Fishfoo's 40g Rimless

Discussion in 'Tank Builds' started by Fishfoo, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    Wow, 6 months since my last update... Guess I've been slacking a bit! I'll try my best to bring this thread back up to speed.

    Summer always seems to be the hardest season for my tank to get through. Corals lose color, stop growing, and some quit out all together. I attribute a lot of this to me turning the AC on and off throughout the summer, which constantly alters tank temps and pH. But who knows for sure. Luckily, I got past it with no notable fish/coral loss this year. And now that it's winter, things are really starting to hit their stride again.

    [​IMG]

    Currently for livestock, I have a Flame wrasse (boss of the tank), Pintail Fairy wrasse, and a Royal Gramma. I also had a Venustus Angelfish for about 3 months who ate like a pig and seemed to be doing really well. But a couple weeks ago he stopped eating and ended up passing. No clue why... Then there's the White Cap goby, who I'm not sure is alive or dead. I hear the pistol shrimp that it was paired to snap every now and then, but haven't seen them for months.

    As for coral, I haven't really added much. I did pickup an rainbow acan from the acanlord live sale this fall, which shows some promise. While I was there, I also picked up my first RBTA. I'm really happy with it, although it seems to be growing way too fast for my small tank!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Last weekend I was saved by my apex (and Ecotech Battery Backup) yet again. I was at my girlfriends cabin for the weekend and on the last night while I was sleeping I received a notification that my apex was no longer connected to fusion. That next morning I was able to get someone to check on things, and sure enough a fuse blew, which took all of my equipment offline aside from the mp40, which was being powered by the battery backup. I was able to setup a short term solution over the phone to at least get the heater and return pump back online while I drove home, and once I got home I was able to get everything back up and running again.

    The tank got down to ~65 degrees at one point, but somehow all of the fish and coral survived. The only thing that didn't survive was my EB8 outlet, but I had a spare incase something like this ever happened. What always amazes me is how things only seem to go wrong when I go out of town (and the same seems to be true for others as well). If I'm home, aside from feeding and water changes, I won't touch my tank for weeks at a time, and nothing breaks or malfunctions. But the second step outside my door all bets are off :confused:

    Current Problems: The dreaded bubble algae. With the corals doing as well as they are, I'm hesitant to make any changes to the tank. For now I've just been manually removing it, but it's really starting to annoy me. Any advice from others who have tackled their bubble algae problems would be appreciated!
     
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  2. dirtrider225

    dirtrider225 Senior Member
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    Looking good! Awesome photos man!
     
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  3. Mandarin_Jake

    Mandarin_Jake Senior Member
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    Emerald crabs are the typical solution for the bubble algae, however they sometimes develop a taste for coral polyps too, sigh.

    Sent from my E6810 using Tapatalk
     
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  4. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    Two Year Update
    [​IMG]

    There isn’t a whole lot of growth between this FTS and my last, mainly due to some problems over the summer where things went into survival mode. Since then, everything has definitely hit its stride. SPS that showed no growth for months are finally starting to encrust and branch out. Euphyllia are growing new heads. The acans and zoa’s are overtaking my rockwork. And my BTA has nearly tripled in size from when I got it in the fall!

    I credit a lot of my recent growth to switching things up and keeping it simple. I Have a bag of carbon that I replace every month, some filter floss (Replace during weekly water changes), and my skimmer. That’s it for filtration. I also turned down my lights and ramped up flow, which the corals seemed to respond very well to. I don’t feed coral foods anymore. Instead, I feed the fish more (LRS Reef & Fish Frenzy), so that the corals can grab the scraps. All of these simple changes paired with the maturation of my tank have come together to produce some great results.

    [​IMG]

    Also, I think it’s safe to finally say that I can now keep a torch coral alive in my tank!
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    This Indo gold is the second of two torches I now have in my tank. With the first being an Australian torch I purchased from New Wave over a month ago. They both seem to be loving life and I’m hopeful that they will make it long-term. I still never found the reason why I never was able to keep them alive in the past, but I’m sure the maturity of my tank had a lot to do with it.

    Moving on to the fish…
    [​IMG]

    I impulse bought this tiny guy from LADD last week, as I’ve always loved Convict Tangs and coming from Diver’s Den, I knew this was my best chance at a healthy one. He’s eating nori like a pig, and is so fun to watch as he scans the rocks for algae. I plan on upgrading my tank in 2018, but incase this doesn’t happen I already have a backup plan to keep him at a friends once he gets too big for mine. Can’t wait to watch him grow though!

    And then of course there’s this guy...
    [​IMG]

    By far my favorite fish. This flame wrasse has such a great personality and is very photogenic to say the least :) Currently I only have the Flame wrasse, Pintail wrasse, and Convict tang in my tank. I don’t have any plans to add more, but if the right clownfish comes along I’d love to try and get one to host my BTA.
     
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  5. DarkSky

    DarkSky Administrator
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    Great fish! Both are stunners.
     
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  6. eschulist

    eschulist That Office Nano Guy
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    Tank and fish are looking mighty fine.
     
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  7. dirtrider225

    dirtrider225 Senior Member
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    Love the convict tang. Always have been one of my favorites! What sort of upgrade are you thinking?!
     
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  8. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    I'm thinking about a 215 or something along those lines. Still doing some research though!
     
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  9. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    The only two things I regularly test for lately is salinity during water changes and Alk about twice a week. The rest (Calcium, Phosphate, Magnesium, etc) maybe once every month to three months. Not the best practice I know but for the most part things have remained stable and corals have never been happier. Today however, I noticed that my Orange Passion and another acro both had their mesenterial filaments swaying about. Now I had just fed the tank and also performed a water change, both of which can trigger this response. But they had never done this for previous feedings or water changes, so I decided to test some parameters.

    Everything was right on target except phosphates. They read at 0.36 with my Hanna Checker!!!! I couldn't believe it so I tested again and it read 0.34. Now this is where weekly testing would have helped me diagnose the issue better. The last I tested for phosphates was about 2 months ago and they were right at 0.04. Since then, the only thing I added/changed was the loss of my royal gramma to a fellow reefer, and the addition of my convict tang (A little over a week in the tank). What I suspect is the root cause of this PO4 spike is all of the nori that I've been adding for the convict tang. I give the quarter sized fish a half sheet of TLF nori everyday, and while he eats a good amount of it, the rest he just picks off and lets it get stuck in the filter floss/powerhead foam guards. Along with that, I haven't stopped feeding my normal amount of LRS Reef/Fish Frenzy, which is a generous amount for only 2 wrasse.

    To combat this PO4 spike, I added a small amount of GFO in a mesh bag, and stuck it in the back of my sump area. I'm always hesitant to use GFO as I feel it can do more harm than good if not carefully observed, but I needed a quick and effective solution. In the few hours it's been in, my PO4 has gone back down to 0.1 (still high but wayyy better than the original numbers), and I'll test again in the morning to make sure that the water isn't getting stripped of all phosphate. Would love to know if any of you agree/disagree with my diagnosis. I should also add that I made close to 20+ frags today as well for the upcoming swap, and was wondering if maybe the freshly cut zoas/other assorted frags or abundance of super glue/accelerate might have annoyed the acro's? Who knows :confused:
     
  10. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    As soon as I read that your phosphates were elevated, I immediately pointed the blame to the new tang.
    Your assumption about the phosphates coming from the nori is most likely the cause. That seems like a lot of nori to feed, especially if the fish isn't eating all of it and it sits in the tank.

    As far as my opinion on the acro's behavior, they're temperamental bastards, so who knows what is exactly triggering that response. :D
     
  11. eschulist

    eschulist That Office Nano Guy
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    Yep thats a lot of Nori for a single fish. Smaller pieces for him in the future.

    Something for you to think about. I know you think your phosphate is super high and you need to get it down, but don't try to battle the tank to reach a particular number. The main goal is consistent values. Adding the GFO is going to make your phosphate dive pretty rapidly. .34 to .1 in a few hours is a large drop. Your last pictures probably had high phosphate and everything looked great. Why the need to change?

    I'd give this a read http://packedhead.net/2014/skeptical-reefkeeping-ix-test-kits-chasing-numbers-and-phosphate/

    Also if you want to hear pretty much the same thing in video form check out Richard Ross's last Macna talk
    The phosphate / chasing numbers section where he uses his own tank is at the 30 min mark.
     
  12. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    Thanks for the input @eschulist . I actually just watched that video last week and it's what I thought about when I saw my own readings! As for chasing parameters, I agree that consistency is key, but I truly think that the phosphate was at ~0.04-0.1 until recently spiking from the excess nori this past week. And yes, 0.34 to 0.1 is a huge drop. I was not expecting such a quick drop since I only used a couple tablespoons receiving passive flow, but this morning I checked and the PO4 was back up to 0.15. So it must have burnt out pretty quick. I plan to take it slow and bring the PO4 down to the 0.04-0.1 range, but like you said, as long as the corals stay happy I'm happy.

    No other PO4 updates since this morning I used my last phos reagent. Hoping the refills come tomorrow.

    I'll definitely give that article a read as well. Thanks again!
     
  13. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    Agreed! But my nitrates are nearly undetectable so it's not the bioload imo. This is my first time keeping an algae eater in the tank and for some reason it never occured to me that nori would have phosphates :confused: dumb I know. And it's been A LOT of excess nori floating around. Sorry little tang, but your're going to have to start learning to eat every bite you pick off!

    Very true. I've practically given up on millepora as it never seems to survive in my tank. Any Tenius seems to do fine though, so that's what I'm sticking with for now
     
  14. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    My phosphates seem to be steady at ~0.10 now, which is fine by me. I came across Adam from Battlecorals.com build thread on R2R and his most recent Triton tests showed ~0.50 PO4, which is even further proof that high phos isn't necessarily a bad thing (take a look at his site if you disagree).

    On another note, I had a pretty big tank scare last Thursday. My AutoAqua Smart ATO Micro got stuck in the ON position and ended up bringing my pH to 9.6... Luckily there was only 1/4 of kalk solution in the reservoir when this happened, so salinity didn't change much (1.026 to 1.024). I also luckily happened to come down to look at the tank right as it was happening.

    I immediately drove to get some soda water, which I used to bring the pH back down. After that it was time to address the alk (went from 7.5 to 10) and salinity. I performed four 5gal water changes throughout 24 hours and brought salinity back up to 1.026 and alk down to ~8.2. From there I decided to let the alk naturally lower itself back to normal. As of this morning alk is at 7.7.

    I'm happy to say that there were NO casualties so far as a result of this malfunction. I truly dodged a bullet here by only having so much kalk solution left in the reservoir and for coming down to check on the tank when I did. Had I not checked on it for a few more hours or even waited until the next day, I'm sure the tank would've been a near total loss...

    One thing that could have both prevented the degree to which this happened as well as notified me of what was going on, is if I had the ATO outlet programmed to shutoff on my Apex when the pH exceeded a certain limit, and to text me when this happened. I have this configured for other outlets (such as my heater), and used to for the ATO outlet, but removed the code when my previous pH probe went bad and was showing false readings constantly. When I replaced the probe a few weeks ago I completely forgot to write the code back in. But now I have it set to shutoff the ATO outlet when the pH goes above 8.5, and to notify me. Usually the built in timer within the ATO Micro will shutoff the pump after it's been on for a certain duration (I think over 10 seconds), which has worked many time in the past for me. However, this goes to show the inevitability that anything electronic is going to malfunction at some point, and to have redundancy.

    The ATO micro still works, but I can't trust it again after the scare it just gave me. I picked up a Tunze 3155. So far I’m very happy with it, and with an average of 4.8 stars out of 343 reviews it was an easy choice. I was looking at Neptune's new ATO, but the reviews were mixed and I didn't want to risk it. Would love to hear peoples personal experiences on the Neptune ATK or Tunze 3155 if they have any!

    Picture of the Flame to combat a text-heavy post :)
    [​IMG]
     
    #54 Fishfoo, Mar 5, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
  15. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    Some Sps shots to document their growth. Some of the pieces pictured I recently grabbed during the FHC live sale. I know a lot of these frags are way too close together, but I literally have no room left in my tank. I've gotta get creative and think of some ways to create more space.

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    This booger of a frag is taking forever to take off, but I think it's finally ready to sprout up. Before 07/2017
    [​IMG]

    Now 03/2018
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    More boogers. Even as a fairly experienced online buyer, I still fall for sps pics from vendors that make frags look like mini colonies :rolleyes: Oh well
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Your photos of these new sticks are making me really anxious to get my new tank up and running.
    All of these look great!
     
  17. Stoneyj33

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    Great pics!

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
     
  18. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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  19. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    Thanks, Jason. Hope the tank hunt is going well!

    Thank you both!
     
  20. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    Things are still going really well with the tank. It's nice to finally have the frag racks and plugs out of sight now that the Spring (Winter) Frag Swap is over with. Now I can get back to enjoying the tank as it was! I picked up a couple of nice pieces from a couple members and vendors as well that I managed to find places for somehow. Real estate is a premium when you have a minimalistic rock scape...

    My original Flame wrasse ended up passing in mid March. It was tougher than usual as he was definitely my favorite fish I'd ever owned. I don't know the exact cause, but am thinking it was either internal parasites or old age. The only reason I think parasites is that every now and then his poop would be white and stringy. Other than that, there were no signs of disease and his activity/appetite seemed to just slowly decline over the last couple of weeks before his death. By the time I spun up an emergency qt tank it was too late. He wasn't eating anymore and the end was inevitable.

    After a month or so, I decided to give it another go and ended up adding a new Flame and Rhomboid supermale to the tank. Things were going well and all of the fish have been getting along. Until about a week ago when I noticed the Flame wrasse was acting a bit strange. He was still eating well, but his activity level was very low, and declining daily. I noticed a few odd bumps on him that were more clear than they were white, and also noticed something white hanging from his eye. I spun up a QT tank and put him in there while I looked on the internet for answers. After some research, I guessed that flukes was what I was most likely dealing with. I performed a freshwater dip to confirm my suspicion, and sure enough:

    [​IMG]

    This was only a few of what was once on him, but there were a TON that came off during the 5 minute freshwater dip. I had never experienced a fish with flukes before and was amazed at how many were attached to him. Once he was back in QT, it took him a little bit of time to recover but was eating shortly thereafter. Furthermore, his activity level jumped dramatically within a couple hours of the dip. The fish that previously never left a certain corner of the tank unless it was feeding time, was now cruising around the tank looking for any leftover scraps and exploring every inch. It's a happy sight to see.

    After I confirmed it was flukes I immediately ordered some Prazipro from Amazon that should get here by Thursday. I may perform another freshwater dip in between, depending on how the Flame is acting. As for the rest of my fish, I feel that although they aren't showing symptoms, it's best to treat them all so that I can eradicate this parasite for good. And as for if this was the cause for my original Flame dying, possibly. I personally think this new wrasse was infected with flukes before being introduced to my aquarium, however.
     

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