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  Reef Tank Diary
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7/1/00
  • Took some more grape caulerpa to Aquarium City for store credit. 
  • The Tridacna squamosa took another dive off the rocks so I had to put it back up and corral it more securely. Fortunately it didn't smash anything on the way down. 
  • I've cut the Sinularia in two because it's grown so big that it doesn't have room to expand in anymore. Both section were already attached to rocks, so it was easy to move the cut piece to a new location without worrying about attaching it. 
7/9/00
  • Changed a little less than 5 gallons of water, and scrubbed some rocks clean of Bryopsis algae. It turned out that my Turboflotor's air intake was clogged, and no foam was being produced.
  • Cut some mushrooms off using a razor blade, because they were stinging some other corals. Put the cuttings in the propagation tray. Also discovered that one of the large black spiny brittle stars had crawled up the narrow siphon connecting the tray with the main tank, and is now living in the tray. I left it there to sift through the detritus that collects there. 
  • Used up my credit at Aquarium City and got an emerald crab, an orange Montipora capricornis frag, and some crickets for my frogs and mantids (the insects, not the reef crustaceans!). Also had a free green frilly looking sea slug thrown in. Hopefully the sea slug will be an algae eater too; it's in the propagation tray for now. 
7/10/00
  • On of the MaxiJet pumps wasn't working, so I switched it with another. Looks like it keeps getting stuck, and when it does work it makes a rattling noise so I pulled it out. I also noticed that the wave cycle had been changed from alternating to sequential, so I changed it back to alternating. That way, two opposing pumps will regularly turn on at the same time and cause lots of turbulence to sweep down the middle of the tank. 
  • The sea slug is still around, mostly hanging around the caulerpa. 
  • The Tubastrea is doing better than ever, and now all the polyps open every time I feed it. 
  • I still get some Bryopsis growing, but it doesn't seem to be as fast as before. 
7/22/00
7/29/00 to
7/30/00
  • Changed about 5 gallons of water again. Pulled out some Bryopsis
  • Bought some mixed chopped seafood at the supermarket, and minced some of it. Froze it in a thin sheet so I could break off small bits, and used that instead of commercial frozen fish food. The Tubastrea is very happy! It's also easier to keep the shrimp off the Tubastrea during feeding time when they're occupied with bits of squid.
  • Noted an interesting effect with the algae growing on the front glass. I didn't clean it off last week, and this week the diatoms cleared up on their own and were replaced by small spots of green algae. Come to think of it, the glass on the sides never have the "brown film" of diatoms. 
  • Visited Joe Kelley and took lots of pics of his corals. He gave me some decapsulated brine shrimp eggs and Golden Pearls, and I've started feeding a pinch of the mixture to the tank every day. 
8/6/00
  • I found a possible source of Tridachia crispata that might help with my Bryopsis problem. I'll have to wait until next week before I can get them though.
  • My brain coral isn't doing very well, and I'm afraid I'm going to lose it. Looks like the mushrooms growing under it are reaching up and stinging it. 
  • The Sally Lightfoot crab lost a leg, but is regrowing it. 
  • I'm seeing more and more worms in the refugium
8/13/00
  • Didn't get the Tridachia yet. Maybe next Sunday. 
  • Did a small water change, and pulled out more Bryopsis
  • The Sally Lightfoot's leg is completely regrown!
8/20/00
  • Still no Tridachia slug. Oh well. 
  • The Tubastrea is open whenever the lights are off, even though I only feed it about twice a week. I guess the rest of the time it's eating baby shrimp since the peppermints and banded coral shrimp are always carrying eggs. 
  • The Tridacna squamosa had to be moved a bit, because it looked like part of the mantle was being stung by either the yellow polyps or a purple mushroom.
8/27/00
  • Finally got the Tridachia slugs (3 of them!) from Ermin. Two of them promptly disappeared, but I can see one latched on to a patch of Bryopsis. I hope the other two are okay.
  • The T. squamosa clam sure doesn't look happy. Now the entire mantle looks sort of squished into the shell. The T. derasa seems quite happy, so I don't know what could be bothering the squamosa. 
9/3/00
  • One of the Acropora colonies started bleaching. I was hoping it was just a branch, but when the bleaching continued I ended up breaking the colony apart to try to save some of it. A couple of frags are now super-glued to different parts of the reef, including the overflow box. 
  • Changed some water again, and pulled out a bunch of Bryopsis. The Tridachia slugs are still around, and hanging on the aglae. 
  • Moved the Tridacna squamosa a bit, and it seems to be opening better for now. 
  • Thinned out the Caulerpa in the propagation tray, and took some to Aquarium City. Couldn't bring much, because much of it was going sexual and breaking up.
9/10/00
  • None of the Acropora frags that I broke off last week made it, but the base of the colony itself seems to have fought off the bleaching, and the super-glue bandage used to cover the edges of the bleached parts seems to have helped too. 
  • For some reason there didn't seem to be as much algae growth in the tank as usual, so I skipped cleaning the front glass since I could still see through it. (Or maybe I just felt too lazy to do it!) The Bryopsis certainly didn't grow as much this week. Looks like the water changes helped.
  • I did clean out the siphons that connected the propagation tray to the main tank, because it was getting clogged with algae. 
9/19/00
  • Looks like the anemone crab died, because I saw parts of it sticking out of the anemone's mouth, and I haven't seen the crab since so I'm pretty sure it wasn't the shed exoskeleton that the anemone ate. 
  • The Red Sea Xenia is spreading well now, and I scraped some off the overflow box and put the cuttings in the propagation tray. 
9/24/00
  • Took some RSX frags to Aquarium City, and got a tuxedo/royal urchin in exchange. The urchin is covered with brown star polyps so I'm risking having it sting other corals that it crawls by, but I do need the urchin to mow down some algae. 
9/26/00
  • The Tridacna squamosa finally died, and I was tempted to chop up the meat and feed it to the anemone or something, but threw it out instead. At least I still have the shell. Oddly enough the T. derasa is still doing fine, so I don't know what went wrong with the squamosa. 
  • The urchin shed it's coat of brown star polyps, which I removed and put in the propagation tray. Right now the urchin is moving around the tank and doesn't seem to be grazing on the algae very much. The Tridachia slugs are still doing fine, but not making much of a dent on the Bryopsis yet. 
  • I've started adding kalkwasser again to the tank, and I think I'll try spiking it with white vinegar as soon as I'm able to get some since everything we had in the kitchen was flavored one way or the other. 
10/24/00
  • Gee, it's been almost a month since my last entry! Actually, nothing much has happened to the tank. I think the Sally Lightfoot crab is gone, but everybody else seems to be accounted for. I just got back from a week's vacation and the tank has weathered it pretty well. The mandarin is still there, even though the tank didn't get fed for over a week!
  • Still have a lot of Bryopsis in the main tank, but it's almost gone from the refugium. I'll probably prune some out next weekend. 
11/05/00
  • It's been a week since I've cleaned the tank and pruned out the Bryopsis, and the front glass still doesn't need scraping! The Bryopsis hasn't regrown much either. The Caulerpa is still growing slowly in the propagation tray, but there isn't any Bryopsis left in there. 
  • Took some Red Sea Xenia to Aquarium City and got another tuxedo/royal urchin and five trochus snails as well as lots of credit. 
11/12/00
  • Bad news for my breen slimer Acropora; it suddenly bleached and died on Wednesday. Waaaah! It was doing so well too, going through a growth spurt. 
  • Used my credit at Aquarium City and got a bag of Instant Ocean salt and 4 emerald crabs.
  • I changed about 5 gallons of water, and repositioned some corals. Pulled out more Bryopsis too. The Tridachia slugs seem to have disappeared. I accidentally broke off a few branches of my orange Montipora digitata while cleaning the rocks; I didn't know they were so brittle. 
11/24/00
  • One of the Tridachia slugs has been found! It was in the skimmer box. Good thing I had a screen tube covering the outlet, or the slug would be lost in the sump. 
  • There seems to be much less algae growth on the glass the past two weeks, and I didn't even have to clean the glass this past weekend. The urchins have been cleaning the rocks pretty well, and the emerald crabs have made a noticeable difference too. They've cropped away the fuzzy turf algae and exposed the rock down to coralline algae growth. 
12/10/00
  • Seems like the front glass has been needing less cleaning these past few weeks too. The Bryopsis has also slowed down significantly, and the rocks have been staying free of them where they've disappeared. Oops, I forgot to mention that I've been spiking the limewater with white vinegar for several weeks now, and I really do feel that it made the difference. 
  • Seems like I'm missing some crustaceans. One of the banded coral shrimps (Stenopus hispidus) is missing today, and over the past weeks I seem to have lost the peppermint shrimp and the pistol shrimp. This was before the emerald crabs were added so I don't think it's them. I get the feeling that when I started feeding less to combat the algae, the banded coral shrimps caught and ate the peppermints, but I don't know what happened to the missing Stenopus. Kind of a bummer, they were a mated pair and it'll be hard to replace whichever sex that disappeared. I'm kind of glad the peppermints are gone though; they made feeding the Tubastrea very difficult.
  • Took some more RSX to Aquarium City, and brought home a devil's hand (Lobophytum) and a small tomato clown (I couldn't resist!).
  • The Montipora capricornis had grown so much that it was almost touching the front glass. I tried moving the colony, but it wouldn't fit anywhere so I ended up with breaking it apart. The base is in the propagation tray now, and the frags are in a new location further away from the front. 
  • I had to replace the actinic-white light with a 40-watt cool white tube. I'll see how the tank does with it. If it does fine, it'll save me a lot of money if I can use cool whites and actinics. 
12/17/00
  • Joined MASLAC on Friday and met up with some cool people at their Christmas party.
  • The tank seems to be doing fine with the cool white tube so far; no outbreak of algae and the corals seem to be growing okay. The tank looks a bit less blue than it did before, but I can get used to that. 
  • The base of the Montipora capricornis that I put in the propagation tray seems to have bleached out, probably due to being so near the lights all of a sudden. Stupid me, I didn't think of that because I forgot that the base had been shaded all the time it was in the main tank. 
  • The new Lobophytum didn't seem to be doing well, until I realized that the wavemaker had been switched somehow from the "alternate" mode to the "sequential" mode. When I switched it back, it allowed the two opposite powerheads to occasionally switch on at the same time and hit the front glass, sending a big wave of turbulence back down the center of the tank when the water streams meet. Now that the Lobophytum is getting good water motion, it seems to be doing better and the Porites growing on its base is expanding its tentacles too. 
12/25/00
  • I've removed the cover glass from the main tank to give it more light. It's probably something I should have done a long time ago, but I was always afraid that something would fall in or a fish would jump out. I'll still use the covers if I ever add more fish or shrimp, until they've settled in. As for stuff falling in, I think I've just been a bit paranoid about it!
  • I moved the frogspawn coral (Euphyllia divisa) to a new location because it was extending enough to sting some other corals. I had to move a mushroom rock higher up to make room for it, but the mushrooms (Ricordea sp.) seem to be responding well to more light.
  • Trimmed some of the Xenia back from the side glass and the overflow box, and also from the Tridacna's shell. Also moved the Tridacna to a brighter spot.
  • One of the sea urchins somehow managed to separate the tube from the pump that feeds the propagation tray and the refugium box.  When I discovered it the water in the refugium was quite cold, but things were still okay. The propagation tray didn't cool down as much, probably because it holds much more water and it is also connected to the main tank with siphons. 
12/31/00 to
1/1/00
  • I put one of the glass covers back on because the water currents are causing some splashing to reach the lights over the front of the tank.
  • Took some more RSX to Aquarium City and used to credit to get some frags. I got a purple Montipora digitata and I'm also giving a couple of Acropora frags a shot. 
  • Looks like one of the sea urchins fell off the rocks or glass, and got stuck to the anemone. It got eaten.

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