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Nano sapiens

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About Nano sapiens

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    Nano Reefer

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    East bay, CA
  1. Wow, I didn't realize that you are now in Hawai'i! I used to collect a bit in the tropics way-way back in the day so I know how much fun it is to collect your own tank specimens. Will be great to see how this all turns out 😊
  2. Hi Yoshii! Thanks and luckily it's still chugging along okay. I think having a decent Bristleworm population again to work the top of the SB will help with the brown algae/cyan issues.
  3. Thank you. The corals started off as tiny frags and grew into what you see now over the last ten years.
  4. Thanks. I've always had the view that the tank health as a whole is more important than any one animal in it, but sometimes it's not so easy to let go. I'm going to see what develops naturally over the next few weeks. I know that there are at least two Bristleworms left, a Cyclops or three, a few Mysids in the sump and maybe a few Brittle stars hanging out where I can't see them. I added some TigerPods today, but I think it very unlikely that they will establish considering that they are easy and tasty treats for my Barnacle Blenny. The tank also has some strange Amphipods (much smaller than the hunch-backed Gammarus type), so I know those will 'multiply and be fruitful'. If I see a few sand bed worms eventually, then I'll know things are really looking up :)
  5. A few events worth mentioning... Donated my largest 'Ric Rock' to a local LFS a few weeks ago. I wanted to free up some sand bed space to make it easier to move the LR when I clean without removing anything from the tank.. On a whim, I took a sample of tank water in recently for testing (I haven't tested NO3 and PO4 in a few years) and got 20 ppm NO3 and .01 ppm PO4. I attribute the relatively high nitrate at least partially to the removal of the large Ric rock (reduction in denitrification sites) and the low Po4 is typical for this system (at least partially due to the exclusive use of Kalkwasser). Have been dealing with an outbreak of the dreaded 'brown algae/cyano/dino/WHY' on the sand bed. for the last 8-9 months which is most likely related to the NO3/PO4 imbalance. Performed a full sand bed cleaning today. Over the last couple months I have noted that there are virtually no smaller organisms present like Bristleworms, Brittlestars, etc. So looking for the possible cause, I went back in my notes and checked the timeline and I believe I've nailed the issue down to the introduction of my Callogobius hasseltii fish. Around 2 months after the introduction of this fish is when the SB problem took off. Since it is a nocturnal species and is very adept at finding worms, pods and such, it made quick work of anything edible. So it's been donated, but it''s a bitter/sweet thing as it was a favorite fish. And so that leaves me with three small fish, and most corals looking good and doing just fine (despite the elevated Nitrate). The only exceptions are the Rhodactis mushrooms, surprisingly, which have been struggling for the last few months, but other Ricordia mushrooms are doing very well (especially the R. yuma). The long term plan at this point is to keep feeding the tank as normal and continue with the weekly SB vacuuming and see if the N03 will eventually drop back to the more typical 2-5 ppm levels. If not, I might try adding a bit of PO4 additive to rebalance the NO3/P04 ratio. After the thorough SB cleaning:
  6. Thanks for asking! The only ones doing good are the Vampires. The Hawaiian Ding-Dangs just sit there closed up like bumps on a rock and the Chaos...well, looks a bit funky. I suspect that the Vamps will take over the rock eventually.
  7. I've always liked these anemones (as opposed to Aiptasia...which get immediate eradication treatment from me), just never had them enter any of my tanks. Even if they can be somewhat invasive, I'd keep a few and just remove any that might spring up in unwanted places.
  8. For what it's worth, here's my 'theory'. When an established sand bed is removed, so are the benthic micro alga, dinoflagelates and other photosynthesizing bacteria (PSBs). En masse, these organisms sequester a great deal of PO4 (and also organic phosphate, that can be transmuted to inorganic phosphate, and visa versa, by microorganism activity). When a sand bed is vacuumed regularly, some of the benthic organisms are removed, but due to fast reproduction, the ones lost are replaced in short time. So you end up with a cycle of the system's phosphate being 'sequestered/removed/replaced' over and over that amounts to having stable low PO4 readings in the water column in an established reef aquarium. I am interested to see if enough bacteria can establish without the sand bed in your system to stabilize PO4 at a lower level (without massive water changes), or whether you will have to resort to using a phosphate remover on a regular basis.
  9. The two methods I've used to rid a tank of Aiptasia depend on where they are in the tank. If they are an inch or more away from other organisms, I remove the rock and drip a drop or two of kalkwasser (calcium hydroxide) from an eye dropper onto the Aiptasia in such a way that it doesn't get onto other organisms (I've heard of people using lemon juice, too). Calcium hydroxide has very high pH of around 12 and lemon juice has very low pH at around 2, so the organisms won't survive either. If the Aiptasia is close to other organisms, I manually remove the rock base that the organism is attached to with a small flat screwdriver. You don't want to shred the Aiptasia if you can help it since it can regrow from even a tiny piece, so removing the small piece of rock that it's foot is attached to is optimal. After 'surgery' I would then check each week and if I saw any new ones (no matter how small) I'd eradicate them immediately. It's a bit intimidating the first time going at these pests, but once you've done it you'll thinking "Why did I wait, this isn't so bad" :)
  10. Since we only measure PO4 (inorganic phosphate), it isn't unreasonable that people can have undetectable levels with hobbyist test kits. To get the complete phosphate picture however, measuring organic phosphate is necessary (a Triton ICP test will do this). Feeding a lot should provide the needed phosphate, regardless of what our hobby test kits say. The OP's tank can be lacking in nutrients, but hard to tell without a pic and knowing what kind of fish/type of food fed/how often fed.
  11. Our sand beds do a lot of the 'heavy lifting' in regards to bacterial activity and the nitrate cycle. So the removal of it will change how the system functions. I see you are increasing your water changes to combat for increased NO3 and the corals are looking great!. You will likely see levels stabilize over time., but if they don't, you could try a ceramic block in the back chamber (or similar) to increase the surface area for bacteria to colonize.
  12. The situation is not unique for established small nano tanks. The ratio of biomass to water volume is typically quite high, hence the rapid depletion of nutrients.. For many years I was barely able to get a NO3 reading (~1 ppm) and undetectable PO4 (both Salifert kits) in a 12g with two adult Ocellaris Clownfish in it. Corals had great color and good growth, so I just rolled with it and stopped testing these two parameters altogether. Since you have pale SPS, I'd look at possibly adding another fish (primarily for increased ammonia production) assuming the two you have aren't large/very aggressive and/or reducing the water change volume. I don't have any experience with adding phosphate directly, but if carefully managed it could be another good alternative.
  13. Welcome! Looks like you've put together a nice assortment that reflects the Caribbean biotope. Your 'take it slow approach' with stocking is the correct way to go, IMO. Out of all the pest species I'd be most concerned about the Aiptasia. They sting just about everything and typically spread really fast (especially in tanks where fish are fed well). My recommendation would be to save yourself headaches later on and remove the few (or is just one?) that you have in there now. Also watch out for Mantis Shrimp if your fish start disappearing for no apparent reason. Crustaceans and mollusks are indeed sensitive to toxic metals, so you may have some contamination. I had similar difficulties (mostly with snails) many years ago in a tank with sand from the tropics (probably Philippine at that time). After checking all the equipment for rust or deterioration (there was none), I remembered a story about someone finding some type of metal object in their sand bed. Using a net that had mesh big enough for most of the sand to pass through, I sieved all the tank's sand and found a rusty fish hook! You just never know... Another thing you can do is run Polyfilter pad material. It is supposed to remove elevated levels of metals and other elements, but not deplete them entirely (small amounts of trace elements are needed for system/organism health).
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