shell? 

I thought it was Xenia, looks cool regardless hence my choice

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