I just got my single carbon reactor from BRS today. I have it about a third full of Marineland black magic carbon. I'm hoping that it helps get rid of the short dark fuzzy algae growing on my LR. If it doesn't make an impact I'll start running some Phosban in the reactor as well.
I've been sarching for a solution to keeping my tank alive through a power outage. We had a 5 or 6 hour one last year. I had to run out and buy an inverter so I can use my car to power the pumps of my tank. During very long power outages I can do the same thing. However, I felt I needed to get the tank through a shorter outage on its own without the need for me to be there to hook up an inverter.
From what I have read the loss of water circulation is the biggest cause of tank nukage during a power failure. Corals and fish can go without lights for days. Temperature is important but the tank temp will drop somewhat slowly. The temperature should remain at an acceptable level until I could get home, and hook up an inverter to my car or use a generator. So my objective was to power one or two powerheads for at least 8 hours.
The obvious solution was to use a computer backup UPS. I bought two; one for my tank and one for my PC. I bought a 1300 VA and a 1500 VA version of the APC XS series from Fry's. The larger 1500 was originally intended for the tank and the smaller 1300 for my PC.
Unfortunately, the Koralia 3s I have don't like the modified sine wave of the UPS when it is running on battery power. It would just chatter like crazy and would never start up. This was a surprise because the Koralia 3s worked fine from my inverter which also outputs a modified sine wave. One way around this is to use an APC Smart-UPS which outputs a true sine wave but they run more than $500. I wanted to do this as inexpensively as possible.
My Eheim 1262 return pump worked just fine when the ups was running on battery so I figured there had to be hope in finding a pump that would reliably work. I tried a Maxijet 1200. Unfortunately, the MJ would not run when the UPS was running on battery power either. I read on a forum that someone was using a Koralia Nano on a UPS with no problems. I decided to buy a Koralia Nano, 1, 2 and a new 3 to see which ones would work and which ones don't. I bought a new K3 to find out if a newer model may work whereas my current ones don't. I tried the K1 and found that that one worked so I never tried the nano since I wanted to use the largest one possible. The K2 did not work and neither did the K3. So, it looks like K1 is the way to go. I'll need a couple since they don't produce a ton of flow.
One other interesting point is that the largest UPS won't necessarily run the power head longer than a smaller one. In fact, the opposite is true. I purchased a 1500 VA UPS as well as a 1300 VA version of the same model. When both of these are fully charged the 1300 indicates it will run with no load for 850 minutes (14 hours). The larger 1500 indicates it will run for 785 minutes (13 hours) with no load. This is because the 1500 includes a higher wattage inverter that consumes more power to run itself even with no load. The load of a K1 is so low that it doesn't even register on the UPS and doesn't change the run time. Perhaps going with a lower wattage UPS would run for even longer. I'm sure there is a limit at some point.
So it looks like I'll be able to keep my tank circulating for 14 hours during a power outage.
Well, the nice folks at wetwebmedia believe that what I have is a Merulina Ampliata and not a maze brain. The merulina needs more light and is harder to care for. This article presents some good info on Merulina. I'll have to move it up my rock work. The only problem is where. I'm running out of space.
I've been wanting a maze brain coral for months. I've never seen them in any of the LFSs in my area so I was starting to to look online. Yesterday I came across this at a LFS.
It was labeled as a Merulina rather than a Platygyra. The latter is the maze brain. This was the closest thing to a maze brain that I've seen in a store. I looked at a coral book in the store and it didn't look anything like a Merulina in the book so I bought it. I'm hoping that it does turn out to be a maze brain and gets the nice round shape. Only time will tell.
Several weeks earlier one of my BTAs disappeared. I found it in my overflow outside the tank. It hat gotten into the overflow in the tank and traveled through the U tube into the overflow outside the tank. I removed it when I found it and put it back in the tank. Well, somewhere along the way another split occurred due to the stress. So the anemone count was p to "4". That's too many for my tank. The more anemones I have the higher the probability one will make its way into a powerhead. So the BTA from the fuge and its twin that had been hiding behind the overflow were traded in for the following four frags:
Yesterday, my anemone that resulted from my first split looked awesome. It was well inflated in the right-rear corner of my tank looking better than I've ever seen it. It had spent the previous month between my Xenia rock, the one I had pulled them all off of, and the glass. In the last few days it moved to the other side of the rock and opened nicely between my Monti Cap and Green Slimer. I was a little worried it would sting the cap but it didn't stay there long. It moved back t its original location. It then moved back to the corner.
This morning I found the anemone deflated on the bottom of the tan completely deflated. A small section of its tentacles were clear. The ones still with color were fluorescing a bright shade of green. It looked limp and done. There were even a few pieces f tentacles on the sand bed. It looked like it had gotten into a fight with a powerhead and lost. I knew that couldn't be the case since my powerheads were wrapped in bridal veil netting to protect the anemones.
I feared that it was dead or dying. Knowing that a dying anemone can nuke a tank I felt that it may need to removed. I picked it up and noticed the foot was still firmly attached to several pieces or LR rubble. A good sign. I decided to leave it in and observe it. Had it not been attached I would have removed it.
Over the course of the day it moved a little. Climbing the glass an inch or two and then returning to the sandbed. My cleaner shrimp kept picking at it on and off throughout the day.
It's strange how the body of the anemone is sunk within the outside of it's column. I've never seen one do this before.
As of a few minutes ago it crawled to a dark spot on the sandbed. I'm not sure what to think or do at this point. Do I leave it in and risk it dying and killing everything in the tank? Or do I sacrifice it to guarantee the safety of the others?
Not sure what caused this to occur. I do no my nitrates were somewhere around 7 ppm this morning. This is the highest it's been in perhaps a year. I lost a firefish a while ago and noticed some elevated nitrate levels. However last week nitrate was undetectable.
I think I'll do a water change and run carbon tonight. I can't get myself to destroy an animal that may be going through some ordinary thing.
I changed some of my bulbs around yesterday. I wanted a more blueish look. I added some of the stock actinics from my fixture. I like the new look. I hoping some of the corals that have been doing well like my mushrooms and clove polyps respond positively to the change.
The new bulb order from front to back is now:
Front ATI Blue Plus Current Actinic Korallen-zucht Fiji Purple Current Actinic UV Super Actinic ATI Blue Plus Back
This morning I decided to move my leather. It had been continuously rubbing up against my monti cap. The bottom of the cap was looking dark where it was being rubbed.
I never observed any permanent damage caused by the leather rubbing up against the cap. I just didn't like the way it looked and I felt that growth was being restricted. The leather was also starting to shade my frogspawn. The frogspawn was sending out sweeper tentacles that on occasion reached the leather. This was another indicator that it was time to move it. It's now on the sandbed under my green slimer and next to my colt. I'm not sure if this is an ideal location but it is the best location I have for it right now.
The leather had grown so that it was adhering slightly to a second rock. I needed to perform some delicate surgery to cut some flesh from the second rock. I'll be curious to see if a new leather develops from hat rock.
One of my two BTAs split again last night. I consider this the original mother because after it split the first time this was the larger of the two.
When I came home from work yesterday I noticed a hole in the anemone. The live rock was clearly visible through the hole.
It appears that it split on one side of the mouth first starting within the anemone. It didn't split starting from the edge as I imagined it would. At the time I took this picture it hadn't even started splitting on the other side of the mouth. It looks like it split on one side first and then the other.
I couldn't stay up and watch the whole thing. When I woke up the split had completed.
The anemone split right through the center of its mouth. The remnants of the mouth are clearly visible in the pictures above. The other half was hiding behind the rock and was barely visible.
When I came home from work both halves had moved behind the rock but were still somewhat visible.
Both my frogspawn and leather are growing. It seems as if my frogspawn knows the leather is there. It is putting out sweeper tentacles on the side closest the frogspawn . On occasion thay have extended out far enough to sting the leather. How does it know its there? It has never put out sweepers before this week. Does it sense the reduced light due to the proximity of the leather? Perhaps it could just smell it. I've heard of the chemical warfare between corals. So far it has been simply cold war in my tank.
I discovered some planaria flatworms in my tank. They are only on two corals that are right next to each other. I haven't seen them on any live rock anywhere.
I pulled the mushrooms and the candy cane out of the tank, swirled them in tank water, brushed them off and put them back in. I ended up with a lot of flatworms in the container but I certainly didn't get all of them off.
I decided against using Flatworm eXit for now. I'd rather keep chemicles out of the tank. When the flatworms die they can become quite toxic. I'll probably purchase some and use it to dip the affected corals and new corals outside of the tank. In the meantime I purchased a spotted mandarin. I'm hoping he will develop an appetite for them. It's been a couple of days and so far it doesn't look like he is touching them.
This guy looks pretty skinny. I didn't realize how emaciated it was when I bought it. I hope he finds enough pods in the tank. I have an upward climb with him.
About a month and a half ago I upgraded my return pump to an Eheim 1262. I had been using two 802 power heads for return pumps from my sump. The flow with the powerheads seemed decent enough. However, it was not enough to sweep all the bubbles out of my overflow tube. This was especially true when algae started growing in there. On a few occasions enough air accumulated in the tube to severely reduce the flow. This would result in the level in my tank rising to counteract the reduced flow. There were two or three times when the center brace of my tank ended up underwater.
It seems somewhat counter-intuitive but increasing the capacity of your pump actually reduces the probability of an overflow disaster. The new pump is powerful enough that small bubbles are swept out of the overflow tube. Since getting this pump I have yet to see even a small bubble at the top pf the tube. I no longer have to worry about an overflow occurring through this mechanism.
The pump, although expensive, is great. It is extremely quiet. I simply cannot hear it run. All I here is the relaxing sound of water flowing through my system.
After a bad week at work I decided I deserved to reward myself with a little gift. Well, actually nine little gifts. Meet the new frags:
Multi Color Millepora
Blue Polyp Stylophora (Cat's Paw) Either an Echinata or Tenuis
Wicked Tri Color
Forest Fire Digitata
Tri Color Plana
I bought these from Madfrags Online. I couldn't be happier with my purchase. Justin was extremely helpful and even emailed me to see how the frags were acclimating to my tank. I had been looking for some colorful frags at my LFSs but I couldn't find anything that really stood out and was at a fair price. He has some really nice pieces available and he has them priced very fairly in my opinion. Some of these frags he even through in for free. I'll definitely purchase frags through him again.
I spent this morning arranging my tank to accommodate all the new frags. I added a few pieces of dry rock that I had left over in the process. At the rate coraline has been growing in my tank again it won't be long before these bleached rocks are nice and pink. Here is how the tank looks now.
I was running out of holes in my LR for the frag plugs. I discovered that the plug breaks off the disc easily if I hold the disc in a pair of pliers and snap the plug off with another pair of pliers. The disc can then be epoxied to any rock with reef epoxy putty. Yeah, I'm relatively new to this.