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Diamonds x Pearls

It's the end of month! Pictures will be coming soon after I spruce up the aquarium. IMG_20200829_114458.thumb.jpg.7e53e6bfffd0a0bed67472911e4ae98a.jpg

 

And the GHA on my powerheads got a little out of hand this month in particular. Nothing like a used medium toothbrush can't fix. I am fortunate the encrusting coralline has yet to get to the actual impeller.

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The Amazon tank got some love as well.IMG_20200829_122833.thumb.jpg.d69569b9ab92aab1ce9cf355a2b3b50b.jpg

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Diamonds x Pearls

September 2nd

 

Temperature 81F

Salinity 1.023sg

Alkalinity 8 dKh

Calcium 420-430 ppm

Magnesium 1320 ppm

Nitrates 5 ppm

Phosphates 0.075 ppm

 

Photo update below. Not much going else except for some relocations and the toadstool leather starting develop character around the edges of the corallite body. Oh, and the red Cyphastrea is regaining its pigments back.

 

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Full scale shots. Shot with camera phone and 20K filter with polarizing lens.

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You can see that to make room for our new SPS neighbor I moved the long polyp to where the sinularia and lobo used to be. the lobo went to the right and the sinularia is still noncompliant...

 

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From this photo you can tell that GHA is making its way on the rockwork on this side of the tank. I do feed this side a little more heavily to make a good smear on the Favia and its hitchhiker spaghetti worm. The lawn growing on the back has reduced in size due to a stronger grazing pressure by adding a few more snails.

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IMG_20200830_021657.thumb.jpg.4c3ab9972e1f2c51a1d131e2cc6e5bb1.jpg

It appears that some of the exposed skeleton has been recovered with new tissue.

 

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Using a cheap hammer and a really thin putty knife I was able to detach the concrete disk it was glued on.

 

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The colony and its accidental frags. I guess someone wasn't careful at Tidal Gardens.

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IMG_20200830_022055.thumb.jpg.f1709c5198f92144da3cc9b4904dbcf7.jpg

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Yes even the powerhead has color too. IMG_20200830_022536.thumb.jpg.5a94394949119d8cb98092fc60c3e85b.jpg

 

 

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Just thought I'd check in and say hello and wish you all an unofficial end of summer, even though it's still unbearably hot in some places. Happy Labor Day everyone, thank a worker today.

 

After taking photos, I found some brown strands growing around the big Lobophytum colony...with air bubbles. Tank water level was not running low so I felt that some dinoflagellates are appearing. I would guess that was since the Cyphastrea had a strange bleaching event. It is recovering it's color surely, but you can tell there's some faded regions around the corallites. I can't be certain that the dinos are indeed zooxanthellae. I decided to try this product I learned from Gallery Aquatica's Youtube in Australia. They used Dino-X in some of their clients aquariums without much need to blackout if I recall correctly. I feel like it would give greater effect if you did, but I decided not to mostly out of laziness even though blackout worked just fine for me. I'm entering my third dose of Dino-X and I'm considering stopping it after the 7th dose as I'm getting nervous about my elemental parameters because the directions on the product said not to add any supplements during treatment period. This is also a third of the intended dosage time. Of course, based on the English it says up to 10 doses. Up to. This is also the product's assumption that you're treating an outbreak. I just have a couple bits on one of my corals. There's probably more, but I don't think I'll need the full treatment period. I also have a nice haul of Dr. Tim's products. I have some Waste-Away and Re-Fresh. I bought this in case Dino-X didn't work out. I bought a thing of Eco-Balance just to give it a try. Whomever worked on my package apparently sent me an extra bottle. Can't beat free. I feel more comfortable about Dr. Tim's products versus Vibrant. I feel like the minds of Vibrant are less accessible in relation to Dr. Tim as the latter has made appearances on webinars and conferences handing out great information on aquariums for the sometimes overlooked microscale. 

 

Sometimes I wonder if I should have switched majors to microbiology and ended up in a similar pathway as Dr. Tim. I really did like my Micro 101 professor; he taught my lab section too. Is there a marine micro program out there? Is it too late to get a masters?

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A.m.P

Dino-x only works on a few strains, and not very well from most of the contextual discussions on R2R's thread. Peroxide can work sometimes, but most of the time a dirty tank [really just higher phosphates and detectable nitrate] (optional phyto/bacteria dosing and pod-seeding) with potential black outs seems to be the best way of getting things back on-line. (Honorable mention to seeding with oxyrrhis marina to those in europe which have had some success.

Vibrant will make dino worse, most products designed to combat algae will make dino's worse. The main cause of outbreaks seems to be when dino's become a dominant-form of photosynthetic organism, as opposed to being out-competed by other, less-harmful, species. The cleaner things get the harder it is to kick dinoflagellates in a closed-system, since they're heterotrophic and autotrophic they'll just consume the competition unless it can significantly-outpace them.

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Yeah, I'm not sure if I need Vibrant per se. I just wanted to give it a try and I actually just forget adding it since the dino outbreak back in July. While I can say it has help mitigate my bubble algae that can occur from month to month. I haven't seen it a while. I'm not fully crediting Vibrant as a preventative, but I think it may have helped on top of me manually removing it whenever I saw a bubble algae patch. I don't think it has moved much towards the GHA that I have. The lawn in the back has regressed only because the snails have figured it out and I also added numbers in a slight manner. GHA on the rocks however are still there, but any coral garden has its weeds. I feel like I've been deceived a little as BRS made it out that Vibrant seemed to be a wonder product of sorts. Of course at the end of the day, BRS is still a business looking for money to be made. They got me there.

 

On the topic of seeding/dosing microbes, I sometimes wonder what the research says out there. It feels insecure to rely on "proprietary blends." Nonetheless I want to see it for myself which is why I went ahead and gotten some of Dr. Tim's stuff. Bacteria come and go naturally, and I can't help but to assume that some are also removed whenever I vacuum the crushed coral bed, so it leads me to believe that there can be a way to remedy population losses. On that vein of thought, at the minimum the nitrifying bacteria used for aquarium cycling should be one of the candidates to replace, but I'm certain there's more to that diversity. 

 

Anyway, I do like amphipods. I find them very interesting animals. Do people culture them and sell them in large quantities? I've noticed some of my big adults bit the dust on my previous water change.

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A.m.P
1 hour ago, Diamonds x Pearls said:

Yeah, I'm not sure if I need Vibrant per se. I just wanted to give it a try and I actually just forget adding it since the dino outbreak back in July. While I can say it has help mitigate my bubble algae that can occur from month to month. I haven't seen it a while. I'm not fully crediting Vibrant as a preventative, but I think it may have helped on top of me manually removing it whenever I saw a bubble algae patch. I don't think it has moved much towards the GHA that I have. The lawn in the back has regressed only because the snails have figured it out and I also added numbers in a slight manner. GHA on the rocks however are still there, but any coral garden has its weeds. I feel like I've been deceived a little as BRS made it out that Vibrant seemed to be a wonder product of sorts. Of course at the end of the day, BRS is still a business looking for money to be made. They got me there.

 

On the topic of seeding/dosing microbes, I sometimes wonder what the research says out there. It feels insecure to rely on "proprietary blends." Nonetheless I want to see it for myself which is why I went ahead and gotten some of Dr. Tim's stuff. Bacteria come and go naturally, and I can't help but to assume that some are also removed whenever I vacuum the crushed coral bed, so it leads me to believe that there can be a way to remedy population losses. On that vein of thought, at the minimum the nitrifying bacteria used for aquarium cycling should be one of the candidates to replace, but I'm certain there's more to that diversity. 

 

Anyway, I do like amphipods. I find them very interesting animals. Do people culture them and sell them in large quantities? I've noticed some of my big adults bit the dust on my previous water change.

As best most can tell pods, certain diatoms, and certain bacteria (as well as some pure-heterotrophic dino's) eat dinoflagellates. If you end up with an outbreak your pods and CUC start to die en-masse, people sometimes have success seeding multiple types of smaller pods, apocalypse, tisbe, tigger, arctica, etc.

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Diamonds x Pearls
On 9/8/2020 at 11:15 PM, Amphrites said:

As best most can tell pods, certain diatoms, and certain bacteria (as well as some pure-heterotrophic dino's) eat dinoflagellates. If you end up with an outbreak your pods and CUC start to die en-masse, people sometimes have success seeding multiple types of smaller pods, apocalypse, tisbe, tigger, arctica, etc.

Hmm, I guess I should think about whatever AlgaeBarn is selling. I did try it once several months ago. However I had a hard time telling whether or not I had pods the following nights after. I wouldn't be surprised they quickly were eaten up, but I suppose this is exactly why people dose pods as part of the maintenance schedule.

 

...now if only I can get permission from the National Aquarium to send me some my way.

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Diamonds x Pearls

September 10th

 

I'm late with this!

 

Temperature 81F

Salinity 1.023sg

Alkalinity 7-8 dKh

Calcium ~370 ppm

Magnesium >1260 ppm

Phosphate <0.01 ppm

Nitrate >12 ppm

 

I decided to get a striped blenny. This was after learning my wife liked yellow fish. Also it would give the reef a little more variety.

 

Today noticed some of the Favites heads started to recede a little. A shame really, I enjoy my red and blue war coral. I think some of the Caulastrea swept too close to it as it is no more than an inch apart. Lately I've also noticed the mesenterial filments on my Favia has been presenting and creating a thin mucous layer. I guess it's a hungry colony.

 

Otherwise things seem to look okay on the grand scheme of things. I want to try 3 more Dino-X applications to see if it can help. I haven't seen any brown bubbly bits the past couple of days, but also my nutrients increased as the aquarium progressed, so some redundancy has to be considered. I think this is where the blenny is of use adding enough nutrients that we will dinoflagellate populations under control as it is a fish that is probably as hungry as the clownfish next door.

 

I bought a case of Reef Crystals because I'm finally starting to run out.

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A.m.P
2 hours ago, Diamonds x Pearls said:

Hmm, I guess I should think about whatever AlgaeBarn is selling. I did try it once several months ago. However I had a hard time telling whether or not I had pods the following nights after. I wouldn't be surprised they quickly were eaten up, but I suppose this is exactly why people dose pods as part of the maintenance schedule.

 

...now if only I can get permission from the National Aquarium to send me some my way.

I grabbed some from these guys, only seeded once and have a large, stable population now.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/12oz-Bottle-of-Swamp-Mix-Live-Copepods-PhytoPlankton-Mix/254271773729?epid=12026882202&hash=item3b33c75c21:g:juIAAOSwVCldDYPq

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Diamonds x Pearls

September 18

 

I haven't been in the best mood this week. Water change happened yesterday. Dosing 1mL of Reef Fusions daily. Weekly 1.5mL dose of Fluval Magnesium.

 

Temperature 79F

Salinity 1.024sg

Alkalinity 8 dKh

Calcium 470ppm

Magnesium 1380ppm

Phosphate 0.20ppm

Nitrate 12ppm

 

I'm afraid my favia is getting so hungry that it's offing its polyps...yikes!

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September 24

 

Temperature 77F (I'm thinking of getting a temperature probe because redundancy.)

Salinity 1.026sg

Alkalinity 7-8 dKh

Calcium <470 ppm

Magnesium <1380 ppm

Phosphate 0.10 ppm

Nitrate 25 ppm

 

Remember that packet of PhosGuard I whisked away? I brought it back in this case in particular. We're only two days in implementation and we're seeing results. I'm planning to run it until we reach a little lower level. I found that having a Fungia was a great indicator coral for phosphate concentration. It was really brown the past few days, but the green and purple pigments came back once I added the packet.

 

My striped blenny kicked the bucket on Sunday as I found its head in the intake of my filter. It appears that it never ate while it was living in my tank. I suppose it didn't care for having pellets for food. It didn't seem to register eating frozen mysis shrimp either.

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IMG_20200913_201812.thumb.jpg.139cb608871a424fd768fe304531afc5.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nevermind the photobomb. However you might remember one of the newer members had a bleaching incident when entering the tank. The scar there was me accidentally crushing one of the corallite heads. You know when Cyphastrea occupies too much and the only way to thin it out is crush the actual animal polyp. Same idea, but without the intention of offing a part of the colony. Otherwise, it recovered rather quickly after a few feeds. You can see what was the blenny in the background. Too bad it didn't do well in the tank. I really liked how it hovered over the rocks looking for food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tired

That's a plate coral skeleton, right, with the little lumps of flesh? I've read about them doing that after seemingly dying. They actually make these little knots of flesh that grow into individual baby plate corals! More than that, the babies detach themselves at about an inch across, and the knots will keep growing more babies. You might just get a plate coral factory going there.

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Diamonds x Pearls
1 minute ago, Tired said:

That's a plate coral skeleton, right, with the little lumps of flesh? I've read about them doing that after seemingly dying. They actually make these little knots of flesh that grow into individual baby plate corals! More than that, the babies detach themselves at about an inch across, and the knots will keep growing more babies. You might just get a plate coral factory going there.

Oh no that's my mini carpet anemone. This specimen apparently has texture. I wish my plate coral died and created more. I'm too afraid to force something like that to happen. However I do remember watching a video from CoralFish12g about his plate coral (nevermind the clickbaity titles).

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Tired

No, I know that's a carpet anemone. Well, okay, I thought it might be a mushroom, but I know it's not a skeleton. I meant this guy. 

 

IMG_20200830_021657.thumb.jpg.4c3ab9972e1f2c51a1d131e2cc6e5bb1.jpg

 

Or is this a fungia? I think they do the same thing. 

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Don't mind me working on my tank. 25ppm NO3 and the API kit read a slightly lower alkalinity than I liked seemed enough to warrant some maintenance . If anything the stray GHA started to diminish the flow from my powerheads. I trimmed some of the algae off the rocks so it won't look as overgrown. I took about 6 gallons out. IMG_20200923_163107.thumb.jpg.54a357f9b57b745dc3d40b9f433b7da6.jpg

 

Additionally, I had some super glue work on my corals. My snail have been bulldozing my montipora sprigs so I decided to actually tie them down and not see them on the substrate any given morning. I'm not exactly fond of permanently gluing down anything because what if I need to take out that one thing to treat it or q it. If I were to, I just added a small dab so that it will stick to the rock but it can be cut away with ease...also saves a trip to the dollar store for super glue gel. The big lobo hand was moved to a lower position and towards to back to just allow for more water movement. It still in an area of decent flow, but not right at the filter effluent. This was also done to just make the rear side...even though not a viewing side more balanced in coral distribution. The right side can be considered a viewing side and I never had anything fill the right margin. I thought it might be good to do so. I, uh, also smeared a lot of gel on the bottom margin of the Favia that's been not happy. I long thought it could have been vermetid snails, but I really doubted if that was the case since I have been careful to examine any pest including the scavenged live rock I added at the beginning of this tank's life span. I still don't think I have such pest, but I knew it wouldn't hurt to cover up and basically choke out any offending worm or tube snail that could be stressing it. There's just hard to explain why my Favia would be losing itself so recently and there's always some kind of mucus film enveloping it. I've done a couple dips with iodine and Revive coral dip and still not much progress. Rather frustrating especially from a pretty colony as such.

 

Nick is bringing in droppings from his Nepthea tree so I may add a little lump in the back to emulate a sea fan you see in some diving videos in Japan. From my understanding and what I hear from him, it grows like a weed, so I might be getting into something I may regret. However, because I cleared up more space at the uppermost rock near the surface of the tank, this can allow for a supplemental SPS frag. If it weren't for the Forest Fire Digi, I would have bought a German blue from Tidal Gardens. I missed the Live Sale so I'll wait another month. (A cool thing about TG is that they give you a $10 coupon when you receive a package from them. That's how they get you. That's how they got me.) Wife is going to kill me if she sees another coral shipment...

 

My wife's dad says, "You didn't get an A, but you did get an E...for experience." God bless you, Wills.

26 minutes ago, Tired said:

No, I know that's a carpet anemone. Well, okay, I thought it might be a mushroom, but I know it's not a skeleton. I meant this guy. 

Quote

 

IMG_20200830_021657.thumb.jpg.4c3ab9972e1f2c51a1d131e2cc6e5bb1.jpg

 

Or is this a fungia? I think they do the same thing. 

Sorry, I wasn't sure what was the picture in question. So a while ago I did burn a tiny bit of skeleton, but after 3-4 feeds the tissue grew back. I decided to play with the flow and it turns out what you see is my Fungia responding to lower flow. I ramped up the speed from my Aquaclear and the tissues expanded. Now that new tissue I just mentioned created a second mouth. Now my coral looks like a really weird Siamese twin. I don't know what it'll do, but it's a weird 2 for 1 I wasn't expecting, but will embrace either way. I'll snap a photo later when my tank calms down and the corals don't look angry after doing a water change and minor aquascaping rework.

 

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Diamonds x Pearls

@Tired wicked, right? That's got to be two mouths.

 

Yb7JADviMVyepqBu84uyFZupDYArlhOibYVWOHIdyuIAIMhmarVK2HpCvc7ODrb4dad1uVZXMz_ZJoBqTZYB9BgjXuCfCf_kCgxKVc4-NFPiV-Zq4nIsgCRf9sOaMA95WKWH51ggmqOIXbmqRILJzy8Mvm8R2jpTdf9F549rQuqEREgpDmITjT4PBYHA3UBOQwONULQvVIBneZZgM1rygDr8lcEHfq-Db05tnL-p5hS9sF6MVswiL2YLr1AkPrH7RETGtzvHiGBaBVrICoNmRkQRh-M68ySYa3snQdGiZhEg6npddHDbxjfb_HtUCnKs4mZcEs2oRUhYUoKpAGzS5ekC5snCLV8HuG6ocf7_9Ba95ZV-Yh-M_wnggCp0uceAM9XyEquPCSIGss20X37jvjjQsyRcC8ASpmMHJFSfCSFiVCwZgLPnVRRGls1kfouuVNHWtVkf06LEOlZ34tZjbJHTo727NNZLTrG6RZ1EWUqFSaNde9gNp7GOFRxSvaA2xfgS0pC777C0h1oqb4A5AlAqpVpsyPAt4ztNS2K40uRJZtUGJAbRZb353qcEaDHoQLaQ-dAvQTkWN4kgKsUke4Mdo-lj7ccN7jdMpkM99EeD3MGcNq3rmX3HoDwIJ2dD2IY4ns0_2XDBNWPtrGouI8H9l0tT01AKZUgk1wBELYfCUdUA6doSXydfzxmt=w1689-h950-no?authuser=1

 

It's a poopy photo. I'm being lazy with not post-processing stuff lately.

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Tired

Huh, weird shape. Yeah, it's doing something. 

 

I wonder if those little buds are going to develop into baby factories as the flesh extends back out from the middle? Should be interesting, please keep updating its pics now and then.

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billygoat

You start with one Fungia, then you have two, then five, then, well... I stole this picture from Wikipedia:

 

Fungia fungites agregación.jpg

 

Glad to hear this tank is doing well though! I'm always on board with any kind of biotope. I'm interested to see if you end up with giant leathers after a year or so. Some of those (I'm looking at you, Nepthea) can get super large.

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49 minutes ago, Tired said:

Huh, weird shape. Yeah, it's doing something. 

 

I wonder if those little buds are going to develop into baby factories as the flesh extends back out from the middle? Should be interesting, please keep updating its pics now and then.

Ah maybe. Not going to lie I have dreamt such things before.

 

24 minutes ago, billygoat said:

You start with one Fungia, then you have two, then five, then, well... I stole this picture from Wikipedia:

 

Fungia fungites agregación.jpg

 

Glad to hear this tank is doing well though! I'm always on board with any kind of biotope. I'm interested to see if you end up with giant leathers after a year or so. Some of those (I'm looking at you, Nepthea) can get super large.

Yeah that nep was in my coworker's tank in less than a year. He did however run his tank quite dirty (near 100ppm NO3) due to faulty and expired test liquids. Besides the point, I'm curious what this tank will roll out as in the coming 1 year birthday and later on. I have seen that picture before and I kinda squealed at that idea of having fungia everywhere. It's definitely a top 3 coral for me. Also, nice of you to drop by, Billygoat.

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IMG_20200924_182515.thumb.jpg.e81400aa3cc33d806f1405cd9a7f2e99.jpg

A new neighbor acquired.

 

IMG_20200924_171638.thumb.jpg.eb02eca5c8d05593fde09231302f41ec.jpg

One big stretch.

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