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Pumpkin’s 20g Red Sea Max Nano

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Torch is very happy this morning, he’s super relaxed and extending out. He attempted to catch a mysis shrimp from the fishes breakfast and almost had it before it fell out of his tentacles. He’s got his mouth open begging still so I’m about to feed him some reef roids to see if he likes that. 
 

Another positive; I look my torch out (as in my iPhone torch not my coral torch) last night to check on him and the sand/glass was crawling with pods. Between that and the coralline, I’m taking that to mean my tank is maturing.

 

And lastly, another positive, I’m getting quite a few pups on a couple of my zoas. Even though they were lower lit for a while, they still grew some babies. I’m taking the same approach to everything now including the lights - leave well enough alone. I’ve put them back to the app recommendation and will just sit and wait for them to adapt.

 

Tomorrow is my birthday. The original plan was to get the more expensive high end hammer frag but I got the baby torch instead. If in a month it’s doing ok, I may still get the hammer. We’ll see how it goes.

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Glad to say a week in and the torch is settled, it’s doubled in size from when I got it, just because it’s relaxed and loose. It’s eating like a fish, one lot of reef roids target fed, some red plankton target fed and it’s “caught” mysis and brine shrimp every time the fish get fed. Picture below is of it at about 3/4 full extension as it was taken about three minutes after a water change.

 

Another huge plus is the last of my hair algae is gone! Coralline is spreading nicely, it’s on 2 of my 3 rocks now. I’m feeding seaweed twice a week to my crabs to compensate. 
 

Fingers crossed, everything looks happy.

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So today I did a water change with making up my own salt mix (hands up I got lazy recently and bought pre-mix). Once it has settled I’m going to test calcium as my baby torch is still wiggling away happily. Then I will test again tomorrow to see how much baby torch uses in a day. Then as long as it’s not more than I can give him (wondered if maybe the other torch was too big and soaking up the calcium?), I will possibly get the torch I wanted for my birthday. I’m selling my old phone on eBay so fingers crossed for some pocket money to spend 😂 (well aware I’m 28).

 

(ETA: calcium test was high- 500+ basically it was off the scale. Do I need to worry?)

 

Another plus is that the neon green affixed himself to the rock I put him in lockdown with so I have taken the hut away and hoping he stays on it. Blue one has walked and I can’t find it so I have to trust it that it won’t get itself killed.

 

I didn’t feed pellet food for a while (not more than once a week) to use up some frozen - now I’m back on it daily (morning feed - dinner is frozen), I’m having some water clarity issues. Tub calls it sediment. Is there a way to negate that or just cut right back again?

 

ETA: I trashed a red monti skeleton down the back of the tank to give the crabs something to climb... it’s turning back red?? Can they recover like that? It was pure white a few months ago.

 

ETA: and the green neon has legged it. I’m going to leave him be, he’s clearly a nomad. I may get one of those mixed mushroom rocks and just have that. We’ll see how much my phone sells for 🤞🏻

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Ok so going coral shopping with my “pocket money” today. Got £100 (auction is still live but I’m not counting chickens in case). 
 

My shopping list is as follows;

Hammer

Duncan

Mushroom

Acan or Blasto

Frogspawn

toadstool (long tentacles)

finger leather

 

Obviously not going to get all of that for £100 but that’s my corals I’m looking out for. No SPS yet I want to see what that zombie monti is going to do first.

 

In other news, having another pod explosion. They’re all over the shop even though it’s broad daylight.

 

I’ll update when I get home.

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So I got two hammers. A two headed “normal” hammer (sort of pinky/pale green) and one three headed “high end” hammer (toxic green and purple mix).

 

The high end has babies sprouting at the base already, I take that to mean he’s happy. 
 

Toyed with two acans that I may go back for. All their leather was massive. Each time I go in there I’m always armed with a shopping list and then I’m thrown by how barely anything is labelled. I think I know what I’m looking at sometimes but then I just lose faith in my ability to ID. I think I saw some nice blastos but I’m not 100%. 
 

Happy with my hammers. I also took a few photos of some things I might go back for. As always gutted I didn’t take a photo of the high end hammer under their heavy blues. 
 

Here the pair are in the dip. (ETA and for some reason the acan photo is really blurred? I’ll see if I can find some on google).

 

 

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After 24hrs in the tank (excuse the algae);

 

 

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Ratvan

nice hammers

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On 9/28/2020 at 12:34 PM, Ratvan said:

nice hammers

Thanks, I’m really having to talk myself out of filling my whole tank with Euphyllia 😂

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Fed reef roids this morning and did a water change this afternoon. Both hammers are settling right in. I had to put in 3 litre of new water when I got them but calcium is now down to 480. 
 

I’m thinking it’s because the salt mix I use is more advanced than normal (I bought it right before lockdown so it was all they had). Hoping the two new hammers help soak it up a little. 
 

Looking at a toadstool online at the moment and maybe a frag of hystrix and/or some plating monti. So many of easier corals are low light/bottom of tank, I want to have something growing up top.

 

Photo taken right after water change.

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ETA: 4hrs AFTER water change (with standard salt mix as used by my LFS not pro) it’s down to 470. I think until the calcium is getting a bit more used up, I might lay off the pro salt and stick with the regular grade.

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My hammer coral has finally got the memo that dinner time is at 6:30pm when the pumps go off. Taking that as a good sign that he’s settled enough to eat. Also as lights were going out and torch was retracting ready for bed, I noticed he looks like he’s splitting. How quick does that normally come on because every other time I’ve seen him (I’m not right by the tank at lights out every night) he’s only been 1 head. Can it happen within a week? My calcium was a bit high last week. I’ve had him nearly a month now I think.

 

ETA: calcium is down to 440. That’s a drop of 15 per 24hrs. 
 

ETA 2: oh and I nearly forgot, my old phone sold for a lot more than I was expecting so I have purchased an inkbird, some fans, magnesium test and low range phosphate test (both salifert) despite my desire to spend it all on coral. Figured even though it’s winter, it’s a good time to get that in place ready for the summer. 

 

 

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Calcium reads at 455 today. No dosing, no water change. Will test again tomorrow to see if today or yesterday was the anomaly.

 

Eta: did a full panel of what I have. 
ammonia - 0

nitrite - 0

nitrate - 10 

alk - 11dkh

ph - 8.2 

calcium - off the charts / 470 / 475

 

So calcium is high again, PH is up 0.2 and alk is up 2dkh. I’m inclined to do a water change early to try and balance it back again. 
 

ETA next day: so I did a lot of reading last night and some of it was far too scientific for me to understand but I think I found a link between my cloudy water and the inconsistency of my calcium tests. Calcium precipitation. It’s also linked to rises in PH and Alk which I also have. From what I read, it’s most likely too much calcium not enough magnesium. Luckily I’ve got a magnesium test kit in the post anyway so I’ll see what that says when it gets here.

 

I got a bit disheartened last night but I’m trying to be positive this morning; my tank is swarming with pods, my corals are eating, my fish and inverts are happy. I was worried about the hammer babies last night because they retracted but they’re out again this morning so that’s good. Now to just wait for the test.

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Cloudiness is still an issue. I did a water change again yesterday and my magnesium and phosphate tests came today. I’ll do a full panel just for funsies, starting with the new.

 

magnesium - 1350

 

phosphate - ~1 (low range doesn’t mean pin point precision it would seem, the scale goes 0.5 to 1 to 3. It’s closest to 1). 

 

Calcium - 450 

 

Alk - 10dkh

 

ph - 8.2

 

ammonia - 0

nitrite - 0

nitrate - 5

 

Salinity - 1.026 / 35 (a little high, I normally have it at 1.025. Might just need topping off.)

 

I’m insane swarming with pods again, so it can’t be that bad surely?? Phosphate seems high but magnesium isn’t as low as I expected. And I thought it was low phosphate that makes cloudy water before?

 

On the other hand, calcium and alk seem to have evened out a little. I’ll give it a few days to clear then break out the uv light and see if it’s bacterial/algae.

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The weather is still cloudy so I decided to break out the GKM. And it promptly refused to start. Which sucks big time. I did know the risks of taking it out and storing it, but it was too big to leave in the tank full time. I’ve ordered the smaller replacement, which is a little over half the size. I’ll probably stick this down the back compartment and leave it running full time. I’m not overly concerned about it taking out bacteria/pods/plankton if it’s not in the display tank. I feed my coral weekly with reef roids and the lps catch the frozen food I broadcast feed. Not to mention I have so many pods, I can see them from here in broad daylight with the naked eye. And that’s with a plump wrasse that doesn’t bat an eye at feeding time because she’s barely made a dent in them.

 

I’m trying to reassure myself that this cloud is only superficially displeasing. I can only see my LPS right now, because the rest are too small frags. But the torch and both hammers are happy and extended. The torch has nearly doubled since I bought it and the pink hammer looks like it’s grown too. The two tone doesn’t seem to be actively growing but it’s sitting chilling. I’m hoping the babies are ok because I can’t currently see them. All fish checked in at the front this morning, when lights came on and all look happy and healthy. Got eyes on one hermit and three snails. Happy to trust the rest are in there. 
 

So far so good on the algae front, no outbreaks I can see. 
 

The new GKM is due tomorrow. I’ll do a before and after shot like last time and update probably around Tuesday on water change day.

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Ok the GKM vol 2 has arrived. And I finally set up the ink bird. Not sure if it’s still calibrating or if my heaters broke but it’s saying 73.6f at the moment.  The weather is cold at the moment but the ambient temp in the room is 79. I have just done a water change tho so the heater was off for that. Concerned it dropped so much tho. I haven’t installed the fans yet as it’s clearly not too hot. I’ll give it 24hrs or so then buy a new heater if it doesn’t heat back up. Still reluctant to think it’s THAT cold tho. I once accidentally put cold water in my tropical tank and my fish were laying on the bottom within a minute. I haven’t seen any change in behaviour from my marine fish to indicate they’re cold. 

 

I did about 25L change, about 6 gallons. 
 

Water has turned greenish now so I’m guessing it’s a bacteria going into algae bloom. I’ve taken some water out before the change to test and compare to the new. I’ll post the results in a few hours then update again when the tank clears.

 

ETA: in 15 mins it’s climbed to 74f. Guess I had the heater off too long doing the water change. Wow, I’ve never noticed/thought it could drop like that in an hour. It’s cold out but I have the central heating on. That’s a bit scary in terms of if we ever have a power cut... 

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Test results...

 

Before WC:

ph - 8.2

alk - 11

ammonia - 0

nitrite - 0

nitrate - 5

phosphate - 3+

calcium - off the charts (tested twice)

magnesium - 1350

salinity - 1.026

 

After WC:

ph - 8.2

alk - 11

ammonia - n/a (didn’t retest as 0 before)

nitrite - n/a (didn’t retest as 0 before)

nitrate - 2

phosphate - 3+

calcium - 480

magnesium - 1440

salinity - 1.025

 

Honestly, I have no idea what’s going on with my calcium right now.

 

ETA: oh and the ink bird is reading 75.6f now. I’ll pull the heater out in the morning and crank it higher (the inkbird should cut it before it gets too high) but I want to see how much it warms naturally/slowly over night first.

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Pleased to announce the GKM has worked its magic once again. Tank is now crystal clear except some algae on the glass which I need to scrape. Made it through with minimal loss. Clowns, blenny and wrasse all came to the front each day anyway for food so I knew they were ok. Have seen all three hermits (big one even has coralline growing on his shell), the emerald crab and at least 3/4s of my snail collection. Hammers and torches are happier than a clam. In not so good news I found the shell of my Babylonia snail, I think he may have caused the initial spike resulting in the bloom. I have “lost” two of the three iron man mushrooms, but to death or walking I don’t know. All my Zoas have closed up (not that they were very open before). My paly and babies were face down in the sand (probably got knocked over at some point) and there’s nothing left on the plug. Still no sign of my green or purple/blue shrooms.  I’ll do pictures at the bottom.

 

I spent the last of my coral budget on the replacement GKM so nothing more until November. I’m thinking next one needs to be something to go up higher, most likely a toadstool or some other leather. I’ve given up on shrooms and Zoas, I don’t think they like my lighting. My tank is way too nutrient heavy for SPS and I don’t really want to mess with the chemistry if I can help it so I’m going to stick with softies and lps for the moment. Might make a post later. I’ve got a few weeks to think about it.

 

Please excuse the ones the image uploader turns sideways. And the blue. 


 

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So threefold update.

 

1 - Because I can’t not buy things. This is Edward ScissorShrimp. He’s insanely bold and has set up shop in that back corner. He’s currently exploring the whole tank now the moonlights are on. I’m a lot in love. So far none of the fish have paid him any mind. 
 

2 - forgot to say earlier but temp resolved itself naturally, it’s now sitting at 79.3f and usually is between high 78 and low 79.

 

3 - upon closer inspection, my hammer’s tentacles aren’t very hammer like. I thought it was where it was settling in but he seems pretty content and yet, he’s not behaving like a hammer. So I looked closely and I think he may have been mislabelled in the shop. The tips are round/oblong, not hammer like and some seem to split off into twos and threes. I think it might be a frogspawn or a hybrid? It also doesn’t retract at night which is weird because my hammer retracts right back into its skeleton and this guy stays out. It’s hard to photo because he never stops moving (best way to describe it is it “bubbles” like a pot of stew). I might post an ID thread if I can get a decent pic or a video maybe? 
 


 

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Little update today. Posted the two tone hammer and it’s (probably) a hammer-frogspawn hybrid known as a Frammer. So we’ll go with that. It wasn’t looking too happy in its new spot closer to the light so I’ve moved it away again and it’s chilled right out. I pulled the zoa plug from two of the rocks (they weren’t happy anyway) and used the rocks for my growing hammer/frammer garden. I’m undecided about whether to order one bigger rock with multiple holes or maybe sell them as they aren’t happy in my tank.
 

I also got two tiny frags from LFS’s bargain section, a baby (and I mean baby) green tipped purple hammer and a small frag of green Kenya tree. Relieved to have something higher up tbh. He’s on the back ledge (I always wanted to put a Kenya tree there to fill that negative space - paired with a toadstool on the other side). 
 

Here are pics; acclimation vs in tank. I’ll do update pics in a day or so once they’ve settled.

 

 

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