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My Nano Reefs Part Nine

Last Updated: 1/26/10


On 8/29/09, I did the usual. I also tested the calcium levels of the 12 gallon tank and the make- up water which were 390 and 397 ppm respectively. I was surprised the make-up water was not higher. The RO salt promises 450 ppm. The calcium in a reef tank is supposed to be 412 to 450 ppm. Not only is the RO salt supposed to take care of that in the make-up water but I add liquid calcium to the make-up water too. At least though, the tank itself does not seem to have a lot less calcium then the make-up water which would indicate a need for more. I add "Purple Up" (sold for coralline algae, and mine is doing great but also has iodine which is good for the crustaceans) three times a week which has calcium so perhaps that is helping to keep the calcium levels up. This week, I added a little more buffer to the make-up water but the pH is even less than last week?!

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 77.4 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 7.54
6 Gallon Tank: 77.1 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.77
Make up water: 76.5 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 8.20


On 9/5/09, I did the usual. I put a little more aragonite gravel in to the 12 gallon tank (maybe a third of a cup). I have been adding a little as a time as some dissolves in time and some gets removed with cleaning.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 78.7 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 7.85
6 Gallon Tank: 78.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.93
Make up water: 76.6 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 8.22


On 9/12/09, I did the usual. I also cut my first coral. The green star polyps had an arm that was touching and stinging the Duncan coral so I cut off the arm with coral scissors. I felt really bad thinking it hurt the coral. I epoxied the arm on to a shell and put it in the 6 gallon tank. By the end of the day, the parent polyps were partially reopened but the arm had not opened at all.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 77.9 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 7.66
6 Gallon Tank: 77.8 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.02
Make up water: 76.2 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 8.43


On 9/19/09, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 77.1 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 7.72
6 Gallon Tank: 77.1 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.88
Make up water: 76.0 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.33


On 9/26/09, I did the usual. Last week, the transplanted start polyps had detached from the clam shell. So, I had just set them in the shell. A day or two later, they fell out. I just left the coral arm sitting on the fake Acropora coral. Well, less than a week later, I went to move the coral arm, and the thing has already cemented itself to the fake coral! So, I guess I will leave it there. The real and fake coral will now become one.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 76.9 degrees F, 1.024 SG, pH 7.96
6 Gallon Tank: 76.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.07
Make up water: 75.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.46


On 10/3/09, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 77.6 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 7.80
6 Gallon Tank: 77.6 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.98
Make up water: 76.1 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.23


On 10/10/09, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 79.1 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 7.89
6 Gallon Tank: 78.7 degrees F, 1.024 SG, pH 7.94
Make up water: 76.5 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.38


On 10/17/09, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 74.9 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.79
6 Gallon Tank: 74.5 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.96
Make up water: 75.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.35


On 10/24/09, I did not do the usual. I received an order from Live Aquaria. The delivery woman got lost so it arrived as I was starting to clean my two marine tanks around 2:30 pm. She had been there at 10 am but was afraid to go down the driveway! The order was supposed to include three marine animals - one purple firefish, one green banded goby (wanted a blue neon goby but they were sold out), and one yellow dwarf feather duster. Well, I got the two fish just fine and drip acclimated them. They went in to the 12 gallon tank. Instead of the feather duster, they sent seven banded trochus snails. My two nano tanks are already overstocked with snails so I had my father take the snails to the local Petco where an employee who had saltwater tanks took them. I later looked them up and found out they are ideal snails to have (but only $2.99 each). It is too bad my tanks are full. I was not going to create a new 20+ gallon saltwater tank just for them. You know how that ends up!

The new firefish is named Pablo in keeping with the Mexican name of Jose for the last firefish. Pablo is full size. Nemo immediately took a love/hate attraction to Pablo, alternating between snuggles and nips. I sure hope Nemo does not harm him. I never did find Jose's body or know if Nemo took a part in his demise. The green banded goby is the smallest non-baby fish I have seen! He is less than half an inch long. Nemo probably will not even notice him. I hope nobody tries to eat him! I named him Enrique. Enrique can "walk" on the pink coralline-encrusted glass walls of the tank!

I also calibrated the pH meter and need to get more calibration solutions as the pH 7.0 buffer is growing bacteria!

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 78.0 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 7.86
6 Gallon Tank: 77.4 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.93
Make up water: 76.8 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.26


On 10/31/09, I did the usual. The three temperature readings matched exactly!

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 76.2 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 7.66
6 Gallon Tank: 76.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.88
Make up water: 76.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.30


On 11/7/09, I did the usual. I thought the old heater for the make up water was not working but it looks like the new one does not bring it to 75 degrees F where it is set!

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 74.9 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 7.82
6 Gallon Tank: 74.5 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.97
Make up water: 71.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.36


On 11/14/09, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 75.7 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 7.81
6 Gallon Tank: 75.9 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.94
Make up water: 75.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.37


On 11/21/09, I did the usual. I also calibrated the pH meter with some new pH 4 and 7 buffer as my old buffers were growing fungus. I made up some more frozen food in my mini ice cube tray for the marine animals. I put in some more fresh aragonite gravel in the 12 gallon tank (maybe a few tablespoons) as some "gravel" (really crushed coral and lots of little shells) is removed with weekly cleaning.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 74.7 degrees F (sat a few minutes), 1.024 SG, pH 7.87
6 Gallon Tank: 75.6 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 7.91
Make up water: 76.1 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.22


On 11/28/09, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 74.9 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.84
6 Gallon Tank: 74.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.97
Make up water: 75.7 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.26


On 11/29/09, my brother was looking at my nano reefs, and I looked in the 6 gallon at the Ricordia mushroom corals. The orange one was squished up. Yikes! Right next to it was a rather large Aiptasia! That is the glass anemone which is a big pest in marine tanks. The thing is, I have not added anything to the tank in over a year! This guy must have been out of view and moved around where I could see him. I grabbed the long tweezers and touched him. He fully retracted, completely out of site in to a hole in the live rock. So much for that. I would deal with him at the next cleaning. I did stick the empty shell of the bumble bee snail I got long ago on top of the anemone so it would be more away from the mushroom coral. It would pop up behind the shell the next day, larger than ever. Here are some photos.

Aiptasia - 11/29/09.
Aiptasia - 12/4/09.
Aiptasia - 12/4/09.


On 12/5/09, I did the usual and more. I wanted to see if I could kill the Aiptasia without harming the tank.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 74.9 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 7.81
6 Gallon Tank: 74.6 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.95
Make up water: 75.1 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 8.27

I then put one drop of "Aiptasia Control" in to the cup with the 6 gallon tank water (maybe 50 mL). That one drop brought the pH up to 9.87! I am guessing that this stuff is kalkwasser which is calcium hydroxide. I decided to try it. They said to use 1 mL at once! Instead, I turned off the pump in the 6 gallon and squirted about 0.2 mL right in to the Aiptasia. It immediately closed up, and the area was coated in a white film. Then, I let that sit for almost 30 minutes while I cleaned the 12 gallon tank. Once I came back to the 6 gallon, I used the hose to suck up the remaining white film. Unfortunately, the orange Ricordia that I was trying to help (since the anemone was stinging it) got a little white stuff on it too. That part had already rotted off so I removed it. The remainder of the mushroom shriveled up, and I am hoping it will recover in time. After the water change, the pH of the 6 gallon tank was up to 8.19 (from pH 7.95 with pH 8.27 make-up water) so the pH change was not too large.

I also discovered that there are now red planaria (flatworms) in my 6 gallon tank. It was only a matter of time until one hitchhiked on the tubing when I clean between the two tanks.

Later in the day, I found Dot (my female sexy shrimp) rooting around where the Aiptasia had been. She had it in her arms! I think she wanted to eat it but did not eat much, perhaps because it was so basic (high pH) from the chemical killing it. I know that peppermint shrimp eat Aiptasia but I guess sexy shrimp may eat the dead ones.

Dot with the Aiptasia - 12/5/09.


On 12/12/09, I did the usual. I also cut two new, small "arms" growing out of the green star polyps in the 12 gallon tank. They were starting to touch and bother the Duncan coral. I put the little arms in the 6 gallon with the other cutting which is getting big. The main star polyps remained closed tight for the rest of the day.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 74.5 degrees F, 1.024 SG, pH 7.67
6 Gallon Tank: 74.5 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.92
Make up water: 75.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.30


On 12/19/09, I was in the hospital, recovering from major surgery the day before (bowel resection due to an endometrioma growing on my appendix and causing a total obstruction). The tanks and animals had to wait. I got home on 12/22/09 but could not get up enough to tend to anything until 12/26/09. I had made RO water the night before and managed to change the two saltwater tanks, after two weeks instead of one. I have not seen Enrique since I got back and do not know if he died. My father fed the fish but only pellets, none of the frozen foods that sustain the smaller animals. You will notice that the tank salinity went up a tiny bit with the neglect but that the pH really suffered without not only the water changes but other things that I add to the tank. Despite the disaster, my tanks pulled through my two week incapacitation.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 74.1 degrees F, 1.026 SG, pH 7.20
6 Gallon Tank: 74.2 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.66
Make up water: 73.6 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.29


If I had not been sick, I might have noticed sooner! On 1/1/10, I discovered that the aiptasia is back! There must have been some cells left that grew back! The orange Ricordia mushroom is slowly recovering but now the anemone has returned.


On 1/2/10, I did the usual. I also calibrated the pH meter.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 75.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.66
6 Gallon Tank: 74.3 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.91
Make up water: 74.4 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 8.30


On 1/9/10, I did the usual. I also used a drop of "Aiptasia Control" on the Aiptasia so I will see if that takes care of it this time.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 77 degrees F (on thermometer, forgot to look at the pH meter), 1.0245 SG, pH 7.30!
6 Gallon Tank: 74.0 degrees F, 1.0255 SG, pH 7.91
Make up water: 74.1 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 8.32


On 1/16/10, I did the usual.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 75.0 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.45
6 Gallon Tank: 74.5 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.89
Make up water: 75.4 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 8.27


On 1/23/10, I did the usual. I also cut a small piece of green start polyps off of the main coral in the 12 gallon tank as it was touching the Duncan coral. It was a small piece, and I discarded it which made me feel bad. In the 6 gallon tank, I knocked off one of the zooanthid rocks and had to use more reef epoxy to reattach it. In the waste water, I found a few amphipods and put them back in the 6 gallon tank. They really made me chase them down.

The water test results for the day were:
12 Gallon Tank: 75.1 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.68
6 Gallon Tank: 74.5 degrees F, 1.025 SG, pH 7.88
Make up water: 75.4 degrees F, 1.0245 SG, pH 8.25


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