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About jservedio

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    Nano Reefer
  • Birthday 02/24/1988

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  1. I've got the American Marine Pinpoint Salinity Monitor and I've had it about 5 or 6 years now and it's bombproof. I calibrate it every time I change the battery (1-2 years) and it's never once been more than 1/2 a PPT off even after changing the batteries. I'll spot check it against my refractometer every few months and never once had a mis-reading. The biggest issue people have with most salinity probes is that they are idiots who can't be bothered to read the instructions. They are extremely sensitive to temperature and when you have cold probes touching warm water, it takes a minute or two of sitting still in the water for the probes to come up to temperature. If you drop a cold probe into your tank, it's going to read at least 2 PPT high and over the next minute or two will start to drop down to a stable, correct reading. You also have to watch for air bubbles getting under the probe - so just give it a shake after it's up to temperature. Most probe-style digital salinity monitors actually are measuring the conductivity, which changes quite a bit with temperature. When your probe is at 65f and your water is 80f, that's a big difference. Here's how much that difference affects conductivity:
  2. All of the TotMs are mature tanks and generally fully stocked and fed heavily. Apples and oranges compared to a new tank. Just keep up with your water changes, keep your rocks and sand clean, and feed reasonably and you won't have issues. Algae and cyano is generally really easy to deal with.
  3. Your temperature isn't causing the problem here as long as it's actually staying around there, though it is a touch high. Lots of people run at 81-82 - there just isn't much headroom for an accident or if your room gets too hot. The big question is why were you running GFO at all if your phosphates are testing at 0? That is likely your problem there - your corals need nutrients to survive and grow. You just don't want an excessive amount of nutrients since it can cause nuisance algae - however, having too low nutrients is far worse than high - especially for soft coral. You need some phosphates (at least 0.03ppm) and some nitrates (at least 2ppm) - start feeding your fish a little more and stop running GFO all together. Save your reactor for emergencies. Everything else is fine. Also, if things look weird - before thinking about making any major changes - always do a big water change, it won't ever hurt anything and will make most problems disappear.
  4. Glad you started a tank thread - looks like everything is off to a good start!
  5. Sometimes - sometimes not. I've bleached plenty of corals from too much light, and most of them stay open. As long as you jump on it before it's fully bleached, they recover really quick. Corals can survive in extremely low light for a very long time, but too much light kills quickly. Most corals can adapt to high light, but you need to slowly acclimate them otherwise they bleach.
  6. It might be - you should move it down as low in the tank as you can to acclimate it to your lights. Most LPS are very sensitive to big increases in light intensity.
  7. They are fish eaters - they can eat a really small clownfish. The yellow one ate a yellow clown goby when it was in my 2g. Clowns stay away. Sexy shrimp and anemone crabs can be hosted by them though.
  8. If everything wis else is doing well, just move them lower. They were certainly not expecting to be fed. How often are you trying to feed them? When a coral is hungry, it'll be incredibly clear
  9. Are all the other corals in your tank happy and doing well? If they are and everything else is in check, you should just move the zoas down lower or into the shade and let them recover, and slowly acclimate to higher light. Or, are other corals in the tank looking mad too? If so, it could be a million things - my guess about the light is based on what I've personally observed when zoas get blasted with too much light - but it's certainly not the only thing that could be wrong. Before changing things, try and figure out exactly what is wrong.
  10. I should have been more clear about the tank journal - the paper journal of parameters is an excellent thing to have, especially in the beginning - but I meant a thread on here in the Aquarium Journals board that has your equipment, livestock, and components listed out with a ton of pictures that you keep updated with your progress. You can look at mine here or Tamberav's here for examples (her tanks are all way nicer than mine, though!). That way someone here can just take a look at that thread and be able to see how your tank is set up, what it looks like, and get a general idea of how it's been going in just a couple minutes and you can get answers really quickly. And you are totally right about the hardy corals in the beginning - as you are dialing in your maintenance routine, figuring out lighting and f figuring out how all the chemistry works, and getting used to how your corals behave and respond to your input things can be all over the place and the tank in general unstable. However, once you get all that down, your tank can be stable as a rock with little effort and you can start branching out.
  11. The Mini-Maxi's are continuing to color back up - they look way less washed out and hopefully they will both be back to their former glory.
  12. Mini-Maxis are very tolerant of crap conditions, algae, dinos, and low light, stay relatively small, and don't grow absurdly fast if you feed them reasonably and aren't jamming mysis down their throat more than once every couple weeks. Both mine I've had for about 4 years and they are still under 4-5" when spread out, but under really high lighting, they are normally about 3-3.5" across. They also don't constantly split and get enormous like RBTAs. That said, I would still encourage a new reefer to wait a few months until they had a schedule down. Small, very colorful, relatively cheap (roughly $30/ea., but the one was a steal) and been in my tank forever:
  13. They will definitely just show up one day and stay permanently - here's a few in my tank that are close enough to the glass to get a good picture
  14. How often are you feeding them? If they are like that temporarily after you feed I wouldn't be concerned, but if they are like that all the time, could definitely be too much light. I know a lot of people argue about the merits of feeding zoas (less so palys since they actively grab food), but I would also be concerned with over feeding them - that's a lot of material going in or coming out of the zoas in the picture.
  15. Looks totally fine to me. They are just like most LPS and like "medium" flow and "medium" light, but they can adapt to pretty much anything. For reference, when you get a new coral, especially LPS, they may take several days to acclimate. I've had things be fully polyp'd out and open within minutes of being put in the tank and others take a couple weeks to look like they should. Always give them time to acclimate to your tank by starting things down low to see how they do under your lighting and then move them up to where they will do best. Corals can live a really, really long time under low lighting and flow, but can bleach from over-lighting in short order.
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