Dawn's 56 gallon natural nutrient garden

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vlangel

vlangel

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I was saddened to see my oldest fish (except the 10+ year old clown that was donated to me) passed last night. Jammies, the pajama cardinal came as a full grown fish some time in 2018. I knew he was declining because he got a bacterial infection several months ago in one eye. I treated it with antibiotics in a hospital tank and it seemed to look less red, although it remained popped looking. He ate well even yesterday but I had noticed his fins getting ragged so figured he was still declining. I am sad to lose him but he lived out a pretty normal lifespan for a pajama cardinal from what I have read.
 
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As always your posts show your passion and dedication to this hobby. I salute you, and sorry for your loss.
Thanks Ted. Yes, of course I have lost a lot of fish over the years but it still hurts. It's somewhat easier when I have a sense that they lived out a pretty good life in my tank, rather than perishing because of something stupid that I have done.

Hopefully I will see you at the swap.
 
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I cleaned my tank today and thought it looked pretty good so snap a few pics! The green BTA retracted when I got too close to it, so it does not show in the pics, (which is too bad because it is very pretty). The fish are doing great and my coral look better than they have in months. I am dosing Coral Vite and Seachem stability after the weekly water change. Also I add calcium, alkalinity, iron and occasionally magnesium to the brute can where I make saltwater since Instant Ocean is low on these. It seems to be working.
 

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My hubby and I were in Nashville visiting kids/grandchild. They happen to live close to a nice lfs so we checked it out. They had a nice Colt coral and a perky little Kenya tree frag that I bought. They also shared about another lfs so we checked it out too, ha ha! And bought 2 paly frags, a mushroom frag, and a monticap frag so came home last night with lots of goodies. Here is a 30 second video but ignore the diatomous algae (or whatever is on my sandbed). Other than that the tank is good!
 
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I enjoyed the marine expo yesterday. I was coming mostly to just look (since I spent money only 2 weeks ago in Nashville on coral) but I did end up buying a purple plume gorg. I do not see a lot of gorgs in the lfs in the area and unless I want several or more, the cost of shipping is not worth it. I am very pleased with how the purple plume looks today. It seems to have adjusted well.

Thank you to everyone who worked and contributed to a nice event. I hope the vendors went home glad that they came.
 
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This goes against what most of us reefers believe but to get rid of the rust colored algae on the sandbed, I upped my feedings a bit and cut back on the water changes to just 5 gallons a week. I had been doing 10 gallons to get my nitrates down and that is when the rust colored algae came. Also I dosed Seachem Stability after every water change and Coral Vite. Anyway, it's almost gone now which pleases me.
 
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My new purple plume finally display polyp extension today. Gorgs can be sensitive to being moved so I was not worried when it too a week for PE, but still it's nice to see it open now.
 
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My tank has really been looking it's best in years, all except the green BTA. It inflates in the day but then when the lights are going down it shrivels to nearly nothing. It has been doing that ever since I got it which is about 6 weeks now. It should be settled and acclimated but I am thinking that it has a bacterial infection.

I read the treatment for nem's with bacterial infections and removing my nem from the stoney plating coral it's attached to scares me. The risk of damaging it's foot seems high. I could just let it be and see if it can recover on its own or I could try to intervene.

This intervention may be very risky and foolish but I am trying it anyway. I have Furan 2, a marine antibiotics that I used to treat my seahorses. I am soaking Probiotic spectra pellets in a very small amount of water with a small amount of Furan 2 in the water and then feeding it to the anemone. I turn the pumps off while I feed so that the nem gets all the pellets. Today is the 3rd day of treatment and the nem is readily eating the treated pellets. Last night the nem stayed inflated and so far everything else appears unchanged in the reef. I of course realize that my reef especially relies on a biological filter and putting any antibiotics in the reef could be detrimental. I have been keeping an eye on the pod population as well as the health of the Coral and so far so good. I am dosing Seachem Stability too as it can't hurt. If the tank continues to look stable I will treat the nem for 7 days and then what ever will be will be. Here is a pic from yesterday after treatment. The nem is fully inflated, it's oral disk is healthy looking and it's mouth clean and closed and not gaping. I am hoping for the best.
 

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Well, I have to say nothing has changed. The nem continues to look great during the day and then late evening it looks pretty bad to me, puny and deflated. Maybe that is just how this nem is, I don't know.

The tank is no worse for wear but I am done trying to intervene. I hope to enjoy it a long time but if not then that is just how it is. This is all part of the hobby.
 
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Did I say nothing changed? Apparently the GBTA wanted to make a liar out of me. The next day it left the pedestal I have for all my BTAs and is now down among my other coral, Uhhg! I guess I will just watch it and see if it stings the Coral it is near.

Since it is raining today, the tank and fuge are getting a little extra love and attention. I will be anxious to see how nice it looks when I am done!

My sinularia looks fabulous and the 2 paly plugs I got in Nashville are making more heads, which is very cool.

IMG_20220516_125623389.jpg IMG_20220516_125705890.jpg
 
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My reef continues to flourish. The palys I bought in Nashville are growing more heads, especially the yellow one. It had about 8 heads currently. All the other coral are doing well too

My rainbow BTA has divided and now I have a BTA colony up on the pedestal where I placed them. It's a nice effect and they do not sting any coral up there.

The green BTA continues to move around and still periodically deflates. I am just not sure how to deal with it except try to keep it from stinging the other coral.

The fish are all doing well and I am very pleased with the growth of my Codium in the display tank. This is the best growth I have ever gotten from Codium.
 

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I got up early this morning and noticed the display tank was down about an inch from it's normal water level. This sort of discovery is always unsettling and my 1st thought was that evaporation had lowered the water in the sump to the point of the return pump shut off. I never saw bubbles yesterday however so quickly decided that that was not the problem. When I checked out the refugium and sump it was apparent that the fuge had overflowed and the sump was down to only about 4" of water. The system was still pumping a much diminished amount of water through it however, so it did not appear that the downstairs diy overflow lost it's prime. My best guess is something went into the diy overflow and blocked and slowed the flow to the point of overflowing the fuge.

Although overflowing a tank thus flooding the floor is never a welcome thing, for me this was not too bad. The refugium and sump tanks are in our basement with a concrete floor and nearby drain. It was a quick easy clean up. I did however feel grateful that this happened while we were home. I decided that perhaps simplifying the tank system by making the 30 gallon refugium double as a sump tank too would reduce the risk of another such event. HOB overflows have worked very well for me but by removing one of the 2, I have cut the risk of an overflow incident in half.

It was an easy conversion since my tanks are plumbed with flex tubing. I just moved the return pump into the fuge. I set the return pump on some live rock to keep it off the sand and used the rest of the live rock to camouflage the pump. To be honest the refugium doesn't look any more utilitarian than it did before.

I am probably running approx 15 gallons less water but everything else is the same. I caught and move Rice Krispie, the pistol shrimp into the fuge. Hopefully he doesn't eat Jet, the green goby! So all is well that ends well! Here is a pic of the fuge/ now turned sump tank.
 

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This must be the week for aquarium trials. The Aqueon 56 gallon column tank has rim of about 1 and half inches. I have my HOB overflow box adjusted so that the water is about an inch below the top but still above the bottom of the rim. However yesterday I noticed that the water was higher and only about a quarter of an inch below the top. Probably when I moved the return pump into the refugium, the head pressure was lessened so the flow is slightly higher thus raising the water level in the display. I am not comfortable with the water being that close to the top of the tank so I decided to adjust the plastic bolts and wing nuts to slide the inside part of the overflow box down a little. Unfortunately, my HOB eshopps overflow box is old and one of the bolts snapped off, uhhg!

So off to Lowes I went to see if I could replace it. It seemed that fate smiled upon me in this instant because Lowes did have a plastic bolt that was the correct size. As an added bonus, while I was replacing it, I removed the U-tube that was totally algae covered on the inside and cleaned it with a bottle brush. Now I can see how much flow is going through the U-tube and make sure that bubble build up is not creating a risk of losing the prime in the U-tube. The really great news is that the slightly more flow through the system is a perfect match for the overflow box. No bubbles at all build up but it's not so much that the drain makes a flushing noise. So, at the moment everything seems to be running like a well oiled machine....at this moment, LOL
 
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Sad news, my very personable midas blenny Charlie Brown jumped out. It appeared to have been a while ago, perhaps when I was working on the HOB overflow box because that is when I had the net covering off. He was such a cool fish and I am very bummed out over it. Its hard to lose any fish but losing a special one to jumping is especially tough!
 
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Ok, here is an updated video. I did a pretty major pruning and glass cleaning. I still need to get a syphon hose in the tank and suck out detritus but given the tank only got water changes all summer and no other maintenance, things don't look too bad.
 
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Thanks Kevin! I hate my narration as I do not think well on my feet but the tank looked ok. It showed how well the coral and fish are doing. It's a little disco ballish but not nearly as bad as the video made it appear. I actually like this Reef Breeder LED a lot.

I got the tomini tang and the sinularia from Reef Gallery, both of which are very nice additions to my reef.
Very nice Dawn, loved the walk through video!
 
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I finally got around to syphoning the detritus out of both the display and refugium/sump. I don't know why I put that chore off, it's really not bad. Anyway, my trumpets must have appreciated it because they are puffed up like I have never seen before.
 

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Its really weird but October is always the time of year that I get the most excited about my aquarium. Maybe its the days getting colder and shorter that give me more time indoors to spend on the fish tank.

Anyway, I have been wanting to add some thing new to my tank and have been watching Gulf Coast Ecosystems. They had some macro algae and some gorgs I was thinking about. Well yesterday I peeked at the site and some new things were available so I decided to pull the trigger and ordered a few things. Here is the list:

Green macro algae; 1. caulerpa cupressoides, a stiff upright notched blade caulerpa that is less invasive. 2. halimeda opuntia, a hardy halimeda specie that will grow on sand or live rock and does well in reef aquaria.
Red macro algae; 3. Coraline fine, a branching coraline algae that varies from lavender to bright purple in coloration. This specie is soft and has fine branches.
Brown macro algae; 4. Lobophora, a slow growing macro with ruffled rigid petals that fan out from the holdfast. It will grow on sand or live rock.

5. Finger sponge; a 5-8" red sponge with vertical branches.

Gorgonians; 6. Corky Finger, a photosynthetic encrusting gorg that has purple skin and tan-brownish polyps. 7. Purple Ribbon, a dark purple gorg with flattened branches that are often angular.

Today I rearranged some coral and rock in the display tank to make room for the new addition. I expect them to arrive around Wednesday of next week. I am excited about adding more color and texture to my aquarium. Since my aquarium has been up 6 or so years it has a mature look and these new additions will even make it appear more established.
 

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