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Cultivated Reef

nine2Five micro-reef 5


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Nothing much has happened.  The flame boi favia was severely stung by the joker favor, so I removed it to a frag rack in my other tank.  It seems to be alive in spots still.


I've been feeding it regularly and changing water and simply watching it.  Nothing seems to be receding, everything is slowly growing. 









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This tank is still up.  It's still not growing very quickly, that's for sure, but It's not dying either.


 I moved some things around, I put the big favia in the back and propped it up on another rock.


the yellow zoos have started to grow a bit,


the acans is starting to get new heads,


the green hammer is a little bigger, it has two lobes now.


one of the encrusting corals has started to spread a bit more.


the orange Monti's are looking much better are starting to grow as well, and they are getting a few goldish polyps, they were really dark for a while with most of the polyps retracted.



I have reduced the light cycle and intensity and whites quite a bit as of 4-5 weeks ago,

It's running at about 8watts now and about 9 hours per day, it was at about 14watts and 12.



 The mushrooms have not really taken off, the discos seem to growing a bit now, the ricordias and the rhodactis.


I have no plans to take it down, I'm going to keep it up, keep up on the water changes and wait a few more months to see if the light changes help.


 I think it's will been up about a year in October, though, as I recall it took a long time for this tank to really start reading 0 ammonia.


As far as benthic life goes I do have some big amphipods that run around in it now, they shed, and I saw a tiny brittle star on one of the frag racks a couple of weeks ago right before a water change there are little pods that become really noticeable if I let the glass go for a while.


 Alkalinity doesn't drop much, like my smaller tank with the big Duncan in it does.


 I've been feeding it live phyto, AB+, a little reef chili, a little frozen brine.  


My big trochus died, I think, he quit moving and smelled kind of strong when I took him out, but I did put a smaller, much more active banded trochus in here a few weeks prior to that.


So I have the same 4 hermits and 1 snail.  


This tank runs very cleanly.


 I'm running floss and I added a Nero in the back, it's on very low but it seems to give me a little more flow without disturbing anything.  


I'll throw some detail shots I took yesterday  below and tonight once it's been awake for a while I'll update the FTS.





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Trying to outwork Dinos.  





a couple of months ago It seems the tank was getting beat up pretty well by Dino's.  That little pink acro was bleaching it was moved it the little bowfront tank where it seems dead now, the zoos weren't really opening up, and the red and green favia started to look pale and flat.  I could see dinos growing right off of the corals snagging in the frag racks and when I sucked them up and spit them out on the filter floss or into a jar they would be back in hours.  I didn't take "sick pictures" I'm sorry to say.


Testing for phosphates and nitrates which were zero was started as was dosing nitrates and phosphates.  


About a week before same time 1/2 dozen more hermit crabs were added.  A trochus snail died too.


Now... to step back, this tank hadn't been getting cleaned very often, had not been getting big frequent water changes either.  It was getting fairly heavy feedings and was generally a little bit on the dirty neglected side, it had low evaporation and always had lid on it too.


I had cleaned the tank fairly thoroughly  probably 10 weeks ago, including the sump and return pump (which I payed extra attention to) but the dinos were soon back and I think worse than ever.


Every day dark ropey Dinos were growing out of the return pump and out of the Nero as well and snagging all over the corals, growing on the corals.  Things were really bad and seemed to be getting worse.


After a couple of weeks of the Nitrate Phosphate treatment I got the levels up and I realized that the nitrates and phosphates did not come back down, they just stayed there, the Dinos had not improved and most concerning the corals were looking worse and worse. The other trochus snail got really listless so it was put in the other tank where it seems to be doing ok.  I read the backs of the bottles of the nitrate and phosphate and read about the "carbon limited" and adding some kind of bacteria, and wondered exactly what that meant. 



So instead of going deeper into the chemical world I decided to simply try to run the tank more like I'm running my little bow front, The only problems currently happening in there are that some of the corals are shading out the other ones. 


First no more AIO and no more acrylic.

I decided to get a slightly smaller glass tank- UNC 4 gallon cube and only use the Nero and a light, like I have been doing with my other little bow front for a couple of years with good luck.


I took the rock that I had in the AOI sump and added a couple of more pieces of dead rock to boot. I scrubbed everything down as well as I could with a toothbrush (not the animals but rock)  I've also restricted the light cycle down to 8 hours.


It's been cleaned and water changed 2 more times, once each week since the new tank.  I also added a few rocks from my other tank.


I can see pods, amphipods, micro brittle starts and bristle worms and other little things I can't really identify in the tank (I always could) the corals look better,  a few days after the clean I see a few dinos growing, there were more the first week, less the second week, and seems even less now, the third week (the middle of which we are on now.  I've been sucking them up with a baster and replacing the water with clean water.


My strategy is simply to keep cleaning it and changing all the water every week and see what happens.  My hope is that after some months I'll be able to go longer without a rip clean, my bow front is Dino free and I can go without a rip clean for at least 3 weeks without seeing anything but detritus and a little bit of algae on the glass.  I've never seen dinos in it.  I do skim it with a sample cup and do little water changes to the tune of 1 qt. generally every morning except for the week after a 100% wc.



So um.. pictures.  I'll post them from my phone 🙂






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Right after the new glass



Notice the filmy flat look of the red and green favia on the left, fact that most of the zoos are closed, and the closed hammer


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Tonight two different light settings




I can see a few dinos on the rack.









the candy apple zoos on the left look kind of filmy still, I'm not sure what to do about those, the guy at eh LFS shop said I should dip them maybe.  The zoos on the right (the orange rimmed ones) have been open but a crab parked in them for most of the day.




I think another little Dino string.




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I think the berghia have mostly taken care of the apastia, It's been a little more than 3 weeks.  I still have a couple of nudis roaming around as of last week yesterday.  I think on that zoa (which is open again), bottom two pictures, there is a berghia egg spiral, but I'm not sure?  Any body know?








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top view,


It looks like the favia and ... that other coral, I honestly can't remember what it's called are starting to meet.  maybe a good idea to pry the gold one off the rock and glue in a buffer rock in the next couple of weeks.  I don't want to watch either species die in a war. 


Anybody know what the gold coral is?  It's not the greatest picture.  I'll post another one.







here's a picture of the bleached frag on the plug that the green/red favia started from.  That plug is still buried in the favia colony as it exists now.  


The two pictures are way out of scale with each other. 


It started to color up, and then got stung badly which nearly did it in. I reglued it on it's side with some more rocks surrounding it on another plug and put it on a rack for 3-4 months, It did slowly recover and started to grow.   I reglued the whole mess on the side of the rock where it still now.  It seems to be growing like 1/32 inch or so on the border per week nowadays.  I'm really enjoying the fact that it seems to be thriving, 'poor little fellar nearly didn't make it'.  I've never seen any signs of aggression from it either.










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Nice little tank! Read a little up top, still just doing a full water change every week?

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no, but I did a full about 2 weeks ago.  and a good %50 about two weeks before that.


I did a little rearranging a couple of days ago, I'm a little worried about the ricordias, they were getting kind of choked out bye the green discos and the zoos.


I spread the two original rocks apart from each other to give the rics a bit more breathing room, as a result I moved a Little Rock with a favia  and some gsp on it into my other little tanks and shifted the joker favia/orange monty rock around.  


I'm somewhat scared that the joker will send out the sweepers against his now, new slightly closer neighbors.


Little tanks bear watching 🙂 that's for sure.



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