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natalia_la_loca

Natalia’s Evo 13.5: baby snails!

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natalia_la_loca

Yup...the UV sterilizer worked.

 

before

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24 hrs later

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i’ve started dosing phyto again because the corals really seem to like it and I can now take care of blooms easily. Only planning on running UV as needed because it’s getting hot and the tank temp got up to 82f the other day. For the same reason, I returned the Nero 3 unopened. (did I mention I bought a Nero 3? I bought a Nero 3) 

 

I still debate whether the tank has enough flow but the corals are happy, so 🤷🏻‍♀️
 

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natalia_la_loca

Tank is doing well. The damsel and dottyback have a frenemy energy that is weirdly charming. Really glad I added the watchman goby first because the dottyback is super aggressive. The damsel holds its own though: no fin nipping at all. Also, the damsel follows the dottyback around. It’s so weird and I love it. 
 

Phosphate and nitrate are reading zero for the past week despite daily feeding of fish and corals. I’ve ordered Brightwell phosphate and nitrate and didn’t do a water change this week. About time to prune some macro too.


In lieu of water changes I’ve started adding small doses of Tropic Marin All for Reef to boost the kH which is low, around 7. I bought a Kamoer Bluetooth auto-doser but haven’t installed it, I’m trying to figure out a place to install it that doesn’t look horrible. Didn’t realize when I bought it that it has to be installed above the water line...kinda hard for an AIO tank. [edit: apparently it can be installed below the tank...confusing instructions!]


dottyback is a total diva and I love this rock

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the rhodactis look great but haven’t really grown, probs due to low nitrate/phosphate

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morphed melons looking good. I chose them for the big rock because they grow fast and there’s a lot of real estate to cover

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ppl eaters: my favorite zoa rn

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natalia_la_loca

I think I’ll hold off on dosing nitrate and phosphate for now because the corals look really happy. the other day I spotted a little bubble algae on the blondies colony...I was going to remove it and then saw it had fallen off by itself and drifted into a corner, easy to remove with a pipette. Also removed a tiny bit of hair algae. Given the condition of the corals I think the only thing added nitrate and phosphate would do is encourage the growth of the nuisance algae that are in the system but struggling to take hold.
 

Zoas in the morning sun

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feather duster lookin all feathery

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fish doin their fishy things

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debbeach13

Every thing does look happy. Nice pictures 

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natalia_la_loca

Everything still doing well. Nitrate and phosphate are still undetectable (Salifert) so I didn’t do a water change again this week. Alk and calcium were going down so I installed the Kamoer doser this week. Works great so far.

 

morning FTS before lights on. There’s a lot of red in there because I fragged the red bush macro/gracilaria hayi yesterday. Gonna take the extra pieces to the LFS for store credit. Might also post some in the classified section here...wondering how well it would handle shipping in warm weather. 
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I finally got a close up pic of the chiton hitchhiker. I think it’s growing? It’s maybe half an inch long now. 
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I haven’t mentioned it lately because other aspects of the tank are stealing the thunder, but that sad red ogo from a few months ago is looking happier. In this pic you can also see the mini goniopora frag that I pulled from the OG reefbowl a few months ago. It’s got minimal polyp extension rn because I gave it an aggressive peroxide dip yesterday...it seems the skeleton around it (tissue loss from being shaded in the reefbowl) is prone to hair algae growth that re-emerges every few weeks.

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debbeach13

Loving the look of natural light on the this tank.

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natalia_la_loca

The other day there was a little spot of brownish film on the sand. It seemed to disappear after lights out so the next day I sucked it out with a turkey baster, suspecting dinos since nitrate/phosphate are still undetectable. I also started running the UV sterilizer for maybe half the day to kill any cells in the water column, turning it off for a few hours when I dose phyto. So far the spot hasn’t returned.


Have added a harlequin serpent star and a porcelain crab. They’re hard to photograph but I see them at feedings. These will probably be the last inverts I add for a while.

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Duncans really really really like this tank.

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And finally got my new custom lid from Clearview. It looks super nice and will be great for preventing jumpers and evaporation, although for now I’m keeping it off when I’m around the tank because the UV creates a lot of heat. Now I just need to dremel out some cord slots in the piece of acrylic I have over the sump area.

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seabass
5 minutes ago, natalia_la_loca said:

The other day there was a little spot of brownish film on the sand. It seemed to disappear after lights out so the next day I sucked it out with a turkey baster, suspecting dinos since nitrate/phosphate are still undetectable. I also started running the UV sterilizer for maybe half the day to kill any cells in the water column, turning it off for a few hours when I dose phyto. So far the spot hasn’t returned.

If it comes back, use a turkey baster to collect some of it (along with the sand).  Shake up the collected water to break up the cluster of cells and filter the water through a paper towel.  Then place the filtered water under your tank lights, or sunlight, for an hour or more.  If the brownish cells group together, it's dinoflagellates (probably Amphidinium).  However, I don't believe that UV is as effective on Amphidinium.

 

It's good that it hasn't returned.  Hopefully it won't be a problem going forward.  You might also consider dosing some nutrients.

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natalia_la_loca
18 minutes ago, seabass said:

If it comes back, use a turkey baster to collect some of it (along with the sand).  Shake up the collected water to break up the cluster of cells and filter the water through a paper towel.  Then place the filtered water under your tank lights, or sunlight, for an hour or more.  If the brownish cells group together, it's dinoflagellates (probably Amphidinium).  However, I don't believe that UV is as effective on Amphidinium.

 

It's good that it hasn't returned.  Hopefully it won't be a problem going forward.  You might also consider dosing some nutrients.

Thanks, I’ll give that a try if it comes back. I have phosphate and nitrate additives ready to dose when/ if needed.

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natalia_la_loca

Ugh, fish drama over the weekend.

 

The 3 fish and pistol shrimp have coexisted for a month without problems. Now and then I would hear the pistol shrimp snapping when the dottyback got too close, but nothing worse than that. But the other day I woke up to find that the pistol shrimp had molted and was on the other side of the tank, out in the open, and wouldn’t return to its cave or any of the many other rock shelters I had in the tank. Then the watchman goby joined it, hanging out unprotected on the sand. Also, the shrimp seemed to have lost the function of its snapping claw during the molt. 
 

This would not be a super big deal if not for the fact that I have a very inquisitive and aggressive dottyback. 


So, a lot of chasing and nipping happened. When it was clear that the shrimp and goby were both just trying to get out of the tank and were not going to find a hiding place, I netted them out and took them to the LFS. The shrimp had lost most of its antennae and the goby had a small tear in its dorsal fin, but they were otherwise okay.
 

I’m super bummed that it didn’t work out but really glad I was able to get them out alive.
 

So, looks like it’s gonna be just the two fish. I guess this is a good time to mention I’ve given them names. The dottyback is named Caracalla, and the damsel’s name is Caligula. I love them both even though they’re mean little shits.
 

I might get some nassarius snails to do a little sand stirring and help make up for the loss of the pistol shrimp. Pretty sure they’ll have enough to eat with all the particulate foods I add for the corals.

 

Positive note: That brownish stain on the sand hasn’t returned. Been continuing to run the UV a few hours a day during lights out, and dosing phyto during lights on.

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natalia_la_loca

So I got a cyphastrea and it’s doing well.

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The harlequin serpent star pokes its legs out of a rock for feeding time and I love it.

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Ive been watching this hitchhiker shell thing on one of my astreas and yesterday noticed that it was slightly open. I touched it and it closed fast. It’s alive, yay! Hopefully I’m providing enough phyto and other fine particle foods to keep it alive.

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Yesterday I also saw a couple more tiny vesicles of bubble algae on another astrea so I pulled it, removed the bubbles, painted the shell with 35% hydrogen peroxide, waited 2 minutes, back in the tank. Also just noticed a few barely-there strands of hair algae on the nephthea. These pests survived aggressive treatments with peroxide, fluconazole and Vibrant in the sculpture bowl and they were not at all visible when I added the frags to the Evo…so they’re incredibly persistent and I’m taking them pretty seriously while they’re small and manageable.

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natalia_la_loca

I’ve gone 4 weeks since the last water change (and the last one was only a gallon). Nitrate and phosphate are still undetectable. Alk is 8 and calcium is 440. I’m dosing 2.2 ml of All for Reef daily via the Kamoer X1. 

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Murphych

It's just odd isn't it. I struggle to keep phosphate up at 0.01 even but nitrate is always at 5ppm.. I can water change every day, leave it a month, feed heavy, don't feed.. always 0 and 5..  

 

Let me ask you this... Do you have any issues with algae?

 

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natalia_la_loca
1 hour ago, Murphych said:

It's just odd isn't it. I struggle to keep phosphate up at 0.01 even but nitrate is always at 5ppm.. I can water change every day, leave it a month, feed heavy, don't feed.. always 0 and 5..  

yup, my nítrate and phosphate have been sitting near zero for like a month and a half. I think the live phyto may be taking up nutrients too.

 

1 hour ago, Murphych said:

Let me ask you this... Do you have any issues with algae?

Haha well I wouldn’t want to say this in front of someone whose tank is totally overrun by dinos or cyano, but if I have a single cell of GHA or bubble algae in there, then I have a little problem that’s waiting to become a big problem if things go sideways. So…no, and yes 😅 

 

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Murphych

 

2 minutes ago, Murphych said:

Lol yeah I had a few issues.. Im good now though after taking my sand out and washing it... Dosing has really helped my coral but the uptake is too much for me to dose. I would hate to dose more than recommended, that's a road to GHA 👎🏼👎🏼

 

God know what happened with this post 

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Jakesaw
On 6/16/2021 at 3:41 PM, natalia_la_loca said:

yup, my nítrate and phosphate have been sitting near zero for like a month and a half. I think the live phyto may be taking up nutrients too.

 

Haha well I wouldn’t want to say this in front of someone whose tank is totally overrun by dinos or cyano, but if I have a single cell of GHA or bubble algae in there, then I have a little problem that’s waiting to become a big problem if things go sideways. So…no, and yes 😅 

 

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My nitrates and Phos are stuck at zero.  

 

I left water changes for several weeks, made no difference. 

 

2 things that may be factors 

1) I let back wall become a layer of algae.  Went Au'Natural (  scraped this week )

2) Had a sponge filter that hadn't been cleaned in 6-8 weeks. ( cleaned sponge rhis week )

 

I'm tinkering with low maintenance tank direction so it doesn't bother me.  My acans & Candy Cane are healthy. Encrusting coral are spreading.  GSP comes out daily now.   Frogspawn was always just meh, but He was a questionable healh frag from the tank I got him in.  

 

Besides spionid worm outbreak in tank I'm taking everything in stride.  Hoping sponge cleaning and scraping the back wall of algae will bring down the population.  Though my Clown misses the wall of algae that I removed and now swims closer to the rocks than he did before.  

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natalia_la_loca
20 hours ago, Jakesaw said:

My nitrates and Phos are stuck at zero.  

 

I left water changes for several weeks, made no difference. 

 

2 things that may be factors 

1) I let back wall become a layer of algae.  Went Au'Natural (  scraped this week )

2) Had a sponge filter that hadn't been cleaned in 6-8 weeks. ( cleaned sponge rhis week )

 

I'm tinkering with low maintenance tank direction so it doesn't bother me.  My acans & Candy Cane are healthy. Encrusting coral are spreading.  GSP comes out daily now.   Frogspawn was always just meh, but He was a questionable healh frag from the tank I got him in.  

 

Besides spionid worm outbreak in tank I'm taking everything in stride.  Hoping sponge cleaning and scraping the back wall of algae will bring down the population.  Though my Clown misses the wall of algae that I removed and now swims closer to the rocks than he did before.  

Yeah, if your livestock is happy and you don’t have dinos or something, then I’d say it’s going okay! 

 

I assume my nitrate and phosphate are low because the macroalgae and corals are taking up a lot of nutrients…I think I feed the tank plenty.

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natalia_la_loca

Finally got a halfway decent pic of the porcelain crab 🥰

 

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yesterday I fragged the gracilaria hayi again, it’s growing fast! Now at 5 weeks since last water change, alk is 8.5, calcium 440, nitrate/phosphate undetectable. 
 

I took apart the return pump yesterday because flow was getting way too slow. I figured the impeller was just dirty but it turns out I installed the impeller cover slightly off center when I removed the outside part to more easily fit it in chamber 3. Holy crap the Sicce Syncra 0.5 pushes some flow when it’s actually put together correctly! Really glad I’m able to get some extra flow without adding a circulation pump. The corals look about the same either way.

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natalia_la_loca

So that spot returned on the sand the other day, or at least *a* spot because this time it was green? But it was in the same (low flow) place. it looked like cyano to me.

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I removed it and the sand underneath it, stirred it up and filtered it through a paper towel per @seabass’s instructions. Now have the filtered water in a glass in the window. Will see what grows.

 

Tank is looking happy otherwise. Hopefully trimming the gracilaria helps balance nutrient uptake a little. 

 

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natalia_la_loca

No regrowth of the green spot so far today, either in the cup or in the tank. Glad it’s not something that comes roaring back the second it’s removed, like the cyano I used to have in other tanks.


It’s raining right now, so the colors in the tank are a little more vibrant. (probably not all that different than yesterday lol)
 

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Caligula and Caracalla have been pretty chill since I took the watchman goby and pistol shrimp back to the LFS. They’re always active and fun to watch. 
 

yesterday I added a few nassarius snails to help move the sand around a little. 

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gena

Hi there!!!  I see you are still creating the most beautiful things 😊 .  Trying to do a little catch up.  Do you still have your saltwater bowl or is that the retired zoa garden in your signature? 

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natalia_la_loca
9 hours ago, gena said:

Hi there!!!  I see you are still creating the most beautiful things 😊 .  Trying to do a little catch up.  Do you still have your saltwater bowl or is that the retired zoa garden in your signature? 

Heyyyyy long time no see ☺️ Yup, I still have the bowl, it’s 5 years old now! It’s looking a little hit because I tried a bubble algae treatment that the corals hated, but it’s recovering now. 
 

It’s great to see you on here again ❤️ Are there any tanks in your life these days?

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gena
13 hours ago, natalia_la_loca said:

Heyyyyy long time no see ☺️ Yup, I still have the bowl, it’s 5 years old now! It’s looking a little hit because I tried a bubble algae treatment that the corals hated, but it’s recovering now. 
 

It’s great to see you on here again ❤️ Are there any tanks in your life these days?

Awesome!  I'll have to look for it!  No tanks yet.  We did like two big moves in two years but we're finally settled in and I'm pretty certain I'm going to set something up.  Not exactly sure what yet.  I really want another IM10.  There is a used one local to me that I might get!  Still figuring out what I want to do :).

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natalia_la_loca
24 minutes ago, gena said:

Awesome!  I'll have to look for it!  No tanks yet.  We did like two big moves in two years but we're finally settled in and I'm pretty certain I'm going to set something up.  Not exactly sure what yet.  I really want another IM10.  There is a used one local to me that I might get!  Still figuring out what I want to do :).

Dooooo ittttt

 

(I mean of course we’re gonna encourage you to set up a new tank)

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natalia_la_loca

No regrowth of the green spot so far. Also nothing has grown in the water sample. Seems like a good sign.

 

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Removed a tiny bubble algae from the nephthea the other day. No hair algae seen in the last week. 

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