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UpsideDownPumpkin

Pumpkin’s 20g Red Sea Max Nano

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UpsideDownPumpkin

What a nightmare! I can see why with saltwater, big cleans are just not how it’s done.

 

I scrubbed 2 of 3 rocks in a bucket, blenny refused to leave 3rd rock so did that in tank. My plan of running water through a mesh filter like coffee didn’t work and somehow in the process I created a siphon and lost 15 L (luckily not on the floor, thank heavens) so did the rest trawler style with a small net.

 

Pretty much anything that could go wrong did. I’m amazed how much the clowns put up with. Pretty sure my blenny is scarred for life. And due to some miscommunication, I couldn’t leave the house because someone else left without keys or their phone or without telling me so I couldn’t rush out to get anything to aid my cleaning experiment.
 

Pretty sure everything (except me) survived the experience. 
 

I’m now 90% algae free and plan to never do that again. I’m going to bulk up my CUC today and slow down feeding. My nitrates are good (2 currently) but I don’t know phosphates, haven’t got that one in my kit.

 

Have moved the coral around and the rocks around. Desperately trying to keep my torch happy. 
 

And I’m knackered 😂

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debbeach13

Dam you were busy but sounds like it should really make a big difference. Keeping all the coral happy at once is not an easy task. Especially if you want an algae free tank. 

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UpsideDownPumpkin

Ok so further to the above, I also have done a 25% water change, put the wave maker in a 2 hr soak in a white vinegar solution, bought a pair of emerald crabs as all the LFS only had huge snails or sand sifting snails. Also picked up carbon and clearmax to try and tackle my phosphate issue. 
 

Now comes the big tidy up. 
 

 

ETA: two thoughts before I end up making another entry - 1) coral placement is literally the hardest life decision I have ever made. 2) I think I’m going to end up doing a Euphyllia and Shroom tank, I’ve grown so fond of my little shroom collection. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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UpsideDownPumpkin
You’re telling me and that wasn’t even half of it, I just ran out of energy while writing it 😂
40 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

Dam you were busy but sounds like it should really make a big difference. Keeping all the coral happy at once is not an easy task. Especially if you want an algae free tank. 

 

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UpsideDownPumpkin

Tank is seeing the effects of the big clean both good and bad. GHA has not shown any growth and is starting to go down (think this is the work of the crabs, both hermit and emerald). On the other hand, water is having clarity issues. Nothing like the great white fog of Feb or the green gloom of March. This seems to be a filter connection issue. I cleaned the pipe that connects filter to outlet and the place where it screws in seems to be leaking water back into the filter compartment. In turn, this is leaking air into the tank. I’m only guessing this is the cause because I turned the filter off for a few hours and the water cleared right up. The other thing it could be is either the carbon or the clearmax (fluval phosphate remover). 
 

The pipe is screwed in as tight as will go so either I’ve lost a part somewhere or the seal has gone. I might write to Red Sea and ask because the eye outlet didn’t fit when I first got it.

 

In terms of livestock: fish/inverts all happy, no signs of stress. Mushrooms are open but not as big as normal. Both torch and hammer are closed. SPS are showing signs of bleaching but that may be because I’m not ready for SPS yet. Zoas are their usual mixed bag, some open, some closed. Paly is happy, but that always is. 
 

For the new tank mates, I think I ended up with a male and female by size/colouring, not overtly worried about babies as they have a high chance of getting eaten begotten they hatch. The lady scampered off as soon as she went in, haven’t seen her since. The gent, however is working hard already. 
 

ETA: 17th July - spot fed the coral today as hammer was looking a lot more settled and it looks like that’s made him happier. Torch slowly creeping back out again. Montipora I think is a goner, stylophora maybe not. Zoas, some fussy some happy as Larry. All on sand bed as they keep getting knocked over due to being on cone shaped frag plugs. Might get a tray for them but I’m consider trying to move the one that is most easy going off the plug and onto the rock before it multiplies. 
 

 

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UpsideDownPumpkin

Woke up this morning to my neon green mushroom having walked off it’s plug. I know it’s natural and it’s seeking somewhere it likes better but I am a nervous coral parent right now hoping none of the fish or inverts bulldoze it 😰
 

It’s on the sand bed now by the side of the rock and I’ve put his old frag plug next to him in case he has a change of heart. I’m guessing he’s trying to tell me less light, more shade. 

 

Is he safe on the sand bed or should I try to encourage him back onto the rocks? 

 

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UpsideDownPumpkin

Fly by update because a family situation has shifted and I’ve lost some free time. 
 

montipora is 100% bleached now which I guess means is 100% dead. Is it doing any damage in there? I know some things explode messily when they die but it seems the same only white.

 

only got 1 set of closed Zoas now, all others are open. 
 

hammer and torch are happier than they were but I’ve seen them happier. 
 

mushrooms all look ok including the one that has walked off to the back of the tank on the sand bed.

 

all fish good, all inverts good, new crabs settled in nicely. Water change tomorrow.

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debbeach13

For the most part it sounds like the tank and corals are doing good. I hope every one family wise is OK.

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UpsideDownPumpkin
18 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

For the most part it sounds like the tank and corals are doing good. I hope every one family wise is OK.

Thank you - a family member went into hospital about a month ago but came home on Sunday so, in a way, good shift. Needed admitting again last night though so not sure now if it was too soon.

 

For the most part it seems worth it to tackle the algae, the only thing I lost was the Monti but I may well have lost that anyway as I wasn’t ready for SPS. It was basically a freebie as the guy didn’t have change for a note so threw in the two SPS. It was a risk but I learned a bit along the way. 

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debbeach13

I hope your family member has a quick and full recovery this time. Good news about the algae!

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UpsideDownPumpkin
2 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

I hope your family member has a quick and full recovery this time. Good news about the algae!

Thank you. It’s an unrelated issue, which I think is a good thing (first was heart trouble, now it’s blood sugar - ETA: he’s diabetic so that’s not an unusual issue) but yeah, I spoke to him on the phone today and he sounds positive, much more so than when he was in hospital before.

 

I’m actually amazed about the algae, it’s not gone but it’s not growing and it’s slowly being munched away. For the sake of the coral and the water clarity, I’ve pulled the phosphate remover for now because it was soaking up all my nitrate. My water clarity has cleared right up and today I noticed a pup on my fake lime chilli which I’m so excited about because he was a solo polyp when I bought him and he was the “high end” zoa of the bunch and he’s actually the happiest little zoa in the tank. Torch is looking so much happier today as well, it’s reaching out its tentacles for the first time in at least a week. 

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UpsideDownPumpkin

Make that two pups on the fake lime chilli 😀

 

and in true one step forward and two steps back... my baby fuzzy red mushroom rock has something... it’s insane trying to photo it. But basically it has these hard shiny green lumps on when I bought it. Coral dipped it and nothing came out, crushed one with my finger and it was empty so assumed it was like, calcified algae or something. Possibly unrelated but just caught a glimpse of something that looks disturbingly like tentacles coming out of that area. I’m not sure if it’s worms or the dreaded A-word but it seemed to all move as one creature when I pulled the rock from the water.

 

It’s about to get a coral dip bath but on a scale of 1 to nuke the rock, how much should I panic. I like the shroom and would like to save it if possible but not at the expense of my tank.


ETA: now that it’s chilling in a cup, it’s come out fully and... yeah. FML. Have a better photo: 

 

 

 

 

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UpsideDownPumpkin

I saved the mushroom. It’s a bit stressed and it “threw up” so to speak (white gunk from its mouth) but it’s settling down now in QT. Trying to work out how long to QT it for.

 

I also managed to track those zoa frag plugs to a local company, as they had a distinctive shape. They also make rocks to put their frag plugs in for a more “natural” look (aka they surely know how hard it is to wedge a cone in your rockwork) so I’m going to buy three of those. That may mean losing some of my rock structure to have a zoa garden but we will see. 
 

My neon green mushroom that went for a walk has settled ironically right where he was originally housed (just on the sand bed, rather than the rock). Which is weird because I moved him because he seemed unhappy there and like he was always reaching up for the light. Chalk it up to another one on my “weird creature” list 🤷🏻‍♀️

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UpsideDownPumpkin

Hi all, not much to update. My mums other half went back into hospital and then came home again.
 

The mushroom is doing well, spreading out nicely now that it’s not pushed up on the rock. No sign of any pests.

 

Hair algae is still receding and I’ve actually got some coralline growing, mostly on the sand but it’s started going up one of the bits of rock so that’s good. 

 

The rocks for the zoa garden are on order. I’ve started moving them down in preparation and it’s going well. When they get here I’ll do a rescape, maybe even glue stuff down and take some photos.
 

 

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UpsideDownPumpkin

Managed to score myself a cute little shroom for £8. The guy claimed it was a lavender mushroom but after a google, I don’t think it is because that looks for lack of a better word, “fuzzy”, and my shroom is smooth. It actually reminds me a lot of my Discosoma mushrooms so maybe it’s that type? Anyways. That brings me up to 4 (technically 6) shrooms. 1x neon green, 1 x baby red fuzzy, 1 x blue/green and 3 x iron man Discosoma. 
 

I’ll try to get a better photo another day when it’s settled but here it is; 

 

 

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UpsideDownPumpkin

So the new shroom seems to be growing a zoa out of its butt, basically... 

 

Is the mushroom going to suffer if I don’t separate them and how do I even do that? 
 

 

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UpsideDownPumpkin

Sad to report the loss of my hammer. It was looking very droopy yesterday morning and then it seems to have dropped all it’s hammers overnight last night. Will do some testing just in case but all else looks ok. The only thing I can think of is it got knocked over by a crab about five days ago but that’s happened before, it usually bounces back. It’s also been a tad hot the last 2 days (reached about 34c on the weather app) but I had a fan on the tank and again, it survived a week of that in June. I really don’t know.
 

Can’t replace it until September either because my coral money had to go on new glasses this month.

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UpsideDownPumpkin

So this is a change I’ve been trying to work out for a while because it’s been bugging me. It might not even be noticeable in pictures but basically my set up is L shaped, from when I used to have 3 tanks. Along the wall was my 4ft (Recently retired), in the corner was a 5g (long retired) then on my bedside table was a 10g (recently retired). Now the 20g is on the table the 5g was on, the 30g off to the right of it and the bedside table empty in front. Which in theory is fine, except it was like 2 inches taller than the table the SW was on. For some reason it never bugged me with previous tanks, probably because everything was in the water column but now I’ve got things on the sand (coral, CUC etc) it bugs me that I can’t see that final few inches. I couldn’t switch anything around because my other furniture is taller and I need to open the door of the bedside table. So I was literally in the process of giving up and moving it away entirely when it struck me to take the legs off! Legs are about 4 inches, bippity boppity boop, I can now see the bottom 2 inches of my tank. In an ideal world I’d love to chop the legs in half and have it perfectly line up but they’re metal legs so, I just have to deal with it being lower. 
 

And that means for possibly the first time ever, I can post a full-FTS. Featuring seaweed clips, the new zoa rocks and a never before seen inch of table!

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UpsideDownPumpkin

I’m not going to lie, I’m a little frustrated this week. My torch is decidedly dying (lost 4 heads this week, other three aren’t extending). Again no change except it’s been hot lately.

 

If it dies, I’m going to stick to Zoas and Shrooms for the foreseeable. Torches are way too expensive to replace if it’s going to die after 3 months.

 

I’ve also got a rock and a hard place situation with lighting. Mushrooms are shrinking away from the light (they are bottom 1/3rd) and all are trying to walk. My neon one has crawled inside the rock. On the other hand, my Zoas are reaching for it. I’ve moved one further up the tank because it’s stretching so much it looks like a giraffe. But zoa gardens are usually on the sand bed. 
 

It feels like I can’t do anything right in this tank. The only things that are happy right now are the fish and the CUC.

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debbeach13

Some times this hobby is just frustrating. Probably a year ago I got a hammer and a torch about a month apart. The hammer is doing well but the torch just slowly shriveled / melted away till there was nothing left in the same tank. I always thought they enjoyed similar conditions so I figured the torch would be fine but I was wrong. Some times I think with every thing corals and fish go through getting to out tanks it is incredible any thing lives. If you can find a specimen locally aquaculture you should have a fighting chance it will make it.

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UpsideDownPumpkin

So the torch died. 
 

Really disheartened. 
 

I was originally going to get a higher end torch for my birthday (2 weeks away) but I’m really hesitant to add anything at the moment. 
 

Wish I knew why so I could fix it.

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BuddhaReef

Ouch, sorry to hear that. Always sucks losing a critter. 

 

I lost an entire tank to a hurricane (2 tanks, 2 canes really) and I completely gave up and let my tank sit for 3 years. It's nice to see that even though you are struggling you are keeping at it!

 

Which tests do you have, and what brand?

 

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UpsideDownPumpkin
On 8/26/2020 at 10:31 PM, BuddhaReef said:

Ouch, sorry to hear that. Always sucks losing a critter. 

 

I lost an entire tank to a hurricane (2 tanks, 2 canes really) and I completely gave up and let my tank sit for 3 years. It's nice to see that even though you are struggling you are keeping at it!

 

Which tests do you have, and what brand?

 


Yeah, I’ll keep trucking on, it’s just hard. 
 

I’ve got ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, alkaline and PH by Red Sea and Calcium by Salifert. I use Red Sea Coral Pro Salt Mix at 1.025 if that helps. I spoke to my LFS friend (he gives solid advice, no money involved) and he thinks it was the heat we’ve been having lately, he’s going to keep his eye out for a chiller suitable for a nano for me.

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UpsideDownPumpkin

Little bit of good news - my neon green mushroom finally came out of hiding today and I’ve put it into a mushroom hut in the hope that it attaches itself to a bit of rock in there. So far it looks pretty chill, it’s opened up and is just sitting next to the rock but it’s just nice to see it again. 

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UpsideDownPumpkin

Trying to focus on the pluses this week. All my fish are healthy. All my inverts are healthy. I’ve got a substantial amount of coralline growing and very little hair algae left.

 

I got a torch frag today. It’s 1/5th of the size for over 1/3rd of the price of the one I lost but I don’t want to lose heart and I fear I will if I don’t try to keep trying. 
 

I think I lost both because the heat and it’s going into autumn here, I don’t expect any more heat waves. By next year, I’ll hopefully have a nano-chiller. 
 

I’m also going to put it down and leave it alone, and also put it somewhere the blenny won’t bother it. And fingers crossed it’ll settle and grow. 
 

Here’s hoping, anyway. 

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