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kimberbee

Kimber's Squishy Tank - Official Unofficial Hobby Retirement

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kimberbee

Dealing with these dinos has been very frustrating. 

 

I've always taken a hands-off approach to my tanks, and that isn't going to work with getting rid of dinos. Testing frequently takes up a lot of time, and buying additives takes up a lot of money. 

 

Things in the tank have generally done ok... up until this past weekend. I hadn't dealt with anything dying off, but now my duncan coral has decided to give up. 3-4 polyps melted away over the course of a couple days, and now another patch of 4 or so is melting off too. 

 

I feel really bad - another coral that I've had over 5 years, and the host to my clownfish. I ran a set of tests this morning (alk, ca, mg, nit, phos, ph, salinity) and though nitrates and phosphates are still low, everything else is within my normal limits and staying stable. There's nothing I can do immediately, so I have a feeling of helplessness regarding the tank. 

 

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A.m.P

You seem to have a more toxic variant of dinos, and my experience is limited to what I've tried and what I've read, but if things are tight and you have metro lying around I did anecdotally-find it useful with my own large-cell amphidinium outbreak...

I cannot guarantee it's reef safe, I also do not have a sand bed to bind medications as all my tanks are BB.

However with the corals in my system at the time; GSP, Duncan, Frogspawn, Trumpet, Montis, I didn't see any real negative effect combined with a drastically less-intense and somewhat-reduced photoperiod (I'm still using the same rocks today).
That said, I imagine it could be allot harder on corallimorphs and anemones, but I only have vague recollections from previous readings to make me feel that way.

 

Otherwise manual removal through a few layers of cotton batting or a filter sock, then returning the water to the system can help, running heavy carbon can also help your corals and livestock (no need for a reactor, just throw some into anything porus but able to hold it and run it in a few tablespoon balls).

I'm sorry your tank is struggling, I hope heavy feedings and time are enough to get things back on track.

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debbeach13

 I bet the clown fish are very sad. Knock on wood I have only had a very brief showing of possible dino's once last year. I didn't know for sure what it was and hadn't read much about the way people deal with it. Except that I had read do not do any WC. I did the same thing I have always done for algae excluding WC - no lights, reduced feedings and manual remove of the sand they were on for 4 or 5 days and they were gone. I was very lucky. 

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lizzyann

You might be able to go ahead and start fighting back the dinos at least somewhat without a lot of additives, assuming that's definitely what it is. Have you tried a black out? That should at least knock them back a little and give the corals a chance. I also tried to take the hands-off, stick to routine, approach when I thought I might have dinos and it definitely didn't work at all. I had ostreopsis and eventually got rid of them after running a uv sterilizer during a 3 day black out, increasing feeding, and adding pods, phyto, and I think a couple types of bacteria mixes. I wanted to stay away from meds and vibrant type stuff.

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

You seem to have a more toxic variant of dinos, and my experience is limited to what I've tried and what I've read, but if things are tight and you have metro lying around I did anecdotally-find it useful with my own large-cell amphidinium outbreak...

I don't think what I have is very toxic, but I have had dinos for most of the past year. The duncans seem to be my canary-in-a-coal-mine and are *usually* the first to struggle when anything happens. Everything else looks good, so I don't want to go changing too much and risk pissing something else off. 

 

3 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

 I bet the clown fish are very sad. Knock on wood I have only had a very brief showing of possible dino's once last year. I didn't know for sure what it was and hadn't read much about the way people deal with it. Except that I had read do not do any WC. 

Last water change was 6 weeks ago. I guess not as long as it feels like. They haven't died back at all in that time. 

 

39 minutes ago, lizzyann said:

Have you tried a black out? That should at least knock them back a little and give the corals a chance. I also tried to take the hands-off, stick to routine, approach when I thought I might have dinos and it definitely didn't work at all.

I believe the kind I have does not go into the water column like others do, so a blackout/uv doesn't help as much. I need to suck it up and get some additives, since increased feeding isn't helping enough. The cost, plus slow shipping, is just kind of a bummer. 

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kimberbee

The duncan is still on a slow decline, so I'm going to go ahead and get some nitrate/phosphate additives on order. I'm trying to think of what else I could buy to help the tank in order to reach the free shipping minimum. 😂 

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A.m.P
1 hour ago, kimberbee said:

The duncan is still on a slow decline, so I'm going to go ahead and get some nitrate/phosphate additives on order. I'm trying to think of what else I could buy to help the tank in order to reach the free shipping minimum. 😂 

I think saltwateraquarium.com doesn't have a lower-limit on free shipping.

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kimberbee

The duncan continues to go downhill. 

 

I ordered nitrate and phosphate additives, but of course, the nitrates are on backorder. Thanks, MD. 😑

 

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ECLS Reefer

I didn’t realize your clowns host the Duncan. Are they still trying to host it even while it’s declining? It may be even more upset by their over loving it- I found mine all mad and closed last night and I know all three clowns in the tank try to live up on it during the day. 

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kimberbee
38 minutes ago, ECLS Reefer said:

I didn’t realize your clowns host the Duncan. Are they still trying to host it even while it’s declining? It may be even more upset by their over loving it- I found mine all mad and closed last night and I know all three clowns in the tank try to live up on it during the day. 

Yeah. I've had the duncan for 5 years, but they only started hanging out in it after 2 years once it had gotten nice and big. Very possibly that's contributing to it's decline. 

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ECLS Reefer
6 minutes ago, kimberbee said:

Yeah. I've had the duncan for 5 years, but they only started hanging out in it after 2 years once it had gotten nice and big. Very possibly that's contributing to it's decline. 

My Duncan in my big tank has started growing more heads- it’s got maybe 6 now when it started as only 2. I was a little surprised to see them messing with it when there’s so much euphyllia in there, but thankfully they pay more attention to the euphyllia than the Duncan. I’d be upset if they bothered it into dying. 

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kimberbee

Round of testing and numbers are mostly where I'd like them... other than nitrates and phosphates, of course. 😑

 

Alk: 8.5

Ca: 425

Mg: 1240

Phos: just a hair above 0

Nit: ~5

Ph: 8.23

Salinity: 1.026

 

I'm dosing 1.5ml alk and 2ml ca, with 1ml phosphates, 10 drops of Microbacter, and 4ml AB+ every day. 3 pinches of pellets and 1/4t reef roids go in 3x/wk. 

 

The duncan is still rapidly declining. There were two "clumps" of polyps on the top - left and right - which are now not opening at all. There is one lonely polyp towards the bottom that looked ok as of yesterday when the lights were on. 

 

This morning I noticed that the male clownfish has stopped hanging out at the top of the coral, and migrated down towards where the lone healthy polyp is. I decided to move the duncan out of this tank and into my other tank. It's pretty much a guarantee that if the clownfosh continue to mess with the coral in here, they will kill it. I just don't think the few small polyps left can recover. My only hesitation was that the nitrates and phosphates in this tank are at least going up by a hair, instead of staying at 0 like in the other tank. 

 

It's a risk either way - leave it be, or move it. So I kind of feel that no matter what I do, it's probably a goner. 

 

The center of the tank is now very empty, and the scape looks quite unbalanced. I'll get a new FTS once the lights are on. 

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A.m.P

It may help the dino situation if you stop dosing red sea ab+.

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kimberbee
7 minutes ago, A.m.P said:

It may help the dino situation if you stop dosing red sea ab+.

I started dosing this to help feed the corals and therefore add nitrates. I found a few threads suggesting that feeding this (as well as most other coral and fish food) would increase nitrates, not by a ton, but I'm trying to overfeed as much as I can. 

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A.m.P
55 minutes ago, kimberbee said:

I started dosing this to help feed the corals and therefore add nitrates. I found a few threads suggesting that feeding this (as well as most other coral and fish food) would increase nitrates, not by a ton, but I'm trying to overfeed as much as I can. 

AB+ doesn't have nitrates or phosphates, it's amino acids and vitamins, but it does have a bit of a reputation for making dino outbreaks worse, or even causing small ones, when overdosed or dosed at all in some systems (benereef is another that seems to make outbreaks worse).

Dinos can shift to be heterotrophs, adding in amino acids gives them a huge source of available Nitrogen and complex organics that they can more-readily access than competing organisms, they can then get Phosphate by consuming bacteria and other nitrifying or micro-organisms/fauna, functionally feeding off the Nitrogen cycle. 

Or at least that's one of the theories as cleanly as I can repeat it, helps to explain why keeping P04 in the water column elevated seems to render them much-less suited for competition.

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kimberbee

This tank remains more frustrating than the other. My parameters are still testing pretty stable and where I want them, and nitrates/phosphates are slowly rising. 

 

The good news is that my grandis palys are coloring back up nicely - they had browned out a bit a few months ago when I did the tank swap. The annoying thing is my hammer corals, which struggled right after the tank swap, and had bounced back fairly quickly, are now pissy again. It could be that my clowns have made the hammers their new home, it could be something else - maybe a side effect of no water changes for 12 weeks. 

 

I am considering a water change next week. Maybe even just a small 2-3 gallon one instead of 4-5 gallons I would usually do. Nitrates are up around 10, and phosphates are slightly above 0 (I use the API test, so it's either 0 or .25 and hard to determine anything inbetween). A couple gallons shouldn't give dinos too much of an advantage, but may help replace at least a few trace elements that the hammer may be missing... 

 

I really don't know, but all this dosing and testing is really getting tiresome. 

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ECLS Reefer
41 minutes ago, kimberbee said:

This tank remains more frustrating than the other. My parameters are still testing pretty stable and where I want them, and nitrates/phosphates are slowly rising. 

 

The good news is that my grandis palys are coloring back up nicely - they had browned out a bit a few months ago when I did the tank swap. The annoying thing is my hammer corals, which struggled right after the tank swap, and had bounced back fairly quickly, are now pissy again. It could be that my clowns have made the hammers their new home, it could be something else - maybe a side effect of no water changes for 12 weeks. 

 

I am considering a water change next week. Maybe even just a small 2-3 gallon one instead of 4-5 gallons I would usually do. Nitrates are up around 10, and phosphates are slightly above 0 (I use the API test, so it's either 0 or .25 and hard to determine anything inbetween). A couple gallons shouldn't give dinos too much of an advantage, but may help replace at least a few trace elements that the hammer may be missing... 

 

I really don't know, but all this dosing and testing is really getting tiresome. 

You should take a small risk and buy a cheap goniopora colony or BTA to get those clowns to leave the euphyllia alone. 

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kimberbee
17 minutes ago, ECLS Reefer said:

You should take a small risk and buy a cheap goniopora colony or BTA to get those clowns to leave the euphyllia alone. 

I wouldn't be opposed to a bubble tip, but would be super pissed if it walked around and killed off my other corals. 

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ECLS Reefer
18 minutes ago, kimberbee said:

I wouldn't be opposed to a bubble tip, but would be super pissed if it walked around and killed off my other corals. 

If nothing else, and they act like all the ones I put in my tanks, at the very least they can host the clowns for a while until they decide to go crawl off and shrivel up. 

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kimberbee

I went ahead and did a water change, since my hammers are still not opening up all the way. Could be the clownfish, but I have 4 separate pieces in the tank, and my clownfish only hang around 2. For a few days, the grandis palys had excellent green color, and then one day they faded back to brown. 

 

I will probably do another water change in a month, and then maybe go 2 months, but we'll see how the dinos do between now and then. I will start dosing more nitrates and phosphates to make sure those don't bottom out again. Dealing with dinos has been so frustrating. 

 

Parameters remain stable though:

 

Alk: 9.4

Ca: 440

Mg: ?

Phos: just above 0

Nit: 5-10

Ph: 8.01

Salinity: 1.025

 

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debbeach13

Looking so much better. Good job.

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kimberbee

The hammer corals are still pissy, though I have yet to lose any heads. 🤷‍♀️

 

The grandis palys colored back to green, so that's nice. And my mushrooms and sinularia seem to be happy. 

 

Dinos are still covering the sandbed, which is very, very annoying. I'm considering going bare bottom, but that doesn't really address the low nutrients, just hides the fact that dinos are out of control. 

 

Nothing else really to report. 

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spectra

14 weeks..........................hell maybe a little sooner on the WC............., :wink:

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kimberbee
11 minutes ago, spectra said:

14 weeks..........................hell maybe a little sooner on the WC............., :wink:

Except everytime I do a water change the dinos get worse. 😑 

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kimberbee

This weekend was when I was considering doing my next water change. I'll still probably do one, but I don't have high hopes for it making a difference for my hammer corals. 

 

After the last water change, they improved slightly for about a week, but went right back to hating life. They are currently looking the worse they ever have. I don't really have hope for improvement at this point. 

 

I've had dinos in this tank for over a year now (in the beginning, I thought it was diatoms), and have been actively battling them for the past 5 months without much improvement. 

 

I am considering tossing the hammer corals and downsizing this tank to the IM10 that I have in storage. I'd add a thin layer of new sand and just keep the easy, soft corals already in the tank (palys, sinularia, toadstool, and mushrooms). I could add something simple like Kenya tree, or even xenia to fill things out a little if I wanted. 

 

It's clear I don't have the time or money to throw at this tank to rid it from dinos completely. 

 

🤔

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