Erk's Attempt at a Reef

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by erk, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Dude, your photos are stellar!
     
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  2. erk

    erk Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks! I really enjoy taking pictures and sharing them with everyone. I think I need to do another macro video though. Waiting for my 200mm macro lens to come in before I do another video though.
     
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  3. erk

    erk Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    Decided to try out my "new" macro lens this evening. It is the Nikon 200mm f4 micro. I decided to purchase another one and keep the damaged one as parts in case the new one gets damaged. Really loving this telemacro lens. I'm going to apologize ahead of the time for the grainy photos. My camera decided to jump to ISO1600 for all the photos. I should've forced it to 800-1200, but oh well.

    Diamond Sleeper Goby
    diamond sleeper goby.jpg
    My latest addition. The conch I purchased months ago isn't able to turn over the sand bed fast enough to keep algae from growing. So I got this guy to help.

    H. melanurus
    melanurus.jpg
    I've had this guy for over a year now, maybe 2 years. I can't keep track of these things. Love this guy. Like a torpedo of curiosity.

    C. rubrisquamis
    rubrisquamis.jpg
    The ever photogenic wrasse. He can't stand but be in the spot light.

    And some coral shots that turned out well.
    blastomussa.jpg

    dragon eyes.jpg

    And as always, I like to include some photos from my other hobbies as well. Just edited these few that I took last year before heading to New Mexico.

    hawk in the big blue.jpg
    mockingbird with berry.jpg
    peekaboo.jpg
     
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  4. najer

    najer Valuable Member

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    Great pics. :)
     
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  5. erk

    erk Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    Weekly testing done and alk dropped 1 dKH over a week. Good sign of increased growth. Definitely noticed increased coraline growth, but the urchins are doing their part to keep it from growing too fast, lol.
     
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  6. erk

    erk Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    Tank hasn't looked in peak condition recently. Had some burnt tips on some SPS and LPS not as inflated as usual. Seems I let alk drift too high. I let it get to ~9 dKH. That coupled with low nutrient levels caused my issues. I sent in an ATI test just in case. Can't be too sure.
     
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  7. erk

    erk Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    Corals have rebounded except for the ones I care about the most, :mad:. Just strange how that works. The tenuis are looking fairly meh, but the tierra del fuego right next to the tenuis looks amazing. Hopefully the tenuis survives. Just gotta keep the tank stable in the mean time.
     
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  8. erk

    erk Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    I've had a bit of a bryopsis explosion and while I don't mind bryopsis as it looks kind of nice, like a moss almost, the growth has severely depleted the nutrients in the system. This might be my biggest problem, maintaining nutrient levels at barely readable. It is a constant fight, trying to maintain the balance. Unfortunately, I allowed the alkalinity to rise to 9 dKH during this time and now the fallout of that mistake has finally hit. Almost every acro has burnt tips and looks terrible. I've ordered fluconazole to try and get rid of the bryopsis. It is too difficult trying to maintain a nutrient balance with a fast growing algae like bryopsis. Alk is slowly dropping, hopefully I can get it back below 8.5 dKH soon.

    And while the SPS look bleh, the LPS never looked better. They continue to grow. Same as the softies. My gorgonians are so bushy and getting larger. Same for the neon green toadstool. At this point, I'm just letting things grow in. No more additions unless I lose something.
     
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  9. erk

    erk Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    I had my water tested by ATI. I like that they measure the nitrate and RO water. RO water looks great. Zero across the board. The aquarium is pretty much where I expected it to be. Mg was a bit high. Calcium is high because of my mistakes in the past, but I don't worry about it. Nitrate is essentially 0 and that is my biggest issue. Got my fluconazole and going to get rid of this bryopsis so it stops consuming all my nitrate.

    ATI Test results 20.03.2018
     
  10. erk

    erk Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    The fluconazole treatment coupled with manually removing the bryopsis seems to have done the trick. I pulled out a ball of bryopsis the size of my fist. It grew into a perfect ball like shape. Any remaining bryopsis is turning white and dying off. The other positive is that I've had to turn off the skimmer during this time and the rising nitrate levels seems to have helped stop the tissue recession. Hopefully this is the end of this little hiccup and things can get back on track.
     
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  11. najer

    najer Valuable Member

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    Sounds like it is turning around for you, nice. :)
     
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  12. erk

    erk Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    I forgot to include in my update that I bought a porcelain crab and a target mandarin. Sadly the mandarin died within hours of going in the tank. I don't QT as I have found that puts more stress on the animals and usually ends in their demise. I have better luck with acclimating over about 30 min then placing into the tank. Not sure why the little guy passed. Could've been shock or maybe it was too malnourished. I was hoping it was strong enough to get established in the tank. I have a rock refugium that is overpopulated with pods. So food shouldn't be a problem. I may try my hand at another mandarin in a couple weeks. Maybe this time I'll place the mandarin in the acclimation container with a piece of rock from the refugium.

    The porcelain crab gave me a scare as I hadn't seen it for 2 days. But it came out last night and last I saw it, it was perched on the overflow filtering out its breakfast.
     
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  13. najer

    najer Valuable Member

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    Sorry to here about the mandarin. :(
     
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  14. erk

    erk Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks. It was too bad. I got the little one from the Petco down the street. It was with them for two weeks before I bought it. They actually purchased pods to try and keep it fed and happy. I think it was too late though. Was hoping I could save it, but I was too late.
     
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  15. erk

    erk Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    I started this tank around the end of March. Can't remember the exact date though. So...

    Made it thru the 1st year!

    It has been one heck of a rollercoaster. I made some dumb mistakes early in the start of the tank. Dosing too much kalkwasser because I thought I had low calcium. Turns out is was the Hanna calcium checker.

    Then came the struggle to balance feeding and vodka dosing. That was a very long and strung out battle. Still dealing with this issue now. Nitrate bottoms out very quickly if I don't pay close attention.

    Then the latest struggle, maintaining alkalinity at NSW levels to ensure I don't get burnt tips.

    Things are pretty stable though. Corals are growing well despite the recent issues. Can't wait to see how everything looks at the 2 year mark!
     
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  16. erk

    erk Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    I think I'm going to take a break from SPS for awhile. Pretty much all of them have died or are dying. LPS and softies are doing well still. My best guess is my NO3 and PO4 levels are too low and the ULNS conditions are having a negative effect. I usually run ULNS conditions, but I think the up and down of the algae dying was so fast that it shocked the sensitive SPS. Some LPS haven't faired well either. Might replace the SPS with some interesting softies and LPS. Interested in something that moves with the current, so euphyllia, duncan, or goniopora.
     
  17. erk

    erk Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    Been over a week since my last update. Haven't really been updating because coral are dying for unknown reasons. I suspect low nutrient levels. The odd part was I was battling low nutrient levels when the bryopsis was growing. After I got rid of the bryopsis, nutrient levels hit rock bottom. Would've expected the opposite. I've lost pretty much all my SPS. LPS and softies are having a mixed reaction. No matter how much food I put into the tank, still can't bring up nutrients. Trying the Transition Elements from ESV. Seen a good response so far, but need to dose it regularly. Only algae that grows in the tank is the hard to remove green stuff and coraline.

    Positive is the fish are doing great. Never looked better and their colors are really coming out.
     
  18. erk

    erk Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    Nothing has really improved. LPS are very slowly declining. SPS are almost all gone. Most softies are ok, but some gorgs still show signs of distress, mostly the ones on the right side of the tank. I'm starting to wonder if maybe the toadstool leather is the main cause or partial cause. If maybe the changes I made over a month ago caused it to put off toxins and that in turn killed everything else. The toadstool is in an upstream location to the majority of corals. I've ruled out macro and micro elements, excess nutrients, etc. RODI water tests perfect. Checked for electrical failure. Nothing is out of line and I verified all this with an ATI test. The only coral that truly looks happy is the toadstool. It has grown quite a bit in recent months. I really don't want to pull it out, but I may have to if I want to keep any other corals. I'm going to try running granulated carbon in a reactor and see if there is any improvement. If there is improvement, but it doesn't last long, then I may need to remove the toadstool or increase the amount of carbon. If there is no improvement, I might just completely pull the toadstool out and sell it.
     
  19. najer

    najer Valuable Member

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    Try the carbon first, don't strip things too hard, hopefully the leather is not the cause but I have limited experience with them, I have 4 in 2 different tanks.
     
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  20. erk

    erk Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    Would you recommend using half of the recommended carbon versus running the full amount?
     
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