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Madcat

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About Madcat

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    Female
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    Ontario, Canada

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  1. Madcat

    Madcat's Fluval Evo 13.5 - new shrimpy

    At last I have an update for you guys. The tank has been continuing to kick my ass despite my efforts to get the algae under control. Black-out, minimal feeding, adding a macro (more caulerpa was my only option aside from chaeto, and I pulled it last week when it showed signs of going sexual), spot-treating with H2O2, and treating the tank with Fluconazole all failed to work. And - while I wasn't doing water changes during the Fluco treatment - the cyano returned. It was several hours of work, but today I removed the sand bed, took out as much hair algae from the rocks as I could by hand, dipped the rocks in H2O2 for a few minutes, rinsed them in old tank water, and replaced them. I cleaned the walls and back chambers while I was at it. I am very un-proud of my "before" picture. I didn't really want to post it, but (if this works) maybe it will at least give some other struggling newbie hope for the future. Jeff was a dick and refused to come out of the rock so I could clean it - I had to use a screwdriver to chisel the opening where he was sitting a little wider and it was a huge relief when I got him out without hurting him. Puzzle swam right into the net for both removal and replacement (they and the hermies hung out in a bucket with an air pump and heater while I worked) and now he's having fun chasing the bubbles coming off the rocks because he is Best Puppy. I thought I would try going bare bottom, because I was just so sick of pulling out handfuls of cyano-infested sand every week, but I don't know that I love the look of it. I have two bags of new live sand set aside - I may add them yet. Puzzle will be easy to put aside during sand implementation, but if Jeff wants to be a dick again he may just have to deal with sand cloudiness while it settles. 😕 Anyway. Fingers crossed that this, and regular maintenance, kill the algae for good. I'm sad about the corals I've lost. But I hope this can be a fresh start.
  2. Madcat

    GHA or Bryopsis?

    While I've been trying to straighten my corals out, this stuff has taken over my tank. I tried H2O2 initially, but I can only safely use 1mL at a time inside the tank and it's not enough, even target dosing daily. I added macro to try and starve it, but now it's just growing around the macro. I want to try Fluconazole, but I just wanted to gather opinions on whether it will kill this stuff or not. I've heard some strains of GHA aren't affected.
  3. Madcat

    Why are my corals dying?

    I'm not denying that I made a mistake and I feel pretty sick about it. I apologize if I didn't word my thread title right or if I don't seem contrite enough. I really miss my corals and I feel terrible that I killed them... but I didn't know. Now I do, and I feel awful... but it's too late to bring them back. I want to save my remaining corals if I can. I'm doing research as I go, but I'm not familiar with all the nuances of water chemistry and I just wanted some help breaking it down so I don't make things worse. I don't want to be afraid to ask questions or try to share what I'm doing for fear of getting snarky comments. You know? I'm trying to learn.
  4. Madcat

    Why are my corals dying?

    I'll retest tonight... maybe I did it wrong. 😕 Dude, I'm trying. I thought this was the beginners forum.
  5. Madcat

    Why are my corals dying?

    Reef Crystals. I mixed it at 1.025.
  6. Madcat

    Why are my corals dying?

    Finally was able to buy an alk tester (I went with Salifert) and the ESV supplement. But I think I really need someone to explain this to me like I'm 5, because I wasn't so sure I got it before and I definitely don't get it now. My tank water is reading as 8.9dKH. My freshly mixed water is reading as 2.8dKH. Why is my tank water higher in alk than the new water? Is that bad? Or good?
  7. Madcat

    Why are my corals dying?

    I'm confused. Would my tank's parameters not depend on the salt I'm using?
  8. Madcat

    Why are my corals dying?

    Is this the right product? http://www.reefsupplies.ca/online-store/E.S.V.-B-Ionic-Calcium-Buffer-2-part-System-32oz-2-x-16oz.html ETA: Or this? https://www.canadacorals.com/collections/additives/products/b-ionic-component-no-1-alkalinity Oof, that Hanna checker is expensive. I'll see if I can afford it right now, but would something like Salifert or Aquaforest work alright? @nicholc2 That's a good tip, thanks! I hadn't considered that. I work at a pet store with very few marine products but RC is one of them, so I get it with my discount and I had thought it was a pretty decent brand - guess not. I'm in Canada and I don't think I've ever seen ESV salt. Salt I've definitely seen would include Aquaforest, Vibrant Sea, and Red Sea, and it looks like Canada Corals (not far from me) has Tropic Marin, D-D H2Ocean Pro, and Kent Marine. Could you recommend any of those?
  9. Madcat

    Why are my corals dying?

    Thanks guys... I didn't realize alk was so important. This has been an expensive lesson. I'll start testing for alk. I guess I'll need to start dosing for it too - any recommendations?
  10. Madcat

    Why are my corals dying?

    Playing carelessly? Phosphate remover is what was recommended to me on here to help get rid of the cyano. And I guess it worked because the cyano is long gone. The phosphate remover is not in there anymore. Lighting is the stock LEDs. I've been planning on upgrading for awhile, but all my corals were growing fine before. I'm aiming for around 8 hours of light a day. Not sure what alk is.
  11. I've had my tank (Fluval Evo 13.5) set up since last June - the whole saga is detailed in my tank journal. Everything was going relatively smoothly. I had nice coral growth. Then I got a little lax in my maintenance and started seeing more issues... cyano, aiptasia, green hair algae... Things started to go wrong with my corals at the point when I added two things: a phosphate remover, and a peppermint shrimp. I tried to use just a small amount of the phosphate remover (less than what was recommended for a 10 gal) but I noticed my corals starting to look a bit withdrawn relatively soon. The peppermint shrimp did a great job of eradicating my aiptasia overnight, and he seemed polite enough - but after a couple weeks, I woke up and found he had decimated my acans. He also destroyed my trumpet before I was able to get rid of him. (I swapped him for 3 trochus snails to try and help with the algae, but they've just sat around for a few weeks and finally died.) I took out the phosphate remover awhile back to see if it would help perk my corals up, but saw no change. I spot treated the GHA with hydrogen peroxide for a week, but I stopped in case that was bothering the corals too. No change. The euphyllia is down to a skeleton now - I think that, like my trumpet, it got nibbled on by the shrimp and continued to decay after he was removed. But I don't know what's bothering the blastos and softies. I'm really bummed. The blastos were my pride and joy... I tried asking the LFS workers for advice, but they were baffled. Ammonia: 0 Nitrites: 0 Nitrates: 0 (probably getting sucked up by the algae) I haven't been feeding the corals because I don't want to encourage the algae. Currently I'm doing 2 gal water changes every week. I use distilled water + Reef Crystals. I have filter floss and carbon in my filter (just added fresh ChemiPure Blue last night - I have to order it online and had to go without for awhile). Any thoughts or solutions? Did the peppermint shrimp cause all this? The phosphate remover? If I add new corals will they shrivel up and die, too? I love my fish (a clown and a tailspot blenny), but the corals have me so frustrated and disappointed with the hobby.
  12. Madcat

    Madcat's Fluval Evo 13.5 - new shrimpy

    Hmm, I'm not sure my LFS carries Vibrant but I can take a look. I'll maybe look for some new macro too. I did really like my macro, even though it was crawling with pods and ended up going sexual and making a big mess. My tank was so nice and clean and happy while it was in there.
  13. Madcat

    Madcat's Fluval Evo 13.5 - new shrimpy

    Update: This tank is kicking my ass, you guys. I was able to return Pepe last week and I picked up 3 trochus snails to try and help with the algae. They have BARELY moved in a week. They sort of change position so I know they're alive, but that's it. I have no idea what the problem is. I bought a Sicce 1.0 and have actual flow in my tank! So that's good. It might be too late for the gorg, but we'll see. The cyano is gone and the aiptasia is gone. However... The GHA is TAKING OVER. I started spot-treating with H2O2 last week. So far there's been pretty much no change. I think, if anything, more algae has grown. I removed my 1lb chunk of rock (which has the biggest infestation) and gave it a good H2O2 treatment during my WC last week, and all the algae on that has turned white which seems promising - but now I swear there's new stuff growing on top of the old! All my corals are pissed off. Pepe stripped one of the acans to its skeleton. The other still has some flesh but it's very flat-looking. Most of the trumpet is gone. Everyone else just looks generally unhappy. I dunno if it's the GFO that's annoying them, or what (they were unhappy before I added the new pump, so it's not that). Anyway. Yeah. If I was made of money, I'd just buy a new tank and move Jeff and Puzzle and the hermies over. This tank is really stumping me.
  14. Madcat

    Madcat's Fluval Evo 13.5 - new shrimpy

    Good news: The cyano is gone! Bad news: Pepe is EATING MY CORALS! I got home from work yesterday and the Ugly Acan was a skeleton. What the crap?! Tonight I can see that my trumpet has been gnawed too. I have to assume it's Pepe the shrimp. But I don't have time to get him back to the LFS for a few days... Why is nothing in this hobby straightforward?!? Can't I just have a shrimp who takes care of aiptasia AND is nice to corals??
  15. Madcat

    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!
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