Fishfreak2009's 75 Gallon Mixed Reef

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Fishfreak2009

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I received this gorgeous blue linckia sea star for the tank today from Petco.com. I'm excited to see how it does in here. It looks to be in amazing shape and is already actively patrolling the tank. Just over 6" across. I drip acclimated it for about 1.5 hrs.

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The phytoplankton cultures (Tetraselmis suecica) are growing beautifully, I harvested them and restarted them on Monday, and they have already dramatically darkened (see pics of Monday vs today). Hopefully I can nab some rotifers soon, get those going, and start raising some baby clarkii clowns and hermit crabs out of this system.

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And in other, non saltwater related stuff, I finally got around to fixing up my Fluval Spec V freshwater planted tank yesterday, and my wife and I ended up coming home with an 8 week old male tricolor mini rex rabbit! We decided to name him Bourbon. He's super outgoing, unafraid of our cats and our dogs, and is extremely sweet.

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Pics and video from tonight.


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Also got my Isochrysis galbana in the mail today and started the cultures. Here's hoping they grow well!

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Well, here's an update of sorts.

First, we were on vacation for the past week and got home late on Sunday. Corals seemed mostly ok. 1 torch was very angry, I assumed from the anemone moving close to it, and the Acropora granulosa was completely dead. Some of the favias also seemed angry and have mild tissue loss. The maxima clam also decided to abandon his spot on the rock wherr he has been for months, not sure if it was the anemone climbing back up there, the clowns bumping him to make a new spot to lay eggs, or just them being upset about the water quality. He is still alive, and now sitting on the sand bed.

Then looked in the freezer to see that the person feeding our fish while we were gone managed to go through the entire 32oz flat of mysis and over half a jar of NLS pellets in 1 week's span...

Got some time tonight to work on the tanks and did water tests on all of them. Here are the parameters for the 75 gallon.

Nitrate: 75ppm
Phosphate: 0.03ppm
Alkalinity: 12.5 dKH
Magnesium: 1440
Calcium: 470

Obviously the high nitrates are a huge issue. I'll be doing 15 gallon water changes every 3 days or so the next couple weeks to help bring them down, and restarted vodka dosing to help keep them down.

Alkalinity is also higher than the tank normally sits, but that is from our top off water having high alkalinity (12.5 or so) and we use reef crystals for salt. Normally the corals use enough of it to keep it at 8-8.5, but they've completely stopped growing with the high nitrates.

What is amazing is that the rest of the corals are still alive, showing great colors, and even have pretty good polyp extension.

And lastly, apparently my Isochrysis was contaminated, as the cultures are now bright green. The cultures were completely taken over by Tetraselmis. Not sure if I somehow cross contaminated (I'm pretty careful, but anything is possible) or if they came cross contaminated (ordered from the same ebay vendor as the Tetraselmis). Pretty disappointed, but at least I can still use them and it isn't Nannochloropsis.

I'm going to try and get some more Isochrysis going in a few weeks, and will be sourcing it from a different vendor to hopefully rule that aspect out.
 
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Update! Slowly getting the nitrates down with vodka dosing, did a water change last night, and accidentally fragged a coral or 2.

A couple quick pics from tonight:

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Did a water change today and siphoned the sand today, so things still aren't 100% clear, but quickly getting there. Took a few pics under the white lights, some without and some with the orange filter.

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Corals looks so good! I tested the nitrates today after 2 weeks of vodka dosing, they're down to 25ppm! Going to keep
going until they're between 5-10ppm.

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Updates: we removed the gorgonian a few weeks ago, as it was getting large, and kept irritating the blastos and the micro lords. It was moved to our 30 gallon seahorse reef.

We also removed the red finger sponges to the seahorse tank, to give them some extra hitching posts.

We added some of the red grape macroalgae and some of the red Ogo macro to this tank from the seahorse tank, as it is growing extremely fast in there, and I thought it would look nice by the anemone, since we can't keep any corals in that area.

The anemone had gotten huge, over 15" across, then crawled down into the rockwork yesterday and is now halfway split. It should be done splitting in another day or so.

The clowns laid eggs again last night, and are guarding their half.

We also fragged a few of the corals, to help keep them from growing into one another, shading themselves out, or from accidentally bumping them while cleaning the tank. I removed roughly 50% of the red people eater zoas (threw them on the frag rack and in 3 of my other builds), and an entire GSP rock (which is now in the seahorse tank).

And lastly, I added a small rock on the sandbed for the clam. It kept moving off the rockwork onto the sandbed, wherever we tried putting it. Hopefully it likes this spot.

Now for those who read this little novel, lots of pics!

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Well the maxima clam is looking much worse tonight, gaping open with receding mantle. Expecting it to be an empty shell by tomorrow.

Corals are looking great though! Here's some pictures from today. I really like the last picture, looking at the 75 gallon through my Fluval evo 13.5 gallon.

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Well, today my big colony of oregon blue tort decided to RTN. Not sure why, I'll be doing a water test tomorrow to see if anything is off, but my current hypothesis is that we added another powerhead a couple days ago, and it was pretty much directly in the flow from that. Needless to say, I've since removed that powerhead. I fragged off all the healthy looking parts this morning (made 9 small frags total) and so far 7 of those look ok, 2 were RTNd by the time I came home this evening. Hopefully the rest make it.

Luckily, I had fragged some off a month ago and added it into my 47 gallon reef, where it is doing well, so hopefully even if all the frags RTN, I'll have another piece I can add back in a couple months time.
 
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Well, I did a big rip clean today, as I kept getting hair algae, dinos, and bryopsis. We also wanted to remove the clarkii pair as they continue to get more aggressive, to put them in our FOWLR. Cleaned all the rock and sand, had all the fish in a bucket with a lid to prevent jumpers, and all the coral and inverts in buckets.

Went to put the fish back and all 3 fairy wrasses were dead. They were only in the bucket for 1 hr. Temp was stable at 75, every other fish is fine. Only thing I can think of is that they freaked out in the bucket and broke their backs/necks?

RIP Pintail, rhomboid, and hooded flame.

We also moved some smaller fish from our FOWLR into this tank, as well as a few fish that came out of quarantine today. So this is the current stock:
2 Amphiprion polymnus
2 Amphiprion sandaracinos
2 Neopomacentrus azysron
2 Chrysiptera cyanea
2 Pomacentrus smithi
1 Pomacentrus pavo
4 Chromis viridis
3 Acanthochromis polyacanthus
2 Pterapogon kauderni
3 Fowleria flammea
2 Zoramia leptacantha
1 Synchiropus splendidus
1 Amblyeleotris aurora
1 Brotulina fusca
1 Cirrhilabrus rubeus
1 Halichoeres iridis
1 Halichoeres timorensis

Inverts include the anemone pistol shrimp, electric blue hermit, halloween hermit, blue leg hermits, astraea snails, mexican turbo snails, strawberry conch, fighting conchs, ox tongue nerites, a rose bubbletip anemone, a maxi mini carpet anemone, a purple banded serpent star, and a red brittle star, plus all the different corals.
 
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Here is a pic post rip clean. Looks empty without the fairy wrasses. I do love the new rock scape though! Should look even nicer once the corals and the bubbletip open back up.

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Picked up this little Hi-Hat drum (Equetus acuminatus) for the tank today. Going to run him through a full quarantine, then move him in here. He's already chowing down on both frozen brine and frozen mysis. Hoping he does well, if he starts going after the other fish/inverts as he gets larger, he will be moved to our FOWLR. I kept one years ago who grew from 1" to about 6" long and the only things he ever went after were small peppermint shrimps, cerith snails, and stomatella snails.

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Here is a pic post rip clean. Looks empty without the fairy wrasses. I do love the new rock scape though! Should look even nicer once the corals and the bubbletip open back up.

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Love the aquascape you have in your tank!
 
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A quick update:

Added a juvenile horseshoe crab a week or so ago to help move the sandbed. He's really neat and I love to hand feed him. The bubbletip anemone split again, and the saddlebacks are starting to use it to some extent, but nowhere near as much as the clarkii did. The corals seem to be recovering nicely from the rip clean, but still battling with the dinoflagellates.

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Picked up this awesome sour apple birdsnest colony from a local reefer today, where it had outgrown his tank. It looks SO GOOD in the tank, and I managed to get it home with only a few small pieces breaking off!

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