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Reeftank Log 02/98

Wednesday, February 11, 1998

I've made two major changes to the tank.

    1.I've replaced the old fluorescent lights with PowerCompacts. Right now I have the lights on a 7100K 12 hour / 6700K 10 hour cycle. But since the lights are so powerful, I may go to a 10/8 cycle. I'll see how things look at the end of the day. I love how bright the lights are and the look of the hood with the integrated fan. The light really punches through any darkness in the tank. There is less light hitting the back of the tank now so hopefully algae and green star polyp growth is decreased on that part of the tank.

    2.I added a Kordon fine airstone hooked up to a Whisper 500 air pump to the CPR BakPak to increase the efficiency of the skimmer. It looks like the increased bubbles are doing a great job! I removed about 1.5 cm height worth of fluid from the skimmer reservoir after only two days of skimming. The fluid as light brown colored so I moved the skimmer reservoir a little higher in the hope I capture a darker colored fluid.

On Monday, I manually removed a lot of algae from the light brown polyps and other parts of the tank. I also changed the carbon and replaced it with three times as much carbon as normal. From the output of the skimmer, it's apparent there's a lot of DOC in the water, and that's what's been contributing to the algae growth. I noticed yesterday though that there doesn't seem to be any slime algae lurking around anymore. The other way I'll control the algae growth for the moment is to feed the fish sparsely.

I mourn the loss of one of my clownfish. I found it dried up dead last Friday. For some reason, it jumped out of the tank.

When I moved the polyp rock this Monday to clean it, I had to rip it from the Green Star Polyp that was connected to it to the main GSP rock. Afterwards, the GSP's didn't come out for a long time, but the brown ones did. Ripping the tissue of the GSP must release a substance that tells the other GSP's not to come out.

The remaining clown fish is using the green open brain coral as a surrogate anemone. It's interesting how it lies peacefully in the green open brain all night. The green open brain doesn't seem to mind the clown fish lying on it.


Thursday, February 12, 1998

Protein skimmer is still collecting a lot more scum than before. One very interesting thing I've noticed is the green star polyps are opening a lot earlier than before. Corals appear to be doing well, but I think the red and purple mushrooms on the left of the tank are still adjusting to the much higher amounts of light since they aren't fully opened. I've cut the 7100 K to 11 hours a day and the 6700K to 8 hours a day. I'll see how they look tonight when I go home. I'm feeding the fish only the Hikari pellets right now in order to minimize excess nutrients in the tank. I've increased the K/SN to 8 drops a day because of the protein skimming efficiency. I may start adding 3 tsp. of calcium hydroxide per gallon of water for Kalkwasser dosing in order to increase the amount of calcium in the tank. I hope I can control the algae over the light brown polyps. I may have to do more manual extraction of algae this weekend until the polyps gain the upper hand again.


Friday, February 13, 1998

Arrgghhh, algae is growing back in the areas I plucked it from. I think I'm going to stop the addition of the Coral Vital. That's the only factor that I'm dripping into the tank that I don't know what's in it. The protein skimmer is taking out a lot of stuff. Have the lights switched to 11 hours of 7100 K and fan and 8 hours of 6700 K. Switched the lights today so that the fan comes on with the 7100 K light. Just saw in the Robert Metelsky FAQ that Molybdenum can contribute to microalgae. I'll have to find a Strontium supplement that doesn't include it.


Tuesday, February 24, 1998

Came back from skiing Utah this past weekend and noticed hair algae growing everywhere. Not to an uncontrollable point, but definitely in places where it hadn't been before. I'm instituting a major effort to get rid of the algae with these actions:

Decrease dosage of Kent Iodine to 5 drops and Kent Strontium/Molybdenum to 4 drops a day.

No Coral Vital.

Discontinue use of Kent Coral Vital and CombiSan on a weekly basis.

Add Kent Phosphate sponge. Added cup yesterday. Will change it tonight and again on the weekend.

Hopefully, this will help me rid the reef tank of the algae menace threatening to take it over.

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