Jump to content
Jerad81

My Journey Begins

Recommended Posts

Jerad81

I went to the fish store today intending to buy a couple snails and walked out with three new corals as well lol. I bought two more trochus snails to help out the one I already had plus a tiger sand conch to give my sand bed some much needed attention. 

 

I also added a green star polyp, a zoanthid and an acan. So far they all seem to be happy with their new home so hopefully I can keep them that way 🤞.

 

My fish store was also nice enough to give me a free bottle of coppods since their culture tank was getting low on water. I'm hoping they will start a colony or two and create a decent (and hopefully sustainable) food source for a mandarin or gold mandarin goby in the future. 

 

Here are some pics of my tank and new coral. It's nice to see it finally moving in a positive direction. 

 

 

20201011_200943.jpg

20201011_201000.jpg

20201011_201008.jpg

20201011_201015.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Jerad81

My ugly algae bloom is starting to recede. I'm not real sure why but I'm not going to complain image.gif.8ecabde6c0b62faa485d33b8236cb08b.gif! I did a water change on Wednesday, removed the chemi-pure blue and changed my filter pads. Also, my tiger sand conch has been doing a great job cleaning up the top of my sand bed. I was hoping he would dig around deeper into the sand but he's probably had plenty to eat at the surface so far.

 

I also added a frag of cloves and a small amount of chaeto macroalgae to my tank. My lfs gave me the chaeto out of their refugium and I'm hoping it will help promote copepod growth in my tank. 

 

My current water parameters are:

pH=8.2

Ammonia =0

Nitrite=0

Nitrate=20-30 ppm

Phosphate=0.1

Alkalinity=5.6

 

I don't know why my alkalinity is still running so low. Everything in my tank appears to be happy but I'm going to try using Seachem marine buffer to bring it up. It's supposed to maintain pH at 8.3 and also raises alkalinity by 1 meq/L. Hopefully this will bring it up where I want it at a safe rate so I don't freak out my coral.

 

Here's a few pics of my tank.

 

?hash=db34ebb803baf35a3ad5a7235407df84?hash=db34ebb803baf35a3ad5a7235407df84?hash=db34ebb803baf35a3ad5a7235407df84?hash=db34ebb803baf35a3ad5a7235407df84?hash=db34ebb803baf35a3ad5a7235407df84

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
banasophia

Hi, sorry I haven’t popped in for awhile. I really love the scape you ended up with! Cloves are probably my favorite coral - hope you end up loving them in your tank too. And I really like your other coral choices as well. 
 

Weird that your alkalinity is that low. What are you using as your water source and your salt? Also, I’m wondering if you might need more cleanup crew (snails) to help control the algae? I have at least 30 snails in all my tanks, typically order a custom cleanup crew from reef cleaners and add some Mexican turbo snails as well. 
 

A couple things that I notice from your pic is that if your chaeto is able to stay there where you placed it on the sand bed, you probably don’t have enough flow. Also, I noticed your return nozzles are pointed downward... you may want to aim them (and/or your powerhead) up toward the water’s surface to break the surface... this helps with oxygenation and helps the water chemistry.
 

I’m no expert on water chemistry, so maybe others will chime in with further suggestions. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Jerad81
33 minutes ago, banasophia said:

Hi, sorry I haven’t popped in for awhile. I really love the scape you ended up with! Cloves are probably my favorite coral - hope you end up loving them in your tank too. And I really like your other coral choices as well. 
 

Weird that your alkalinity is that low. What are you using as your water source and your salt? Also, I’m wondering if you might need more cleanup crew (snails) to help control the algae? I have at least 30 snails in all my tanks, typically order a custom cleanup crew from reef cleaners and add some Mexican turbo snails as well. 
 

A couple things that I notice from your pic is that if your chaeto is able to stay there where you placed it on the sand bed, you probably don’t have enough flow. Also, I noticed your return nozzles are pointed downward... you may want to aim them (and/or your powerhead) up toward the water’s surface to break the surface... this helps with oxygenation and helps the water chemistry.
 

I’m no expert on water chemistry, so maybe others will chime in with further suggestions. 

Yeah, I fell in love with those cloves as soon as I saw them at my lfs! I can't wait to see them after they've fully adjusted to my tank and start showing off they're full colors again.

 

I can't figure out why my alkalinity is so low. I always buy my water from my lfs since I don't have my own RODI system yet. Could this have something to do with not getting enough oxygenation in my tank? I'm really thankful you brought that up. I never thought about it and no one else has said anything or noticed it. I actually turned my flow down recently because my acans seemed to like it better. I'm going to turn it back up now after pointing my return nozzles toward the surface. Hopefully they'll like it better if the return nozzles aren't pushing into the tank.

 

Whatever algae I'm fighting with, my current snails and hermit crab won't touch the stuff. I'm a little nervous to add more because my tank is still so young. I don't know if there's enough to keep them all fed if they won't eat this brown stuff. It is definitely on my list of things to add though.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
banasophia
3 hours ago, Jerad81 said:

Yeah, I fell in love with those cloves as soon as I saw them at my lfs! I can't wait to see them after they've fully adjusted to my tank and start showing off they're full colors again.

 

I can't figure out why my alkalinity is so low. I always buy my water from my lfs since I don't have my own RODI system yet. Could this have something to do with not getting enough oxygenation in my tank? I'm really thankful you brought that up. I never thought about it and no one else has said anything or noticed it. I actually turned my flow down recently because my acans seemed to like it better. I'm going to turn it back up now after pointing my return nozzles toward the surface. Hopefully they'll like it better if the return nozzles aren't pushing into the tank.

 

Whatever algae I'm fighting with, my current snails and hermit crab won't touch the stuff. I'm a little nervous to add more because my tank is still so young. I don't know if there's enough to keep them all fed if they won't eat this brown stuff. It is definitely on my list of things to add though.

Hopefully the adjustments in your flow will help. Looks like you have plenty of algae, may just need some different types of snails. I’m on my way to get a sea hare and an urchin to rotate between my tanks to eat up the algae patches that are growing. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Jerad81
11 minutes ago, banasophia said:

Hopefully the adjustments in your flow will help. Looks like you have plenty of algae, may just need some different types of snails. I’m on my way to get a sea hare and an urchin to rotate between my tanks to eat up the algae patches that are growing. 

Yeah, I definitely need to do some more research on clean up crew members. I know I don't have enough variety and will benefit from having more.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Jerad81

Sorry it's been a while since I posted anything, things have been a little crazy lately. It looks like I've gotten rid of my algae problem finally. Hopefully it stays that way this time lol. I've also added a couple new coral. I now have a duncan and a second ricordia. I also found a baby snail which got me pretty excited. Overall, my tank is doing well and starting to look like a reef tank. Now I just need to find a couple fish to add to it.

20201123_162614.jpg

20201121_180935.jpg

20201121_180924.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Jerad81

OMG!! I just found this little guy in my tank and have no idea what it is, where it came from, or how long it's been there! Whatever it is, I think it's pretty awesome! Plus it's my first ever hitchhiker so I'm a little over excited about it lol.

20201123_160736.jpg

20201123_160701.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Jerad81

So, after doing some research I've decided to add a refugium to my tank. I started raising copods in my tank a few weeks ago with the hope of creating a sustainable food source for a mandarin or gold mandarin goby that I would like to add. So far the copods are doing great but I'm worried they won't be able to reproduce fast enough to keep the fish fed and happy. I'm hoping a refugium will help fix this potential issue before it happens. Plus I've also learned refugiums are great for raising small shrimp and other tiny critters that can act as a food source for other fish and coral as well.

I scored this little tank for free from a friend who was cleaning out their basement. I'm not sure exactly how big it is but I believe it's between 3-5 gallons. The sides are plastic so I'm going to drill a hole in the side towards the top for an overflow tube to return water back to my tank. All I need now is the tube/pipe, a small pump and some tubing to pump water out of my tank and into the refugium, and a small rack or stand to prop the refugium up so the return pipe is above my main tank.

The refugium tank also came with a lid and light. My only question now is can I use a regular light bulb or do I need something special for it?

My goal is to have it set up and running by this weekend. My fingers are crossed that everything works like I planned.

20201125_153512.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Jerad81

I started prepping my new tank to become a refugium and turned it into a disaster 😢. I believe I accidentally started pushing too hard when drilling the hole for the overflow return. I guess now I'll have to add a replacement to my shopping list for the weekend. 

20201126_163615.jpg

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
PieMan2k

Following along. Check your local craigslist, ive seen lots of plastic tanks on mine. Also i would recommend using a hole saw rather than a twist drill. Hole saws have less surface area you have to "push" through and you can go slower with them. Also I would recommend using a clamp and clamping a thin, half inch or so, on the front and back of the plastic to not only reinforce it while drilling but to also prevent blowout of the acrylic. Now that your going to be getting a different tank for a refuge you could use the broken tank for practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Jerad81
38 minutes ago, PieMan2k said:

Following along. Check your local craigslist, ive seen lots of plastic tanks on mine. Also i would recommend using a hole saw rather than a twist drill. Hole saws have less surface area you have to "push" through and you can go slower with them. Also I would recommend using a clamp and clamping a thin, half inch or so, on the front and back of the plastic to not only reinforce it while drilling but to also prevent blowout of the acrylic. Now that your going to be getting a different tank for a refuge you could use the broken tank for practice.

Thanks for the advice! I was using a hole saw but I was definitely pushing too hard to get the pilot bit through. I never thought about clamping something to the back to help prevent blowout either. That's a great idea! 

Share this post


Link to post
PieMan2k
1 hour ago, Jerad81 said:

Thanks for the advice! I was using a hole saw but I was definitely pushing too hard to get the pilot bit through. I never thought about clamping something to the back to help prevent blowout either. That's a great idea! 

I use it all the time for drilling through expensive wood or a finish piece. It prevents the drill bit from grabbing the unsupported fibers in wood. Now that doesnt mean put a lot of pressure, honestly I would just let the weight of the drill and maybe a tiny bit of pressure so it doesnt melt the plastic. 

Share this post


Link to post
Jerad81

The good news is I was able to get my new refugium up and running over the weekend! The bad news is I made a HUGE mess in the process. That's why it's currently sitting in a pan lol. But I got it all cleaned up and everything is taken care of 😁. I couldn't find a good stand for it yet so for now it's sitting on a milk crate. It looks a little goofy but it gets the job done. Also, the tubing is a little more obnoxious than I had hoped but it also gets the job done until I can find a better system.

20201130_163729.jpg

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
farkwar

🤣😂🙃😄🤣😂😅

 

😉

Share this post


Link to post
Jerad81

Well, black Friday really took advantage of me over the weekend lol. But when everything at my lfs is 20% off I can't really say no 😶. In addition to my refugium, I also came home with 3 rock flower anemones, a mushroom, 3 spotted pajama fish, a spotted mandarin and a cleaner shrimp! I had planned to wait on getting any fish until my refugium was well established but I couldn't say no to the deal they were offering.

I believe I have enough copods already established in my tank to keep the mandarin happy for a while but I will keep a close eye on him just in case. Either way I'm going to get some more copods for both my main tank and refugium in the near future just to be safe.

I haven't been able to get a good pic of the cleaner shrimp yet but I have some decent pics of the rest. I just wish I knew how to get that plug off the mushroom without damaging it. It would look A LOT better without it. I guess I'll just have to do some more research on it. 

20201130_160319.jpg

20201130_160032.jpg

20201130_155353.jpg

20201130_155319.jpg

20201130_155256.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Jerad81

I also noticed when I came home from work today that my hermit crab was digging around for food in the middle of my cloves 😲. He's been pretty secluded over the last couple weeks so I was happy to see him being more active again but damn! Does he have to do that to my coral? He doesn't appear to have done any damage to them though so I guess I'll forgive him.

He did recently molt though so now I'm a little worried he needs a bigger shell and I haven't been able to find him one yet. Hopefully his current shell will still keep him happy for a while. 

20201130_161342.jpg

20201130_171504.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Jerad81

My cleaner shrimp finally decided to come out and pose for a picture! It didn't stay out long but it looks like it's starting to warm up to me.

20201205_195418.jpg

20201205_195422.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
debbeach13

Pretty soon he will be all over the tank.

Share this post


Link to post
Jerad81

Wow, it's getting closer to Christmas and my hermit crab has decided to be as naughty as possible! If he's not trampling my cloves he's flipping one of my ricordia on it's side. Two days in a row now and then he refuses to move so I can set it right. I'm starting to think he needs a spanking! I guess he didn't get the memo, he's supposed to be nice to everyone around Christmas!

20201208_163447.jpg

20201209_160655.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Jerad81

It looks like my hitchhiker is still hanging around! This is only the third time I've seen it and I have no idea what it is but I still think he's awesome!

20201209_163643.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Jerad81

We had our first big snowfall this weekend so I decided to "celebrate" by adding a couple new coral to my tank. I found this finger leather at my lfs that already had it's own little rock island. I couldn't really say no. I also added a photosynthetic ricordia. It's not real flashy but it adds a little variety to my tank.

20201213_120826.jpg

20201213_120833.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Jerad81

I finally got a boost to my cuc (I hope). I ordered 3 money cowrys, 5 nassarius snails (they actually sent me 7!), and 3 of the larger nassarius snails from reef cleaners. They were supposed to arrive the middle of last week but didn't show up until today. My fingers are crossed they are all still alive and will start moving around my tank by tomorrow.

Although I did witness my damn hermit crab digging around in one of the larger nassarius snail's shell shortly after I put them all in my tank. I didn't get there in time to stop it so I guess one of my snails is already a goner. I'll have to remind him he's still in a no kill zone! Hopefully he'll leave the rest of them alone now.

I also ordered him some new shells to check out. He's molted at least twice since I brought him home and is still running around in the same shell. Although some of them showed up A LOT bigger than I expected he has plenty of options now when he's ready for an upgrade. Plus the massive shells make some nice scenery!

20201214_152444.jpg

20201214_152456.jpg

20201214_152503.jpg

20201214_154655.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Jerad81

I finally have an update on my tank. A lot has happened since the last one. My previous cuc boost was a disaster. Nothing survived the delivery because the post office took so long due to the holidays.

Also, my spotted mandarin died on me. I can only assume he ran out of food and starved himself. It was a bit of a shock though because he was looking and acting perfectly happy and healthy plus I've noticed plenty of copods around my tank, even right after his death. Maybe he was just a REALLY bad hunter or there was something else going on that I didn't know about. I decided to replace him with a banded circus goby instead. So far he appears to be doing great but he doesn't come out of hiding much so I don't get to see him as often as I hoped.

I also added a couple new coral, 2 macros, and some new cuc members (these thankfully survived the shipping). My new coral are a pearl bubble coral and a palythoa. The macros are a pencil cap and a flat branch gracilaria. The cuc newbies are 3 Florida ceriths, 6 nassarius vibex, a pitho crab, a decorator crab, and 4 porcelain crabs (2 blue and 2 green, although the blue ones actually look red).

I've been having some hair and bubble algae breakouts (you can see some of them in the pics) which is what inspired me to get both a pitho and decorator crab. Since they arrived yesterday the decorator crab has devoured all the hair algae, except for what he's now wearing lol, and has made a huge dent in the bubble algae. I was a bit shocked because nobody ever talks about them eating bubble algae but I'm definitely not complaining. Plus he's been content to leave my coral alone so far too so he's quickly becoming one of my favorites. The pitho crab is supposed to eat bubble algae but so far he's buried himself in the substrate as soon as I put him in my tank and I haven't seen him since. I'm starting to wonder if I should sell him since the decorator has proven to be a much more open eater than I expected. 

The porcelain crabs have been spending most of their time in hiding. One of them pulled a disappearing act right after I put him in the tank and I haven't seen him since. The other three seem to have made their new homes where I can find at least find them. Although they are tough to see unless you know to look for them but I still think they're cool. Now I just need a couple pompoms to add to the group and I'll be set! I  REALLY like crabs if you didn't notice lol.

My finger leather is also looking a little unhappy lately. He's losing his color and doesn't stand up anymore. I'm going to try moving him somewhere else to see if that perks him back up. Otherwise I'm worried I'm going to lose him soon. Everything else is looking great and happy though so I'm pretty happy with how everything is going. 

As promised earlier, here's some new pics of my tank!

20210116_122036.jpg

20210116_105615.jpg

20210116_102934.jpg

20210116_102633.jpg

20210115_121920.jpg

20210115_121852.jpg

20210115_121844.jpg

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...