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About AshleyH

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    Aquatic medicine/ veterinary medicine
  1. Hi everyone, not sure who checks this anymore, but I think it’s nice to update every once in a while. Definitely been slacking! The tank is doing awesome. We now have a clam, huge rock flower anemone, our snails are breeding, and we added a Pygmy filefish. Were keeping corals we never thought would do well. One year down. It’s really come a looong way! One year comparison post:
  2. Happy to report Andy made a full recovery. All of the bristles fell out. We caught a couple big worms, but I’m sure there are plenty more :) We won a tube anemone at the Keep On Reefing expo a couple weeks ago, which is a pretty cool and unexpected addition to our tank. Also got a blueberry looking ricordea mushroom as well as a pretty sun coral there... they’re huge! Lastly, we added our last fish (😭) to the tank this weekend. I finally got my longnose hawkfish! He is yet to be named, but fitting in quite well with the tank. Everything’s looking great! Also whoever thought handfeeding corals could be so addicting? The good days just feel really good don’t they? Let’s stretch this out as long as I can 😊
  3. Woke up this morning to Andy the wrasse having somewhat blotched colors and bristles sticking out near his eye. His tail looks a little ragged as well (but may have bristles in it). We know there are bristleworms (or fireworms??) in there, but we see them extremely rarely. Everytime we've tried to catch them with some long hemostats they slide away back into the rockwork very quickly. What else can I do to get rid of them? I really hope Andy makes it through this. Last time my TSB Burt got stung he didn't survive... maybe he got an infection from the wounds.
  4. Tank looking great today! The urchins are hilarious. This one stole a hermit crab and a frag at the same time
  5. Hello to anyone who keeps up with my tank! I haven't updated in quite a while, so here's the long story short: My tank is doing well I had a green hair algae outbreak . LFS told me to use ChemiPure Blue instead of Elite when I replaced my filtration a while back, and I went with it. It was the only change I could up with since the GHA outbreak, so I went back to ChemiPure Elite and happy to report nearly all the GHA is gone, and it was FAST (same with some cyano on the sand). I do want to switch to GFO/ carbon from BRS eventually, but this is working right now. Andy Bernard the sixline wrasse is doing great My xenia has massively grown, and I moved it to another part of the tank. My leather is huge (very cool looking now) Added red/white peppermint looking acan 2 days ago- it has aiptasia, so yay another problem I will be fighting My alveopora seemed to be not doing so hot due to some algae growing on it, so I dipped it in hydrogen peroxide per a YouTube video I watched, and ultimately killed it. UGH Few days ago we visited Ocean State Aquatics in Rhode Island- (awesome store!) and picked up a small hammer, the acan, a really cool looking blue sympodium (hadn't seen one before), and a green goniopora (I know- it was on sale though). I got 2 tuxedo urchins a few weeks ago Here are some updated photos. Of course Penelope the shrimp was dancing all over the leather when I took the photo. Usually it looks better.
  6. Just got home tonight and found the porcelain crab dead. WTH!! I am so upset right now. I feel like I have the worst luck. Was it my low alkalinity? I just saw the crab this morning sitting on a rock and now, dead on the sand. It's not a molt. We'll do another water test tonight. It's really getting frustrating when random deaths are happening and I can't find an answer to even one of them. Something is obviously wrong with my tank... why is it so hard to figure out?
  7. Nice read. I see so many beautiful tanks people have on this forum, and it's easy to forget everyone has had their own losses too. I am sorry to hear that! What a loss We need to buy a generator... luckily haven't lost power this winter, but I'm worried about that kind of thing too. I haven't updated my journal in a while, but we have since bought a small sixline wrasse, 3 more trochus snails, and a porcelain anenome crab. I never did catch that bristle worm. I've only seen it about 3 times. Some of my mushrooms are sliding off their plug. Here's some photos:
  8. I didn't realize the crabs hosted things... maybe that's why he's been sitting on my leather ?
  9. OK everyone, I've been too busy to update the thread until now. I'll try to answer everyone's questions, but here's an update as well. Thank you for the input! I compared my tank water on Jan 28 to Fritz/RODI water both at a Sp.G of 1.023 My tank water: kH- 8.0 pH-7.8 Ca- 430 Mg-1335 Fritz/RODI water: KH- 7 pH- 8.3 Ca-340 Mg- 1275 Fritz/RODI at Sp.G of 1.026: kH-8.5 pH-8.3 Ca- 380 I prefer the values given at 1.026, so I've been mixing water to that these past few weeks. I also backed off on the 2 part dosing to see what happens without it. No dosing: kH dropped to 5.5 and 6 (tested February 14 and today)! Wow... something is seriously sucking my alkalinity up? After the torch coral died all the other corals seemed to magically do fantastic. The leather is giant and beautiful now. The edges are folding in and it's clearly growing. The owner at the LFS has gotten to know us a bit and gave me a free acan frag because he felt bad. This is doing well so far. The original brain is back to doing pretty well and opening up a lot From Jan 28-Feb 14 Burt my tail spot blenny stopped eating. We opened a new package of mysis shrimp and from that point on he went downhill. We fed veggie pellets, but he was not interested. He used to peck at my algae in the tank but also stopped. On Feb 14 he died We found the body under a rock and removed it. I'm pretty sure the bristle worm was eating the corpse. No external signs of illness other than some weight loss and near his last day- some shredding of the tail fin. I personally think he got very stressed out during the chase for my coral beauty angelfish and never recovered. Both clown fish are doing well. I got the Sailfert Mg and Phos kits. My phos has been between 0-0.03 Past 1.5 weeks I've had a green hair algae bloom in one corner of the tank. Tried to take the rock out and scrub it- not very helpful. This past weekend we added a small sixline wrasse, 3 trochus snails, and a porcelain crab. All are doing well. I have a bunch of green (and a little purple) coraline algae growing on the back wall. I got the InTank media basket. Haven't bought the rox carbon yet I have to say I am pleased with how the tank is doing past 2 weeks aside from Burt dying. I have the Daylight channel from 8:30-6pm Sunrise/Sunset (Beautymax) from 8:00-6:30pm Moonlight (blue) from 10am-11:30pm Hadn't read about this before. Sure, the refractometer could be slightly off, but I don't think that was the underlying problem. Thanks for the info. My temp has been a stable 77.8 +/- 0.1 Pic from 2 days ago If you notice on the back wall (and on my rocks) are what I think spirorbid worms. Could they be using up alkalinity? There are tons of them.
  10. Since the torch coral died my leather looks fantastic. I do find it a little suspicious.i am looking into the carbon, by not wanting to change too many things at once since all has settled down and is well again.
  11. Sorry have been very busy over here! It seems to have stabilized. I've taken a step back from the two part dosing in case that was an issue. The torch coral died completely. The other corals are doing quite well. My leather is huge and has the polyps extended all the time now. LFS owner felt bad about my loss and gave me a small orange acan, which is doing alright so far. Xenias are growing large. I have a sad update though: Burt died yesterday ? The past week or so he stopped eating much and looked a bit thinner. Two days before he died we noticed his tail fin looked slightly shredded. We left for the weekend with my sister house sitting. When we got back we went to the LFS to buy a variety of foods, but Burt was missing when we got home. I found his half eaten corpse under a rock. Water tests were normal yesterday. Still doing weekly water changes, but I'm having a bit of green hair algae growing in one corner I tried to scrub off in a waste bucket. We are very saddened by Burt's and my torch corals death. Continuing to take it a step at a time!
  12. Having issues with the corals- the smaller original torch coral I had died and the larger one I just got is half dead. The brain doesn't want to open up. Going through an extensive list of problem solving here... Linking to this thread I started just to keep my journal updated. Hopefully this is a phase that passes soon. We returned the coral beauty angelfish to the store as she was pecking many of our corals constantly  Â
  13. API test kits- droppers On order  Doing this tomorrow after work... will update with results  Unfortunately it happened before the great angel chase  Distilled water has a specific gravity of 1.000 and should be standard for calibration Temp stays stable... maybe  increases by 0.3 degrees throughout the day  So far everything is looking decent the past 2 days, but the brain hasn't come out yet
  14. So many helpful responses... Seriously thank you for the feedback. Awesome community here    First time I've heard this... I'm doing about an 18% water change each week. I read 25% weekly is good practice for small tanks?  I will look into buying activated carbon separately. I bought Chemipure Blue this weekend when I realized the old Chemipure Elite had reached it's expiration (it had been in about 3 months since I did not have it in through most of tank cycling).  Have been purchasing rodi from the LFS until husband bought me a 4 stage unit from BRS. We used it once last week (but stuff started to look angry before using the water we made)  No brown jelly present. Low flow - currently using the stock pump and Koralia nano 240 with gentle movement of the torches   I've been using the BRS calcium and alkalinity calculator for their 2-part dosing system. Seems pretty straightforward and my frequent testing is coming back stable (Ca and kh). Only thing is I don't have Mg test kit yet, so I haven't attempted to dose Mg. The kit said usually dose once you get through the 1st gallon, so the test is something I hadn't purchased yet.  I actually brought water into the LFS tonight and the Mg was slightly low (didn't get the value though).  YES my husband is an obsessive "deodorizer" (cats+ dogs= smelly house---> candles, occasional Febreeze on the couch across the room, essential oils diffuser across the room. Yes he reads these posts. Sorry for calling you out We are eliminating this possibility starting now. We do not, however, store anything remotely close to the cat litter box. Brought her back tonight! Who knows if she was the issue, but she sure didn't help with the nipping. Now there's one more thing I'm ruling out if there's any further damage.  THIS- I showed the guy at the LFS the purple rhodactis today, and he told me it was splitting into two, not dying. Well this was good news  Here is a pic from today. It initially just looked like a gaping hole in the center though.  I'm not sure why, but my alkalinity wants to be 6 and Ca wants to be around 300 if I don't dose. If I find a low value, which I have at a few points in the past 1-2 months of dosing, I gradually increase to my ideal (kh-8, Ca 420-440) over a number of days. It may very well be an issue with alkalinity, but no real recent changes here. I think I like this idea.  Last week and last night with distilled water. I am a veterinarian, so I use refractometers at work on a daily basis. It's stayed consistently accurate over the past couple months.  Here is what remains of the big torch after I removed the flesh that was dangling.  Will update you on the progress/ destruction. Thanks again!! Â
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