Monday, April 19, 2010

RIP Bluethroat

Found him dead in the HT tonight.

He was turning around and eating very aggressively. I thought he was going to make it. Last night he didn't eat though. Today he was dead. The HT never really seemed to cycle. Don't know if it was the medication or what. I was doing 50% water changes a night to keep the ammonia in check and dosing Prime. I thought maybe the ammonia was a little higher than normal yesterday but I didn't test. Just did the usual water change.

For the record I started treating with Prazi in the HT. I did that for a week and a half or so. He seemed to get worse so I switched to Metro. This seemed to be helping and was eating aggressively but still not putting on weight.

Pretty bummed out. Not only did I lose the fish but I lost a lot of nice coral trying to originally treat him in the DT.

Lesson learned.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

STN Carnage

Here's what some of my corals look like today. I hope it's done. My monti cap continues to color back up so that is a good sign.

What's left of my milli

Purple acro

Tricolor plana

Orange Digitata

Green monti cap

Purple Digitata

Friday, April 9, 2010

API Calcium Test

I'm unhappy with my API calcium test. I've only been using API for Ca and have been using Salifert for everything else. I had no issues with API Ca up to now. The Ca test was nice since a color chart isn't involved. You simply count drops until the solution changes from pink to blue.

When I bought this last test kit I noticed that my Ca had dropped quite a bit. I didn't think much about it because I hadn't tested for a week or two but thought my Ca had dropped kind of quickly. In time I forgot about this until I started having problems. I went out and bought another API Ca test and compared the results. My older kit was measuring 420 ppm and my brand new one was measuring 520 ppm. Which one was right?


After I found out I couldn't trust my API test I bought a Salifert Ca test. It measured 480 ppm. Essentially right in between the two APIs.

The APIs are now officially tossed in the trash. I'm using Salifert for everything now.

Apex Lite

I bought an Apex Lite controller and received it last Friday. After using it for a week I can tell you I love this thing. I'm using it to control temperature and to control two Bulk Reef Supply dosing pumps so I can control dosing of Ca and Alk throughout the day. I had been dosing about 50 mg of each in the morning. I'm now dosing a little of each once each hour. I'm still adjusting the dosing of each.

My Alk had been down to 7. I'm in the process of slowly raising it. It reached 9 today so I backed off the dosing so I can keep it steady at this level. Ca is a little high right now according to a Salifert test - 480 ppm. I'm easing up on the Ca a little to bring that in line.


I'm starting to think it was the fast addition of carbon that caused the decline of my SPS. I was so afraid of the Metro medication affecting my inverts that I used about 3/4 of a cup in my bulk reef supply reactor. I thought this was taking it easy but I may have stripped out too many nutrients too quickly. This would explain why I've seen carbon negatively impact some of my corals before.

I'm not totally sure what caused the crash but here are some other possibilities:
1. The metro medication itself.
2. My home made food. Unlikely but it is something that changed.
3. All the extra feedings. Trying to get the trigger to eat as well as my copper banded butterfly.
4. Change in lighting. I changed my bulbs in February. One of my corals started declining immediately. Maybe the others took time to catch up.
5. When I moved my trigger to a hospital tank I started mixing salt in a new Rubbermaid roughneck storage box. Unlikely to cause issues. Salt was never stored long and my purple digitata started declining before I pulled the trigger out.
6. I recently changed the restrictor on my RO unit to have less waste water and to produce water more quickly. TDS was still 0 out of the RO/DI so it is unlikely.
7. Too much carbon too fast.

In my opinion the most likely causes were the Metro and/or carbon. I doubt the extra food caused issues since some of my corals were coloring up nicely before disaster struck.


I'm hoping my tank has hit bottom.

I'm starting to see white edge growth on my orange monti cap again and it appears to be starting to color up again just a bit. My large orange digitata looks awful but in some spots I can see just a little bit of polyp extension. So much of the colony was covered with a bright colored algae. I don't know if it is dead under these areas. I'll find out soon.

So many of my acros have lost the tips and are covered with algae on the tips. My beautiful plating milli has lost so much tissue. I'm not sure if I should leave the skeleton or cut it back.

Pictures tomorrow.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Came home from work yesterday and saw that this milli had RTNed during the day.

My orange digitata still looks awful.

as does my purple acro colony.

and my caps.

I'll be devastated if I lose this milli that looked like this only 21/2 months ago.

and now looks like this

I pulled carbon off line yesterday, stopped the water changes and started dosing alk and calcium again. It doesn't look like anything changed over the last 24 hours. That's a good sign.