Reeftank Log 05/98
Monday, May 04, 1998
5 gallon water change on Sunday. Also changed Poly Filter Scrubbing the algae off the rocks was a lot easier since I set up a table right by the tank so that I could sit down and scrub the algae instead of stooping over. I also bought a small clear plastic box so that I could see what I was scrubbing. I would first scrub the algae covered rocks/corals in the plastic box and then rinse them off in a bucket full of salt water. The water I used for both containers was the water I siphoned out of the tank during the water change. The tank inhabitants definitely liked the fact that I let the salt water mix sit for over 24 hours before I put it in the tank. Right now, I'm putting three cups of Instant Ocean into 20 liters of RO/DI water. This puts the SG a 1.026 to 1.027. It's then a simple matter to add more RO/DI water until the water hits the desire SG of 1.024.
The hair algae growth over the past week didn't seem as fast as before. Maybe I'm finally making a dent into the hair algae growth. One other good sign is that the Yellow Tang is losing a lot of its black spots. I believe good water quality and a healthy diet will help nurse it back to a black spot free skin. One monthly maintenance item I will try to keep up is to change the protein skimmer wood airstone and try to siphon out the gunk that accumulates at the bottom of the CPR BakPak. Once the hair algae is under control, I will also start changing the ½ Poly Filter every two weeks instead of every week. I may also start adding CombiSan again, but the corals seem to be doing fine without it. I think the weekly water changes are obviating the need for any trace element supplements for the moment.
Wednesday, May 06, 1998
Added 10 drops of CombiSan to tank two days ago. Something I really didn't need to do in retrospect since I've been doing water changes every week. The only reason I did it was to increase the growth of the Caulerpa, but I think the hair algae would be able to take advantage of the CombiSan elements faster than the Caulerpa. Tank has become a lot cleaner with weekly water changes and controlled feeding and dosing of trace elements. There are no hair algae anymore on the back of the tank and hair algae infestation on multiple corals and rocks seem to be more controlled. Coralline algae growth has really taken off. I think all the water changes and Kalkwasser dosing has made conditions conducive to coralline algae growth again. In addition to a weekly dosing of Aquarium Systems Iodine and Strontium of 30 drops each, I'm also adding 5 drops each daily because of three reasons: 1. I have a lot of corals and coralline algae in the tank 2. I use a Poly-Filter continuously 3. I protein skim with an airstone augmented Bak-Pak.
Increased lighting cycle to 7 hours of 7100Kand 5 hours of 6700K light. Turning BakPak off now when I feed to give the venturi a chance to clear itself of any salt buildup. Read in the Conscientious Marine Aquarist that one should let the salt sit for a few days to a week before adding it. I think 24 hours should be fine if one mixes the salt well. I don't believe how I was previously adding freshly made saltwater to the tank. Luckily, most of the organisms in the tank are pretty hardy. Robert Fenner's book brought up the idea again that I would like an algae scrubber/refugium in the sump of my next reef tank set up. It would probably be a smaller tank instead of a larger tank for ease of installation and maintenance. Maybe a 10-gallon tank in a 20 or 29 gallon tanks.
Thursday, May 07, 1998
Looked over the tank yesterday and all the mushrooms were really expanded. I also noticed that the green star polyps were thicker and had little hairs sticking out from them. I don't know if it's the CombiSan or regular dosing of Iodine, but the corals are really taking off. Hair algae growth has really slowed down. I hope the Caulerpa racemosa I added helps quell its growth. I may move one piece today to a more highly lit place since right now it's being shaded by a brown star polyp. I also want the flowering star polyps to grow over the rock where the Caulerpa is at the moment.
Tuesday, May 12, 1998
Five gallon water change on 05/10/98 with the addition of 30 drops each if Reef Evolution Strontium and Iodine. Found the yellow tang dead underneath all the rock structures in the tank. After retrieving the remnants of the yellow tang (its nose was stuck in the jaws of the bristle star and there were already multiple holes in its body), I ripped all the green star polyps off the overflow box for the CPR BakPak and did a major rearrangement of all the rocks in the tank. I paid particular attention to the placement of the green star polyps so that they wouldn't grow over the overflow box again. I hope the coralline algae grows over the box. Replaced half a Poly Filter and added 50 ml of SeaChem carbon to the CPR BakPak yesterday. I like the SeaChem carbon since it's made up of small spheres which don't have too much dust. I used the waste water from the RO/DI filter to wash off the carbon. Didn't add any CombiSan this week since I really want to control the algae problem and not give any nutrients that might make it grow.
Wednesday, May 13, 1998
This morning I noticed the original colony of brown star polyps had fallen from its perch so I purchased some AquaStik. It should be here by Friday. All the mushrooms except the light blue ones in the left front corner were really opened up yesterday. Some hair algae is growing in the Caulerpa racemosa. I hope the Caulerpa chokes out the hair algae. I changed the light period on Friday to 8 hours 6700K and 6 hours 7100K.
Saturday, May 16, 1998
Ordered 30 Reef Janitors from GARF on Thursday. They should ship on Monday for Tuesday delivery. I hope they help with the hair algae problem. Used some AquaStik underwater epoxy this morning to stick a piece of brown star polyps to another rock. Man, that stuff releases something in the water that really produces a lot of bubbles in the protein skimmer. I would turn it off except for the fact I have the heater in the CPR BakPak. The reeftank inhabitants don't seem to have much of a problem with what's causing the bubbles. The instructions say the foaming should be finished in about 24 hours. The instructions also said the epoxy doesn't smell, but it definitely has a strong scent when it's freshly mixed. I also superglued some of the green button polyps to another rock. I hope they spread quickly. Their dark green color fluoresces so beautifully underneath the 7100K light. Caulerpa racemosa is growing well, but there's hair algae growing among it. I hope the 10 hermit crabs and 20 snails included with the Reef Janitors take care of the problem. I'm a little bit concerned that some people have noticed one of the types of snails included with the Reef Janitors likes crawling out of the tank – we'll see what happens.
Sunday, May 17, 1998
Four-gallon water change. Changed ½ Poly Filter and 50 grams of SeaChem carbon. Carbon from last week did a great job. Waste water was crystal clear. Took CPR BakPak apart and flushed it out. Didn't notice much junk at the bottom of the overflow box, but there was some stuff at the bottom of the BakPak. I siphoned most of the stuff that was in there a few weeks ago. What's amazing to me is how fast dark hair algae grows on the wood airstones. Scrubbed hair algae off some corals and rocks again. I hope this is the last time I have to do it. I'm counting on the water changes, filtration and the arrival of the Reef Janitors to solve the hair algae problem. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Saw a beautiful tang at Seascapes today. I think they called it a Chocolate Tang. It had stripes and a purplish brown color.
Wednesday, May 20, 1998
O-Ring finally broke on the collection cup for the BakPak on 05/18/98. Purchased a replacement at Orchard Supply. Received the GARF Reef Janitors yesterday. They were well packaged in a Styrofoam box. The hermit crabs in the GARF package are much more active than the blue and scarlet ones I had in the tank. Hopefully, all the crabs in the tank will control the hair algae problem. The Nerite snails are very fast and none have crawled out of the tank yet. There's one Turriform snail which is huge – it's about an inch in diameter. I noticed some of the Cerith snails tunneling in the gravel this morning. One interesting thing I noticed yesterday was that the bristle star looked bloated. Upon feeding some flake food, I realized the bristle star was so bloated because it had substrate inside its mouth. Upon smelling the food, the bristle star expelled the substrate and started looking for food. The bristle star must be sifting the sand to look for food. It's a good sign that I'm controlling the amount of food I'm putting into the tank. I think I'll depend on bristle stars and Cerith snails to stir up the gravel in my next tank. I'm still up in the air whether I should include sea cucumbers.
Thursday, May 28, 1998
Changed 1.5 gallons on Sunday. Scrubbed algae off rocks again in waste water. Put muffler back on skimmer venturi inlet – sound was getting too loud. Took a drastic step and cut lighting for both tubes down to 4 hours a day. I figure the Power Compacts are so powerful that the corals in the tank don't need that many hours. The extra hours are just contributing to the algae growth. The slowed algae growth will also give the snails and the hermit crabs a chance to eat the algae. Added 30 drops each if Iodine and Strontium on Saturday. Adding 5 drops each a day. Added 10 drops CombiSan on Tuesday. Noticed this morning that Cerith snails have climbed out of water for the first time.