TheWB’s IM Lagoon 50

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TheWB

TheWB

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If we combined our tanks we'd have solid parameters! ;Hilarious
I know, right.

I decided to do something about the low nutrients the old fashioned way so it was off to the LFS (Barrier Reef in Newcastle) to get some new fish. I’ve always wanted a trio of Chalk Basslets and they had three smaller ones ready to go so I grabbed those along with a small Royal Gramma which is a fish I’ve been meaning to add since the beginning. Brought them home and acclimated to my temp and salinity. All were supposed to go into the acclimation box but the Gramma escaped so it’s running loose in the rocks somewhere. It seemed pretty lively. The Chalk Basslets are all in the box and looking to be in various stages of despair. They’re kinda plastered up against some small rocks I put in for some cover. Hopefully they start to feel a little more comfortable soon.
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TheWB

TheWB

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How are they doing? Neat little fish. Yep, feed more, nutrients should go up! Solid strategy!
They’re doing well. I fed the rest of the tank and a few pieces blew into the acclimation box. The bigger one grabbed a couple of flakes and the others moved out into the open a little bit so that was encouraging. I’ll probably set them free tomorrow night. The Gramma is nowhere to be seen but that’s expected, first night in completely unfamiliar territory. Overall I’m happy with todays haul of fish. I was actually hoping to get a yellow watchman goby but the only ones I could find were about 1 inch long and that’s just too small, I'm not doing that. I’ll keep it in the list for next time As I do want a small sand sifter. I’ve tried small conch’s before but they just don’t have a high enough activity rate.

In other news I tested Nitrate and it’s up to 6.1 which makes me feel much better. I believe I saw one or two stringy strands of algae with bubbles at the end on a frag plug so I’m hoping I’ve started to raise nutrients enough to stave that off. I’ll check phosphates tomorrow and maybe pull the chemipure elite if I have too, although I’d hate to waste it. I also set a timer for the skimmer to turn off between 11pm and 7am so we’ll see how that goes, it can always be tweaked if that’s too long to be off.
 
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TheWB

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Didn’t take any pics because they are hiding but I let the three Chalk Basslets loose this afternoon. They did poke their heads out after some food and I just saw the smallest one tentatively cruising over the rockwork near the nem. They are pretty intimidated by the Tang and Wrasse but neither of them can really be bothered. It’s actually the clownfish I’d be more concerned about. My ugly, all stung up hypermelanized OC’s act more like Maroons. I keep threatening to get rid of them but I never seem to do it.

I also glued together 4 pieces of Two Little Fishies Little Feet, which are like slightly smaller Stax Rocks, into a little tower and placed my big Frogspawn colony on top of it in the back right corner. The Frogspawn is getting too big and it will be better back there. The new Royal Gramma was hiding near its base and quickly moved away when I picked up the coral. Still have not seen it come out on its own but maybe in a day or two. I’ll try and get a new FTS tomorrow with the changes.
 
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TheWB

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Yep - I did. That one will grow quite quickly if it is on a base. I could never figure out the light that brought the color out right. I think lower light made it color up a bit more, but not super low. So, experimentation may indeed get it dialed in!
I’m going to move the smaller piece that broke off to a higher par area soon. It’s in better shape than the main bigger piece. There’s not too many places I can move the bigger one though so hopefully it decides to be happy there. Overall encrusting LPS have not done great in this tank so I’m really hoping I can find a happy spot for this one.
 
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Ok, finally a little positive movement in parameters. No water change last week.
Alk dropped from 11 to 10.2
Cal dropped from 460 to 440
There has been an uptick in coralline on the glass, the red monti cap is starting to encrust the rock below the plug in a noticeable way and the green slimer has shown a little bit of encrusting of its plug so it’s finally nice to see a drop in Cal and Alk in conjunction with that small amount of growth. It’s just one week but I’m encouraged.
Phosphate stayed the same as last week at 0.01
Nitrate, which I dosed up from 1.1 to 6.4 over a couple of days after the last round of testing was at 3.8 today. This is with the skimmer turned off for 6 hrs each night and with 4 new small fish added.
It seems like the addition of Nitrates was positive so the plan this week will be to continue slowly raising them and then see what next weeks consumption results look like. I’ll probably change the skimmer off time from 6 to 8 hours as well. I’d like to land in the 8-10 range consistently to keep my LPS happy and to avoid worrying about Dinos from bottoming out. Nitrates at 1.1 with Phosphate at 0.01 was very uncomfortable. I saw a strand or two of algae with air bubbles at the ends which are gone now. I don’t necessarily want to chase numbers but I’d like it to be high enough to where if I forget to dose they won’t bottom out by the time I can test again.

All of the new additions are eating and acting normally for the most part. The Chalk Basslets are out and about more and the Royal Gramma has become an active eater even if it still hides in a cave most of the time. It’s appearances at feeding time are lasting longer. Instead of grabbing just one piece of food and darting back to its cave it’s staying out for 5-10 seconds at a time now and grabbing up multiple bites of food. Looking more comfortable. Still haven’t got a pic of it yet though. Working on it.
 
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Testing time again, it was a mixed bag.
Alk continues to drop, it’s down to 9.9 from 10.2 last week. Kinda margin of error but I’m gonna count it as consumption, lol.
Calcium went up slightly from 440 to 450 so basically no change beyond test margin of error.
Nitrates dropped from 3.8 to 3 despite dosing a little, cutting the skimmer back to 8 hrs off each night and adding fish/feeding more.
Phosphate jumped from 0.01 to 0.11 which was surprising.
Corals are looking good for the most part and no algae is growing except on the glass. There are now visible signs of SPS growth so I’m going to let it ride again this week without a water change, continue to add some nitrate and maybe use a little phosphat-e to keep that from getting too much higher.

Things that are growing.
Green Slimer has made a tremendous comeback. It was all gray with no polyps visible at all. Now it’s encrusting the plug and the gash in the side is nearly healed. I’m almost successfully keeping the absolute easiest acro.
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Bubblegum digi is doing ok but I moved it near the slimer after this pic. It needs a better lighting angle.
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Red monti cap with visible signs of growth creeping out from underneath.
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Orange/Yellow tipped torch is looking good as is the rainbow goni, I really like the colors on both of these.
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And since I was doing top downs here’s the Rainbow BTA, all spread out and yet still barely visible unless you’re looking down at it.
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Nice to see everything doing well. Those corals really looks great. Mainly I'm posting because I stopped getting notified of your updates.
Thanks, glad you stopped by. The notifications just stop sometimes. I occasionally check the Watched Tab to see what threads I’ve stopped getting notifications for. I follow like a bazillion of them so it’s easy to lose track.
I’m looking forward to seeing that pair of Regals you’ve got coming later this week. What a centerpiece pair for your tank.
 
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Pretty. The one I got with my last ASD order readily accepts food - which is pretty exciting. The alveopora I tried last year never ate, got shaded out by my cap and slowly waned. Do you target feed it at all?
Where I’ve got mine there no possibility it can be shaded so that’s good. I do target feed it with whatever I’m broadcasting to the rest of the tank, usually either baby brine shrimp, fish eggs or whatever frozen I’m thawing out. Also use some reef roids every once in a while when PO4 isn’t too high. I’m not sure if it really eats much in the same way that my Duncan eats, which is very noticeable, but it does look like it’s grabbing some of the food and retracting. Looks kinda like what Zoas look like when they get a little food.
I’d like to try an alveopora at some point, I like them and that site I referenced usually has one or two nice ones available at any given time, that site has great prices for Zoas and lps, and even for sps but the sps selection is pretty limited and basic. Good for me though, I’m a pretty basic sps kind of guy.
 
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Todays test results. Alk dropped from 9.9 to 9.6 so definitely headed in the right direction there. Cal held at 450 so again maybe some small consumption but within test kit margin of error. PO4 dropped from .11 to .05 with .11 being an outlier result from others lately and I think it was because I fed some reef roids the night before I tested. Back down to a more normal range for this tank now. NO3 continues to stay relatively low at 2.1 despite dosing, heavy feeding and skimmer off for 8 hours at night. I’ve been adding Neo Nitro but not consistently. I really should get a doser but I just don’t want to. I’ll probably eventually get over that.
 
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Finally, after 6 months of procrastinating and one custom 3d printed reducing barb connection, the Reef Octopus Varios 2 return pump is finally online.

Out with the old.
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Possibly I should clean my pumps more often lol.

In with the new.
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Tip of the cap to Eric at eelrivercoral.com for making that part for me, it works perfectly.

I probably missed the post, but how did you get this done? Did you just supply measurements and have some back and forth on design? I've got a small part I'd like designed and it looks like this guy does some nice work!
 

How many different food items do you feed your fish?

  • Only one food

    Votes: 17 5.0%
  • 2 Foods

    Votes: 33 9.7%
  • 3 Foods

    Votes: 81 23.9%
  • 4 Foods

    Votes: 51 15.0%
  • 5+ Different Foods

    Votes: 121 35.7%
  • 10+ Different Foods

    Votes: 36 10.6%
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