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About mcarroll

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    Northern Virginia
  • Interests
    Anything related to nature....I do aquariums, and gardens. I also love to cook and bake. I specialize in using fresh-ground flour for everything I bake – not always easy, but it packs in the nutrients. Last, I also help school my kid. :)

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  1. mcarroll

    Hi, new nano reefer

    Water changes do not account for the decrease in calcium though, do they? Alk and Mg both went up at the same time. I'd like to think corals and microbial life in general have all been seeing a growth spurt as conditions have been returning to normal. But those test results are somewhat contradictory. It may be worth testing your fresh-mixed saltwater as well as your tank water next time. Generally, that's the start of a good set of trends though! BTW, what are you feeding your fish?
  2. mcarroll

    Lux meter

    You can make a rough approximation using the conversion factor for sunlight.....100,000 lux = 2,000 PAR, more or less. This gives a factor of 50, so 30,000 / 50 = 600 PAR. In reality, most reef lights score a conversion factor closer to 60, so maybe more like 500 PAR, but you get the idea about the range your corals are in. Based on Dana's research, in those links, that's about as high as you'd want to go. Notice how much brighter that is compared to what most corals really need.
  3. mcarroll

    Lux meter

    Even though you've returned the PAR meter, I'd still suggest getting a lux meter. Then you can take comparable samples with it as what you recorded with the PAR meter so you'll have a PAR : lux conversion factor for your lights and be able to continue taking readings as you see fit in the future.
  4. mcarroll

    Lux meter

    Definitely. It's all I've used or needed. I don't even find the need to measure under water though....but folks even do that with the help of a ziplock baggie. You can even start with a free lux meter app for your phone just to try it out. But since a basic handheld meter like the LX-1010B I use only costs <$20 and gives better readings, I really suggest getting a handheld. If it happens to be important for you to have units in PAR or a slight bit more accuracy, then you can always caibrate your lux meter with a PAR meter. (see link below) This gives you a conversion factor to use in subsequent lux measurements to change units accurately into PAR. Beginner’s Lux ...is an article with a little more info. I'd also suggest Dana Riddle's related articles: Aquarium Equipment: PAR Meters and LEDs - How Accurate are the Measurements? A Comparison of Three Meters and Lux to PAR Conversion Factors for LEDs (2013) Feature Article: How Much Light?! Analyses of Selected Shallow Water Invertebrates' Light Requirements (2007)
  5. mcarroll

    New Tank - What should I put in it?

    @SaltyBuddhaI agree with the guidance here overall. There really are no schooling fish in saltwater....not like in freshwater. An article you might like which relates: Why are there so few fish in the sea?
  6. All the ideas on moving or removing him sound fine, but another thing to consider is that if he's moving, it's to try and find better conditions. Is there anything going on with the tank that would cause it? (Or anything that could be done to help?) We might have some ideas along these lines. Can post a little more about your tank, including test results for nitrates, phosphates and whatever else you are testing for?
  7. mcarroll

    Can you keep colorful SPS in a pico reef?

    Water changes get a bad rap a lot of the time...but stony corals LOVE them IME. I've done bi-weekly, weekly and daily water changes, at different times varying from 10% -100% per water change. I've also done no water changes for an almost equal period of time, and "overall brightness" is the only other factor I can notice that changes....water changes always seem to kick the brightness of all my corals up a notch or two. (About 5 years with water changes of various regimes and about 5+ years without regular water changes...for about 10+ years in total.)
  8. mcarroll

    Need some input on water flow

    Considering that as your main goal, I would scrap the external apps....moving water between tanks will be 100% noisier than not moving water between tanks. :) Consider using internal equivalents like the Tunze Reefpack components. For flow I'm old-fashioned, so one or two Tunze 6045's would be my pick and would make a great start. (Two 6045's, each on it's own timer, if you aren't too budget-limited.) If you must have controllable (cost goes up a lot) then consider Tunze's 6040, 6055 and 6095 models. AC/non-controllable pumps are usually longer-lasting, quieter, as well as cheaper, BTW. Corals can be just as happy with either type of pump, in my experience.
  9. mcarroll

    Can you keep colorful SPS in a pico reef?

    Lights are not an issue on such a small tank. If the tank is covered, and considering the additions from dosing the ATO may even be moot. Dosing fluids can be diluted to acheive the small quantities you'd need. But what would you use for flow? A Tunze 6020 or 6040 is small, but 3.5 gallons is VERY small. Would a Reefpack 100 fit?
  10. mcarroll

    What type of algae is this?

    It looks like your CUC isn't touching the hairy stuff, so that makes removing this algae your job. Rip it out as carefully and completely as you can. Consider spot-treating with peroxide if it seems like even hand-pulling won't make it go. Once it's small and low enough, the snails will manage it from there. Consider using a larger number of smaller snails. What do you measure for nitrates and phosphates?
  11. mcarroll

    Hi, new nano reefer

    I would suggest that bad info is the only "too much info" that's possible. Indeed! The advice so far has been to stop adding nutrients, stop removing nutrients and to see how things go. I think a few months time is a very reasonable period unless there's a change for the worse in the mean time...in particular if the nutrient imbalance does not self-correct as predicted. Anything is potentially harmful if misused. And arbitrarily tweaking/"chasing numbers" is to be avoided. But that applies to adding to or removing things from the water. (e.g. fertilizer vs GFO) That may partly be what got us into the current situation, in fact. The algae outbreak we hope to prevent in this case is (mainly) dino's. As long as a green algae grows, then all should be well....normal management practices will prevail. You're welcome! You might like the stuff I've collected in the Fish section as well.
  12. mcarroll

    Hi, new nano reefer

    Forgot one: Results of the 1991 United States-Israel Workshop, “Nutrient Limitations in the Symbiotic Association between Zooxanthellae and Reef-building Corals”
  13. mcarroll

    Hi, new nano reefer

    That is bad in and of itself - and this may be true of anything photosynthetic. But further, you have an ample supply of nitrates at the same time. That specific kind of imbalance can be very bad for the corals as it throws off the symbiosis with their dino's. Here are some articles I've saved that talk about it...the first one has pics that make what's going on with phosphates really clear: Phosphate deficiency promotes coral bleaching and is reflected by the ultrastructure of symbiotic dinoflagellates Nutrient enrichment on coral reefs: Is it a major cause of coral reef decline? Global microbialization of coral reefs Nitrogen cycling in corals: the key to understanding holobiont functioning? Limited phosphorus availability is the Achilles heel of tropical reef corals in a warming ocean
  14. mcarroll

    Lost my fish

    Oh! If you really suspect the water, call the place that sold it to you and ask them about it....they can tell you if there have been other reports, and they might have ideas about it you hadn't thought of. Let us know if you do!
  15. mcarroll

    Lost my fish

    None of this makes a lot of sense to me if both tanks and both sets of livestock really were stable and healthy before this. Even assuming some kind of contaminant in the new water (eg copper) doesn't seem to explain things very well. I'm wondering if something was already going on in one or both tanks before the move. Fish going first and then inverts kinda indicates something like oxygen deprivation (bigger animals have bigger demands and those needs cease being met first). But nothing that was suggested seems like it would cause severe oxygen deprivation. If you can, run a Poly-Filter on the tank...it can indicate (and remove) some kinds of potential pollutants. Can you tell us more about the tanks and how they are/were set up? A full tank pic may help.