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My Nano Reefs Part Twelve - 11/10 to 2/11

Last Updated: 2/28/11


On 11/6/10, I did the usual. I calibrated the pH meter. Even though the heater in the make-up water was set to 80 degrees F, it is obviously not working!

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 77.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.56
6 Gallon Tank: 75.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.74
Make up water: 70.2 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 8.02


On 11/8/10, I took the hood apart on the 12 gallon tank and replaced the LED night lights. The left one has never worked. The new ones were 10 times brighter than the old one. The 6 gallon tank doesn't even look like the lights are on in comparison. I have another replacement set and may change those with the next light change on that hood. It took about an hour and removing almost 30 screws to do the work!


On 11/13/10, I did the usual. The heater used below is the old one; I guess the new one is no good. I got the same kind for my turtle's tank, and it has never worked right either. The water is cold. Earlier in the day, I decided to try to change the RO system's three cartridges that I was supposed to have changed yearly. I've had it 2.5 years! Once I figured out the quick disconnect things, I changed the carbon, sediment, and dI components. The only part not changed was the RO membrane. I guess I should now change them yearly!

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 77.8 degrees F, 1.026 SG, pH 7.99
6 Gallon Tank: 75.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.09
Make up water: 75.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.20


I was looking at Peppy on 11/14/10, the peppermint shrimp, that had been hanging out more in view. I was wondering why he looked to have been eating algae when I realized, duh, he is a she, and those are eggs! Peppy is carrying eggs and doesn't seem to have the swimmerettes I'm used to seeing with freshwater shrimp who constantly fan the eggs. That means that Minty is male.


On 11/20/10, I did the usual. I got a new heater for the make up water and set it to 78 degrees F. Even though it was in there for more than three hours, it was way below that according to the pH meter (which has a temperature probe). I will try just turning it up. I threw out the last one but maybe it was not faulty, and something else is going on.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 80.7 degrees F, 1.026 SG, pH 7.64
6 Gallon Tank: 75.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.02
Make up water: 71.8 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.38


The morning of 11/22/10, I noticed Zeby (zebra hermit crab) was walking past the Xenia coral. The coral was shriveled back and expelling clouds of something. I thought maybe it was releasing waste. The Duncan coral does that but the Xenia never had before. Then, I thought maybe it was releasing gametes. But, no, it was obvious by that night and the next day that the poor Xenia was dying! Why?! It has always done so well while the other corals have suffered. It was totally fine the day before. It has collapsed, lost most of its volume, and stopped pulsing. I am hoping that part of it might come back at some point but, for now, it is degrading quickly. The other corals are not doing well either. The original star polyps normally open about 5% daily while the newer one that had spread like mad now basically does not open and is mostly (if not all) dead. Yet, the same animal in the 6 gallon tank is spreading like wildfire and fully opens daily. The Duncan coral is alive but barely opens, not like its former glory, and it has stopped spreading. The two colonies of zooanthids are barely alive with just a few polyps. The Pavona SPS had mostly died but it is showing some regrowth over the dead parts. The pineapple brain coral is still alive and has not bleached more (about a quarter died). The 12 gallon tank is more pink hair algae than anything else, and I cannot figure out what is wrong!


On 11/27/10, I did the usual. The poor Xenia has nothing left, not even a base so I highly doubt it will ever return. It was fine a week ago, pulsing up a storm!! I set the new heater up to 80 degrees F but the pH meter said it was only 71.6! I just do not get it! I also do not know why the 12 gallon tank's pH went up to more ideal all of a sudden. I am not trusting this pH meter very much.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 75.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.36
6 Gallon Tank: 74.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.23
Make up water: 71.6 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.40


As if the 12 gallon saltwater tank did not have enough problems with animals dying right and left, I came home to a major problem on 11/30/10. I put my hand in the tank to stick the skimmer intake back on which always falls off, and the water was hot as a sauna! The thermometer read 94 degrees F! It never goes above 80 or 82 degrees F in there, and the heater is set to 75 degrees F. I unplugged the heater assume it had gotten stuck on. I then had to rush off to a vet appointment. When I got back an hour later, the tank was still in the 90's. I unplugged the Koralia pump, the lights went out at their normal time, and I put a ziploc bag of ice in the tank. It melted so fast. I could not just add cold water like with a freshwater tank since it is saltwater that needs to be specially made. The ice melts and stays in the bag so it is removed, and the water chemistry is not altered but the temperature goes down. It is important not to change the temperature too quickly as well. I repeated the ice bag again an hour later and after that was warmed up, I propped open the lid to try to get some of the heat out. Each bag of ice only brought the temperature down about two degrees F. I later turned the Koralia pump back on thinking it was probably not the cause. By the time I was ready for bed, five hours after I had turned off the heater, the tank was still 86 degrees F. I was not sure if I should put a heater in the tank or not (the room was at 68 degrees F, and I did not want the tank to plummet too far) but put in my new 25W Visitherm heater replacing the 50W Visitherm that was in there. By the time I saw the tank again at 6:30 am, it was a safe 78 degrees F. Heaters are not to be trusted! What to do?! Nemo, Zeby, the cerinth snail, the two Nassarius snails, and two margarita snails are all confirmed to have survived. Wow, they are heat hardy! I have not seen the two other hermit crabs or two other margarita snails. [The scarlet reef hermit crab was seen alive on 12/3/10.] The Duncan coral turned white and was spitting out brown crud like the Xenia did when it died the week before. I do not know yet if it will survive. Most of the other corals were already dead or dying. ;-(

The 6 gallon tank was at 75 degrees F the whole time, nice and safe. Peppy's eggs are looking ready to be released. I doubt any will survive. If they do, then what?

I tested the heater in a gallon of water on 12/1/10 at night. In about two hours, the water went from the low 70's to 88 degrees F even though the heater was set to 75 degrees F so the heater was really bad. I threw it away.


On 12/4/10, I did the usual. I calibrated the pH meter. I used the old heater to warm the make-up water. The Duncan coral is alive and sticks out a little bit sometimes; however, the hard calcium tubes on it now are riddled with holes, as if a marine woodpecker has been making holes in them. The water should have plenty of calcium from the special salt I use made for RO water plus added liquid calcium regularly. I pulled off three arms off the old green star polyps that have not opened at all since I did the 100% cleaning of the tank months ago. Some white gunk kept coming out where I pulled off one arm. The arms themselves were brittle and showed no sign of life. I really miss the Xenia. The tanks seems more dead than alive as far as corals go, almost nothing but algae.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 75.6 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.10
6 Gallon Tank: 74.8 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.08
Make up water: 75.7 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 8.28


On 12/11/10, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 73.3 degrees F, 1.026 SG, pH 8.30
6 Gallon Tank: 76.5 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.39
Make up water: 75.9 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.30


On 12/18/10, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 75.2 degrees F, 1.0255 SG, pH 8.37
6 Gallon Tank: 74.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.16
Make up water: 74.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.25


On 12/24/10, I did the usual but a day early so I would have Christmas Day free. I put the new 50W Visitherm heater in the day before. It was set at 75 degrees F at first but that yielded almost 80 degrees F in the tank so I turned it down to 73 degrees F (the tank is never that "cold").

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 77.8 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.31
6 Gallon Tank: 75.1 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.14
Make up water: 75.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.24


On 12/31/10, I did the usual but a day early so I would have New Year's Day free. I calibrated the pH meter. The old star polyps that had died have sprouted all new baby polyps which are growing fast! The temperature readings below are from the pH meter. By the time they are read, the temperatures have always gone down. The thermometers in the 12 and 6 gallon tanks read 78 and 76 degrees F respectively.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 75.4 degrees F, 1.026 SG, pH 8.18
6 Gallon Tank: 75.0 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.09
Make up water: 75.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.27


On 1/8/11, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 76.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.36
6 Gallon Tank: 75.0 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.21
Make up water: 75.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.36


On 1/15/11, I did the usual. One of the two remaining margarita snails was dying all week. It would remain upside down with body hanging out, retract when touched, and always ended up upside down even after I righted it repeatedly. It was clearly dead by this date as it was starting to fall apart. I just cannot keep snails alive! The 12 gallon tank now has just one margarita, one cerith, and one or two nassarius snails (have not seen one in a while). I thought an astraea snail died in the 6 gallon because it was also upside down with parts hanging out but it responded when I touched it.

After I plugged the pumps back in on the 12 gallon tank, the Koralia pump did not start. The impeller was spinning weakly. I tried to jump start it by sticking the metal tongs down in it. I tried to take it apart. I just threw it away. I found a MaxiJet 600 in my supplies and put that in there instead. It takes up three times more room but, since the Xenia coral is dead anyway, there was room. Nemo liked swimming up to the current on occasion.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 75.9 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.30
6 Gallon Tank: 75.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.13
Make up water: 74.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.31


I bought two Astraea snails and two cerith snails on 1/21/11 and added them to the 12 gallon tank which only had one margarita, one cerith, and two nassarius snails left alive in it. At least one of the Astraea snails has died in the 6 gallon, potentially two or three since a few seem responsive but never move. I can't keep killing snails but the algae is out of control. I feel bad for sacrificing the snails to try to save the entire tank. I barely feed the tank and use phosphate remover. Nano tanks just don't work at least long term. They did great for a few years but time is up.


On 1/22/11, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 75.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.14
6 Gallon Tank: 75.0 degrees F, 1.0255 SG, pH 8.10
Make up water: 74.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.33


On 1/30/11, I did the usual, a day late. I calibrated the pH meter. It looks like Peppy (peppermint shrimp) may have dropped her larvae. I haven't seen any of the babies but did see a bunch of amphipods.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 74.0 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.73
6 Gallon Tank: 75.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.89
Make up water: 74.9 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.39


On 2/5/11, I did the usual. It looks like Peppy does have eggs so I do not know if they are new eggs or old ones. I have also learned that Peppermint shrimp are hermaphrodites so Peppy and Minty are both male and female although Minty has never carried eggs perhaps due to "his" large cyst.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 75.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.11
6 Gallon Tank: 75.9 degrees F, 1.026 SG, pH 8.09
Make up water: 75.6 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.38


On 2/12/11, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 74.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.18
6 Gallon Tank: 75.4 degrees F, 1.026 SG, pH 8.19
Make up water: 74.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.43


On 2/19/11, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 76.5 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.21
6 Gallon Tank: 75.9 degrees F, 1.026 SG, pH 8.21
Make up water: 75.4 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 8.45


On 2/27/11, I did the usual. I calibrated the pH meter.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 75.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.88
6 Gallon Tank: 75.6 degrees F, 1.026 SG, pH 7.88
Make up water: 75.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.09


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