License to krill

Squist's RSR 250

Alexx

Supporting Member
Man you gotta wait a little more. Plus you added the fish to fast I think. And you have like 7 fishes. It will take time for the system to stabilize... It took me like 8 months and is still not stable I think.
 

Rostato

Supporting Member
I’m at like 15% monthly to no-monthly now. Tank is 19 months old and rocks are almost 4 years old.


I plan to do an ICP text if I can find a Black Friday deal and see where everything is.
 

Squist

Supporting Member
Alright... maintaining patience and parameters while improving practices.

On the upside—more visible coralline!

The little things. Sigh.
 

Squist

Supporting Member
Six Month Mark - December 30, 2019 Update

Since my last update, I've been busy:
  • wrapping the tank for a few days mid-November to try to squash diatoms (diatoms won, but it helped),
  • eliminating all red and green spectrum from my lighting,
  • decreasing lighting intensity from 30% to 25%,
  • getting a real measurement of phosphate with a Hanna ULR phosphorus meter,
  • increasing daily water change from 3 liters to 4, (started last week),
  • vacuuming sand on a weekly basis (started last month),
  • changing filter socks 2x a week (starting this week),
  • adding CUC; 6 more snails (mid-Dec).
I've also come to understand that I have been underfeeding the tank--my corals have all retracted. My overreaction to trying to get an upper hand on diatoms and my not being sure about my PO4 level.


Here's the light's spectrum settings prior to adjustment. For now, R and G = 0.

Squist's RSR 250 Light Spectrm 201911.png


Here's the tank wrapped and topped. Did this for 4 days.

IMG_6539.jpg


Here's a recent photo of the rock pillar and sand. Dec 28.

IMG_6540.jpg


IMG_6541.jpg



December 28, 2019
Salinity: 35 ppt
Temp: 78
Alk: 7
Ca: 490
Mg: 1440
NO3: 4
PO4: 0.1 *
pH: 8.0
TDS: 0

* Picked-up a Hanna ULR Phosphorus meter. Nice to know phosphate accurately. Target: 0.03. Increased water changes and filter sock replacement to get this in balance, while increasing feeding (ReefRoids, target feeding 2x a week.)
 

Squist

Supporting Member
Watch that alk!
Thanks. Yes. A month or so ago I cut my Part A-B back to 9 ml a day (3 x 3 ml doses, ea.) I’m ATOing with kalkwasser and thought, with an empty tank, I was adding it unnecessarily. Alk fell to 6 while I took my eye off of water tests for a few weeks pre-holiday. (Bored looking at ugly tank for moment.)

I bumped A-B back to 15 ml/day and Alk increased from 6 to 7 in the week. Anticipating similar increase this week. Then maybe increase to 20 ml/day next week to kick off the new year and month 7.

With little-to-no coral load, in a 250 liter system, what do you recommend?
 

Squist

Supporting Member
I'm convinced I need to shift my attention to dinoflagellates. Here's a close-up of my sand bed recorded using a USB microscope I picked up. (Thanks @MolaMola for the loaner offer! Suspecting yours will get me quite a bit closer to what I'm looking at.)


After reading Dinoflagellates – Are You Tired Of Battling Altogether? and Dinoflagellates in the marine aquarium. What are they and how to combat them? I need to shift gears.

I'll be reading more about this. Suggestions for remedy are welcomed!

I have all the factors for dinos: new tank (7 mos.), nutrient starved and alkalinity low (NO3: 3-4 ppm, PO4: 0.04, Alk: 7 though I am working to raise alk; parameters as of 1/5/2020).
 
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Chromis

Supporting Member
My observation is Dino invasions are a result of poor bacterial/microfauna diversity, and unstable bacteria populations. Has nothing to do with “nutrient levels” but on stability of nutrient import&export since this is what stabilizes the bacteria/fauna populations allowing them to flourish. A lot of people use antibiotics (like chemiclean) and then wonder why they get Dino’s right afterward (because their microfauna diversity was reduced by antibiotics). Dinos seem to have become an issue since people have been starting tanks without wild or curated live rock from a healthy tank (instead using bacteria in a bottle).
 

Squist

Supporting Member
My observation is Dino invasions are a result of poor bacterial/microfauna diversity, and unstable bacteria populations. Has nothing to do with “nutrient levels” but on stability of nutrient import&export since this is what stabilizes the bacteria/fauna populations allowing them to flourish. A lot of people use antibiotics (like chemiclean) and then wonder why they get Dino’s right afterward (because their microfauna diversity was reduced by antibiotics). Dinos seem to have become an issue since people have been starting tanks without wild or curated live rock from a healthy tank (instead using bacteria in a bottle).
I agree. A prior tank, years ago, started off with live shipped wild rock. It was a smelly cycling mess initially.

This tank started from a bottle and dry rock. I was happy at the time from an eco-perspective. Now I’m sorting through how to boost bacterial/microfauna diversity.

I’ve received suggestions to “be patient.“ “Feed it.” Because of the lack of biodiversity. For feeding, I’m concerned of a seesaw from feeding too much. I feed what the fish will eat in a few mins plus a bit of target-fed ReefRoids couple times a week. PO4 and NO3 are good for an established tank. This one isn’t yet.

Wondering what your and other BAR member’s thoughts are of seeding the tank with diversity? In particular IPSF’s approach (below) or do members share from their own tanks with one another rocks and muck to provide a boost? [cross-link for anyone interested]


I have been adding phytoplankton and a couple jars over the last 4 months of AlgaeBarn copepods. But that’s it in terms of “seeding”.

Also — I’m considering turning off my skimmer. And I have stopped (Jan 5th) my auto water changes (4 liters a day; smidge more than 10% a week.) Thinking the tank is just too void of anything that helps biologically.

Lastly, I’m also going to bump up my pH (it’s at 8.1 avg currently, with limited CO2 scrubbing media). Going to increase the volume of media with a larger reactor.

Thanks for your comments. Totally agree as I’ve come to better understand these dino buggers. Just hoping to find a solid way to give this little engine a bio boost.

(Topic continues over here: BAR Bio-Transplants? )
 
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Squist

Supporting Member
Starting to have fun again! And going into month 10. (Maybe that's why.) Here's a photo update.

SQUIST_001_20200226.jpg

It's starting to take shape! The plan: assorted SPS on the top crown, zoa garden down the column, euphillia, shrooms, and softies off to the right. An anemone and a clam somewhere in here.

SQUIST_002_20200226.jpg

There's the emerald crab I added months ago. See em lower front in the nook? Anyone need one let me know and he's yours. He helped wipeout a bloom of bubble.

SQUIST_003_20200226.jpg

I've been chipping away on getting an upper hand on the uglies and what I suspect are dinos. Here's the thread on that chapter. Sand looks really good and the rocks are clear of it. It's been a week since I last vacuumed the sand and no visible streaks or stripes of beige. As recently as two weeks ago I had been vacuuming 2x a week. I'll have a separate update soon on what I ended up doing which included a 25W UV sterilizer at 500 GPH, 24x7.

SQUIST_004_20200226.JPG

A nice cutting of neon green digitata from @Rostato added 2/23. Thanks!

SQUIST_005_20200226.jpg

Some bubble gum digi from @Solitaryensis added 2/9. Thanks again!

SQUIST_006_20200226.jpg

Big frag rack.

SQUIST_007_20200226.jpg

Neon green digitata added 2/23/20

SQUIST_008_20200226.JPG

A nice cutting of @Rostato 's purple stylophora added 2/23/20.

SQUIST_009_20200226.jpg

A small hammer, elegance (both added many months ago--they suffered, pulled through, and are looking good again), and a fav of mine--neon green nepthea--cut from @Solitaryensis and added 2/9.
 
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Squist

Supporting Member
What has helped the most? The aquascape. I have total and easy access to entirely vacuum the sand. Takes all but 15 mins and into a filter sock. This gave me the advantage of staying on top of its critical mass.

Second: increased water flow. I hadn’t realized that my pumps weren’t running at 100%. Maybe 60%. Cranking them up with the simple turn of a knob helped clear the rock and suspend dinos in the water column. I basted regularly in nooks and crannies too (which I had done all along but the flow has helped.)

These easily observable factors I think were most important, allowing the “invisible” ones to make their impact. And these Invisible factors, naturally, will be up for debate: #3. UV, #4. Rowaphos, #5. filter sock removal, #6. Vibrant injections into sand, #7. ZEObak Microorganism Solution, #8. Coral Snow - Korallen-Zucht, #9. feeding increased with addition of phytoplankton. [Edited 2/27; added the list #3-#9 of the other changes I’ve made.]

I’m working on a report of what I did with a timeline from my journal, scope photos, and will post ASAP.
 
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sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
I like your ability to take decent pictures in obviously very blue lighting. Things don't look super washed out or anything.
 
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