How not to start a reef tank, my first reef tank build

Which light should I upgrade to after coral qt is done?

  • 2x ai prime

    Votes: 5 50.0%
  • Reefbreeders 24 in. Photon v2

    Votes: 2 20.0%
  • Stick with current orbit USA marine

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Viparspectra 165w

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • 2x hipargero 30w

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 1 10.0%

  • Total voters
    10
  • Poll closed .
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living_tribunal

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Interestingly enough, I was performing the paper towel test to verify if this is a case of Dino’s. The algae at hand is bright purple and pink. I know Dino’s, is dark dark brown, certainly not pink.

Maybe this is a combination of new coralline with nitrogen bubbles and potentially diatoms?

We’ll have a better idea after the paper towel test.

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living_tribunal

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It’s been about two hours and there has been no Dino reformation. I think I’m good, strange though
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living_tribunal

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Pretty amped, today is the day I get to add the hammer, candy canes, monti, birdsnest, stupid zoa, and potentially lepto to the display.

I’m about 2-3 days early with the qt, Humblefish can shoot me.

I need to take this very slow and carefully given the new heads on the hammer and the splitting head on the candy cane.

Trying to figure out the best spots for them.


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living_tribunal

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Everybody is looking happy.

My nitrates are still so low in the display. I dosed an equivalent of 1ppm the other night and my readings were nitrate of 1ppm today when I checked.

I removed more tang heaven from the sump and I’m hoping that helps. There are a ton of bubbles on the rocks and I have a feeling that’s where my nitrate is going. Trying to balance the inevitable explosion of those and dosing to keep things stable.

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living_tribunal

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The hanna kit just gave me a phosphate reading of .2 for my display after doing a water change when yesterday it gave me .07.

I’m hoping this purchase isn’t as inconclusive as other phosphate kits...
 

Why-Me

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The top 4 videos in the list are a total of 2hrs but good knowledge of things observed through many people and many years of reefing.
 
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I tested again and it gave me a reading of .32! What in the Royal hell...
 
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Was able to get it figured out and got three consistent readings. Looks like my phosphates are about .01. Time to dose again.
 
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Through a lot of testing I was able to get the phosphate checker running very accurately.

It appears my phosphate levels are bottoming out for both the frag tank and my display tank. Nitrate levels in the frag tank are at a nice range of 3-4ppm and display is at 1ppm.

I removed most all of the tang heaven from my fuge. I’m going to test mid-week to see if that helps. If not, then I’m going to reduce photo period and also reduce the size of my phytoplankton feeding I’m doing. I have a suspicion that it might surprisingly be the phytoplankton sucking up these nutrients.

I wonder how much of a dent it will have on my pod population by alternating feeding days or reducing the amount of phytos? I guess we’ll find out.
 

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the fuge and the display it is tied to should have the same phosphate levels no? It is my experience that growing alage in the fuge prevents the nasties from growing in the display. You have the low range not the ultra-low range checker i am guessing? The ultra-low range does the math for you. I have and i love it.

80-82 is nothing to sweat. If you want it lower the first step is to have a fan of your choice blow across the top of the display tank. I find that closer to the light source (fan placement) works better.
 
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living_tribunal

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the fuge and the display it is tied to should have the same phosphate levels no? It is my experience that growing alage in the fuge prevents the nasties from growing in the display. You have the low range not the ultra-low range checker i am guessing? The ultra-low range does the math for you. I have and i love it.

80-82 is nothing to sweat. If you want it lower the first step is to have a fan of your choice blow across the top of the display tank. I find that closer to the light source (fan placement) works better.
The issue is the fuge completely, or potentially something else, is zeroing my nutrients daily. This is true especially for phosphate.

I’m currently running skimmerless, only 3 hour photoperiod for fuge, 3-4 fish feedings a day, dosing aminos daily, targeted coral feeding 1-2 times a week, and dosing phosphates and nitrates daily to keep them above 0.

I have the hanna phosphorous ulr checker, it does not do the math for you. It’s no sweat as the math is 4 year old type arithmetic.

I was able to get the temp back to being consistent by raising the lights another inch and a half. My tank isn’t too stocked so I think they’ll be fine with the par loss.
 
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living_tribunal

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So my very strange issue persists.

I’ve gone 3 days with no skimmer, 3 hour photoperiod in my fuge, have been feeding my two clowns 4 times a day, feeding my coral aminos, and dosing .02ppm of phosphate every single day.

My phosphates are always 0 every single time I check.

I run the checked on a freshly dosed tank and it hits the nail on the head.

I am beginning to really consider my theory about my pod population dying out, and I’ve been dramatically over feeding phytoplankton which is consuming all of my nutrients.

Right now, there is no explanation....

In an effort to prove to you all I’m not crazy, I’m going to add in a huge thing of tisbe pods to my frag tank. If I check phosphates tomorrow and the frag tank still has a phosphate reading then, well, I’m not actually nuts.

This is as bizarre as it is frustrating...
 
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Went to Texas coral fest today, was a lot of fun and there were a ton of vendors.

I surprisingly walked out with only 5 frags. They are more expensive however. I was able to stick to my list pretty well and I think they will be great additions.


Red bowerbanki,
Dragon soul favia,
Another crazy favia,
Purple torch,
Bright orange acan colony

I will be interrogating these guys shortly.

My frag yank has been going through a pretty gnarly turf algae bloom. I cleaned the snot out of it yesterday just in time for the newest additions.
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This is day 4 of running skimmerless. The tank is looking disgusting and the water has a brown tint to it. I’m really debating whether I should turn back on the skimmer or not.

This whole situation has me both stressed and very confused. I don’t know how to approach it which is the most frustrating thing of all.

It’s also been very difficult to receive help on here. On one hand, if I sit idle and allow my phosphates to stay zeroed for an extended period of time, I will experience another inevitable Dino bloom. On the other hand, I have a cloud tank where things look like they’re getting worse.

Priority #1 is to determine what is sucking up my phosphates. I can’t figure this out, I can’t devise a plan to handle this.

#2 is to determine if the slow phosphates released during the day are enough to keep Dino away and also deliver enough nutrition to my corals and biodiversity. I.e. the phosphates potentially bound to the rock are still accessible by biodiversity and coral.

#3 if #2 is not true, the question is can Dino or diatoms access this nutrition bound to liverock. This one is what I’m most fearful of. If conditions are right, this could be Dino heaven.

#4 will .02ppm phosphate dosing and aggressive feeding be enough to supply enough nutrition to the biodiversity and coral in my tank regardless of what #1-3 entails?

At a loss and perplexed by this. If anyone has experienced something similar, I’d REALLY appreciate the help.
 

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I can't tell you what to do, but I would suggest STOP chasing parameters.
Again, I've never added pods or macro algae, never done phosphate test either.
I know different strokes for different folks but there's a huge bunch of people here who would suggest stop chasing parameters.
That being said I myself am not sure right now how to help you in your current situation.
I would ask @Randy Holmes-Farley he may have some great knowledge to drop on ya.?!
 
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I can't tell you what to do, but I would suggest STOP chasing parameters.
Again, I've never added pods or macro algae, never done phosphate test either.
I know different strokes for different folks but there's a huge bunch of people here who would suggest stop chasing parameters.
That being said I myself am not sure right now how to help you in your current situation.
I would ask @Randy Holmes-Farley he may have some great knowledge to drop on ya.?!
I’m not chasing parameters, I’m simply trying to have some phosphate for my tank.

It’s the equivalent of mag dropping to 350 and someone’s asking about how they can get it up only to be told to “stop chasing numbers”.

When phosphate hits zero, things crash and Dino starts.
 

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I’m not chasing parameters, I’m simply trying to have some phosphate for my tank.

It’s the equivalent of mag dropping to 350 and someone’s asking about how they can get it up only to be told to “stop chasing numbers”.

When phosphate hits zero, things crash and Dino starts.
Correct I'm not debating that but sometimes things in tank, like algae will deplete these and render the test useless or tell you that you have zero when you do have some. Like I said I'm not familiar with tracking or keeping phosphate in check yet. Haven't tested. I don't want to give you bad advice that's why I'm not telling you to do anything but stop chasing phosphate but after your explanation it makes sense what you're saying.
I think Randy would be of great help here, hopefully he'll chime in when he gets that ping from the @ I used.
Maybe #reefsquad could help out too?
 

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