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Sharkbait19

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Well the first tank death is confirmed. The Trochus/Astrea still hadn’t moved when I checked this morning so I gave it the sniff test again. My god that was an experience ;Vomit
I’ve been there- taking a dead snail out is perhaps the worst smelling experience, maybe even worse than a dead coral. The smell just lingered in my nostrils for days. I just couldn’t forget…

Sometimes these snails just die for some reason. I usually buy them in bulk so that at least a few survive.
 
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jfoahs04

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Well the first tank death is confirmed. The Trochus/Astrea still hadn’t moved when I checked this morning so I gave it the sniff test again. My god that was an experience ;Vomit

Unsure as to why it didn’t do too well, parameters are:

Salinity: .026
Temp: 26C
Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 25ppm

The nutrient readings are estimates due to the inaccuracy of the API colour readings.
Going to perform a 20% water change today as I’m on holiday over the weekend.

Also had a shipment today, a new heater to help mix salt rather than juggling my tank heater between the bucket and return chamber :D and a 20kg box of Reef Crystals. I bought a 4kg tub of the Instant Ocean salt mix but didn’t realise
1) How quickly I’d use it up and
2) How it wasn’t super suitable for coral.
Hoping to get some softies in the coming weeks so will be moving salt.
Sorry about your loss (and confirming via smell test - never fun). If there's a small silver lining, it's that your instincts are good - you recognized something was wrong. That'll suit you well going forward.

Your params look fine (accounting for the phantom API ammonia reading), so it's hard to say what exactly went wrong. What are you using to test salinity? Some of the hydrometers are notoriously inaccurate and oftentimes people find that their tank is actually much higher or lower than their hydrometer indicated. My guess is that it might have been shock due to salinity change. Sometimes local fish stores keep tanks at lower salinity levels (like 1.020 or 1.021). Inverts are pretty sensitive to swings, so going from low to high could have been the cause. If you're relying on a swing arm hydrometer, I'd consider getting a refractometer or Hanna salinity meter for better results. On the other hand, sometimes these things just happen.
 

rmorris_14

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So today I have learned not attempt the smell test with a suspected dead invert.
gross dumb and dumber GIF


Thanks for the heads up. The lessons just keep on coming ;)
 

Sharkbait19

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Sorry about your loss (and confirming via smell test - never fun). If there's a small silver lining, it's that your instincts are good - you recognized something was wrong. That'll suit you well going forward.

Your params look fine (accounting for the phantom API ammonia reading), so it's hard to say what exactly went wrong. What are you using to test salinity? Some of the hydrometers are notoriously inaccurate and oftentimes people find that their tank is actually much higher or lower than their hydrometer indicated. My guess is that it might have been shock due to salinity change. Sometimes local fish stores keep tanks at lower salinity levels (like 1.020 or 1.021). Inverts are pretty sensitive to swings, so going from low to high could have been the cause. If you're relying on a swing arm hydrometer, I'd consider getting a refractometer or Hanna salinity meter for better results. On the other hand, sometimes these things just happen.
Snails are super hard to acclimate I’ve noticed. I’ve had them die even after a full proper acclimation, luck of the draw I guess. Best thing I could hope for is having enough that they breed in my tank without ever a need for more.
 

jfoahs04

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Snails are super hard to acclimate I’ve noticed. I’ve had them die even after a full proper acclimation, luck of the draw I guess. Best thing I could hope for is having enough that they breed in my tank without ever a need for more.
Yeah, they seem to be very hardy when it comes to swings within a tank, but sometimes struggle with acclimation to a new system. I put 6 astraea snails and 2 nassarius snails in my EVO at the start. One astraea died within the first 2 days (similar to SubParReefer's situation here), and the rest are alive and thriving today. They've spawned several times (fascinating to see) and I've seen a handful of small ones on the glass, but none have made it to adulthood yet. Hopefully someday.
 
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SubParReefer

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Sorry about your loss (and confirming via smell test - never fun). If there's a small silver lining, it's that your instincts are good - you recognized something was wrong. That'll suit you well going forward.

Your params look fine (accounting for the phantom API ammonia reading), so it's hard to say what exactly went wrong. What are you using to test salinity? Some of the hydrometers are notoriously inaccurate and oftentimes people find that their tank is actually much higher or lower than their hydrometer indicated. My guess is that it might have been shock due to salinity change. Sometimes local fish stores keep tanks at lower salinity levels (like 1.020 or 1.021). Inverts are pretty sensitive to swings, so going from low to high could have been the cause. If you're relying on a swing arm hydrometer, I'd consider getting a refractometer or Hanna salinity meter for better results. On the other hand, sometimes these things just happen.
This is my refractometer - I make sure to calibrate it with fresh RODI water every couple of weeks:
Screenshot 2022-03-18 at 14.56.12.png


I've not heard great things about API tests since becoming more active in the hobby, I have a Seneye Reef but I think it only measures total ammonia (NH3 + NH4) which is only really useful to me for letting me know if something has died and that number would spike. I think I'll be asking for a high range Nitrate Hanna test kit for Christmas :p Oh no, is this the slippery financial slope I've been told about!?
 
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SubParReefer

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I mixed more saltwater than intended so the water change today was closer to 40% - Is this dangerous to change so much water in one go? I made sure the temperature matched the tank and I mixed the salinity to be .025 - I figure having it one unit less than the highest recommended would provide me with higher margin for error when I have more sensitive life in there.

API Nitrate test now looking between 10-20ppm so in a good spot.

Still need to figure out this diatom issue though! Might need to try a few snails again and try to acclimate them for longer (Last time was around 30 min bag float + drip acclimate until bag was around 50% more volume)
 

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I mixed more saltwater than intended so the water change today was closer to 40% - Is this dangerous to change so much water in one go? I made sure the temperature matched the tank and I mixed the salinity to be .025 - I figure having it one unit less than the highest recommended would provide me with higher margin for error when I have more sensitive life in there.

API Nitrate test now looking between 10-20ppm so in a good spot.

Still need to figure out this diatom issue though! Might need to try a few snails again and try to acclimate them for longer (Last time was around 30 min bag float + drip acclimate until bag was around 50% more volume)
This is my refractometer - I make sure to calibrate it with fresh RODI water every couple of weeks:
Screenshot 2022-03-18 at 14.56.12.png


I've not heard great things about API tests since becoming more active in the hobby, I have a Seneye Reef but I think it only measures total ammonia (NH3 + NH4) which is only really useful to me for letting me know if something has died and that number would spike. I think I'll be asking for a high range Nitrate Hanna test kit for Christmas :p Oh no, is this the slippery financial slope I've been told about!?
That refractometer should do the trick! It's definitely a slippery financial slope though. I'm currently browsing dosing equipment upgrades and convincing myself I "need" it.

The water change volume is a source of debate (like much else in this hobby). Many people would argue that that change is too drastic and you should do smaller amounts. The argument makes sense - if something is off in your batch (human error, bad salt, etc.), changing 40% is more likely do to lasting damage than 10%. It can also lead to nutrient depletion in some younger tanks which opens the door for dinos and other nastiness.

Personally, I do about 50% per week. I use sea water that I collect nearby, so part of the reason I change that volume is to replenish/reintroduce the micro flora/fauna that come with the natural sea water. But I also have a tendency to overfeed and I don't run a skimmer, so the large volume helps with my nutrient export. As long as you're not zeroing out your nitrate and phosphate, or causing big parameter swings each time, you should be good with bigger changes.
 
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SubParReefer

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On closer inspection, I’m not 100% sure it is diatoms. Possibly cyano?

When performing the water change today, I gave the rocks and sand a blast with a turkey baster to try and clean them up slightly. The algae came off like a film?

The reason I thought it was diatoms was due to the brown colour but I’m second guessing myself, any ideas would be great!
BCE5D8FB-41BA-4B07-9B83-5D35D376E1A5.jpeg

image.jpg
 
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jfoahs04

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It's probably cyano. You could have both in your tank at the same time, but if it stays clumped up like a slimy film when you blow it off the rocks, it's most likely cyano. Diatoms look more like a fine powder when you hit them with the turkey baster.
 
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SubParReefer

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Hello all,

I’m back from my holiday and everyone is still alive and happy, huge props to my tank sitter.

I’m performing my weekly maintenance today (big water change / filter floss replacement / sand siphoning / glass scraping) and as I’ve been scraping a weeks worth of dirt off the glass, I definitely feel like it’s cyano (clumpy/film like appearance).

Does anyone have any tips for reducing/removing this or will it just dissipate with time?

76718AF3-E55E-4D03-BE5D-F7C436174261.jpeg


There are also pockets of ‘green’ just under the sand bed. Is this algae of some sort or something more dangerous?
image.jpg
 
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Sharkbait19

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Any recommendations for reducing cyano? Made a large water change and gave everywhere a good scrape but I’m afraid it will return. I don’t know of any CUC that deal with cyano, am I feeding too much?
Check to see if there is anything decaying - it likes a lot of phosphate and nitrate if I’m correct.
 

rmorris_14

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Any recommendations for reducing cyano? Made a large water change and gave everywhere a good scrape but I’m afraid it will return. I don’t know of any CUC that deal with cyano, am I feeding too much?
How much cyano? If it is just where the sand touches the glass (like in my photo) I wouldn’t give it much thought. If it is covering the sand bed and rocks, you can look into increasing the flow in your tank.
 
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Check to see if there is anything decaying - it likes a lot of phosphate and nitrate if I’m correct.
I’ve not seen my nassarius for over 2 weeks but not seen any noticeable ammonia increase. Will buy a phosph test kit this weekend.
How much cyano? If it is just where the sand touches the glass (like in my photo) I wouldn’t give it much thought. If it is covering the sand bed and rocks, you can look into increasing the flow in your tank.
It was pretty significant when I got back from our holiday, all up the glass and covering sand bed at the end of the tank furthest from the RFG. I upped the pump to max flow which seemed to help slow down the build up but my clown now doesn’t seem happy at all so I’ve bumped the flow back down to try and de-stress him.
Love the live stock Liverpool names that's awesome lol
cheers mate, can hopefully come up with some more clever ones. Up the reds :cool:
 
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Bad news: the thermometer that was hosting my clown has shattered. The red liquid inside is now diluted in the tank somewhere and the small black balls that caused the thermometer to float are now loose within the system.

I’ll be performing a massive water change today to try and alleviate the issues caused but I’m not very hopeful the tank will survive whatever has spilled into it.

This is the thermometer in question:
144DB64B-6281-4425-96D9-6EAC6A2F6EF2.png
 
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