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About MKramer

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  1. So, what've I missed?

    I've been aware from reef keeping for a few years, but am thinking of starting an aquarium again. Biggest problem is that I'm now living in Chile, where saltware critters are few and far between (a mated percula pair goes for about $150!, direct from the distributor!), so I'm not sure if I'll be doing fish-only or a reef setup.... But I'm curious, in the two years I've been aware, have there been any really interesting developments? Great DIY projects, new products, a settlement of the great DSB vs. BB debate (not that it matters, I'll never go back to DSB), any shining star exampls of excellent aquariums, etc.? Fill me in.
  2. Cotton like Red algae

    Oh, how I remember my outbreak of that stuff. My usual cleaning crew (astreas, margarites, trochus, & blue-legged hermits) wouldn't touch it. The stuff started out all light and wispy, easily removed by vacuuming. Then it get bad. Out-of-control bad. I finally broke down and got two turbo snails (this is for my 29g). The stuff was gone in under a week. Those snails died off a few months ago (starvation, I assume, my tank is pretty spotless now), and the red stuff never came back. I'd say I'm cured. Of course, no removal method is complete without making sure you're preventing putting more nitrates and phosphates into your system, or you're likely to get a recurrance. Examine your feeding methods and frequency, and if you don't have a skimmer, think long and hard about getting one.
  3. mandarin idea

    Besides chaeto, what macro should one use? Caulerpa is a ticking time bomb. I use chaeto and only chaeto in my refugiums, and couldn't ever recommend anything else. Maybe gracilaria if you're growing algae for tangs or soemthing. Not that anyone would put a tang in a nano.
  4. Intermittent Skimming

    If you're not going to skim 24/7, it's best to run it at night. I don't know about it having improved efficiency then, but it will help oxygenate your tank and keep your pH up. Normally those levels fall at night because there is no photosynthesis occuring in the tank. Assuming you have a sufficiently sized skimmer, it should still be capable of keeping your tank clean if only run half a day. However, my biggest reason for running 24/7 is the possibility of a major skimable event. If something dies and starts decomposing, or releases toxins into the tank, I want my skimmer to begin removing that crap immediately. If it festers in the tank for 12 hours, especially with some toxins, things could go south quickly.
  5. Transferring to Bigger Tank

    Just FYI, water does not need to cycle. It's your rocks that cycle. As long as the temp, pH, and salinity are reasonably close, you can add all the new water you want.
  6. dumping kalk in the tank

    I'm guessing if you're seeing that much of a reaction to your kalk additions, you're adding too much, too fast. My pH goes up 0.2 when I dump in my slurry, and I get no observable reactions from any animals. The immediate affects may not be a problem, but if you're doing this regularly (especially daily), the cummulative affects are something to be concerned about. Fish will have lowered immune systems, and be welcome prey for ich, and SPS corals will be less tolerant of lighting and water quality changes, and growth could cease. These are all just possbilities, and I'm not saying for certain that you're going down that road. But I'd strongly recommend you monitor the results of your methods to PREVENT bad things from happening. The slurry method is Anthony Calfo's method for adding kalk to aquariums. Basicly, put the powder in a cup of cold water, stir, and pour slowly into a high-flow area. It DOES result in larger pH swings. The reason he does this, though, is because of the limitations of dripping kalk. If you drip kalk, you have the problem of only being able to drip the liquid. And water can only hold so much kalk (saturation limit). And your drip rate cannot exceed your evaporation rate, otherwise you'll lower salinity over time. All this comes together to mean that there is a limit to how much kalk you can introduce via dripping. If your aquarium critters, say you have tons of SPS, consume more calcium than can possibly be replaced via dripping, then you need a different method. Like the slurry method. In this case you're jsut using a cup of cold water (cold, because not as much kalk will disolve in it) to create a suspension of kalk. There is a ton more powder than can possibly disolve in that cup. Then you pour it into a high flow region of the tank. Search the web, or reefcentral when it comes back, for "calfo kalk slurry." The real gotcha is that you really need to make sure you're introducing the right amount of kalk. Too much, and you'll get nothing but precipitate and a bad pH swing.
  7. Fact or Fiction (The SCWD)

    I took apart a SCWD a couple months ago, because that's the way I am, and I do they they designed it quite well to avoid debris jams. The mechanism is well-protected from the waterflow, and the water chambers have extra clearance and always have a little flow going through them, preventing particles from getting caught in them as they rotate. I haven't heard of any complaints about stuff getting jammed in them, but I'm sure it's happened to at least a few people. Nothing's flawless. Maybe this store had some bad luck, or maybe they just assumed there was potential for the problem, feeling it was common sense.
  8. ~15 gallon acrylic tank?

    While I do love marine depot, and they have never failed to please me as a customer, I didn't recommend them because they don't have any bare bones tanks. You have to buy the hood + fluorescent light fixture with the tank, which is something any reefer will have to throw away and replace with a better setup. So, keep that in mind.
  9. ~15 gallon acrylic tank?

    Try custom aquatic: http://www.customaquatic.com/customaquatic...d=aq-acrylic-19 They have pretty much every size available. The bare bones 15g is $80, I think.
  10. dumping kalk in the tank

    I use the slurry method as well, but you MUST monitor your pH. On my 30g (+10g sump), with only a few corals with high calcium demand, I only need 1/4 teaspoon every morning to keep calc at 420. Really, the slurry method is intended for tanks whose calcium demands are so high that dripping of a saturated solution does not deliver enough kalk. I use it because I'm lazy, I admit. If you're going to do the same, make sure you're being conservative and monitoring pH, Alk, and calc.
  11. Help with Skimmer

    I'm not a big fan of the Prizm, myself, but the weight won't be an issue. I didn't care for the amount of noise it made, and found I could never adjust it correctly. Others have reported much better luck, though, so your mileage may vary. Otherwise, for 10g, I think the CPR BakPak II is the best bet. As skimmer quality goes, I prefer the AquaC Remora, but it's about an inch too tall for a 10g, so it's only usable if you have room behind the aquarium for it to hang a little.
  12. how to get rid of hair algee

    Wow, I apologize for my misinformation on the lettuce sea slugs. I could have sworn it was a hair algae outbreak that I got mine for, but it was a while ago, I must be getting events confused. Thanks to those who cleared up the diet info for those critters. And, rock12, as for the water you use, be sure it's at least "distilled" or "purified" water. Usually they label the method used, like "Processed using reverse osmosis and/or steam distillation." Do NOT get water labelled as spring water or drinking water, which will have much higher mineral levels, as possible nitrates.
  13. As for your floating tub idea, that could work, if you can keep the clown from jumping out of it. The lack of water movement isn't a big deal, just change some of the water in it 1-2 times a day. If you can make sure the tub water never mixes with the tank water, then you don't need to worry about the shrimp or coral at all.
  14. Ich has a life cycle of just under a month. If it has no host to feed on, it will not be able to continue its life cycle. So the stages living in the sand will die off in the time that the clown is quarantined. That said, personally, I don't use medication for Ich infestations, I've never found them horribly effective. Fish become susceptible to Ich when they have high stress levels. The most important thing in fighting Ich is to lower the stress levels and otherwise boost the immune system. This is true whether the fish is in a quarantine tank or in the main tank. Start with food, the easiest way to make a fish happy and healthy. Good food, frequent feedings, and soaked in garlic. Once the fish is healthy again, use a fatty-acid supplement in place of (or addition to) garlic, like Selcon, to maintain the immune system. Next, improve the water quality. What are your Ammonia and Nitrate levels at? They should both be 0, and if they're not, do water changes until they are. This is especially important given that you should be feeding the fish quite a bit, which will cause these levels to rise. But when doing the water changes, be sure to get the temperature and pH of the new water very close to that of the current water, to minimize stress. And then take a look at other reasons the fish might be stressing. Does some other critter spend a lot of time chasing or harassing him? Have you be playing around in the tank a lot recently (arranging liverock or whatever)? Have you switched supplements, water source, or husbandry habits of late? If you can identify ANYTHING that might be causing more stress, see what you can do to eliminate it.
  15. how to get rid of hair algee

    Jeff's Exotic Fish (exoticfish.com) has them semi-regularly. But with them, always call your orders in to verify everything you want is in stock, otherwise you'll never know when they'll show up. I see them on lots of other sites, as well. If you have a favorite vendor, definitely check with them. But no matter how you rid yourself of the algae, it will come back if your nitrates and phosphates aren't under control.