Neptune Aquatics

Gerry’s Waterbox 180.5

Finally I got the lights hooked up. Just need to finish figuring out the Apex.
 

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Just a brief update. Working on the aqua scape. Trying to incorporate the white shelf tree with the purple carib sea rock. Rock mortar is curing in the garage. Then it can go in. Placed a few corals in there that did not like the smaller tank. Not their permanent resting place but they like it so far. Added a few snails to the mix.
Waiting on some more rock and then the toplids lid. Then I can finally start adding some fish.
Hard to stay patient. The acan and Goni love it. And I think the purple stylo is making a comeback. All the euphyllia look good.
G
 

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Yes!!! My lids finally arrived today. They look good. Time to start transferring fish tomorrow and looking to start stocking up info fish.
 

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Alright,
Lids are on and today we moved the fish and parts of the old rock work into the tank. This will be the final look on the rocks with maybe some minor moves. Still need to figure out where the corals will end up.

Any feedback on the rock work? Fish seem to be settling in.

Anyone have a good light schedule for their ap9x’s they care to pass along?



Gerry
 

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Well,
Time for another update. All I can say is that I have been through the ringer with fish and this tank. I hope I don't jinx it but everything seems to have settled down. Over the course of a few months I had gradually stocked the tank with various fish from a QT vendor. I had added various fish and they all seemed to be doing well. The last fish that I added was a group of 4 bimac anthias and two tangs (bristle tooth and mimic). Everything was looking good and we had a family vacation planned. Left town about 4 weeks after the last fish were added. Came home after being gone for two weeks and there were three fish left alive: one of the tangs, a purple firefish, and a blue throat fairy wrasse. The neighbor's son who was in charge of feeding was not really aware of what was going on (next time I might have a local BAR member check on the tank). The tang looked pretty bad and died about two days later. The wrasse and fire fish continued to do well. This was all at the end of July/beginning of August. Needless to say it was pretty devastating. I submitted a DNA test on the tank. It came back negative for everything which unfortunately was not helpful. The corals were doing fine. The two remaining fish looked fine. Rather than go fallow I elected to just wait and see. Over the next 3 months nothing happened. Both fish remained alive. I set up a 57W UV filter in-line and started dosing H2O2 (using the recommendations I found on humblefish). At the middle of November I decided to add fish again: 4 bangais, a loubotti wrasse, multicolored wrassed, sharp nose puffer, bicolor goatfish, two swallowtail angles (male and female), two purple firefish, and a royal gramma. All of these were sourced through CaliKid.

It has been two months now. The goat fish disappeared one day about two weeks ago (covered tank, no way to leap out or end up in the filter). One bangai also disappeared about two weeks ago. All four were captive bred babies. One has grown really large and the remaining two seem to be eating well. I have not seen any aggression between them. The rest of the fish all get along well. So far I have not seen any signs of illness. Finally decided it was time for an update, but I didn't want to post another sad fish death story. Needless to say it has been rough.

The fish I added did not go through QT. I planned on nuking the tank with copper and/or CP if anything showed up anticipating losing all the corals and restarting. So far so good. Two months and counting. It is a little worrisome losing the goat fish and one cardinal. Some corals are really thriving. Others are doing OK. Have only lost a few that I have added in. I will add pictures when I can.

I have a QT tank up and running. The plan is to add fish after QT once the holidays are over and I have time to do it right. I was out of town for 10 days around thanksgiving. Came back and everyone was still alive at that point. I am still dosing H2O2 (total of 4 months now). I have not seen any obvious ill effects from this that I am aware of.



Gerry
 
By the way the pink goni I am going to call it "Gerry's 'You can't kill me'" goni. This thing has been through the ringer. I thought it was going to die several times and yet it keeps on growing. I got it from another BAR member maybe 2-3 years ago. It was not doing well in his tank. Probably had 5-8 heads at the time.
At one point I had it in my fish QT tank. It had shriveled up, and I thought it was going to die. I was going out of town for a week and did not want it to foul the water. I moved it into the QT tank (no meds in the tank, no lighting, no filtration, crappy water quality). It was still alive when I came back. Put it back in the main tank (waterbox 60) and then transferred it to the waterbox 180 when it was running. Prior to adding wrasses I had a huge flatworm problem. They seemed to like to swarm on this coral keeping it from expanding its polyps. Every day I had to blow them off with a turkey baster and I could see an occasional polyp bail out and float away. With the addition of the UV filter and wrasses the worms seems to be gone (at least I don't seem the on the glass, rocks, or sand anymore). Probably still there in small numbers. The other day about a 1/3rd of it was not expanding well and the polyps looked bleached (see the pic above). It lasted about a week. Don't know what happened, but now it is fully recovered again. Easily over 100 heads on this. It loves being in the current. I will post a videolink below.

Goni's are challenging. What makes the extend? In the video I have three in a row. The pink is always out. The bananrama goni loves the current and I like watching the polyps sway in the tank. The one in the middle does not like to extend beyond a 1/4in. Go figure. Goni's are without a doubt my favorite coral. I have 9 of them in the tank.


Gerry
 
Well,
Time for another update. All I can say is that I have been through the ringer with fish and this tank. I hope I don't jinx it but everything seems to have settled down. Over the course of a few months I had gradually stocked the tank with various fish from a QT vendor. I had added various fish and they all seemed to be doing well. The last fish that I added was a group of 4 bimac anthias and two tangs (bristle tooth and mimic). Everything was looking good and we had a family vacation planned. Left town about 4 weeks after the last fish were added. Came home after being gone for two weeks and there were three fish left alive: one of the tangs, a purple firefish, and a blue throat fairy wrasse. The neighbor's son who was in charge of feeding was not really aware of what was going on (next time I might have a local BAR member check on the tank). The tang looked pretty bad and died about two days later. The wrasse and fire fish continued to do well. This was all at the end of July/beginning of August. Needless to say it was pretty devastating. I submitted a DNA test on the tank. It came back negative for everything which unfortunately was not helpful. The corals were doing fine. The two remaining fish looked fine. Rather than go fallow I elected to just wait and see. Over the next 3 months nothing happened. Both fish remained alive. I set up a 57W UV filter in-line and started dosing H2O2 (using the recommendations I found on humblefish). At the middle of November I decided to add fish again: 4 bangais, a loubotti wrasse, multicolored wrassed, sharp nose puffer, bicolor goatfish, two swallowtail angles (male and female), two purple firefish, and a royal gramma. All of these were sourced through CaliKid.

It has been two months now. The goat fish disappeared one day about two weeks ago (covered tank, no way to leap out or end up in the filter). One bangai also disappeared about two weeks ago. All four were captive bred babies. One has grown really large and the remaining two seem to be eating well. I have not seen any aggression between them. The rest of the fish all get along well. So far I have not seen any signs of illness. Finally decided it was time for an update, but I didn't want to post another sad fish death story. Needless to say it has been rough.

The fish I added did not go through QT. I planned on nuking the tank with copper and/or CP if anything showed up anticipating losing all the corals and restarting. So far so good. Two months and counting. It is a little worrisome losing the goat fish and one cardinal. Some corals are really thriving. Others are doing OK. Have only lost a few that I have added in. I will add pictures when I can.

I have a QT tank up and running. The plan is to add fish after QT once the holidays are over and I have time to do it right. I was out of town for 10 days around thanksgiving. Came back and everyone was still alive at that point. I am still dosing H2O2 (total of 4 months now). I have not seen any obvious ill effects from this that I am aware of.



Gerry
Sorry you had so much trouble with your tank. I'd lean towards something the tank sitter did while you were out e.g. overfeeding leading to an ammonia spike or using tap water to top off. Kids do dumb stuff and then often lie when things go wrong. Maybe even having weird cologne or skin creams on their arms. One large fish dying can definitely trigger a cascade in the tank that kills a lot of others, especially if you don't have a lot of bristleworms or other scavengers to eat them before the bacteria catch up. There's also the possibility your tank was close to its limit with the number of fish (not sure exactly how many there were before your vacation) then adding 4, going on vacation with no filter sock changes or skimmer tuning, etc. just let to disaster.

Do you have any photos of the dead fish to diagnose? E.g. how their gills looked, skin, etc.

I'm leaning towards the ammonia spike since your corals seemed to have survived that instance and they generally are much more tolerant.

We're here to help so let us know next time you're on vacation. Cos does tank maintenance as well so I'm sure you could hire his team next time too.
 
Sorry you had so much trouble with your tank. I'd lean towards something the tank sitter did while you were out e.g. overfeeding leading to an ammonia spike or using tap water to top off. Kids do dumb stuff and then often lie when things go wrong. Maybe even having weird cologne or skin creams on their arms. One large fish dying can definitely trigger a cascade in the tank that kills a lot of others, especially if you don't have a lot of bristleworms or other scavengers to eat them before the bacteria catch up. There's also the possibility your tank was close to its limit with the number of fish (not sure exactly how many there were before your vacation) then adding 4, going on vacation with no filter sock changes or skimmer tuning, etc. just let to disaster.

Do you have any photos of the dead fish to diagnose? E.g. how their gills looked, skin, etc.

I'm leaning towards the ammonia spike since your corals seemed to have survived that instance and they generally are much more tolerant.

We're here to help so let us know next time you're on vacation. Cos does tank maintenance as well so I'm sure you could hire his team next time too.
Thanks for the suggestions. And thanks for the offer to help. Really appreciate all the advice.

Total fish at that time: one trigger, two tangs, 4 bimac anthias, one wrasse, two fire fish, on swallowtail angel in a 180g tank.

When I say kid, he is about 20 years old. Guess that means I am getting old. He has looked after the tank before without issues. The ATO uses RO water. I leave 5 gallon jugs around to refill the chamber and he knows how to do this.

I don't have photos of the dead fish. We could not find the bodies after being gone for two weeks so who knows what happened. I do have a lot of bristleworms, nassarius snails, a few hermit crabs, and small serpent stars. The tang that died was pale with blotchy skin (looked more like a bacterial infection than anything else). Did a skin scrape on it and could not find any parasites. I submitted the DNA test from the tank water. I even soaked the dead tang in some tank water to try and "concentrate" any parasite DNA prior to submitting the sample. Still came back all negative.

As for feedings, I showed him what and how much to feed. I came back and based on the amount of food left it did not seem excessive to me. I only used mesh filter socks to take out larger debris that might clog the pumps. These usually need changing every 5 to 7 days so this could have been a source of decomposition from food stuffs. The sump has a set of two. When I am home I rotate switching one out every 4 to 5 days. The protein skimmer works well from what I can tell. I remove the skimmate every 4 days or so, but the cup could hold about two weeks worth based on previous production. I just don't like letting it get that full prior to removing.

I have Cos on stand bye for my trips. The kid has his number in case anything goes wrong. I think he was just not too observant this time around. Has not been an issue in the past. I have received texts and phone calls before about random stuff he was not sure about.

I talked to Cos, and he wondered about an ammonia spike. In the end it remains a mystery.

For now I continue to observe them closely. Let me know if you have any other thoughts.

Gerry
 
By the way the pink goni I am going to call it "Gerry's 'You can't kill me'" goni. This thing has been through the ringer. I thought it was going to die several times and yet it keeps on growing. I got it from another BAR member maybe 2-3 years ago. It was not doing well in his tank. Probably had 5-8 heads at the time.
At one point I had it in my fish QT tank. It had shriveled up, and I thought it was going to die. I was going out of town for a week and did not want it to foul the water. I moved it into the QT tank (no meds in the tank, no lighting, no filtration, crappy water quality). It was still alive when I came back. Put it back in the main tank (waterbox 60) and then transferred it to the waterbox 180 when it was running. Prior to adding wrasses I had a huge flatworm problem. They seemed to like to swarm on this coral keeping it from expanding its polyps. Every day I had to blow them off with a turkey baster and I could see an occasional polyp bail out and float away. With the addition of the UV filter and wrasses the worms seems to be gone (at least I don't seem the on the glass, rocks, or sand anymore). Probably still there in small numbers. The other day about a 1/3rd of it was not expanding well and the polyps looked bleached (see the pic above). It lasted about a week. Don't know what happened, but now it is fully recovered again. Easily over 100 heads on this. It loves being in the current. I will post a videolink below.

Goni's are challenging. What makes the extend? In the video I have three in a row. The pink is always out. The bananrama goni loves the current and I like watching the polyps sway in the tank. The one in the middle does not like to extend beyond a 1/4in. Go figure. Goni's are without a doubt my favorite coral. I have 9 of them in the tank.


Gerry

Second the appreciation for gonies. Same here.
 
There was a case long ago on Reefcentral where someone had fish go missing. No disease and no trace. Turns out it was a bobbit worm that grew many feet in length. Bobbit worms are the thing of nightmares o_O It'd be hard to introduce one as a hitchhiker if you're not using wild live rock or sand, but something to consider given there's no other clues.

 
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