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About ajmckay

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    Wrasses McGee
  • Birthday November 9

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    Sterling Heights, Michigan
  1. I've never had a bulb fail honestly (you know - typical reef advice is to replace about every year) so this would be a first - but I'll look around for some bulbs. Sometimes my LFS clearances out some t5 stuff as most aren't buying them.
  2. I have a 36" two bulb current Nova T5HO that's been running perfectly for about 3 - 4 years (the unit itself is much older). Back in 2014 or 2015 I replaced the stock ballast with a Phillips Advance ICN 2S54-T which is a program start electronic ballast. The light turns on and then turns itself off after about 2 seconds. I've tested it many times and it seems to be turning off by itself each time after about 2 seconds. My question is this - does anyone know if electronic ballasts have any sort of protection mode that could explain this behavior? I find it odd that it turns off after about the same amount of time every time I test. I would think that if the ballast itself were bad then it just wouldn't work or it would fail more sporadically. The bulbs are admittedly in pretty rough shape... One bulb is probably 3-4 years old and the other is probably 5 years old.. Fortunately it's just a fuge light so I'm not really concerned about the spectrum. The ballast looks fine as do the wires. No signs of overheating or rust from moisture. Any ideas on what the problem could be? I would just go get some bulbs but if I do that and then find the ballast is bad I'll wish I had just ditched the light and gotten an LED fixture for probably not much more... The worst of the bulbs: 2018-11-27_10-16-31 by aaron M, on Flickr
  3. don't search egg crate though... its actually called light diffuser grid or something.
  4. Another observation - it seems to stay open all the time. Last night and this morning it was open in the pitch black.
  5. Okay so after a bunch of research I'm not sure which, but they could either be the infamous Palythoa heliodiscus or the harmless P. mutiki... Characteristics that make me think it may be P. heliodiscus (bad) - Shorter skirt tentacles. Where P. mutuki usually has tentacles that are the length of the radius of the disc, P. heliodiscus is usually 20% or less. It's hard to tell for me honestly. Today the tentacles extended more than they usually do so it might be more than 20%... See pics below. - Radiating lines - but not very prominent - Lack of a "ventral directive mesentery" which seems to be a single more distinct white line radiating from the center of the polyp and is charateristic of P. Mutuki. Charateristics that make me think it may be P. Mutuki: - Seems to have green and brown coloration and a solid color disc - where P. heliodiscus tends to be more teal and brown with an irregular/mottled color. - Has capitulary ridges as far as I can tell (see pic) - Tends to stay cupped (instead of flat), even during the day Here is the polyp closed (used a baster to piss it off). I think those may be capitulary ridges in green. 2018-05-18_10-02-47 by aaron M, on Flickr Here's a pic with the tentacles extended further than I've seen yet - just took this today. IMG_20180518_104844 by aaron M, on Flickr Here's a pic of them under incandescent light. IMG_20180518_102821 by aaron M, on Flickr Here's one of the better sources I found for figuring it out. Personally it seems like someone with the appropriate testing equipment/lab should put together a pictoral guide on which polyps to avoid. This would be helpful for wholesalers and even collectors as ultimately I don't think anyone should be selling corals known to have a high concentration of toxin. https://reefs.com/2015/09/14/the-dangers-and-myths-of-zoa-toxicity-part-1/
  6. Thanks. I know it's a zoa/paly of some kind - I'm more looking for the common name of them. Thanks. I tend to agree that they share similar traits. I have to feed it something now !!
  7. *Edit* It would be really cool if someone were to compile a pictoral guide/list of species that are know to contain palytoxin... Saw this cool frag at the LFS and it was cheap so I got it. I don't normally make purchases before researching but this is just going in my CC pico which is still running. It seems to be "cupped" when open. I've yet to see it spread flat like a typical polyp. The largest one is probably about 15mm or 5/8" diameter - guessing it's a type of palythoa. Anyone know what it's called? Here it is closed up: IMG_20180514_230436 by aaron M, on Flickr And here it is open: IMG_20180515_080235 by aaron M, on Flickr IMG_20180515_080204 by aaron M, on Flickr
  8. Look up pseudocorynactis caribbeorum
  9. Just like anything my tastes in coral change over time. I personally find corallimorphs to be some of my favorites. Generally they don't cost a ton, they do well in my tanks, and there are a good variety of them out there. I saw some pea sized frags of the WWC bounce and they were going for $50 I think... Seemed popular so I have no doubt that with all the people buying them hopefully more are propagating them which should help the prices normalize a bit.
  10. It's always nice when you get a little extra something on a new frag - as long as it's a good something. Getting a pest is not so nice. Anyways blow off some of the sand and that may give a better clue as to what it is. But at least from what I see it could be a variety of GSP or clove polyps.
  11. tank is looking great! I like the coral selection in particular. One thought - is your heater submerged enough? Also, regarding the AC filter - it's probably in your best interest to clean it frequently. At least in my experience the sponge is very quickly colonized with bacteria.
  12. About the most a hawk fish would do to your corals is irritate them. They like to perch so depending on what corals you have some could be affected.
  13. I guess is what I'm saying is that could be part of your problem... Insufficient nutrients can cause similar issues.
  14. Yeah lighting is tough... Generally we err on the side of too much light. I typically run my lights at like 50%. Seems like a waste until you decide to keep higher light corals and then suddenly you have the ability to expand. The inability to expand beyond the most basic corals is a typical issue with AIO systems, which normally come with "cost effective" lights that are only designed to work for the majority of users which likely don't have a high lighting requirement. I'm not particularly familiar with the tank you have, but it's quite possible that the lighting is insufficient. If it's just 8w of LEDs spread over a large area with no optics then that's a pretty weak light as far as coral growth is concerned. Still - my experience is that while soft corals need light they are also pretty good at utilizing nutrients from the tank. Is there a fish in there? If you have low lighting and low nutrients then that's definitely going to lead to coral issues. Going back to the old CF is certainly a possibility. There are increased energy and replacement costs involved but at least you know it should work.
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