Sunday, May 31, 2009

Full Tank Shot

Here is the latest full tank shot. All corals are doing well and growing.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Anemone Split

After getting home from work yesterday I looked at my tank and saw that my Green Bubble Tip Anemone had split into two. It may have split Thursday night or during the day on Thursday. I looked at the tank on Friday morning before the lights came on and it looked like the anemone was covering a larger area. I started to worry that it was moving again.

Thursday I traveled for work all day and had to get up at 4:00 am to make a 7:00 flight. It was a one day trip and when I got home I was too tired to do much more than glance at the tank nothing caught my eye.

Kind of weird but the two clones have different personalities. The top clone is keeping the tentacles inflated. The bottom one is not. It also looks like the bottom clone has already developed a new mouth whereas the top one is still working on it. The clown goes back and forth between the two like it is a single anemone.

So why did my BTA split?

Chances are I stressed it during the water change I performed on Wednesday night. I poured a bucket of water in kind of quickly right over the anemone. I had done this before however this time the flow was a little faster since the bucket kind of got away from me.

It was right after I did this water change that I removed the bridal veil netting from my two Koralia power heads. This really increased the flow. The tentacles of the anemone were now waving all over the place. The increased flow may also have been the culprit.

Perhaps the was just happy and wanted to reproduce. I don't know. The anemone seems to have been happier lately and hadn't moved for about a month. I think it settled down because I started feeding it again. I had stopped feeding it after my Tomato clown started hosting it and was feeding it. I hadn't seen the clown feeding it so I was worried that it wasn't getting enough to eat. So now I give it about a third of a thawed shrimp tail twice a week. Perhaps the feeding made it happy again. Who knows.

I am wondering if it one of them is going to split again. I can see the foot gripping the rock one two sides of the anemone. I'll have to keep an eye on it.

Fiji Purple

I decided to purchase a Fiji Purple bulb and a UV Super Actinic Bulb. I bought the actinic to try to increase the coraline. I just wanted to try out the Fiji Purple to see if it would help the colors pop more.

The new bulb order from front to back is now:

ATI Blue Plus
Giesemann Aquablue+
Korallen-zucht Fiji Purple
Giesmann Midday
UV Super Actinic
ATI Blue Plus

The front ATI Blue Plus and UV Super Actinic are on during the dusk and dawn cycle to increase the actinic spectrum.

Reduced Lighting Schedule

Since acclimating my tank to my T5 fixture I had all 6 bulbs on for 12 hours per day. Two bulbs were on for one hour before and after all 6 bulbs were on to simulate dawn and dusk.

About a month or two ago, as part of a multi-faceted approach to reduce the cyano outbreak, I reduced the number of hours all the bulbs were lit each day. The new schedule has all 6 bulbs on for 10.5 hours per day. I also rearranged the bulbs so that my two ATI Blue Plus bulbs were on during the dawn and dusk hours. I rearranged the bulbs to encourage the growth of coraline algae on the back glass. The algae had been disappearing ever since I upgraded to the brighter T5 fixture.

The modified lighting schedule did indeed encourage the growth of coraline. It again started growing on the front glass. I had to get the razor blade out last week to scrape the algae. This is the first time I had to do this since I upgraded the lighting.


After my anemone moved I started to also see an increase in cyano bacteria growing on my live rock. I had just a little bit on my sand in a low flow area but not so much. For the first time had to start cleaning my live rock. During water changes I would just place the hose up against the rock and i would suck most of it up. Some cyano was also growing over one of my Palythoas plugs and they stopped opening. I had to carefully siphon the black cyano off the plugs during water changes.

I realized that my RO water wasn't getting purified enough. I measured a TDS level of 50 ppm. So I changed everything. New DI resin, new RO membrane and new carbon blocks and prefilter. Ironically my old RO membrane worked better than the new. The old one was some generic no-name brand 100 gpd. The new one is a Filmtec 75 gpd. I replaced the restrictor to the recommended flow rate and I'm getting a TDS level of 7 out of the membrane. Whereas in the generic one I would get 2 ppm. I thought it was bad because when starting the RO filter after it sat idle I would get a TDS level of about 200 ppm for a while before it would drop. Unfortunately, the new one does the exact same thing. So, I need to rely on the DI resin to knock the TDS level down to about 2 ppm. Unfortunately this exhausts the resin quickly.

Several water changes later the amount of cyano seems to be decreasing but is not completely gone yet.

When my anemone started moving around I wrapped my Koralia power heads with bridal veil netting so it wouldn't suck up the anemone. Now that it has settled in again and is no longer moving I removed the netting. I couldn't believe how much the flow in the tank picked up after the netting was removed. I bet the reduced flow was also responsible for the increase in cyano.

Friday, May 29, 2009

New Corals

On April 25th I purchased two new corals.

A green striped mushroom rock and a rose open brain coral. So far so good. I have another mushroom rock but I have to keep it in the shade otherwise the mushrooms shrink down. I was hoping that the green striped mushrooms would be more tolerant to bright light. They are indeed smaller tan they were in the LFS but they are loking pretty good. I should try moving it to the shade to see the difference.

It's been a long time

I haven't posted now for a few months. I got discourage with my tank when my anemone started moving around and didn't know what was causing it to do so. I also started getting some growth of cyano bacteria over my live rock.

The biggest reason for not posting I guess has been piano. I've started playing again and it has pretty much occupied all of my free time. I hadn't played in years and now that I've started again I can't put it down.

In the next few posts I'll try to recount all that's happened over the last few months.