Reef nutrition

Mike's 200 & 40 gallon tanks


Staff member
Ok this seems like a good enough time for a quarterly update, it's been about 3 month since the last photos. Wife & kid left me for the weekend, so figured I'd clean up, do a water change and take a few pictures

Here's the 200g tank

So the updates on this tank, mostly bad :D
-Well after about 4 months one of the ATi t5 bulbs just stopped working, unfortunately any warranty period is only 30 days out from the seller so that sucks, no blackened ends, no burning, splashing, just stopped working. I threw another bulb in the same socket and it has been working fine.
-Alkalinity has taken a bit of a dip recently, the biggest offender kalkwasser addition. I have a kalk stirrer (Avast) however there's a microtiny leak somewhere along the base that I have not been able to fix, so I stopped using that and instead just use a "5 gallon" (Red Sea blue bucket?) container, toss in enough kalk mix it up and just dose from that. Well I go through a surprising large amount (need to refill every 4 days or so) which I'm not too worried about still well under evaporation losses, but if 4 days goes to 5 or 6 then I'm behind schedule. My latest snafu though was the end of the kalk line was caked over, not sure how many days I went without but needless to say I went from 9s to 6s, I haven't upped it yet, I figure sometime today maybe mix up some 2 part enough raise the dkH 1 part per day or so.
-Had a minor pump issue overnight where it stopped pointing the way I had it, and somehow rotated downward, sand storm galore... nearly threw the MFing pump out the window
-I think my phosphates/nitrates are creeping up a bit, hence the water change. I always planned to run this tank with a refugium as nutrient export, however I just haven't gotten around to it yet due to lack of lighting for it, hopefully soon though. I do notice a bit more brown on the rocks, not sticking away from the rocks, just like a brown coraline algae look, not happy about that, picture doesn't really show it that much though.
-I noticed some water on my stand. This is the scary one. It could be a small leak from my overflow trickled down into the bottom trim and it just kind of went under the stand from there, this is the preferred problem because I know there was a leak, just fixed it (I hope) yesterday. The other thing it may be which worries me greatly if true, are the covers I used to cover the holes on the bottom of the tank, now I used an acyrlic/glass adhesive (E6000) and I was very generous in how much I used, i.e. not just a bead around the edge), but if for whatever reason this is the problem this is a big problem because I'll have to drain the entire tank just to try and fix it, and at 200 gallons this is no small feat.
-Lost both of my Bangaii cardinals, one I lost sometime shortly after I got it, not sure where it went, the other was gone a week ago or so saw it stuck to the side of the MP60 pump. Either way, I think I'm done with that fish in this tank.

Now some good news
-Corals are growing, some more than others I'll admit. I decided not to post any coral close ups, I just can not get the colors to come out representative of what I see, so I'm not even going to bother. The "non-acro stick garden" (front left) seems to be doing the best. Although there are a few acros that are growing pretty good, you can see Green Slimmer (high and back) is growing well but that's to be expected, that's why I like that coral so much, that random blue stag I got (just to he right of the yellow tang) seems to be doing great down there too, red planet is the other one that is doing pretty good (hard to see just to the right of green slimer). Other ones are still going through that "encrusting on the frag plug" stage so growth is happening, need to get that alk and calcium back up though. I would love to take growth shot photos but I can't get the colors right, so I'm not going to bother.
-That floofy "reef bunnies" I had, is largely gone. I'm not sure if it was something alive, or literally dust and crap that settled in the tank, but either way it used to be heavy underneath rocks where it can attach to but I don't see much of it at all. Maybe I just managed to filter it out in socks. I will say though my frag QT tank, which I've just let evaporate away to almost nothing, has it in the tank. So maybe it is something alive? If it is man the salinty alone in that tank probably is like 1.06 or something crazy high as at least half the water has evaporated (no corals in there so I largely don't care).

Here's the 40g tank

Nothing big to report here, 2 clownfish, 3 chromis, soft corals and anemones, still there :) Good ol' softy tank, no water changes, additions of calcium/alk, just clean the skimmer and top it freshwater.

Here's the "rainbow" bubble tip I got. Picture is when all the whites are cranked up, so looks a bit less orange in this case.

But for reference, here's the RBTA under the same lighting

Often blues and what not make BTAs look a little more special than they are when you put them under "your lights" but these definitely are two separate coral variants.

Last but not least, Maureen's "Chocolate Acro" that she donated

When it came out of QT I decided to absolutely blast it with light by putting it high in the tank, I do currently have corals growing there so figured it'd be fine, it didn't take long for it to lighten up and then I started worrying that I might actually bleach it so put it low in the tank, literally right on the sand bed (still getting 200ish PAR) and here's where it's at today. While I won't say the brown is completely gone it's no where close to the color that it used to be which was dark brown, see up near the top of page 8 (this page?). You can see some greens, and what looks like some hints of pink. We'll see what direction it goes but I'm thinking it's worthy of permanent addition to the rock structure (aka gluing). Also I'm changing the name again from "Chocolate Acro" to "Maureen" now I'm not saying Maureen is green and pink, but who knows she might have a punk rock/raver part of her that dyes her hair that color on the weekends :)


Supporting Member
Fingers crossed the leak was the overflow. Looking good overall - I need to get a green BTA to you for your softy tank for nice contrast.


Staff member
Don't really remember seeing them eat, I figured they were slow but there was a lot of food flying past them. I mean the last one has been over 4 months, can one of these really go that long without food?


Staff member
Ok good news, I don't see any water any more. So that trickle from the overflow gasket was in fact going to the bottom of the tank and just following the tank trim to the side of the tank making my b-hole pucker, so at least for now the plug is still plugging :D

Also just noticed something, the Mystic Sunset monti has finally colored back up to "traditional" colors in my tank, now I have a huge 8" wide colony that looks like it (donation? auction? turn into 50 frags?). I wondering if it just needed to acclimate to a "less dirty" tank (sorry Gus) or maybe my nitrates/phophates have creeped back up to a point where it was happy again, I have heard of some corals not coloring up right because nitrates/phosphates were too low.


Staff member
Ok video time! I have no idea what sounds are coming through the video, not sure if there's loud pump sounds, vibrations, whatever. I have been partially deaf for about 2 weeks now due to some ear canal/sinus thing, no pain, no sick feeling, just that feeling when you're going up on a plane and your ears plug up, except I can't unplug them, yeah it sucks.

Took both of these videos during "daylight" time, so some things might be oversaturated and look bleached out (more so in the SPS tank since I also have T5s there). I took this with my phone, and there are moments I waited for it to focus and it looks like it did on the screen but now that I see the video not so much... either way. No narrations like someone wants... because well I don't know how I sounds right now. I'll maybe upload some "bluer" videos "later" but I don't know how well it'll come out on the camera phone.

Here's the 40G softy tank first, and before anyone comments, yeah I see them, yeah I dealt with them with extreme prejudice, pretty sure they came on this from the wholesaler.

And here's the 200g tank.


Staff member
I'll just say this... NOPE... cranked the white down a bunch and while it looked fine to the eye the camera just picked up fish swimming in Windex and all the colors were way out of whack. Can white balance an photo on my camera, but I don't think I have the ability to do that to video.


Staff member
I think it's just the way it swims and how it catches the light at around 1:15 I can see it go from darker to lighter. But whatever it seems healthy. Albinos tangs are super rare right? :D


Staff member
Preparing for the downfall ... no not of humanity due to virus concerns... I'm leaving for vacation for over a week potentially! And I'm a tad worried about evaporation, luckily I have a test going that will help me determine if a 20g tank is enough water for my 200g tank, including kalkwasser additions, and a 10g tank for the 40g which should be fine. Reason why I'm a bit worried is that 2 gallons/day evaporation doesn't seem outrageously high, and 3 gallons is probably not outside the realm of possibility, to be fair I could probably just do the calculations based on the return chamber of my sump...

Now I have a Tunze ATO, unfortunately the wire for the little "easy to connect" push pin dohicky snapped off, so I had to manually twist the wires together, and it seemed to work fine. Would be something I normally would repair, but I have no idea how to take that thing apart to maybe re-solder the wires to the inside, but for now it should work. The 40g tank has one of the Smart MicroATOs I think. It's been working fine though. I was thinking of getting the Tunze solenoid and just tying into my freshwater resevoir, but that is at a higher elevation (6+ feet) so unsure if that could hold against the water pressure, again I'm sure I could calculate... but I'm lazy now.

Oh well, I know the tank walls will be brown AF when I get back, but I can clean that. Just hope have no nasty issues that pop up... but if I do, I do. I'm going on vacation.


Staff member
Ok while the video was easy enough to make, and I got one more subscriber to my youtube channel up to 5 now! Do they send me one of those gold buttons at 10? :D, I feel without narration it just feels a bit flat. So being under city mandated house arrest here I took some pictures. Took some top pictures with my old Olympus camera and the underwater picture tube, camera allows me to white balance but the browns on my rock get really over emphasized, and it really doesn't take good photos from the side, my Samsung S8 though takes relatively good images through the glass, even without any white balancing but it doesn't have a macro lens so taking those super zoomy shots of things near the glass just ain't happening.

Front glass

Side glass

This was one of my favorite corals early on, the purples and greens were so vibrant... pretty sure I kind of bleached it out a bit by putting it so high, it still grows mind you, just not quite as pretty... maybe some aminos will help color it back up *shrug*

Palmer Blue millepora on the other hand just loves it up there, my plan for the frag swap was to aim for other colors of millepora (assuming anyone brought them) as I think I want to cover the top of my highest rocks with them, doesn't need to be fancy named ones either, just anything but brown :D

Here's that RR The Vinh coral, it's also high up and while the encrusting part looks kind of brown the branching parts are getting that nice purple/green color. Not sure what those white spots are though, they're more towards the middle of the tank so might be getting blasted with too much light. Doesn't look like bite marks though, i.e. AEFW which would ruin my day, the coralites along the edge are green with purple polyps just that exposed top area is bleached out a bit there. Definitely something to keep an eye on though.

Here's something I got at the MARS swap some time back called the "Thanos SPS" now all the googling in the world couldn't really find anything named that, but honestly it looks like a yellow tipped tort, which even if it was a fancy named coral kind of pushes my suspicions that many of these new corals are really not new corals they just look a different under LEDs. Either way it really hasn't grown that much, it's gotten longer but I think I need to snip off the peg on the frag plug and make it contact with the rockwork, I'm just not 100% sure I want it in this location.

This has been a rather fast growing "tort", not sure which one it was, at one point when I started people gave me this coral or that one, and I kind of forgot which was which, Miyagi tort? Cali Tort? Copps Cali Cali? Who knows

Old school corals are some of my faves, got the Walt Disney Acro that grows slower than anything ever and isn't very colorful except under blue, and then there's the Idaho Grape monti, slap it down and it grows so fast the color can't keep up with the tips. :D

Here it is from the side with my phone, the purple looks much more realistic here, except the polyps look more white than the blue that they are. Sometimes I wish I had the photographic skills of Eric Do... but then again he wasn't taking pics with his phone... or a 15 year old point and shoot digital camera :D

My encrusting monti rock, Idaho Grape is part of this structure kind of, got the Pink Sand dollar (probably not a monti), Tropic Thunder (I think) which is much more electric orange when the white lights go out, and Mystic Sunset which looks a lot more red than the picture (white balancing... go figure!)

Also a cool little rainbow monti encrusting like a champ! One of these days I'm going to snip off the square plug and donate it :D

The last top down, this is my non-acro sticks rock. ORA purple stylo, a number of orange digitata variants, green pavona (I think), another one that I noticed fell off when I took the photo

Here's from the phone (side), also is what I think is a German Blue digitata, although thinner than the pictures I've seen of it, at least it's blue :) Also under is the home to my fire shrimp.

Gus said this was a birdsnest, but it feels more like a stylophora in that it's fairly thick knobby ends and not really branches, but not a complete bush level of knobbiness. So I dunno, and I'm just going to call it a Rainbow Stylo until I know otherwise as I don't want the stigmata of having birdsnest in a tank.

Not sure what this one is, I want to say pavona, it's more orange than the picture suggests, when the white lights go out it's super orange (but good luck getting a picture with only blue LEDs on).

Here's one of the acro rocks near the front of the glass, so easy enough to get pictures, most of the corals here seem to stay colored up well, with some exceptions (Walt Disney looks bleached out but looks fine with just blue LEDs, not pictured). Green one is Lime in the Sky I think, other one is another of the Miyagi? Cali cali? who knows it's colorful I'm happy. The other is red that came from the cheapy bin at Neptune some time back, not much growth on it, but it has encrusted all over the frag plug so it may be ready to shoot off.

At the back on the tank high up on the rest of the acro structure is another old school the Green Slimer, and the other is the Red Planet,both of them growing like champs, and seem to like the high light just fine.

And this is a small section about 1/10th of the total size... I'm about to have a whole lot more snails.