Hornberson Reef - DSA 90 gallon mixed reef

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by wpeterson, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    Don't sweat it, I should have upgraded the containers before we left but I'm always reluctant to make any changes so soon before a trip.

    I have tons of Hollywood Stunner, monti caps, and some tri-color acropora. I'll give whole colonies of the stunner away if anyone wants them. I have some nice big pieces of the others I can frag off.
     
    Nav likes this.
  2. MolaMola

    MolaMola Supporting Member

    Wow - your tank has only been up for a bit over a year?! Very cool. Awesome growth. Glad to hear your tank could get along well enough without you; good to have a life as well as a great tank. Your trip sounds fantastic, by the way!
    If you can wait a bit, my school would love some frags. We were going to add a bunch of corals last week but over vacation something happened that my nitrates skyrocketed, likely death of gorgonian or small anemone. Everything looks fine but nitrates are too high. In the process of water changing to lower. If you need to make room sooner rather than later, no problem!
     
    wpeterson likes this.
  3. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    I PMed you. Happy to give you one of the Hollywood Stunner colonies if you pick it up.
     
  4. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    The Mandarins continue spawning about once a month. I caught them doing their dance tonight after lights out, around 11:15pm despite hassles from the currents, shrimps, and cardinal fish eager to eat their spawn.

    I tried to capture a few cell phone videos, but low light and blue moonlights make for horrible viewing. I'm glad they're not discouraged.
     
  5. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    Which kind of mandarins do you have?
     
  6. Tskiller

    Tskiller Guest

    What are your Nitrate levels at right now? How far did you let them climb? I've been sitting at undetectable Nitrate for a couple months and I feel it might be contributing towards slower growth and less vibrant colors. I'm thinking about cutting my carbon dosing, or even dosing nitrates if they don't climb up on their own. I think I'm stripping all/most of the nutrients from my column.

    Do you feed your corals anything, or just rely on fish poop?
     
    Enderturtle likes this.
  7. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    They are green mandarins, the most common ones you see. They've been a breeding pair for about 7 months now. They initially only ate live copepods, which live in our tank/sump until they eat them all. We replenish more live copepods every month or two. Now they also eat frozen zooplankton and brine shrimp, so I've been replenishing the copepods less frequently.

    I wish I had an accurate low-level Nitrate test, but I use the crappy API test kits which have been undetectable since I finished my initial tank cycle. I'll check the levels again tonight.

    I use the Hanna ULR phosphorous checker on the Phosphate, which provides a nice range of measurements. I wish they made a Nitrate checker.

    I feed refrigerated, live phytoplankton a few times a week. We feed fish micropellets on an auto-feeder three times a day and frozen brine shrimp and zooplankton once a day. I target feed micro pellets to soft corals and LPS once or twice a month.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  8. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    I've done some aggressive fragging the last week or two: gave away and fragged 2/3 of the hollywood stunner colonies (one of them was growing right up against the glass so I couldn't scrape without breaking off pieces), and trimmed the purple/green montis that grow the most aggressively. All of the frags should end up back in the club on DBTC.

    I setup new 5L BRS dosing containers, replacing the 2L glass jugs I was using before. I'm dosing about 260ml of Alk/Calc each per day, so I was emptying the reservoirs every 5-6 days. Hopefully, we're at 10-14 days of dosing now for a vacation.

    The tank is doing well, but I'd love to see some improvements in polyp extension and coloration. I think the tang and flame angel pick at corals enough to discourage full PE like I saw before they were in the tank. I'm continuing the experiment running our carbon/GFO 50% of the time to allow a bit more nutrients in the water to encourage some better coloration.

    I finally mailed our sneakers-in-the-dryer MP40 back to Ecotech, since it's near the end of it's 1 year warranty (even though I only opened the box 2-3 months ago). Looking forward to getting the wet-side replaced or something else on the RMA. I'm sad to only have one MP40 driving flow in a single direction in the tank, but hopefully I'll have the second unit back in the tank in a few weeks.
     
  9. Newjack

    Newjack Supporting Member

    wholly cow 260ml of dosing daily. Your tank is sucking down some additives. ( I guess a "good" thing right). That must mean your corals are growing and using all that up. :D
    Winfield, I've got plenty of spare powerheads/ wave makers sitting around if need to borrow one till your MP40 returns.
     
    wpeterson likes this.
  10. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    Thanks for the offer on the pumps. I'll gladly take a loaner MP40 for a few weeks if someone has one, but otherwise don't sweat it.

    I'm using the RHF Two Part #2 dosing recipe, which is much less concentrated than some dosing regimes (just baking soda and calcium chloride).
     
  11. Newjack

    Newjack Supporting Member

    I got a few MP10's
    just run em on high :eek:
     
    wpeterson likes this.
  12. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    The new 5L BRS dosing reservoirs have been awesome, they are more than half full after a week of dosing which makes me less nervous about keeping them full. They do take up a lot of room in my cabinet and you can't see the sump as well :-/

    I was running our carbon/GFO reactors for 12 hours on/12 hours off for a month or so as an experiment in higher nutrients. However, I realized there might be a risk of leaving them anoxic without flow for 12 hours every day. I don't want any hydrogen sulfide in the tank. I replaced all of the carbon/GFO media today and I'm going to run half as much GFO and a lot of carbon, I'm curious to see how the tank does with higher levels of Phosphate and if I'll get better coloration out of the corals.

    As of Dec, my Phosphate levels were 0.02-0.03 - very low. I've been letting them slowly come up over the last month or two. Reading 0.05 today:

    [​IMG]

    I'm curious to see how the tank does at a higher level like 0.09 or so. I think anything under 0.10 will be low enough to prevent nuisance algae, but I guess we'll see.

    The MJ1200 on my reactors is all wonky and had to be replaced. When I started it back up today it was vibrating like crazy. It may just need a vinegar bath, but I swapped in a new one.
     
    jonmos75 likes this.
  13. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    What are you using to do the phosphate graph?

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
  14. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Guest

    In Fusion you can manual enter your test measurements (icon looks like a beaker) and then Fusion can graph it out for you to compare against other outlets, probes or other test measurements
     
  15. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    Hmm sounds like I really need a Fusion.... Or this is just another ploy for me to justify getting one at least.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
  16. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Guest

    Fusion is FREE with an Apex system...lol ;)
     
    tygunn likes this.
  17. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    I've been learning more about our Canon DSLR and playing with a short 24mm macro lens and an orange filter for our kit lens. Here are some pictures from the last month I just downloaded:

    Full tank shot today, you'll notice giant stunner colony is 90% fragged away (front/center):
    [​IMG]

    Red Rockflower Anemone has more than doubled in size and begun stinging acans:/ Put up a rock barrier to keep them apart.
    [​IMG]

    Our flame angel is a beautiful fish, but I wish he didn't pick at the corals:
    [​IMG]

    Despite gettting stung, the rainbow acans are doing well:
    [​IMG]

    All of the monti caps are growing like crazy, I wish they looked as good from the front as they do top down:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The cleaner shrimp is very curious about the pumps being off for the shoot, he's out and investigating:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Nav likes this.
  18. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Guest

    Looks Great!!!
     
    wpeterson likes this.
  19. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    I saw your flame angel and was curious how he did with the coral. Does he prefer certain ones or types?

    The smaller focal length macros can be hard to work with since you need to get so close to fill the frame. At least it allows you to focus close up though. It was pretty amazing how well that orange filter worked. I bought one because of that class but haven't had a chance to use it yet.
     
    wpeterson likes this.
  20. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    I do my best to keep him well fed and he seems pretty fat, but it won't stop him from nipping on SPS polyps at the middle of the tank around the edges. Sadly, the green candle-light acro appears to be his drive-through meal of choice from the CA Reef Co growout contest. This coral had 3x the polyp extension before he was in the tank :-/

    He's been a great fish, but I would think twice before adding one to a reef tank this size again (if I had a 120-200 I would chance it).
     

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