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billygoat

Billy's 40g Florida Keys Biotope

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billygoat
21 hours ago, kimberbee said:

Ditto in my lagoon. It's really weird. 

 

I'm trying to do the simplest treatments I can for now, since it doesn't seem to bother much in the tank. 

I feel the same way. The sandbed slime is ugly for sure, but I am hesitant to take any sort of drastic action since my corals seem unaffected. I'm hoping that it is just part of the new tank's breaking-in process that will disappear in time.

 

I also want to get a few more snails, since I'm currently running essentially the same number that I had in my previous tank that was half the size. Unfortunately it seems like Reef Cleaners is only shipping via Express Mail for the rest of the year though, and I don't really feel like spending $100 total on snails, so... I'll probably end up buying some from work. The new cleaners will be my first ever non-Caribbean livestock additions, but hey - they're only snails, right? 😅

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kimberbee
2 hours ago, billygoat said:

The new cleaners will be my first ever non-Caribbean livestock additions...

Just say they are "on vacation"!!

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Tired

Shipping times are going to be particularly iffy for awhile yet. I'd say RC is making a responsible choice by refusing to ship livestock that would have a decent chance of being horribly delayed. 

 

You could try to find timid snails, so you won't see them much! Or you could just get one particularly big snail, then give it away when you can replace it with biotope-appropriate stock. 

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A.m.P
2 hours ago, kimberbee said:

Just say they are "on vacation"!!

Darn tourists, the snowbirds are just the worst this time of year.

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billygoat
13 hours ago, Tired said:

Shipping times are going to be particularly iffy for awhile yet. I'd say RC is making a responsible choice by refusing to ship livestock that would have a decent chance of being horribly delayed. 

 

You could try to find timid snails, so you won't see them much! Or you could just get one particularly big snail, then give it away when you can replace it with biotope-appropriate stock. 

I agree that RC (or anyone else, for that matter) shouldn't be attempting to ship anything by Priority Mail under these conditions - especially now that the weather is colder. My last order with RC was a few months ago, and even then the shipment was delayed a day and half my snails were DOA.

 

The way I see it, any kind of snail I put in the tank is likely to get overgrown with coralline algae in a fairly short period of time, and once that happens they all look pretty similar so... maybe it's alright if I get some Trochus or something like that? Hopefully it won't violate the sanctity of my biotope in any glaringly obvious way. 😬

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melson

Kpaquatics still has quite a bit of sails available! Or you could try mysaltwaterfishstore?

 

I have the exact same problem on my sand. It is like a rust color that goes away at night and morning and peaks during the brightest light from the LED. I don't understand it. I've tried water changes, Chemiclean, and Dr Tim's gel packs without any luck.

 

I'll be starting up my fuge with a smaller footprint soon hopefully that will take care of it.

 

Nice Chromis man! They all doing well still?

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thecoralbeauty

+1 to the weird rust looking stuff on the sand. my tank has been going for 5 years and has had dinos- this isnt that. 

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Tired

IIRC, my first tank ever had that brown stuff when it was new, and I may have briefly had it in this one. I'm not sure what it is. I know I've seen people who have it show up in new tanks, and "cyano" and "dinos" get thrown around, but it never seems to get IDed for sure. It seem to go away on its own in new tanks, and sometimes come back if something goes awry. I think I've seen a few tanks that just have it semi-permanently. It doesn't seem to be harmful, just unattractive.

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Poison Dart Frog

I have that same slime in my 20 gallon. Each time I treat with chemiclean it disappears for at least a month, but recently I bought a tiger sand conch and some turbo snails and I'm hoping to get rid of it that way along with siphoning the sand bed during the water change. But yeah, mine will mostly disappear by morning too and by evening it's always there. I guess in my case it's cyano (cyano can be green, brown or red?) since chemiclean does work... But my corals seem puffier if I just ignore it and *don't* do a water change. 

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Tired

If it's not hurting anything, let it alone. Corals need nutrients, and your corals being puffier if you don't do the water change is a good sign that your water changes are putting your nutrients too low. Which can encourage pest algae. 

 

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billygoat
On 12/7/2020 at 7:25 AM, melson said:

Nice Chromis man! They all doing well still?

The blue chromis are still doing pretty well! The one with popeye looks much better, and while there has been some skirmishing there still has not been any evidence of the most dominant fish killing the other two. My strategy to "treat" the popeye was simply to feed the fish as frequently as possible (I feed twice a day on weekdays and five or six times a day on weekends) and reduce stress as much as possible by keeping my hands out of the tank. So far it seems to be working. Knock on wood! 🤞

 

Thank you all for your advice regarding the brown slime that grows on my sandbed. I am convinced that it is a temporary "growing pain" that will go away with time, so I have not taken any dramatic action to combat it. I did some testing today and came back with these results:

 

Alk: 8.6 dKH

Mg: 1260 (I was curious about this as I do not dose Mg, but this is within my acceptable range)

NO3: 0.25

 

Still very low nutrients. I'll be removing the refugium entirely during my bi-monthly maintenance tomorrow. It doesn't seem to be contributing anything to the system.

 

Here's an FTS from this evening. I've been playing around with the lighting a bit in an attempt to curb the growth of pest algae in the display, so a few of my gorgs are closed up as they adjust to the change. They should be fine though.

 

IMG_1577.thumb.JPG.e1d802fc9661471dc02c36af25a38398.JPG

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billygoat

Hello! I have a few updates today. Nutrient struggles continue, but I have a lead on what might be going on. Today I tested organics and came back with these results:

 

NO3: ~2.5

NO2: 0.05-0.1

Ammonia: 0

Phosphate: 0.04

 

The presence of detectable nitrite seems like a clue. I'm thinking that "unrefined" organics like nitrite are being utilized by brown slime and film algae before the biofilter has a chance to convert them into nitrate. This makes sense I think - this tank has essentially the same amount of rock, sand, and ceramic media in it as my old 18g, but it has a much larger bioload (5 fish compared to my previous tank's 1). It's easy to imagine the newly increased nutrient inputs overloading my biological filtration, mature though it may be. I decided to augment my biological filter by adding some additional rocks to the sump, but they will take awhile to seed. In the meantime I'll have to keep an eye on all the organics I can test for, not just nitrate.

 

In other news, I added a new powerhead. It's just a small 240gph Koralia pump, but it seems to mix things up a bit better than the MP10 alone.

 

IMG_1579.thumb.JPG.7ad32ab44248ed2588f679728e9bbf0e.JPG

 

Notice the sheet of film algae on the glass there. That's one day's worth of growth. Definitely something fishy going on with the nutrients in here.

 

Some other photos from around the tank:

 

IMG_1581.thumb.JPG.a734e0a5dd43ddcbc5e40550b9f7bb08.JPG

 

IMG_1580.thumb.JPG.8ed557fa2d58c9f5d0c090045e40e181.JPG

 

IMG_1584.thumb.JPG.2f3c7c7249b3e9ae8dbaebd5d5113c9b.JPG

 

Plenty of film algae and brown slime to go around, but at least the corals seem mostly happy. I've been feeding them a cocktail of foods that I refer to as "the Sauce" - a blend of Brightwell PhytoChrom, Brightwell PhytoGreen-S, Reef Roids, and spirulina powder. A bottle this size (~60ml) should last for about a week.

 

IMG_1578.thumb.JPG.efcf0a990243aa1e5477bd404044b92e.JPG

 

 

The fish look wonderful as well. The one chromis with the extreme popeye has completely recovered. Here's an FTS.

 

IMG_1585.thumb.JPG.0197630770a4fae49c4edc4d53082318.JPG

 

Okay, that's all for now! Thanks for reading.

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A.m.P

The chromis look fantastic

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billygoat
10 hours ago, A.m.P said:

The chromis look fantastic

Honestly, I expected them to kill each other by now. There has been some aggression but they seem to have largely sorted it out, and their coloration and body mass is just perfect. I am very pleased (and somewhat surprised) to see them in such good shape! Knock on wood... 😅

 

I've been trying to get some better pictures of my fish, but they are still afraid of my camera. They're very comfortable with me walking around the tank, but they still need a bit more conditioning to get comfortable with my phone being held up to the glass. That's in the works.

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debbeach13

Great news about the fish and coral. Some nuisance algae in a fairly new tank is to be expected. Like you said larger bioload will do that and I think the additional rock and flow should really help. You got this.

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billygoat

Business as usual in here this week, though I did make a few improvements. The most important of these was cleaning my return pump. I had no idea how dirty it had gotten, but the flow is much better now that it is cleaned. I also cranked up my MP10 to a maximum of 100% power on reef crest mode, which produces some considerable water movement when it ramps all the way up to top speed. Still not out of the woods with algae and nutrient issues, but I think things will certainly get better from here.

 

Crooked FTS:

IMG_1589.thumb.JPG.ce972feb1345615ea4aeb731dcbecdd6.JPG

 

I also got a few new residents: tunicates! I ordered a few dozen snails from KPA and took the opportunity to get a few more of these curious creatures:

 

IMG_1592.thumb.JPG.39354b13408706b4b7d3121155588297.JPG

 

IMG_1591.thumb.JPG.4060ce251f2a1ce774a2e14b00b87c8c.JPG

 

I now have 7 fairly large tunicates in my tank. They're not fully expanded yet but within a few days they should be up to speed. I find them to be very interesting.

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Tired

Tunicates are pretty cool. Something that makes them cooler: those are chordates. 

 

image.png.b2fcd38dbf9cc33c26bf25454b7224ba.png

This is one of my favorite pictures to show people. It's all the known animal species, sorted by phylum. That sort of pistachio-green wedge in there, Chordata, is the relevant one. Chordates are all animals that have a notochord at some point in their life. The notochord becomes the spinal cord in most animals that have it. 

Tunicates are chordates. The group also includes lancelets, which are a bit like simplified, boneless fish, and vertebrates. Meaning our closest non-vertebrate relatives are lancelets and tunicates. Your closest relatives in that tank, after the fish, are those funny little bags of water. They start out life as an organism a bit like a tadpole, then more or less glue their heads to hard surfaces and become... that. 

 

Additional cool information: about 23% of known animal species are beetles. So nearly 1/4 of that entire graph could be its own "beetles" section. 

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Frozen_Reef
On 12/24/2020 at 10:05 PM, Tired said:

Tunicates are pretty cool. Something that makes them cooler: those are chordates. 

 

image.png.b2fcd38dbf9cc33c26bf25454b7224ba.png

This is one of my favorite pictures to show people. It's all the known animal species, sorted by phylum. That sort of pistachio-green wedge in there, Chordata, is the relevant one. Chordates are all animals that have a notochord at some point in their life. The notochord becomes the spinal cord in most animals that have it. 

Tunicates are chordates. The group also includes lancelets, which are a bit like simplified, boneless fish, and vertebrates. Meaning our closest non-vertebrate relatives are lancelets and tunicates. Your closest relatives in that tank, after the fish, are those funny little bags of water. They start out life as an organism a bit like a tadpole, then more or less glue their heads to hard surfaces and become... that. 

 

Additional cool information: about 23% of known animal species are beetles. So nearly 1/4 of that entire graph could be its own "beetles" section. 

Didn't parasitic wasps take over as the largest known species group?

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Tired

They definitely could have, that beetle number was a few years old. There are still a ton of beetles. 

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Frozen_Reef
1 minute ago, Tired said:

They definitely could have, that beetle number was a few years old. There are still a ton of beetles. 

Too many beetles...imagine if they colonized and weaponized 

 

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Firefish15
1 hour ago, Frozen_Reef said:

Too many beetles...imagine if they colonized and weaponized 

 

Basically the plot of Zoo. Not a great show, but interesting concept.

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billygoat
On 12/24/2020 at 8:05 PM, Tired said:

Tunicates are pretty cool. Something that makes them cooler: those are chordates. 

Tunicates are definitely unique and fascinating animals. I find them very interesting to watch, even though they are basically just sacks of water. I'm quite pleased (and a bit surprised!) by how well they've been doing in my tank.

 

Here's a candid photo of the tank to close out 2020. Brown slime everywhere!

 

IMG_1596.thumb.JPG.d4340fb4c32daea4bad429f9dceafb25.JPG

 

Nitrates are now detectable (about 10ppm), so maybe that's a good sign? The new snails have been working on the film algae on my glass as well, though it still seems to grow pretty quickly. 

 

IMG_1597.thumb.JPG.24f62723dae00eb27a30ac4c207e2ddf.JPG

 

Notice the closed-up gorgonians on the right there. Those get picked on by my cherub angelfish, which causes them to close up bit by bit throughout the day. Interestingly, the cherub only seems interested in those particular gorgs, plus one other in the same genus (Muricea). All of my other gorgs are left unmolested. Not sure what I will do about that, but hopefully I can figure something out.

 

Anyway, I hope all of you have a rich and fulfilling 2021. Keep on reefing, my friends. 👌

 

 

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vlangel
On 12/31/2020 at 7:14 PM, billygoat said:

Tunicates are definitely unique and fascinating animals. I find them very interesting to watch, even though they are basically just sacks of water. I'm quite pleased (and a bit surprised!) by how well they've been doing in my tank.

 

Here's a candid photo of the tank to close out 2020. Brown slime everywhere!

 

IMG_1596.thumb.JPG.d4340fb4c32daea4bad429f9dceafb25.JPG

 

Nitrates are now detectable (about 10ppm), so maybe that's a good sign? The new snails have been working on the film algae on my glass as well, though it still seems to grow pretty quickly. 

 

IMG_1597.thumb.JPG.24f62723dae00eb27a30ac4c207e2ddf.JPG

 

Notice the closed-up gorgonians on the right there. Those get picked on by my cherub angelfish, which causes them to close up bit by bit throughout the day. Interestingly, the cherub only seems interested in those particular gorgs, plus one other in the same genus (Muricea). All of my other gorgs are left unmolested. Not sure what I will do about that, but hopefully I can figure something out.

 

Anyway, I hope all of you have a rich and fulfilling 2021. Keep on reefing, my friends. 👌

 

 

I am sure you hate the brown on your sand but in general your reef looks to be thriving.  I really like your tank!

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Snow_Phoenix

I agree with Dawn - your reef does indeed look very happy & healthy. I love the ric shroom pile on the bottom left the most. 🙂 

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billygoat
On 1/5/2021 at 5:21 AM, vlangel said:

I am sure you hate the brown on your sand but in general your reef looks to be thriving.  I really like your tank!

 

22 hours ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

I agree with Dawn - your reef does indeed look very happy & healthy. I love the ric shroom pile on the bottom left the most. 🙂 

Thank you both for your kind words! This tank is definitely experiencing some growing pains, but I agree that on balance everything is doing pretty well. I think the brown slime will disappear on its own before too long... I just have to figure out a way to get some macros growing so I can control phosphates properly.

 

The Ricordea pile is a favorite of mine too. I have had enormous success with Rics over the past few years, but I am still not exactly sure what causes them to thrive so much in this tank. 😅

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