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About paulsz

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    Just starting out!

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    Toronto, Canada
  1. Sorry for your loss 😞 If i had to guess, maybe it was under a rock and the rock moved and squeezed it enough to cut it. But that's just a guess. Is your rock sitting on top of your sand or was your rock put in first , then your sand?
  2. Mandarin gobies hunt for pods all day long. Unfortunately, in a 20 gallon aquarium, it would be hard to maintain a pod population that would suffice. Some people say they have had luck feeding their mandarins frozen/prepared foods. So it may be possible to get them to eat stuff other than pods, but it may not be healthy for them (since they naturally hunt for food all day long). I don't have any experience with them. Just giving my opinion based on my past research
  3. Do you test your nitrates and phosphates? People say sponges are nitrate factories (I've never used them so I couldn't tell you) and given its a new tank, could be a diatom bloom or something of that sort
  4. Thanks! i did not know that. The amount of sponges in recent times has boomed a lot. And i mean a lot! they're everywhere, especially those pineapple sponges. I will look into dosing of silica to help algae growth
  5. My bad, at first i said Marco Rock. Turns out it is Caribsea South Seas Base rock. Not sure if people have been having issues with that one, or if it's just life rock
  6. I think it looks good! Enough room on the sides for the algae scraper, enough height for some SPS if you go that route. I'm not creative at all with this stuff, so I couldn't really help you. But one thing I noticed is that there may not be enough hiding spots for the fish. Maybe something to consider if you plan to add more rock
  7. I second that. I have a 45 gallons of water in my tank and my basement is something like 65 at night. I needed a 250W to get it up to 78. Originally bought a 150W and it wouldn't get the temp up past 74 or so.
  8. unfortunately here in Canada, pet medication (including fish medication) is no longer sold in stores. You'd need a prescription from a vet.
  9. I've always drip acclimated. But I only get fish from the LFS, which is a 20 minute car ride.
  10. It's Marco rock. It just got dirty over the last year. I will look into a UV sterilizer if I decide to do the 10 day blackout in a few months (if I see no progress). Would I have to implement the UV sterilizer for good? Even after the blackout?
  11. Didn't think about that! Would I move a piece of the rock into quarantine too, for filtration? I know most people just do large water changes daily when quarantining but I don't have the time for that at the moment. Can a piece of rock work? In a bucket with the fish, power head and heater?
  12. How old is the tank? What are your nitrate and phosphate levels?
  13. Wow, a 10 day blackout. I was on edge about the 5. Especially given then yellow clown goby and chromis are small and would require frequent feeding (especially the ycg). Can small fish like that last 10 days? The ycg comes out at dark and I could probably feed him a bit every other day, but the chromis goes into the to rock work and won't come out until lights are on again
  14. Hi all, This thread will discuss my dinos case. For those who are battling it, feel free to follow along. 🙂 Your input is always welcome as well! For those who have tips, please do provide. However, please read the below to see what i have tried and what i haven't tried already. Just a quick background on me and my tank: - 35 g cube (20" all sides) with a 20 high sump (filled halfway) - AI prime HD lights and 2 T5HOs as a supplement (currently off however, as i have no SPS left). - Oct 2017: cycle started with a piece of live rock, a bunch of dry rock and using Dr. Tim's as a source of ammonia - Dec 2017: First fish went in (firefish) and a CUC - Jan 2018: FIrst coral went in (GSP) - Up to July 2018: added a yellow clown goby and a blue chromis. The firefish died (i would think stress). Was always jumping, getting scared of everything... even snails would scare it. I also added a bunch of other corals, including a few mushrooms, some pulsing xenia, a torch coral, green slimer and birdsnest. All frags - July 2018: realized the brown stuff on my rock/glass/sand was not algae, but was actually dinos (through microscope). - Today: still battling it ☚ī¸ Since the beginning, I have always had a very low nutrients. Coming from freshwater, I had the mindset that i wanted to keep phosphates and nitrates as low as possible (ideally 0). And so i've never had a trace of them. I would do 5 gallon water changes every week, and given the tiny bioload of my aquarium, never got the nitrates/phospates to show up on my test kits (doesn't mean they weren't there, but anything that was there was getting consumed by the tank). In March of 2018, I added my first piece of SPS. It was a purple cap monti. Loved the deep purple colour. Over the next few weeks, it had gotten pale and slightly brown. I didn't know why that was happening. I searched online and some said not enough light, others said too much light, some said not enough nutrients, others said too much phosphates. Given it was ~9" below the water surface with only and AI prime above it, i figured it couldn't be too much light. Especially since the guy i got it from had a huge T5HO+LED hybrid and the monti cap was only a couple of inches from the top. So i added 2 T5HO bulbs as a supplement. Nothing happened. After a few more weeks and more research, I thought it could have been too many phosphates. Even though they weren't showing up on the test kit, i was convinced the brown "algae" and corals were sucking it up too quickly (what was i thinking? lol). So I added a phosphate reactor and used GFO. Now I know that that was a huge mistake, but at the time I didn't. No more GFO 🙂 The tank looked like this at the time: Then in July 2018, while picking up some more corals, i asked the guy what he thought about the pale/brown corals, as well as the brown stuff on my sand/wall/rocks. We agreed that I was most likely lacking nutrients in the tank, and that the brown "algae" could be cyano. So i went home with the new corals and acclimated them. Treated the tank for cyano (chemiclean) but nothing changed... The frags were still doing well (good polyp extension), but the brown stuff was striving. My sandbed looked like this: So looking around online, I found a thread where someone had a similar case to mine. Turns out they had dinos (at the time, i had no clue dinos existed, nor what it was). Using the microscope that I got a while back, I was able to confirm that the brown stuff was indeed dinos. Prorocentrum to be exact: This was mid/late July. And by mid August, it had killed all of my SPS. Browsing online, i found a thread on Reef2Reef all about this. Created by mcarroll and a few other members, describing how to beat dinos. Very useful and very in depth. I decided to use the approach they recommended, which was to raise nutrients and encourage algae growth, so that it may out compete the dinos. From my understanding, dinos will always be there. But dinos can strive in low phosphate/nitrate tanks, while algae cannot. And so in my case, where i had undetectable nitrates/phosphates since day 1, dinos were having a huge party in my tank and algae didn't have enough nutrients to even compete with them. I started dosing nitrates and phosphates (using seachem stuff). I was dosing insane amounts (4 ppm nitrates a day and 1 ppm phosphates a day). And for a month or more, nothing was showing up in my test kits. I figured it was binding to some of my substrate and rocks. So i kept dosing and eventually I got a reading. I kept raising them slowly until nitrates reached 10ppm and phosphates 0.1ppm. Kept it at these levels from September to November of 2018. Still nothing was happening. I kept manually removing the dinos (every day), and they kept coming back the next day. Algae was barely growing. I was losing hope, as the time frame for beating this stuff was supposed to be 2-3 months (based on what i had read). But after 3 months nothing had changed. I decided to keep going and not giving up. Kept dosing as needed, kept removing the dinos manually (as much as i could. That stuff sticks to sand as if it's holding on for it's life. Which it is... technically... i guess). In December 2018, while off from work for Christmas/New Years break, I decided to do a 5 day complete black out with hydrogen peroxide (3%) dosing. It had worked for some people i know. After 5 days, the dinos was killed for the most part. Given all this die off, my phosphates sky rocketed from 0.1 to 0.6 ppm by the end of the blackout. I removed the sand slowly over the next week or two, because it was a huge piece of real estate for the dinos to grow on. Since then, the phosphates came back down. Currently at .23 and going down still. The Dinos had not died fully. They came back. I am still monitoring my nutrients and trying to promote algae growth as much as possible. The tank currently looks like this: Looks much better than before, but it is still there. I am not adding anymore corals (especially no SPS), as i'm sure it would kill it too. Sorry for the bad pics, my glass is super dirty (in my attempt to promote algae). So, if you've made it this far, good on you! It was a long read, and mostly a giant rant on how annoyed I am about the situation. I plan to keep fighting it using the nutrient method for the next 3-4 months. If you don't go through trouble, you don't learn. And so I would like to beat the dinos instead of running away. But if i don't see much change by summer, i'll throw the towel in and strip the tank to nothing and start over. Thanks for following along. 🙂 Paul
  15. My yellow clown goby has only nipped on one SPS, and that was way after the SPS was starting to die. Other than that it's never touched the few SPS frags I used to have. The clown goby will chill on the rock (or at least mine does).