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My Nano Reefs Part Seventeen - 10/12 to 1/13

Last Updated: 3/3/13


On 10/6/12, I did the usual. The Aiptasia is back again on the mushroom rock but it was small so I will wait a week to treat it. There is a hairy (but falls apart) brown stingy slime all over everything in the 12 gallon, and the corals are mostly closed as a result. I don't know what to do about it.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 80.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.26
6 Gallon Tank: 78.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.27
Make up water: 77.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.45


On 10/13/12, I did the usual. I calibrated the pH meter.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 76.6 (I think that was wrong!) degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.16
6 Gallon Tank: 77.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.20
Make up water: 76.5 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.50


On 10/20/12, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 79.5 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.12
6 Gallon Tank: 78.6 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.19
Make up water: 77.8 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.61


On 10/24/12, I bought six new clean-up-crew animals. For the 12 gallon, I got two nassarius snails (not the super Tongan ones which are white although they were labeled as such). For the 6 gallon, I got two cerith snails (all snails were dead in that tank) and two dwarf blue leg hermit crabs.

Okay, I think the stringy brown algae may be dinoflagellates or just stringy brown algae! Either way, it's out of control. I'm going to make a double batch of saltwater this weekend and do double water changes on both tanks. I am going to remove the live rock and macroalgae and swish them off good in water for discarding. The corals are really suffering. I have already reduced feeding. I really don't want to resort to lights out for three days. Hopefully, a good cleaning will be enough.


On 10/27/12, I tore down the 12 gallon tank. I just got tired of the stringy brown stuff that might be dinos or just algae or something. It was suffocating everything. Plus, Hurricane Sandy is coming in a few days, and I want the tank in good shape before a likely power outage. First, I drained half the water out and set it aside. I then removed the snails and hermit crabs one at a time. I rinsed the shells off in fresh saltwater and put them in some water pulled from the tank. I had made up three buckets of saltwater. Two were the regular RO (made over two days) and regular additives. The third bucket that I used just for rinsing and shaking off the things removed from the tank. It was composed of 1.5 gallons of RO water, 2 gallons of water from the waste of the RO system (went through a sediment filter and a carbon filter), salt, and buffer but not the two liquid additives. As you can see in the results below, this bucket had a higher pH and better results without the additives!

I netted Nemo in to a small glass bowl with tank water. I removed each coral and live rock piece and dunked them in the rinse water, sometimes using a toothbrush to clean them. I also dunked the Cheatomorpha macroalgae which had the most brown strings on it. I ended up throwing half of it away, the parts with the most strings and pink algae. I scooped out and rinsed the gravel. I tried to clean it out the best I could. I cleaned the other stuff but not that well. I then put everything back in this order - gravel, live rock, old water, new water, non-living shells. I got the filters going to clear the water a little bit and soon put in the snails, hermit crabs, and Nemo.

I found the following live animals: Nemo, one astraea snail, one turbo snail, one cerith snail, the two new nassarius snails, one blue electric hermit crab, one dwarf yellow tip hermit crab, two "zebra" hermit crabs (I think they are in fact some other species), and one scarlet reef hermit crab. That means that the dwarf blue leg hermit crab and another blue hermit crab of unknown species have died ;-( Not only did I do a double water change on the 12 gallon, I did on the 6 gallon as well (no extra cleaning there though, just the usual). I put calcium hydroxide on an Aiptasia in the 6 gallon near the usual spot.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 79.0 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.21
6 Gallon Tank: 77.8 degrees F, 1.0255 SG, pH 7.29
Make up water Bucket 1: 77.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.41
Make up water Bucket 2: 73.3 degrees F (not heated), 1.025 SG, pH 7.34
Make up water Bucket 3 (rinse only): 73.5 degrees F (not heated), 1.025 SG, pH 7.50


On 11/3/12, I did the usual. I was going to use the leftover saltwater from last week to do a larger-than-normal water change but there were some strange things floating in there, and solids had settled out. I figured better safe than sorry and tossed that. The 12 gallon's hairy brown gunk came back a few days after the total cleaning but it is not as bad. I had to suck more of that up again. Speaking of reoccurrences, the Aiptasia was back in the 6 gallon again so I treated it yet again.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 76.7 (thermometer said 79) degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.25
6 Gallon Tank: 79.0 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.38
Make up water: 77.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.66


On 11/10/12, I did the usual. I calibrated the pH meter.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 76.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.20
6 Gallon Tank: 80.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.32
Make up water: 76.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.80


On 11/17/12, I did the usual. First thing in the morning, I saw that the 6 gallon tank was up to 85 degrees F, and the lights had just turned on. The heater was set to 75 degrees F. I tested the heater by turning it off for hours, turning it down, and then plugging it in. Even when the water was over 80 degrees F, and the heater was set to 70 degrees F, it kept coming on. I threw it away and put in a used 25 W heater. It had no notes on it so I do not know why it was out of service (aside from being a Visitherm which was recalled) but it seems to be working okay. I will order a new heater soon.

Later, I cleaned the tanks. The brown stuff in the 12 gallon tank seems to have vanished. I do not know if it was brown algae (diatoms) or dinoflagellates but it seems to have left. In its place, more pink cotton candy algae and more tufted green algae is growing but not a lot yet.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 75.0 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.43
6 Gallon Tank: 76.6 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.50
Make up water: 76.1 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.77


On 11/24/12, I did the usual. I do not really trust the pH readings. The meter took a long time to stabilize and gave higher results than usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 75.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.57
6 Gallon Tank: 75.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.52
Make up water: 76.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.77


On 11/30/12, I did the usual, on a Friday instead of the normal Saturday.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 74.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.16
6 Gallon Tank: 74.1 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.29
Make up water: 75.9 degrees F, 1.024 SG, pH 7.74


On 12/7/12, I did the usual, on Friday again. I tried calibrating the pH meter but it failed. I had bought fresh calibration solutions so I set them up and calibrated again. It failed with brand new solutions as well. The pH meter itself probably needs repair but I will have to use what I have (no income).

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 73.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.23
6 Gallon Tank: 74.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.31
Make up water: 76.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.52


On 12/14/12, I did the usual, on Friday again. The Aiptasia in the 6 gallon was back so I treated it yet again. I don't trust the pH meter results.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 75.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.39
6 Gallon Tank: 73.8 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.33
Make up water: 75.8 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.79


On 12/22/12, I did the usual. There were two Aiptasia in the 6 gallon again so I treated yet again!

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 75.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.21
6 Gallon Tank: 74.5 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.41
Make up water: 75.9 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.77


On 12/29/12, I did the usual. The pH meter results are suspect.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 74.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.88
6 Gallon Tank: 75.2 degrees F, 1.026 SG, pH 7.93
Make up water: 73.9 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.78


On 1/4/13, I did the usual. I tried twice to calibrate the pH meter with no luck. I need a new one but will not buy one unless I get a job.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 74.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.31
6 Gallon Tank: 74.3 degrees F, 1.026 SG, pH 7.40
Make up water: 76.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.68


On 1/11/13, I did the usual. The Aiptasia was back yet again in the 6 gallon so I treated it again. The 12 gallon is now growing a "good" crop of green fuzzy algae. Not good.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 75.0 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.21
6 Gallon Tank: 74.5 degrees F, 1.0255 SG, pH 7.32
Make up water: 75.9 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.67


On 1/14/13, I bought the following inexpensive animals at a local store: two peppermint shrimp, one red tip hermit crab, one Mexican turbo snail, and one astraea snail. The first four went in the 6 gallon, and the astraea went in the 12 gallon tank.

The 12 gallon only has a turbo snail and one other astraea snail in it that I see regularly. In the bag with the astraea snail was a tiny 5- legged starfish. I put him in the 12 gallon tank. I put one in before as well and never saw it again so I will not bother to add this starfish to the inventory lists.

The 6 gallon's sexy shrimp, turbo snail, and astraea snails were all dead. There may still be two nassarius in there which I do see on occasion and perhaps a cerith snail or two which I almost never see. The newer hermit crabs in the 6 gallon were all gone so the new red tip joins the other red tip hermit crab in there. I hope that the shrimp will liven things up in that tank. I hope the snails will clean up some of the cotton candy algae which is back.

While at that store, I saw a coral that looked like a pathetic version of my "tree coral." The boy said that it was a spaghetti leather coral so that is what I have! Mine is a real beauty.


On 1/18/13, I did the usual. The Aiptasia was there yet again and treated again.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 75.0 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.26
6 Gallon Tank: 75.4 degrees F, 1.0255 SG, pH 7.38
Make up water: 75.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.68


Unbelievably, the new turbo snail in the 6 gallon tank died on 1/21/13. The algae in there is bad so he didn't starve. The shrimp are doing okay.


On 1/25/13, I did the usual. I found the electric blue hermit crab wedged in a rock. Yay, he's alive! I hadn't seen him in weeks.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 72.1 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.36
6 Gallon Tank: 74.5 degrees F, 1.0255 SG, pH 7.48
Make up water: 74.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.65


On 2/2/13, I did the usual. I tried to calibrate the pH meter to no avail. When in the pH 4.0 solution, it read over 5.0 and failed to calibrate. If I ever get a job, a new pH meter is at the top of the list. I pulled out the macroalgae to shake off some of the microalgae and found the shell of my big turbo snail empty. I confirmed it was him when I found a small piece of remaining guts which I removed. Well, this partially explains the explosion of algae.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 72.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.15
6 Gallon Tank: 75.0 degrees F, 1.026 SG, pH 7.28
Make up water: 75.5 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.62


On 2/8/13, I did the usual. The Aiptasia was back in its usual place so I treated it again. I hadn't seen the new peppermint shrimp in days so I lifted up the main live rock in the 6 gallon tank. The shrimp are both gone. I guess I give up on shrimp. I don't know how they used to live for years and now they don't. I don't think Scary ate them (while they were alive) because he's no bigger than he was years ago when I had shrimp that lived for a longer time.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 73.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.13
6 Gallon Tank: 74.3 degrees F, 1.026 SG, pH 7.27
Make up water: 75.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.59


I finally got a job but it is part time and low paying. I'll be making about 20% of what I used to. Since it's retail, my hours are all over, and I needed a new plan to get all the animal chores done in a week. Instead of doing them all over a day or two, I have spread them over the entire week. I decided on Tuesday for the saltwater tanks so now the dates will be Tuesdays until the next change.

On 2/12/13, I did the usual. The Aiptasia was back in its usual place again so I treated it again. Since I only let the make-up water sit for 40 minutes instead of the usual three hours (when I did all the chores in one day for 12 hours straight), it never got up to 75 degrees F. Depending on my schedule, I will try to allow more sit time from when I add salt to when I use it. I stirred for 40 minutes. Note that the pH levels of the two tanks were higher than usual. That may be due to the faulty pH meter or to the fact that it had only been four days since the last cleaning instead of the usual seven.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 72.9 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.39
6 Gallon Tank: 75.3 degrees F, 1.026 SG, pH 7.50
Make up water: 68.1 degrees F, 1.026 SG, pH 7.57


On 2/19/13, I did the usual. I let the saltwater stir for more than an hour while I did other things. I also turned its heater up a few degrees. The MaxiJet 600 in the 12 gallon is really weak. I will need to get another one. It's not clogged (intake or impeller).

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 72.6 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.36
6 Gallon Tank: 76.1 degrees F, 1.026 SG, pH 7.39
Make up water: 74.0 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.73


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