BulkRate

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  1. Lookin' good! I'd have gone with the black mesh to draw less attention to said mesh's existence but you seem to have pulled it off pretty well.
  2. What Clown79 said... for the longest time I could NOT keep LPS - euphyllia in particular. My tank's alkalinity levels have always been low-ish and once it gets chronically so even water changes can induce a spike and nudge the more sensitive corals into stress responses. Get a handle on what your daily consumption by testing once a day at the same time each day for 3-5 days, then schedule your dosing to maintain it at as close to a stable level as is practical. Something like a Hanna checker is really useful for doing so. Not a shill, just a hater of titration/color charts. ;-) Also it wouldn't hurt to get a baseline on your magnesium levels... getting that parameter into an acceptable range (in my case a bad salt mix coupled with large macroalgae bioload) was the "ah-ha" moment and turning point for my own tank.
  3. The ph in my tank varies by a lot depending on when in the photo-cycle the test is run. Anywhere between 8-ish to around 7.5 and has been that way for years with plenty of shrimp, crabs ang a goby in residence plus a thriving blasto garden and several euphylias. I don't test it anymore except when I go to the store and they're double checking the Alk/mag/calcium levels every now and then. Not saying you don't have a problem, but I'd be looking for a contaminant rather than attributing a mass death to a .5-ish variance in ph. Rusted out rare earth magnet on a frag rack or in tank scraper, cracked heater/power head housing, Fabreeze or some airborn culprit etc. Regardless, that sucks... Sorry to hear, and good luck on the sleuthing.
  4. Suggest you check out their facebook page as well.... not entirely sure but I recall reading somewhere that sometimes the web site doesn't reflect their entire inventory. Wow... that's a lot of indeterminates, hearsay and ifs for a suggestion! Hooray! I just got some Old Fogey points! ;-)
  5. Ran into the same thing a year or so ago... frankly it's just better to buy at an LFS if at all possible. Eat the extra $ - lets you check expiration dates BEFORE you buy and you can open the kit there to verify that everything is in order & replace it if need be with minimal hassle. <queue the Most Interesting Man in the World theme music> I don't always test...but when I do I buy the kits locally. Also... something has to be waaaaay wrong for hermits to kick the bucket in the manner you;re describing provided you give them even minimally OK acclimation. Maybe a Triton-style workup would be in order in this situation if only to save you money in the long run?
  6. Good point on the pods vs. "critters", Alexraptor - mandarins will eat practically anything small & moving that'll fit into their mouths. I had a small group of "nano-conchs" I ordered from another NR member... saw egg clusters from time to time over the last three years, but never baby snails. After the mandarin was no longer extant, I routinely started seeing small ones cruising around on macroalgae.
  7. Someday I'll likely get another mandarin... they're amazing fish provided you;re willing to make accommodations for their needs. In a smaller tank I had a much easier time with a ruby red - both the one I had and the ones at the store readily took to micro pellets, decapsulated brine shrimp eggs and V2O soft frozen zooplankton. I'd imagine that Nutramar would be an easy menu item, too, except that it's gone off market at least twice in the last few years - don't count on it as the only go-to food. Lessons learned here in the 2-odd years of having one: (two tries, tank is a 9 gallon Eheim, so your Evo'd be like a mansion in my books) 1. Mandarins are a stressful fish to keep in smaller tanks, even when you're doing it right. 2. There will never be enough copepods to keep them alive (as a solitary food source), but supplementing them either from a culture or paid product is a must. 3. Feed with pumps off (for at least 20-30 minutes), and baste the food onto places where your mandarin already hunts with a target feeder or Julian's Thing (retail or DIY). 4. EDIT Restrict what other livestock you add - they don't have scales so many types of anemones may be an issue - my pom-pom crab took out my ruby red mandarin about 8 months in a freak drive-by taser incident. Watched it happen. If I were to do it again, either a trained target (single) or ruby mandarin pair from algaebarn or a breeder's limited run tank-bred stock would be a must. I'd also recommend you try to make a miniature version of the PaulB feeder that blends into your rockscape (maybe by epoxying base rock chips to the outside) - his is ugly IMO, but seems incredibly effective. Stocked with decap'd hatch-viable brine cysts I think it'd have a decent shot of making it a better experience for both the keeper and the fish.
  8. Thanks, man! Really appreciate it!
  9. That OG 36" unit (the third pic) looks awesome! Any idea what kind of tank (dimensions/stocking plan) that's going over? <Pimp-slap in it for you if you say "a 36-inch tank".... > Any luck on tracking down that splashguard for the prototype round Tide I bought back in November? I really, really want to join the haves I see on this forum!
  10. Burtbolinger and a couple others are... saw a recent thread on this subject yesterday that he commented in. I WAS going to switch over to it after getting fed up with RC/IO magnesium & alkalinity issues and not being entirely satisfied with Halcyon (although to be fair it WAS much better and cured the stability issues). Currently running with Aquaforest Reef (the non-probiotic mix) to reasonable results (alkalinity on mixing up reads a little lower that my desired levels but is easily buffered up to 8.5-ish), so I'm still planning on giving Fritz a whirl when the store near me starts carrying the smaller package.
  11. If by "has experience" you mean "I've killed a couple" then I qualify. Two common varieties show up on the market... Elysia Crispata (green, Caribean/Atlantic) and Elysia Diomedea (brown w/spots, Pacific). I tried keeping the latter, only to discover that I didn't have the right macroalgae at the time (byropsis or POSSIBLY padina) for it to feed on - but it died from other reasons before starvation became the issue. Crispata's supposedly a lot less finicky and supposedly will also eat some varieties of caulerpa. I still have the padina I added for my E. Diomedea growing in this tank to this day. My main problem was them committing suicide a month or so in. One squoze (squeezed?) its way through the air gap in the tank lid (about 1.5 mm gap!) and dried itself to death on top of the tank when the lights came on. The 2nd (and last) one seemed to get its back half mulched by the propeller on my Korallia 280, having found the one gap in the shield I;d constructed around the powerhead to avoid this.
  12. Looks like a vermetid snail tube. Chisel it off with some pliers or cuticle cutters to remove.
  13. Given what's already been said in earlier posts... I don't think Derrick1980's much of a "take it slow" kinda guy. Just sayin' and while maybe it's not ideal... well, we all get wet in this hobby one way or another. Derrick1980 - take it slow, anyways for a bit. Even if starting with already cured rock or a bacterial starter, your tank's biofilter is still getting established. Stop adding fish or anything higher up the chain than snails/hermits for a few weeks if you want what you already have to have a better chance. Suggest you follow other NR's advice and switch to either distilled or RO water as your mixing source if you plan on making this a reef tank, and prepare yourself for doing at least 50% water changes every 3-4 days for a month or so. I'd also save your money & hold off on adding more rock... looks like you have enough, and a tank cluttered up with too much rock lacks room for corals/macroalgae/critters later. As for fixing it - from a local store or Amazon pick up a Seachem Ammonia Alert badge, a bottle of Prime and one of the better bacterial supplement products out there (Seed/Stability, Dr. Timms, Microbacter"I forget which number" etc). Stick the badge in the tank so you have an at-a-glance reading of ammonia levels. Is it perfect? Nope. But it'll give you some warning that the water's starting to get toxic and that you need to dose prime & up your water changes to keep up. Dose the bacterial product conservatively to help give your biofilter a leg up. Things will stabilize if you don't overfeed and have decent water circulation. Another possible step (and this tells you if you have a good LFS or not) is to ask them if you can TEMPORARILY bring some of the fish back for them to hold onto for 2-3 weeks. Offer to pay a little for this service if need be and not ask for a refund on the initial fish purchase. If they care one whit about your success & long-term interest in the hobby (ie continued purchasing) they should say yes.
  14. Supposedly they have about an 8 year lifespan. Here's a pic from 2014 (apparently)... looks much the same today. But this is the best shot I have of the little guy so far. 9 gallon Eheim Aquastyle nano tank, no sump but an impending addition of an aquaclear 70/InTank combo. "Belushi" is about 2" long and had likely achieved his full adult size at this point.
  15. Yellow clown goby... impulse buy back in 2012/2013-ish and has been with me since. Getting the feeling I'll never get to try keeping montiporas ever again.