Posted: 2006.01.08(Sun)15:44 Post subject: My Aching Back!
I double checked the nitrate condition again this morning, to make sure that what the new kit registered was still valid. It was still close to 20ppm, so I decided that I would go through with the massive water change.
I took out close to 50% of the water, and replaced it with fresh SW. I'm gradually making the salinity higher too, as I like to keep the SG at about 1.026 when keeping corals.
Later this evening I'm going to check the nitrates again. I'm guessing they will be in the ball park of 5-10ppm with a slight chance of being even lower than that.
I added a Royal Gramma to the mix! A beautiful little fish that will be great in a reef environment, and won't get too large for a 55g.
The new cleaner shrimp performed his first molt last night! In less than 24 hours! Thinking back to when we added the camel shrimp, they too molted within the first day or two. It may be part of the shrimp acclimation process.
Well, I'm going to dive into the 2006 issue of Marine and Reef... on shelves now!
Posted: 2006.01.09(Mon)15:58 Post subject: Nitrates and New Fish
I just got home, and wanted to check out the nitrate situation after the big water change yesterday. They now registered in at 10ppm, so I brought them down by just about half. I was hoping for a little less than 10ppm, but I'm not going to complain.
Here's the plan to handle the nitrates:
- It looks as if I'm going to have to change out about 50% of the water once a week for the next few weeks.
- I'm going to add some more LR (Figi... just LOVE Figi)
- I'm not TOO keen on this idea, but I may add a macro algae, like chaeto or something, to the tank. It absorbs nitrates (and phosphates I believe). My herbies will like it too!
- CORALS!!! Providing I can find some that my butterflies won't look upon as a tasty snack, corals work as an excellent nitrate absorber.
The new cleaner shrimp is finally displaying himself more, rather than hiding behind rocks. I'm glad too, because he's awsome to watch. Hopefully I'll be able to witness some good symbiotic cleaner/client relationships.
The new Royal Gramma however is still very shy. It WAS swimming about pretty freely yesterday, that is, until I scrubbed the front glass with the mags. Since then, he's hidden away
Posted: 2006.01.10(Tue)16:29 Post subject: NEW LIGHTING!!! & MORE
My new lighting setup arrived today. On time! I love that! Go UPS!
The installation was easy, and quick. It even came with docking feet, which I would have liked to know ahead of time before I bought a second pack, but what the heck, right?!?! MORE docking feet
The color of the lighting is a remarkable improvement; lots more blue, and a lot brighter. This setup gives a whole new meaning to the term 50/50. The CURRENT USA Satellite systems use a combo bulb that has both a separate white and actinic bulb, not a mixture bulb like you get with those single 50/50 bulbs. The 48" I got has two of these dual bulbs.
I'm psyched, can you tell
I have witnessed the new Royal Gramma eat today, just about 10 minutes ago actually. Good news, because it was beginning to worry me. Nothing compairs to that joyous task of fiddling through LR for dead fish
I also witnessed the first motions of the cleaner/client relationship last night, between the new cleaner shrimp and the coral beauty. The Coral Beauty moved in slowly, then posed, flaring its gills, and lilting. Nothing much happened after that however. The shrimp merely continued to rub its antenni (dunno about that spelling) about the fish for a few more seconds, then the coral beauty took off. It was cool to watch none-the-less.
Posted: 2006.01.14(Sat)20:48 Post subject: Cleaner Shrimp
Today I witnessed the cleaner/client ritual take place for a full show. The cleaner shrimp was all over the lawnmower blenny (marty), and marty didn't seem to mind at all. The shrimp covered marty from head to tail, at times poking around at such delicate parts that I was suprised marty was putting up with it.
This is great Harlock...keep it going! Are you still doing 50% water changes, or have your nitrates kept below 10 ppm? Also, have you added the chaeto yet? How are fish responding to 1.026?
Keep posting (with pics). _________________ mike
Posted: 2006.01.15(Sun)15:14 Post subject: UPDATES & More PICS!!!
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
Thank you, Kaiser, for your compliments! It's not fantastic... yet But it's on its way.
When I checked the nitrates today I didn't know WHAT to expect. A big part of me was thinking 'high', but only a chem test would tell, as a lot can change in a week. As the minutes past, I watched the coloration turn darker, but it never made it past 10ppm, in fact, it wasn't even quite 10ppm, but close.
I chose not to do a water change, as this is not too bad by my standards; it's pushing it, but not bad I did however change out the filters to keep things clean.
I love this section, yet with this 55g, I haven't had too many big finds. I've been worried about the lack of pods in the tank. Actually, 'lack' doesn't really describe it... there are NOOooo pods in the tank. I have plenty of those calcium worm critters that stick to the glass, and just about everything else, but no pods. I attribute this phenomena to the butterfly fish... they hunt down, and kill anything that will fit in their mouth.
While cleaning out the filter today, to my amazment, their were several pods clinging to the inner housing of the filter! It makes sense really, as no one would bother them in there, and there is plenty of detritus material to eat! Needless to say, I left them alone. If they begin messing with my filter motor, they can kiss themselves goodbye.
The equipment itself really isn't new, but it is new to this tank. I decided to add the old MaxiJet400, from the 10g nanoreef, to the 55g. I wanted there to be a bit more flow, and rather than going out and buying another powerhead, I used the one I have for the meantime. Every little bit helps.
I messed around with adding the airator again, but I didn't like how much 'splash' it was making. The popping bubbles were skankin up the underside of the new lighting.
I paid a visit to my favorite LFS today to see if they had any small coral pieces on bits of LR... my favorite finds. I can usually get these for a couple of bucks, or for free.
I wound up finding two small shrooms. They are going to be part of a test to see if my butterflies are going to shread the corals or not. So far, upon putting them in the tank, the butterflies looked at them, then went about their business. I haven't seen either of the butts poke at them yet, and they've been in there for about 3 hours. Even now, they're poking around at the LR, as they usually do, but are not tampering with the shrooms.
If I keep the butts well fed, I don't think this is going to be a problem, especially since the butts are acclimated to eating, and loving, the frozen foods I mix up for them.
The Royal Gramma (Tessie) has been much less shy lately. She posed for this awsome picture.
The Lawnmower Blenny (Marty) [ yes, they all have names ] has always been a people person, and a bit of a ham. He's the only fish here who was a tenant of the 10g nano reef, and moved to the 55g.
My cat, Cheddar, helped me discover this awsome feature of this 55g. One day, Cheddar was going bananas, pawing away at the bottom of the 55g. "NUH!!! NUH, Cheddar!!!" I yelled, as I do whenever the cats do something they are not supposed to. Cheddar then began to just sit and stare at the underside of the tank. I HAD to check it out, as cheddar is a smart cat, and ALWAYS has a good reason for all his actions. What I found was a complete window into the underworld lifestyle of our Engineer Goby(named Hot Doggie -- said as Peter Sellers would in the movie The Magic Christian)! The pic's not great, but here you can see one of his many cave dwellings beneath the LR.
Here is a not-so-great pic of some of our 1yr old Figi LR. It has some of the most interesting growths on it. The hard green marbley bits are one of my favs. I assume it is some sort of macro algae. They've grown too, but very very slowly, so I'm not worried about the stuff taking over.
The tunnel is very cool. I can see where my watchman excavates. He creates these huge sandunes in the front of the tank. I have to destroy or hte nass. snails due it for me. I also have some of those bubble algae growths. Mine is violet though. I like it. It doesn't take over my tank, but it grows in little spurts.
Posted: 2006.01.17(Tue)10:38 Post subject: Butts vs. Corals... an UPDATE
FOWLR NO MORE... FOR NOW:
It has been 48 hours since adding the small tester shrooms to the tank, and they are still in one piece. I watch the Butts as they swim past the shrooms regularly, even picking at food that may be in very close proximity to the shrooms, but not once have they bothered the shrooms. In fact, my biggest concern now is that one of the two shrooms is having a hard time 'grounding' itself, and I'm afraid that the stress of drifting around on occasion will kill it. The other shroom is attached to a small piece of rubble, doesn't move at all, and looks good.
So this is GOOD NEWS! as I may be able to keep some corals after all!
I wouldn't worry about killing a mushroom...they are nearly indestructable. I had one on a pc of rock when the 75 was cycling...it turned completely white and today you would never know it. If high ammonia, nitrites and natrates and for a while high phosphates didn't kill it...being blown around certainly won't. They live on a reef where the current is viloent, if that helps. _________________ Out on the road today...I saw a DeadHead sticker on a Cadillac...
110 Gallon DSA Pentagon
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