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Old 07/08/2019, 09:22 AM   #976
Chasmodes
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I hope the hot water works. That's an interesting idea, for sure. Sorry to hear about the manatee grass. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that it rebounds. Maybe the bump in salinity will be the ticket.


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Old 07/08/2019, 10:12 AM   #977
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Thanks Kevin. The hot water trick did not work. I'd like to try doing it again, on successive days next time. Maybe that would weaken it enough that the snails would 'smell blood'. Maybe even do it several times a day.

On the manatee grass, since I have narrowed it down to a drop in salinity as the cause, I've been thinking about the cause of the drop. I feed the fish frozen mysids and cyclops. I put them in ro/di water - pure fresh water. Feeding the tank two or three times a day adds up, so that may be the reason for the drop in salinity. Going forward, I will put them in tank water, so I don't gradually dilute the salinity. I'll also keep an eye out for salt creep, which can gradually lower salinity as well. I don't appear to have very much, so I doubt it is a major contributor.


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Old 07/10/2019, 03:22 PM   #978
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Too bad the hot water trick didn't work. Hopefully, it will with the successive days.

That makes sense to me how the salinity dropped. BTW, Are you heating your tank water for the hot water trick? Because the hot water trick using FW could also drop your salinity if you do it often enough. Is the manatee grass starting to recover?


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Old 07/10/2019, 03:35 PM   #979
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That's a good point Kevin. I was using ro/di. I didn't want to put salt water in my electric tea pot, which I just bought recently. I think I'll stick with that and just be vigilant checking salinity. I'd guess I'm using less than a quarter cup per session - one small syringe at a time. But thanks for calling it to my attention!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 07/10/2019, 03:42 PM   #980
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Looking at my tank and comparing to how it was two months ago, you'd think it has peaked and is now in decline. The Manatee Grass has been decimated. It breaks my heart!

Oddly enough, all of my other plants are doing great. So, as the green two thirds of the tank has gotten sparse, the red one third is filling in very nicely. It's a strange feeling. Bitter sweet I guess.

There is hope! Looking closely at the manatee grass, I can see a few new shoots. Correcting the downward drift in salinity seems to be fixing the problem. So, fingers crossed, I'm on the rebound!

Today I bought a tiny emerald crab at my LFS. I went there originally to get a new peppermint shrimp, but they were out, so I decided to give this little guy a try. I have a little bit of bubble algae, which these crabs are supposed to eat, so he should fit nicely into the biodiversity puzzle.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 07/11/2019, 07:30 AM   #981
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Glad you're getting new shoots, so there is hope! I'll cross my fingers and my eyes! Emerald crabs are very cool!


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Old 07/11/2019, 01:06 PM   #982
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Thanks Kevin!

This hobby will test you! The harder it is, the more rewarding it is. I shouldn't complain. After all, I managed to get through the uglies at the five month mark, including dinos, so on balance, I have much to be grateful for. And I did say I wanted this tank to teach me about Nature, so yay!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 07/11/2019, 02:24 PM   #983
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I hope the manatee grass comes back for you. It sounds promising.

I love the emerald crabs as I think they are adorable in a homely sort of way. Mine do not eat my bubble algae hiwever. I guess they are finding food more to thier liking. Its ok, I love them just the same.


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Current Tank Info: A 56 gallon (AIO) high nutrient macro algae/coral reef, a 30 gallon seahorse macro algae reef w/ 20 gallon sump and a 2.5 old school dwarf seahorse tank
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Old 07/11/2019, 04:33 PM   #984
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Thanks Dawn! It think the manatee grass will come back. It's just a shame I let it get to this point. Yet another lesson!

I've heard that about the emeralds. Hopefully mine will like the bubbles. My biggest concern would be if it went after a desirable macro. Have you seen that happen?


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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 07/13/2019, 05:09 PM   #985
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Today I did a big black grasilaria export and glass scraping. Tank looks pretty good, excepting the manatee grass. As I said above, it seems to be recovering. I haven't been dosing anything for weeks. Today I dosed iron. Some macros look to be fading a bit in color, so I thought I'd dose just one thing and then see how they respond.

The unknown green macro that grew out of the live rock was growing out onto the sand, so I pulled a handful and put it up on the fake wall. It reminds me of petticoats, so, for now I'm going to call it petticoat algae.

The feather Caulerpa (sertulariodes) is also climbing the wall. Today I found another bit among the grasses. Looking at it through the magnifying glass revealed it is Caulerpa mexicana! Turns out my snails must have missed one. Now I'm tempted to remove the Caulerpa sertulariodes, in favor of the mexicana, which is what I wanted all along.

This morning I got an email from Live Aquaria informing me they had finally gotten Maiden's Hair algae in stock, so I ordered one. I've been waiting a while for this one, so I'm pretty stoked! Finally, I'm getting the greens I want for the back wall. Woohoo!

On the QT front, I've been running my three QTs with bleach in them for two weeks, to kill Uronema and anything else icky. Today I broke them all down and cleaned them up. Now everything is outside drying thoroughly before I set them back up. I've decided the best course of action is to go back to square one with them, in hopes of not killing anymore fish. Anything wet got the full treatment. I realize I'll have cycle them all over again, but it has to be done. I'll just do one fish in each tank to minimize stress and just be super careful, and fatten them up, and medicate if needed.


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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

Last edited by Michael Hoaster; 07/13/2019 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 07/13/2019, 05:18 PM   #986
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It was 107f when I went to the Moab last year. Crazy!


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Old 07/13/2019, 05:48 PM   #987
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Hey bryson.bobby! Thanks for reading my thread and welcome to Reef Central!

I love Moab. So beautiful! I go in the spring or fall, when it's not so hot.


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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 07/13/2019, 05:52 PM   #988
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No idea 7

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Old 07/15/2019, 05:25 AM   #989
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Hi Michael, sorry to be getting back to you so late but in answer to your question about emerald crabs...I have not had trouble with them eating desirable macro algaes. I am really not sure what they eat but I regularly feed frozen green foods as well as veggie pellets for the blennies. Probably the crabs are getting some of that as well.


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Current Tank Info: A 56 gallon (AIO) high nutrient macro algae/coral reef, a 30 gallon seahorse macro algae reef w/ 20 gallon sump and a 2.5 old school dwarf seahorse tank
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Old 07/15/2019, 06:29 AM   #990
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Thanks Dawn. Mine is the size of my thumbnail, so I don't expect much trouble from him, for now. I add sinking veggie pellets as well. I feed the fish pretty generously too, so there should be plenty for him to eat. Ideally, he would eventually find the few bubble algae I have and eat those, and just help keep the tank tidy.


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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 07/15/2019, 10:24 PM   #991
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Hooray for the scientific method! (I'm referring to changing only one variable at a time to see it's effect)

Two days ago I dosed iron for the first time in about a month. The biggest change was that most of the petticoat algae died back, except for the ones that are shaded. What does this indicate? Probably that my tank didn't need any iron added and/or I dosed too much. No other ill effects were observed.

Iron can get used up quickly in planted tanks. The exception to that is tanks with soil substrates, like mine. In Diana Walstad's book, "The Ecology of the Planted Tank", she concluded that her soil substrate contained a roughly three year supply of iron.

The difference between her tank and mine is hers was planted with higher plants, which have actual functioning roots, to get at the soil nutrients. My macro algae doesn't. BUT, some of my soil is exposed to the water column, making the soil nutrients, like iron, available to the macros. In my previous tank, v1, I had almost no soil, and it was deep in the sand bed. That tank needed regular dosing of iron.

So I guess I can conclude that I won't be needing the half gallon bottle of iron I just bought for some time. This also points to the soil substrate 'working', for my seagrasses, which are higher plants AND my macros, which aren't. This simplifies my dosing, which I like. In fact, with my heavy fish feeding lately, I may have nitrogen, phosphorus and trace elements covered as well. So CO2 injection may be all I need to approach the ideal ratio for seagrasses and macro algae of 500-40-1 (Carbon-Nitrogen-Phosphorus).


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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 07/16/2019, 02:56 PM   #992
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QT start date, July 16.

3 Tuxedo Damsel fish. Each gets it's own tank. No tank mates = less stress.

I've been studying up on quarantine procedures. There's a great thread (a sticky) in the 'New to the Hobby' section, here on RC. Posted by Sk8r, it's called "Death in bags...acclimation fatality: why it happens". In the very first post, it links to his recommended procedure: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1939508

The gist of it is that drip acclimation is a bad idea, opening up your new fish to ammonia poisoning, causing internal damage, and making it difficult to have success with new fish. So I ditched the drip and went with the Sk8r method. I'll report back once I've had more time with them.

I also got one Nassarius Snail, for leftover cleanup (and to reach the $99 threshold to get free shipping), one Peppermint Shrimp, and one Maiden's Hair macro algae. My previous peppermint disappeared a month or two ago, and I wanted to have an aiptasia eater in the tank. Neither of my two LFSs had any in stock. The maiden's hair is a plant I've been pining for, for months, and finally Live Aquaria got some in so I grabbed one. I placed it at the base of the back wall, to encourage it to climb.


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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 07/17/2019, 06:54 AM   #993
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Wow, you've made some exciting additions. I can't wait to see them when they finally get into your tank. It's interesting about what happened when you dosed the iron, and your theory about the soil. Again, paving the way for the rest of us!


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Old 07/17/2019, 12:08 PM   #994
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Thanks Kevin!

Unfortunately, one of the damsels died today. It never looked good, so it wasn't too surprising. The other two look great and are eating well, so I'm hopeful. I am determined to get my QT situation resolved and working properly.

With the petticoat algae dieback, several Botriocladia plants were revealed. The petticoat is already bouncing back too, so no permanent harm done. There are so many red macros growing from the live rock! As they grow taller and fuller, it's really looking good!

One of the things I hoped to accomplish with the iron dose, was to improve the red coloring of the red macros, particularly the botriocladia. I saw only a marginal improvement, if any. Is it possible they're getting too much light? It seems doubtful. I have a supplemental CFL bulb over the right end of the tank I could turn off. I suspect another trace element nutrient is lacking. Iodine? Magnesium? Suggestions anyone? In v1, dosing iron always did the trick.

I dosed a little ammonia yesterday, to help spur growth in the grasses and macros. I'm seeing more signs the Manatee Grass is coming back, with more new shoots visible.

I finally saw my new emerald crab, Mister Crabs, today. He was riding Seymore, the cucumber, and eating things off his skin. I really hope he finds the green bubble algae soon. I've yet to see my new peppermint shrimp, Han Solo II. I spotted an aiptasia anemone, so he needs to report for duty.

I'm seeing more new life on the live rock. Sponges, feather dusters, and even a few Ricordia mushrooms (I think). Both of the caulerpas are growing well. Going forward, I will refer to them as 'feather' (Caulerpa sertulariodes) and 'fern' (C. mexicana). The new Maiden's hair looks happy, swaying in the back and forth current. Hopefully it will find the conditions suitable and begin climbing the back wall.


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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 07/17/2019, 06:51 PM   #995
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That is interesting about a soil substrate having iron for approximately 3 years. I am very interested in adding soil to my planted reef eventually.


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And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, ...and God sawthat it was good. Genesis 1:20 - 21

Current Tank Info: A 56 gallon (AIO) high nutrient macro algae/coral reef, a 30 gallon seahorse macro algae reef w/ 20 gallon sump and a 2.5 old school dwarf seahorse tank
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Old 07/17/2019, 07:04 PM   #996
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Yes, Dawn, I was surprised by that. And it wasn't a big tank either. She's the 'dirt-in-the-substrate' expert that led me down this path.

I recently read an article online that in Nature, even macro algae can benefit from soil exposed to the overlying water. Though I doubt many would purposely expose dirt in their tanks, between my putzing with the grasses and my worms' activities, a fair amount of my dirt is exposed nowadays. It's not as pretty as a bright white sand bed, but it looks natural. It's interesting to me how my own natural v aesthetics line in the sand keeps moving! Back in the early nineties, when I first got into marine aquariums, I required bleached white coral skeletons!


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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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