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Seafurn's Old School Pico Gets An Upgrade - 365 Day Challenge

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SeaFurn
18 hours ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

I tried doing the bare bottom thing but I couldn’t stand the look of the detritus all over the bottom which swirls with the current. And the CUC wasn’t miraculously vacuuming it up, so I ditched that idea within the first week. So much better with sand, plus your bio filter lives there! Seems a win win. The sand bed is super thin in my new tank, so maybe it won’t hold onto bad nutrients.

I’ve been surprised how little detritus I have on the bottom. I think it’s because I run the that Tidal 55 pretty high and the flow hits the front glass and sweeps the detritus into the water column where it gets sucked up. I don’t think it’s going to be that way in this AIO however. 

 

I have so much rock in this tank - probably way too much from an aesthetic standpoint - but I’ve never had a problem with the biofilter. 

If I take some rock out when transferring to the new tank I can see how sand might be make up for that. But I’m so lazy and spoiled to not have to stir or vacuum the sand now. 

 

I’ll have to go check out the sand bed in your tank. 

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Pjanssen

Good luck Seafurn

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SeaFurn

Day 3

Been contemplating sand and rocks (the scape) more today.  Does anyone else think my tank looks too crammed full of rock? Do you think it would look better if there was a lot less?  Now is going to be the chance to change it up.  Here's my dilemma -

I see pictures of other tanks where there's good balance between tank size/dimensions, amount of rock used (height and width), open areas in the sand, etc.  I like that look - but I also like those tanks where it's wall to wall corals...corals on every surface. That was my original intent with the scape in my pico - wall to wall rock with the intent of putting coral on every available surface. So, should I find the right balance with this new tank or should I go wall to wall rock?  Please weigh in!

 

Back in the pico - I have 8 kinds of zoas that will be transferring to this tank.  There's one type, called Butt Kissers, which have small polyps (I wouldn't say they are micro) and are completely bright yellow.  When I first got them, there were two polyps and a third quickly popped out.  Then they just stopped growing.  I'm sure that's from the lack of nutrients.  I was feeding the corals once per week but the tank was just too clean.  Then late last year I ran into the problems with the chrysophytes and a bacteria bloom and all the zoas closed up.  I don't know exactly how long the BK's have been closed but it's been over 6 weeks, maybe even 8. The other zoa varieties have all opened up and are much happier.  The BK's just keep getting smaller and smaller.  To get them to open I've tried moving them out of the flow, into the flow, into more light, into less light, and they've been dipped in peroxide.  I even moved them to the 45 for a couple of weeks - and nothing.  The snails have been keeping the polyps clean of algae and they do look good - just really small now.  I keep feeding them even though they are closed.  And I know they are alive because I see them change shapes during the course of the day  The last couple of days they look less balled up (more relaxed) and you can almost see some yellow poking out - but they are still closed. 

Are there any other tricks I can try to save them? I'm afraid they will just become so small that one day one of the hermits will come by and that will be the end of them.  Sorry for such a long post about this but just gotta ask.   Sorry the pics below are not the greatest....

 

Oct 2019

49611700296_18d9f39158_n.jpg

 

49611956602_b273aa7e7f_z.jpg

 

 

Jan 24, 2020 - as bacterial bloom was going on

49611185558_49560e022e_w.jpg

 

 

And today they are about half this size. 😭

 

 

 

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Ratvan

Personally I really like the rockwall look (who would have guessed it), it to me seems more of a natural looking reef 

I do too really enjoy the simple open scapes as well.... you got room for both in the tank? Rockwall and lots of open space?

Like the old school rock set ups where the wall was in the middle of the tank?

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SeaFurn
1 hour ago, Ratvan said:

you got room for both in the tank?

😂 I barely have room for my hand in the tank - which I guess I’m not supposed to have in there anyway!

 

So I had a really strange dream last night. I went to the LFS and all the coral was in clay flower pots. I was like - what the H?? 🤔

But it was kinda cool - I think - weird, but cool. So what if I made a flower pot reef? Although it would just be like a frag tank with all of the little frags in flower pots! 😂😂😂

I’d probably get tired of it...

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Ratvan
3 minutes ago, SeaFurn said:

😂 I barely have room for my hand in the tank - which I guess I’m not supposed to have in there anyway!

 

So I had a really strange dream last night. I went to the LFS and all the coral was in clay flower pots. I was like - what the H?? 🤔

But it was kinda cool - I think - weird, but cool. So what if I made a flower pot reef? Although it would just be like a frag tank with all of the little frags in flower pots! 😂😂😂

I’d probably get tired of it...

Interesting. I keep looking at my PVC pipes in the QT and thinking that would make a nice backbone to a reef

615314812_images(1).jpeg.d4702770a3dfdb1f516919a515680352.jpeg

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debbeach13
16 minutes ago, SeaFurn said:

So what if I made a flower pot reef?

I can actually picture tiny pots filled with sand and little hammers or torches growing up out of them. In my mind it looks cool.

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Ratvan

Oh I have an idea for a Mediterranean Shipwreck Roman Reef

191213164839-kefalonia-shipwreck-roman-amphorae-full-169.thumb.jpg.7c646c8618b01eee479eef3394aaf9fb.jpgRoman-shipwreck-with-amphorae.jpg.9564d24e3d0cdd18eec26bb1efd43908.jpg191213164907-kefalonia-shipwreck-seabed-full-169.thumb.jpg.e4404fae9e3f9f034b90d33fdbc7428a.jpg

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SeaFurn
3 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

I can actually picture tiny pots filled with sand and little hammers or torches growing up out of them. In my mind it looks cool.

Yeah, that’s exactly how it looked. And there was rock just peeking above the lip of each and the coral growing on the rocks. 

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SeaFurn
1 minute ago, Ratvan said:

Oh I have an idea for a Mediterranean Shipwreck Roman Reef

191213164839-kefalonia-shipwreck-roman-amphorae-full-169.thumb.jpg.7c646c8618b01eee479eef3394aaf9fb.jpgRoman-shipwreck-with-amphorae.jpg.9564d24e3d0cdd18eec26bb1efd43908.jpg191213164907-kefalonia-shipwreck-seabed-full-169.thumb.jpg.e4404fae9e3f9f034b90d33fdbc7428a.jpg

That’s cool!!

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debbeach13

That bottom picture freaks me out! Tiny little noses everywhere.

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SeaFurn

Day 4

So I’m not really going to do a flower pot reef. I thought about for a bit but  I’m sure I’d get tired of it. 

For now my plan is going to be to move everything over with maybe one or two adjustments scape-wise.

Regarding sand, if I change up the scape later, I may add sand at that point. 

 

The silicone should be dry now so I’m just about ready to make this move when I get some spare time.

 

I do need to familiarize myself with the Mini Tide a little more. Bluefish seems a little wonky to me. Anyone else think that? I will probably start with the preprogrammed mixed reef setting. Not exactly sure what intensity to start out with but I suppose it’s best to target just under the intensity of the ABi bulb. 

 

Back over in the pico - changed out 1 gal of water this eve. That’s a big change for that tank. The hammer, acan, psammocora, butt kisser zoa, and now a ricordia are still not looking good. Parameters are stable and testing at the levels they’ve been (yes, still no measurable phosphate even though I’m still dosing it daily) but just thought a water change might help. A little bit of a reset....

 

Feel like I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about these tanks. Glad the 45 is in a good spot right now. 

Anyone else feel like their tanks consume a lot of mental energy trying to figure out what’s wrong and what to do about it? 

 

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Dirté Sanchez
1 hour ago, SeaFurn said:

Day 4

So I’m not really going to do a flower pot reef. I thought about for a bit but  I’m sure I’d get tired of it. 

For now my plan is going to be to move everything over with maybe one or two adjustments scape-wise.

Regarding sand, if I change up the scape later, I may add sand at that point. 

 

The silicone should be dry now so I’m just about ready to make this move when I get some spare time.

 

I do need to familiarize myself with the Mini Tide a little more. Bluefish seems a little wonky to me. Anyone else think that? I will probably start with the preprogrammed mixed reef setting. Not exactly sure what intensity to start out with but I suppose it’s best to target just under the intensity of the ABi bulb. 

 

Back over in the pico - changed out 1 gal of water this eve. That’s a big change for that tank. The hammer, acan, psammocora, butt kisser zoa, and now a ricordia are still not looking good. Parameters are stable and testing at the levels they’ve been (yes, still no measurable phosphate even though I’m still dosing it daily) but just thought a water change might help. A little bit of a reset....

 

Feel like I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about these tanks. Glad the 45 is in a good spot right now. 

Anyone else feel like their tanks consume a lot of mental energy trying to figure out what’s wrong and what to do about it? 

 

LOL YES but the fiddling with and maintenance keeps me sane, like playing with bonsai trees.

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Ratvan
8 hours ago, SeaFurn said:

Anyone else feel like their tanks consume a lot of mental energy trying to figure out what’s wrong and what to do about it? 

Completely, I have journals at home where I write down ideas and plans and things to try. I'm now on my 2nd notebook of the year....

Just trying to keep my hands out the tank as much as possible (useful as they dont really fit in mine) and learn how to take decent growth pics, might have to stick some marks on the floor

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SeaFurn
20 hours ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

LOL YES but the fiddling with and maintenance keeps me sane, like playing with bonsai trees.

You know how they tell old people to do puzzles, word game, etc, to keep their mind sharp.  I keep telling myself my tanks are going to keep me from getting alzheimers or they are gonna be the death of me!  🤣  

 

I love bonsai trees too.  Do you have any?  Talk about something that takes patience. 

 

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SeaFurn

Day 5

 

Fiddled around today trying to get the pump and filtration working adequately.  I had to turn the MJ 606 down to about 75% power AND I had to use the bottom strainer in the tank, otherwise the tank overfilled and the pump chamber ran dry.  The slats in the overflow are just too narrow and/or not deep enough to let enough water pass through it.  Using the lower strainer, however, completely eliminated water overflowing up top.  So,  I had to block off part of the bottom strainer to get the water to pass through the overflow.  Turnover now is definitely better than with the stock pump but until I get the corals in there I'm not going to know if it's enough. I also think I'm going have to get a 90 degree loc-line bend (if there is such a thing) to get the water to far end of the tank for better circulation.  If I don't, water will just hit the front glass and it doesn't look like there's much movement at the far end with that set-up.  I've got an idea  to create a diverter using a plastic spoon - similar to what I'm using on my Tidal HOB on the pico.   The water in the tank was really warm during testing. I don't remember if I filled it up with warm water or if the pump just warmed it.  If it's the pump, I'm a little concerned how high the temp in the tank will get this summer.  More on this later.

 

Butt Kisser Zoas - why why why won't you open??  I beg you.  

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Dirté Sanchez
2 hours ago, SeaFurn said:

You know how they tell old people to do puzzles, word game, etc, to keep their mind sharp.  I keep telling myself my tanks are going to keep me from getting alzheimers or they are gonna be the death of me!  🤣  

 

I love bonsai trees too.  Do you have any?  Talk about something that takes patience. 

 

No I have three saltwater fish tanks. I definitely don’t have the decorative skills for a bonsai. 

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SeaFurn

Day 6

 

Pump heat is a real thing. Yesterday I was left wondering if I had put warm water in the tank while testing it or if the MJ pump had just heated it up. So today I did a little experiment.

The house temp is set at 71 degrees and was maintained at that all day. This morning the tank read 71.5 and the pump had not been running during the night. I turned the pump on and let it run and it’s taken most of the day for the tank temp to level off at 74.2 degrees. So the pump increases the water temp by 2.7 degrees.  

Should be interesting to see what happens to the tank temp this summer when the house temp is set at 76 or 77 with the AC running. Will it just be roughly 3 degrees higher? We shall see. 

 

Looks like the tank transfer is a go for this weekend. Still considering some last minute scape changes.  

 

May head to the LFS tomorrow and see what’s new there. Haven’t been in a while. 

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SeaFurn

O.M.G!  Tell me those aren't Butt Kisser tentacles testing the waters....  This is really zoomed in btw.     (frag plug looks like it's got grill marks! 🤣)

 

49627417247_b9918892b4_b.jpg

 

 

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SeaFurn

Day 7

 

So the one polyp of BK’s ended up opening up just a bit wider during the day but not enough for me to see any color. I guess the good news is that it’s progress. 

 

I’ve been spending a lot of time peering into the tank with a magnifying glass to check out the zoas. I’ve noticed there a ton of these tiny tiny little worms wiggling all around. They are actually hard to see even with the magnifying glass so it’s no wonder I’ve never seen them just by looking into the tank. I’m sure they aren’t harmful but does anyone know what they might be? I’ve heard of spaghetti worms but these are much much smaller. 

 

The new tank is all ready to go but I’m contemplating waiting a couple more days to make the transfer to to it to see if the BK zoas open up any more. Corals have really been looking good the last couple of days. Better than they have in a long long time. I think moving them now may just cause stress and set the tank/corals back. Thoughts?

 

I moved a portion of the snail army back to the 45 today. Will be ready to move them back once I get another covering of algae.  It’s gonna be about finding the right balance I think. 

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The Rainy Day Aquarium
1 hour ago, SeaFurn said:

Day 7

 

So the one polyp of BK’s ended up opening up just a bit wider during the day but not enough for me to see any color. I guess the good news is that it’s progress. 

 

I’ve been spending a lot of time peering into the tank with a magnifying glass to check out the zoas. I’ve noticed there a ton of these tiny tiny little worms wiggling all around. They are actually hard to see even with the magnifying glass so it’s no wonder I’ve never seen them just by looking into the tank. I’m sure they aren’t harmful but does anyone know what they might be? I’ve heard of spaghetti worms but these are much much smaller. 

 

The new tank is all ready to go but I’m contemplating waiting a couple more days to make the transfer to to it to see if the BK zoas open up any more. Corals have really been looking good the last couple of days. Better than they have in a long long time. I think moving them now may just cause stress and set the tank/corals back. Thoughts?

 

I moved a portion of the snail army back to the 45 today. Will be ready to move them back once I get another covering of algae.  It’s gonna be about finding the right balance I think. 

Keeping my hands out of the tank was the best thing I did for it 😅 things just take time to adjust. I had some zoas that took over a month to open up fully but are doing great now (that was a long month haha 😂). I think the biggest thing is to be consistent with you tank parameters and things will probably come around. 😁

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The Rainy Day Aquarium

Also maybe one thing to consider about flow: I got a tiny fountain pump that works great for circulation and hitting those dead spots. It tucks up nicely by the outlet and isn't too bad of an eyesore. Maybe an alternative to the 90° loc line? (Which they do have btw😊

20200306_202556_HDR.thumb.jpg.960cce67516a686ca0589baace10c34b.jpg

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debbeach13

Sounds like waiting a little while to move the corals would be the way to go. Before you move any thing get a FTS for prosperity.

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SeaFurn
22 hours ago, The Rainy Day Aquarium said:

Also maybe one thing to consider about flow: I got a tiny fountain pump that works great for circulation and hitting those dead spots. It tucks up nicely by the outlet and isn't too bad of an eyesore. Maybe an alternative to the 90° loc line? (Which they do have btw😊

20200306_202556_HDR.thumb.jpg.960cce67516a686ca0589baace10c34b.jpg

I like this. May have to do something similar if I don’t get the flow I’m looking for. 

As far as the 90 degree loc line goes   - this is what I had in mind. I guess it’s actually an elbow but I might be able to make it work. 🤔

 

https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/loc-line-elbow-fitting.html#tab-reviews

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SeaFurn

Day 8

 

I think waiting to move everything has been a good decision so far. The one polyp of BK zoas opened up a little more today and where as I didn’t think it had opened up enough to see color, I now think it had lost all color. Besides that, its tentacles have shrunken so severely that they hardly exist. By this evening, though, with just the actinics on, there’s a faint yellowness to the polyp. So maybe it’s just going to take some time to grow and get it’s color back. Let’s hope the other two polyps follow suit and open up soon.

The psammocora is still in bad shape. 

 

Tonight I was blowing off large sheets of red algae off the rocks. It just came right off. It was hardly adhered to the rocks at all. Is that considered cyano? I thought cyano was just that brown crap. 

 

And in other unbelievable news - I think I actually could see some tint in today’s phosphate test (Salifert). It was the faintest blue so I called it 0.03. Usually it just looks clear to me. 

Nitrates registered less than 1. And alk was 7.7 for the third day in a row! 

It’s taking some time to get the nitrogen, phosphorus, and two part daily dosing dialed in but I think I’m getting a little closer. 

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