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About PinkDamsel

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    Debutante Reefer

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    New York City
  1. What would cause massive water loss?

    Banshee, this exact thing has happened to me 3 times. I, too, have a picotope at the office. Once it was someone knocked the tube on the ATO out of position & all the water drained from the bottle into the tank, causing an overflow. Whoever it was mopped the water up, so the desk was dry when I came in. The emptied water bottle + scratchy texture on desk in front of tank (invisible salt residue) helped me figure out what had happened. The other 2 times I found the water level was low but the desk was dry w. no evidence of a leak. Here's what happened: if the HOB is even slightly askew water can exit out the back of it. In my case the water dribbled out the back of the ATO, down the back of the tank and desk (desk is flush against a partition), then travelled forward on the underside of the desk (there's a low drawer) and dripped from the front underside into a bucket I happen to store on the floor just under that drawer. The bucket is there just to have a place to put it, but it's lucky for me because it caught most of the leak. I could feel the damp on the underside of the desk drawer. This happened w. an AC50 and the Picotope stock HOB; once my fault and once probably a cleaning person bumped it. Look carefully at your AC and you'll see how close the water level is to the top back edge. I always double-check this whenever I touch the AC because it won't necessarily look visibly askew. The second time this happened I was home sick that day. Colleagues noticed and dumped over a gallon of distilled water in the tank before calling to tell me. I had to race into the office to fix the salinity (WAAY down!). I now try & always have fresh sw always on hand. On both occasions I initially thought sabotage and it took awhile to figure it out, but the evidence was all consistent w. the scenarios described. Good luck, and let us know your conclusions. Oh, BTW, my corals survived. I read an article recently in Advanced Aquarist about someone travelling w. a coral in a baggie without water and it survived. They then did some tests and the corals survived out of water for many hours.
  2. Survive but not thrive.

    This gets repeated so often I have no doubt it's true of many tanks. But, respectfully, how do you know if the OP's tank has the right amount of the right "crap" in the right form (particle size, dissolved, etc.) for his particular livestock? I ran an ultra clean tank the first 12 months, fed just once/wk. followed by large water change. Zoas would last for months but never grow, and eventually they would all melt. This did not stop until I began feeding some additional foods and more often; that arrested the melting in all the remaining colonies and kick-started growth in most.
  3. Survive but not thrive.

    Are you feeding them appropriate foods?
  4. Do you talk to your fish tank?

    Ha-ha! This reminds me of when I was in high school, I read an article about plants having emotions and some guy was "proving" that by putting them on lie detectors. I became enamored. I HATED science class, so I maneuvered out of regular assignments, grew 80 tomato plants and named them all "Irving". Then I somehow got into the police station in Fairfax, VA and put Irving on the lie detector, much to the amusement of the officer who gave the lie detector tests, lol.
  5. Heat, heaters and thermometers

    I remember I shopped around, and there are lab grade thermometers. But it didn't seem worth the expense.
  6. Do you talk to your fish tank?

    I talk mostly to my crabs, murmuring sweet nothings to them throughout the day: Popeye, you're SO handsome! Nestlée, baby, where are you? Come on out, sweetheart. Since I'm doing this at the office, it must annoy the heck out of the folks in the adjacent cubes . . . .
  7. Heat, heaters and thermometers

    I have the CoraLife digital thermometer plus a glass one, and they agree, although the digital is MUCH easier to read. Then I got a ReefKeeper Lite, and the temp probe reports temps 2 degrees lower than the thermometers. Who the heck knows which one is right? I could keep buying more thermometers forever . . . . The tank runs at 78°F by the RKL, which might actually be 76°F, but the critters seem happy. I might copy your idea & check against a human thermometer if they aren't too expensive, just to know. That's a good idea.
  8. Porcelain Crab Feeding

    Interesting. I, too, feed RC Filter Feeder but he doesn't respond to it than I can tell. I just got some Rod's Food, the coral formula, and he started fanning right away!
  9. Porcelain Crab Feeding

    How can you tell? Do they hold claws? We need pics!! You should name her Geisha. Can I get a teaspoon to try at our next meetup? Lately, Popeye has been squatting in the GSP. Whether it's the GSP he likes or the current there I'm not sure - suspect the latter.
  10. No hair algae?...

    So does Mr. Emerald have anything to eat? You may want to feed him so he doesn't starve.
  11. cleaning equipment

    Some of my recent cleaning routines: Temp probe - soak in vinegar to remove coralline build-up HOB - Clean salt creep weekly. Every so often gently twist off the motor so you can remove the gunk in the bottom of the filter around the hole HOB tubes - have an extra "U" piece so when it gets algae can soak one in peroxide to get rid of it and use the other; use tube brushes on the other pieces Vortech wetside - rinse under the tap, brush to remove diatoms. Soak in vinegar if there is coralline. Ocasionally open to remove the slime that builds up in the interior. PS: Do NOT call me The Cleaning Lady!
  12. LED Aesthetics: What do you really think of your color?

    Pop vs. Color-Up, Immediate vs. Delayed Response I’m distinguishing between fluorescent coloration (“pop”) and vivid, saturated (but non-fluorescent) coral color. Fluorescence Reading thru this and other threads it seems like fluorescence is immediate: add the right spectra and suddenly corals are fluorescing. This was my experience when I added a 4RB/1cw led – immediately greens started popping. It makes sense to me that the effect would be instant since the coral is re-emitting the light, but I’m just extrapolating and don’t really understand the mechansim. Q1. Are there times when fluorescence is a delayed reaction or is it always immediate? Vivid Reflected Color People also talk about corals “coloring up” over time w. the right lights. I assume they’re referring to non-fluorescent coloration. The model I have in my head is suntanning: it takes time for the pigmentation to increase and takes time to fade. I haven’t had corals “color up” but I have had them fade! Q2. Had anyone had IMMEDIATE color-ups from light changes? Triggering vs. Viewing Color Q3. Another thing I’m wondering is whether the spectrum that provokes a coral to synthesize a certain pigment (“color-up”) could be DIFFERENT from the light spectrum needed for us to see that color? For example (this is all made up), a coral grows where red light does not penetrate. The blue light that does get to the coral causes it to synthesize a red pigment. If you were to dive down and look at the coral it wouldn’t look red since there aren’t any red wavelengths to reflect at that depth. In order to get a red coral in our tank you would need BOTH the “triggering” wavelength AND the “viewing” wavelength. Is this right or am I even more confused than I thought I was?
  13. question about how much food is too much food....

    Great picture! My crab lost her pompoms. But she's lived 1.5 years without them.
  14. Where to begin?

    Ditto. There's 2 additional advantages of doing a pico: - Cheaper - Reefing is simplified. Most 3 gallons dispense w. things like sump & skimmer. Because it's small it's easier to do larger water changes, and this can correct water chemistry issues.
  15. question about how much food is too much food....

    How can you tell the crab is eating the phyto? My phyto is just green water so I'm curious how the crab grabs it.