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Old 03/13/2019, 08:35 AM   #751
Michael Hoaster
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Cautiously optimistic is a good place to be! I looked at pics from right after I added the grasses and it was a mess! Heavy dinos covered everything.


Then.



Now.

Mr Zippy was in v1. For avatar images you really need a big, sharp, bold picture, so it reads well small. I tried several pics from v2, but they just weren't big enough. Once the tank matures a bit more I'll get something more up-to-date.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 03/13/2019, 02:37 PM   #752
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
Cautiously optimistic is a good place to be! I looked at pics from right after I added the grasses and it was a mess! Heavy dinos covered everything.


Then.



Now.

Mr Zippy was in v1. For avatar images you really need a big, sharp, bold picture, so it reads well small. I tried several pics from v2, but they just weren't big enough. Once the tank matures a bit more I'll get something more up-to-date.
Wow, what a difference in the 2 pics. Yes, I see lots of dinos in that first pic and the 2nd looks so clean and healthy. Good job!

I guess I was not reading v1 when you had Mr Zippy. He does make a nice avatar for sure.


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Old 03/13/2019, 04:29 PM   #753
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Thanks Dawn!

So far, so good, with the algae battle. I've got it beat down pretty good right now. Next, I want my crew to step up and take over. I think I'm approaching having enough snails and friends to do it. I believe clean up crews can do much more good for our aquariums than we give them credit for. You need to know each members' strengths and weaknesses, and diversify.

What I'd really like next is macro growth. Now that I have them placed, I'm leaving them be, so they can settle in and grow. I am seeing growth in the tiny, green macros that came in with the live rock. Also, I can just make out a tiny, green, fern-shaped macro I assume is caulerpa. I was planning to avoid caulerpas this time, but right now I'll take all the help I can get, to outcompete the uglies. Since I haven't been able to acquire one of the macros I had planned for the fake wall, maybe I'll let the caulerpa stand in, and we'll see how it does.

Mr Zippy was kind of an experiment. I wanted to see how long my tank could support him, before he wiped out my plants. It took about six months. It gave me a vacation from pruning, which was nice. But I had to remove him. So, like Phyllis the file fish, Zippy was a temp. But what a great fish!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 03/14/2019, 07:06 AM   #754
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Nice new avatar! :0)

Oh and the tank is looking mighty fine too.


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Old 03/14/2019, 09:04 AM   #755
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V2 looks so clean and green. Nice! And I thought V1 went well. You're ahead of the game so far Michael. I was wondering what the live rock might bring in. Great pics!


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Old 03/14/2019, 09:37 AM   #756
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Thanks McPuff! Thanks Kevin!

I'm still holding at cautiously optimistic. If my crew can keep it down until my macros kick in, I might be good!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Old 03/14/2019, 10:10 PM   #757
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The tank seems pretty low nutrient right now. Even ulva isn't growing. That's kind of surprising, given the ten pounds of uncured live rock I added over a week ago. I'll give it more time. With my dirty sand bed, the grasses are getting all they need.

With most of the algae gone, it looks like my snails are keeping it that way. This is what I hoped for. Balance!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 03/16/2019, 09:14 PM   #758
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I did a slight adjustment of the reds, with another going up, into the wall.

A dino-clean for the grasses today. I'm still not dino free, but there isn't much left. Same with cyano. The grasses got a little beat down by the blackout, but they're slowly bouncing back. The mysterious, little green macros are growing well. Maybe another candidate for the back wall?

My crew is getting there. They just need to reproduce a bit more. The sand bed isn't as wormy as I'd like. I think I must have lost some when exporting algae.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 03/21/2019, 12:33 PM   #759
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The tank is looking really good Michael. What's next for your tank?


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Old 03/21/2019, 01:11 PM   #760
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Thanks so much Kevin!

What's next? I still have some issues to resolve.

Dinos are not gone, just greatly reduced. So I'm manually removing while I wait for my crew to take over. My main circulation pump is not turned on. I need to figure out the best way to solve the problems associated with that. I have a few more plants to get, when they become available, and of course, I'd like to add some fish!

I'm kind of in a holding pattern now, walking the tightrope of low nutrients to keep algae at bay, while also trying to encourage the plants I have to grow. As Run/DMC said back in the day, "it's tricky!"


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 03/21/2019, 11:19 PM   #761
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Just shy of four months in. I'm happy with the progress made.

I'm seeing some new shoots of sea grass. Asexual reproduction! Oh yeah!

Today I showed my wife a single, tiny, green fern-like plant, barely a half inch tall. I wanted to show her the origins of a plant that could easily overrun the tank. Lots of other fun stuff still popping out of the new rocks. Sponges, halimeda, bivalves, even a few corals.

I'm stoked to have reduced my algae issues, but a little bummed I haven't made the knock out blow yet. I don't expect to be rid of it until I have something to replace it, like a fast-growing caulerpa. And again, my crew needs to keep reproducing - including the mollies. A school of baby mollies would really come in handy about now. They are eating machines. For now I'll keep up with manual removal and UV.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 03/25/2019, 07:30 AM   #762
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The evolution of an ecosystem at work. I guess time is one of the ingredients that one just can't hurry It's awesome that the grasses are reproducing! If that keeps up, you'll not only have nice long healthy grasses, but a thick grass bed too! The new life popping up on the live rock, and other places in your tank, sounds exciting too. Fun stuff for the magnifying glass too!


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Old 03/25/2019, 08:41 AM   #763
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Thanks Kevin. It is a good time to watch new stuff pop up.

Unfortunately, it's not all good news. I lost two barnacle blennies in the last three days. I have no idea what's happened to them. They were in QT for months, and showed no signs of trouble. I did a water change last night. I'll replace the charcoal today.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 03/26/2019, 08:59 AM   #764
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Ah man, sorry to hear that (condolences). I lost a goby and a skilletfish over the last month, both seemed healthy, parameters OK, no signs of disease in the tank. It happens. I suspect that perhaps some sort of internal problem that we can't see sometimes cause them to die earlier, parasite or disease. Or, old age maybe. How long do barnacle blennies live?

I like McPuff's suggestion about gut loading meds in the food, in case there are internal parasites. I am going to try that.


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Old 03/26/2019, 01:01 PM   #765
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It was strange. The day before each of them died, they exhibited what looked like neurological symptoms. First the biggest, then the next biggest. It shouldn't be the dinos. They don't eat them. They do eat pods that eat them, but I've seen no bad dino reactions in my snails or mollies. My best guess is poisoning from dying algae and possibly dying bacteria, after the erythromycin and black out. Low oxygen is possible too, but no other fish showed symptoms, so it's doubtful.

The remaining three blennies look fine.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 03/27/2019, 05:52 AM   #766
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It was strange. The day before each of them died, they exhibited what looked like neurological symptoms. First the biggest, then the next biggest. It shouldn't be the dinos. They don't eat them. They do eat pods that eat them, but I've seen no bad dino reactions in my snails or mollies. My best guess is poisoning from dying algae and possibly dying bacteria, after the erythromycin and black out. Low oxygen is possible too, but no other fish showed symptoms, so it's doubtful.

The remaining three blennies look fine.
Hi Michael, I am back from my trip and was sad to read about the 2 barnacle blennies. Did they swim/spin around in circles on the sand or exhibit a behaviour similar to that? The reason I ask is because a reefer on another forum (whose tank is over a decade old which is credit to his skills as an aquarist) told me when I got my barnacle blennies that he did not have long term success with them. He would have them 6 months and then they quite suddenly did the spin on the sand and die. I had hoped that perhaps it was due to his tank being a 12 gallon nano but perhaps not if that is what happened to yours. He did say that he has had good success with the eyebrow barnacle blennies however.


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Old 03/27/2019, 08:00 AM   #767
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Welcome back Dawn!

Yes, they did exhibit a sort of spin/twist behavior. That's good to know. I did keep my originals in v1 for around three years.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 03/27/2019, 09:27 AM   #768
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Welcome back Dawn!

Yes, they did exhibit a sort of spin/twist behavior. That's good to know. I did keep my originals in v1 for around three years.
Its good to know that not all barnacle blennies are destined to do the death spin. Here's to hoping that mine and your remaining barnacle blennies have a good future to look forward to.


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Old 03/27/2019, 10:56 PM   #769
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Another dino-clean on the seagrass today. I'm not even sure it still is dinos. It seems more brownish and less bubbly than before. Diatoms? Everything else seems to stay pretty algae-free. The macros are showing minimal growth, but not dying either. I'll be able to speed things up with dosing, but I need to wait for my crew to catch up. Once they reach a large enough population, I won't have to worry about algae issues so much.

I have a few fragments of blue hypnea trying to come back from the grave. I'm still monitoring a tiny caulerpa frag too. I do enjoy spotting new stuff in the tank. I may have some bubble algae on one of the new live rocks. Having heard the horror stories, I may pull the rock and scrub it off before things get out of hand.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 03/29/2019, 10:44 PM   #770
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I'm pretty sure it's dinos, with the afternoon bubbles. I need to train my snails to clean the grasses for me. I'm getting tired of doing it! Maybe I'll try placing them on the grasses. They do clean them already, but not at the scale needed. Again, as their population grows, I expect them to take over for me. I remember in v1, the snails were all over the grasses. I have the same snails now, just in fewer numbers so far. It'll happen.

I'm still watching and waiting, as the ecosystem develops. There's an uptick in Ulva growth, especially on the back wall. I'll take that over cyanobacteria. The red macros are still frozen in time, with little growth. Given the lack of algae, it suggests that the ulva is hoovering up most of the nutrients. It's no problem for the grasses, with my rich, dirt-filled sand bed. They are doing very well, growing tall and multiplying.

I look forward to more additions to the food chain, but I really need to get my water movement situation resolved. I have some ideas, I just need to make a choice and make it happen. Four months in and I still don't have all the system stuff done! I've been able to delay it thus far, but now I'm at the point that it needs to get done before I can get back to Nature, so to speak.

I'll try to make some progress this weekend.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 03/31/2019, 10:35 PM   #771
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I worked on my closed loop system. The current setup doesn't function well. I'd been putting it off for too long, and now it's obvious that it has to be addressed.

The first problem to solve was to make use of both overflow chambers. So, I removed the pipe between the bulkhead and the incurrent/return. This will allow the chamber to fill, then overflow into the display. Flooding both chambers will allow me to spread out some the stuff that's too overcrowded in just one of them. This should also help the closed loop system perform better, with more balanced water levels in both chambers as well as the display.

Not having decent water movement in the tank has held up it's progress. Getting this done will be a relief.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/01/2019, 09:53 AM   #772
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Sounds like things are coming along and you're making some progress! Nice!

-signed,
The King of Procrastination

(remember who the King is every time you feel bad about putting something off, LOL)


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Old 04/01/2019, 10:07 AM   #773
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Thanks, Your Highness!

I'm still in it this morning. Hopefully will have it done today.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/01/2019, 10:22 AM   #774
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Sweet!

My plan this past weekend was to apply the grout to my roots. I was stoked to do it...until I panicked and broke down the oyster reef tank. I guess unplanned events don't count toward procrastination.

My next issues might be good weather. If the weather is good, I'll be outside a lot, saving working on my tanks for a rainy day. Excuses about for procrastination!


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Old 04/01/2019, 11:02 PM   #775
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More (painful) progress today on the closed loop. I got the main pump running, but at reduced flow. So its a bit of a compromise. I'm still fiddling with it. Micro bubbles of course. The additional noise of my Dart Gold pump isn't bad at all. Even the Wife approves.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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