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Dirté Sanchez

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

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FISHnChix
2 minutes ago, DSFIRSTSLTWATER said:

yeah that sucks man. :sad:

Opps I thought this was the lounge.. but even better that it's on dirties thread😚😋

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Ratvan
Just now, FISHnChix said:

Opps I thought this was the lounge.. but even better that it's on dirties thread😚😋

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You had me checking what thread I was in....

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Dirté Sanchez
18 minutes ago, FISHnChix said:

Well ####.. no better way to start out the day than with a speeding ticket🤬...

I mean not to laugh (though I did a little) but you know it’s all about playing hide and seek game.... you just need to up your game. 

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FISHnChix
5 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

I mean not to laugh (though I did a little) but you know it’s all about playing hide and seek game.... you just need to up your game. 

Yea I mean I deserve a ticket speeding on the interstate the funny part is I got this once I got into town.. damn 6 lanes with a median and the drop the speed limit to 35.. if I went that slow i would get ran over lol.. 2 motorcycle sheriff's (damn traffic cops )work that road daily so i should have know better.. 🤦‍♂️

 

 

Ok enough junking up your thread.. carry on🤣

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Dirté Sanchez

Scored today at the LFS anniversary sale!! Some new RFAs, new SPS frag, red Goni frag and an Indo frogspawn and torch. No pictures yet of the corals because the lights are already down but the RFAS are already happy. 
 

 

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Dirté Sanchez

Finally got some shots of the new corals and a FTS 

 

 

 

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mitten_reef
32 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

Finally got some shots of the new corals and a FTS 

 

 

 

Torch looks really nice. The acro seems to be a millipora

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Dirté Sanchez
14 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

Torch looks really nice. The acro seems to be a millipora

Thank you. It was a nice color, orange and blue, and nice to know which it is. I hope it flourishes. The couple of acros already in the tank are holding their own but not exactly flourishing. The red and green monti is doing very well though. And the orange monti- it seems pretty happy as well. Now for stuff to grow. Need some growth. 

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Dirté Sanchez

So, I worried every single day about this tank and the fish/corals while I was gone for a week long vacation. The tank sitter did a great job and there were no emergencies but the tank is just.....blah. Lost the two lyretail anthias for unknown reason though the others are all okay. The macro algae in the sump seems to be taking hold this time, enough so that I stole a little and put it in the Evo to try again. Hope the SCA starts to take off a little more. It’s been struggling since I installed the new light. 
 

 

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Dirté Sanchez

Ugh. I am SO FRUSTRATED with this tank right now. Covered in algae, corals all still hacked off from the light change, no growth to speak of, and the loss of two fish while on vacation. Also, I have struggled to add anything new to the tank without it ending up in a waste of time, effort and money. Right now it's exhausting my patience, waiting for anything to look good or show some signs of thriving. I've considered changing the rock scape, too, since it seems to afford the wrong kind of light for everything and little shelter for the fish. At this point I just don't know what it wants. The chemistry parameters remain stable which has been a good sign, but it seems to have achieved me nothing at all. What coralline growth I'd had seems to have stalled. So, I'm just frustrated. Is seven months akin to the seven year itch in a marriage? 🤦🏽‍♀️

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Dirté Sanchez

Okay for my fish vets out there, what can I do to heal up a rather abused yellow watchman? I found him tonight and realized he's missing half his tail fin, a good portion of his dorsal fin and has scrapes all over. Not sure who gave him the whooping, but I want to help him if I can. He's currently in QT with some cupramine started. He's always been a good eater, though he never gains weight. Have had him about 5-6 months now. The pictures were all taken in something of a hurry because I didn't want him to run off where I couldn't snag him with the net. 

 

Any advice appreciated. Can I call on the great @Humblefish's wisdom?

 

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jack1978
On 11/30/2019 at 7:53 PM, Dirté Sanchez said:

Ugh. I am SO FRUSTRATED with this tank right now. Covered in algae, corals all still hacked off from the light change, no growth to speak of, and the loss of two fish while on vacation. Also, I have struggled to add anything new to the tank without it ending up in a waste of time, effort and money. Right now it's exhausting my patience, waiting for anything to look good or show some signs of thriving. I've considered changing the rock scape, too, since it seems to afford the wrong kind of light for everything and little shelter for the fish. At this point I just don't know what it wants. The chemistry parameters remain stable which has been a good sign, but it seems to have achieved me nothing at all. What coralline growth I'd had seems to have stalled. So, I'm just frustrated. Is seven months akin to the seven year itch in a marriage? 🤦🏽‍♀️

Just leave it all be and keep doing regular water changes.  Itll take awhile to run its course of the nasties..... then you'll walk in one day from work and itll look pristine. 

 

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Tamberav

Furan-2, kanaplex, and metroplex would be what I would treat with. Not sure why but I see these ywg show up with what appears to be nasty infections. 

 

A NFG or ruby rally dip would help too if you have those. 

 

 

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Dirté Sanchez
Just now, Tamberav said:

Furan-2, kanaplex, and metroplex would be what I would treat with. Not sure why but I see these ywg show up with what appears to be nasty infections. 

Other than his refusal to gain weight, even while eating well, he's been a normal acting YWG. He just never grew and stayed a runt. But tonight like I said, he's missing half his tail fin, half his dorsal fin and has all those burn or scrape patches on his sides. @StinkyBunny thinks the pistol shrimp rejected him ☹️. Not sure what I'll do with him if that's the case- I dont want to put him back in there where he'll get killed. Maybe the sump, maybe a rehome. But regardless he deserves some TLC right now. 

 

I have metroplex I can try with his food. I'll start that tomorrow.

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Dirté Sanchez

Well, poor J Edgar Hoover Jr died of his injuries today. Not completely sure what beat him up so bad and tore his fins up

so bad, but am leaning toward the pistol shrimp that was twice his size. Poor J Edgar. 😢😢

 

The SCA tank makes me sad to look at right now. Going through a super ugly phase at the moment and frustrates me greatly. 
 

 

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Dirté Sanchez

So, another Euphyllia recently placed in the tank is dying while everything else struggles. In an effort to remove contaminants, I ditched the two little decorations in the tank-the sunken ship and the lost at sea sign. When I pulled them out, they did stink with some serious foulness, so maybe they are the culprits. Otherwise, I'm not ready to dredge the sand bed completely; it's a deep sand bed and I feel like that would cause more problems than it might solve.

 

Other culprits: the gyre in the DT, the main return pump, the reactor pump, the heater, and the skimmer pump/skimmer body, all in the sump. I'm debating mixing up some salt for a 100% water change, though I did a 25% change yesterday. 

 

I feel right now like I'm about to lose every coral in the tank, and I haven't been able to add any fish lately because they just up and die within 24 hours, which is strange. I only recently started having this problem with new additions dying immediately following acclimation, so I feel like there's something sinister going on in the tank.

 

This frustration is about to drive me insane; this tank has been the more stable of the three tanks I have in the house. I've been leaving it alone but it seems like the problem is getting worse not better and my coral investment is tanking. 

 

@mcarroll, @Humblefish, @StinkyBunny, @Tamberav, @seabass.... can anybody help me solve this problem?

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seabass

Sorry, I haven't followed this thread; but I will going forward.

 

29 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

I'm not ready to dredge the sand bed completely; it's a deep sand bed and I feel like that would cause more problems than it might solve.

I would agree, disturbing it may cause additional problems (at least short term).  I also noticed that it contains a decent amount of black sand.  Based primarily on anecdotal evidence, black sand has sometimes been blamed (rightfully so, or not) for various issues.

 

One way to deal with a potential sand bed issue is to remove the contents of the tank (livestock, rock, even some water), leaving the substrate intact.  However once the substrate is disturbed, you discard the remaining water.  Now you have the ability to clean the tank (and equipment) and safely remove the sand bed.  You can leave it bare bottom, thoroughly wash and return the sand, or replace the sand with a new bed.  Then return the rock, livestock, and water (adding new water as needed).

 

At this point, I wouldn't know if your substrate is a problem.  However, that is how I might go about solving a potential substrate issue.

 

 

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Dirté Sanchez

Just as a summary, the tank is now 7 months old. Here's the run down:

 

SCA Starfire 50g cube with 18g sump

Started (4/16/19)

 

Equipment: 

RedSea 90 LED

Inkbird temperature controller

Smart ATO micro

Jebao DCP-4000 sine wave pump as return pump

Icecap 125 gyre wavepump

Reef Octopus INT 110 skimmer

Reef Octopus OCT-MF300B media reactor

Highgrow 36W Deep red 660nm grow light bulb

Jebao 4 channel dose pump with 4 dosing chambers (Seachem RF 1 & 2, Seachem Iodide, Brightwell Aquatics Magnesion)

 

Filter Media: 

1/4 cup Kolar labs GFO high capacity

1/4 cup Seachem carbon

Chaeto

Caulerpa

 

 

Substrate/Aquascape:

Carib Sea Hawaiian Black Live Sand x 50lbs

Purple live rock from LFS~ 20lbs

Fiji live sand from LFS~ 14lbs

Maori live rock from LFS- 26lbs

 

Livestock: 

Black ice clowns x 2

Disbar Anthias x 2

Starry blenny x1

Yellow tail damsel x1

Bicolor blenny x1 (in sump refugium)

 

Inverts/corals:

Electric blue hermit crab x2

Halloween hermit crab x2

Dwarf blue hermit crab x?

Dwarf red hermit crab x?

Red pistol shrimp x1

Bumble bee snails x?

Trochus snails x?

Cerith snail x?

Nassarius snail x?

Conch snail x?

Margarita snails x?

Emerald crabs x handful

In sump: conch snail, emerald crabs, gulf rock crab, margarita snails

 

BRISTLE WORMS- not sure that there are any

 

Star polyp x 2 (one split into two sections thanks to hermits, so there’s three-ish)

Palys x1 (nebula)

Hairy mushroom x1 (all on one big rock)

Hammer x 1 (suffering)

Torch x2-3 (suffering)

Montipora x3

Zoa x large colony

Sun coral x1

Red and white gorgonian x1

Orange and white gorgonian x1

Goniopora x2

Alveopora x1

Acropora x2

RFA x 6

Bubble tip anemone x1

 

 

 

 

 

I think that covers it. Parameters remain stable, though I expected some swings with the macro taking hold in the sump. The problems with the tank started before I added the macro however. Granted, my idea of stable is within the acceptable range--I have not managed to hold numbers at the exact same every day, except for KH. This started dropping recently when I went on a vacation for a week and the tank was baby sat by another, who felt the KH was being kept too high. So I'm working at getting back to where I'd been trying to maintain numbers. However again, the trouble started in November and has been slowly getting worse.

 

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Okay. Please, bring on the education!!! I need it desperately.

Edited by Dirté Sanchez
forgot some critters!
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Dirté Sanchez
8 minutes ago, seabass said:

Sorry, I haven't followed this thread; but I will going forward.

 

I would agree, disturbing it may cause additional problems (at least short term).  I also noticed that it contains a decent amount of black sand.  Based primarily on anecdotal evidence, black sand has sometimes been blamed (rightfully so, or not) for various issues.

 

One way to deal with a potential sand bed issue is to remove the contents of the tank (livestock, rock, even some water), leaving the substrate intact.  However once the substrate is disturbed, you discard the remaining water.  Now you have the ability to clean the tank and safely remove the sand bed.  You can leave it bare bottom, thoroughly wash and return the sand, or replace the sand with a new bed.  Then return the rock, livestock, and water (adding new water as needed).

 

At this point, I wouldn't know if your substrate is a problem.  However, that is how I might go about solving a potential substrate issue.

 

 

I have seen people speaking out about black sand lately. It was that arag-alive Hawaiian sand sold by Caribsea. I would hate to have to change it out, because I liked the look. But I have to agree-it is somewhat magnetic, or was at first quite magnetic. Not sure if that in and of itself is a problem, but I guess that would mean it has iron in it, correct?

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seabass
3 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

I guess that would mean it has iron in it, correct?

That sounds right.  You'd wonder why it's sold if it could cause problems. :unsure:  I couldn't definitively tell you that black sand is the problem, just that others have pointed to it as (at least) a potential problem.  Even if the composition isn't a problem, a substrate can still be the source.  Again, I don't want to get ahead of myself; the sand bed is just one potential problem.  I mostly brought it up because you mentioned it.  But IDK, you could be on to something.

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mitten_reef

you alk is pretty high....might wanna let it slowly drift down to 7-9 range, definitely below 9.  this could be accomplished 3 ways, let the coral absorb, and no dose at all (might drop quickly depending on coral growth, visible or not).  The other is to cut back on your dosage, depending on how many times your doser comes on, you can remove one dose, or you can reduce the length of time for each dose.  I'd cutback dosing by 25-50% depending on your ability to adjust the doser schedule.  lastly, water change with low-alk salt like red sea blue bucket.

 

you shouldn't need to dose iodide, unless I missed something.  its dissolved concentration is pretty low, that it should be replenished via water change for the most part.  oh, right, chaeto likes iodide.

 

running GFO + macro algae + skimmer = potential to export too much?  But your N and P readings are quite (very?) high - this may suggest that the there's a nutrient sink/source in your tank.   When's the last time you clean/vacuum the sandbed?  OR your media is exhausted and need to be replaced.  If macroalgae is doing well, then I'd hope to see noticeable reduction, but they've been consistently high.

 

OK, there's my brain dump.  

 

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Dirté Sanchez
2 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

you alk is pretty high....might wanna let it slowly drift down to 7-9 range, definitely below 9.  this could be accomplished 3 ways, let the coral absorb, and no dose at all (might drop quickly depending on coral growth, visible or not).  The other is to cut back on your dosage, depending on how many times your doser comes on, you can remove one dose, or you can reduce the length of time for each dose.  I'd cutback dosing by 25-50% depending on your ability to adjust the doser schedule.  lastly, water change with low-alk salt like red sea blue bucket.

 

you shouldn't need to dose iodide, unless I missed something.  its dissolved concentration is pretty low, that it should be replenished via water change for the most part.  oh, right, chaeto likes iodide.

 

running GFO + macro algae + skimmer = potential to export too much?  But your N and P readings are quite (very?) high - this may suggest that the there's a nutrient sink/source in your tank.   When's the last time you clean/vacuum the sandbed?  OR your media is exhausted and need to be replaced.  If macroalgae is doing well, then I'd hope to see noticeable reduction, but they've been consistently high.

 

OK, there's my brain dump.  

 

The chaeto has only been in the tank a couple of weeks. I've tried to grow it before with no success, but this time it's actually growing. The nitrates are always, always at 25 per salifert test. They used to creep up to 30-50 sometimes when it was due for water change, but now with the chaeto in the sump, it's staying around 25. The media reactor is exhausted and the media due for a change but I was trying to give the chaeto a chance to work. I hoped to be able to pull the media reactor out when the chaeto takes hold and have only macro for media. 

 

I use Red Sea Coral Pro, which is supposed to mix high for the alk; Ive tested it fresh mixed around 10. I'd seen somewhere that keeping the alk high would help with more rapid coral growth, plus I have been trying to encourage coralline growth. But something is using the alk; I assume the macro. However, it's no problem to drop it back, I just thought you were supposed to keep it where the salt water mixes at. 

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mitten_reef
6 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

However, it's no problem to drop it back, I just thought you were supposed to keep it where the salt water mixes at. 

I haven't bought into this particular notion, because the quantity of freshly mixed saltwater (10, 15, even 20%) that you add will not cause a "spike" post water change.  I can get all geeky science about concentration C1V1 = C2V2 equation.  Shoot, I used to run my tank with RSCP and it was hovering at 8 with 15% waterchange weekly AND I had to dose during the week.  YMMV.  That notion had been continuously repeated that it's not worth arguing anymore.  AND it's not entirely wrong, but neither was my experience. 🤷🏼‍♂️ 

 

yeah removing the reactor would be the first step.  But you should really do some water change to bring down those N and P a bit.  If you go get a small bucket of RS blue bucket, and do like 25% wc, you can reduce N+P AND bring down those elevated Ca/Alk/Mg all in one shot.  Ultimately, the best/most effective way is to figure out where the "dirt" is that causing these consistently high N+P.  

 

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seabass
22 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

But something is using the alk

Also keep in mind that GFO will also bind alkalinity (besides phosphate).

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FISHnChix

One random thing to check. Remember when we talked about out rodi systems and the first stage looking kinda nasty...  have you changed the filters yet??

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