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lizzyann

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  1. lizzyann

    New cycle question

    Yea I think you'll have to keep testing to be sure. You said you've never seen an ammonia spike but did you see a nitrite spike and it's now at 0 or has it always been 0?
  2. lizzyann

    New cycle question

    Dry rock usually means it's cleaned and completely bare of life, or anything that used to be alive, which means no ammonia. Live rock should have lots of life and probably decaying things too, and you miiight have just cycled really quickly. If it's live rock that just sat out and dried and they were calling it dry rock then it definitely would have dead, ammonia producing things but I'm guessing you should have seen an ammonia spike, even with your added bacteria. I feel like I've read people say this is the worst kind of rock you could use and probably means your LFS is crap, hah. BUT I don't have a great memory, might be making that up. I'm actually worried I bought something similar from my LFS when I started and it's still releasing an abundance of phosphates 9 months later. I've cycled several tanks but I'm no expert so maybe someone else will chime in as well! Edit: What kind of nitrate test are you using? I have no experience with the exact products you are using (Fluval bacteria and your ammonia alert tester) but do know there is a wide variety of effectiveness in these products. Search these forums to see if anyone else has had bad results from them.
  3. lizzyann

    New cycle question

    Have you actually added any source of ammonia to the tank? Pure ammonia or a piece of shrimp or fish food or anything? That's the first step. The bacteria you added need something to eat!
  4. lizzyann

    Innovative Marine Fusion 10 Club

    Good to know. I'm probably overly worried about it. High phosphates are probably more of a problem that the nitrates really, and if my understanding is correct, more rock material isn't going to help that. Nitrates have gone between 5 and 15, and phosphates anywhere from .05 to .28 in the last month or two. Maybe not totally ridiculous but I felt like it just wasn't making sense in my tank with light to medium feeding and only one fish. I use filter floss, chemipure blue in my basket and have a skimmer. Lots of algae growth too, until I recently got an emerald crab. Pretty sure PO4 has been higher since the crab has been eating all the algae. NO3 and PO4 have also just gone up and down a lot, though maybe it correlates to my water changes and feeding and such. I have no idea how much is a normal amount to fluctuate within a week. Another thought I had was that maybe I just need to do the random heavier feedings more consistently/often so the bacteria populations stay high enough to deal with it all the time. Right now I spot feed frozen mysis to my sun coral and fish every other day, then a little pellet or flake directly to the fish and crabs on off days, and a powder food for everything every week or two. Yesterday I did a "heavy" feeding, with maybe 1/4 tsp powdered food and half a cube of mysis, then immediately after did a water change and switched out filter floss, and today my PO4 is .15 and nitrates are 2.5. If nitrates start to go down but phosphates stay high I might just have a rock leaching problem and need to do GFO or some macroalgae or something. I recently learned about brightwell xport blocks... would this be one of the better options you speak of? I'm guessing they would be much less likely to trap detritus buildup in that bottom chamber compared to the matrix and probably have more anaerobic activity. I could probably break them up just small enough to slide down there. I guess I'll just wait and see for now, be consistent, and do a lot of testing. Really my corals seem fairly healthy so no need to fret.
  5. lizzyann

    zoa garden

    i got those twitchy zoas! $150/polyp!
  6. lizzyann

    zoa garden

    finally have the little zoa garden of my dreams!
  7. lizzyann

    Help me ID Please!

    You sure 3 and 8 aren't leptastrea?
  8. lizzyann

    NanoBox IM10 Office Tank

    In which chamber did you put the brightwell xport plate? Wondering if I can put something like this in the bottom area with the return pump or if it will just end up trapping debris down there and doing the opposite of it's job...
  9. lizzyann

    Innovative Marine Fusion 10 Club

    Does anyone use the bottom return pump chamber space for anything? I'm feeling like I might not have enough denitrifying processes going on in my rock and was wondering if I could put a bag of seachem matrix down there or if it would just catch a bunch of waste and debris and add to the problem.
  10. I put Seachem Matrix (this is similar to what you're talking about, right?) in one of the media basket sections but I wasn't sure that it would be enough to make much of a difference. I was curious about putting a bigger bag of it in the lower back chamber with the return pump but was worried about waste collecting back there. Maybe there's some other IM owners that have experience with this.
  11. Surveyman, what nutrient export methods do you use? How much rock do you have? I was re-reading the info people shared and am re-affirmed that I'm definitely not over-feeding. I forgot to mention earlier I also was thinking I might just not have enough rock for adequate denitrification. There's probably only 5 or 6 pounds in there. I was thinking about it and I could probably fit in a little more rock on the back ledge of my main arch piece without disrupting too much of the general layout. My yellow fiji leather is also not staying up there at the tippy top very well, and I wish it could sit slightly lower, so maybe I could attach it to a new rock that sits just behind the main piece. What's the best rock to add to an already established tank? Just good quality dry rock that can slowly populate? I'm definitely wary of going to my LFS and getting the same live rock I started with.
  12. Got a lot of new stuff! A little nervous because I feel like things are slightly out of balance so obviously not a great time to add coral, but we had a local frag swap so I couldn't pass up on a few deals. Then I also saw a nice sized yellow fiji leather in the Diver's Den, so I jumped on it but got a Grube's Gorgonian too to get free shipping. They really get you with that! I feel like I just HAVE to get something extra whenever I order from LiveAquaria, because the free shipping limit is really pretty low and I'd much rather pay $30 on another coral instead of shipping, but of course it's never just a $30 piece! So in all, in addition to the leather and gorgonian, I got a bubblegum (or forest fire... seems like these are the same, right?) digitata, bizarro cyphastrea, chromatic cyphastrea (looks amazing on the coral shoppe website, looks like poo in my tank so far), neptune bounce mushroom (always liked these but definitely wasn't planning on getting one any time soon, just couldn't pass it up at the swap 🙄), and an utter chaos zoa frag (again, wasn't planning on getting anymore zoas buuut there was room to squeeze one more in). After letting these all acclimate for a couple weeks I just glued most of it down today. Skimmer has been putting out microbubbles for like 6 hours now but hopefully will be calmed down in the morning. Everything seems pretty healthy except for the gorgonian. It hasn't extended its polyps at all since I got it in the tank. Until today, when I saw maybe 10 polyps starting to peep out here and there RIGHT before I started working on gluing everything so of course they went back to hiding. It also has lost flesh on a tiny little area. Going to give it a couple more days then might try to get my money back before the 14 days is up. The digitata lost a tiny bit of color but only today has been in higher light so hopefully that will improve. The leather also isn't as brightly colored as I'd like, but it was only put at the top today as well. The main problem I'm seeing is that nitrates and phosphates have been a little high (5-10 and .03 all the way to .26!!) this month. My new, healthy emerald crab has been doing a great job of keeping algae at bay, but I've had some diatoms (or cyano or dinos?) in the sand and rock and an explosion of flatworms at one point (there was an explosion when first starting the tank, but they dissipated, this is a second). I'm thinking the nutrients might be higher with the crab, since before the algae was using them up. It seems like every time I try to feed reef-roids or coral frenzy the nitrates and phosphates fly up. Shouldn't the tank be able to handle this once a week? I guess I did feed a couple times without doing a water change right after, but many people I've heard from say they feed like that once or twice a week with no problems. Besides that I usually spot feed a half cube of frozen (thawed and drained) mysis to a couple of the corals and fish every other day, occasionally feeding the fish a couple pellets or flakes on off days. I added some seachem matrix to my media basket, but I'm not sure if it will be enough to help. I'm feeling like there's just some problem with my rock, but it's been 8 months so maybe I'm just feeding too much. How long would it take for live rock that had a lot of die off, or was leeching phosphates, to finally be stable? Now the fun part, major photo dump: gonna enjoy watching this tiny bouncing baby grow 👶 this pom pom's patterns are so fancy! saying good morning (or goodnight?) to the sun corals before going to work:
  13. lizzyann

    Pom Pom Crab

    When I first had it it came out more often, sometimes whenever I fed to grab some snacks. I got an emerald crab and it seems to be more shy now. Usually if I want to get a good look or photograph it I turn the lights back on after they've been off for a little while and the pom pom is out front all ready for a photoshoot!
  14. lizzyann

    Pom Pom Crab

    So amazed by the patterns on pom pom crabs... and especially enamored with mine. It looks like an ancient/alien alphabet!
  15. Thought I'd share my new coral plan drawing. I've changed it up and added a lot after finally starting to really like some of the branching SPS and finding a couple other things I really wanted. I've gone back and forth on it but am feeling like I NEEEED to have a yellow fiji leather so I'm going to try to make it work as my top centerpiece and hope it doesn't grow too quickly and shadow everything else out. I threw out the idea of monti caps pretty early for many of the same reasons, but am starting to like the idea of having some mid-way on the rock. There's nothing directly under that area so I figured something that would grow out horizontally could be a nice use of space and continue the shelf-like aspect of that level. Should be easy to frag there too. I'm thinking about a bubblegum digi, really nice blue acro like an oregon or cali tort, and a pink mille or other really bushy and hairy acro for the other additions at the top. Really loving the look of leptastrea and thought a John Deere would look good over on the lower right of the main rock. Then want a bizarro cyphastrea over there with the meteor shower. Wanting to try a gorgonian, but an easy photosynthetic one like the Grube's. Then still really would like a pagoda cup and green and white pipe organ. Let me know if you see any problems with all this! The main issues I'm thinking about are that it's just pretty tricky to keep everything really healthy with this kind of variety from SPS to NPS, then also that this 2D drawing just isn't truly acurate and to scale so things aren't actually going to fit where I want them to and crowd/sting/shadow each other. Overall the tank has been ok, but struggling to keep things balanced and nitrates low. Regardless, I couldn't resist getting new corals at my first local frag swap so I'll update about all that stuff sometime soon.
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