Hornberson Reef - DSA 90 gallon mixed reef

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

  1. Kmooresf

    Kmooresf Supporting Member

    Awesome set up!! Love it. I look forward to the tank tour to check it out. You covered a LOT of details.......very well thought out. That should make it much easier in the long run. I also love the Kole tang...........I want to put one in my frag tank. Nice job.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Alex Uribe and wpeterson like this.
  2. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    Thanks for the kind words. Seeing your tank on the tour was inspiring! I hope things have been going well.

    I hope we get to come back and check out your tank again. We've also got a lot of real estate to fill if you have any frags to find homes for.
    Kmooresf likes this.
  3. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    Thank you for the ideas. Warren Gibbons spoke to the Boston Reef Society about failure in the hobby and the importance of being public with our failures and mistakes to make sure we learn from them and the larger community benefits. I do my best to live up to that.

    With larger volumes of saltwater being mixed, measuring salt by weight seems like a great idea. Also, having the parameters and formula for making a full bucket of saltwater should be totally repeatable and simple.

    Smaller water changes definitely mitigates risk of errors and swings in tank parameters. I weigh the trade off in better nutrient export in a larger change and the fixed cost of doing a water change (same effort for 10-25 gallons on my part).

    We've been meticulous about drip acclimating creatures coming into our tank, I should be equally as meticulous about matching parameters in water changes and double checking the fundamentals. We have a new baby at home, so reef maintenance often gets broken up into smaller pieces which allows more room for error/inconsistency.
    denzil likes this.
  4. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    I added a second media reactor tonight to run GFO in addition to the carbon in the first reactor.

    They're running in series, with an MJ1200 pump => Carbon => GFO.

  5. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    Our Kole Tang is getting more comfortable and less shy. Originally, he would only eat nori if it was attached to a rock inside of a cave. For a week he's been eating nori off of a veggie clip on the glass. Tonight, he ate some of the brine shrimp I fed the carnivores. I'm hoping he'll take more meat in addition to the Nori so he'll put on more weight. He's also been swimming in the open water with our Bengai Cardinal more often.

    Last week we added a Tanaka's wrasse, but she's too cryptic to get a good photo so far. She's been eating cyclopeeze and mysis and getting along well with our tang.

    Water params have remained stable despite slowly adding livestock other than the brief salinity shock last weekend. The snails are reproducing and I've found 2-3 stomatella juveniles in the display and the sump.

    The highest level rockwork has been growing some red cyanobacteria or other nuisance algae over the last 12 hours, I installed the GFO reactor and cut back our light cycle a bit to see if it helps. I cut the flow from both Vortechs to 50% yesterday, this may be partially responsible.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
  6. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    Our Mandarin has been eating like a pig and I'm glad we were able to provide him enough live pods. He was underweight and I could see some of his skeleton when we first brought him home, but he's put on a lot of weight since then and looks happy. He seems to take cyclopeeze as a supplemental food as well, which we've been feeding him and our Tanaka's Wrasse:


    We've recently added a trio of Zebra Barred Dartfish to our tank. We hope they will be more open water swimmers to provide color and movement to the top half of the water column.


    Apologies for the crappy cell phot picture vs. the actinics, but the colors are quite nice in person.

  7. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    We've had a rough few days.

    The Tanaka's Wrasse we added a week ago, died of an apparent cryptocarrion infection on Sunday night. The infection has spread to the rest of the tank. All of the water parameters are good, but an outbreak in a captive system is never easy.

    Our Kole Tang died yesterday of cryptocarrion while I was at work. He was probably my favorite fish.

    After being hands off and trying to feed good food and keep the parameters solid to ride this out, we began treating fish last night. I dipped a few of the fish we were able to catch in a ParaGuard solution.

    I'm hoping to try to setup a hospital tank tonight after work and move as many of the fish out as possible.
  8. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Supporting Member

    I am so sorry to hear about the deaths to the fish and I as many here have gone threw this and hope you can get a handle on it and the others get better.:(
    wpeterson likes this.
  9. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Fishless tank for several weeks to deny parasites a host
    Sorry to hear of the losses
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  10. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I don't think we could have prevented this without QTing fish. We've gotten by for the last few years without QT, but I guess it catches up with you.

    We don't have room to run a QT or hospital tank anywhere, but I'm going to have to try to make some temporary space for a hospital tank. Hoping to set this up tonight.
  11. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Supporting Member

    I am in the same boat as not having a QT tank, but all the talk on the forums about red bugs and all the other pest I am going to try to find something also....
    wpeterson likes this.
  12. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Suggest you try the tank-transfer method on new fish.
    All you need is a couple of buckets.
    I started using it for my latest sick fish. It seems to work well and is very simple.
    wpeterson likes this.
  13. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    We do dip with ParaGuard many of our fish coming in to the tank. The patient zero wrasse in this case was from LiveAquaria and showed shipping stress, so we opted to acclimate and put him in the tank directly. Now we're paying for it.
  14. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Sorry for your losses. Hope this is the end of your run of bad luck for this tank.

    I second the TT method for Ich. If you are sure it is Ich, catch the fish and put them in a 5G bucket.

    From your thread you have three dartfish, two clowns, a mandy and a Bangaii cardnal. Seems like that might be a crowd for a 5G bucket but you gotta do what...

    I'm not sure Paraguard is a great med for Ich. Cupramine works but can be deadly for the fish. Chlorquine phosphate is also effective with the added plus of working on Velvet and Brook. Since you have a small child in the house, I'd just use TT.

    From discussions on Reef Central, the recommended fallow time for the DT is 72 days! Since this is such a LONG time, perhaps you could find a temporary home for the fish after TT?

    Good luck. Hope the remaining fish make it!
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  15. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    For a lot of fish, you could buy a big Brute trash barrel or two.

    But once it is infested in the main tank .... sadly not a lot of options are that practical.
    It happened to me as well. I was doing QT, but I had to go on vacation, and the fish
    looked fine .... :oops:

    wpeterson likes this.
  16. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    Darn sorry to hear about the losses. I'm sure we can all relate.
    wpeterson likes this.
  17. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    Sorry to hear about the ich. Been there. I have a 20 gallon long hospital tank, filter, heater and some chloroquine phosphate if you decide you want to go that route. You can borrow it for as long as needed. Should comfortably house all your fish.
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  18. Prisonfood53

    Prisonfood53 Guest

    Also sorry to hear about losing some of your fish I lost mine only 4 months in and almost quit my tank. I too have a 20 gallon you can have if you like. Sorry no extra heaters though. I'm in San Mateo.

    Oh and I have done the TT since Mike told me about it and it's really easy. So far so good.

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  19. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    I'm skeptical about catching our mandarin without removing all the rockwork in the tank and concerned about his ability to eat in a QT. He's looking better today than yesterday. I dipped the clowns again tonight and they seem to be improving. The benggai cardinal and the zebras show no visible symptoms.

    I've been dosing food with selcon to try and give everyone a bit more nutrition.

    I setup a 12X TurboTwist (36w) UV with an MJ1200. The plumbing is ugly but at 300gph it should be able to kill cryptocaryon theronts in the water column and treat the total water volume 2.5x per hour. I know this won't remove the infection from the system, but I hope it will reduce the re-infection of the fish as they recover.


    I haven't setup a UV before, but I might try to mount it horizontally above the sump instead of vertically next to the sump as it is now. The smallest adapters were 3/4" ID nipples, so I did some weird reduction to the 1/2 ID MJ1200 output. The hacky plumbing prevented me from installing it until an emergency like this, but now I wish I'd set it up last weekend.
  20. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    Thank you! I'm hoping to find a 40 breeder at $1/gallon sale or something to serve as a more permanent QT and hospital tank, I think we can make some space. If things continue getting worse I may be in touch. I really appreciate the offer of help - reminds me how glad I am to be in a community of folks when things go wrong.

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