Kessil

Chappati's 120g Tank Journal. Finally.

Chappati13

Supporting Member
Well, everything I picked up recently looks pretty good except the sponge. I'm going to move it again to see if it just doesn't like where it's at, but it seems like it's doing pretty poorly. There is a small hole in it at this point.

I moved the Monti a bit lower in the tank into a position I think will grow in better given it spreads out a bit and will shade things below it. The edges have pinked up (they were a little white when I got it into the tank) and the large white spot on one corner has completely pinked over now. The bird's nest is similarly extended and looking healthy as is the frogspawn.

I'm struggling with the parameters (although things are going well atm), mainly I'd like to see the phosphate be a bit higher and the alk drops off quickly. I bring it up to ~8.5dkz and within a day or so it's back to the low 7s. Here are the parameters:

alk - 7.2 dkh
n03 - 10ppm
pho - 0ppm
calc - 510 ppm
sw - 1.025

My only guess for phosphate being 0 is that there is some hair algae here and there in the display and quite a bit of it in what will eventually be the fuge maybe it going toward fueling the growth there and that's why it's not observable? Given everything currently in the tank looks healthy and the tank is looking cleaner by the day I'm not too concerned but I keep reading that low Phosphate will eventually bite me with Dino...
 

Chappati13

Supporting Member
Any thoughts for how I can get it up from 0 other than feeding like crazy? I have a plan to add more livestock in two weeks, just waiting for the quarantine period on the tang and going to be picking up a Royal Gramma soonish.
 

max_nano

Supporting Member
Is it possible that all the dry rock just absorbing the PO4?

I find pellets and reef roids are good ways to boost PO4, what are you feeding now and in what quantity?
 

Chappati13

Supporting Member
Mostly I'm feeding frozen; a quarter cube of rinsed mysis twice a day. I also feed a small sprinkle of pellets and some flakes once or twice a week to keep some variety, and every two weeks or so I'll feed Live Brine for three days or so. Not a lot of livestock in there just yet.
 

Afropenguin

Supporting Member
Well, everything I picked up recently looks pretty good except the sponge. I'm going to move it again to see if it just doesn't like where it's at, but it seems like it's doing pretty poorly. There is a small hole in it at this point.

I moved the Monti a bit lower in the tank into a position I think will grow in better given it spreads out a bit and will shade things below it. The edges have pinked up (they were a little white when I got it into the tank) and the large white spot on one corner has completely pinked over now. The bird's nest is similarly extended and looking healthy as is the frogspawn.

I'm struggling with the parameters (although things are going well atm), mainly I'd like to see the phosphate be a bit higher and the alk drops off quickly. I bring it up to ~8.5dkz and within a day or so it's back to the low 7s. Here are the parameters:

alk - 7.2 dkh
n03 - 10ppm
pho - 0ppm
calc - 510 ppm
sw - 1.025

My only guess for phosphate being 0 is that there is some hair algae here and there in the display and quite a bit of it in what will eventually be the fuge maybe it going toward fueling the growth there and that's why it's not observable? Given everything currently in the tank looks healthy and the tank is looking cleaner by the day I'm not too concerned but I keep reading that low Phosphate will eventually bite me with Dino...
Is this the same sponge from @JVU ? I got a sponge too but for whatever reason its not doing well it my tank either.
 

Chappati13

Supporting Member
I'm finally getting around to using my Seneye for it's intended purpose: Taking Par readings and measuring the light output of these black box lights. These lights are four channel bars with a single controller. The lights are arranged into two 29" long boxes each has an independent power supply and are daisy chained to the controller. I've got them mounted in my cabinet at right about 13" inches off the water. When I set these up, I kindof eye-balled the light to get it where I thought it should be and called it good. That setting was allowing it to run in the controller's "Season and Lunar" setting, which ramps up slowly through the day, peaking at arround noon-1pm and ramps back down. The amount of "moonlight" changes according to the lunar cycle. Mostly just marketing I know, but It looks cool and the price was right so I'm not complaining. The controller allows for a bit of different control options, but I chose to simply setup 'limits' for each channel which causes the ramp to adjust as a percentage of the limits. I set the max values to 80% and called it good. Now I'm thinking I may need to turn it down a bit further. Here are my numbers:

Par Readings.png


Now, the light values don't match the light in this image (obviously) since I turned things down to take the image, particularly the channels that include blue lights. I'm looking for some input from folks to know if these numbers are crazy high or OK? I'm getting some numbers off r2r that seems like an upper edge of 350 is probably a good place to start? Does anyone have any suggestions for weather or not I should tune things down a bit?

Just to explain the fairly significant number shifts, they do kind of make sense as there is a brace that runs down the middle of the tank which shades a pretty large section in the middle with some glass that is pretty well blasted with permanent salt damage.

I'm definitely going to move the monti that is in the middle of the tank, as it's currently reading at 256 PAR and I think that's why it's still looking a bit bleached.
I'm guessing 430 is probably also a bit high for the birdsnest in the upper right.
The Frogspawn seems like it doesn't mind the 260 PAR it's getting but I reading that 250 is kindof as high as that's going to want to be.


All in all I suspect I could easily turn things down another 25% and make everything a bit happier. Does this seem reasonable? Any input is welcome, so far I'm coming up a bit empty for research here.
 

jhuynh

Supporting Member
what is your main goals for the tank? what types of corals are you thinking of doing? personally, adding a sps after a month is risky, but thats just me.

as for raising po4. try not rinsing the mysis cubes and dump everything into the tank.
 

Chappati13

Supporting Member
Ultimately I'm aiming for a mixed reef but I don't have any real plan to be honest. I like the look of SPS the 'easier' sps like monti and birdnest. Alwa

While the tank is definitely on the newer side, I finished my cycle and added the first livestock back in early November so it's closer to 3 months at this point, still way early for anything that needs the stability of a mature tank, but not as bad as first month.
 

jhuynh

Supporting Member
patience is the key thing in this hobby. as long as you know what you want and how to get there with what you have, you'll succeed. took me about 6 months to have have a stable system and finally grew coralline before i threw in my first sps. best thing i can say, go slow, and ask questions along the way. other members on this forum, including myself will gladly assist you. dont chase numbers, thats all im gonna add.
 

Chappati13

Supporting Member
Just another reminder for myself on parameters:

Phosphate - .02 (Finally registering this is the first in at least a month)
Nitrate - 10ppm
Alk - 8.0 dKH
PH - 8.37
Salinity 1.026
Temp - 78.2
 

Chappati13

Supporting Member
An update:

I'm continuing to do my best to let things run their course during the initial phase(s) of the tank. I've kept a mostly hands off approach to the first wave of hair algae that was everywhere, letting things kind of play out to equilibrium rather than trying to adjust chemically. It took over the entire rear glass for a few weeks before I went ahead and manually pulled it from the rocks and the rear glass. From there th\e tank went through a few weeks with what I think was dino (orange/yellow with bubbles and covered the rocks and sand) which again, I let run it course, eventually it took over most of the rocks and sand. After it seemed like it wasn't necessarily spreading anymore, I manually removed it with a combination of grabbing what I could (which wasn't much since it sort of disintegrated when I grabbed it), then using a combination of a brush and siphoning into a 50micro filter sock. That went through two more rounds, cover everything clean, repeat until things began to stabilize. Next came what I think was bryopsis (long green feathery algae) which covered about a third of the rock in the tank, once the initial spread slowed, I manually removed it using the same combination I did with the dino. Between two rounds of manual removal of the Brypsis and recently adding a Yellow Tang (Yaay for purchasing it the day before the Hawaii announcement / recent price hikes) that was finally out of Quarantine, it appears things are moving past this phase. It's been about a week and while I can still see some bryopsis on the rock, nothing is growing enough to actually see the feathery bit and it doesn't appear to be spreading. Lastly, I think I can finally see some coraline beggining to grow in a lot of spots throughout the tank so I'm hopeful this tank will begin moving toward some level of equilibrium where I can start bringing in a bunch more coral soon.

I have been so far pretty successful at aqua-culturing my phyto blend. I've got a gallon each of Tetra and Nano phyto going at a time, as I run out of the gallon I keep in the fridge I mix up a new batch. I also am keeping a seperate culture container of each in case I need to start over. So far the proccess is pretty simple and requires a few minutes a week to deal with. I picked up seven 1 gallon glass milk jugs that I like a lot for this. this way I can always have 3 that are sterile, 3 that are in use, and one extra. This way when I'm ready to mix a new batch I just pull fresh saltwater to fill one of the jugs to the proper salinity, pour half into a second jug, put fertilizer in, then fill each with the respective culture and it goes back to the light / air pump. The remaining phyto gets combined into a third fresh gallon jug. Lastly I clean / sterilize the containers I just emptied and I'm ready to start again. I'm dosing a little of this into the tank to encourage copepod growth. Speaking of which, I have two 1 gallon containers alongside the phyto which I've been using to breed copepods. Both are almost 3/4 full and are lousy with them at this point. I'm using a sieve from Mercer of Montana to pull out a bunch every couple of weeks and swishing them into the sump.

After drastically lowering the light level a few weeks ago, the sps I picked up from JVU (Thank you again!) is starting to recover from the initial bleaching of the Monti. That Monti had turned lighter and lighter pink (from the deep orange/red it was when I picked it up) until a few days after lowering the light levels. It now looks like it may make a full recovery in another few weeks, the edges are the color they were previously and are beginning to fill in towards the middle.

The purple sponge that I picked up at the same time has fully recovered from the initial shock and is now well rooted in the rock, colored up nicely, and growing surprisingly fast.

The frogspawn seems happy, well extended but I can't tell if it's growing or not.

Lastly, the pink birdsnest looks great and has definitely started growing a bit since it arrived.

The tank inhabitants at this point are:
1) Two midnight lightning Clowns
2) Two Blue/Green Chromis
3) Two juvie Engineer Gobies
4) One purple back doty
5) One Yellow Tang
6) Cleanup crew is 8 or so snails, 2 conches, 4 nassarius snails, 6 or so blue hermits, and an Emerald crab.
 
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