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First Salt water...new build

This is a discussion on First Salt water...new build within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> Originally Posted by badxgillen You must find proper balance my friend,or just get turbo snails that have the large operculum to protect themselves. You ...

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First Salt water...new build
Old 06-23-2014, 06:25 AM   #41
 
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Originally Posted by badxgillen View Post
You must find proper balance my friend,or just get turbo snails that have the large operculum to protect themselves. You can try and utilize snails only but you need many varieties to accomplish the task.
yup.... finding balance... I know part of the problem was over stocking the hermits ( and snails)...another problem... snails can't thrive if they have little to eat...so with little algae to eat I thought I was doing the right thing and leaving a "snack" on the bottom for every one to share in the form of strips of dried algae sheets.. the only problem.. the hermits made a meal out of the snails.. and I set the dinner table... I'll figure it out....one mistake at a time... at least so far they have been minor...so once again I wait while things settle in and adjust...
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:16 AM   #42
 
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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
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:12 PM   #43
 
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Do you have a closer picture of the coral in question? From where I sit it looks like a favia or possibly favites. You can tell from the shared walls of the polyps. At a second glance it might be achalice of sorts. Does it have a solid rock form or plating?
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:17 AM   #44
 
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Do you have a closer picture of the coral in question? From where I sit it looks like a favia or possibly favites. You can tell from the shared walls of the polyps. At a second glance it might be achalice of sorts. Does it have a solid rock form or plating?
I'll try and take a better picture..it's a new camera and I haven't quite figured it out yet.. any way...it's encrusted on a flat piece of rock... each segment is almost star shaped..
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:17 AM   #45
 
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So it's been over a month since I've posted on this thread.. time for an update..

I've adjusted things and learned what I can and cannot do... I found that keeping a sponge is difficult when you have a diamond sot gobie...they eject too much sand and it clogs the pores.. I rehomed it...

I've since added a few mushrooms, identified my mystery coral as a war coral ( Favia?)... my toad stool leather has sprung 2 daughter colonies.. my green star polyps have spread as have my clove polyps...my Duncan ( bought in early July) has also grown 2 more stalks. And it is one of my favorite creatures... my maze coral has sprouted a new polyp...
I had to deal with a slight bout of cyno and hair algae....something I expected with a new tank... by limiting my light to 8 hours a day... my fish feeding to 1 time a day and controlling the amount, by this meaning , feeding only as much as they excitedly eat... once they become picky,.. dinner is over... couple this with 20
% weekly water change ( AND vacumimg of the "dead zones that collect detritus) and the cyno has disappeared and the hair algae limited to one area that is being grazed heavily by my lawn mower blenny.. also , my anemone has grown... by about 2" and it's tentacles have lengthened and darkened.. making white tips stand out.. I almost left out the pearl bubble.. it has gotten huge.. I also bought a "damaged" green bubble for short money and am trying to revive it... the process is slow but each day I see it adding more "bubbles" and sending stingers out at meal time..
this picture is over a week old but it is the most recent one I have...
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:17 AM   #46
 
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Now that is what I call progress. When the corals are happy and growing it makes the hobby much more rewarding than just feeding the fish.Soon you will have to take some of your extra corals to your Local Fish Store,maybe trade em for some new species
Did you ever find a local reefing club? Do you have a good selection at the closest store or do you have to order your corals? I am lucky and have some decent selection in adjacent cities but I have ordered a few things and traded quite a bit myself.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:39 AM   #47
 
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I have found a LFS that is only 20 minutes away... they get new stock every week and have a 15% "preferred" customer discount on Tuesdays.. they deal only with salt water fish and corals.. their shop is as neat as a pin.. their tanks spotless... they will special order anything ( legal) that you want if they can find it and quarantine it for you as well...their prices seem to match anything in the net and I like seeing what I'm buying...hard to beat their service..

I haven't found a reef club yet... but haven't tried either... this winter when the snows 4' deep outside my windows, I'll have more time to dedicate to the search..
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:28 AM   #48
 
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New discoveries...

first, I have a bristle worm...it's about 4" long and resides in the rock with the mushrooms... some tell me they are bad.. other things I read and see say most are harmless and even beneficial... I've noticed it for a few weeks now and watched it closely... it seems only interested in food that has fallen in the crevices that the hermits haven't found yet... opinions?( I know the bristles can be painful and toxic to humans..)

Last night, I arrived home late .. several hours after the lights had been out...I like looking in the tank with a flash light to see what is about... I saw what appears to be some type of serpent starfish.. it is about the size of a quarter and has thin long legs the body ( and legs) are black the legs have white bands.. I tried to get a picture but it didn't come out.. it appears to be very shy and disappeared when I hit it too much with the light...the closest picture I can find is a Fancy arm banded serpent star..my guess is it came in on some of the coral or was in the live rock and I just now discovered it... again any thoughts?
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:07 AM   #49
 
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Bristle worms in small amounts can act as part of a clean up crew but there are some corals they can irritate when they come in contact. I just pull out the larger ones as where there is one there are sure to be more.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:23 AM   #50
 
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Bristle worms in small amounts can act as part of a clean up crew but there are some corals they can irritate when they come in contact. I just pull out the larger ones as where there is one there are sure to be more.
I'll keep that in mind.. it's lightning fast and goes back in it's hole if you get near it..
thanks for the reply..
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