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About Aiptasia

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    Hitchhiking on your LR
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  1. No filtration except for a protein skimmer, such as an Aqua-C remora or a Prizm deluxe would be what i'd recommend. Let the liverock do the filtering.
  2. Not all emerald crabs will eat it, but most should. I've found the little mexican red legged hermits love hair algaes and brush algaes. Turbos might eat it. Sea urchins will eat it but also carve up your calcarious algaes as well. Prevention is the best cure.
  3. Usually, commercial live sand is made by placing a lot of dry dead sand in Liverock curing vats. As the LR cures, a certain percentage of the life in the LR will migrate to the sandbed, thus artificially culturing live sand. The differences in Fiji, Tonga and Florida gulf live sand are the types of LR that was cured in the vats along with the sand. I've never seen anyone offer wild collected livesand, it's just too much of a pain to collect when you can make it easily with a vat of LR. Grain size and density will vary with the type of sand each company uses. Some people use sugar sized grains, some use more porous or chunkier sand as the base. I like chunkier sand with varying shapes in the grains because it's less easily compacted in aquariums and you can avoid concretion to some degree. Starting out with live sand usually isn't necessary. Shipping live sand requires you ship it in water, which is a lot of extra weight (more shipping charges). During the summer months and winter months, there's a good chance that whatever life is in the sand will boil or freeze depending on where it comes from and how long it takes to get to your door. To make your own, just use dead sand, such as Carib-sea's Seafloor special grade, as a substrate underneath good quality liverock. Eventually (couple of months), just like in the curing vats, the life in the LR will migrate out to the sand, and it will eventually be full of pods, worms, etc.
  4. All sounds good. Xenia is adaptable to a wide variety of lighting conditions. If you can find a xenia frag colony from a low light tank, you might be able to adapt it to your setup. As it is, it might be a little weak especially for wild caught specemins.
  5. Ricordea, like most mushroom varieties, vary in size and shape a little bit. You should be able to find ricordea that will fit nicely in that tank.
  6. Nope. More than likely it's zooxanthellae. Anemones and corals that contain symbiotic zooxanthellae algaes will adjust the populations from time to time. It's very common in corals that are being acclimated to a new tank. Since anemones lack the skeletal structure (naked corals), mine usually walk around the tank from time to time to find just the right spot.
  7. Welcome to my nightmare
  8. Don't worry, it will recover if you leave it alone and give it light and maybe a little iodide in the water. Watch it for tissue necrosis or brown jelly infections, but it should be fine.
  9. They don't call it a "sea weed" for nothing. Sargassum is fast growing and will re-attach in no time to new rock. Just clip off a few fronds and rubber band their bases to new rockwork for a few weeks. They'll put out holdfasts and will attach in no time. I do this all the time with Caulerpa prolifera.
  10. You could, but the CRI (Color rendering index) is poor. It might be a 6,500k light but it's not very true to it's own color spectrum. CRI is an index of how good the quality of the light is. Most reef tank lights are 92% or better CRI, with most being 95% or better. Yes, you can use it, but the color will shift a little sooner and your corals would be happier under a lamp with a better CRI index.
  11. Yep. I use it. I don't use the instructions on the bottle because I don't believe that broadcast feeding is a good thing for mini-reefs. It's because of the high nitrate potentials when using a product like this. I like to mix a little of it in with my kent marine Chromaplex (same thing as DT's phytoplex) at a 50/50 mix, usually one capfull of Marine Snow and one capfull of Chroma in the same plastic syringe. My corals get a squirt of this mixed food source once a week. I also feed once a week (on a different day) with Kent Marine's Zooplex (cyclops, same thing as cyclop-eeze). I load up a plastic syringe and give each coral with small polyps a squirt just as i'm turing out the lights.
  12. No. Anywhere from 75-84 should be adequate for most reef tanks. Do not let the temps exceed 84.
  13. It's not uncommon. Some CC corals will actually display signs of skeletal bail-out, like elegance, blastomussa and bubble corals. This is generally thought to occur when something is bothering the coral or when it feels it's somehow in an inadequate spot to survive. Your water parameters seem fine, but double check the nitrates. The only thing I might suggest would be to up the wattage on the lighting depending on the size of the tank, and/or replace the bulbs if they're any type of florescent lights over six months old. Florescents need to be changed more often due to weakened intensity and color shifting spectra. Aside from that, corals sometimes still do it due to circumstances beyond our understanding or control. If you see signs of stress (nearby aiptasia, tissue recession) or predation (chunks missing, white stripey looking gouge marks) that might give you a clue. An infection in the skeletal areas might also do it, or if problematic algaes are infecting the skeleton. If the tissue is detaching, see if you can look at the exposed skeletal areas.
  14. You'll need two 20 lb. bags of araga-alive for that tank, but you won't use all of bag #2. I'd just get one bag of araga-alive and a bag of carb-sea seafloor special grade, which is what the araga-live sand starts out as before they infuse it. Ditch the mechanical filter (cannister) you won't need it and it'll become a nitrate engine. Let the LR do the work in conjunction with the skimming. Fiji LR is very porous and hollow, so your weight on the LR sounds about right at 1.5 lbs. per gallon. Hand pick the LR from your LFS for interesting shapes and formation ideas. I'd error on too much LR than not enough. The Remora skimmer is awesome, so is that light fixture. The powersweep is crap, but there are alternatives like the oci-wave. It's a motor you can mount most powerheads to and it manually rotates it around inside the tank with little extra footprint on the sides of your tank. Even if you didn't use any wave stirrer, you could just set up a closed loop with three powerheads and plug them into a cheap wavemaster. That's what I did on my two 20g. reef tanks and it works great. Don't forget a heater @ 5 watts per gallon of water. I like ebo-jagers and visi-therm submersables. Go ahead and cure the LR with the lights off for two weeks. That will keep algaes from blooming during the cure. Trust me on this, why let them get a foothold when you don't have to. When nitrates are trace (0/0/0) you can begin a 10 "on"/ 14 "off" light cycle. I'd also add your janitor crew right away, one snail per gallon (and mix up the species, not just astreas) and one red-legged hermit per two gallons. BTW, don't feed them let them scavenge for food. It isn't cruel, you want your janitors to be hungry so they'll eat the problem algaes. Now the last bit of advice, not all SPS corals and clams come from high light environments, so make sure you're getting top water corals and clams for this tank. This tank is suitable for Maxxima and Blue crocea clams but may be too intense for derasas, squamosas and hippopus clams without acclimating them to the light first. Any new corals or clams you put in the tank, put them on the bottom of the tank under a cliff or overhang away from the direct beam of that strong light. Give them a period of a few weeks to acclimate to the light, then gradually move the coral/clam where you want it to be. Clams will often scoot around the tank by opening and closing their shells, so let them, just watch them for bleached out looking spots on their mantles as a sign of light burn. Same with the sps frags/coral heads. Start them out low at the base of the tank for a week or two, then move them where you'd like them to be. If they show signs of bleaching or tissue recession under the light, move them back down and try re-acclimating them. I recently half bleached out a 4" frag of green sps staghorn coral, and I only have 130 watts of C.F. lighting on the tank. The frag was neon green and I thought it could handle it, because "hey, it's acropora!" Within two days, half of it was bleached out and dead. So, it's been sitting at the bottom of the tank protruding from the sand for the past two weeks and has completely re-grown it's lost tissue. It's now put out two new white corralite tips from it's base and it couldn't be happier. All i'm saying is, go gradual. SPS corals are easy to feed with a plastic feeding syringe and phytoplankton and zooplankton foods. I feed mine twice a week (once with each food) using kent marine's phytoplex (chromaplex) and kent marine's zooplex (same as cyclop-eeze). I keep montipora, acropora and pocilliopora SPS corals and they're all adding new growth and look bushy with polyps. BTW, did you know photosynthetic clams love nitrate? They can actually pull nitrates from the water. Clam keepers are experimenting with "clam sumps" in which their sumps are stocked with multiple photosynthetic clams to remove nitrate. I've had a derasa clam in one of my tanks that's had nitrate troubles and it just loves it. It's doubled in size inside of three months, so much so it's hard to keep up with the calcium level demands with two part additives.
  15. Looks fine. Keep up the 2 part calcium suppliments.