Dawn's 56 gallon natural nutrient garden

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So at the moment as best as I can tell I have:
2 Pajama Cardinalfish
2 Green Citron Gobies
4 Yellowtail Damselfish
1 Barnacle Blenny
1 Firefish Goby
1 Royal Gramma Basselet
1 Tomini Tang
1 Masked Goby
1 Occellaris Clownfish

Plus the Green Canary Blenny and Yellow Watchman Goby I bought today who are in QT in my sump. I have been wanting a watchman goby forever and this one was in a stand alone tank with a stunning green canary blenny. I decided to take them both.
 
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The canary blenny that I have had almost a month never ate and perished this past week. I hate it when that happens. I offered it everything that was available to me and nothing tempted it. It acted like a very well adjusted fish swimming out in open water, getting excited at feeding time but never ate and my tank has pods. Who knows. The watchman goby ( who I have dubbed Guardian is eating any and everything I offer it. Right now it resides in the fuge as it was small enough to go over the overflow so I am going to let it grow before I attempt to add it to the display.

I went to the frag swap today and it was a lot of fun. Not only did I find a couple of FL ricordia which is what I was looking for, but I got 2 peppermint shrimp, about 14 blue legged crabs for $30. Then both my husband and I bought $10 of raffle tickets thus getting 2 containers of Spectrum Life food, (along with the free samples when we came in the door) but we won the item we put our tickets in and received 2 very nice gorgs and an attractive seahorse wall plaque for our $20 investment. Needless to say we came home as happy customers! Thank you 3RMAS for hosting the frag swap.
 
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Well, one of the gorgs woke up with all the flesh off of it and on the sand bed. Bummer!!!!! I did notice that the bag it was in was cloudy when I got home and was not sure why. The other gorg looks fine. Who knows?

The ricordia look great and are a nice addition. I guess I really need to get pics and will try to do that soon. Its harder with the days getting longer and reflection from the window, making nice pics almost impossible.
 
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The remaining gorg is doing great so I guess it was a fluke that the one just died the first night. The ricordia also look really good and I am pleased with the frag swap acquisitions.

I have been dosing 2 part to meet the calcium needs of the halimeda macro algae. My first 3 from KPA did not do well but the ones from Gulf Coast Ecosystem are doing better.

My xenia and gsp continue to recede and I for the life of me can't figure out why???? Who can't grow xenia and gsp? I used to throw gsp away often when I couldn't find someone to give it away to. The other coral are doing well, duncans, trumpets, toadstool, nems, palys, gorgs and a few mushrooms. My red macros are doing very well in the display. The fish and shrimp are doing quite well and everyone is fat and sassy!

This tank was set up in Oct 2016 as a seahorse only tank. Then in 2018 it was converted to an AIO reef tank for fish. It was connected to the basement sump and a fuge was added when my last seahorse passed. I do think that it is really hitting its sweet spot for stability as maintenance is very easy. Basically I do a 5-8 gallon WC once a week and clean the glass. Other than that all I do is feed a lot of food. We always have dreams and plans for our tanks and I am no different but I really am happy and content with this aquarium system.
 
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So my hubby and I celebrated 40 years of marriage on June 20th and went to Chincoteague, VA. I like nearby Assateague beach, and the wild ponies that live there.

Also however I was hoping to collect some Chesapeake bay water, mud and macro algae if I got a chance. I thought adding that to my sump would add more diversity to the BioLife in the system. Years ago I was afraid that adding anything from the ocean could introduce pathogenic parasites but after reading Paul B's thread, I have changed my philosophy on that. I was able to collect all that in a small Tupperware bin along with some dead oyster clusters. It's been in my system for a week and a half with no ill effects, and hopefully some unseen positive effects.
 
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Cool, tank sounds interesting.
Thanks Ted. The refugium is interesting as it has garden dirt along with sand for a deep sand bed. I had hoped the garden soil would help the shoal grass grow but I am still struggling to grow seagrass.

The display and fish are doing pretty well, although my coral could do better. Still the red macro algae and tiered aquascape housing the variety of fish that I have is fun and I am enjoying it.

I would love to make a trip once a year to the ocean to collect stuff.
 
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Cutting edge as always... what type of coral are u trying and struggling with?
I lost 2 gorgonians recently, and both my hammer and frog spawn are lack luster. I think I figured out what was ailing them. With so many fish my nitrates had crept up to 50 ppm or more. I am actually amazed that I did not lose more coral along with my crabs, snails and other inverts. I have since done quite a few water changes and have the nitrates down to 25 ppm which is about where I want them in a high nutrient tank. Thanks for asking Ted.
Sorry such a slow reply, we have had our grandkids the last 2 weeks!
 
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Hi all, I did not die nor did I tear my tank down. Actually things are going pretty well. I don't have a large variety of coral but I do have enough inverts to keep the tank engaging along with 12 fish in the display and 2 in the fuge. I recently upgraded to LEDs after not being able to locate 30" high output T5s. LED intimidated me but this ReefBreeder Photon V 20+ was pretty user friendly. I actually wanted a fixture that could be hung high enough that I could work in the tank and the coverage is more than adequate for my reef. It's a bit disco ball-ish but not awful. And the price was right. So there you have it.
 

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Today I tested phosphates and nitrates which I do not do very often as I hate testing. Hence the reason I choose to run a high nutrient system. The phosphates were .5 ppm and the nitrates were 25 ppm. In the past I have been satisfied with parameters in this range since my snails and other inverts tolerate the nitrates in that range. Also I do not have excessive nuisance algae. I may try to lower them just a bit but still attempt to stay reasonably close to the redfield ratio for plant/macro algae growth. I will do that by merely doing a little more water changes. Another benefit to this adjustment should be the added trace elements being replenished quicker. I will just observe the display and see how it reacts.
 
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My newish animals, the green tip BTA, the Midas blenny and the Coral Beauty angelfish that I bought a month or so ago are all doing well. Also Guardian, YWG that I moved into the display (from the refugium) with the other new fish has adjusted well too, (although it was scary at first). I am continuing the bigger water changes per week, 10-15 % to see if that helps the Coral. The rainbow BTA look better but it might be the new LED light fixture rather than the water changes.
 
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I tested nitrates (10 ppm) and phosphates (.1-.25 ppm). I had not expected that big of a drop so will probably back off so much water change. I am getting some rust color on the sand bed surface too, which has happened before when I had seahorses and my nutrients drop too low.

Also this morning I brought up a nice sprig of codium (zip tied to a piece of rubble rock) and put it in the display. My display tank has very lush red gracilaria but no green macro algae. I would love to get some green in the tank but have not been successful in the past. I am hoping that the new LED light might change that so we shall see.
 
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I bought a green tree coral (nephthea) at Reef Gallery and it's a wonderful addition to my tank. I don't take the best pics but here it is in the tank.
You can see some rust colored algae on the sand. That only just started when I lowered the nutrients. I am going to try to feed heavier and see if that helps that go away. I also lowered the duration and intensity of the red channel on the lights while upping the blue channels.
IMG_20220310_132817479.jpg
 
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Hhm, the last 3 days my new LED seems to have developed a glitch. It turns off, then flashes white a second or two, then turns back on and resumes lighting like all is ok. Still, it does not seem normal so I contacted ReefBreeder about it. I will let you all know what they say.
 
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Well ReefBreeder's got back to me right away. They said it sounded like I had the lightening mode turned on and they were right. They told me how to turn it off so it should be good now. I probably accidently turn it on when I was tweaking the intensities of the different colors.
Ha ha, that's what happens when you put tech in the hands of a grandmother!
 

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