07-07-2014, 08:16 AM
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July start update...
well, as I learn..I change and adapt...I'll start my saying I've added a few more occupants to my tank... a gorgeous mushroom leather.... A colony of green star polyps...2 more feather dusters....and most recently ( Saturday) a maze coral and I bought (on line) a "mystery" coral that I have not had time to identify just yet... it glows brightly under the actinic lights..it will be in the middle left hand side of the last picture...
OK... so by adding more "guests".. some of them heavy eaters ( bubble coral) and of coarse the fish, my bio load has increased...I was running lights 12 hors a day... max light for 10 hours....needless to say algae got a little crazy.. so I cut back the lights to 8 hours on the Max, plus 1 1/2 hours of pure actinic at the beginning and end of the day...it would appear that the "critters like the change" my softies open and close with the light now not in the late afternoon... that also slowed down the algae but of coarse caused a spike in nitrates ( up to 20ppm)....so I've opted for a 20% water change once a week ( I find it easier than cleaning algae every day or two)....Last week during the heat wave my tank got up to 83 degrees ( F) ( my house is not air conditioned) so as a means of cooling it down, I took a 10' length of 3/4 PVC tubing and coiled it up and placed it in my return section of my sump, I attached it to the supply line from my top off pump and ran the line back to the top off tank to make a closed loop with the coil of cold water in the sump.. the tank was filled with ice/D/I water ( made by freezing plastic coffee cans of DI water in my big freezer down stairs) the DIY chiller worked like a charm in 6 hours the temp. in the display tank was down to the 78 degrees I keep it at....
I did my first major tank cleaning over the weekend ( 4 months) using a turkey baster I flushed the base rock of debris, vacuumed the accessible sand.. brushed off any unwanted hair algae, and trimmed some of the longer beards and did a 50% water change( over the 2 day period) and changed the back drop ( that I ruined during my cleaning) and removed the last of the macro algae from the display tank.. I've also relocated some of my inhabitants...I buried the fan worms in the substrate.... I moved my sponge to a dark cave, as it was bleaching out.. I wasn't sure what the problem was but with in a week of being "ion the dark" it is once again a vibrant red... my anemone has lodged itself in the side of a "mountain" and seems very happy there... the flow from the power heads seem to suit it better.. as does the less bright lights... two of my clowns have begun bringing it food ..on 2 occasions I have see different ones bring Mysis shrimp over to it and spit it onto the tentacles... my finger leather just went through another shed.. it now opens broader than ever and all branches are sending polyps out...my clove polyps have begun to colonize the surrounding rock with miniatures of themselves...so It would appear that life is thriving in my tank and I enjoy it every minute I'm in the house