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Old 04/02/2019, 06:24 AM   #776
vlangel
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Quote:
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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.
This has really turned out to be quite the project! No wonder you were putting it off. I hope you can get it tweaked to a satisfactory working place where it will supply the flow your tank should have.


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Old 04/02/2019, 08:48 AM   #777
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Yes, complicating factors have made it complicated. What I have now is not quite good enough. I will live with it, observe and think. Surely something will come to me eventually!

The next thing to work out is raising the water level in the outgoing overflow chamber. The higher the pump flow, the lower the water level drops, causing a long drop for outgoing water, giving me a lot of micro bubbles, and leaving it useless for things like the float valve water level sensor.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/02/2019, 03:31 PM   #778
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Jeez, my head is spinning! I hope you can figure it all out!


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Current Tank Info: 101g 3'X3'X18" Cubish Oyster Reef Blenny tank, 36"X17"X18" sump
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Old 04/02/2019, 05:04 PM   #779
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I know, right? I spared you the gory details at least. PITA!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/03/2019, 07:39 AM   #780
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I didn't mean to imply that I wasn't interested, so I hope that I didn't come off that way. I was just thinking that it is tough to strike that balance sometimes, trying to work with the little space that we have, working against opposing forces of nature within the confines of that space. It is interesting to follow the details, because, in my case, I may learn something (once the marbles stop rolling around).


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Old 04/03/2019, 08:18 AM   #781
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Not at all. I was just saying that I left out some of details of this experience because I'd probably sound like a whiny child. So I report the progress, and try not to share too many of the frustrations. I guess that's one of aspects of the hobby that make it more rewarding. The more you suffer, the bigger the victory. Getting my water circulation issues resolved will be just that!


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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 04/03/2019, 06:57 PM   #782
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I've got good news and bad news…Starting with the bad:

I saw more death spiral distress in another blenny, the other day. It disappeared, presumed dead. Now I'm down to two. I really hope to keep them. If I don't, I guess I'm done with Barnacle Blennies. Bummer.

The good news is I'm seeing some actual growth in the red macros, finally. Also, today I just noticed that I have a few new reds popping out of the live rock. They're very small at this point, so tough to ID. If I had to guess right now I'd say Botryocladia and Halymenia - two plants I've had little luck with, in the past. I removed a lot of Ulva from the sand bed recently, and it looks like the Codium that was hidden among them may be bouncing back as well.

In undesirable algae news, there's more good news: not much Dinoflagellates to speak of lately. What little there is left seems to only grow on the grasses. With all my system troubles, I haven't had the energy to clean them. Today I noticed a lot of them are clean, and my mini Stombus snails are doing the work for me. YAY! I guess with little algae elsewhere, they're finally finding the buffet. Yet another example of getting out of Nature's way, and she steps in and takes over.

I can imagine two snails talking: "Look at that poor putz, hand-cleaning every seagrass blade. Doesn't he know we eat that stuff?"

I've got so much more to learn…


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/04/2019, 06:30 AM   #783
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
I've got good news and bad news…Starting with the bad:

I saw more death spiral distress in another blenny, the other day. It disappeared, presumed dead. Now I'm down to two. I really hope to keep them. If I don't, I guess I'm done with Barnacle Blennies. Bummer.

The good news is I'm seeing some actual growth in the red macros, finally. Also, today I just noticed that I have a few new reds popping out of the live rock. They're very small at this point, so tough to ID. If I had to guess right now I'd say Botryocladia and Halymenia - two plants I've had little luck with, in the past. I removed a lot of Ulva from the sand bed recently, and it looks like the Codium that was hidden among them may be bouncing back as well.

In undesirable algae news, there's more good news: not much Dinoflagellates to speak of lately. What little there is left seems to only grow on the grasses. With all my system troubles, I haven't had the energy to clean them. Today I noticed a lot of them are clean, and my mini Stombus snails are doing the work for me. YAY! I guess with little algae elsewhere, they're finally finding the buffet. Yet another example of getting out of Nature's way, and she steps in and takes over.

I can imagine two snails talking: "Look at that poor putz, hand-cleaning every seagrass blade. Doesn't he know we eat that stuff?"

I've got so much more to learn…
I am sorry to hear about the blenny. They are such entertaining cool little fish. If mine do the death spiral I wont get anymore either. I probably would try the eyebrow barnacle blenny as a replacement.

That is great news about the red macros. I love red grape caulerpa. I think its very attractive and very controllable.

Finally your snail conversation made me smile!


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Old 04/04/2019, 07:47 AM   #784
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Wow, that is terrific about the macros coming back, dinos not so bad, snails doing their job! Sorry to hear about the blenny. I think that sometimes, they have internal issues that we may never know about or can do anything about. There are other blennies to choose from though. If you ever decide on a larger blenny, I'd suggest a molly miller. They're very entertaining, will eat some algae, but also eat anything that you offer them. They're also large enough that other larger fish won't mess with them. I had one many years ago and it was a wonderful tankmate for my other fish. If you're open to the idea, do a search on YT about them. Even if you aren't sure about getting them, you'll find them entertaining via video .

PS, I don't think I'd add one as long as tiny fish like the barnacle blennies are in there. It might be OK, but if not, that's an expensive risk.


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Old 04/04/2019, 08:36 AM   #785
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Yes the Barnacle Blennies are a favorite. I hate that I may not keep them anymore. I still have two this morning.

I'm psyched for the new plant growth! It's a turning point in the tank's progression. Exciting times!

More clean seagrass this morning too.

I've looked at the Molly Miller. I'll keep it mind.

Thanks Dawn and Kevin!


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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 04/05/2019, 10:33 PM   #786
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Overall progress is good. I'm especially happy with the Manatee Grass, and the dirty sand bed. They've outpaced the macros, which wasn't the case in v1.

Now I have red and green macro growth. It's nice to see the reds color up. The String of Pearls is doing great. I've got some interesting hitchhiker macros coming out of the new live rock. Ulva is growing out of the fake wall. The Codium seems to like the bright conditions of the seagrass bed, and lower temperature. My little caulerpa plant is growing too. Soon I will transplant it to the back wall, where it can add another color and texture, as well as plant filtration capacity.

I'm still perculatin' on the closed loop, but I have some ideas. Maybe I'll get something done 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 04/06/2019, 07:17 PM   #787
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The manatee grass looks great as does the macros. I am happy for you that the cuc seem to be earning their keep. I am hoping when I check back that the closed loop is up and running.


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Old 04/06/2019, 11:13 PM   #788
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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 04/07/2019, 08:36 PM   #789
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Really nice pics! Are those your damsels? If they are, they are slimmer than I was expecting. Also in the 2nd pic it almost looks like a cucumber in the foreground. Am I seeing things? I definitely see growth in all the macros. The reds look amazing and the ulva and codium appear to be flourishing as well. The tank is getting very attractive and pleasing to the eye now! It must feel good to be entering this stage. Less work and more reward.


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Old 04/07/2019, 10:57 PM   #790
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Thanks Dawn!

Yes, those are Allen's, or Neon Damsels. They're pretty small - less than two inches long. They're also little eating machines - and they like flat worms. Minutes after introduction, they'd just about picked my front glass clean of them. They constantly swim around, tasting very spec in the water column. I hope to get a nice size group of them.

After my attempt at quarantining large groups in a 40 gallon tank failed miserably, I have decided to go a different route. It's just too stressful on the fish. I have two QTs running. So I'll be quarantining fish in twos and fours, depending on their disposition. This will force me to build groups in smaller stages, rather than all at once. I would need a large, multi-tank QT system to do large groups all at once. I can envision a pretty cool setup to accomplish this, but I don't really want to go down that road!

So it will take a little longer to get the groups I want in the display, but I think this will be a better, less stressful method for the fish.

Yes, that's Seymour, the Florida Cucumber. He and Mom, the Fighting Conch, keep my sand bed clean(ish). That's good to hear you can see the new growth in the macros, and thanks for saying that it is getting more attractive to look at! This is definitely a good stage to be in - nuisance algae all but defeated and desirable plants starting to take off. Prime time!

I still have lots of stuff popping out of the live rock. Today I spotted what appears to be multiple Botryocladia, or red grapes plants, all in a small group. I'm also very excited about what looks like what may turn out to be Halymenia - a plant I desperately want to grow. And finally, I'm still watching my caulerpa frag, trying to figure out which fern variety it is.

There are several more unknown hitchhiker plants showing up. So cool! So far, I like all of them, but the Valonia.


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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 04/08/2019, 08:27 AM   #791
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Looks great... and fish in there now! That makes a big difference doesn't it?

Cucumbers are pretty great in my opinion. I have 4 of them now. :0) One of them is black with a bright purple "belly." Luckily, that's the one I can see most of the time. The tiger tail and 2 Florida are seldom seen. I just assume they're still doing ok.


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Old 04/08/2019, 08:41 AM   #792
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Thanks McPuff!

It does make a big difference with these active, little fish. Watching the tank is more involving and dynamic with the added color and movement.

Agreed - cucumbers are great. Valuable members of the crew, for sure!


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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 04/08/2019, 11:34 AM   #793
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I think your tank looks fantastic. I bet the movement of the grasses along with the fish are mesmerizing. I'm glad that you're past the algae bloom phase and your grasses are taking over so well, and the macros are doing well. Hopefully, you'll be able to sustain that balance. Nice work!!!

Some day, if you can, see if you can get a good video of the overall motion of your tank (once you get the flow issues worked out). That's a huge part of your vision that we can't see with pics. I'll be patient!


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Old 04/08/2019, 12:18 PM   #794
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Thanks Kevin! I am psyched to be in the next phase! I literally spend hours on the couch watching. Sorry I haven't posted a video yet. After all the hype about the wave pump, I'm embarrassed to show it in this low-flow state. It's got to be right before I show it off. I'll get there I promise!


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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 04/09/2019, 12:02 PM   #795
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I understand! No problem. I didn't mean to rush you. When you're ready, we'll be there


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Old 04/10/2019, 02:07 PM   #796
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Thanks Kevin! I am psyched to be in the next phase! I literally spend hours on the couch watching. Sorry I haven't posted a video yet. After all the hype about the wave pump, I'm embarrassed to show it in this low-flow state. It's got to be right before I show it off. I'll get there I promise!
Like we all have perfect tanks

Fish look great against the grasses.


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Old 04/10/2019, 07:29 PM   #797
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I'm not waiting for perfection. That would be a long wait! And perfection's not a goal. I'm just not happy enough with my tank's circulation to post a vid of it.

Dinoflagellates are just about gone, so I have restarted CO2 injection. With calcium reactor media in my canister filter, I'm now seeing some coralline algae. I'm hoping it will also boost macro and seagrass growth. This is a magical time, when the uglies disappear and the pretties take off!


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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 04/11/2019, 02:21 PM   #798
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Excellent. Are you seeing new growth on your grasses? Reproduction?


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Old 04/11/2019, 05:32 PM   #799
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Indeed! The grasses are asexually reproducing, with several new rhizomes forming. Some are growing tall, nearly reaching the surface. The majority still have lots of room to grow. I prune a few tips here and there to get rid of some epiphytic algae.

Today I exported some Ulva and Grasilaria. The grasilaria was added temporarily to help with nutrient control. It was one of the plants that overran the tank in v1. Pruning it back just made it more of a turf. I didn't like the look. So I'm trying to keep it out of this one. I gained valuable experience in v1, learning not just what plants I want, but also which ones I don't want. I'm happy so far with my choices, and I have hopes to cultivate a few new plants that are growing out of the rocks. It appears I'm going to have several Red Grapes, which I haven't had much luck with, in the past. One that I'm really excited about looks to be one of the Halymenias. I'd be very happy if it turned out to be H. floridana, or Dragon's Tongue. There are more, but they're pretty tiny, so I'll wait and see if they make it.

Cash is tight at the moment, but next month I plan to get more fish into QT. I'm very excited to get more Neon Damsels!


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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 04/11/2019, 10:30 PM   #800
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This guy went in the day after the damsels. Tuxedo Damsel - a mild-mannered alternative to the Humbug Damsels.



I hope to get more of these too. I love the black and white color.


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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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