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SassyPistol

My first contest tank for the 365 Day AIO Reef Challenge - 5.5 gallon SPS Dominant

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SassyPistol
4 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

Good morning. How is it going? I hope you are well. Very interested in a tank update if you have time.

Not too bad so far. I have been saving up some photos for an update! Will probably upload later today.

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SassyPistol

Here is another set of update for the tank. 

 

4/17, Note: Did a 70% change on the tank and cleaned the matten filter.

 

4/18, Ammonia: trace

         Nitrite: 1.0 ppm

         Nitrate: 5~10 ppm

         Note: Added no bacteria per instruction. The results weren't too far from the ones on the 16th, but that's to be expected since it's only been 2 days.

 

Date unknown (some time at the end of April I think), Ammonia: 0.2 ppm

                                                                                       Nitrite: >1 ppm 

                                                                                       Nitrate: ~50 ppm

                                                                                       Note: after leaving the tank alone for almost 2 weeks (a watched pot never boils?), I finally made it to the LFS to test my water. The red sea tests did show only a little bit of ammonia and a great amount of nitrate. Since in the past I would do a change because of the results, I decided to leave things alone this time to see if something different would happen.

 

5/3, Ammonia: 0 ppm

       Nitrite: 1++ ppm

       Nitrate: over 50 ppm

       pH: 7.6

       KH: 6.5 degree

       Calc: 415 ppm

       Mag: 1120 ppm

       Note: Another red sea test showed that nothing really changed in terms of the waste level except for ammonia going down to 0. The Alkalinity and pH were also a little too low but that could be due to the bacteria so I'm not surprised there. Not sure what happened to the Mag though, it could be an error in testing... (add 1 drop and shake for 15 sec, do that 5 times... this could leave a lot of room for error I think)

 

5/5, did a 70% change. Started adding Seachem Stability instead of the previous bacteria additive just to see if things would be different. Oh and I also moved the trochus snail to my other reef tank because there's more algae for him to eat over there.

 

5/9, Ammonia: 0 ppm

       Nitrite: 0 ppm

       Nitrate: 5 ppm

       pH: 7.6

       KH: 6.5 degree

       Note: Is this what I think it is?! It's finally here??!! I wonder if the combination of using different bacteria, not being too quick on water changes and moving the snail did it.... I guess now instead of worrying about the waste levels, I would move on to watching pH/KH/Calc/Mag instead. Dosed Seachem eight.four to the tank in an attempt to raise pH and KH.

 

5/10, pH: 8.1

         KH: 7 degree

         Calc: 410 ppm

         Mag: 1220 ppm

         Note: The eight.four did move the parameters in the right direction. I would like all of them to be a little higher, but this was a good starting point. There was also the question of what would happen if I stopped dosing it? Would the parameters fall again? Guess we will find out tomorrow. (did not dose today)

 

5/11, Ammonia: 0 ppm

         Nitrite: 0 ppm

         Nitrate: 5~10 ppm

         pH: 7.9

         KH: 7.8 degree

         Calc: 445 ppm

         Mag: 1400 ppm

         Note: Somehow Alk/Calc/Mag had gone up even without any dosing. What a mysterious incident! I did use my own kit at home this time instead of the one at LFS. Maybe that's why? Regardless, I am itching to add corals. I think it's time.

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SassyPistol

5/12:

THE CORALS ARE IN!! I am so excited.

Went to the LFS and got all of the relatively hardy SPS they have:

 

Jack-o-Lantern Leptoseris, definitely my favorite.

Some sort of Seriatopora, has a bit of green skin and purple polyps. Don't think this is a bird of paradise, maybe a rose birdsnest?

Some kind of Pocillipora, with green polyps.

Purple (Milka?) Stylophora, with yellowish/greenish tips.

A type of Cyphastrea, I think it might be a reptar or meteor shower?

 

And a spiny star astraea snail, as a good measure for algae now that the light is back on.

 

I placed the corals in the tank based on their lighting and flow requirements, while keeping them far apart enough that they won't be touching each other any time soon. The rock formation also got changed because it was not stable enough before. I am saving the top spot for an Acropora and/or Montipora once the first batch of corals show some growth. Maybe another coral that I don't know exist yet would go to the space at the right side toward the back. Hope they grow well! (I am planning to test for Alk/Calc/Mag again 48hrs after they are added to see the usage, and dose 2 parts if needed.) 

 

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EfrainChicagoDeepdish

Love the shape of your rock work and those are some decent sized frags.  

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debbeach13

Great up date! I hope the corals all do well for you.

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SassyPistol
14 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

Great up date! I hope the corals all do well for you.

Me too... now is when the real challenge begins!

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SassyPistol

5/13, pH: 8.1

         KH: 8.1 degree

         Calc: 410 ppm

         Mag: 1400 ppm

         Note: nothing really changed much 48 hrs after the addition of the corals. They were probably still getting acclimated to the tank parameters. 

 

5/15, test results were the same.

 

5/18, pH: 8.4

         KH: 5.6 degree

         Calc: 420 ppm

         Mag: 1400 ppm

         Note: there was a big dip in Alkalinity that occurred after the 15th. Using the results from the 13th and the dosing instruction of Seachem Reef Fusion2, I calculated the daily dosage needed for the past week (and perhaps next week) is about 0.7 ml. (In hindsight, I probably should have divided the decrease in KH by 3 instead of 7 days here) 

 

5/27, before water change

         pH: 7.9

         KH: 5.6 degree

         Calc: 410 ppm

         Mag: 1400 ppm

         Note: Even with daily 0.7 ml the Alkalinity was still pretty low. I think I might have made a mistake somewhere, time to redo my calculations. 

 

         after water change

         pH: 8.1

         KH: 7,6 degree

         Note: In order to calculate the daily dosage this time, I took the difference in KH between the 18th and after the water change, divided it by 10, converted that to the dosing liquid volume to get 0.3 ml. It didn't make sense to me why the dosage was lower but I figured I will just adjust after seeing the results nest week. 

 

6/2,   pH: 8.1

         KH: 7.0 degree

         Calc: 420 ppm

         Mag: 1240 ppm

         Note1: Alkalinity didn't drop as much this time! Though Magnesium went down. I decided to leave Mag. level alone and focus on KH instead. To adjust the daily dosage, I first needed to figure out how much more to dose daily. The difference in KH between the 27th and today was divided by 6 and converted to volume in order to get 0.15 ml. This is the ADDITIONAL dosage to what I was already dosing last week. Therefore, the new updated dose is 0.15 + 0.3 = 0.45 ml/day

        Note2: the rock was also knocked over during the water changes, so I finally broke out the epoxy and fixed the rocks. I also readjusted the placement of the corals and glued them to their new place. Most of them were looking alright with decent level of "fuzziness", except for the Seriatopora. I think it might have been bleached a bit by the light, or it could be the alk swing..... Anyhow it is now in a more shaded spot, so we will see. Progress pic below.

       Note3: I have never kept an aquarium that requires weekly attention like this before. Most of my other tanks are full of inverts with low bio-loads that monthly or bi-weekly changes and every couple days feedings are enough. There were definitely times when I felt a little less motivated to work on this tank, especially when my cat was on me and with what's going on in the world these days. But I did it anyway, and I am thankful that I decided to start all of this. :)

 

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SassyPistol


6/8,  pH: 8.2

         KH: 6.7 degree

         Calc: 420 ppm

         Mag: 1360 ppm

         Note: increased daily Alk dosage to 0.75ml after this date.

 

6/17, pH: 8.2

         KH: 6.4 degree

         Calc: 410 ppm

         Mag: 1440 ppm

         Note: updated daily Alk dosage to 1ml after this date. Observed most corals looking fluffy and new polyp growths on both the Cyphastrea and Leptoseris (see photos attached), The only coral that seems to be the unhappiest is the birdsnest. Despite having polyp extensions, its color is still pale. I wonder if I should move it again to a less sunny spot. 

 

6/23, pH: 8.3

         KH: 6.2 degree

         Calc: 400 ppm

         Mag: 1360 ppm

         Note: updated daily Alk dosage to 1.5ml, dosed 1ml at night and 0.5ml in the morning. Noticed Magnesium is going back down again after steadily increasing since the beginning of June... Could be due to the test inaccuracy or that the S.G. of the new water was not consistent? Also moved the birdsnest to the back since it's still pale.

 

6/30, pH: 8.4

         KH: 6.7 degree

         Calc: 390 ppm

         Mag: 1520 ppm

         Note on Alk: the rate of Alkalinity level decrease has slowed down, think the dosing amount is getting closer to the system consumption. Updated daily Alk dosage to 1.9ml. 

         Note on Calc: the level has dropped below 400ppm, so I decided to start dosing calcium with Seachem Reef Fusion 2 as well. Starting daily dose of 0.3ml.

         Note on Mag: I don't quite know why the level fluctuates so much from week to week. Even taking into account of differences in S.G. of the new water, it should only be around 50 to 100ppm, not 160ppm... It is possible that this is linked to the decrease in Calcium and/or the increased Alk dose. Or that my test is really inaccurate. Guess I will see the outcomes next week after starting to dose Calcium. 

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SassyPistol

I have been thinking about adding more corals now that I have all the others for almost a month and a half with no super major issues. I thought about adding a red Montipora Capricornis to the flat spot on the left side (facing the tank), and maybe a Cali Tort at the top or a yellow Millepora. I am fairly sure that the Capricornis would be fine, but I've heard the Cali Tort and the Millepora can be a little more sensitive. What do you guys think?

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Tamberav

Cute tank! I should probably start testing mine for all as I get growth after a water change but then it slows/stops...doh! You are more dedicated then me!

 

The mili and tort are acros so they can be more finicky but nothing extreme.

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SassyPistol

 

7/7,  pH: 8.4

         KH: 8.1 degree

         Calc: 390 ppm

         Mag: 1240 ppm

         Note: Added a new coral, a piece of red Capriconis. Adjusted the dose to 1.7ml since the KH has caught up. Increased Calcium dose to 0.7ml daily.

 

7/16, Note: Work has increased this week so I only had time to do a small water change, no tests here. Everything including the new coral is looking good though.

 

7/24, Note: Work is still crazy and I also overused my right arm. Only a small change was carried out on this tank and no tests. I also did missed a couple days of dosing in the morning (waking up early in the morning for work is not my forte.... but I will get used to it eventually) 

 

7/31, pH: 8.2

         KH: 8.1 degree

         Calc: 430 ppm

         Mag: 1520 ppm

         Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate: 0 ppm

         Note: This week I noticed some tissue die-offs on the stylophora,  the procillopora, and the cyphastrea. (it sucks cause those were the ones that were showing the most growth!) I wonder if it's caused by the missing dose of Alk/Calc? It sure went downhill quick if it's caused by that. It could also be the temperature, since the room has been warm and the tank temperature today is at 82 degrees. Did a major water change (80%) to cool it down a bit. I think I am going to try doing 2 or even 3 water changes per week and skip the dosing all together. It might work better for my new work schedule and to keep the temperature down during the warm weather. We will see how it goes! (good thing I didn't get the Calitort, I don't think it would do well with what's happening to the tank right now...)

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debbeach13

I hope things turn around for you. 

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