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Reeftank Log 06/98

Tuesday, June 02, 1998

I'm thinking of setting up a plenum in my new 50-gallon tank. The following advice is from Gary Deutschman:

"For you guru's out there that have always wondered how much substrate to use, I can finally give you an answer based on equal tests between equal aquariums, using all kinds of substrates. On aquariums that measure 20 inches or less in height, regardless of gallonage, I have found the ideal depth for the first layer to be 1-1/4 inches and for the top layer 1-3/4 inches. It is preferable to also have the center screen framed and supported to allow fines to filter through the screen without decreasing the depth of the first or bottom layer as some consumption of minerals from the substrate used is emminent.

For aquaria measuring 24 inches or under in height, but taller than 20 inches. First layer of substrate 1-1/2 inches, top layer 2 inches.

For aquaria measuring 30 inches or under in height, but taller than 24 inches. First layer of substrate 2 inches, top layer 2-3/4 inches."


Friday, June 05, 1998

Algae looks like it's well under control! I think this can be attributed to a multitude of factors:

    1.Increased efficiency of CPR BakPak by adding limewood airstone.

    2.Cleaned out CPR BakPak

    3.Cut lighting down to four hours a day. (increased lighting to five hours a day for both lights last night).

    4.Stopped adding excess trace elements.

    5.Made weekly 25% water changes.

    6.Introduced additional herbivores (GARF Reef Janitors).

    7.Introduced Caulerpa racemosa to compete for nutrients.

    8.Use of Poly Filter and SeaChem carbon.

    9.Controlled addition of food to tank. Most of the time, I just feed 3 to 4 Hikari pellets to the clownfish and the neon dottyback in the tank.

    10.Physically pulled out or scrubbed algae off to give small herbivores a chance to eat new growth.

Decided last night to put both PowerCompact lights under one timer. Makes it much easier to change the amount of time I want the lights to be on. I don't know if there was much benefit to having the 7100K on a little bit before and after the 6700K light came on. Noticed Astraea snails working at midnight last night. Power Compacts had turned off, but room light was still on. Fed the bristle star a chip of Hikari algae wafer yesterday. I think the chip of wafer I threw in was too big for the ravenous neon dottyback to ingest.

I'm excited about setting up a new 50-gallon reef tank. I ordered the tank and a stand from Seascapes in Mountain View last week. I've already received the CPR CS-50 overflow and SR-4 skimmer for the 20-gallon sump I'll have for the tank. I think I'm going to try a Jaubert/NNR filtration system for the tank. I can get the fiberglass screening for the plenum at Orchard Supply.

Coralline algae is growing all over the sides of the tank. May add a cup of aragonite gravel to tank this weekend for all the stuff that's been taken out via algal mats over the past few months. The present surface seems clump and algal free. I think the snails and hermit crabs are doing their job.


Tuesday, June 09, 1998

Performed 5-gallon water change on tank today. Aerated and heated new water for 36 hours. Tied airline tubing to the Scraped some hair algae from the tank, but its growth has really slowed so there really wasn't that much to scrape off hopefully, the snails and hermit crabs take care of any new growth. Couldn't get to some algae since it was growing in some deep crevices. I'll probably have to get some type of dental cleaner device to get at that algae. A lot of coralline spots on the front of the tank. I'll try to scrape it off with a credit card the next time I clean the tank.


Thursday, June 11, 1998

There was a major congregation of snails, hermit crabs and the bristle star in the right front corner of the tank yesterday morning. It appears that the largest Turriform snail has gone to the great algae patch in the sky. At least if one of the hermit crabs gets really big, it will have a home. Plucked some algae off rocks (just a few strands) but I forgot to pluck the algae off the polyps on the back of the tank. Used a credit card to scrape the coralline algae off the front of the tank yesterday and it did a really good job. Brown star polyps I epoxied to another rock don't seem to be coming out all the way. I wonder if it's due to a lack of water movement. Purple and red mushrooms are doing really well. The purple mushrooms particularly are the most expanded I've ever seen. I think it may be due to the higher amounts of iodine I've been adding to the tank. Noticed a huge growth of white sponge underneath a rock. Changed Poly Filter this morning. I probably should change the carbon too. I'm planning on changing the Poly Filter and the SeaChem carbon on a monthly basis with a biweekly water change schedule.


Friday, June 12, 1998

Added 50 ml of SeaChem carbon to the tank. For some reason, the BakPak is pushing bubbles into the tank. I think the Poly Filter introduces something that creates more foam/bubbles. The bubbles this morning seem to have decreased. Have to fix Kalkwasser dripper. Right now I have to set it at a fast rate to prevent clogging. I might try using epoxy instead of silicone to seal the valve attachment. Fed two pieces of Hikari algae wafer last night for the scavengers in the tank. I think I'll just feed OSI Marine flake food and Vibra-Gro in the future since they disperse more in the tank and not just one or a few scavengers gets food. Of course I'll still try to control the amount so that I don't get another algae outbreak. Some of the large green button polyps are closed up or have lost their tentacles. The rest have a faded out appearance. These same polyps faded out last year during the summer. I wonder if they have a seasonal cycle with their zooxanthellae. I may take a chance and double the addition of CombiSan this weekend to 20 drops. I'm still very surprised and happy about the expansion of the dark purple mushrooms. Even the red mushrooms are expanding more than usual. This morning was the first time I added Kalkwasser since I changed the water on 06/09/98.


Saturday, June 13, 1998

Excess bubble production leaking into tank from CPR BakPak was gone last night. Front pane and water look very clear after recent cleaning and addition of carbon. Added 20 drops CombiSan and teaspoon each of Reef Evolution Iodine and Strontium this morning.


Wednesday, June 17, 1998

Just read that too much iodine may have an adverse effect on the corals, especially at high temperatures. I wonder what the best way to add iodine would be adding it every day or on a weekly basis? I'm concerned that if I add it on a weekly basis that it won't be as effective as adding it on a daily basis. I'll check the rec.aquaria.marine.reef group about that. Large green button polyps are fading in the rear left and I wonder what the cause might be. Scrubbed the tank of algae growth yesterday. Mushroom corals, especially dark purple mushrooms, look really good. Noticed a 2 to 3 inch diameter mass of white sponge underneath a rock. An interesting small polyp is growing on the flowering star polyp rock. Green star polyps are taking on a brighter fluorescent color. I'm wondering whether it's because of the iodine additions or increased temperature.


Tuesday, June 30, 1998

Did some rearranging of the corals on Sunday and also scraped off some hair algae. Put the transplanted brown star polyps so that they would have more current. Moved Purple mushrooms a little lower. Removed some growth from the Caulerpa racemosa. I think the Caulerpa is having the desired controlling effect on hair algae growth in the aquarium. Performed a 5-gallon water change this morning. Found out last weekend that main water inlet to house wasn't at full pressure. Now that the valve is fully open, I'll hopefully get better performance out of the RO/DI filter.

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