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Been noticing perfectly round white spots left in the coralline algae everyday. Almost the size of my yellow tangs mouth. Figured it was the yellow tang rasping the coralline off since there isn't much algae for it to eat. Last night I spotted the culprit though. An asterina starfish, fairly large too. Explains why the white spots got bigger. I don't seem to have a lot though. I guess the coral banded shrimp does a good job of eating any small critters.
 
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Went to the LFS today to get a break from life. Picked up a couple corals and a fish. Got to use my Avast Marine porthole today. I need to find an accessory for my tripod so I can hold my camera over the tank and not have the port hole resting against the tank bracing.

First the fish:
A blue throat sail fin fairy. This guy was returned to the LFS because apparently he is a blood thirsty demon fish. The previous owners said it bit off the head of a cardinal and killed a large crab. Anyone that has owned fairy wrasses knows this is impossible. My LFS quarantines all their fish for several weeks and gets them eating before they sell them. Best LFS I've ever been to. This guy was owned by the couple for a week before he went on a rampage :p. He is very fat and healthy. Great color too. Not that the acclimation chamber allows me to show that.
sail fin fairy.jpg


I also bought an orange Pavona maldivensis frag. Love the look and growth structure. Can't wait for it to grow out. I only gave it an hour or so to settle and it is already looking happy.
orange pavona day 1.jpg


And I picked up this tiny frag of bluish acropora. No idea species, but I like the look of it and growth structure. I really buy corals based on growth structure before color. My ideal coral would be A. spathulata. Love the corallite and chunky pillar structure.
blue acro day 1.jpg


Here are pics of some test corals I had bought weeks/months ago to test the tank's readiness for SPS.
A small birdsnest frag. Growing super fast. Love these. Fast growing and beautiful shape/color. The top branches have grown a couple mm's in about a week. Really good PE 24/7.
birdsnest.jpg


Love spongodes. I've had it about a week or so. It was starting to grow, then I moved it. But it appears to be growing again. Good PE during the day and some at night. Here it isn't showing much PE because I had been meddling with the tank as it is maintenance day.
spongodes.jpg


Unknown Aussie acro I got from PEA back in July as part of their 3 frag pack special. It had great PE and promising color when I got it, but then it browned and died back. It is rebounding now as can be seen in the growth edges at the tips. PE is getting better. Color is improving everyday as well. Has better PE at night. The tips were far far worse than this. It has been growing back very quickly.
aussie acro.jpg


Another PEA Aussie acro. It appeared to be a green stag when I got it. Then it started dying back and turned very brown. As can be seen here, it is slowly getting color back and it is growing back too. I can see it growing back over the dead tips, not sure if it is starting to base out.
aussie stag.jpg
 
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PO4 keeps rising. When I stopped using GFO, I was at .031ppm. I'm now at .325ppm. A 10x increase in about 1.5 months. I plotted the data and it is pretty linear. Trendline shows I'm increasing by ~.0075ppm/day. Being linear and seeing that I'm not getting much algae growth on the rocks implies I'm importing more PO4 than I'm exporting . This is easier to fix than if it was bound to the rockwork. Just need to figure out how to get rid of the excess which really isn't much. Interestingly, I'm not importing more N as NO3 than I'm exporting. Seems to be about equal.

I have two maybe three options:

1) Reduce the amount I feed. Not gonna happen. I'm a firm believer in well fed fish means a disease resistant fish. Saw it first hand when I started. Had a clown that started to develop ich. I increased the amount I fed because it was skinny. A couple days later the ich was gone. Obviously if the clown was heavily infested this probably wouldn't work, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

2) Change what I feed. I feed Hikari Marine S pellets 3 times daily via auto feeder. Has a min 1.0% P content. In the 50g bag, that is 500mg min. This implies one whole bag adds ~1900 ppb of P to my tank. Not sure the form of P that is entering via the food, but if all the P converts to PO4, this is ~5.8ppm per bag. I'm not sure how long it takes me to go thru a bag. Wish I had recorded this. Let's say 3 months, could be longer. So, 5.8ppm every 90 days means ~.06ppm/day. This is not enough to warrant switching from Hikari. Quarter sheet of Nori 3 times a week isn't much. Frozen 3 times a week isn't much either. Gonna say changing what I feed isn't gonna do much help. Live phyto every morning, but I doubt this is causing issues. I would see NO3 creeping and its stationary at 25ppm per Salifert.

3) Increase nutrient export. I ran GFO and the tank didn't really improve, so PO4 extraction alone is not an attractive solution. Plus I prefer more natural methods. I'm letting hair algae grow in the sump and there is a lot, but this isn't exporting enough. Don't want to add any new equipment to the tank. Going to try vodka again. Starting at .1mL. I'll give it a week and see what happens. I'm going to limit the vodka dosing to 1mL max. If I can't get it to stop increasing with less than 1mL/day, then I'll have to find another method or combo of methods.
 
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Sailfin flasher is still in hiding, I think. Haven't seen him since Sunday evening. Hopefully he comes out soon to eat.

Two part consumption is increasing. Currently sitting at ~.71 dKH/day. Translates to 24mL of two part a day. I would be happy with consumption around 40mL/day. Wondering if the spike in PO4 caused a slow down in consumption.
 
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Decided to take some photos today. Sailfin tang still in hiding. I'm hoping it shows up soon. I don't know where it is hiding though. Noticed after I took pics that the yellow tang seems to have the beginnings of HLLE. A small white blotch above the right eye. Going to stop running carbon and will order some ROX .8. Been using some secondhand carbon I got from someone tearing down their tank. I knew it was a risk, glad I caught it early. Going to go to ROX and throw everything else away. I only run carbon due to the large amount of soft corals in the tank. Not worth the risk of them killing the tank. I might also put the carbon reactor on a timer.

FTS.jpg


banggai.jpg

capnella.jpg

CBA.jpg
female swallowtail.jpg

flasher.jpg

lubbocks.jpg

melanurus.jpg

sinularia.jpg
talbot.jpg
toadstool.jpg
 
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I picked up some nice frags from a local reefer today. I had to rearrange the tank a bit to make some room for them. I'm actually liking the arrangement of the tank now. Seems like every time I add a coral, the setup gets a bit more refined. The new SPS frags are in various stages of opening up. Some opened up almost instantly and others are a bit more reluctant.

I have noticed that growth edges are becoming a bit more apparent on my established SPS. Really happy about this. I also found my gel glue I purchased months ago. Will be gluing down some frags tomorrow.
 
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I think I have two male cardinals. I've noticed they are becoming more aggressive towards one another. Was hoping it was just mating behavior, but they both appear to be males per the vent method. I guess I'll catch one and take it in and try to get the remaining male a mate.
 
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Did my weekly maintenance today and water testing. CO3 consumption is steadily rising. PO4 has stopped increasing. I guess the .1mL of vodka for the week did the job. Going to increase the vodka dose to .2mL to try and get the PO4 to drop. I want it to be .1-.2ppm. Wanted to take some pictures today, but never got the chance. Got the green slimer mounted and it is looking happy.

Sailfin fairy still hasn't shown his face. This is why I don't buy new fish anymore. The fish are very established and don't do well with new inhabitants. I get lots of cross species aggression due to the spawning damsels and the coral beauty angel.
 
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Took a video last night of what my water column looks like after lights out. Not a great video, but shows how much stuff is in the water column. I don't see nearly this much during the day. I noticed these little silvery balls moving around in the water too. I thought they were bubbles at first, but they don't move like bubbles. I'm guessing a type of crustacean.
 

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You wont regret the Euroquatics fixtures - managed to get myself one and I love it - honestly cannot believe they weren't more popular!
off topic, I just got the euroaqatics fixture but can’t find the app in store.
 
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off topic, I just got the euroaqatics fixture but can’t find the app in store.
I didn't download the app. If you go to the IP address of the lights in your browser, you get the GUI interface. You could do the same thing on your phone.
 

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I didn't download the app. If you go to the IP address of the lights in your browser, you get the GUI interface. You could do the same thing on your phone.
thanks for the tip. Will look into it
 
Best reef aquarium LED lighting
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Sailfin wrasse never showed its face and I noticed a couple days ago increased cyano on the sand bed along with some browning of the corals. I think it died. No idea where it is at though. At this point I'm not going to add any new fish. I will replace the fish I have as they die of old age, but they are all pretty young so doubt that will happen any time soon.

Edit: Water testing confirms the fish died. NO3 rose a bit from 25ppm, Salifert so not sure the exact value. PO4 jumped to .530ppm. So far corals taking it in stride. The birdsnests are showing the greatest reaction, which is less than desirable PE and loss of color. Still not too bad. Hopefully this week things will turn around.
 
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