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Aquarium Log

2003/9/24Received live rock. Rinsed it, and added to tank.
2003/9/28Ammonia tests off the scale.
2003/10/5Did 50% water change. Ammonia tests lower.
2003/10/12Did 50% water change. Ammonia still tests lower.
2003/10/13Ammonia tests zero. Nitrite tests high (about 2ppm).
2003/10/16Nitrite tests zero. Starting to see micro algae growth in the tank.
2003/10/18Did a 5 gal water change, added a bag of fine reef sand and re-arranmged the live rock. In spite of attempting to wash the sand well, the water turns milky-white for more than 12 hours Sand is about 1.5 inches deep.
2003/10/19Added a "cleanup crew": 15 astrea snails, 15 tiny blue-legged hermit crabs, and 6 red-legged hermit crabs.
2003/10/25Added a six-line wrasse "Graham" and a pair of banggai cardinals. There's finally some activity in the tank.
2003/10/26One of the cardinals was dead this morning. No visible trauma. He looked fine last night, the other two fish are fine, as is the water chemistry. No idea why this fish failed to acclimate to the tank. The remaining banggai cardinal has been named Ratzinger.
2003/10/29Added a tiger (pistol) shrimp "Bunsen Honeydew" and yellow watchman goby "Beaker" pair. The shrimp has quickly settled in, but the goby disappeared into the rocks.
2003/10/30Received IPSF package. Added wondermud (live sand innoculation), surf clams, strombus grazers, mini brittle stars, amphipods, anthelia, an acro frag, and red algae.
2003/10/31Got my refractometer today. Discovered that my salinity was quite high, around 1.032. Lowered it to about 1.027 over the course of about 15 minutes (probably too quickly), but the anthelia definately looks happier now. Also, the Beaker is now living with Bunsen.
2003/11/2Now automatically topping off evaporation with kalkwasser. pH has been rising a bit, ORP has fallen more. Also fed the corals with IPSF Coral Heaven. All four (pocillopora, zooanthids, anthelia, mushroom) responded.
2003/11/13Ratzinger (the Banghai cardinal) died. I was on vacation at the time, and the person caring for the tank only noticed him missing, so I have no idea what happened.
2003/11/22Added a bubble-tip anemone, a maroon clown (who lives in the anemone), and another pocilapora frag. The first frag is not doing well, but it was nearly completly white when I received it. A couple of the lower branches still put out polyps, but the rest appears to be dead.
2003/11/29Added a 3-inch crocea clam, "Happy". Also moved the 2nd pocillipora frag and mushroom.
2003/12/03Added 3 peppermint shrimp and an acropora frag.
2003/12/04Added a cup coral (Turbinaria peltata) and a bi-color blennie.
2003/12/07Testing: temp=77.7 F, pH=8.29, ORP=265 mv, S.G.=1.027, N03=2ppm, P04<0.2ppm, Alkalinity=3.9meq/L, Ca+=550ppm
2003/12/09Pocillopora is not opening its polyps.
2003/12/14Added orange Montipora digitata
2003/12/21Haven't seen peppermint shrimp in a while. May have all been eaten. Strombus snail eggs seem to be dying before hatching. Turn fuzzy white (bacterial or fungal infection likely).
2003/12/27Installed SCWD on return from sump in place of single return. Turbinaria and anemone seem very happy with this change. Can't tell about the anthelia.
2003/12/28Picked up rock with 11 Indo Ricorda polyps (green/orange).
2003/12/30Added candy cane coral (Caulastrea) with 16 polyps. Late at night, saw hundreds or larvae swimming around. Under microscope appear to be Lysmata (i.e. peppermint shrimp). Continue seeing them on successive nights, fewer in number, but growing larger.
2004/1/1A couple of the ricordia have let go of their rock. They don't seem to be very happy where they are. Also, saw polyps open on the pocilapora, so it is not dead, just bleached.
2004/1/2A ricordia polyp landed on the tubastrea, which was visibly stressed. After removing the ric, 3 of the tubastrea polyps no longer open, and that area is turning white.
2004/1/16Another ricordia polyp landed on the tubastrea. The entire colonly wasn't stressed this time, but a few polyps are damaged. The previous damage is mostly healed.
2004/1/16Purchased 3 lettuce nudibranchs and a fungia coral.
2004/1/20The lettuce nudibranchs ate the little bit of long turf algae I had, but are ignoring the ulva. Time to trade them away before they starve.
2004/1/23Caught the bi-color blennie biting the clam. Time to get rid of this one. Health check: orange M. digitata shows 1/4 inch growth in 6 weeks! Fungia infalates well. Tubinaria has grown new polyps, looks happy. Several ricordia have let go of rock and I haven't been able to get them to settle elsewhere. The remaining ricordia look happy. Acro frag has very little polyp extension and has gotten paler, but no tissue loss. Candycane looks good, largely unchanged. Bird's nest frag still has some polyp extension at night, though it is very pale and has some tissue loss from the base (blennie has been harassing it. The anthelia continues to spread. We lost a surf clam this week (found with the shell gaping and someone had eaten most of the flesh). The zoo rock is largely unchanged. The BTA has grown, and is certainly large enough for two clowns. It seldom inflates its tentacles. The clown has grown, and the gold is starting to come in on his stripes. Time to find a mate. The pistol shrimp lost a claw a while back, but it has come back with a molt in the meantime. Only a very few visible baby strombus snails; the six-line wrasse eats the eggs before they can hatch.
2004/1/24Added lawnmower blennie. Haven't been able to catch the bi-color yet.
2004/1/30Two of the nudibranchs went through a powerhead today. Bits of shredded nudibranch throughout the tank. Interestingly, the bits with the head are still alive. Looks like they may be able to regenerate.
2004/1/31Gave away the remaining full nudibranch to Scott Merril. Received a Montipora capricornis with purple edge from Gumhead, and a rosetta hammer from Howard Handel. Moved ricordia rock to a low part of tank so that they will quit dropping off and stinging the tubinaria.
2004/2/2Added 2 groups of pulsing Xenia from Joe Fitz.
2004/2/4Replaced failed SCWD so that both returns are now working again. Also got auto evaporation top-off working again.
2004/2/8Added an oxypora.
2004/2/12Added a couple of clumps of pulsing xenia.
2004/3/1The six line wrasse has swollen gills and is hiding in the rocks. Don't know what he has. Definately lots of baby strombus snails on the glass. Haven't seen the nudibranchs in a while.
2004/3/8Can't find the six line wrasse anywhere, and the anemone looks satiated. I think he's been eaten. Clam is also just about dead. Everyone else looks fine.
2004/3/11Raised temperature to 78 (from 77).
2004/3/14Added a second maroon clown (about 2/3 the size of Krusty) and a fire shrimp.
2004/3/14Finally removed the bi-color blennie from the tank. He was watching the two clowns meet from the trap, and I managed to use it to pull him out. Relocated to Jody's office.
2004/3/28Put new lighting on tank: Aqua Medic Oceanlight 250W HQI 10K pendant. Starting with 4 hours of light, lamp about 3 feet above the tank, 2 layers of screening. The new clown is occasionally in the anemone now, though Krusy still isn't too accepting of him.
2004/4/2Added 2 peppermint shrimp to the tank. Hopefully these will do better. Also, the new clown is finally co-habitating the anemone with Krusty. Looks like the lawnmower blennie has died. I don't think it was eating much of anything, and had been looking very thin. Can't find a body, but there are lots of scavengers in here.
2004/4/10Added an orchid dottyback, Pseudochromis fridmani, to the tank.
2004/4/11The crocea clam has died. It had started a comeback with more light on the tank, but the anemone landed on top of it, and that seems to have done it in.
2004/4/12Livestock check: both maroon clowns look healthy. The smaller one is thin, but is eating. The watchman goby was seen yesterday for the first time in a while. He looked OK, but was being strangely shy. The orchid dottyback is sometimes visible now, and is eating a little, though he's also harassed by the larger clown. All 4 shrimp seem to be OK. The blood shrimp molted about a week ago, and both peppermints molted this week. The tiger pistol has moved back to the front of the tank, though his goby seems to be staying somewhere in the back. The anemone is large, dark, and starting to show some bubble-tips again. The plate coral and candy cane seem happy, though show no obvious signs of growth. The branching hammer extends well and now has split to two mouths. The oxypora seems more vibrant, but hasn't noticibly grown. The red mushroom is still with us and has split off a child. The orange digitata and purple-rimmed cap have both grown considerably. The pocilopora always has its polyps extended and is getting some pink, but doesn't really show growth. The acro frag was extending polyps, but the anemone brushed against it and it hasn't done much the last few days (but has some color). The anthelia is still being trimmed by the clowns, and a couple of additional patches are growing. The xenia is happy and splitting. The turbinaria has healed past wounds and is extending polyps well. The zoos look happy and are spreading up the fact of the rock. And we're being overrun with baby strombus snails.
2004/4/17Water testing: Nitrate: 2.5ppm, Calcium 877 ppm!, Alkalinity 2.3 meq/L. Not sure I believe these numbers, will re-test.
2004/4/18Confirmed tests. Will be raising alkalinity with Kent superbuffer, and using water changes to bring down the calcium some. Saw the watchman goby today for the first time in weeks, though he wasn't looking well.
2004/4/22Received new frags from Reefrancher. Green montipora capricornis, Purple plating monti (probably Montipora monasteriata), purple tipped acro each epoxied to small rocks. Moved oxypora & branching hammer down to make room for them. Also added green palythoa polyps, pink zooanthids, and orange zooanthids. And a bunch of tiny brittle stars. Tank is getting warm (peaked at 83 today). Baby strombus snails everywhere.
2004/4/23Alkalinity 2.9 meq/L. Need to keep raising this.
2004/5/05Alkalinity 3.0 meq/L. Calcium 774 ppm. Need to continue raising alkalinity while not adding calcium. Main sump pump (Rio 1200 froze up. Soaking in vinegar to remove calcium deposits. ORP is way down (346mv) but don't know why.
2004/5/10Many creatures are not looking great. Anemone has been deflated for a couple of days, maybe it's getting ready to split? And a peppermint shrimp wandered into the anemone, was stunned, and now seems to be dying (but not getting eaten by the anemone).
2004/5/11There's definately something wrong. I've lost a couple of astrea snails, the blood shrimp is looking unhappy, the anemone seems to be dying, the candy cane coral is not opening. Tested the salinity high at about 1.028, bringing it down over a couple of hours. Added carbon to the sump. Cut out most of the large red seaweed which was starting to disinterate. Prepping for a large water change.
2004/5/16After a 60% water change and running carbon for a few days, things are looking a little better.
2004/5/18We're definately past this. Most of the surviving creatures are looking well again. The zoos are a bit slow to reopen, as is the bird's nest. The skimmer is collecting a lot!
2004/5/22Bought more cleanup crew: 4 Mexican turbo snails, 5 astrea snails, 5 nacissus snails, 2 small hermits, 3 misc snails (should have been 5 hermits, but the clerk grabbed the wrong creatures and I didn't notice at the store).
2004/5/22Livestock check: all fish look healthy (2 maroon clowns and orchid dottyback), haven't seen the watchman goby in a long time, presumed dead. Blood shrimp seems to have recovered completely following a molt. No sign of peppermint shrimps or tiger pistol shrimp. Anemone died last week. Orange digitata shows good polyp extension, but base appears to be dead (will watch carefully to see if this is spreading). Purple rimmed cap looks good. Green cap and purple plating monti both look OK. Tri-color acro frag died last week. Bird's nest shows a tiny bit of polyp extension and a few tiny dead spots, but seems to be getting better. Branching hamm is looking happy after moving to better water flow location. Turbinaria is paler in color, but opening fully again. Candy cane is now opening fully again, and one head has 2 mouths in preparation for split. Fungia is seldom open because the clowns are trying to nest in it and really annoying it. Oxypora has recessed and shows some skeleton, mainly because female clown keeps pushing it off the rocks and burying it in sand. About 80% of the zoos are open now, but some are still completely closed. Most of Steve's zoos are lost, though a couple of the bright orange rimmed ones are doing well. The Palythoa are opening well. The anthelia are looking better than they have in a while. The front gro of xenia are looking well and pulsing; the back group aren't doing as well (possibly because the are now downstream from the hammer). The red mushroom is still hanging in there. We lost several astrea snails & hermits last week. The survivors seem to be doing OK. The strombus snails are reproducing like crazy, with new egg clusters appearing daily. The feather dusters on the zoo rock are OK.
2004/6/5Purchased a 2nd fire shrimp, an emerald crab, and a rose anemone. The oxypora seems to be dying.
2004/8/21Harvested about 1/3 of the pulsing xenia. Traded it to Skipton's for 3 emerald crabs.
2004/8/28Caught two very small juvenile spotfin butterflies at Greenbridge, Newport RI. Added them to the tank.
2004/9/13Both butterflies were looking good on Friday morning, and were missing Sunday evening. I suspect that the fridmani ate them. Also added a Pavona coral bought at the CRA booth at MACNA
2004/9/18Harvested a lot of pulsing xenia, which is trying to overtake the tank. Added an ORA-raised blue tort (dark blue/purple acropora).
2004/10/24Stats: Temp: 79-80; pH: 7.9-8.3 (calibration suspect); ORP: 450-470 (high, but calibration is suspect); Alkalinity: 4.5 meq/L (12.8 dKH); Calcium: 440ppm; Phosphate: < 0.03ppm; Nitrate: < 0.2ppm. Alk is a little high, everything else is where it should be. Continue to harvest hair algae (Debresia), Y algae, and pulsing xenia.
2005/3/20Stats: Salinity: 1.030 (high!); Temp: 80.0; pH: 7.95; ORP: 310; Alkalinity: 3.2 meq/L (8.9 dKH); Calcium: 560ppm;
2005/5/15 Added another emerald crab and about a dozen tiny blue-legged hermits.
2005/5/18 The maroon clowns have laid eggs! A patch of about a hundred bright orange eggs just to the left of their anemone's base, often hidden by the disc of the anemone.
2005/5/20 The eggs are now brownish, rather than orange. From my book, that's expected on day 3. I wonder if the eggs were laid on Tuesday, or if these are developing quickly?
2005/5/25The eggs hatched this evening, within an hour after lights-out. The fry were drifting around the tank. I scooped most of them up and placed them within a nylon-net enclosure floating in the reef tank. An hour later, none of them appeared to be still alive.
2005/5/26On closer examination this morning, many of the fry were stuck to the nylon material in the netting. Either pouring them into the enclosure was too rough, or they just became stuck to the net. In either case, being stuck to the net and not getting food for 12 hours did them in.
Health check: Fish: both maroon clowns healthy & spawning, orchid dottyback looks good too; Custaceans: the blood shrimp molts about once every 6 weeks and seems healthy; the old emerald crab is huge (carapace 1.5 inch) and the new one eats hair algae all day; the older large hermits are doing fine; we've got small hermits again, but I don't think any of the older ones had survived Anemone: looking good (after not feeding it for several months, I am again giving it pieces of krill once or twice a week); Corals: the orange Montipora digitata continues to grow quickly, dominating the top of the tank while both encrusting the rock and sending out fingers; the blue acro tort is growing (slowly) though in danger of being overgrown by the orange digitata; the purple plating Montipora continues to grow slowly; the pink bird's nest has good polyp extension, but very little growth (the clowns have repeatedly knocked it down into the sand, which doesn't help); the green Montipora capricornis shows some color and just a little growth, though it has also been kicked around a lot and spent quite a bit of time hidden in a cave (oops); the purple-rimmed cap is growing nicely, showing more color on the rims now as it's growth has sped up; the hammer has 8 main polyps and several tiny buds with decent extension; the candycane has poor extension but is fighting hair algae; the turbinaria is doing OK with polyp extension but no visible growth; the xenia continues to grow like a weed requiring monthly prunings; the zoanthids have covered a lot of rock and seem happy in spite of hair algae competition; the fungia barely fits in its space; the palythoa and misc zoos seem to be doing OK; the oxypora is hanging in there, but not looking great. Snails: the strombus snails continue to reproduce in the tank, regularly leaving egg clusters on the glass; the narcissus snails also seem to be reproducing; we've only got a few surviving astrea snails A few small white feather dusters are scattered around the tank, probably indicating that there was a spawn of these a few months back. There's white encrusting sponge on the underside of much of the live rock. The tank is overgrown in hair algae (debresia) which I'm fighting with regular pruning, addition of more grazers, and have just reduced the MH by an hour a day. We continue to get Caulerpa growing in a few spots, which I harvest whenever I see it; we've finally got some halimeda growing in a couple of places. No more Y-algae is visible.
2005/6/1The maroon clowns have laid eggs again. Looks like every 2 weeks exactly, with the eggs taking a week to hatch.
2005/6/7The eggs hatched around 9pm. Removed most of the fry to a separate rearing tank.
2005/6/10All of the fry died, not sure why.
2005/6/14The maroon clowns have laid eggs again. Looks like every 2 weeks exactly, with the eggs taking a week to hatch.
2005/6/28The clowns eggs hatched about 30 minutes after sunset. Left the fry in the reef; none were visible an hour later.
2005/6/26The maroon clowns have laid eggs again.
2005/7/16The maroon clowns have laid eggs again. Added 2 emerald crabs.
2005/7/22Replaced MH bulb and repaired socket. Looks like wasn't making good contact with the bulb, started arcing which burnt and partially melted away the contact.
2005/8/8Added a juvenile bicolor damsel (caught at Green Bridge, Newport, RI).
2005/8/18Added a larger juvenile bicolor damsel (caught at Green Bridge, Newport, RI) by accident - he jumped in..
2005/8/21Caught and removed the 2nd damsel. Left a hand-net in the tank for 24 hours, then during feeding the next day, netted the fish.
2005/9/23The anemone is on the move. After about 12 hours, it has settled on top of the rock it used to be on the side of. And the clowns are knocking everything over to clear space around the anemone. However, its tentacles are inflating for the first time in a long time. Did a lot of algae harvesting, and uncoved the oxypora which had been completely overgrown. A small part of it is still alive.
2005/9/25Water testing: Temp: 81.9, Salinity: 1.025, pH: 7.83 (uncalibrated), ORP: 357, NO3: 0.2ppm, Alk: 8.5 dKH (3 meq/L), Ca: 490ppm
2006/4/1Bought a pair of young bangghai cardinals and an emerald crab.
2006/4/6Both cardinals died today. It's not clear if they were harassed to death by the damsel, or if he was being opportunistic in attacking them once they were already dying. However, both looked fine this morning. Both were ultimately eaten by the anemone (the second with some help from me).
2006/4/11The aquacontroller died today. Too much saltwater poured on it. I've ordered a replacement.
2006/4/13The replacement aquacontroller showed up, a III. Got it working pretty easily. Looks like my pH probe may be bad. The ORP is reading better now.
2006/4/16Finally caught the damsel who has been terrorizing the reef. Put him in the fish-only tank.
2006/4/17The damsel who was moved was dead this morning. Looks like the 2 smaller damsels in this tank didn't like their new neighbor. Fed him to the anemone.
2006/7/22Added an algae blenny & 2 small peppermint shrimp.
2006/8/9Broke Rio sump pump. Running temporarily on Aquaclear 401 at reduced flow.
2006/8/16Installed Mag 5 as new sump pump. Much higher flow than we were getting from Rio. Replaced pH probe.
2006/8/20Installed Aquamedic Reefdoser to dispense B-Ionic. Currently dispensing for 4 sec every 2 hours (approx 20 ml/day). Calibrated pH probe. Replaced Hydor rotating powerhead deflector.
2007/1/25Water testing: Temp: 81.6, Salinity: 1.028 (high!), pH: 8.42, ORP: 264 (meter suspect), NO3: 1ppm, Alk: 4.8 dKH, Ca: >400 ppm
2007/12/4Replaced metal halide bulb
2008/1/26Ross (lunar wrasse) in fish-only tank died.
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