First time seeing this

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by Quinnchero, May 16, 2018.

  1. Quinnchero

    Quinnchero Member

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    Ok,
    Long time hobbyist, 40+ years in the hobby. I lurk in almost every reef forum just to read. Very rarely do I post but this one is new to me and I have seen a thing or two in those 40 years.
    I'm in the process of starting up a 40 gallon breeder. Been out of the hobby for about 2 years do to life changes and what-not. Been making small purchases of gear and supplies during that time. I plan on adding a build thread on this one because, IMHO, I have done a few unique things with this tank that I have not seen done very often. I'll get to those at a later date when I get to writing out that build thread. So to get to what I am posting about....
    I started this tank with VERY dry rock. Wanted to try out starting a system from 99.9% scratch to avoid and nasties. Half (about 30 lbs) dry Pukani from BRS which sat for at least a year and a half in my garage; and the other half (20-25 lbs) from old rock I had sitting around in the garage for approximately 3 years. All of it was bleached for 2 days, and acid bathed for about 15 minutes prior to cycling. This rock is white as snow. I also added one bag (10 lbs )of Carib-Sea "live" sand and the rest was old sand that sat for the same 3 year time frame as the rock.
    This was also the first time I have used a store bought nitrifying bacteria starter (Dr Tim's). I usually do the shrimp, or just add ammonia. Was hoping to see a quicker start-up. It did seem to speed up the process as far as my testing shows. As of day 6: Ammonia 0.2, Nitrite 2.0, Nitrates 5.0, and for giggles since I'm using Pukani I test for Phosphate as well: started out at 0.3 and is now 0.12 ppm. All other params are the standard 440, 9, and 1280. I am keeping temp a little higher (80-81) as to promote the BB. Lights are off 100% of the time in a generally dark room (blinds closed on one west facing wall). Zero WC so far.
    So here's the thing....I have coralline algae popping up ALL over the place! This is day 9 of the cycle, waiting on Nitrite eating bac to show up in force. I have not placed a single item with coralline algae on it in the tank. In the past I always grab some scrapings from either a friend or a LFS to get the coralline started and that usually happens 5-6 weeks to 3 months after I get the cycle complete. So tonight I thought I'd kick on the lights for a few minutes to see what was shakin' and was very surprised. I'd say one quarter of the rocks now have the coralline chickenpox as I call them. Some are eraser size, some are bean size, and a few rocks have a lovely shade of the lightest pink on a good portion of them. All of them are on the side furthest from the natural light (minimal at best) and the larger spots are almost on the bottom of the rocks.
    This was a pleasant surprise to say the least (I am a huge fan of multiple algae species on my rock). But confusing as well. The only place IMO that it could have come from is the "Live" sand. Is this more common than I think it is? I have used "Live" sand in many a tank, to somewhat questionable benefit to the tank in general. But I have never had coralline appear from that. And to have it growing with absolutely no light seems rather odd to me as well.
    I guess I'm asking if anyone has had this occur during the cycle and under the conditions I have described above?
    Thanks,
    Q
     
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  2. RobZilla04

    RobZilla04 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Do you have pictures? It would be amazing to have corraline so soon.

    Stand by for leaching phosphates for months from the dry pukani and other dry rock. From experience that should last about 6-10 months.
     
  3. Quinnchero

    Quinnchero Member

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    I do have pics, hundreds of them, in preparation for a build thread. But none taken of the coralline algae that I'm seeing. I will try to get some this evening and post them here.

    And yeah, I'm ready for the phosphate leaching. Never used the Pukani before but was aware of the issue before the purchase. I just seriously wanted to start from a totally inert state with regards to the rock. Never done a startup this way, always used fresh live rock which I usually hand picked from the Los Angeles distribution center on the day it arrived in the states. Unfortunately, while adding to the overall bio-diversity of the tank, it came with pests that eventually made the systems very troublesome. Getting older and seriously don't want to go through pest removal every weekend, so I thought I'd try it out.
     
  4. Porpoise Hork

    Porpoise Hork Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Are you sure it's coraline and not cyano or another type of bacteria coating or algae popping up that looks very similar? It is possible that the live sand used had a bunch of coraline in it, but it is highly unusual to see it develop in such a new system. When I setup my 40G with a very similar method as you did, I noticed the development of similar spots at first that I thought was coraline, but ended up being a type of algae that eventually gave way to coraline.
     
  5. Quinnchero

    Quinnchero Member

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    From my experience it is the very early stages of coralline. I may be wrong but it certainly looks like it to me. Trust me, I fully expect cyano or other algae forms to get their start right about now, at least some diatoms but this looks very distinctly coralline-ish to me. I'll add some pics I took at lunch today.
     
  6. Quinnchero

    Quinnchero Member

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    Photos, not the best I know, attached.
    20180516_113842.jpg 20180516_113816.jpg 20180516_113842.jpg 20180516_113816.jpg 20180516_114035.jpg 20180516_114001.jpg 20180516_113830.jpg
     
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  7. Porpoise Hork

    Porpoise Hork Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    That certainly does look more like coraline than cyano that's for sure. I guess time will tell on what it actually is.
     
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  8. Zach W

    Zach W Member

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    My rocks looks nearly identical to what you have described and what the pictures show. I started my tank with about 15lbs of pukani and it have these small purple splotches as well.
     
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  9. Quinnchero

    Quinnchero Member

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    FTS just for fun. Yes I know "Wall o' Rock" not so popular as it was, but still my favorite look with many many ledges and plateaus for future frags mounts.

    20180516_114126.jpg 20180516_114140.jpg 20180516_114220.jpg
     
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  10. Quinnchero

    Quinnchero Member

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    I think so as well, just very surprised to see this occurring so rapidly. I will monitor the spots for growth over new few days/weeks and see what happens when the lights actually go on
     
  11. SawCJack00

    SawCJack00 Silly Twit R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Looks like coraline to me, and I like your aquascape. I wish i had the coraline showing up on my rock. I inspect it regularly, but no sign yet...
     
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  12. vetteguy53081

    vetteguy53081 Well known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Likely coralline. Do you have GSP in tank? little bumps almost represent gsp.
     
  13. Stigigemla

    Stigigemla Active Member

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    I am sorry to say but you should add some live rock to the tank. Live rock has some worms and pods in it that is slowly cleaning it all the time.
    Without those animals your rock will have all its pores clogged with detritus in a year or 2 and lose its function.
    Try to get a small stone from a fellow reefer that has had the stone a few years so you know it is free from pests. It will populate the other stones in a month or two.

    And i love your buildup. When i go diving I am practially only looking at the rocks and whats on or near it. So for me the natural reef is a wall.
     
  14. Ahbaloch

    Ahbaloch Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Could be there from past?
     
  15. Quinnchero

    Quinnchero Member

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    No GSP in tank. Nothing in it yet, still cycling. That is why I posted this as it is extremely odd to have coralline show up so extremely fast.
     
  16. Quinnchero

    Quinnchero Member

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    Thanks for the compliment. I will get the pods going via some cultures from trusted sources. As for the plethora of worms, sponges, filter feeders, BB, etc... Those will come on board within a few weeks/months with SPS frags, and the occasional LR encrusted with LPS and a few softies of my choice. My goal is to start without the major pests...nudis, bristle worms, unwanted crabs, etc.
     
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  17. OriginalUserName

    OriginalUserName Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    You can add pods with cultures and not introduce possible pests.
     
  18. Quinnchero

    Quinnchero Member

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    Thanks, I had just posted above that that is my plan. I have a few friends with clean cultures as well a few sites I've used in the past.
     
  19. OriginalUserName

    OriginalUserName Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    On my soon to be tank upgrade I'm going to follow that same path. My first tank went through all the problems with pests. That was ok for a beginner but I want to start clean the next time around. Cultures work for sure, I've used them here and there on my tank and the pod growth is explosive.
     
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  20. Quinnchero

    Quinnchero Member

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    Yeah, I have a nice culture of just amphipods in my garage waiting to go. Gonna startup my phyto cultures soon as well. The copepods I am thinking will be from a few larger suppliers to get a more diverse fauna going. Pretty excited about phyto culture production happening again. Cheap LED strips have made it so much cheaper than even a few years ago.
     
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