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Reeftank Log Archives

Sunday, November 16, 2003

I added three threadfin anthias and a common Atlantic sea cucumber to the tank yesterday. Two of the threadfins are pinkish orange while one is violet in color. I think the violet one may be the male's coloration. Their bright pastel colors make a nice complement to the less dramatic blue-green of the chromis. I hope they thrive in the tank.
posted 4:21 PM

Sunday, November 09, 2003

I noticed the Pom-Pom Xenia in the back all bunched up and spewing eggs this morning. It was good to finally see how the Xenia was able to spread itself throughout the the tank. The Green Chromis were busily eating a lot of the eggs, but I could see how some could make it to a favorable area to start growing. I wonder if any will land in my sump and start growing.

I read about epiphytic plankton on turtle grass in the latest FAMA. Julian Sprung has an idea that a refugium full of turtle grass could have periodic blasts of current that would blow off the epiphytic plankton and send it into the main tank. It's good to see the thin Spartina grass in the refugium is starting to root and grow. It's harder to see how the turtle grass is growing since it's not up against the front of the refugium.

posted 7:52 PM

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

I tested my water parameters today and came up with the following readings:

Alkalinity 3.89 meq/l
Magnesium 1300 ppm
Calcium 420 ppm

I'm really happy with these parameters. The reading that really shot up was alkalinity which went up from 2.89 to 3.89 since my last reading. The only thing I might boost a little to 1400 ppm is the magnesium levels, but all the levels look fine to me right now. I'm really happy with the calcium levels consider how many sps corals I have growing in the tank.

I'm really amazed at an encrusting coral I bought that was lime green with purple tips. I neglected it for awhile and a lot of it died away, but the polyps that are left are orange on a purple background. That is the encrusting color morph I really want from exoticreefs, but it looks like I might already have it in my tank!

Sent three bags of macroalgae to a fellow reefer via priority mail today. I hope it makes it there okay.

posted 10:27 PM

Friday, October 24, 2003

Ulva, sea lettuce and nutrients

Hmmm, another interesting page that shows that Ulva like a lot of nitrogen. Looks like this plant will be a great item for sucking out excess nitrates from the tank. I have the feeling it will also suck out other stuff like phosphates in order to keep the main tank clear of nuisance algae. My only concern with the Ulva is that its big, flat sheets might block out too much light for the other macroalgae in the refugium.

posted 10:12 AM

Wow, I was doing a Google search on ulva macroalgae and came upon this study of the effectiveness of various macroalgaes as biofilters. It appears that Ulva reticulata was the best species while Gracilaria crassa didn't do a bad job either. For some reason, they didn't find Chaetomorpha to be as effective as a biofilter. It's funny that they state that Ulva may have shown a lower growth rate because it starts to float and the exposed parts get dessicated or bleached. Luckily, the floating Ulva in the refugium stays pretty moist.

I was particularly intrigued by this statement: "The results also show that with high water velocity, high removal rates can be obtained even with relatively lower nutrient concentrations." To me, this means that the flow through a refugium can be high as long as it doesn't disrupt the flora and fauna too much.


posted 9:49 AM

Macroalgae is looking good in the refugium. Two of the nassarius snails have climbed out of the refugium into other parts of the sump, so I've taken those and thrown them into the main tank. Of all the macroalgae, it's the ulvaceous that tends to clog the refugium outputs the most since the big flat sheets float up and engulf the output intakes. I noticed some grape caulerpa turning white, but everything else looks fine. I added some iron this morning to give the macroalgae a boost. Nuisance algae in main tank looks like it's really coming under control.
posted 9:34 AM

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

I put the items from the Bill's Reef shipment into the refugium this morning, and the most interesting thing to me was the codium macroalgae. It has a fuzzy tubular structure and it should grow holdfasts. From what I've read, it looks like it will grow pretty quickly. I found this link on the web showing that it is an invasive species on the east coast:


This link has a good picture of Codium:


The shipment also had a large amount of Ulvaceous and Gracilaria. I put some in the main tank immediately to see how the tangs and rabbitfish would take to them. The cultured live sand was full of life, and the bristle worms were huge. The Nassarius snails and sea cucumber were full of activity when I placed them in the refugium. I tried to plant the two types of seagrass (turtle grass or Thalassia testudinum which has thick leaves and Spartina grass which has thin leaves) so that they would root and take hold. Overall, I was very happy with how the order was packed and shipped and the quantity and quality of the items in the order.

You can order from Bill's Reef at:


I also removed the plastic cover from the 65-watt Lights of America light in order to have more light in the refugium. The refugium is full of macroalgae now, and I can't wait to see all the various species growing in there.

posted 12:51 PM

I was up really early this morning modifying the pvc outputs for the refugium section of the sump. I sawed off most of the straight section after the bend of the 90 degree PVC fittings and put gutter grating in them in order to filter out any stray macroalgae or debris that might make it to the return pump section. After doing this, I made a box out of plastic window diffuser material to support the bubble trap since it now had to be higher in order to work. I opened up the lid of the bubble trap a little so that the bubbles wouldn't come out of the hole where the overflow enters the bubble trap. I look forward to populating the refugium section with my order from Bill's Reef today.
posted 9:47 AM

Monday, October 20, 2003

I picked up my custom sump last Monday, and I'm close to finalizing its setup this week. I've already hooked up all the plumbing, electricity and lighting. I've added new aragonite to the refugium section in the middle of the sump and put in some live rock and macroalgae that were in the old sump and refugium. I may add additional reef rubble or ceramic rings to the refugium in order to give more living spaces to amphipods. I ordered the small refugium kit from Bill's Reef, and it should help boost the diversity in the refugium. I liked his kit a lot because it included live sand, nassarius snails, macroalgae and sea grasses. The refugium area should look pretty interesting after I add the kit and it grows out. I really like the new refugium because it's so easy to look at and clean out as opposed to the old 10-gallon refugium which I had to observe and clean sideways. The integrated refugium/sump is also a lot better with its use of space so that it's a lot easier to maintain the calcium reactor and external return pump.
posted 10:27 PM

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

It turns out I had the lights hooked up to the non-dedicated circuit for the tank - DOH! The GFCI on the non-dedicated outlet is totally shot, but the dedicated one works fine. I'm adding a Tripplite surge supressor for the light outlets so that their electrical leakage doesn't affect the GFCI.

I need to get some very thin padding or styrofoam for my custom sump. I want the bottom to be evened out and cushioned, but I don't want it raised too much because of the skimmer height requirements for taking out the collection cup.

posted 2:10 PM

Monday, October 06, 2003

Soaked two cubes of mysid shrimp and one cube of brine shrimp (both Hikari brand) in Zoe and Zoecon. I dripped the Zoe and Zoecon over them and then let them dissolve. Wife called during the day and said the GFCI was clicking like mad and that the lights had shut off. It turns out that I had the lights hooked up to the normal circuit in the family room and not the 20 amp dedicated, grounded circuit! It looks like the GFCI on the normal circuit is shot, so I'll have to replace that if I want to use it. The other thing I've been reading in my research is that electronic ballasts can trip a GFCI since they leak some current, thus setting off the GFCI. The GFCI can also be tripped if a lot of wattage is going through an electrical timer. So I put the two electronic 250 watt metal halide ballasts on separate timers, and staggered them by 30 minutes so that they don't cause a surge/leak of electricity at the same time and trip the GFCI.
posted 8:31 PM

I'm adding both Zoe and Zoecon now to my fish food. I really hope I can reverse the HLLE with the addition of both supplements - I read that Zoecon is what really helped one person. I've put both items in the refrigerator in order to help preserve their contents. The Zoe is fine, but the Zoecon gets pretty viscous since it's such a fatty product. I've been soaking flake and pellet food with both products for about 10 minutes and then dumping the food so that it falls toward the empty area in the middle of the tank so that it doesn't fall between the rockwork.

Nuisance film algae on the sides and back of the tank really seems to be decreasing. I think it might be due to the greater efficiency of the refugium with more macroalgae in it.

I saw an awesome 180-gallon sps focused reef over the weekend when I dropped off a spare Reeftec drive dog for someone I met at Aquatic Gallery. He had 3x400 watt 10ks and Reeftecs and a Stream providing a lot of current. I think I could add more sps, but I would have to clear out the top right corner of all the xenia. Maybe I can start putting the xenia in the sump.

posted 1:35 PM

Friday, October 03, 2003

I'm adding Zoe to my fishfood now to help combat the hlle in my blue tang. I was just reading up some more, and it looks like I should also be adding some Zoecon. I guess it can't hurt to have both vitamins (Zoe)and omega-3 fatty acids (Zoecon)to my flake and pellet food. I think it's best to add the supplements to flake food since when the pellets get loaded with supplements, they just sink immediately when they're added to the tank, but the flakes still get blown around.

Initiating the construction of a two-piece acrylic sump. My Rubbermaid sump is just looking way too ghetto, I want to maximize the stand sump area, and I want to clean up the plumbing underneath the tank.

Cleaned the impellers of both Tunze Streams this morning with vinegar. Both Streams had frozen up due to calcium buildup. Took out detuned impeller out of one of the Streams and put back in the full strength impeller. I used a sponge to prop up the Stream holder so that the flow shoots up to the surface to create more turbulent flow instead of just straight across the tank. I would like a more aesthetic method of propping up the holder.

Blocked reefcentral.com at work with my firewall. This will absolutely prevent me from surfing this site too much at work.

posted 5:33 PM

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Visited Jeff's Exotic Fish in Gardena yesterday. What I was most impressed by was the large variety of live rock there. I really liked the monster pieces he had available.
posted 11:12 AM

Sunday, September 21, 2003

The bubbles in my calcium reactor bubble counter were coming out at an erratic rate. The bubbles would come out slowly, and then there would be a big burst of bubbles. Today, there were no bubbles coming out of the bubble counter at all. I checked the regulator, and it was working fine. By a process of elimination, I saw that the check valve wasn't any allowing any gas flow in the correct direction. I tried to get the flow going again by opening up the needle valve and blowing directly through it, but I had no luck. Fortunately, I had another check valve, and it worked fine to get the bubble counter pumping out at 90 bpm again. I wonder what happened to the check valve. Could it have been a particle that jammed it up? Especially since I just switched my CO2 canister?

I attended the Seabay meeting on refugiums, and it was interesting to see the pictures of the refugium setups, but I didn't really learn anything new. Once thing that Bao Le uses that I don't use is a micron filter sock to catch large particles. He says he mainly does it to maintain a clear tank, but I have my tank is pretty clear without any particulate filters either on the inflow of my sump or the outflow of my Euroreef skimmer. I think the detritus tends to settle in my sump or my refugium. He also favors caulerpa macroalgaes over chaetomorpha, but I still like chaetomorpha because it's so easy to harvest. I have added some sawblade caulerpa though as a macroalgae that won't be free floating and growing from the top of the substrate since it has holdfasts that it sinks into the sand. I also chose sawblade since it doesn't seem to have has much fluids as other caulerpa or have as much a tendency to go sexual.

posted 8:56 PM

Thursday, September 18, 2003

I replaced the 2x27 watt LOAs with 1x65 LOA. It's very bright and fits the top of the 10-gallon very well. It should really kick in the growth of the macroalgae. I added a sponge to catch the bubbles and spray coming from the overflow input. I noticed a lot of mysis shrimp swimming around the sponge. I noticed one of the frags I got is coloring up to a nice purple color on its corallites again. It had a purple and green coloration around its corallites when I first got it, but it turned brown soon after. I think I should move one encrusting sps because some nasty algae is growing on it, and a ric because it never fully expands, to a more shaded area.

I'm going to end my subscription to FAMA because I'm getting most of my info from the web now, and I'm not getting enough new info from the magazine to warrant continuing my subscription. I already cut my Aquarium Fish magazine. I may subscribe to TFH just because it has really nice stock and cool pictures. It will also be a different magazine to look at for a while.

I ordered a Quiet One 3000 pump and more Loc-Line pipe so that I can set up another return pump from the sump. Since the Quiet One only draws 40 watts vs. the 98 watts of the CSL T2 pump, this is the pump I'll put on a UPS in order to keep the circulation going even if we have a power outage. If the UPS runs out, I'll hook the pump up to a car electrical converter that plugs into the lighter.

posted 8:51 PM

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Looking over a lot of tanks lately, I think I should have selected a black instead of a light blue back for my tank. The black hides algae better, and I think it serves as a much more dramatic background for the corals, fish and live rock. Black also creates a better sense of depth within the tank.
posted 1:56 PM

Wow, BloggerPro is gone since Blogger is now part of Google and since Google has loads of bandwidth and computers, they won't be charging for better bandwidth or premium features anymore! Sounds like we're back in 1999 again. As thanks to ProBlogger subscribers, we'll be getting a hooded sweatshirt. Yeah! More nerdgear to go into my collection.

Cleaned out algae growing on intake grill of Tunze Streams - this made a big difference in increasing the amount of flow coming out. I'll have to make sure to keep those intake grills clean in order to maintain optimum flow in the tank. The 6080 is just so strong, I'll have to put a different coral besides the orange montipora digitata in the full path of its flow.

Adjusted the calcium reactor to 90 bubbles a minute and 100 ml of effluent a minute. This gives a reading of 7.25 pH on the output of the second chamber, so the first chamber output should be around 6.75 pH. I really should take a direct reading of the first chamber sometime, but from the settings I have, there should be some good calcium dissolution going on in the reactor.

I noticed that a lot of my recent additions like the pink millepora and blue tort are growing and encrusting, so that's a good sign they're adjusting to the tank conditions.

posted 10:36 AM

Monday, September 08, 2003

After reading some more articles on water flow for corals, I think I'm going to switch my Tunze Stream 6080 to a 5-hour on/1-hour off cycle which will produce 4 of these cycles in a 24-hour period. I just want to ensure that the corals and tank get as much flow as possible, yet still allow some low flow periods for the corals and fish.
posted 12:10 PM

Saturday, September 06, 2003

I put the on unmodified Tunze Stream 6080 on the right on the tank on a 1-hour off/1-hour on cycle. One reason I did this is so that there are quiet times for the algae eating fish to eat the algae off the center back rock in the tank which is in the direct path of the stream. I hope it also provides some variation in the flow in the tank. Putting the two Reeftecs back into the tank and hooking them up to the Wavemaster Pro would be great for some variable current, but I really like the look of the tank right now with two extra large powerheads. The only other increase in water flow to the tank I want is the addition of another return pump from the sump as a backup to the present CSL T2. The return would come out of the third small circular hole cut out along the rear of the top pane of acrylic.

I added some baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and 7 teaspoons of Seachem Calcium Hydroxide in order to raise the alkalinity and calcium levels of the tank. I should do a test tomorrow to see what all my chemical additions have done to the parameters of the tank.

I added a sponge to the input of the refugium in order to minimize salt spray. Hopefully, the water flowing through the sponge doesn't produce too many nitrates. The macroalgae in the sump is really taking off, and I hope it really starts sucking the phosphate out of the tank. I just noticed today that the two Lights of America outdoor security lights have 27-watt PCs instead of 65-watt PCs. I wonder where I can find the more powerful LOA security lights in order to really grow out the macroalgae. I think with a 65-watt LOA security light, I could also possibly go with just one light!

posted 10:07 PM

Just learned from ReefCentral that nigari can be used as a cheap source of magnesium chloride in order to maintain magnesium levels in a tank. I've been using epsom salts and Seachem magnesium chloride, but nigari sounds like the best solution. Nigari is used to coagulate tofu and is derived from sea salt, so it should be the perfect source of magnesium for a tank - especially since it has to be food safe. It's interesting all the things people find out in order to save some money in this expensive hobby.

GFCI was going off yesterday about 15 minutes after I would plug in the outlets connected to the pumps. It turned out the Mag 1200 feedpump was tripping off the GFCI after it was on 15 minutes. I wonder why exactly it was doing this since it was pumping water without any problem. Luckily, I have a lot of extra Mag 1200 pumps so I was able to replace it easily, and the replacement pump is working fine.

Tested the water today:

Alkalinity 2.86 meq
Magnesium 1230 ppm
Calcium 380 ppm

I added the last 1/6 of my half gallon carton of epsom salts, and I'll test tomorrow to see how much it raised the magnesium. I'm going to shoot for at leat 1300 ppm. Overall though, it appears all the parameters look okay although the three measurements appear a little low.

posted 12:09 AM

Thursday, September 04, 2003

On Tuesday, September 2, 2003, Tiger Shark, Al G Blenny, Reefdream and I went on a tank tour to view each other's tanks. Highlights of the tour for me were the great variety and numbers of ricordea in Tiger Shark's tank, Al G Blenny's mini carpet anemones and goby, and Reefdream's zoanthids, anthias and clams. All the tanks on the tour were beautiful and well-maintained, and it was great to hear everyone talk about the inhabitants and setup of their tanks. Everyone on the tour besides me had two tanks while I only have one which is making me want to set up an additional tank!

Reefdream showed us how he used a Cole Parmer dosing pump as his auto top-off pump. It looked like a very solid piece of machinery, and I may get one in the future to help deal with evaporation from my tank. Reefdream told us an interesting story of how his powerhead kept pumping kalkwasser into his prop tank since the float switch stuck, and how he added muriatic acid to bring the pH back down. Unfortunately, he added too much acid and his pH dropped down to 2.7! His fish were jumping and his coralline algae was fizzing. He brought the pH back up to normal levels with more kalkwasser, and fortunately, he didn't lose anything in the tank. Reefdream also managed to burn a small hole in his floor with some spilt muriatic acid!

I was amazed at how Reefdream maximized the use of his sump area by having a custom refugium built into his stand, and placing his electronic metal halide ballasts under his refugium. I think the tank tour was very informative and interesting for everyone involved, and I look forward to future tank tours. I also traded Al G Blenny one of my hot pink ricordeas for one of his blue/turquoise ricordeas.

Yesterday night, I went over to Tiger Shark's and he showed me how he frags ricordeas with a razor blade and attaches them with fishing line or bridal veil to reef rubble.

posted 12:30 PM

Friday, August 29, 2003

I took some pictures of the tank with my new Nikon 4500 yesterday. I've been longing for a DSLR, but even with the new Canon Rebel DSLR which is $999 with a lens, the Nikon 4500 with its $200 rebate was too hard to resist. The Nikon 4500 will also be a lot easier to carry around than a DSLR. The Canon G1 was a nice camera to have over the past few years, but lately, I've been really disappointed with its macro performance. After seeing so many good macro pictures taken with the Nikon 4500, I decided to take the plunge, and last night I started familiarizing myself with its operation. It will take awhile to get used to the Nikon 4500. One particularly annoying thing is that the zoom function on the G1 is in the same location as the on/off function on the 4500. So sometimes in trying to zoom the lens of the 4500, I inadvertently turn off the camera. Being a lighter camera, I also had to figure out how to stabilize the 4500 when I was taking macro shots without a tripod. My solution was to put the camera against my belly and to look down at the viewfinder like it was a wide format camera. I kept the twistable lens section in the same plane as the viewfinder section instead of twisting 90 degrees like normal, and with this method, I was able to take some pretty good macros.
posted 7:04 AM

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

I made a 52 liter water change this morning, and it went pretty smoothly.

I think algae growth has decreased since I shut down the calcium reactor. This is probably due to the lack of excess CO2 in the tank. I shut down the reactor since the 20 lb CO2 bottle was empty. I checked the Caribsea A.R.M. in the primary chamber, and it was pretty mushy so I disposed of it and am purchasing a 50 lb bag of A.R.M. from Custom Aquatic which should last for quite a while. For some reason, the CO2 started coming out faster out of the bottle as it was nearing its end. Since the Mag2 on the calcium reactor has also developed a slow leak, I'll also try to replace it with a Quiet One 1200 pump. The new design looks like it might work well.

posted 2:16 PM

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

I went to Madco in Mountain View to exchange my empty 20 lb CO2 bottle for a full one. When I was making the exchange, I was asked if the CO2 was for paintball. I said, "no." Then the bottle loader said, "Is it for corals then?" How many of us crazy coral reefkeepers are out there? I originally purchased CO2 from Madco for my freshwater plant tank, but now I just need CO2 for my reeftank. I'm glad it's easy to obtain CO2 bottles in the local area.
posted 3:29 PM

The John Laroche character played by Chris Cooper in the movie Adaptation has a great little monologue about fish. I laughed so hard at how his encounter with fishkeeping ended. I liked the theme of obsession in the movie. I have that same obsession with my reeftank and a lot of the aspects of the hobby. Where else do you get to play with so much equipment so that you can create something so beautiful? I feel sometimes that I'm checking every day on a special patient when I look at how the inhabitants in the tank are doing, and then do a quick check of the temperature, sump water level and pH. All the life-support equipment can be mind-boggling to someone new to the hobby. Sometimes, I feel like setting up a very simple tank like plankton's just to get back to the basics.

Regarding Chris Cooper, I'm glad he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in the movie. I've appreciated his work ever since I saw him in Matewan. There's an honesty to his performances that's unmatched. It's hard to forget his scenes in Great Expectations and American Beauty, and I think he did a great job as lead in Lonestar. The dental prosthetics he had in Adaptation were pretty amazing.

posted 9:01 AM

Monday, August 25, 2003

Picked up a nice pink millepora colony, a live rock with blue sponge on it, 5 lbs of live sand, and some leftover fish and coral food from Newkie on Saturday. It was sad to see his tank being taken down, but at least he was finding new homes for everything he had carefully maintained and raised. I was very impressed by his custom tank and stand. It was very well designed, and I envy the future inhabitants of that tank. I wonder who will buy the setup. If my 150g wasn't already set up, I would seriously think of buying his tank!

After coming back to Mountain View, I met cal3v and I gave him the stuff that I had picked up for him from Newkie. We traded a few items, and I was very pleased that he let me frag the teal with blue tip acro that he bought from Newkie.

I moved two of the pom-pom Xenias into an area with more light since one of the smaller pom-poms wasn't looking too good regarding its polyps and stalk. I'm seriously thinking of selling my montipora capricornis because it's taking up a lot of space in the middle of the tank. I'll see how things go over the next few months. It may be easier to sell in the fall and winter months when people spend more time with their tanks.

posted 5:41 PM

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Forbes.com: Affording Nemo

A Forbes story on the high-end, custom installation market for marine and reef tanks. It's funny, yesterday, when Ally saw the shark at Aquatic Gallery, she shouted out, "I want that shark!". That's the first time she's shown so much interest in a fish at a store. I told her we would need a bigger tank for a fish like that and she asked Mom for a larger tank. I let Jennifer pick out a purple coral with blue polyps and green tips since she thought the rounded structure of the growths was much different than the thin branching growths of my other sps corals in my tank. She's also given me so much support in setting up and maintaining the tank.

posted 2:13 PM

Monday, August 18, 2003

Did quite a bit of rearranging this weekend with the corals. I also purchased two new colonies from Aquatic Gallery. One is a brown coral with green corallites with bright blue tips. Another is a purple with blue polypes with bright green tips. A Bali coral importer at the store mentioned that the Bali corals he was bringing in are really popular. My tank's pretty fully with corals right now (I know, I've said that before!). I tried to isolate the zooanthid and Xenia colonies so that they wouldn't grow into the sps colonies. I also purchased 5 green chromis and some sawblade caulerpa.

Added 8 cups of Reef Crystals to 52 liters of water and it gave me 52 reading on my Pinpoint Salinity meter - exactly like the reading of the tank! I mixed the water and salt in the 15-gallon blue container I purchased. This should make it a lot easier to add water when I do saltwater changes.

posted 8:28 AM

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Measured the output of the RO yesterday and it reduced the dissolved solids in the tap water from 210 ppm to 3 ppm. Why do I even need the DI section?! Blue 50-gallon barrel must leach some stuff or I have to clean it out since it reads 6 ppm when I take water out of it.

Did a very superglue job on orange ricordea and teal ricordea. Hopefully, they'll stay put this time.

Daughter is licking front of tank to get my attention. I just don't understand her sometimes.

Increased MH lighting to 6.5 hours today - 5:30 PM to 12 AM.

posted 12:56 PM

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Used the smaller Magnavore magnet to clean the front of the tank this morning in order to minimize the chances of scratching the tank by picking up any sand. For film algae on the front of the tank, it's actually easier to use because it's not as hard to move, and when I get close to the sand's surface, it doesn't create as much turbulence which stirs up the sand. I just have to make sure to clean the front every few days so that the film in front doesn't get too thick.

The Acropora valida really spreads out its polyps at night. I can't wait to see the frag I have grow into a full-fledged colony.

Float switch stuck again this morning, but the pH controller shut it down again after the pH started climbing from the kalkwasser. I have to clean the float switch in some vinegar and move it away from the kalkwasser output.

posted 8:43 AM

Sunday, August 10, 2003

I think the orange montipora digitata is getting too much flow in the center rear of the tank since it's in the direct path of the unmodified Stream 6080. I'll have to find a softie or sps that is used to greater flow. I used the cleaner magnet to clean the algae on the side of the tank yesterday, and I took off a lot of stuff. It looks like the skimmer picked up a lot of it this morning. The two frags I bought from tubs earlier this week look like they're doing fine, with some good polyp extension.

I'm glad I put in the failsafes for the float switch. For some reason, it got stuck again, but since I have the pH monitor turn off the switch power if the pH goes too high, the power was cut before the water level could even hit the second switch. I played around with the float a little, and it appears to be working fine this morning.

posted 6:09 AM

Thursday, August 07, 2003

They've cloned a horse. Arnold Schwarzenegger is running for California governor. We are living in a William Gibson future.

Yesterday, I picked up a blue tort and a powder blue frag from tubs. As I drove in the evening commute on 237 from Mountain View to Milpitas, listening to the details of the cloned horse on NPR, all I could think of was how absurd it was that I was making a special trip and spending some serious $$$ in order to purchase two small pieces of coral. But this whole reefkeeping business is a little crazy, and I love it. Tubs has some really great unique specimens. Some of the cool ones he still needs to grow out some more like a blue and pink millepora and an encrusting purple montipora with bright orange polyps. I can't wait till he has those available.

After I got home with the frags, I isolated most of the xenia (especially the fastgrowing brown elongata) to the rear right corner of the tank so they wouldn't overgrow any of the sps frags. I put the orange montipora digitata in the center rear of the tank since it seems to color up well even if it isn't directly under the metal halides. I put the blue tort right underneath the right metal halide at about a 12" depth (I noticed it has some fluorescent green on its corallites under actinic lighting) and the powder blue on a rock behind it. Acropora valida is really showing its purple now. It looks like it will grow out quickly. I'm a little disappointed at the purple/green corallite frag from Aquatic Gallery since it has turned pretty brown, but I think it may be adapting to the tank. I also have the metal halides on for only 5.5 hours a day right now. I think I'll increase it to 6.5 hours this weekend since algae is dying away.

posted 2:12 AM

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

I put a Vornado fan behind the stand on the right and set it on medium blowing up diagonally toward the rear left of the tank. The main reason for this is that although the canopy fans are blowing cool air into the canopy and evaporating the water for a cooling effect, a warm pocket of air stays around the whole system - limiting its ability to cool down. Hopefully, the Vornado will blow out the warm air coming from the back of the tank and bring in cool air. I also hope it will help blow out the humid air in the sump area since there are open areas in the back of the sump area of the stand.
posted 1:35 PM

Monday, August 04, 2003

I put 14 pounds of cured Indonesian live rock into the tank in order to build up some structure on the right rear of the tank. I may add one more piece depending on whether I want a higher structure or not. There was some nice purple coralling on the rock and some interesting fanworms. Algae control is really working well. There are only a few spots of it left on the center rear rock of the tank. Brushed a lot of algae off the intakes of the Turbelle Streams. The coralline growing on the removable intakes has made them too hard to remove so I just scrub them in a plastic container placed on top of the tank. Lavender and lime green acropora is starting to color up. Acropora valida is also showing purple.
posted 6:05 PM

Friday, August 01, 2003

I hope the BTA has found a place it will stay at now. It's in a good location right now that gives it great access to light, and it's also isolated from any corals it might sting. Algae still seems to be going away. Used magnet to clean front pane and made sure not to get too close to sand. Skimmer doesn't seem to be producing a lot of scum. There's still some algae on the front and side I should scrape off in order to minimize any potential future growth.
posted 10:08 AM

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Added 150 g of Phosban to the sump yesterday. I brought two green bubble-tip anemone clones to Natural Life Aquarium. All three of them have been walking around a lot lately and stinging other corals, so I decided to just keep one. I should be getting some credit the next time I'm in the store. I'll probably want to get some live rock to build up the reef structure in the back right of the tank. I put two larger hermit crabs in the sump. Some of the zebra hermit crabs have been getting pretty big. The red onces seem to stay small. Angled two of the ventilation fans in order to have them blow across more of the water's surface for greater effectiveness. Changed 20 liters of water. It's pretty easy just changing 20 liters, but that's a small amount considering I have a 150g tank. I added 20 g of Seachem Calcium Chloride to the tank after the water change. I really want to encourage the growth of coralline algae in order to get rid of any places nuisance hair algae could start.
posted 3:41 PM

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