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Dirté Sanchez

The Fire Swamp's 50g SCA Starfire Cube- 🔥🐊. Upgrade Coming Soon

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Dirté Sanchez

So, QT has officially ended, a bit early so that I can make sure everybody is okay in there. Leaving for a week long trip this weekend and feel like I should have everything as ready as possible for the tank babysitter, so can’t leave acclimating fish into a tank for them. They’re looking great- no spots and color is all strong. 

 

Have moved some of the corals around due to flow issues and some upset hammers. The cocoa worm was also annoyed, so it has a new place too. Hopefully I can find the right place that makes everyone happy. 

 

 

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Dirté Sanchez

So things are looking good in the SCA. I've been working hard the last month to hash out a feeding schedule for both tanks that keeps the nutrient load level. I've also been doing about twice weekly water changes lately, because there's no chemical media in the tank anymore, just the bio bricks and skimmer. I have been dosing weekly with MicroBacter 7, and about every 3-4 days with iodide and mag. Seems to working out well and most everybody is happy. I struggled with pointing the pumps at the right places in a cube tank, because I "flowed" my two little hammers to death just about. One is hanging on-the other I accidentally ripped in half when trying to get it prized off the rock face where I'd glued it. So, now trying to use no glue until I figure out where they want to be. Of course, my crabs have many things to say about that, usually in the line of "hold my pellets and watch this!". Jerks.

 

I had a tuna blue lightbulb laying around from that pico jar I ran in the bedroom, and decided to put it up and see if it made anything happier with more blue spectrum. Definitely brightened everything up. I'm going to save up money for a AI Hydra 26 HD I think. Seems to maybe be the smallest single light that will cover that cube and disperse thru 24 inches of water. 

 

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Dirté Sanchez

More photo dump.

 

IMG_3899.thumb.jpeg.81b393a6a534997783e08526eb1651be.jpeg

 

Introducing "Groot" the guttata goby. He DEEPLY wants to get down in the tunnel with Gigantor and Snappy (yes, I am positive that Snappy the Randal's pistol still lives, from the Evo's first life). Unfortunately his little brother J Edgar Hoover, Jr. has been him down there. 

 

IMG_3939.thumb.jpeg.cd95b320a042145245c160e770262b11.jpeg

 

Coco worm

 

IMG_3937.thumb.jpeg.5fe29ad73066ae8bb8ff94cdd5a67873.jpeg

 

J Edgar Hoover Jr, (otherwise known as JJ). Yellow watchman goby.

 

IMG_3934.thumb.jpeg.12797a16214a6da385b9d9133869b806.jpegIMG_3933.thumb.jpeg.b62ecb421c5ad64d1896e18c628e4a2c.jpeg

 

 

IMG_3932.thumb.jpeg.357a676aab2142edf6163562a97e0bd1.jpeg

 

Dont remember the name of these zoas, but I remember that it had something to do with Star Wars.

 

IMG_3929.thumb.jpeg.8d68de2179591422513322a44bdfbfd6.jpeg

IMG_3930.thumb.jpeg.33493043b24059e068388dcf08a12c32.jpegIMG_3931.thumb.jpeg.cc98b66a08a2ec453213001018d02cba.jpeg

 

These zoas all are on one single rock, while the Star Wars ones are located above them on a different rock face. They've already started splitting off and spreading around the tank. 

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DSFIRSTSLTWATER
4 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

More photo dump.

 

IMG_3899.thumb.jpeg.81b393a6a534997783e08526eb1651be.jpeg

 

Introducing "Groot" the guttata goby. He DEEPLY wants to get down in the tunnel with Gigantor and Snappy (yes, I am positive that Snappy the Randal's pistol still lives, from the Evo's first life). Unfortunately his little brother J Edgar Hoover, Jr. has been him down there. 

 

IMG_3939.thumb.jpeg.cd95b320a042145245c160e770262b11.jpeg

 

Coco worm

 

IMG_3937.thumb.jpeg.5fe29ad73066ae8bb8ff94cdd5a67873.jpeg

 

J Edgar Hoover Jr, (otherwise known as JJ). Yellow watchman goby.

 

IMG_3934.thumb.jpeg.12797a16214a6da385b9d9133869b806.jpegIMG_3933.thumb.jpeg.b62ecb421c5ad64d1896e18c628e4a2c.jpeg

 

 

IMG_3932.thumb.jpeg.357a676aab2142edf6163562a97e0bd1.jpeg

 

Dont remember the name of these zoas, but I remember that it had something to do with Star Wars.

 

IMG_3929.thumb.jpeg.8d68de2179591422513322a44bdfbfd6.jpeg

IMG_3930.thumb.jpeg.33493043b24059e068388dcf08a12c32.jpegIMG_3931.thumb.jpeg.cc98b66a08a2ec453213001018d02cba.jpeg

 

These zoas all are on one single rock, while the Star Wars ones are located above them on a different rock face. They've already started splitting off and spreading around the tank. 

Tanks looking really good 👍 keep up the good work with it 😃

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Dirté Sanchez
28 minutes ago, DSFIRSTSLTWATER said:

Tanks looking really good 👍 keep up the good work with it 😃

Thanks 😊. It’ll get a lot harder when I start school back but I hope that by then the tank will have balanced out.

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Dirté Sanchez

Forgot the SCA’s 4 month anniversary!! 4.5 months today!

 

 

 

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Dirté Sanchez

SOOOOO happy to be home, good lord. This vacation about killed me. But thankfully, I have an AWESOME tank sitter and both my SW tanks look great, as does the freshies tank! So happy with it!

 

 

 

 

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Dirté Sanchez

Water parameters check and water change day!! 

 

This tank has been thru a lot since it got started back in April, after the whole transfer went disastrously, then having the fish get ill. I’m happy that the corals have hung in there for me though. Changed out the nasty filter floss today as well as the phosguard. Finally bit the bullet and bought a small media reactor to put the phosgard in rather than trying to find a place to hang bags. 

 

This tank is using very little media save for the phosguard and bio bricks. I have a Reef Octopus INT 110 Skimmer which has been working super well, and a Smart micro ATO pulling from a 5g jug with RODI water. Currently the lights are a jumbled system of Orbit LEDs and Eflux wavepumps plus a third LED bulb I had laying around. Using a plant light bulb from Home Depot for the refugium. 

 

The refugium has live sand, pieces of live rock/coral, caulerpa for nutrient export and feeding the yellow tang, the CBS and 4 chocolate chip stars with varying amounts of legs. There’s a small army of margarita snails and some black tip dwarf hermits. Also one fighting conch. 

 

I have been dosing daily with small amounts of NoPox (4ml), every other day with iodide (1ml), and every 4 days with mag (10ml). I’ve switched the mag to be every day with 1ml to see if I can keep the number steady state now that I like where it is. I dose weekly with MB7. 

1AB2B612-ECA0-4CEF-BD99-F3F6ECF2F3A9.thumb.jpeg.a40d0061982436ef41ce8e95b66f4215.jpeg

 

I have been slowly changing over to Salifert testing kits so some of the numbers have changed a bit at times, reflecting those changes.

 

So, goals: get the media reactor and phosguard rolling tomorrow. Get a new light in the next couple of weeks because I’m tired of looking at this jumbled mess. Someday aspire to own a couple of MP10 powerheads like @WV Reefer and take down all the Orbit garbage, perhaps sell it. Watch my coral garden grow 😊😊

 

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WV Reefer
14 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

Water parameters check and water change day!! 

 

This tank has been thru a lot since it got started back in April, after the whole transfer went disastrously, then having the fish get ill. I’m happy that the corals have hung in there for me though. Changed out the nasty filter floss today as well as the phosguard. Finally bit the bullet and bought a small media reactor to put the phosgard in rather than trying to find a place to hang bags. 

 

This tank is using very little media save for the phosguard and bio bricks. I have a Reef Octopus INT 110 Skimmer which has been working super well, and a Smart micro ATO pulling from a 5g jug with RODI water. Currently the lights are a jumbled system of Orbit LEDs and Eflux wavepumps plus a third LED bulb I had laying around. Using a plant light bulb from Home Depot for the refugium. 

 

The refugium has live sand, pieces of live rock/coral, caulerpa for nutrient export and feeding the yellow tang, the CBS and 4 chocolate chip stars with varying amounts of legs. There’s a small army of margarita snails and some black tip dwarf hermits. Also one fighting conch. 

 

I have been dosing daily with small amounts of NoPox (4ml), every other day with iodide (1ml), and every 4 days with mag (10ml). I’ve switched the mag to be every day with 1ml to see if I can keep the number steady state now that I like where it is. I dose weekly with MB7. 

1AB2B612-ECA0-4CEF-BD99-F3F6ECF2F3A9.thumb.jpeg.a40d0061982436ef41ce8e95b66f4215.jpeg

 

I have been slowly changing over to Salifert testing kits so some of the numbers have changed a bit at times, reflecting those changes.

 

So, goals: get the media reactor and phosguard rolling tomorrow. Get a new light in the next couple of weeks because I’m tired of looking at this jumbled mess. Someday aspire to own a couple of MP10 powerheads like @WV Reefer and take down all the Orbit garbage, perhaps sell it. Watch my coral garden grow 😊😊

 

 

Its easy to afford an MP10 when you don’t have kids......I’ve got money to burn. Plus I don’t have any other equipment so it evens out. 😄

 

Tank is looking good though. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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Dirté Sanchez
37 minutes ago, WV Reefer said:

 

Its easy to afford an MP10 when you don’t have kids......I’ve got money to burn. Plus I don’t have any other equipment so it evens out. 😄

 

Tank is looking good though. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Someday. BRS has a 2-pump with controller set for $299 and that’s all I’d need. Be able to take all the others out then and dismantle the cord jungle in the back of the tank that is Orbit everything. Gonna be a nice start getting the light though. Hopefully in a couple of weeks. Maybe new pumps in a few months. I’ve been super good these last two weeks, bought no livestock of any kind and stuck to the feeding/maintenance schedule. I figure the reactor is a necessity because the bag thing looks junky. 

 

But thanks!!! I’m proud of how it’s working out.

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FISHnChix

So I cant ever justify having that pricey name brand reefing stuff like ecotechs mps or apex stuff.. problem is I really wanted that stuff, so to make myself feel better I bought all my stuff used for half the price.. 😊.. just an idea..

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Dirté Sanchez
1 minute ago, FISHnChix said:

So I cant ever justify having that pricey name brand reefing stuff like ecotechs mps or apex stuff.. problem is I really wanted that stuff, so to make myself feel better I bought all my stuff used for half the price.. 😊.. just an idea..

Oh I know the price stings really bad. I use Amazon a lot trying to find deals, and I really thought about that AI Prime that someone was selling on the marketplace the other day, but I am pretty sure it would take two primes to get the job done. I want ONE light to do for the whole tank. If that's not a pipe dream. But I'd sure prefer a cleaner look. It's going to be a long time before I do the pump change. And if a light comes along on the marketplace between now and then, even better!

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FISHnChix
5 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

Oh I know the price stings really bad. I use Amazon a lot trying to find deals, and I really thought about that AI Prime that someone was selling on the marketplace the other day, but I am pretty sure it would take two primes to get the job done. I want ONE light to do for the whole tank. If that's not a pipe dream. But I'd sure prefer a cleaner look. It's going to be a long time before I do the pump change. And if a light comes along on the marketplace between now and then, even better!

Got ya.. 2 led lights is normally better to eliminate shady spots , but I get why you want to do it that way.. since this is a cube you probably can get away with one light though.  Anyway if you are looking for used stuff start a reef2reef account too because they have a bigger forum and sell more stuff. Fyi you have to be a member for awhile to use the selling/buying section so start one now just so you have the option later.. 

 

Oh and I love amazon , but the crappy  thing with the "high end " 😂reef stuff is they have a minimum sales prices that all vendors have to use... very annoying.  Typically though they will go on a slight sale Thanksgiving to Christmas time😊 anyway hope your weekend goes better than your vacation 

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WV Reefer
1 hour ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

Someday. BRS has a 2-pump with controller set for $299 and that’s all I’d need. Be able to take all the others out then and dismantle the cord jungle in the back of the tank that is Orbit everything. Gonna be a nice start getting the light though. Hopefully in a couple of weeks. Maybe new pumps in a few months. I’ve been super good these last two weeks, bought no livestock of any kind and stuck to the feeding/maintenance schedule. I figure the reactor is a necessity because the bag thing looks junky. 

 

But thanks!!! I’m proud of how it’s working out.

 

Which pump set?

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Dirté Sanchez
44 minutes ago, FISHnChix said:

Got ya.. 2 led lights is normally better to eliminate shady spots , but I get why you want to do it that way.. since this is a cube you probably can get away with one light though.  Anyway if you are looking for used stuff start a reef2reef account too because they have a bigger forum and sell more stuff. Fyi you have to be a member for awhile to use the selling/buying section so start one now just so you have the option later.. 

 

Oh and I love amazon , but the crappy  thing with the "high end " 😂reef stuff is they have a minimum sales prices that all vendors have to use... very annoying.  Typically though they will go on a slight sale Thanksgiving to Christmas time😊 anyway hope your weekend goes better than your vacation 

Thanks!! Great information. Today hasn’t been bad at all. Getting all the tank maintenance done while doing a massive laundry clean from a weeks worth of clothes for all and all the linens from the camper. Busy busy!!

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Tamberav

Tank looks good! Careful with the PO4 remover...too fast of a drop can really make corals unhappy.

 

I will be honest...my IM25g Nitrate was 32 and PO4 0.39 when I checked August 1st and I don't do anything about it. Lol 

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Dirté Sanchez
7 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

Tank looks good! Careful with the PO4 remover...too fast of a drop can really make corals unhappy.

 

I will be honest...my IM25g Nitrate was 32 and PO4 0.39 when I checked August 1st and I don't do anything about it. Lol 

Yeah I remember people cautioning that if the tank is happy don't chase stuff too terribly much. The SCA has aways run a bit higher on the nitrates because I have those NPS corals in there. Since I pulled all the media out of the sump though the phos won't go down, and that's been verifiable with both the API and Salifert tests, so I was hoping to try something a little more efficient. If I can get the phos reactor running I can stop dosing NoPox, hopefully, and just let the bio media handle the nitrates along with water changes.

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mcarroll
17 hours ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

Finally bit the bullet and bought a small media reactor to put the phosgard in rather than trying to find a place to hang bags. 

 

This tank is using very little media save for the phosguard and bio bricks.

 

[...]

 

I have been dosing daily with small amounts of NoPox (4ml), every other day with iodide (1ml), and every 4 days with mag (10ml). I’ve switched the mag to be every day with 1ml to see if I can keep the number steady state now that I like where it is. I dose weekly with MB7.

Your nutrient levels are already super low.  

 

Personally I would discontinue using anything like GFO or phosguard to push phosphates any lower.

 

And I would stop dosing organic carbon and bacteria as well.  (Healthy corals and even healthy algae will dose your tank with the proper carbon sources automatically by photosynthesis as long as they aren't starving.  You don't want other carbon sources.)

 

None of these are necessary in your tank's case and in the long run there are many ways these things aren't healthy for the tank overall.

 

Just be careful trying to lower already low nutrient levels.  

 

5-10 ppm is fine for nitrates – ideal even.  

>0.03 ppm is the minimum phosphate level required for corals, coraline algae, regular algae, etc. to do photosynthesis.  

 

Lower phosphate levels more than that and you begin to encourage heterotrophs instead of autotrophs.  Dino's are only the most famous example.  You don't want anything like that – you want corals, coraline and green algae thriving.

 

Check these out:

Actually there are quite a few good articles up on the Nutrients section on my blog along with those two.

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Dirté Sanchez
3 hours ago, mcarroll said:

Your nutrient levels are already super low.  

 

Personally I would discontinue using anything like GFO or phosguard to push phosphates any lower.

 

And I would stop dosing organic carbon and bacteria as well.  (Healthy corals and even healthy algae will dose your tank with the proper carbon sources automatically by photosynthesis as long as they aren't starving.  You don't want other carbon sources.)

 

None of these are necessary in your tank's case and in the long run there are many ways these things aren't healthy for the tank overall.

 

Just be careful trying to lower already low nutrient levels.  

 

5-10 ppm is fine for nitrates – ideal even.  

>0.03 ppm is the minimum phosphate level required for corals, coraline algae, regular algae, etc. to do photosynthesis.  

 

Lower phosphate levels more than that and you begin to encourage heterotrophs instead of autotrophs.  Dino's are only the most famous example.  You don't want anything like that – you want corals, coraline and green algae thriving.

 

Check these out:

Actually there are quite a few good articles up on the Nutrients section on my blog along with those two.

@mcarroll, at a glance the articles in your blog tell me about the relationships between N and Phos, but I’m a numbers kind of girl.

-Using API I get 0 phos Levels and using Salifert I get 0.5-1.0. I’d always tried to keep my phos up to around 0.125-0.25 using API, and I’m not completely used to Salifert yet.

-Nitrates have always run higher for me, because of the NPS corals I feed daily. They usually run around 5-25 and the tank has been happy there. 

-I was advised by a guy with close to 20 years reefing experience to keep mag up around 1400, and I try to keep iodide levels at around 0.03. That causes my Ca Levels to stay up a bit higher, usually 440-500.

-Using the Salifert kits my ammonia reads either 0 to <0.15, so there’s usually no ammonia problem. Just can’t enter the “<“ symbol into that app. 

-The only thing I’ve never been able to maintain is the ph above 8. But I’ve been told not to chase that, so I just let it ride. 

-So out of all that, where do you think the parameters should be? Nitrates are okay or I should still try to drive them to less than 25? Im not sure what to believe phos wise because of the difference between the two kits. And I figured I could turn the phos reactor on and off as needed based on levels, and stop dosing the NoPox. Is that correct thinking on my part? 

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Tamberav

Swinging phos is kind of stressful to corals. I wouldn't try and chase it to the point of turning things on and off...maybe use less media and replace more often. Maybe consider getting a Hanna test kit if you are trying to control them by the numbers?

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Dirté Sanchez
Just now, Tamberav said:

Swinging phos is kind of stressful to corals. I wouldn't try and chase it to the point of turning things on and off...maybe use less media and replace more often. Maybe consider getting a Hanna test kit if you are trying to control them by the numbers?

Another one of those someday items. 

 

Do you use salifert kits? Because I guess I’d like to know where I should pinpoint letting the levels lie between the two kits. API says zero, Salifert says 1, I’d always tried to stay at 0.125-0.25 so that’s why I was trying to drive the numbers down. Should I aim more for 1-2 on Salifert kits?

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Tamberav
3 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

Another one of those someday items. 

 

Do you use salifert kits? Because I guess I’d like to know where I should pinpoint letting the levels lie between the two kits. API says zero, Salifert says 1, I’d always tried to stay at 0.125-0.25 so that’s why I was trying to drive the numbers down. Should I aim more for 1-2 on Salifert kits?

I don't use them. Do the corals look unhappy or is there a significant algae problem? Curious about the reason to bring them down.

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Dirté Sanchez

I guess I should say I’m a numbers freak because I chase blood chemistry for a living. I super can’t separate myself from

it here- I’ve got to have the info. But there’s SO MANY different listings for what goals to follow. With these new kits I can already tel they’re more sensitive and there’s a gradient from API to Salifert, so I guess I need to know what people with Salifert run their tanks at.

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Dirté Sanchez
1 minute ago, Tamberav said:

I don't use them. Do the corals look unhappy or is there a significant algae problem? Curious about the reason to bring them down.

My hammer corals aren’t happy and a Micronesian torch isn’t happy, but the acans, mini scoly, favia, yellow head torch, shrooms and all are doing really well. So I haven’t been able to tell if it’s flow or the numbers- that’s why I was trying to get them down. 

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Tamberav

Every tank is different...whatever makes your corals look happy is the numbers you chase. All of my 5 tanks run different.

 

There is no simple one right answer. There are simply too many variables we can't account for between tanks. 

 

One person's acros look like crap under high nutrients and the next guys looks amazing. It's likey something biological/bacteria related.

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