Aquarium - 75 Gallon Saltwater Tank - 2011

Page 3 of the 75 gallon saltwater tank.

1/11/11 - Figured it was time for an update. Pretty much have algae under control. Still a little tuft of bryopsis hanging around and some other weird kind of hair/wiry stuff. Starting to have to clean the glass every other day. Nothing is showing on the test kit (I need to get a meter) for PO4. I'm doing 5 gallon changes every week and 10 every 4. I also added a few more teaspoons of bio-pellets this week.

I'm really thinking I need to add a fish or 2 to kick up the nitrate (NO3) production to get the bacteria to consume more PO4. After all, they say fish poop's good for coral. Hey, crabs got to eat too.

Swapped out T5 2 bulbs. Replaced one of the blue plus' with a 12k ATI Aquablue Special and replaced the Aquasun with the same. I like the whiter look. After adding the blue LEDs, got too blue. Speaking of the LEDs - WOW! I've set the timer to have 30 minutes in the morning of LED only and the same for an hour at the end of the day. Talking about fluorescence!

The left pic is with the LEDs on, the right, off.
3/7/11 - Since the last update, it looks like PO4 has risen enough to start turning the glass green pretty quickly. The bryopsis is making a comeback and I'm seeing other signs of various green stuff growing. I've taken the pellets offline for now and restarted Rowaphos. Apparently, there needs to be more NO3 to get the bacteria to consume the PO4. I'm not into adding more bio-load at this time. I may return to some pellets in the system somewhere, but for now, I'll dose vodka as needed.

I also noticed that several of my zoas started shrinking around the same time. I checked alkalinity and it was barely 6. Calcium was 320. I don't have a magnesium test, but I'm sure it was low too. Ph was fine at 8.2. I started dosing kalkwasser very slowly, but apparently the torch and candy cane corals didn't like that. The torch had just had heads split after almost 2 years and they just fell out. I still have 2 left. The candy cane looks to be a goner. I think I may have shocked the system a bit with the kalk. Very upsetting. But at least I've made it about 2 years before any serious losses. The SPS all look to be okay. I also started a twice a week water changes of 15 gallons to try to boost things a bit. After 3 or 4 changes, the zoas look much happier. I did manage to create one other problem in the process too - I wasn't checking the RO water TDS after doing all these water changes and the DI resin was exhausted, driving the TDS up to 67. That would explain the sudden appearance of cyano bacteria again. DI change time and remind myself to test more often.

I've lowered the amount of kalk I'm adding and got some calcium and magnesium additives (Kents). I've been working on bringing up the numbers and using baking soda for the alkalinity. After 2 weeks, I've got the alk up to 10 and the ca up to 400. now I've got to figure out how much kalk to dose to keep those numbers without killing anything else. I'm also going to stay with at least 10 gallon (~10%) weekly water changes for a while too.

Also in the news, we've lost another chromis (prob to the clownfish), but I added 2 more Lyretail Anthias. It'll be fun to see if one changes sex. Lilly (the original), is already acting aggressive, so we think it's going to be the one to change, so we renamed her (it) Pat for now. The anthias being as active as they are, have really brought out most of the other fish, even the gramma is coming out a bit more.
5/6/11 - I decided to start a algae turf scrubber (ATS). I'm documenting it here. I still have some algae growing in the tank, but I starting to think the rock is leaching the PO4. The ATS is surely consuming quite a bit of any available PO4.

I've stayed away from the kalk and have stuck with a 2-part dosing routine for maintaining the Alk and CA. I'm getting pretty close to getting it dialed in. I think dosing pumps are in my future. The candy cane and the torch did end up biting the dust. However, the duncan, acan, challice and favia appear to be okay. None of the SPS appear to be affected in the slightest.

We've added 2 more Lyretail Anthias. Liliy (now Pat), is clearly changing into a male. Not in a pretty way either. Kinda ugly so far. Pat has turned more of a dirty, pale orange and Pat's fins have gotten some "dirty" spots too.

Here's some of the springtime sunset shots I got this year.
5-30-2011 - The 2 part dosing is getting better. Helps to read ALL of the instructions. I am following recipe 2. The turf scrubber seems to have maxed out on growth for now. I'm still trying to get a handle on the bryopsis. I've ordered a gallon of Tech-M to try that route. there are several threads out there for that. Too bad everyone is out of mag test kits :(. Nothing much else to report - but there are pics!
6-5-2011 - I'm updating that I'm pretty sure the duncan and the acan are now going to bite the dust. One by one most of the LPS are starting to die off. All started when I screwed up the kalk dosing. Haven't done it in weeks, as I've gone to 2 part dosing. Whatever it is, it doesn't appear to be affecting the chalice or the favia, or the SPS. I've also started dosing magnesium this week to try to get the upper hand on the bryopsis. So water changes are going to be on hold for a little while. When (or if) the bryopsis has been killed off, I'm going to be doing massive water changes for a couple weeks. I'll probably do several rounds of 15-25 gallon changes of natural seawater to try to regain whatever balance I've lost. I'm also going to do some serious sandbed cleaning while that happens too.

8-14-2011 - I can no longer appear to grow LPS in my system. The Duncan, the Acans, the Favia, the Torch, the Candy Cane and bubble gum challice - all gone. In my system, they like some PO4 and NO3 I suppose. The ATS (Algae Turf Scrubber) has cleaned my system thoroughly from what I can tell. I have to clean my glass once a week (mostly from minor cyano). I have some Bryopsis in one spot that struggling to hang on. The is some hair algae growing on the top of the overflow that for some reason the snails won't touch.
I've been feeding much heavier now and the skimmer has been offline for quite some time. My ATS is now growing red turf and some HA. Also added a yellow tang for some more fish poo. Poor Pat (the male anthias) got bug-eye and appears to be mostly over it now, is still hiding out a lot in the rocks, maybe it's made his eyes more sensitive to the light.
Enough rambling, I've got my Kalk drip down and seem to have gotten the CA and Alk back inline. The SPS and Zoas seem much happier now. I suppose if I'm going to stay on the ATS road, I'll be sans-LPS :(.

9/19/2011 - I've caved to the bryopsis. I've decided to swap my rocks. I bought all dry rock from Bulk Reef Supply and it's been "aging" in the can in the garage for several weeks now. I got the 29 gallon tank set up in the front room. I'm going to frag everything into at least 2, so if one doesn't make it, hopeful the other will. If they both make it - sale!

I also pulled the algae turf scrubber and put the skimmer back online. I'd rather clean the cup than the ATS screen. I may revisit the system with a different method of scrubbing in the future, but for now the priority is ridding the bryopsis. After all, it seemed very effective at ridding the system of PO4 and NO3.

10/1/2011 - The move/swap is now under way. Spent last night moving whatever coral is left as many crabs and snails as I could find. Even moved a few bristle worms too. After getting everyone moved, drained the tank and removed the sand. Cut an inch off the overflow to give me more water room at the top (and remove some turf algae growing on top). Reinstalled the overflow and called it a night.

Got up this morning and cleaned the tank, the stand and replaced all the pvc. Refilled the tank, cleaned the sump, added the new rock and some sand. The Pukani rock I got from Bulk Reef Supply was really large. I ended up having the take the hammer and chisel to two of the pieces. After all, this is only a 75.
10/2/2011 - Got this morning and the tank was almost clear. My rock work looks ok, so I'll leave it be. Turned on the second pump and made a few adjustments to the overflow drain pipe for silence. Cleaned the hood, the lamps and replaced the fan that had the broken blade (previous oops) and put the hood back on. Checked the salt via the refractometer - it was around 20 sg. I didn't keep track of how much fresh I added and just started adding 2 cups, waiting an hour or 2 then doing it all over until it finally got up to 33. I'll recheck all the chemistry tomorrow night and start moving things back if all is well.
10/4/2011 - Moved the fish and the SPS last night. The 29 gallon tank looks like crap - the SPS was fading quickly and I'm sure the fish weren't happy. Had to remove the crap source anyway. Looks like both the birdsnest corals took the worst hits. I give them about a 50-50 shot at making it. The Blue Echinata looks pretty sad too. I'll start moving zoas soon as I can make sure I'm not bringing back any brysopsis.

10/17/2011 - The SPS look like they are recovering, the birdsnests are still struggling a bit. May have to frag out the good pieces. Starting to move over some zoas, they still don't look terribly happy. I've started dosing the small tank with algae fix and tech-m magnesium to try to kill off the bryopsis and the little hair algae that is still in the small tank. I'm trying to be very careful as I move stuff over as to not move any bryopsis too. I did find a large pod and dropped it into the tank. Made it down about 6" in the water before getting scarfed. Speaking of pods, bought some in an attempt to re-populate the tank along with some cheatomorpha. I'm sticking with skimming and macro algae and vodka for a while.
11/7/2011- I've had to frag the Enchinata, the green birdsnest and the tri-color. So far the frags are ok. The green birdsnest is recovering very well so far. Price of immature rock I guess. I'm still not seeing any real good polyp extension on the SPS yet. I've feed some rotis and some reef chili, but I'm being very careful on how much - don't want any tiny creatures that may have made it from the small tank reproducing. Having a major cyanobacteria outbreak and I'm trying some UltraLife Red Slime Remover I got from I've sucked enough and its time to try another approach. No sign of Ha or bryopsis yet though. I'm running some chaeto in the sump (which has cyano growing on it too). Slowing ramping up the kalk dosing too. I've still seeing the algaes in the small tank, but they're having visible issues hanging on. Going to hit this tank with some of the slime remover too. I'd like to get this tank down in the 4-6 weeks. I've certainly lost some zoas, but still have a few polpys hanging on.

11/9/2011- The UltraLife Red Slime Remover kicks ass! 2 days and niether tank has any sign of cyano now. And nothing's dead. I'm impressed. Now, if I turn on the skimmer, it'll fill up in 5 minutes - so it's off for a few days. I'll do a water change Friday or Saturday then try the skimmer again.