Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Calvinorc

  • Rank
    Community Member
  • Birthday 10/12/1973

Contact Methods

  • Website

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Katy, TX
  1. Wow. Seriously awesome work!! That tank went from looking like the dead sea to looking like a pretty nice tank. Impressive. Making me really get the itch to get another tank up and running!
  2. Calvinorc

    Aptasia in some of LFS's tanks..

    +1 I had a decent amount of Aiptasia in my 14gal BioCube (Started with 1, hit it with Aiptasia X... spread to 5-6, hit them, spread to 20-30 little ones, etc) Every time I treated all of them with Aiptasia X, it killed them off... and then a few weeks later I'd see a new crop of little ones. Then my LFS sold me a wild caught peppermint shrimp. Within a week there were zero Aiptasia in my tank. The shrimp eventually died, and it took about a month for another Aiptasia to show up. I don't think you can ever completely eliminate them from your tank, I think it's just like every other pest species out there... bryopsis, gelidium, GHA, diatoms, etc... you just manage them the best you can. When you find something that works, as long as you keep on top of it you'll have a "pest free" tank. Once you slack off, (shrimp/snail/crab dies, you get lazy on water quality/additives, changes, etc), then your pest makes another appearance. Honestly, half of the fun of having a reef tank is the maintenance and pest preventative treatments. Call me crazy, but I actually enjoy killing off algae and Aiptasia, doing water changes, testing, etc. And if you hate all that..... Freshwater Beta tanks are really pretty.
  3. Calvinorc

    CalvinOrc's BioCube 14

    Well.... maybe now I'm not so keen on surprises with my fish tank anymore. *sigh* Friday afternoon, I did a 4.5 gallon water change. Water was 1.025, 80°f... Instant Ocean salt from the same box I've used the last 4-5 changes... drained out the water, took some of the hair algae and bryopsis off a few of the rocks like I usually do. Poured a little peroxide on a rock that had bad algae, let it sit for 2-3 mins, rinsed, back into the tank, like I've done dozens of times. Filled the tank back up to the correct level. Pure vanilla, nothing new, same old routine. Came in to the office this morning, and reached for the light switch on the wall when I saw the tank..... FTS 5/14/2012 And I looked at the side, and found my clownfish through the murky, white scum covered glass. RIP little guy.... I can think of a few contributing factors. One... I was auto-dosing 2 part ( Brightwell Aquatics Reef Code A & B ) with a pair of BRS 1.1ml/min dosers on a digital timer. I had it set to dose 6.6ml per day each. I'd let them run for about a month now, and everything seemed to be doing fine. I honestly have not checked the alk or calc in a few months. I've just been going off of the rates of consumption that I'd calculated out when I bought the dosers, and since everything looked perfect, I assumed (STUPID STUPID STUPID) that it was fine. Might be, might not be... I don't know, it's just one of the things that might have contributed or caused the crash. Second thing.... my mushroom that sits on the bottom of the tank, which had 3-4 little babies, was slowly stretching upwards towards the light the past month or so. He got a little bit too close to my rainbow acan, and I noticed last week that one of the polyps had started turning white and icky.... and I thought to myself, Man, I gotta do something about that!! Either take out that little $5 mushroom (my first frag in the tank) so it's not bugging my $65 rainbow acan, or... detach the acan and move it somewhere else!!! And I never did anything............ (Refer to the STUPID STUPID STUPID part of the last paragraph.) Everything else in the tank was completely stable, growing at a really good rate.... all of my acans were doing wonderful, started with 3-6 polyps, and all had over a dozen, and had spread out and grown larger heads... the frogspawn, well, look at the last post.... it was doing awesome.... so was the finger leather, almost too good... I was thinking of fragging that and giving half to the local fish shop to sell/trade, and same with the ginormous toadstool... I was VERY happy with how everything was doing, except maybe how well the bryopsis and gilidium was doing. The BioCube stinks to high heaven, and honestly I just don't have it in me to clean it, so into the dumpster it went. Kept all the parts, stand, pumps, heaters, RKL with ALC, dosers, Phosban reactor setup that I hadn't even installed, RODI filter system, etc... Maybe after I get a house I can set up a larger tank... but for now...... I think I'm done for a bit. To anyone out there that's ever experienced a catastrophic crash like this... my heart goes out to you. Unfortunately I now know exactly how you felt.
  4. Calvinorc

    CalvinOrc's BioCube 14

    Decided to move the frogspawn that you could barely see from its spot on the sand bed behind the huge toadstool, up on top of one of the dead coral live rocks this past Friday. When I got the frogspawn, it only had 2 heads. I've been feeding it brine shrimp, along with Elos SvC zooplankton and just recently, Reef Chili from BRS. It's now got 6 full sized heads, and looks to be splitting again on a couple of them. While it was down in the confined space on the sand bed, it never really had a chance to spread out, and the heads were always pretty small. Now that it's up on top with room to spread out.... WOW! This is what I came into the office to see today after a weekend to get used to its new spot. I had no clue it had gotten that big!! Gotta love surprises like that!!
  5. Calvinorc

    CalvinOrc's BioCube 14

    Honestly, I used a ruler to pop out the floors, which was easy, and I used an exacto knife to cut out the slot in the tab. Just keep a slow, firm, steady pressure on the knife and it'll work fine. Kind of rock the knife a little and it'll go faster. Some guys used Dremel tools with cutting blades, but... All I could think of was tiny little melted, burned plastic shreds in my tank that I'd never get cleaned out!
  6. Calvinorc

    CalvinOrc's BioCube 14

    Thanks! It's pretty cool to look back and see the growth over time. You really don't notice it while it's happening until you see the time lapse in the pics. I've still got the chemi pure and purigen in the media rack that I change out every 2-3 months, and I recently bought a phosban reactor, to run GFO and carbon in... But haven't set it up yet. Been having an algae problem for a awhile now, and am trying to get rid of all the extra nitrate and phosphate to starve it down a bit. I also got the bulk reef supply auto-doser pumps for calc and alk dosing. Putting in 6ml a day in to keep the levels up. Also dosing mag when needed. Honestly, don't stress about the bottom panels. Mine came out so easily I actually laughed out loud. I'd been so worried about breaking something, that I'd built up the stress level so high that when they just popped out.... It was funny! The notch to cut out was pretty simple too. And yeah, so far I'm really happy with everything I've done (except frying my LEDs!! ). The reef keeper lite and dosers really take a lot of the daily grind out of it. There's a lot of people who've done the biocube, which is really nice because you can learn from them as you go. I'm sooo glad I got into this hobby, and a small biocube was a great way to start!
  7. Calvinorc

    CalvinOrc's BioCube 14

    I really wish I'd gone that route!! Right now I've spent a lot of money on LEDs, drivers, wiring, etc... And managed to fry my DIY LEDs twice. So I'm still on stock lighting. I'm going to give it one more go since I put so much time and money into it already! I really do love the look on the tanks I've seen using the Panoramas... But hopefully the third time's the charm!!
  8. Calvinorc

    CalvinOrc's BioCube 14

  9. Calvinorc

    CalvinOrc's BioCube 14

    It's been a while since my last post. I've successfully moved the tank from NE Pennsylvania to Houston, Texas, over a 4 day drive. I put the tank in the back seat, filled up and loaded, and ran a heater on my truck's power inverter and my battery back-up when I could. I also ran the filter pump for several hours each day when we were stopped. The only casualties were my cleaner shrimp, who never recovered, some Xenia that I wanted to pull anyway, and my favia frag (which admittedly had never grown a bit in the months I had it). I got a couple full tank shots, and some zoomins of the acans and zoas. I started this tank in May last year, so it's about 11 months old. Full tank shot FTS zoom-in Zoa rock Zoas from the side Zoas and Acans Zoas and Acans too Slightly different view More Acans, and some clownin around in the toadstool... (Anyone ever seen a clownfish and toadstool hosting before?)
  10. Calvinorc

    Dear John @ ReefCleaners...

    HAH!! Love it. I just literally laughed out loud in my office when I saw that. I posted pics of my sandbed after I got my order from John, because it was more black than white from the hundreds of snails crawling around on it! Gotta love ReefCleaners!
  11. Calvinorc

    Moving Day's approaching!

    Ok, time for an update! The office move went better than I could have hoped for!! I ended up draining the tank into two 5 gallon buckets with a siphon hose, leaving about 2 inches of water in the bottom for the clown and shrimp. Carried it outside to the pickup, and put it on the back cargo area (seats folded down leaving a flat carpeted area). Brought out the two buckets, filled the tank back up all the way. I put two sheets of Glad Press-n-seal on the opening, and closed the lid. Threw the rest of the tank stuff, stand, buckets, etc, into the back with the tank. Drove 2 hours to the new office, and unloaded everything, and reversed the process. I was thinking all kinds of horrible things were happening every time I hit a bump... but the only thing in the tank that shifted at all were the toadstool, and the frogspawn. The toadstool moved about an inch to the left, and the frogspawn fell over. Not a single rock so much as shifted... not that I could tell anyways. I put the tank back on the stand in the new spot, added the water, turned everything back on, let it filter overnight, and it looked exactly the same as before I moved by the next morning. I waited an extra day to change the water (work was waay too hectic to even try it), and everything is looking perfect. Few slight bryopsis outbreaks I need to fry with some H2O2 tomorrow before break, but... other than that, everything's looking really good! Here's some shots I just took: The tank in its new corner. Closer view of the entire tank on the stand. Better FTS. My zoa rock. The light green-yellowish zoas started with 7 individual polyps, the orange with 6... there's almost 20 oranges now, and well over 30 of the light green-yellowish ones. Apparently they love their location! Closeup of some of the acans. Little bit of the bryopsis on the one in the left bottom corner that keeps coming back. Toadstool!! This guy has gotten HUGE! Between him and the finger leather tree, I'm going to need a bigger tank if they keep growing like they have been! That's it for now... Thanks to everyone for the advice and tips! It's a scary experience to move a tank! I'm VERY grateful that it went as smoothly as it did.
  12. Hey folks. I've had my BioCube 14 up and running since May, so about 6 months. I got this tank specifically because I wanted to have a reef tank in my office, and, unfortunately, my office has a tendency to move about once or twice a year. I figured that a 14 gallon wouldn't be too tough to move from one office to another. And now after 6 months, the day I've been dreading is now approaching!!! OK... I think I have a plan of attack, but I'm curious what everyone who's done this before has to say as to what worked, what didn't work, and what they wish they'd never tried!! Plus I've got some questions... I'm thinking about making up 2 buckets of water like I do for a water change... and heating them up to about what the tank is (79-80). Then I'm gonna take the live rocks and corals out of the tank, and the critters, and put them all in the 2 buckets. This will be roughly 9 gallons of water or so... Then I'm going to drain down the tank to about 2-3 inches of water above the sand, and toss that water. Toss the buckets in the back seat, gently gently gently carry the tank out and put it in the back seat. Ditto stand and assorted tubs of reef stuff. Drive time is about 1hr 40 minutes. Get to the new office, set it back up, drop the rocks in, fill er up, turn it all on, and cross my fingers. Does this sound like a plan??? Am I risking a blowup from moving the sand in the bottom from sloshing the water around? Is this going to possibly cause a cycle, or mini-cycle in the tank? Should I get new sand, dump out all the old stuff, and start fresh? I had one 10lbs bag of live sand to start, and lost some to vacuuming the sand bed almost every time I change the water. (weekly, approx. 4 gallons) So the sand bed's not very deep, but it does have a lot of life in it. (brittle star fish, worms, etc) I'm guessing that in the 2 hours down time, the temp in the water's going to drop pretty good. I'm thinking that having the water made up and heated already will keep it from dropping too much, and hopefully not shock everything. In case you're wondering, I have 6 acans, 6 zoas, frogspawn, candycane, favia brain coral, xenia, leather coral, a mushroom, and a toadstool. For live stock, I have a ocellaris clown, a bunch of small snails, 5 medium sized snails (various kinds) 2 smaller bluelegged hermits, and a cleaner shrimp. I was also toying with the idea of just draining the tank down to an inch or so, having the water in buckets, carry the tank to the truck, then fill it back up. Put the lid on, maybe some Glad press-n-seal wrap to keep the water from sloshing too bad... and repeat when I get there. I do have a power inverter in my truck, so I could actually run the pump, powerhead, and possibly the 50w heater.... Anyone got any input? Practical experience? Thanks!!
  13. Calvinorc

    Bryopsis and Gelidium Battle

    Negative on the iodine. The only thing I put in here additive-wise is Brightwell Aquatics "Reef Code A & B", in equal parts, to buffer the alk and calcium. I've found that if I just rely on water changes, my alk will drop way too low... I've had alk as low as 5.5 dKh, and calcium has hit 330. I've been trying to keep the calcium above 400-425 range, and alk above 9, but I'm struggling to find the perfect amount of the Reef Code A&B to use (and honestly, to remember EVERY day to put the dose in) The Reef Code A adds magnesium and strontium as well as calcium, but no iodine.
  14. So I've had a few small outcrops of both bryopsis and gelidium in my tank. (at least I think it's bryopsis... looks just like the pics and descriptions I've seen) Nothing major... just a few small spots on select rocks. One of my rocks was somewhat taken over by gelidium, but it was one that really didn't fit in the tank, and I'd been thinking of pulling it out anyway so I just took it out. I took the other rocks with some gelidium out and hit them with straight hydrogen peroxide, which seemed to kill it off. The bryopsis, same thing... took out the rock, manually pulled off as much as I could, hit the remains with straight H2O2, rinsed, replaced in the tank. Seemed to do the trick. Then I had to go on a 2 week trip to Arizona to visit the parents and sister. I had 2 small spots of bryopsis, and a few little spots of gelidium that I noticed right before I left. Figured I'd hit them when I got home. All I can say is WOW, does that crap grow fast!!!! Bryopsis on a zoa frag Bryopsis on a piece of LR More bryopsis And another shot zoomed out some Gelidium on my LR by some zoas Here's a shot of one of the pieces of LR with a zoa colony on top, with both bryopsis and gelidium all over it. So last night, I pulled out the two rocks that are most heavily effected by the gelidium and bryopsis. I tore off as much as I could manually, then poured straight H2O2 directly on the algae, trying to avoid hitting the zoas. Rinsed them off with SW from the tank, and put them back in. Most of the bryopsis is gone this morning, and the gelidium went from a dark reddish burgundy, to a bright orange. I'm going to wait until after lunch, take a few more pics, and dose the two rocks again to try to kill the rest off. I'll repeat tomorrow as well, and take pics for documentation and update the thread. The only real bummer is that straight H2O2 really bleaches the coralline algae turning it white. It comes back eventually, but... I really love the purple-pink color of the LR that I've been building up for months, and to turn it all white overnight sucks. I've also noticed that my bristle worms, brittle starfish and pods -really- dislike H2O2. Too bad there's no way to get them to abandon ship BEFORE I dump H2O2 on them.
  15. Calvinorc

    CalvinOrc's BioCube 14

    New FTS from today, plus left n right views. FTS 9-28-2011 Left view Right View