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Jerad81

My Journey Begins

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Jerad81

It looks like my first battle with aiptasia rages on. I think my decorator crab might be getting a little lazy on me. If he doesn't eat it up by tomorrow I'll be running to the store for some aiptasia x. Hopefully I'll be able to get rid of this one before it decides to have babies.

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Jerad81

On a more positive note, one of my porcelain crabs FINALLY decided to come out of hiding and start exploring my tank! It took him a month but now I know at least two of the four are still alive. 

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Jerad81

So I went to get some aiptasia x and found out it was on backorder. I was a little bummed because it's been popping up in several places again so I made the mistake of checking out the coral selection. I promised myself I wouldn't add any more until I had my water chemistry in check for at least a couple weeks. But I took one look at this guy and just couldn't say no. This is why I need to stop going to my lfs lol.

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DevilDuck

 

Just now, DevilDuck said:

Anyway of taking the rock out and putting glue over the aiptasia? also isn't aiptasia x just kalkwasser mixed into a thick slurry?

 

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Jerad81

I'm not real sure what aiptasia x is. Honestly, I've heard mixed reviews on it's effectiveness but I guess you could say that about almost every method. I was hoping not to take the rock out. After my alkalinity dosing fiasco I was hoping not to stir things up anymore than I have to. I haven't ruled that out though.

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Jerad81

I found the aiptasia x I was looking for at my other lfs today. Hopefully it will help me get rid of the few babies I've found popping up before they can start multiplying. Especially since my decorator crab has decided he doesn't want to eat them anymore. 

I am quite proud of myself as I actually managed to get in and out of the store without buying any new coral. I think that's the first time I've pulled that off lol. I did however buy 3 new snails but I've been needing to do that for a while now. I added 2 black and white spiral tops and 1 turbo snail. They had the turbo labeled as a chestnut turbo but I'm kinda wondering if they had them mislabeled. The coloring of it doesn't really match what I'm finding online. Either way I know it's a turbo snail so I'm happy with it. 

 

My black and white spiral tops

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My turbo snail 

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I am a little worried I might have damaged him when I was transferring him into my tank. He was being pretty stubborn and not letting go of the container the store put him in. I tried being as gentle as I could but it still looked like I might have been close to tearing his shell off. I finally managed to get a finger underneath him and pop him off. He's still alive after getting him into my tank so my fingers are crossed there wasn't any permanent damage done.

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Jerad81

Well, I am now a firm believer in aiptasia x! I've found about 6 babies popping up around my tank and so far they've all been wiped out and haven't shown signs of coming back yet. My fingers are crossed I've found them all but I'll be keeping an eye out for more just in case. 

 

Unfortunately, I think all of my porcelain crabs have died on me. I have been finding pieces of them around my tank the last couple weeks. I was hoping they were just molting and it was a good thing but I've never seen them or signs of them since. Here's a pic of one of them I found. 

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I did finally get rid of all that green algae caked on the bottom glass around my tank, or at least most of it. Now it looks a lot better and my coral are all looking happy. Except for my palythoa. I'm still not sure why but I'm wondering now if my phosphate or nitrate levels are part of it. I'm going to dig my test kit back out and start tracking them again to find out. 

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Jerad81

I just found one of my porcelain crabs! Looks like he's alive and well and doing great! The picture doesn't show it well but he's currently camping out under one of my rock flowers. At least now I know I can keep my hope alive the other 3 are still in there hanging around somewhere. 

 

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debbeach13

Great news. 

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Jerad81

I believe I have finally found the source of most of my coral issues I've had. I quit testing my phosphate and nitrate levels a few months ago because they were always consistently close to zero. I honestly didn't even think about them being a problem because all of my established coral still looked great and I never really had any algae blooms showing up and trying to take over my tank. I finally realized I should test them anyway just to confirm they were still in check and ended up with the opposite result. Now they have gotten so high they don't even register on my test kits. 

 

After smacking myself around a few times I made it a point to do a 25% water change the same day. I have also started using the Chemipure Elite media bags to help soak up the extra nutrients in my water and have cut back on how much I feed my fish. I'm also committed to doing a 25% water change at least once a week to help get everything back in check. I was considering 50% water changes but since everything in my tank is so used to extremely high nutrient levels I'm worried that might bring them back down a little too fast. 

 

After just one water change I've already noticed positive results with my palythoa. It's still not opening all the way but compared to what it's been this is a pretty significant improvement! Hopefully I can keep it going that direction and get fully open and blooming in the near future. 

 

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I guess I've officially learned my lesson on how quickly water quality can change without noticable effects until it's already out of control. 

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Jerad81

I tested my water again today after a water change and both phosphate and nitrate levels are still way above my test kit. Everything in my tank appears to be A LOT happier though so I'm confident I have it moving in the right direction. 

I said I wasn't going to do this until I got my water sorted out but my lfs just got a new order of rockflowers in. I should have never looked at them because I just couldn't make myself say no after that. Hopefully these three will stay in an area where I can actually see them! The two in front and the one on the far right at the middle/back of the pic are the new ones. 

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Jerad81

Well, it's been a frustrating week. Two of my new rockflowers died on me already (the pink one and the purple one). They decided to start exploring my tank and the next day they were both big messy blobs on the substrate. I also found my cleaner shrimp dead for no apparent reason. It was looking and acting perfectly healthy so I'm a little confused about what happened to him. The only reason I can think of for all three is my water quality issues. It's frustrating though because everything else in my tank looks happier than ever now that I'm focusing on improving it. I guess I'll keep working on it and probably consider replacing my three casualties when I get it under control. I'll try to post some new pics this weekend. 

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Jerad81

Also, I forgot to mention, I have aiptasia trying to make a comeback this week as well. I guess this is going to turn into a neverending battle but so far they seem content to stay isolated in one area. Hopefully I can keep them that way so they don't turn into a full epidemic lol.

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Jerad81

I know it's been a while since my last update. I was hoping to have something more positive to show off but it doesn't look like I'm going to get my wish. Although I will say, most of my coral are looking great! I do have that going for me. 

 

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My palythoa grandis though is a different story. I'm not sure why but it started losing it's color about the same time I started addressing my water quality issue. Now it's basically completely bleached out. Does anyone know if coral can regain their color over time or is this a permanent change?

 

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Unfortunately, my decorator crab died on me recently. I'm not really sure why because he had plenty of food and appeared to be doing great. Also, one of my pajama cardinals dissapeared about a week ago. I don't know what happened to it, it was just suddenly gone one day and I've never seen it since. 

 

My aiptasia battle has been growing. I believe I'm up to 5 now, at least that I can see. Aiptasia X appears to work but usually a new one pops up in the same place after about a week. It's clearly not giving me a permanent solution although I have considered the possibility I still need to figure out how to use it better as well.

 

I'm not really stressing out about my aiptasia problem though because I have also noticed a flat worm infestation threatening my tank now too. I'm currently researching ways to get rid of them safely before they wipe out everything in my tank. If anyone has any ideas, suggestions or places to look I would love to hear them. 

 

My water quality is improving. It's taking longer than I had hoped but I am seeing the benefits of it. I'm hoping I can find a way to get rid of these flat worms and get my water healthy again so I can go back to focusing on these aiptasia. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. 

 

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debbeach13
54 minutes ago, Jerad81 said:

Does anyone know if coral can regain their color over time or is this a permanent change?

Yes sometimes coral color back up. Sorry about the crab and PC. Not all flat worms are bad. So check which one's you have. Mine were light tan, I would pick them off the glass some times supposedly not bad. They eventually died off or got eaten by something. I am not sure most of your troubles if any are from improved water quality. As long as you match SG and temperature for your water changes. I would stay the course.

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Jerad81
1 hour ago, debbeach13 said:

Yes sometimes coral color back up. Sorry about the crab and PC. Not all flat worms are bad. So check which one's you have. Mine were light tan, I would pick them off the glass some times supposedly not bad. They eventually died off or got eaten by something. I am not sure most of your troubles if any are from improved water quality. As long as you match SG and temperature for your water changes. I would stay the course.

That's good to know. The few sources I've found so far on flat worms didn't say anything about there being different kinds. They just said they would multiply like crazy until they ran out of food. Then they would all die off around the same time and release a toxin into the water that would kill everything else in the tank. It's had me freaking out since everything else is finally starting to look nice and happy. Here's a better pic that shows the worms. In case anyone doesn't know, they're all the red spots covering the rocks.

 

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So far they really aren't bothering anything or doing anything bad other than looking ugly. I was mostly afraid of this toxin they would supposedly release when they started to die off. I guess I'll have to keep researching them, maybe I just found the wrong sources so far. Thanks for letting me know!

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debbeach13

Absolutely keep looking. Mine were light tan. Red might be the bad ones. I would be more worried what they eat.

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Jerad81
3 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

Absolutely keep looking. Mine were light tan. Red might be the bad ones. I would be more worried what they eat.

After spending the day doing some more research, I don't think these flatworms are as much to worry about as I originally believed. The pic doesn't show it very well but looking at them really closely I noticed a bright red spot on them. I believe they are the same as your tan ones were just a little bit different color. Apparently they are basically harmless as long as I can keep their population in check until they die off. I guess they thrive in nutrient rich water but they shouldn't be toxic like I thought. I just need to keep sucking them up until I get my water clean again and they die off.

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Jerad81

I did also find some sponges in my tank. Would I be stupid to name one of them Bob? 🤣

 

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And I just noticed my first bristle worm. At least the first one that I've actually seen anyway. 

 

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debbeach13

Go ahead and name the sponge Bob. Just don't tell anyone.

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Jerad81
Just now, debbeach13 said:

Go ahead and name the sponge Bob. Just don't tell anyone.

It was either that or Bill, his deranged cousin 🤣

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DevilDuck

The increase in biodiversity is probably a good sign!

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Jerad81
4 hours ago, DevilDuck said:

The increase in biodiversity is probably a good sign!

Yeah, I was actually thinking that too! I know I still have a lot of work to do but at least I can be more confident I'm going the right direction. 

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Jerad81

It looks like my tank is responding really well to my war with water quality. 

 

My yuma has doubled in size. It also is a lot happier now that my pitho crab stopped moving it around. Although I am starting to think my crab died on me. It's not uncommon for me not to see it very often because it likes to bury itself in the substrate around rocks. The rock with my yuma was always it's favorite and it would move it around constantly no matter where I put it. The fact that has stopped happening for a few days now has me wondering. I love seeing my yuma this happy though so I guess I'll embrace what I have and keep an eye out in case he shows back up.

 

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Also, my palythoa has decided to start having babies! I noticed 3 little ones yesterday and so far they are all looking nice and healthy.  Hopefully they all got the memo to stay on their island lol.

 

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You can't really see two of them very well but there are 3 babies in the pics.

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Jerad81

I guess my pitho crab knew I was getting worried about him. He decided to come back out of the sand today and show himself off again. Hopefully he'll continue to leave my yuma's rock alone now too lol.

 

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