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Some shots from this evening under actinics

Baby torch, growing up, about the size of a nickel now.
BW5A1795.jpg


No name, I really like the black undertones on this one and under daylights glows magenta
BW5A1758.jpg


New blasto
BW5A1785-2.jpg


RRC Splice, getting visible verticle growth, Took its time to start growing, but getting some consistent growth now.
BW5A1801.jpg


Jolt, looks nice, getting more red in the polyps
BW5A1818.jpg


ASD Rainbow, I feel I was close to losing this with the bad batches of salt, but looks healthy again. This has not grown much for me. I had a prior colony that was a fast grower. Going to give this another month or two and move it to a location with a change in flow if it doesn'tpick up the pace.
BW5A1829.jpg


HR Death Stars and SBB Hephaestus. The death stars appear drab under daylights but really pop under actinics.
BW5A1809.jpg


Welsophyllia
BW5A1765.jpg


BC Gilded lily, progressively getting its yellow back
BW5A1745.jpg

WT Tierra Del Fuego, one of my favorites.

BW5A1757.jpg


TGC Acrolandia. I lost this previously to RTN. I attributed it to the high nutrients at the time, but not confident it wasn't related to the bad salt. Who knows, but I'm happy to have it back. It's doing well and growing fast.
BW5A1748.jpg
 
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Some daylight photos
1646697014574.png



The elegance on bottom left is looking happier after 3-4 months of generally not looking as good. The other thing I've observed the coralline on the rocks has bounced back. I suspected the parrot fish was eating the coralline, but now I believe the reduced or generally less vibrant coralline was due either to the high nutrients or the unknown issue in the salt.

BW5A1879.jpg

BW5A1893-2.jpg


RRC splice
BW5A1865.jpg


WT Tierra del fuego, WD is on the right
BW5A1856.jpg


A. granulosa
BW5A1859.jpg


A. millepora , TGC Redwing
BW5A1855.jpg


Indo tenuis colonies I picked up, made it through QT clean, and colors picking back up as it settles in. Awesome polyp extension and tips are growing.
BW5A1852.jpg

TGC creamsicle
BW5A1848.jpg


I'm told this is a Rainbow loom, but perhaps a paletta pink tip? Regardless, nice looking coral.

BW5A1847.jpg
 
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Given that I started the system with dried live rock, I was interested in following the progression of the microbial community. I just received the results for the one year microbiome analysis.

Here are the 3 month results
1637951022421.png

One year
1647114065177.png


3 months
1637951110816.png

One year
1647114188286.png



The 1-year sample shows the balance score has increased. The microbial community has progressed to being more like that of a typical established reef tank as would be expected.

The community was previously dominated by Vibrionaceae but now most of the major families present. The only exception are the Pelagibacteraceae, which is related to the use of a UV sterilizer. These are a dominant microbial family on living reefs, and the significance is unknown.

I have a robust nitrifying community. Both ammonia and nitrite oxidizing microbes are present now at levels > 90th percentile.


1647117990212.png


1637890689498.png


February 2021, 3 months
IMG_3754.jpeg


March 2022
BW5A1922.jpg
 
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This is AWESOME information. Thank you for archiving & sharing.

Care to speculate just HOW the new bacteria were introduced? I am going to go with coral stocking.

Coral stocking is a big one.

I cycled the dried out rocks for 3 months in bins in my garage and used live mud from florida pets. Although I did add Fritz turbo start in a bottle, I just can't imagine any bottled product is going to have the same diversity as mud or sand from a wild source.

I also added live sand and mud from Indo Pacific Sea Farms around the 3-4 month mark, and again last month. After adding it the first time, my cyano more or less disappeared, and I think adding a competing microbe contributed.

Aquabiomics noted the recent sample had one of the the largest populations of ammonia and nitrite oxidizing organisms in any they had tested. I'm going to speculate that is related to the amount I feed the system.

With the more limited availability of live rock, dry rock has become increasingly prevalent, and new systems encounter problems that didn't occur with live rock in the past. A question I'm interested in is why. I believe it's a number of things, but I suspect an immature microbial community is a big part of this and one of the reasons I wanted to collect this data.

1647122876851.png
 
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Coral stocking is a big one.

I cycled the dried out rocks for 3 months in bins in my garage and used live mud from florida pets. Although I did add Fritz turbo start in a bottle, I just can't imagine any bottled product is going to have the same diversity as mud or sand from a wild source.

I also added live sand and mud from Indo Pacific Sea Farms around the 3-4 month mark, and again last month. After adding it the first time, my cyano more or less disappeared, and I think adding a competing microbe contributed.

Aquabiomics noted the recent sample had one of the the largest populations of ammonia and nitrite oxidizing organisms in any they had tested. I'm going to speculate that is related to the amount I feed the system.

With the more limited availability of live rock, dry rock has become increasingly prevalent, and new systems encounter problems that didn't occur with live rock in the past. A question I'm interested in is why. I believe it's a number of things, but I suspect an immature microbial community is a big part of this and one of the reasons I wanted to collect this data.

1647122876851.png
I spend a lot of time in the dinoflagellate threads. Virtually ALL of them were dead rock starts. For some species of dino, I advise people to buy some live rock (KP, TBS, Gulf, LFS, IPSF, whatever).

In the SPS forum there are daily posts about "my numbers are perfect, but I can't keep acropora". My advice is the same. Live rock.
 
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I spend a lot of time in the dinoflagellate threads. Virtually ALL of them were dead rock starts. For some species of dino, I advise people to buy some live rock (KP, TBS, Gulf, LFS, IPSF, whatever).

In the SPS forum there are daily posts about "my numbers are perfect, but I can't keep acropora". My advice is the same. Live rock.

That's solid advice.

From the 3 month sample, they were able to detect 309 different types of bacteria. It's in the 29th percentile compared to other samples. One thing missing is the percentile compared to other tanks that are only a few months old. I suspect, the diversity would actually be higher than many tanks started with dry rocks that use primarily bottled bacteria to start and are slower to add corals. Unfortunately, I don't have the data to back this up.

3 months
1647129172975.png


I believe inoculating a system with a diverse group of bacteria early via live rock, mud, sand early is important. Then there's a natural progression in the microbial community and they balance out and some of this is a time dependent process you can't necessarily speed up. I don't think there's a solution for introducing this diversity in a bottle.

One year
1647129689337.png


Interestingly, the number of types of bacteria detected with the recent sample went down. Aquabiomics explained that after initial inoculation of microbes, diversity tends to decline over time and stabilize at some lower level. I'm not sure how important the diversity is, but it may turn out, that periodically adding some live sand / mud periodically could be beneficial to bolster the diversity. This sample was sent prior to adding the recent live sand and live mud from IPSF. I'll plan to recheck the microbiome in a year.
 
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BW5A1954.jpg


Really excited that this guy started eating frozen mysis, brine shrimp, and worms aggressively yesterday. He's been with me for five days now. I've had him in observation in the coral QT tank.

He came in with a parasitic copepod on his caudal fin. I took a pair of tweezers and plucked it off. A little residual inflammation that looks like a white spot on the fin that is improving daily and will hopefully resolve in a couple days.

Once he's ready to transfer to the main system, I'm a little concerned about adding him to the display primarily due to tang aggression. I have a large acclimation box that I'll hold him in once he's ready to transfer to the display for at least a few days and hope the tangs behave once he's released. Hope he likes aptasia!

BW5A1953.jpg
 

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Looking good. I'll be adding a copperband soon as well so I'm interested what you end up doing. I've got a large acclimation container and usually do a few days in there for things I'm going to add but my fish generally ignore until the fish are out of the acclimation container. I had an issue with a gem tang that got harassed by my PBT and ended up turning all the lights off and covering the tank for a couple hours, which seemed to lessen the aggression.

The other thing I've tried to do is to add fish together so no one fish gets singled out, which isn't always easy to do.

Interesting info from aquabiomics...I used some of the florida sand you had recommended in your thread but recently I've noticed little patches of cyano in spots. I'm getting to the 6 month mark so might be time to replenish a little.
 
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Looking good. I'll be adding a copperband soon as well so I'm interested what you end up doing. I've got a large acclimation container and usually do a few days in there for things I'm going to add but my fish generally ignore until the fish are out of the acclimation container. I had an issue with a gem tang that got harassed by my PBT and ended up turning all the lights off and covering the tank for a couple hours, which seemed to lessen the aggression.

The other thing I've tried to do is to add fish together so no one fish gets singled out, which isn't always easy to do.

Interesting info from aquabiomics...I used some of the florida sand you had recommended in your thread but recently I've noticed little patches of cyano in spots. I'm getting to the 6 month mark so might be time to replenish a little.

Right now, the copper band still seems a little shy in the QT tank. It's just him and a johnsoni so hopefully he settles quickly. At least he's eating and every day he seems a little more comfortable. Once I feel he's properly settled , I'll transfer him over and plan to give him anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks in the acclimation box. The purple tang is the one I worry about the most, but they all can misbehave. I'd love to add more fish, but I'm pretty heavily stocked at this point, so not too many more fish too add.

It may have been incidental as the system matured, but the cyano resolved after I added the live sand and mud from IPSF around the 4 month mark. I added KZ cyanoclean for a period of time. I don't know what strain of bacteria it supposedly carries, but its supposed to be a direct competitor for cyano.

It's nice to have a lab to get real info from. I wish there was a better way to collect diagnostic info on some coral diseases so we could make more progress with specific targeted therapies. A step in the right direction for collecting better data.
 
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I was very slow to bring my phosphates down, but now they're in the range I'll likely maintain 0.1-0.2. Currently sitting at 0.12. This is down from 1.05 in December.

Currently changing 15L/day continuous water exchange. I have been changing the GFO once every two weeks, but will see if I can reduce the frequency of this to once a month now that I'm in the desired range.

I did use TM Elimi-phos that @ScottB had mentioned. I was inconsistent with the frequency of dosing this, but when I did I followed the instructions and went very slow adding the crashbox before the mechanical filtration. No issues with the tangs or other fish to report.

One other very recent change, I redialed my skimmer and have a much wetter skimmate. I feel I should have done this sooner.

Here's a weeks worth of skimmate.
07818AFA-67E5-46CF-BF88-4BE07992A5A7_1_105_c.jpeg


Now that I have the phosphates in line, I will see if I can maintain the phosphate levels in range changing the GFO once a month and continuing with the wet skimming. I'll continue to check the phosphate levels once / week in the morning prior to feeding on the weekends.
 
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Here are some recent photos under halide daylights
ORA Red Planet
BW5A1990.jpg



Indo tenuis, hard to capture, but colors are deepening, and corals is starting to grow quickly.
BW5A2025.jpg



BC Kermit Granulosa
BW5A1999.jpg


No name acro, this thing glows
BW5A1992.jpg


BC Rainbow's Army
BW5A2002.jpg



BC Cloud City, love blue corals, nice contrasting meaty polyps
BW5A2003-2.jpg



BW5A2018.jpg
 

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Here are some recent photos under halide daylights
ORA Red Planet
BW5A1990.jpg



Indo tenuis, hard to capture, but colors are deepening, and corals is starting to grow quickly.
BW5A2025.jpg



BC Kermit Granulosa
BW5A1999.jpg


No name acro, this thing glows
BW5A1992.jpg


BC Rainbow's Army
BW5A2002.jpg



BC Cloud City, love blue corals, nice contrasting meaty polyps
BW5A2003-2.jpg



BW5A2018.jpg
System looks great
 

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I am still liking the ElimiPhos. About every 3 weeks I start hitting .15 in both my systems. A slow drip of 15ml gets me back to .09. Easy to dial and easy to implement. Just have to change socks after as the precipitate clogs them. My tangs don't deem to mind it at all either.
 
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Looking at M. tuka versus M. pascalus....Are yours all M. pascalus? Looking at potentially adding a small group, along with some P. dispar.

I ordered 'purple queen' anthias, and I received M. pascalus. Males are difficult to distinguish, but the females are easier as the tukas have a gold stripe dorsally. Here's an article in case you hadn't seen it


Also if you haven't seen this article, it is the best one I've found regarding getting them to eat and their general husbandry. The article is regarding, M. tuka.

 

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Fantastic, thanks! Yeah, I found the reefbuilders article but hadn't seen the wandell article in years. A few more questions if you don't mind. How did you start them feeding and what do you feed now? How long did it take to get them everything and what do you feed them?
 
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