My 75 gallon reef

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Fishy888

Fishy888

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One more piece of good news. My xenia have been doing awesome but I noticed a bunch of new polyps today. One of the frags' stalks have attached to the rock not only from the bottom but from the side also. The polyps seem to be trying to attach and form all new stalks. One has attached to the rock all on its own. I am attaching a picture of the whole xenia rock and a closeup of the stalk and the single polyp independently attached.

I am going to get to work on building my ATS soon. I need to get it running before I upgrade the lighting. Between the scrubber and water changes with ro/di (once I have my ro/di unit) things will fall into place as far as excess nitrates and phosphates.

I am amazed at the fact that not only is there coralline on my snails' shells but that is growing. With the not so good algae covering the rocks, the back and left side panel, and even the substrate in places, it is hard to imagine how coralline can exist in this system much less grow. I know coralline needs phosphates and nitrates but nothing like the levels in my reef right now. I don't have any test kits yet but I intend to get some soon.

The sugar dosing is going well so far. I didn't get the white vinegar like I wanted to today but I will get it tomorrow. I believe the corals are eating the bacteria.

The xenia is doing particularly well as the pics show. There is a ton of growth compared to when I first got them 5 weeks ago. I believe the sugar dosing has at least something to do with how well the xenia are doing. The GSP still have only the one polyp that has been open. I am attaching a picture of it as well.

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Fishy888

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Today there are 2 polyps open. So far the mat is still purple. I do see where the stolons look like they're plugged up but they are still very much purple.

I really have to get the hermits to stop messing with the cabbage leathers. They are keeping the polyps from opening. They aren't eating the coral but they are on the green film algae around the corals. Still there are other rocks for them to graze on so all three crabs that are keeping the corals from opening will be moved to a whole new rock. I still love the hermits though. I just need to entice them to move elsewhere in the tank.

The sugar dosing still seems to be going well. I got the vinegar today so tomorrow if all goes well I will start adding vinegar to the mix. It's almost a week of the sugar dosing but since I'll be adding vinegar to the mix I'll keep the sugar dose the same and add a teaspoon of vinegar and see how things react. I don't want to go overboard but I do want to be able to keep nutrients in check too. I do want a bit of variety as far as carbon sources go.
 
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Fishy888

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I performed some maintenance yesterday in the form of cleaning off some rocks though I left some of the rocks alone since hermits and snails were on them. It also left me one rock in particular where cyano can grow while I'm sugar dosing. I took a bucket filled with tank water and placed each rock in the bucket. I then proceeded to give them the scrubbing of the century. It certainly paid off. I had never seen water so brown. All those nitrates and phosphates got poured down the drain and it is my hope that I can get the green film algae or more cyano to grow on the rocks I scrubbed. It may not be an ATS but it is more like a cyano scrubber lol.

Clearly the sugar/vinegar dosing is working well. I am dosing 1 teaspoon of each at this stage. I started dosing about a week ago give or take. I will dose the teaspoon of sugar and of vinegar in the morning but starting tonight I will dose half a teaspoon of of both sugar and vinegar.

If you have been following this build journal you know I have been looking for lights. I may have to accelerate that search. While I was working in the tank yesterday I decided to take about half a sheet of nori to supplement what my snails and hermits eat. They went crazy for it. I never knew just how much of a mess nori can make. There were red flakes everywhere. Once I took the nori out I started straining the flakes that were in the water column.

In the process of straining the nori flakes out of the water I accidentally knocked my temporary lighting into the tank. As fast as I got it out of the water I thought nothing of it. All the LEDs were still lit. When it was time for lights out I tried to turn them off. The lights dimmed but would not turn off. It was then that I noticed 4 LEDs were out when I put the switch back to full lighting. This morning I saw the same four LEDs were no longer totally off. They were flickering however. I took the light (a beamswork 52 watt 36 inch DA 6500k freshwater light) apart and rinsed it with distilled water. Thankfully the traces look good and the lights themselves still work. I did see some corrosion in the solder joints of a few LEDs. It wasn't super bad but I will watch things. I might even try to desolder and resolder and see how things go.

My cabbage leather corals have started to shed yet again. Several of my hermits like to nose around them. I am going to try to use more nori and keep the crabs off of the rock with the two cabbage leather corals. The rock itself needs to be cleaned still.

The xenia are looking great and they are growing. I will have to clean the rock they are on though since it's covered in cyano.

The GSP have two super small polyps out. The mat is still a vivid purple. Many of the stolons have closed off but there are some that are open. I hope some polyps come out of the open stolons soon. The closed off stolons hopefully will reopen and have new polyps that come out.
 
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Fishy888

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There are 4 polyps out on my GSP. I expect an average of 2 extra polyps per day to open so I am thinking I will see 6 polyps open tomorrow. There should be 8 open on Friday. I believe that new ones will grow out of the mat where the stolons were damaged as well. Once that starts happening the GSP will expand. It's just going to take time but I am encouraged by what I see. That H2O2 treatment did wonders for the GSP. I will definitely keep a bottle or two with my other reefing supplies.
 
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I came downstairs this morning to find our thermostat out. It is one of those "smart" thermostats. Thankfully they will come to look at it this morning. The tank is at 77 degrees currently. I usually keep it at 79. I am glad I have 2 heaters in there now.

I have decided to cut back a bit on the carbon dosing. It got to where only bacteria were growing on the glass. My snails kept losing their grip on the glass and I had to right them. I was dosing a teaspoon of vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar in the morning. The night dose was half a teaspoon of each. I am going to do half a teaspoon of each in the morning and in the evening. The tank is clearer this morning and my snails are still holding to the glass.

My GSP has 11 polyps out currently. It has not had any new algae growth since the peroxide bath. The xenia look awesome. As for the cabbage leathers they have finished their sheds and there is only one hermit on the smaller of the two. Neither of them have polyp extension though. I imagine it will take a bit before they extend again. The hermits and clowns are are also doing well.
 
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My tank has a decent amount of cyano growing on the substrate with the carbon dosing I have been doing. There are algae and bacteria (the white kind but also some cyano) growing on the glass as well. I have not exported the cyano or cleaned the glass because I have been sick for a week or so (no not covid but possibly pneumonia since my wife had it). I am getting better though so tomorrow I hope to rip up all the cyano and clean the front glass.

That said I took pics of all my corals just before lights out. My GSP had 13 polyps out at that point. The xenia is engulphing the rock it is on. I have another similarly sized rock I might let it colonize as well. After leaving my two cabbage leather corals alone most of the day, the hermits have come back to the rock they are on. At least the hermits aren't walking on them... yet.

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I pulled up a good chunk of cyano off the substrate and I cleaned the front glass and half of each side. I will cut back a bit more on the carbon dosing since green algae stopped growing altogether and the snails need to eat too.

The GSP have made more progress today. There are 17 polyps open currently. I know that there are another 10 or so that could open over the next week or so but the stolons in the center of the mat are the ones that took most of the damage. Most of these stolons either still have damage and/or the ends are sealed shut. Hopefully this means they are healing and will develop new polyps.

I have placed a second rock to the left of my xenia in the hope that they'll colonize that rock as well. The more coral the better. Not only will they will help take up extra nutrients but they'll look good doing it.

The hermits have been leaving my cabbage leather corals alone. Cyano is growing on that rock near the larger of the cabbage leathers. That is probably why the crabs are leaving the leathers alone.

The clownfish have been resilient through all this and are as feisty as ever. They were attacking my hand and arm as I was cleaning the glass. The hermits are doing well. In fact it is probably time to buy a few more shells for them soon. As for the snails I have not had to right them or anything since reducing the dose yesterday. I am going to skip tonight's dose altogether and do a quarter teaspoon each of sugar and vinegar starting tomorrow, once in the morning and again in the evening.

I bought some small frozen shrimp to give the hermit crabs some meat. The flow does not let them get any of frozen food I feed the fish. They get plenty of algae/detritus but they need meat too. The bristle worms also could use it too.

As for the snails I have been giving them nori with the absence of new algae growing. I have been thinking about giving them the occasional leaf of romaine lettuce or even kale. Before I do that however I will do more research on this topic.
 
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I decided to terminate the carbon dosing for now. I finally have some green algae growing on the glass and on the rocks. It may be too late however for my snails. They have been falling off the rocks and off the glass. I have been righting them but I don't know how much longer they will make it. I tried supplementing them with nori but it doesn't seem to be enough. The only good news is that if they die the hermits will have escargot for dinner.

One thing is for certain though. The carbon dosing created a ton of cyano on the sand. Today was harvest day. I cleaned the cyano off of several rocks today as well. Pure nutrient export happening there. I did leave some however so it could recharge. I will keep exporting it for as long as it grows.

My corals are doing well for the most part. I took some pictures just before the lights went out. My biggest concern is with the cabbage leathers. The hermits were all over the smaller one today. One of the rocks that I cleaned just happened to be the rock the leathers are on. The hermits had to find new digs for a bit. As for my GSP they are pretty much steady state. There were 17 polyps out again today. There is the hint of a new polyp and stolon developing where one of the old stolons completely broke off however. My xenia are doing well. There are all manner of new polyps growing at the bases of the stalks.

I am thinking about restarting the dosing soon. If I do it will be more on the order of 1/8 of a teaspoon each of sugar and vinegar. The corals seemed to react to the carbon dosing well. They certainly had a nice stream of food in the form of bacteria. I believe the zooxanthellae also benefitted from the carbon dosing directly. The xenia particularly responded well. I know it was only a week of dosing but I think the xenia grew a bit more during the week of dosing compared to the weeks before the carbon dosing. I just have to make sure green algae dominates the bacteria growth if I restart.

I am surprised how easy it was to shut down the algae growth altogether. I use tap water currently. Where I live the water quality is much better this time of year than in the summer months. Even so I expected there to still be a bunch of both nitrates and phosphates out of the tap. I expected even higher numbers in my system due to top offs. I know the water company will change the additives they use in our tap water once it gets warmer. By then I hope to have a ro/di unit (probably in March). I also hope to get a Hannah tester for nitrates and phosphates before summer.

The water at the peak of dosing was noticeably cloudy but not to the point of depleting the water of oxygen. I was still able to see to the back of the tank. In a previous tank I did end up with water so cloudy I couldn't see the back of it after sugar dosing. I dosed about the same amount of sugar and vinegar if not less than I dosed to this system at the peak. That other tank had nitrates at 80 and phosphates were upwards of 2 (not 0.2 or 0.02) however.

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What do you use?

  • Gfo

    Votes: 17 7.1%
  • Carbon

    Votes: 86 36.0%
  • Carbon & GFO

    Votes: 81 33.9%
  • Water changes

    Votes: 155 64.9%
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