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cheesesteak

Cheesesteak's 4G Pico

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Break

I perform a 0.75 gallon weekly water change on my 4.1g. Considering displacement and the water volume, this is probably close to a 25-30% change or more.

 

Used to do a 1 gallon change, but have to limit it now so some corals aren't exposed to the air while I do the change.

 

Cute tank inspector!

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cheesesteak

An update: 

 

All of my Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrite tests keep coming up 0 so I'm probably going to stop frequent testing for those parameters. I'll stay on top of nitrates as I add frags. 

 

The bryopsis isn't spreading too much. I think these turbos are really doing a good job with keeping up. It's really clear whenever they make a run through the sand that they're the ones doing the bulk of the work. I can't decide if the hermits are helping, I think they do most of their work at night so its hard to say what they eat. I've ordered some Reef Flux, but shipping has been slow so no treatment yet. 

 

I'm not sure I'm still into the flame macro. The bunch under the wavemaker seems to be fading a bit and the bunch in the light is full of a fuzzy red hair algae. That means the CUC is spending their time cleaning that, and then the flame macro is collecting all of the poop like filter floss. It's kind of unsightly. I might remove it, but I'll give it a little bit before I do. 

 

The frags I added seem to be doing well. I've fed twice and everything seems to be responding. I'm still trying to decide on the final placement before I putty/glue them down. The skirt on the greenish zoas (or palys? how can you tell the difference?) in the back of this picture seems to have really grown since I added them. I'm not sure what that means. (Also, RIP that Cerith on the sand bed. It hasn't moved in over a week.) 

 

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FTS

 

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I just hit a huge milestone at work and I'm finishing up my first year of grad school, so I might get something fancy as a treat. I'm a little upset that the zoa colonies I had my eye on at Unique Corals got snatched up but I'm sure I'll find something. 

 

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Cheers! 😁🍻

 

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cheesesteak

Word of caution: I discovered another branching hydroid jelly in the flame algae when I went to remove some of the bits that had died off. When I went to pull on the "structure" the little jellies all evacuated like the Enterprise was going down. So, now I have about 15-20 little jellies all fluttering around the tank and sticking to the glass. I managed to squish a few but gave up after a while. Guess I'll keep an eye on those  🤷🏼‍♂️

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cheesesteak

Quick pics and update. 

  • Glued/epoxied the frags I picked up to the rock. Now I get to watch things fill in! I'm still not sure what direction I want to take the tank. I do want to dabble in some easier SPS like birdsnests and Monti caps to see what this light can do, and I think that would violate the Caribbean theme. I'm also partial to clown gobies because they've got a lot of character. We'll see. 
  • I removed about half of the flame macro that was getting shaded under the wavemaker and then relocated some other bits to see how it responds to the light. There is still some pretty dense hair algae in the branches of the flame macro itself, so I'm watching to see which one wins out. 
  • I've begun twice weekly feedings of Reef Roids and Brightwell CoralAminos. Everything seems to be enjoying it so far. 
  • I've also stuck with twice a week water changes of about 6 cups/.38 gallons/15% of total water volume to keep oil slick at bay. 
  • The Reef FluxRx came in but I haven't dosed any yet. The Bryopsis seems to be slowly receding, or at least not getting any thicker, and the CUC seems to be keeping up with it. I figure the less I have to shock the system the better, so I'll wait to see if it gets any worse.
  • Edit: Actually, look back at last weeks photos, the Bryopsis seems to have receded a good amount. At this point its mostly diatoms on the sand bed. 

 

Top shot 

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FTS

IMG_0293.thumb.jpeg.3a89b0da40764bbd5fcec489d1742050.jpeg

 

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cheesesteak

Also, here is the lighting schedule I'm running. The zoas and palys seem to like it so far. Still have some power left to go if I wanted to increase it some. 

 

IMG_0298.thumb.png.803f62e836511df360120f912d1123e8.png

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Break

Glad to see the Bryopsis seems to be receding!

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cheesesteak
23 hours ago, Break said:

Glad to see the Bryopsis seems to be receding!

Yeah its kind of crazy that it seemed to resolve itself for the most part. I have a feeling adding the flame macro and zoas/palys helped consume nutrients the bryopsis otherwise would have. Also, these astrea snails are super effective little lawnmowers. 

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cheesesteak

Quick update: The Bryopsis and GHA are pretty much entirely gone. I'm not sure if the macros outcompeted it for nutrients or what, but I didn't have to dose Reef Flux at all which is nice. Now I just have some diatoms and general green film algae to contend with.  

 

I ordered a few things from Reef Cleaners once I saw their Ricordea come back in stock. RC sells them for only $8 each and they're $30 each locally, so well worth the cost of shipping. As always, a great experience with RC. 

 

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Here they are looking a little flat from shipping but in decent shape. I can count 3 mouths on the blue/green one, and 2 mouths on the steel blue one. 

 

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cheesesteak

I started a new job the other week so I've been neglecting the tank and this thread 😔

 

It seems like the GHA made a comeback, I think partially due to a nutrient spike from some of the Caulerpa that melted off during shipping and some snails that didn't make it. Tests never registered any ammonia or nitrates so it must have happened quick. I haven't and don't plan on dosing the Reef Flux just yet, I'll wait it out another few weeks. 

 

The good news is the Zoas and Palys are multiplying quickly with regular feedings and the Ricordea are looking much more colorful and fluffy than when they arrived. Everything looks pretty angry from my rather rough algae removal and reorganization, so here's the cat instead. 

 

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--

 

I'm always happiest when my tanks look like a jungle so I'm going up the macros and ordered from Algae Barn.  

 

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Also, I think I decided I'm going to lean into the Caribbean theme, so I placed an order with KP aquatics. 

 

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:happydance:

 

 

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cheesesteak

Hi friends - here is a photo update, finally! School, work, cat and fall activities have taken over yet again and things are a little ugly at the moment, but overall I'm happy with *almost* everything. 

  • The KP aquatics order arrived in great condition. I think gorgonians may be my new favorite coral, they're so beautiful. I also learned that they shed, which is very alarming at first, and then just unsightly for the week after as the sheddings get chopped up by the wavemaker. The KP zoas are also 100x more colorful under tank lighting compared to the website photos. 
  • The Algae barn order also arrived fine, but was pretty difficult to work with. The Red Ogo is nice and flowy, and reminds me of my planted tanks, which is awesome. So far it's just weighted down with some metal ties. The Red Graciliara, however, arrived in a million pieces as if it was solely meant for tang food. I ended up tossing the majority of it and am growing out a clump in the back corner. So far both macros seem to have adjusted and are showing some good growth and color. 
  • One of the ricordea from Reefcleaners began to bleach so I moved it under the rock for some shade. Its since split into three and shrunk to about 1/4 its original size. I'm not entirely sure what to do about it besides let it run its course and attempt to feed it in the hopes it bounces back. 
  • The Bryopsis and GHA staged a comeback and has since been beaten down, thank you Florida Ceriths. I also had a rough moment with some Cyano, which is starting to slowly disappear, thank you again Florida Ceriths. There is a massive growth of what I think is Bryopsis on the wavemaker, which I'm honestly not too upset about because it doesn't look like the worst thing in the world. 
  • Red flatworms have begun to take hold which is annoying. I can't get a wrasse, so it looks like Flatworm Exit might be my only way out of this one. 
  • I'm starting to really wish I had some space to hide this heater and an ATO, as well as have some mechanical filtration. I'll be making some trips this winter and I'd like to hook up an ATO, but am worried about a snail tripping it and coming home to a wet mess and an angry landlord. 
  • I've decided the Jebao wavemaker is too much for this tank. If it were an SPS tank the flow would be perfect, but there is really only one spot I can place the gorgonians where they don't get blasted, the front sandbed, which is not an ideal location because the snails keep tipping them over. My only other options for flow are a large Aquaclear HOB, a Hydor Pico, Hydor Koralia nano, or possibly an MP10. Everything but the AC is pretty difficult to get right now, and the AC would require reworking my light situation since it would take up the majority of the back glass where the mount sits. 
  • I've got my eye on *possibly* upgrading to a UNS 30A, if I can find them in stock somewhere, to help solve some of my issues with the back chambers, but for now I'm mostly happy with everything and super glad I got back into the hobby with the rest of the COVID Reefers, its definitely been a welcome distraction and learning experience. 

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