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My Nano Reefs Part Eleven - 7/10 to 10/10

Last Updated: 12/2/10


On 7/3/10, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 78.5 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 7.75
6 Gallon Tank: 77.1 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.92
Make up water: 76.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.21


On 7/10/10, I did the usual. I also made some more frozen food for the saltwater tanks by mixing frozen foods with the fresh saltwater, pouring that in to a mini ice cube tray, and freezing it. Each day, I melt out one mini cube so the foods last a lot longer, and overfeeding is less likely. Despite that, the 12 gallon is getting worse with algae, and another snail looks like it may be dying. There was a Aiptasia in the 6 gallon but I didn't bother. I've given up on controlling them as well as the red planaria, bubble algae, and so on.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 80.2 degrees F, 1.024 SG, pH 7.84
6 Gallon Tank: 78.1 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.93
Make up water: 76.1 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.22


On 7/17/10, I did the usual. I calibrated the pH meter.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 79.9 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.96
6 Gallon Tank: 77.8 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.98
Make up water: 76.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.27


Dip, the sexy shrimp in the 6 gallon tank, was last seen around the time of that tank cleaning, 7/17/10. He seems to have vanished and is presumed dead. I will miss him always sitting on my green Ricordia mushroom. On 7/22/10, I found one huge and one small Aiptasia attached to the magnetic algae remover. I took a photo and then soaked the algae remover overnight in freshwater.


On 7/24/10, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 80.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.97
6 Gallon Tank: 78.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.98
Make up water: 76.9 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.25


On 7/31/10, I did the usual for the 6 gallon tank but did a 100% cleaning for the 12 gallon tank, removing absolutely everything. You can read the details from this day on this page so I do not take up too much room here.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 79.1 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 7.80
6 Gallon Tank: 77.6 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.89
Make up water Batch #1: 75.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.19
Make up water Batch #2: 76.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.19


I removed the last Astraea snail on 8/2/10 after his guts fell out. Zeby ate the leftovers. I am pretty sure he was dying before the cleaning as I removed him upside down at that time. With only the two scavenging nassarius snails left and one hard-working cerith snail, I needed to get some algae-eating snails in the algae-growing 12 gallon quickly.


The banded trochus snails and peppermint shrimp happened to be available at the same time for a matter of hours so I ordered them from Live Aquaria for a small fortune. On 8/5/10, I got five of the snails for the 12 gallon (only ordered four so one was an extra) and two of the peppermint shrimp for the 6 gallon since all the sexy shrimp had died. I got two in case one died and so they would have a buddy even though the tank is a bit small for both. While the sexy shrimp are cuter and out in the open, the more secretive peppermint shrimp are supposed to sometimes each Aiptasia. There is yet another of those in my tank that I found.

I drip acclimated for 1.5 hours. The snails arrived in water with a specific gravity of 1.027 and a pH of 7.21! Yikes! The shrimp had a SG of 1.0275 and a pH of 7.66! Yikes again! They were pretty salty and low in pH. The snails did not seem to like the acclimation but the shrimp did. The shrimp arrived washed out and clear. When I put the snails in the 12 gallon, a few of them were writhing which as a pretty ghastly sight. They have these white appendages on their feet that writhe as does their black foot. Unlike some snails, they can right themselves. I thought they were dying but, by morning, the snails were busy sucking away at algae. The shrimp in the other tank were hiding as expected. I saw one dangling under the live rock picking at stuff. I sure hope these shrimp and snails do better than their predecessors.


On 8/7/10, I did the usual. I had put fresh epoxy under the big green star polyps in the 12 gallon the week before but it didn't take so I put some more on this day. I don't think it is taking either so the polyp rock is just sitting on the live rock now. It used to be grown on to the live rock but it's died back. I used the extra saltwater from last week to do a slightly larger water change on the 6 gallon. I cut more hair algae in there. I tried to kill the largest Aiptasia. The new snails and shrimp have all been hiding for the most part but are still alive.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 79.0 degrees F, 1.024 SG, pH 7.85
6 Gallon Tank: 77.6 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.93
Make up water: 76.5 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.18


On 8/14/10, I did the usual. I calibrated the pH meter. I had put the cerith snail's shell up on top of the live rock a few days ago because the shell was laying upside down in the back. I was hoping it wasn't him, or he was just hiding but it seems that the cerith snail has now died too! The five new banded trochus snails aren't doing a very good job. Most of the time, they just sit there but, when they want to move, these guys can book much faster than any snail I've ever had. There is a pineapple sponge growing in the 12 gallon intake; I haven't seen one of those in a while.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 79.2 degrees F, 1.024 SG, pH 7.93
6 Gallon Tank: 77.0 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.95
Make up water: 76.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.20


On 8/21/10, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 80.0 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.90
6 Gallon Tank: 77.6 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.98
Make up water: 76.9 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.23


On 8/29/10, I did the usual, a day late for reasons out of my hands. The tanks sure seemed extra dirty when delayed just for a day. I found the cerith snail in the back of the filter in the 12 gallon! So, he is not dead after all. The empty shell I think belonged to one of the little hermit crabs; I am not sure which one or if it has died for sure.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 77.9 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 7.59
6 Gallon Tank: 76.6 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.76
Make up water: 77.6 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.15


On 9/4/10, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 79.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.68
6 Gallon Tank: 77.0 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.89
Make up water: 76.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.20


On 9/11/10, I did the usual. I calibrated the pH meter. Both tanks are full of algae. The banded Trochus snails in the 12 gallon all hang out in the back left corner under the skimmer intake as if they are afraid of the light. At that spot, they have created a nice low algae patch but never drive the side walls and back right corner which are covered in various hairy and slimy algae.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 78.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.96
6 Gallon Tank: 77.1 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.96
Make up water: 76.5 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.13


On 9/18/10, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 80.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.94
6 Gallon Tank: 78.0 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.98
Make up water: 74.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.24


I found one of the banded trochus snail shell's empty on 9/21/10. The other four are rarely seen and rarely move. The sides of the tank have hair algae a few inches long. I am not sure if the problem is that these snails do not want to eat it or if they are sick due to something that also killed the previous snails. Nemo and the crabs seem fine.


On 9/25/10, I did the usual. I looked for the banded trochus snails. I found three of the five. Two were totally empty while the other had a body inside that was hanging out and non- responsive. I am going to assume that the other two trochus snails are deceased as well as I have not seen any moving around in a long time. I do not have a clue why they all died. The surviving two nassarius snails (of two different species) and one cerith snail are still just fine. The algae is out of control in the 12 gallon without snails to eat it. I need more but am afraid they will just die as well.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 78.3 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 7.54
6 Gallon Tank: 77.0 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.77
Make up water: 76.1 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.00


On 10/2/10, I did the usual. I am not sure why the pH's were all so low. Perhaps the calibration is off on the pH meter, or maybe the 12 gallon tank's pH is so low due to the tons of algae.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 78.2 degrees F, 1.024 SG, pH 7.02
6 Gallon Tank: 76.5 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.74
Make up water: 75.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.94


On 10/8/10, I went to the local aquarium store and got some more snails. In fact, I got the only snails they had - two astraea, four margaritas, and one oops-that's-not-a-snail! The guy grabbed an animal off the way that was not a snail! It is a bivalve, probably a clam, about half an inch long. It has two shells and sticks out an orange foot which it can use to climb the wall or sit in the substrate. The snails are alive as of the next day but not all that active. While I was drip acclimating them though, twice I had to pull two off the side of the container as they made a run for it!


On 10/9/10, I did the usual. I calibrated the pH meter. See how the values went up? The meter must have been off of calibration over the month.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 78.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.94
6 Gallon Tank: 76.5 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.96
Make up water: 75.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.99


On 10/15/10 (a day early due to a day trip the next day), I did the usual. The clam hasn't moved in many days but it is closed tightly. I assume if it had died, it would have relaxed and opened up. It is just laying on the substrate.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 77.1 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.51
6 Gallon Tank: 75.6 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.80
Make up water: 74.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.01


On 10/23/10, I did the usual. I found the little clam; I think it is still alive. One of the astraea snails has died, and I cannot find the other. The margarita snails though are fine so far. The algae situation has improved some with them there. The cerith snail keeps getting in the sump (where the filter materials and pump are). I took the pump out and cleaned off the intake which was partially clogged. The sump had been running low with the main tank water level too high (touching the light cover). I hope that fixed it.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 76.8 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.12 (why when it is always low? I tested again and got 8.22!)
6 Gallon Tank: 75.0 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.04
Make up water: 73.7 degrees F (even though heater in there set to 80 degrees F!), 1.0245 SG, pH 8.04


I found the other astraea snail dead in Nemo's lair on 10/24/10.


On 10/31/10, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 77.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.63
6 Gallon Tank: 76.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.93
Make up water: 75.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.08


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