How did you defeat the ugly phase?

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What did you use to defeat the ugly phase?


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JoJosReef

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By using live rock, never having an ugly phase, and by using the phrase "ugly phase" as a punchline.

The tank I show in the above post is using new TBS live rock. About 2 weeks in now and have some brown residues growing on the sandbed. Only 5 astreas so far in the cleanup crew. Oh, that's gulf live sand as well crawling with micro critters.

Just to say that live rock/sabd isn't a 100% skip of the uglies.
 
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Ocean’s Piece

Ocean’s Piece

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QUOTE="Wasabiroot, post: 9819497, member: 172150"]
If your tank is large enough, a conch is worth its weight in gold to keep the sand clean.

What is a good alternative to a conch in a small tank? Extra ceriths?

Not enough room for a conch to get around, I think:
IMG_20220115_155700161.jpg

[/QUOTE]
There’s a lot of other snails that eat algae on the sand. I would check out this thread. There are some other methods, but snails are one of the best options:
 

JoJosReef

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What is a good alternative to a conch in a small tank? Extra ceriths?

Not enough room for a conch to get around, I think:
IMG_20220115_155700161.jpg
There’s a lot of other snails that eat algae on the sand. I would check out this thread. There are some other methods, but snails are one of the best options:
[/QUOTE]

Great post, thanks! I am rethinking my plan to add a couple of bumble bee snails if they could munch on corals. I also winder if they would eat my spaghetti snails...

Will get some ceriths for that sand bed then! I would love a conch, but not enough room, I think.
 

Chrisv.

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I'm interested to hear if anyone didn't have an ugly phase. I have heard that some people did not have one, but that's because they must have had a competitor from the start that minimized the ugly phase.
In the last year (25 total years in reefing) I have set up two tanks that experienced little to no break in time.

One tank was set up with 1/3 established live rock and 2/3 dry rock. The dry rock had a succession of a minimal dusting of brown algae and a minimal dusting of green algae before coralline growing. I would‘t call it an ugly phase though. the tank was set up 10 months ago and the dry rock is indistinguishable from the live rock. I did dose vibrant every other week at half dose while there was green micro algae visible on the rocks. on alternate weeks I dosed dr Tim’s waste away. i lost a few corals when the tank over heated last summer, but otherwise it has matured with no incidents. I have two dozen or so species of coral in the tank and sps colonies have all at least doubled in size In that time. I have scraped the glass maybe 10 times, recently only to remove coralline.

Tank number two was set up this fall using established live rock from the bin at my local fish store. Coralline growth has been particularly fast in this tank and I have experienced no waves of green or brown algae. 15 or 20 strains of zoas…it’s a zoa garden tank.

Both tanks get about 15-30% water changes a month.

I think the key is to limit fish stocking, to use at least some very well established live rock, to feed enough but not too much.
 
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Ocean’s Piece

Ocean’s Piece

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In the last year (25 total years in reefing) I have set up two tanks that experienced little to no break in time.

One tank was set up with 1/3 established live rock and 2/3 dry rock. The dry rock had a succession of a minimal dusting of brown algae and a minimal dusting of green algae before coralline growing. I would‘t call it an ugly phase though. the tank was set up 10 months ago and the dry rock is indistinguishable from the live rock. I did dose vibrant every other week at half dose while there was green micro algae visible on the rocks. on alternate weeks I dosed dr Tim’s waste away. i lost a few corals when the tank over heated last summer, but otherwise it has matured with no incidents. I have two dozen or so species of coral in the tank and sps colonies have all at least doubled in size In that time. I have scraped the glass maybe 10 times, recently only to remove coralline.

Tank number two was set up this fall using established live rock from the bin at my local fish store. Coralline growth has been particularly fast in this tank and I have experienced no waves of green or brown algae. 15 or 20 strains of zoas…it’s a zoa garden tank.

Both tanks get about 15-30% water changes a month.

I think the key is to limit fish stocking, to use at least some very well established live rock, to feed enough but not too much.
Very interesting. I think part of it may be due to experience. People who haven’t done it before don’t know how to keep it stable and make mistakes. But then you have some tanks that get set up by experienced reefers and you would have thought they were underwater jungles there was that much algae growing during the ugly phase.
 

Billldg

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I was not able to defeat the ugly stage. Mine when from bad to worse. I went from the ugly stage to major Dino's. I was able to defeat Dino's though. ;)
 
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Ocean’s Piece

Ocean’s Piece

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Time, time and time. Something the new comers in this hobby don't grasp.
I think when I started about a year ago, I understood that it took time because it had been harped down in those YouTube videos, but I don’t think I understood some things take an incredibly long time. My concept of a long time was like 3-4 months, instead of like half a year, at least for the ugly stage.
 

ying yang

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Didnt do a right lot to be honest apart from at begginning of my tanks life I added few cuc members then if rocks/ glass/ sand looked like cuc couldn't keep up then I added few more cuc and tank maybe 10 months old and not really call my ugly phase ugly at all to ne honest .not like I see some reefers ranks on r2r anyway .

I just got 2 conch for sandbed and 12 nassaruius snails.
About 25 hermits
18 trouchus snails
Pistol shrimp helps keep his side of tank sand turned over/ clean.
2x tuxedo urchins who did most of the work cleaning in my opinion.
These above added like 6 at a time once every few months and so far so good,little brown covering of sand at begginning and on rocks but was for like 1-2 weeks at most,had no big algae infestations to deal with but I know anything can change at a moments notice ^_^
 

Calm Blue Ocean

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I employed three heavy lifters (in addition to a typical CUC of snails and hermit crabs). A Conch, a Mexican Turbo, and a Tuxedo Urchin. Each had their specialty with the Conch mostly taking care of the sand, the Mexican Turbo favoring diatoms, and the Tuxedo Urchin mowing down the hair algae. A fantastic trio for beating the uglies.
 

Chrisv.

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Very interesting. I think part of it may be due to experience. People who haven’t done it before don’t know how to keep it stable and make mistakes. But then you have some tanks that get set up by experienced reefers and you would have thought they were underwater jungles there was that much algae growing during the ugly phase.

I really feel that using established rock makes a huge difference. I’ve seen dry rock tanks work well, but I’ve also really seen some people struggle. I do think that there are some amazing tools now that we never had before. It's ana amazing time to be reefing!
 
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Ocean’s Piece

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Didnt do a right lot to be honest apart from at begginning of my tanks life I added few cuc members then if rocks/ glass/ sand looked like cuc couldn't keep up then I added few more cuc and tank maybe 10 months old and not really call my ugly phase ugly at all to ne honest .not like I see some reefers ranks on r2r anyway .

I just got 2 conch for sandbed and 12 nassaruius snails.
About 25 hermits
18 trouchus snails
Pistol shrimp helps keep his side of tank sand turned over/ clean.
2x tuxedo urchins who did most of the work cleaning in my opinion.
These above added like 6 at a time once every few months and so far so good,little brown covering of sand at begginning and on rocks but was for like 1-2 weeks at most,had no big algae infestations to deal with but I know anything can change at a moments notice ^_^
How do you get away with 2 conches? I thought you could only have one or they'll fight?
I really feel that using established rock makes a huge difference. I’ve seen dry rock tanks work well, but I’ve also really seen some people struggle. I do think that there are some amazing tools now that we never had before. It's ana amazing time to be reefing!
It's crazy! Technology is changing the world.
 

ying yang

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How do you get away with 2 conches? I thought you could only have one or they'll fight?

It's crazy! Technology is changing the world.
Got 2 strawberry lipped conches ( aka tiger conch I believe they called ) and in 7 months or so never seen them fight not even once .

Seen them jump 6 inch in air backwards landing about 8 inch away trying to get away from a hermit that kept trying to kill one of them.
That hermit now resides in my sump lol
 
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Ocean’s Piece

Ocean’s Piece

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Got 2 strawberry lipped conches ( aka tiger conch I believe they called ) and in 7 months or so never seen them fight not even once .

Seen them jump 6 inch in air backwards landing about 8 inch away trying to get away from a hermit that kept trying to kill one of them.
That hermit now resides in my sump lol
Mine are crazy too. The person who said these things don't climb on rocks was clearly wrong. Sometimes I catch mine grazing as much at 6 inches above the sandbed even though there's plenty of food there for him. Inverts like to have fun too I guess, who knows. cryptic little creatures.
 

ying yang

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Mine are crazy too. The person who said these things don't climb on rocks was clearly wrong. Sometimes I catch mine grazing as much at 6 inches above the sandbed even though there's plenty of food there for him. Inverts like to have fun too I guess, who knows. cryptic little creatures.
I've actually caught mine climbing up my vertical plastic internal overflow .got up about 6 inch then fell off lol
 

vetteguy53081

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QUOTE="Wasabiroot, post: 9819497, member: 172150"]
If your tank is large enough, a conch is worth its weight in gold to keep the sand clean.

What is a good alternative to a conch in a small tank? Extra ceriths?

Not enough room for a conch to get around, I think:
IMG_20220115_155700161.jpg

[/QUOTE]
pin cushion urchin
 
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Ocean’s Piece

Ocean’s Piece

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I've actually caught mine climbing up my vertical plastic internal overflow .got up about 6 inch then fell off lol
Oh it's hilarious when they vertically climb. Mines like an acrobat. It was climbing up on a vertical part of my rock, then tilting back to get the stuff on the rock behind it looking upside down.
 
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