Aquarium - 75 Gallon Saltwater Tank - 2013

Page 5 of the 75 gallon saltwater tank.

Not a lot has happened since my last post. The hair algae war is slowly progressing. I had a setback running the GFO. It seems that I developed a some sort of "rusty" slime from the the GFO. I started seeing some serious regression in my SPS. I immediately stopped and did large water changes every week for several weeks. Everything seems to have stabilized. I lost my enchinata. Notice the pocilipora in the pics - it's almost completely white, yet keeps growing like crazy.

I've spent the last several water changes pulling algae by hand with a 1/4" tube to suck it up as I go. The hair algae is under control, and now I've developed red turf algae on my rock. Went to buy a turbo and got talked into a trochus snail. He hasn't really touched the turf algae, but at least the blue leg hermits pick at it some. I've also seen the tang working on it sometimes.

I added 2 pieces of SPS I got from LiveAquaria. Got a Stardust Cerealis Acropora Coral and a Blue Polyp Austera Acropora Coral. I alos ordered a replacement for my Hawkin's Blue Echinata, but they packed 4 heat packs (I live in Florida) and they basically cooked the Echinata. It was almost completely white. I called and got a credit and they had another one in a couple of weeks later, tried again, same result - even though I told them not to pack too much heat in it. they packed 2 this time. Same result. the other 2 corals don't have polyp extension yet to speak of, but they're colored up good.
4/9/2013 - Have been working on the algae issues. the hair algae seems to now be under control. Have been pulling and siphoning with water changes. Changed the RO filters and the DI resin to make sure I have PURE water with 0 TDS. The turbo snail and the crabs have been working the red turf algae and barely making progress, but at worst it's a tie now.

After several water changes, I seem to have recovered from the GFO/slime issue, but now, I've had a ph spike and lost more SPS. Lost both my torts, the purple stylo and the pink lemonade. All the others still have color, but still have limited polyp extension. Looks like I had an overdose of kalk. I've since backed off to half a teaspoon per 5 gallons of top-off water. As of today, all the SPS death appears to have stopped, the zoanthids are just about the best they've ever been and the coraline algae is starting to come back strong.

I had to frag the yellow-eye chalice. It was around 10" by 8" and getting too big for the tank. I broke it into 4 nice pieces and thought I put nice prices, but apparently no takers. Got a nice store credit from FAOIS though.

I have to take a minute and make a public service message. I ordered SPS from LiveAquaria.com (see previous post). After 2 failures, tried to order something that may not be as sensitive, explained heat issue, same result. WTF people? This time they only gave me half credit. I'm pissed and will never order from LiveAquaria again. I'll use my credit on glue or something.
5/19/2013 - Been sticking with weekly water changes - 10-15 gallons depending on my ambition. Everything seems to be doing well. Had to frag up the tri-color. It's been having slow tissue necrosis since the PH spike and looks like it wasn't going to end. Had nice new growth on top though, so looks like It'll be starting over from about an inch and a half.

Tried to buy a couple of frags off of EBay recently. Bid on a couple of nice millis and some other SPS. One of the vendor's cancelled all my bids AND blocked me minutes before I was to start winning. See my post about this clown - Reef Pets. Won 3 pieces from another guy (thecoralfarmer) though. Quick emails, put the 3 orders together (@ $3 extra each on the shipping - still expensive). Anyway got them on Tuesday 5/14. One of the millis was pretty white, but I didn't say anything like a dummy. It's dead. I think I'm so Done with EBay. These frags were not even an inch tall. Pretty pathetic.

Saw the scene below when doing the water change today.
 
8/5/2013 - Fairly smooth summer so far. Have some various algae issues (bubble, hair and red turf). The small emerald crabs don't seem to care for the bubble algae. the hair algae isn't going wild, I think the large ball of chaeto in the sump is keeping it in check. I also have a good sized turbo. He's been busy mowing the red turf for the most part. I pull the hair when I do what changes using a small 1/4" tube to pinch it and suck it down.

I'm in the process of switching from Reef Crystals to Red Sea Coral Pro. The SPS hasn't been terribly happy and I'm tired of brown muck in my mixing bucket. I read lots of positive reviews on the Red Seas, so I thought I'd give it a try. Starting with 20 gallon changes weekly for a month, then I'll start backing down 5 gallons at a time. After 2 changes, I'm seeing growth on the SPS already.

Used my credit from LiveAquaria to get a orchid stylo and a strawberry mint acro. Looked good on arrival. Guess it's best to order when it's not cold so they don't cook the coral.

November - After doing lots and lts of water changes and really seeing no improvement in the SPS, I decided it was time to make a salt switch. I decided to try Red Sea Coral Pro. Pricier than the Reef Crystals I was using, but there is definitely
quality issues with Reed Crystals. I made the switch back in August, been doing no less than 10 gallon changes weekly, religiously. I can already see the difference in the SPS. One that I almost lost had a brown appearance, then new growth with popping color.

I also noticed my Reef Brite blue leds were starting to die off. I though about getting a new one or even an XHO, but ended up deciding to give DIY a try. I got the Rapid LED (http://www.rapidled.com/24-led-actinic-supplement-kit/). they're 3 watt LEDs, should be pretty bright. The build process was straight forward. The only issues I had was - how am I going to mount in my canopy and how am I going to cool it. I ordered a few 40mm fans from amazon for cooling and got some 3" stainless screws and nuts from Home Depot. I drilled the heatsink to matchup holes in my light board for mounting. I drilled larger holes for the fans to blow straight down onto the heatsink. I made a splash shield from a 48" peice of acrylic and mounted with some 1/2" risers, which went onto the same screws I mounted the heatsink to the light board in the canopy. Let me tell you - these things are BRIGHT!. The pics below are from the Rapid LED kit blue leds only (wb adjusted on camera).

Final Entry for 2013 - Still fighting some hair and red turf algae. I've been doing spot treatments of peroxide. The crabs seem to really enjoy the flavor after that for some reason. But it's been working. I'm still doing at least 5 gallon water changes (10-15 every 4 weeks) and siphoning algae weekly. I think next year's challenge will be to reduce the amount of food.

I'm getting the upgrade size fever now. I thinking a 5x2x2 tank will fit nicely in that space. I 'd really like to add another tang, but I should have a larger tank. Plus, I'm running out of room for corals. The green Ora green birdnest is starting to grow out of the water.