38-Gallon Reef

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Apollo7235

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Vibrant took me 16 weeks to remove 99% of the algae.
You need a large filter system to run NPS or nutrient level will continually increase.
IMM, I would significantly increase surface area by adding several marine pure blocks preseeded with Microbacter 7 so you can mop up that excess nutrient and keep it in check.
To keep population of BB high, maybe consider dosing Nopox and ensure a great skim.....
I have 5 MarinePure cubes a filter sock full of the MarinePure gems in my DT sump. I pulled about 10 (I think) of those gems and added them to my QT to seed it before I added the corals and also have the one rock from my DT. It actually looks like the Vibrant is working for me (on week 2 currently). I upped my dosage this week to twice a week and will continue to do so until things are under control. I dose phyto daily which seems to be helping as well.

I check my parameters each time before I dose the Vibrant and so far, all has been well; 0 Ammonia, 5ish ppm nitrates, 0 phosphates, which I can't seem to get up no matter what I do.

I have been tracking my progress with Vibrant, but I have been meaning to start a dedicated thread for it and haven't yet, which is why I haven't posted any updates.

Bad on me! I'll try to get something up today if I can find the time.
 
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Apollo7235

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If your coral frag tank is isolated, that's very little rock and simple hob filtration. Could just not be enough surface area.

Perhaps there is too much food since you have to feed kind of heavy (for corals) for NPS corals
I agree! Hopefully once I start moving frags into my display (the dendro and duncan will be moved this Friday), the bioload will decrease a bit and help out with the algae madness. I have started the once per 2 weeks dosage regimen for Vibrant in my display, so hopefully that will help to beat out anything that transfers on the frags.
 
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Phytoplankton dosing also helps with algae, so good thinking there.

You can also dip the frags and scrub and rinse go get that algae off if any is still sticking to it
That's the plan if the Vibrant doesn't work. So far, the Vibrant has made it unbelievably easy to pull the algae off of the frags, but I am probably going to try the 50/50 peroxide dip recommended by @Shira and scrub a bit with a toothbrush before I move them to my DT. Hopefully that takes care of the majority of what's on them....and hopefully it kills those stupid little spionid worms on the base of my dendro too, but I won't hold my breath. If anything, they're probably going to have a date with some superglue, haha
 
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Vibrant will provide only temporary success.
The cause must be corrected and is likely nutrient/light/phosphate based or a large imbalance in nitrate to phosphate ratio.
I'm sure it's the lack of phosphate that's the issue. Any tips on how to correct it?
 

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I'm sure it's the lack of phosphate that's the issue. Any tips on how to correct it?
I think your frag qt is just new and there are excess nutrients/not enough beneficial algae yet.

Vibrant can be the cure, once you solve the issue, algae could have a strong hold (literally, like turf algae for example), and vibrant will weaken it enough to get rid of it for good.
 
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I think your frag qt is just new and there are excess nutrients/not enough beneficial algae yet.

Vibrant can be the cure, once you solve the issue, algae could have a strong hold (literally, like turf algae for example), and vibrant will weaken it enough to get rid of it for good.
Good deal. I did notice some coralline algae growing in my QT when I dosed the Vibrant yesterday, so that's good news. Hopefully things continue to stabilize and resolve over time. What a pain. All this in a QT, and to think I've got this all in store (again) in my DT..... Hahahahaha, oh goodie!
 
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Is your DT running yet? Letting it cook the rocks (add an ammonia source) and leaving the lights off really help you avoid nuisance algae
Yep, it's been running for about a month and a half now. I ran the lights for about 2 weeks to figure out which settings I do and don't prefer, but the lights have been off since.

Hopefully everything is nice and well established in there so I can move everybody to a healthy environment where they can thrive. :)

I need to set up my new ATO, but aside from that everything is functional and I haven't had any issues so far. I'll run the full spectrum of water tests before I start moving corals in, but I think everything should be all set!

By the way, I had a total red ogo macro melt down a few weeks ago and it basically confetti'd my tank when I tried to remove it, so that's been my constant ammonia source.....hahahaha
 
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A lot has been happening in the world of my reef-to-be.

First thing is, I installed a Tunze Osmolator Nano 3152 ATO System with the 7.1 GAL ATO Reservoir. Man, oh man, life is so much easier with this thing. Now, I just need another one to maintain my little QT.. Hahaha

In order to install the ATO, I had to clean up the mess of cords and boxes on the side of my stand, something that I have been putting off for way too long. I also noticed that the strips I have my equipment plugged into are not GFCI (Bad, bad, bad!), so I will be running to the hardware store this week to correct that potentially major issue.

Before image is a little bit after I had already started cleaning it up......Shameful.
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ATO installed with 7.1-Gallon Bucket Reservior
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Once I got that whole process taken care of, I began to prepare my corals for transfer from QT to DT considering their 30 days was up. I have been battling GHA in mt QT, so I took some of the great advice provided on this thread and gave each frag a 50/50 peroxide scrub. AMAZING results, I am absolutely thrilled by how much better my frags look now:

6C544EC3-5D11-4083-A559-3EE384611FD0.jpg IMG_0010.JPG

I will certainly be incorporating a good peroxide scrub into my QT & maintenance routine for my new frags!

Up to this point, everything had been going great and I was really excited to transfer everyone over to my display. I made the transfer VIA drip acclimation just to be safe and placed all of my frags on the sand bed. This was the beginning of my first disastrous attempt at stocking my tank :)

Before I attempted this transfer, I had run the full spectrum of water tests and got the following results:

Ammonia: Nearly indistinguishable. The plastic piece that came with my Salifert test had completely clouded out making my tests nearly unreadable. I tried it again using an API vial, but still couldn't tell where the color landed between 0 and 0.25. Weird.

Nitrate: 20ppm (API)
Phosphate: 0 (API)
Temperature: 79.8F
Specific Gravity: 1.025
pH: 7.93 (Hanna Checker Plus)

*My Hanna Checkers for nitrate, phosphate, calcium, and alkalinity have since come in so my API kits will be going into storage for emergencies.

Considering the high nitrate reading, I was lead to assume the tank had cycled and all was well, so I did a 50% water change, retested for nitrate, which came back at 5ppm, and called it good.

So, back to the transfer attempt:

Upon entry into my display, all of my corals immediately closed up, despite some of them even remaining open in the drip acclimation bowl. I attributed this to the stress of the move and wrote it off. The next morning, still no extension from my corals, so I just figured they needed more time to acclimate to the nicer lighting, higher flow, etc. This was my first mistake. I didn't turn down the lighting in my tank because I was more focused on the fact that they were on the same photoperiod rather than lighting intensity. Silly me.

That day, I had plans to make a run to a new LFS I had found, so off to Orlando I went. By the way, Marcey at @Sea in the City is FANTASTIC. I can't recommend her enough. I am actually making a second trip there today....I think I finally found my LFS soul mate... Hahaha

Anyway, from Sea in the City, I brought home a tiny Fat Head Dendro frag (seriously SOOOOO excited about this), a beautiful white Watchman Goby and her paired Tiger Pistol Shrimp (I have since named her Darla and the Tiger Pistol Pete), a gorgeous Bullseye Pistol Shrimp (who hubby named GunSmoke), and a Neon Goby (still nameless).

All new inhabitants went through drip acclimation before entering my display (the Fat Head was dipped in ReVive and went into QT. I chose to skip Bayer on this one because the polyp is little bitty and I didn't want to damage it by missing the plug since you can't see through the Bayer solution).

All five new additions are doing great, eating really well. The Neon Goby is a little questionable considering its little mouth is so small I can't really see if it's eating but it looks great (to me, at least). I am picking up a few different kinds of food for these guys at the LFS today.


Here are some photos of everyone (Fat Head Dendro photo to come):

My very dysfunctional pair, AKA Darla & PIstol Pete
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Darla posing for the camera
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Neon Goby
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GunSmoke (camera shy apparently)
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I chose not to place these guys in my QT considering they all came from the same place, shared water, and they are my first fish/inverts so there are no other inhabs that they can infect. I do not plan to add any further fish/inverts unless they have gone through quarantine, and the only other fish I am looking to add in the near future is a Randall's Goby that I had to place an order for, but probably won't come in before I have successfully transferred everybody out of my QT tank.

I am going to wrap this post up for now, but more on my disastrous coral transfer to come once I have permission to post the PM conversation in which we have been troubleshooting.

Thank you so much for reading!

Edited to Add:

Why is Darla white, you may ask?

Explained here:

What do I mean by 'Dysfunctional Pair?'

Explained here: *Ongoing
 
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Apollo7235

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Promised photo of the little Australian Fat Head Dendro I picked up a few days ago :p

IMG_0229.JPG

I chose to keep this one on its original plug because it's covered in coralline algae, otherwise I would have placed it on one of my own new ones. I have quite a bit of coralline growing in this little QT already, probably off of the snails, but a new tank can always due with some more in my opinion! Plus, the coralline I have already looks to be pink or red while this looks to be of the purple variety, and I want some of each!

Hoping to see a bit more extension on this little frag as it continues to settle in, but overall I am happy with its progress!
 
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Huge THANK YOU to @brandon429 for helping me troubleshoot my tank! I sincerely appreciate you!

Promised coral transfer disaster story below :):

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To be continued.....
 
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Big update today:

I made a trip to World Wide Corals this morning and bought a Red Legged Hermit, one huge Mexican Turbo Snail, 4 more Spiny Astraea Snails since I’m pretty sure the one I have is a goner, and 3 huge Super Nassarius Snails. The hermit will never see my display tank; his home will be in my coral/invert QT as a one-man clean-up crew considering I can’t seem to stop buying NPS, haha. The Mexican Turbo is already doing an AMAZING job of cleaning up the glass in my QT. He will move from one tank to another as he is needed. The Spiny Astraeas and the Super Nassarius Snails are all happy in my DT, yay! Photos of everyone to come.

I stopped by my favorite LFS on my way back from WWC and grabbed a beautiful 6 pound cured live rock, a gorgeous neon orange plate coral, and, of course, a black sun coral. One of the heads on the sun coral looks like it has some pretty bad tissue recession and may or may not make it, but I’m going to see if some extra TLC can bring it back. I read that plate corals are a bit more sensitive to the dip process, so I only dipped it in ReVive and skipped the Bayer. I did, however, notice a tiny black dot on my fat head, so I went ahead and re-dipped it with my new black sun coral and risked the Bayer dip with it as well. I am happy to say that both my plate coral and fat head just ate really well and look great in QT! I am still working on the sun coral, but I am remaining optimistic.

I am very excited to say that I transferred all of my corals except for my fat head dendro, plate coral, and black sun coral into my display and they seem to be doing okay! Initially, they were all pretty irritated, but as the evening wears on they seem to be doing better and better! I turned my lights down to 15% and placed them in acclimation mode, so hopefully that makes a big difference this round. My dendro is actually already open and eating and my sun coral looks to be making a move toward extension as well. Hopefully I will see some nice progress and happy corals in the morning!!

The live rock I bought didn’t fit in my sump and it seriously is really pretty, so I decided to revamp my aquascape and placed it in my DT. It has shells and coral skeletons all over it that really give it some great character. I pulled most of the free pieces of rock out of my DT and plopped them into the fuge chamber of my sump with my MarinePure cubes. I figure that they will eventually make for great bio media as my tank matures. I am also using them as a copepod habitat, so I added a big bag of pods in there as well.

The salinity in my DT is a little high for some reason at 1.026, so I am going to bring that down tomorrow with a 25% water change. Hopefully things continue to progress well and I can enjoy a happy tank! I will take some photos and post them as soon as I am able.

Thanks for reading!
 
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Apollo7235

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I won't even begin to try to explain what has been going on in my tank because it's pretty well explained in these threads:

I did, however, set up another QT, which I will write a dedicated post about later ;)




 
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My frustration is literally through the roof, BUT, I am trying to work through this.

My display tank is still a killer despite supporting the two pistols and the two gobies; it has currently killed two Mexican Turbo Snails within hours of introduction and I am afraid to add anything else to it at this point.

I currently have two successful quarantine tanks, one is a 5-gallon coral/invert tank that currently houses the following:

Orange Sun Coral
Black Sun Coral
NPS Purple Sea Whip
Dendrophyllia
Fat Head Dendrophyllia
Duncan
Plate Coral
JF High Voltage Platygyra (struggling)
Firework Cloves (struggling but reproducing)
Red Legged Hermit
2 x Tongan Nassarius Snails

My second quarantine tank is a 10-gallon fish QT that is currently housing:

2 x Gladiator Clownfish
6 Line Wrasse

At this point, I am absolutely refusing to do any water changes on my display unless I have tested and find elevated nutrient levels. Otherwise, I am leaving that sucker be.

I am sending out an ATI water analysis, so hopefully I will receive that test in the next few days so I can get it sent out and hopefully rest my mind about possibly pollution.

I ran some tests with a multimeter this weekend and came back negative. More on that here:


Other than that, I am considering adding a bottle of coralline, but that is to be determined.
 
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Do you think that live rock is more beneficial in sump than it is in the main display tank?

  • In the sump

    Votes: 21 11.9%
  • In the display

    Votes: 72 40.9%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 27 15.3%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 56 31.8%
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