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risk1994

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risk1994

So I've been at this since 2012.  Started with Fluval edge and moved to a 10g rimless in 2018.  I've struggled right from the beginning.  I was ok with fish but never had luck with corals.  Id be able to keep them alive for a while but mostly it was the same story, Id watch a new coral grow for a few weeks then the inevitable slow decline...loss of color...slowly fading away.  I was unable to keep seemingly easy items like Macro/GSP/Xenia etc... Looking over the pics I've dug up to make this journal I feel terrible at all the livestock to suffer this fate at my hands.

 

Eventually I had it figured out (emphasis on eventually) my nitrates/phosphates were at a constant zero.  I was always fastidious about not overfeeding and keeping pollutants out.  My efforts to keep these low was made worse by the constant cyano/algae issues I was always dealing with.  I started dosing/monitoring nitrates/phosphates at a level above zero, I also started feeding much more and everything has turned around.  Even the fish are doing much better, I can finally keep 2 clownfish without them killing each other, apparently they're much more likely to pair up if they're not battling over food!   I have a thread on this experience here.  I wish I'd seen something like that earlier on.  Considering how much reading I've done over the years I cant believe I missed it for so long.

 

Finally a tank I feel is worth setting up a journal for. With that you can see my progression over time.  I searched through all my pics over the years to pull out some good representative samples and placed them chronologically below....

 

 Equipment List

Tank:  Fluval Edge 5g JBJ Rimless RL-10-FP Desktop Aquarium - 10 Gallon

Light: Homebrew Kessil A80 x2 + Bluefish controller

Heater: generic
Return Pump: Sicce Syncra Silent .5

ATOAuto Aqua Smart ATO Micro 

Salt Mix:  Red Sea Blue Bucket

Overflow: Eshopps Nano

Skimmer: Reef Octopus oct-bh50

Dosing: Jebao DP4 - all for reef, brightwell NeoNitro, NeoPhos, coral amino, vibrant

Powerhead: Jebao DC
Misc.: standard 10g for sump

 

Filtration & Maintenance

 Filter Sock/Skimmer

bio block

 

Feeding

 Pellets daily for fish, pellets for corals twice per week

 

Parameters

Salinity 1.024

PH 8.1

Ca 450

Alk 7.0

Nitrate 5

Phosphate .04

 

Livestock & Inverts

Clownfish x2   x1

orchid dottyback

Sexy shrimp x3  x1

Dragons Breath

Gorgonians x2

 

Corals

Torch x3  x1

Monti (superman I think)

GSP

Gorgonian x2

Mushrooms misc

Xenia

Frogspawn

Hammers (misc)

zoa

 

Tank got wet December 2012

 

FTS 7/2020

20200707_151912.thumb.jpg.e49cab8f9de4c9fb0d114c66b7b9bbef.jpg

20200707_152011.thumb.jpg.f9fbc8cdca7380afa95471feb1156a79.jpg

 

Still a WIP

20200707_153047.thumb.jpg.fabeedb10aac3744ab0dbe4f887fd21d.jpg

 

 

Livestock.....

 

DragonsBreath I was never able to keep alive in the past...

20200707_191304.thumb.jpg.31b0e779fb80f823a8f842681c2df680.jpg

 

Nice Monti/Torch (who was faded, now has color back) and GSP which I was never able to keep alive.

  Note: The monti is starting to look a little dull...Im wondering if its too close to the torch, I figured just the part touching the torch would be at risk, is it possible

the whole animal can be affected?

20200707_191336.thumb.jpg.37dd19c3d9e2d7859bfa0b23df16efc2.jpg

 

Not sure what this is but its really growing nicely...

20200707_191322.thumb.jpg.abd09e4d46bab00602bd468728dd7961.jpg

 

 

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risk1994

Shrooms seem to really like it here.  Those red/green ones have split repeatedly, they started as just one.

20200707_191328.thumb.jpg.17725227a2834e9c6377d93fab18e14c.jpg

 

 

Xenia which I'd never been able to keep

20200707_191331.thumb.jpg.f55841ae2e4fe32e19e7e29b08e90b90.jpg

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risk1994

And now the historical....Oldest first...Im so embarrassed....:(

 

12/2012

IMG_5396.thumb.JPG.2638333e28012dc2453b765968260f91.JPG

 

9/2013

IMG_8552.thumb.JPG.2d7c8c636086c7a443ce89de280848aa.JPG

 

3/2014

IMG_9876.thumb.JPG.6b79bd7f74732ae3789754461d1a70b5.JPG

 

 

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risk1994

7/2014 - homebrew sump built into the back.

IMG_0781.thumb.JPG.ca5aa8dbb2f003d1e2260d93e49484a8.JPG

 

4/2015

IMG_2701.thumb.JPG.eb3c76f96f9ccf9462b81bf8c54ecb5c.JPG

 

11/2016 - look how washed out the colors!  That torch is WHITE

20161107_154409.thumb.jpg.bfa8f338ba8e8a0aec564f3b05a9f0ab.jpg

 

 

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risk1994

Assuming I have lost this awesome Monti I had, it was doing SOO well...the color doesnt show up so well in the pic but it was awesome...see before after below....

 

It happened so fast.  There are 2 reasons I can think of.  

A.  Too close to torch

      Both the torch and monti have both grown substantially recently and were touching..(I've moved the torch to be with the others)

 B. Alk swing

      My alk used to be high around 10.  I have lowered it to around 8.4 but I spent about 4 weeks doing it slowly so hoping its not that.

 

Im really bummed about this as the tank was doing so well since I started dosing Nitrate/Phosphate.  Is there ANY chance this could come back or should I just pull it and toss.  I've got very little experinence with Monti so not sure.

 

 

before

20200512_201655.jpg.6b487ce8ce284f42c2c1

 

after...

Resized_20200718_213904_6458.thumb.jpeg.6abad1ef64d7d5698fcf63d0eef96840.jpeg

 

 

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Christopher Marks

@risk1994 There's a chance a portion of your montipora could recover, if all water parameters are idea again. It looks like you've moved the torch away? How long has it been bleached? There's no harm in giving it a little more time.

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risk1994

I moved the torch shortly after I noticed discoloration on the monti.  But it spread rapidly to where it is now.  Water Parameters really havent changed other than lowering Alk but the high and low are both within normal range and the change was over a month long.  

 

I guess Ill see how it goes, bummer.

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A.m.P

Looks like a few spots have color and polyp's left, if whatever was buggin' it has been rectified it could come back, I had a mystic get brown jelly on me though oddly-enough.

Oh and I love your scape.

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risk1994

Had the strangest thing happen.  Noticed one day my Phosphate jumped from around .03 to .3!  I checked 3 times over 2 days to confirm.

 

I didnt see any dead items in the tank, aside from the corals theres only 2 fish and 3 shrimp, all still alive.  I didnt see any dead coral either.  

 

I added a bag of 50/50 carbon/GFO mix and within a day it was back down to .03.

 

I didnt see any adverse effects but really strange how it jumped like that.  One thing is for sure...that GFO is like kryptonite to phospate!

 

081820.thumb.jpeg.6bc2650812d98c56ee399b0d8ddcb29a.jpeg

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TerraIncognita
10 minutes ago, risk1994 said:

Had the strangest thing happen.  Noticed one day my Phosphate jumped from around .03 to .3!  I checked 3 times over 2 days to confirm.

 

I didnt see any dead items in the tank, aside from the corals theres only 2 fish and 3 shrimp, all still alive.  I didnt see any dead coral either.  

 

I added a bag of 50/50 carbon/GFO mix and within a day it was back down to .03.

 

I didnt see any adverse effects but really strange how it jumped like that.  One thing is for sure...that GFO is like kryptonite to phospate!

 

081820.thumb.jpeg.6bc2650812d98c56ee399b0d8ddcb29a.jpeg

That monti looks better already honestly. But that bubble algae spreading quick,

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risk1994

Monti is gone...the bubble algae is totally out of control...I started dosing Vibrant about 4 weeks ago.

 

Its all over every rock...the only way to get it off is to remove the rock and scrape them off, however thats tough with coral attached.

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TerraIncognita
6 hours ago, risk1994 said:

otally out of control...I started dosing Vibrant about 4 weeks ago.

 

Its all over every rock...the only way to get it off is to remove the rock and scrape them off, howe

 

6 hours ago, risk1994 said:

Monti is gone...the bubble algae is totally out of control...I started dosing Vibrant about 4 weeks ago.

 

Its all over every rock...the only way to get it off is to remove the rock and scrape them off, however thats tough with coral attached.

oh man, I'm sorry, from the photo it looked like it started coming back from bleaching but i guess it's just rotting now 😞

 

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risk1994

9-16-20 UPDATE

 

So I have to confess, I'm a bad reefkeeper.  I go through long periods of no testing/water changes, followed by periods of diligent attention.  This thread started during one of the latter.  This has to be the root of my issues.   I haven't tested in 2 weeks and haven't done a water change in 2 months 😞 (Although I must say, with addition of NO3 and PO4 my tank does still look better than before.)  If I ever graduate to a bigger tank, it will HAVE to be full automation, including water changes.  With 2 kids in school and this damned remote learning I just cant devote the attention I need.  There is always something.  

 

Here are my last 2 sets of parameters, cant understand why Alk went up..I tested twice.  The only thing I dose is brightwell coral amino and vibrant once a week.  Im assuming just no growth at all since it doesnt appear the tank is taking up any calcium/alk.

 

  08/29/20 09/16/20
ph 8.4 8.1
calc 455 425
alk 8.4 8.9
nitrate 5 5
phosphate 0.08 0.01

 

 

 

Here is my FTS.  Not too bad,

  • GSP good
  • shroom great
  • little orange SPS is looking not too bad
  • xenia hanging on
  • lost 2 torch's but I think they were being blocked by the big torch on the top right
  • Frogspawn is melting
  • Gorgonians fine as usual
  • Whatever that fuzzy think in the center is (galaxia?) is spreading
  • dragons breath is meh
  • Bristleworms doing GREAT.

 

  • 91621.thumb.jpeg.5d2e6d38f1e4657d5e02c056b1e3772d.jpeg
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A.m.P

You may want to dose Phosphate to help your lps.

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risk1994
1 hour ago, Amphrites said:

You may want to dose Phosphate to help your lps.

Yes, I have...its funny how at first I had to dump tons of phosphate in there to keep up, daily almost.  Now it and Nitrate are still both detectable even after weeks of no dosing.  Seems once you achieve a certain level its easier to maintain.

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risk1994

Come lights out...its sayanara to these damned bristleworms!

 

trap.thumb.jpeg.cace5b68f5f39456de7afdee47c550f7.jpeg

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Aqua Splendor

Phosphate is important for living creature, just a little thing I want to point out, I see some people getting ride of phosphate but it is essential, just need a balance.
Also careful with the test kit, 0.003, its often the marge of error, I don't know what test kit you use.

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risk1994

Not bad, these traps work!  Hard to tell from pic but there must be like 20 of them in here.

 

trap1.thumb.jpeg.b3abc024ec0029527d4abc23c5f57a12.jpeg

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risk1994

Finally got around to a water change, did 4 gallons, tank doesn't look too bad.

Have my Kessel A80's at 100% now.  I'm getting like NO alk consumption at all...I guess inhabitants are just surviving, not thriving.

 

FTS 10/30

 

 

20201030_180215.jpg

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A.m.P

To be fair, nothing in there is known to consume allot of alk.

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risk1994

Beginning to wonder if those 2 A80's 10" above the tank are my weak link...they're at 100% now, they have traditionally been like 60-80%.

 

Any thoughts to what could go up there that would look clean?  I'm really thinking 2 t5's and keep one Kessel for shimmer and pop.

 

image.png.f6b9cbc0a8efe3fb0321b9bff117623a.png

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A.m.P

A80's are known to have less-than-stellar par, but the argument has been made that their spread and spectrum make up for it.
The old Maxspect r120w has been wonderful to me and covers a large footprint really well.

Otherwise I'm partial to PAR bulbs honestly, a pair of ABI tuna's blues would pump out allot more par than the A80's, but that mounting height wouldn't work for them at all (they need 11-15").

Folk's have been having some solid results with the reefbrite and lumilite bars, the reefbreeder photon has a good rep right now too, both of those would work well as an "LED equivalent" to T5.

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risk1994

Long due for update...

 

If you scroll up a few posts to see the FTS on 10/31 youll see some cyano in the front corner.  A few weeks after this pic the cyano EXPLODED all over my tank.  It was covering everything.  I had to brush off corals every few days to prevent them from being smothered.

 

My levels havent really changed much,

  • ca ~ 430/450
  • alk ~ 8.5/9.5 (about 1dkh swing over a week timespan at most)
  • Nitrate 5
  • phos .006 - .03 (hard to keep stable but never zero as before)

I've been good with WC.  I'm really not sure what happened.  I did the following...

  • 3 days in dark (this made like 60% of it go away)
  • 20% wc (sucking out what I could from gravel and blowing of rocks)
  • dosed some bacteria killer I got from LFC.
  • In about a week Ill do another WC.

So far so good.  Ill let you know in a few days if it comes back.

 

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risk1994

Update;

  • So I seem to have beaten the cyano.  Tank looks much better...done several large WC since dosing the medicine.
  • Also I added a Co2 scrubber (see pic below) I noticed ph was getting to be around 7.9 - 8.0.  Now I can no longer read my salifert PH kit...the color I get doesnt really match up with the index.  I ordered a Hannah PH checker, here tomorrow, looking forward to finding out what my PH is...the media is turning purple already so I know its doing something.
  • I had a fish death, my female clown 😞 jumped out, despite my lid.  It sucks as I had a REALLY hard time getting a pair to match up.  What do I do now?  Do I get another large female or go for a juvinile?  I cant bear to watch my clowns tear each other apart anymore.  I also got an orchid dottyback (doing great), he quickly became one of the gang with the clowns.  They all hung out together with no fighting.  So sad.
  • I've starting feeding my corals more regularly, duncan is growing great, GSP growing nice, got a purple shroom that detached and decided to plant himself directly on top of my zoas.  despite this the zoas are holding their own.  (see pic)  Torch seems to be doing ok.  My other shrooms are doing great as usual.
  • Getting really good corraline growth.

FTS

20210107_192319.thumb.jpg.9b3998f6e068be2a04c72663ab6739e4.jpg

 

 

Zoa's doing well despite shroom landing right on top, they seem to be poking out the side.

20210107_192544.thumb.jpg.ed271e874c8fcf428d7c9a6b58c62bb1.jpg

 

you can see the blue shroom...duncan doing well.

20210107_192505.thumb.jpg.fd6f20379d93f202d404516b2a094048.jpg

 

 

 

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risk1994

 

 

20210107_192550.thumb.jpg.8896220555af0c4874ba7c9f878660c2.jpg

 

scrubber, we had some people over for Christmas and a good portion of it turned purple that evening!

20210107_192638.thumb.jpg.54b6a5d259a55f3a47cf6efe1f5563f9.jpg

 

Still dont know what this coral is in the bottom middle, but its been growing great on my bottom glass.

20210107_192519.thumb.jpg.289c1853214350cbfaead1a7f0307b8d.jpg

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