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About Madcat

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    Ontario, Canada
  1. Madcat's Fluval Evo 13.5 - new shrimpy

    lol! I love him too, even when he's being The Worst Fish Ever(TM). I should really try posting more often again. Things I've done: -Another water change -Removed some more sand -Added GFO to my media basket -Used UltraLife Red Slime Remover Nano -Bought 3% hydrogen peroxide so I can tackle the GHA My poor ric mushroom is PISSED. Not sure if it's the GFO or the Slime Remover or both. BUT... my tank is looking the littlest bit happier. There's still some cyano on the sand but it's not exploding out of control like it was before. Pepe has killed ALL the aiptasia, including a big one on the side of my powerhead that ate Aiptasia X for breakfast. The main damage control left to do is keeping my corals happy. I haven't been feeding them because I don't want any more nutrient issues till everything is less out of whack. There's a little cyano on my acans (which live on the sandbed) that I keep trying, gently, to scrub away. My poor clove polyps haven't opened up in a couple days - I don't know if they're being bothered by algae or if they're mad for the same reasons the ric is. Worst off is my beautiful purple gorg. It was so lovely - now it's being strangled by algae! It gets these weird pink things on it. I keep trying to clean it off with a toothbrush but you can see the damage. (Ignore all the other ugliness...) I've had to call time of death on two "arms". Not sure if I'm supposed to clip them off or something. I've just about talked myself into coughing up the dough for a Sicce 1.0. They seem to come quite highly recommended - and I'm sure I need something that's going to produce actual flow in my tank! Also, the trickling noise my current pump makes when it sucks the water level in the back chambers down has been banned by the Geneva Convention as a form of torture. It makes me want to punch through the glass. I ran out of distilled water to top it off once and didn't think I was gonna make it. Anyway - Sicce 1.0 - good choice? Pics! Here's the sad ric - it only just started to split, too. It has three whole mouths. Or had, before it shriveled up like a raisin. The Saddest Trumpet really made a comeback! Puzzle says hi! And of course, the mysterious Jeff in its natural, scuzzy environment. ETA: He's in good body condition considering he mostly feeds himself!
  2. Madcat's Fluval Evo 13.5 - new shrimpy

    Haha, I've been too embarrassed to take a FTS for awhile... But here, this was post-scrub and WC (so the corals were still a bit peeved): I just want my tank to look crisp and colourful and NICE, like everyone else's. (I know part of that is lighting. But a better light won't help me right now if it's just gonna highlight all the grossness, lol.) ps. Saddest Trumpet made a real comeback!
  3. Madcat's Fluval Evo 13.5 - new shrimpy

    Long time no post! Puzzle and Jeff are doing well. Jeff doesn't eat prepared foods anymore - just algae (I assume) - and he's fat and poops constantly. Still hoping to find an extra-tiny husband for Puzzle, but I'd like to straighten the tank out first. I got a little lax in my maintenance... my mistake was not really changing up my routine even after the macro died (and was no longer there to suck up nutrients). So I have a few infestations I'm battling. Cyano, GHA, aiptasia... I went to the LFS store yesterday to arm myself, and picked up a new friend while I was there. His name is Pepe because I'm unoriginal. I knew there was a chance he wouldn't touch the aiptasia. I also figured that would be just my luck. But Aiptasia X has become hit-or-miss. I thought I'd give this guy a shot. Imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning and the aiptasia was GONE. Overnight. All of it. One or two tufts left. Pepe is sleeping and will probably get to those later. YOU'RE DOING AMAZING SWEETIE. I also gave the tank a real good scrub and a big WC last night, and added some GFO to my filter. We'll see how the algae battle goes!
  4. Cyanobacteria - please help!

    Thanks guys! Let me see if I have all this straight. -More water changes, clean the equipment, manually remove the infested sand mats -Figure out my phosphate level and invest in a phosphate-removing media (and activated carbon?) -ChemiClean or Erythromycin for faster results. As for the aiptasia, looks like I'll be headed to the LFS tomorrow so I'll keep an eye out for a peppermint, even if he's just a loaner. It's not at plague proportions yet... but definitely spreading despite my efforts. @CarolinaShoreReef: I didn't think to try fire. I'll keep that in mind. I like your hood - did you make it? @brandon429: How I wish I could take you up on that! I think my tank needs a serious overhaul... but it's beyond my skills and abilities. Here is the clear fuzzy crap that refuses to be scrubbed off: I think Jeff eats it (my tailspot blenny). I'm not sure. He doesn't even eat prepared foods anymore, he just pecks at the rocks a lot (AND POOPS. ALL THE TIME. ALL DAY. ALL THE POOPS). But he doesn't make any visible dent in it, if this is what he's eating. Anyway - hydrogen peroxide maybe? Problem is I've got corals on my rocks, so I'm not sure about pulling them right out of the tank to tackle this stuff. Thank you guys so much for all the helpful replies. I was just about at my wits' end!
  5. So my little 13.5gal Evo has been trucking along okay. Current stock is 1 Ocellaris clown, 1 tailspot blenny, 2 scarlet reef hermit crabs, and 2 cerith snails. Lately there's been a few infestations: aiptasia (Aiptasia X worked at first, but doesn't anymore), vermetid snails, clear fuzzy algae-looking crap on my main rockwork that doesn't want to be scrubbed off, wild GHA on one of my rock chunks. But now there's this red slimy crap. I assume it's cyano, and I assume it showed up because I got a little lax about water changes. I'm gonna step up my W/Cs again, and after taking that pic last night I manually removed some of the mats of sand infested with this stuff (it stinks). But I know it'll bounce right back again within a few days. Is there anything else I can do to get rid of it faster? It's really annoying my nearby corals and gorg. My poor little tank is so ugly right now, it's really discouraging. I want my tank to be something I enjoy looking at. Please help. I'll try to get a pic of the clear fuzzy algae - I'd really like that gone too.
  6. Madcat's Fluval Evo 13.5 - new shrimpy

    YOU GUYS. I'm heartbroken. You remember how The Saddest Trumpet was so fat and happy? It was doing so so good. I did some rescaping last night and thought I had finally glued it down to my rock. But a hermie must have knocked it over in the night. It landed on my acan and the acan ATE IT. What's making me crazy is I got up early to pee and glanced in and saw them and I was like "that's probably not good" and I went back to bed. The next time I looked the flesh was sloughing off the trumpet. The acan looks pretty happy. Why didn't I just stick my hand in and move the trumpet? Hopefully it will recover. It started out as a stumpy little head and a half. Now it's just half a head. I'm really sorry, trumpet. 😢
  7. Madcat's Fluval Evo 13.5 - new shrimpy

    I'm an apprentice - I've worked with raptors in the past, and spent all last season getting out with experienced falconers, but she's my first bird. She's a wild passage (juvenile) bird. They're the best birds for beginner falconers, because they're so forgiving, and because they know how to hunt but they also know how it feels to go hungry. So when they make the connection that you will reliably dispense food, they become invested pretty fast. Dixie made the connection in all of 2 days and pretty much never looked back, lol! I started flying her outside this week and she hasn't tried to bail once. I feel like I've been officially chosen over wild hawk life. The other thing about passage red-tailed hawks is that 60-70% of them won't survive their first winter. So it's a quid pro quo kind of thing. Soon we'll be hunting together and she can do what she does naturally. But if she doesn't catch anything she still gets to come home to a safe dry enclosure and some food. If all goes well, this time next year she'll be a mature hawk, older and wiser, healthy and parasite-free, and with the confidence to tackle big game! Vultures are the freaking best birds. I used to work with a couple of turkey vultures and they're one of my favourite animals. They're social and smart! Useless for falconry, of course, since they don't actually catch anything... but if there was like a little micro-vulture I could have... And yes! Not having the scooter is a surprising weight off. Maybe I'll get Puzzle a little husband next.
  8. Madcat's Fluval Evo 13.5 - new shrimpy

    So my tank and Jeff and the scooter all recovered just fine from the caulerpa disaster! And then, a week ago... That's what a pushy clownfish and a caulerpa about to go sexual look like. This time I didn't hesitate - I pulled the whole thing out. It had a lot of roots in the sandbed and digging it up made the tank real cloudy for awhile, but this time we totally avoided a sexual pea soup situation. ...And I have now deprived my tank of a pod breeding grounds. They're still in there, but I know the macro was what they lived and bred in. So... Yesterday I said goodbye to the scooter blenny. The LFS employees were glad to take her and they assured me I was doing the right thing for her. Their own couple scooters were skinny, but I bet they don't eat mysis like mine does (her original friend was skinny too). I was sad to get rid of her, but later I realized that now I don't have to feel guilty whenever I'm not feeding mysis, and I don't have to worry how much she's eating, and it's really taken away some stress, which is cool. And the macro turned out to be a bit of a headache so I probably won't be so anxious to repeat that experiment (unless I find some nice, unlikely-to-go-sexual red macro), so I hopefully don't have to worry about the pods now... hopefully. I'll probably make a post asking for thoughts on a new fish who'll get along with Jeff and Puzzle and eat the same foods they eat. I didn't see any that caught my eye at the store yesterday, but I did find this beauty: Are you kidding me? Do you know how long I've been looking for a purple gorg and when I'm not even looking one just pops up? I think it's a purple brush (photosynthetic) gorg. Fluffy polyps: I walked into my room and was struck by how much I liked the look of my tank, suddenly. I still need to do some coral surgery to remove frags from plugs and attach them to rock... but I feel like my tank looks more like a reef tank, just by having this addition. I really like it. Worth every penny. It better be photosynthetic! I also got this girl: Her name is Dixie and she is the best bird. Pretty much trains herself. She's also the reason I've had no time to do pretty much anything, including post an update on here, for the last couple weeks. Updates may continue to be sporadic... but I'll keep checking in. Hope all your tanks and livestock are well!
  9. Madcat's Fluval Evo 13.5 - new shrimpy

    Before WC: After new ChemiPure Blue packets were put in the filter and a 40% WC performed: (Puzzle is such a ham.) I found the hermies, and Claudette at least is visibly okay. I can see right across the tank lengthwise again and was able to verify that all the pale/dying strands of caulerpa were indeed removed. I also spotted a HUGE AIPTASIA! that must have been blocked from view by the macro. Yikes! I'll have to deal with that tomorrow... What I read seemed to suggest that regular pruning would prevent this from ever happening, but I feel like this was caused directly by my big prune of a couple nights ago. The plant was sending tendrils EVERYWHERE and I finally got around to removing all the creepers. Spores appeared on the leaves not long after. The scooter is still breathing hard, and while I was typing, Jeff came out of hiding and started pecking at the rocks (I guess he wants his dinner). He's breathing hard, too! I'll be gutted if anything happens to Jeff (or the scooter, obviously, but Jeff's pretty special). I've added some aeration - just an airline tube with the end suctioned to the side of the tank (no airstone. I just use this during water changes). It's creating lots of agitation at the surface. I feel like that's all I can do right now to help. Am I right? Anything else I can do? (I think poor Puzzle is scared of the bubbles. )
  10. Madcat's Fluval Evo 13.5 - new shrimpy

    Eeek! My caulerpa went sexual! The tank is super cloudy. Puzzle and Jeff look okay. Scooter is breathing a bit hard. Haven't yet laid eyes on the inverts. I tested my params and they came up accordingly: Ammonia: 0 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 0 pH: 8.0 That hardly seems possible, yet... the caulerpa WAS thriving and it WAS sucking up all my nitrates. I was only gone for four hours - I wonder if I caught it before it could really crash. I've pulled out all the wilting fronds. The rest of the macro looks okay... I'm not sure if I should remove it or not... I feel so stupid, because I saw the spores on some of the fronds, wasn't sure what they were, and decided I would prune it tonight. I should have just pulled them out... Waiting for my replacement water to warm up enough so I can do a 40% WC to try and get rid of some of this cloudiness. Bleh.
  11. Madcat's Fluval Evo 13.5 - new shrimpy

    Aw, thanks! I'm pretty terrible at following other people's tanks myself. So this happened: NO, JEFF!!! WHY??? YOU HAD SO MUCH TO LIVE FOR!! SO MUCH SEAWEED STILL TO EAT!! ...Of course he's fine. I turned the powerhead off for feeding, lost track of him when he wandered away like the ADD puppy he is, and found his entire self crammed into the (powerless) powerhead. Still gave me a bit of a startle. Is everyone tailspot blenny like Jeff? Do they all get up to these shenanigans? Or is Jeff just special(ly dumb)? Dat coralline algae though. Tentacles! They fascinate me! Remember when The Saddest Trumpet had NO tentacles? The red zoas, which were the biggest victim of the pod (or other mystery creature, but probably pod) attack - there were 6-7 heads, and only one survived - has a new head, and it's survived infancy and is growing! (On the right.) I'm pretty happy, since I bought that frag because of the red zoas. One last pic. Why are my ugly brown palys so sad? They look so chewed-up and miserable all the time. They were doing so well. ps. The seller did not get any possum wrasses this week. I was the most surprised a person has ever been surprised. :|
  12. Madcat's Fluval Evo 13.5 - new shrimpy

    Hmf. I guess that's a good way to look at it. I should withhold the mysis for awhile, maybe then she'll DO HER JOB I have a lead on a possum wrasse, maybe! Some retailer posted a stock list that included yellow banded possums a few days ago. A few days too late for me, of course - they're already sold. But the seller expects to get more next week and I think he'll hold one for me. He doesn't know what kind is coming yet, but he said Tanaka's don't come in very often. I'll settle for any of the Wetmorella sp., really - yellow bandeds are still pretty cute.
  13. Madcat's Fluval Evo 13.5 - new shrimpy

    Really? The orchid dottyback? I've heard nothing but good things! Crazy. Early this morning I turned the lights on briefly to check something (it was Pale Snail, lying on his back. RIP I suspect). The whole tank was absolutely CRAWLING with pods. I mean there was an approximate METRIC TON of them. On the sandbed, on the walls, around my corals. And when the scooter blenny poked her head out of the sandbed, what does she decide to do? Me: NO SCOOTER! EAT THE PODS! RUN!! Scooter: What? You want me to levitate creepily? ("Yes, that's exactly what I said." "You want the pee bucket on your head??") I can't believe there are still so many pods in my tank! Where do they go during the day? How has she not eradicated them? A SIX-LINE WRASSE WOULDN'T DICK ME AROUND LIKE THIS, SCOOTER. All the dots are pods. And that was just a fraction of them. It's unreal.
  14. Fluval Evo 13.5 LIGHT upgrade - anyone???

    I think @thespinningsadhu got that light for his 13.5 Evo. No?
  15. Fluval Evo 13.5 LIGHT upgrade - anyone???

    Right?? I wondered if the problem is the hose, which came with the stock pump and which I use with the 900 too, because I haven't cleaned it and am not sure how to. But when I rinse it, water comes through just fine. There'd have to be a pretty hefty blockage to cause such a piddly flow, I think. I do use the stock lights. They grow my corals pretty good - I just have softies and some LPS. They do NOT flatter my corals, though. My Rastas look like Green Bay Packers, my "mint chocolate chip" palys are poop brown. I really need a bluer light and I'm thinking I'll upgrade to an AI Prime HD when I can - I've seen a few good deals locally for used ones with a mount, and it just makes sense vs. something like a Kessil A80 when you factor in what a mount and a controller would cost for that. But I'm broke right now and in need of a new pump, obviously.