Azzy's LifeGard 2.65 Cultivated Reef's Mandarin Orange Clove Pico Aquarium

Azedenkae

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This thread is for my pico aquarium, which I will be setting up a a single coral species-only tank. I want to experiment with it a little bit, have just a single type of biomedia minimalistically in the display, and have corals around it which hopefully will eventually cover everything.

The aquarium is a Lifegard 2.65 gallon Betta tank: http://www.lifegardaquatics.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/R460053.jpg

Unfortunately the only heater I could get had to be fitted outside the 'sump', but anyways eh, gotta take it in stride.

So far was so good the first few days. Mixed salt, dosed ammonia, added Microbacter7, water was clear. One afternoon I turned off the pump to add more Microbacter7 to let it more likely to fall all over the biomedia, then tuened on the pump about 2 hours later. Next day it was super cloudy, looks like a bacterial bloom and... has been that way since. It also messed up my ammonia readings, which always seemed to show 1ppm, even if I dosed more ammonia. Checking with stock solutions, the ammonia test itself did not seem like the problem. So yeah. Anyways the bloom persisted. I am on holidays so unplugged everything, wondering what I'll come back to in a week's time welp haha.


Setup
Lifegard 2.65 Betta Aquarium
AquaIllumination AI Prime 16HD Reef + AquaIllumination 12" Prime Flex Arm
ViaAqua 50 Watt Quartz Heater
MarinePure Gems (1 pack) - 72 in display
Live rock (1 small piece)

Live Stock
Cultivated Reef's Mandarin Orange Clove Polyps
 
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Soren

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This thread is for my pico aquarium, which I will be setting up a a single coral species-only tank. I want to experiment with it a little bit, have just a single type of biomedia minimalistically in the display, and have corals around it which hopefully will eventually cover everything.

The aquarium is a Lifegard 2.65 gallon Betta tank: http://www.lifegardaquatics.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/R460053.jpg

Unfortunately the only heater I could get had to be fitted outside the 'sump', but anyways eh, gotta take it in stride.

So far was so good the first few days. Mixed salt, dosed ammonia, added Microbacter7, water was clear. One afternoon I turned off the pump to add more Microbacter7 to let it more likely to fall all over the biomedia, then tuened on the pump about 2 hours later. Next day it was super cloudy, looks like a bacterial bloom and... has been that way since. It also messed up my ammonia readings, which always seemed to show 1ppm, even if I dosed more ammonia. Checking with stock solutions, the ammonia test itself did not seem like the problem. So yeah. Anyways the bloom persisted. I am on holidays so unplugged everything, wondering what I'll come back to in a week's time welp haha.


Setup
Lifegard 2.65 Betta Aquarium
AquaIllumination AI Prime 16HD Reef + AquaIllumination 12" Prime Flex Arm
ViaAqua 50 Watt Quartz Heater
MarinePure Gems (1 pack) - spread across bottom of tank
This sounds like an interesting small setup!
Don't forget to show us pictures whenever you can!
 
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Azedenkae

Azedenkae

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This sounds like an interesting small setup!
Don't forget to show us pictures whenever you can!
Sure thing! Yeah I decided to write this up once I was already on holidays, realized I never actually took a full tank shot lollllll. So yeah, will do that once I get back. :3
 
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danieyella

shouldn't have done that...
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Random note, in case evaporation becomes too annoying, anyone know where I can get a custom lid for a super small tank?
Either get plexi cut if you want to go that route, or brs and md both have screen kits you can buy and build. I was actually thinking about getting this tank to replace my current because the rounded front means I can't make it a lid.
 
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Azedenkae

Azedenkae

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Either get plexi cut if you want to go that route, or brs and md both have screen kits you can buy and build. I was actually thinking about getting this tank to replace my current because the rounded front means I can't make it a lid.
Yeah round fronts are a pain. This tank seems to be working fine so far, although I am having trouble culturing microbes. Maybe I just don't have enough biomedia, with the way I am experimenting with them. I still have some cloudiness so can see the pump is able to push water all the way to the bottom of the aquarium, so it is not like there is any dead zones.

But yeah, probs will just get plexi glass cut if I feel like it. XD
 
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Azedenkae

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Quick update with the cycling process: So I went on holidays for a week, but before that I tested my water and kept on getting like 0.5 to 1ppm ammonia, even though I dosed quite a lot more ammonia. Was weird. The water was super duper uber cloudy. I wonder if somehow that interfered with the ammonia reading, but I don't really know how.

Anyways, I got home over the weekend, and read ammonia and it was at 8+ ppm. Had to do some serial dilutions to test the real value, and got around 7ppm. Did around a 33% water change-ish, and ammonia dropped down to 4ppm. So been keeping it at that value.

I kinda ponder though if there is something wrong. Whether having the MarinePure gems at the bottom of the tank won't really work, or if the Microbacter7 has kinda gone off. So I ordered FritzZyme Turbo Start 900 today, and gonna see if it works better. I actually have a feeling Microbacter7 did not really help me establish nitrifiers in my other aquarium anyways. Will see if FritZyme Turbo Start 900 work better, or if it is an issue with not enough biomedia. Theoretically it should work, but hey.
 
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Azedenkae

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So I tested my water today after seeing it turn cloudy, and ammonia had risen to 8ppm according to my serial dilution test (right is original, left is 1 in 8 dilution). The colors in the photo don't match real life. In real life the original, 1 in 2, 1 in 4, and 1 in 8 dilutions match 8, 4, 2, and 1ppm perfectly. So yeah, 8ppm. D:
 
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Azedenkae

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Wow that’s heavy lol. Water change time?
Probably, but I also need to figure out why this is happening. I dosed Microbacter7 recently, and this happened after. I am starting to wonder if there is just heaps of die-off of the bacteria.

I am using the API test kit, but I have checked the tests multiple times in multiple ways to make sure I was not getting false readings.

I might set up a stock solution of 2ppm ammonia or anything to use as a test solution each time from now on just to be 100% sure of my readings. Not that I am not very sure now, but yeah. Just odd to see ammonia climb like that.
 

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So you dosed only MB7, or MB7 and ammonium chloride? I would agree that certainly is an extremely high ammonia level, even more so if you weren’t dosing it. Bacteria die off could be likely. Maybe just a bad bottle?
 
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Azedenkae

Azedenkae

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So you dosed only MB7, or MB7 and ammonium chloride? I would agree that certainly is an extremely high ammonia level, even more so if you weren’t dosing it. Bacteria die off could be likely. Maybe just a bad bottle?
Maybe.

I dosed only MB7. I was away during the cycle and when I came back and turned everything on, my ammonia read around 7ppm. I did a water change to lower it to 4ppm, then on the night of the 28th, dosed MB7. Next day around noon it still measured around 4ppm, but was starting to get cloudy. Then today it was super cloudy and in the arvo it measured 8ppm.

I am about to run out of the bottle of MB7 anyways. I ordered a bottle of FritZyme 900. I am considering just doing a 100%-ish water change, and start again with dosing 2ppm ammonia and adding the FritzZyme. I think yeah, I may have a bad bottle of MB7.
 

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Yeah that definitely sounds like a bad bottle. But, as long as you can drop ammonia below ~4ppm, you shouldn’t have to dose any more, just add a presumably live bottle of bacteria, and then let it do its thing. But honestly, I wouldn’t blame you if you just wanted to start fresh lol.
 
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Azedenkae

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Awww, saw the thread name and was hoping for tank photos. I’ll be following!
Sooooon lol. Totally forgot to do it initially and kept forgetting. It is cloudy now so does not look great, but sooon. XD Are you thinking of getting the same tank?
Yeah that definitely sounds like a bad bottle. But, as long as you can drop ammonia below ~4ppm, you shouldn’t have to dose any more, just add a presumably live bottle of bacteria, and then let it do its thing. But honestly, I wouldn’t blame you if you just wanted to start fresh lol.
Yeah still debating either way lol. Kinda just don't want any potential for anything from the MB7 to interfere with the FritzZyme 900. Or for ammonia to increase even higher. But FritzZyme won't come until next week anyways probably, so plenty of time to make changes if lowering to 4ppm does not work out.
 

Brady4000

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Sooooon lol. Totally forgot to do it initially and kept forgetting. It is cloudy now so does not look great, but sooon. XD Are you thinking of getting the same tank?
No not yet, really like Picos. One day in the near future, I’ll be starting one of my own. If I stare at something long enough, it seems to end up in my house. It’s like a magic trick lol.
 
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Would you consider your tank to be balanced or lopsided when it comes to coral?

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  • Lopsided Zoanthids

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