Sunday, March 29, 2009

It Moved!

I've had this BTA for about 16 months. I watched it decline gradually under inadequate PC lighting and high nitrates. I got my nitrates to 0 in November or December and upgraded to 6x54W T5s in December just before Christmas. The anemone grew from a shrunken two inch diameter to about eight inches now.

Friday night I watched in disbelief as my anemone moved about three inches down from the spot it has inhabited for the last five months. On Saturday morning it was still in that spot but a few hours later, to my surprise, it moved back to its normal spot. Unfortunately, Saturday night it started climbing up and over my rock wall. It probably moved about two feet. It's higher in the tank all the way at the back and kind of underneath a ledge. It was moving uncomfortably close to a Koralia so I turned it off. I reached in the tank to make sure it was off and the water felt cool. Sure enough the temperature was 76 deg F. When I performed my usual set of Saturday morning tests the tank temp was at its normal 80 deg F. So, I wonder if the tank temp has been fluctuating without me realizing it.

This morning I played around with the heater and realized that the the heater was generating stray voltage in my tank too. I would occasionally feel a slight tingle if my arm touched my light fixture while my hand was in the water. It was a 250W Stealth heater. I can no longer recommend this. My sump was just big enough to house this heater on a diagonal. Nothing larger would fit and of course everything else at the store was larger. So, I decided to go with two 200W Hydor heaters which fit nicely. And, with these heaters I don't feel any electrical tingle!

I must have had some bad Karma heading my way because after I got the heaters installed the power went out. We got several inches of heart attack snow last night and trees were snapping everywhere today. So my tank sat with lights out and no current or heat for several hours. So, if my anemone was unhappy before it must have been really upset at this point. After a few hours I hooked up an inverter to one of our vehicles to get some flow in the tank again. The inverter I had couldn't power a heater. After several more hours and power wasn't restored I went out and bought a 750W inverter from Lowes. This allowed me to turn on some lights and one of the heaters. Power came back at 6:30 this evening after about 5 1/2 hours.

The only other thing that changed was that in the past week I started dosing alkalinity made with baking soda instead of the mix from Bulk Reef Supply. Perhaps this BTA only likes the more expensive stuff.

Here are my parameters:
Nitrate 0.0
pH 8.1
Alkalinity 3-3.5 meq/l (jumped from 2 meq/l last week)
SG 1.026
Calcium 460 ppm
Magnesium 1260 ppm
Temp 79F (now)
Phosphate 0

With the exception of alkalinity, my tank has pretty much had the same parameters for the last 4 months or so. Alkalinity is the only thing that jumped. Anybody think this is what made the BTA unhappy? Anybody else dosing with baked out baking soda?

I'm hoping the anemone moves back to the front. It is barely in view now. My tomato clown looks freaked too. He stayed with it the whole time it moved.

Long post. I needed to vent.