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Timfish last won the day on July 1

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About Timfish

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    140 gal.
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  1. It is a very complex picture. Many species are tolerant of each other. Many are not. What's missing is long term data, as in decades, of the successes and failures. What is the mix of species being kept? There are different microbial processes at every taxonomic level, Kingdom, Phylum. Class, Order, Family, Genus, SPecise and even Genotype and many of these microbialial processes are antagonistic. What are the long term ramifications of these processes especially in light of aquarists, often questionably, manipulating environmental conditions accentuate colors of corals? Unfortunately what is apparent is a very high failure rate and reports of supposedly healthy systems going down hill, many very suddenly with significant dieoff in a very short time. It's very rare to find an aquarist that's maintained the same system with the same animals for decades.
  2. It really doesn't matter the genus, species or genotype, if there's kill off the animals should be separated. While the risk infection will depend in part on the immune system of the animal involved, which can vary significantly at the genotype level¹˴², there's still going to be an increased risk. Depending on the environmental stressers the animals are also exposed to (increased nitrates or phosphate defiency are two obvious ones) once an infection gets started in a colony it can not only kill off the entire colony quickly it can also spread to apparently healthy animals whose immune systems have also been compromised. It's also a mistake to assume a corals microbiome is comparable to a wild coral's, one of the surprising discoveries is a coral colony's microbiome is significantly altered just by placing it in an aquarium³. 1) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-02685-1 2) https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_stuetd/467/ 3) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1462-2920.2009.01935.x
  3. Timfish

    Steven's LED Biocube 32 - First Tank

    You may have already returned the PAR meter but I use a metal clothes hanger and bend it to hold the sensor at teh location I want with the lid clsoed. If you took the measurements with just your arm holding the lid up guess the majority of the PAR readings are roughly 25% low and a few might be 50% low.
  4. Timfish

    Question of comparing two lights

    Well, I'm not familiar with the Hipargero but reefs systems do just fine with on/off timers. Having a programable timer is a nice feature though, especially if it has two or more channels that can be programed individually. I would put more emphasis on getting the proper PAR level for the corals you plan on growing. Light distribution is important also. If both have the LEDs in roughly the same locations then the light field is going to be similar but if there are significant differences in thelocations then even if they have the same PAR the light field in the tank is going to be very different and it will be harder to say how a coral adapted to one fixture will do under the other.
  5. Timfish

    Calcium Reactor setup recommendations

    I'm not running a calcium reactor at the moment but in the past I've set them at 1 bubble a second and a flow where a slow steady stream starts to break into drops about 1 1/2" from the end of the output tube. I take care of Dan's system and he has his set 100 ml/min. That's a bummer to hear someone ruined RCA's PAR meter but didn't replace it. That's the 2nd one they've had destroyed.
  6. They use BOLT cutters! . Dropped by KimP's when she was fragging some stuff, kinda thinking I probably shouldn't tease her about her fish phobia anymore. 😬
  7. Timfish

    Steven's LED Biocube 32 - First Tank

    Thanks for the link Victoly! Unfortunately we still do not have any way to test for the types of DOC produced and how it's affecting the microbial processes in our system which my reading and experience says we should be focusing on. ICP even with it's faults might still turn out to be a useful tool and that's why I'm looking at it. Rich Ross's Skeptical Reefkeeping are an excellent series of articles and I was disappointed when Glassbox-design removed them. I had found some on Reefsmagazine.com so it's good to see all of them listed on packedhead.net! There's now three companies I know of with ICP test packages for reefs and I used the ATI for those interested. (ATI has corrected one of the critisisms against Triton in that they don't list undetectable reuslts as 00.0 but as just "n. u.".) Just like I'm check other test kits against each other I'm curious how they will compare along with other test kits testing the same water sample and as the system I linked to is in the middle of 2 moves and an upgrade to a larger system it will be interesting to see how they all compare.
  8. Timfish

    Steven's LED Biocube 32 - First Tank

    Now would be a good time to get some PAR readings for your system. Some corals adapt readily to changes in light levels but other corals can be pretty finicky and knowinf your PAR levels will help. Because any change in light levels forces a coral to adjust it's photobiology I try to match PAR levels as close as possible (Aquadome and River City rent PAR meters.) I would also suggest getting a ICP test now as one of the benchmarks to track your system. As another reference the ICP test results for one of my low tech systems maintained with tapwater is here. Phosphates and high TDS are often pointed at when problems arise but my experiences pointed to other causes a long time ago and I stopped worrying about those two as issues. Forest Rohwer in Ch. 5 of his book "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" explianed it pretty well in dsicussing the equilibrium of a reef ecosytem. His book is also an excellent introduction to the various roles of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) and it's effects on an ecosytem depending on it's source.
  9. Timfish

    Fish Addition Suggestion

    +1 on a group of either the cardinals or grammas. I' really like grammas as they are very interactive with each other and have the unusual behavior of swimming sideways or upside down, depending on the orentation of the aquascaping they're next too. A 55 could hold 3-5.
  10. Timfish

    Repeated cyanobacteria blooms

    I would stop using Chemipure until your PO4 climbs up a bit. Corals are phosphate limited when it comes to using up nitrogen and keeping it too low causes problems which makes them very sensitive to environmental changes and can weaken thier immune system. Research done by Southhampton University in England with a variety of corals maintained for a minimum of 2 years found a threshold level of .03 mg/l. Corals are also subjected to much higher levels in nature so don't be concerned if PO4 is .1 or .2 mg/l. Here's some links if you want to dig into the research: Phosphate Deficiency: Nutrient enrichment can increase the susceptibility of reef corals to bleaching: http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/files/file/Nutrient enrichment.pdf Ultrastructural Biomarkers in Symbiotic Algae Reflect the Availability of Dissolved Inorganic Nutrients and Particulate Food to the Reef Coral Holobiont: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2015.00103/full Phosphate deficiency promotes coral bleaching and is reflected by the ultrastructure of symbiotic dinoflagellates https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X17301601?via%3Dihub Effects of phosphate on growth and skeletal density in the scleractinian coral Acropora muricata: A controlled experimental approach https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022098111004588 High phosphate uptake requirements of the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata http://jeb.biologists.org/content/214/16/2749.full
  11. Timfish

    Sudden Fish Death

    Very sorry to hear your loss, it is very frustrating and disappointing to loose fish at any point in their lives. Having been around in the 80's and 90's when cyanide was a common problem I'm pretty sure it wasn't cyanide which strips the lining from a from a fish's intestines so it basicely dies from starvation which can take a couple months. I also would not rule out your fish dying from separate issues, especially as the Copperband is not known for being a very hardy fish. It is possible you have a disease in your system your current fish are immune or resistant to. You don't mention if you have a quarantine tank but if not it's time to set one up. To help ascertain if you do have a problem with your display tank I would QT a few fish like Royal Grammas or flasher/fairy wrasses (not damsels). If any fish die in QT I would reset the QT clock waiting for 4 weeks to add them to your system. I know this equates to a fairly long process but it's going to be a tremendous help identifying where your problem is. It will also be a lot less frustrating than constantly losing fish in your dislpay tank.
  12. No, watch Richard Ross' video At 5 mg/l your nitrate I think equals 80 µmol. This is double the levels found to have a negative impact on skeletal growth in this paper. This problem appears to be corrected in part by increasing DIC, alklinity, which you are keeping at 8.5 dKH. My questions would be is that high enough for the nitrate levels you've been keeping. What happens if there's a drop for a short period of time or fluctuations in the alkalinity? What are the long term ramifications, it takes years for a coral colony to mature so how does keeping high nitrates affect it long term? Much like the research done by SOuthampton university showing we need to keep PO4 levels higher than what's found in nature to prevent PO4 deficiencies that make our corals very sensitive to changes when we start messing with nitrates what do we have to do to compensate and what happens if there's changes in the organic forms of nitrogen we can't test for which corals will use (and prefer) instead of nitrates? One of the scary things about the research I've read on coral disease is often the pathogens are found on healthy corals, the corals are already infected. WHat kills the corals is stressors in the environment that reduce or alters the corals mucus production and/or associated beneficial microbes which provide protection. In the paper above the negative effect high nitrates had on skeletal growth was caused by a reduction in the photosynthates released by the zooxantheallae to the coral. Since these photosynthates are responsible for a significant portion of a corals mucus production and teh mucus chemical composition is dynamic and a harbor for beneficial microbes how is it affected when zooxantheallae reduce it's availability because of high nitrates?
  13. Timfish

    Acclimation / Time Out Box

    👍 For smaller boxes and fish traps I've found the plastic canvas or vinyl weave found at craft stores for yarn embroidery projects and small tie wraps works good.
  14. Timfish

    Repeated cyanobacteria blooms

    It's really fascinating what researchers are uncovering about the roles of DOC, microbes and reef health. Rohwer's book is an excellent place to start but there has been tons of new research since then. Corals and algae both release compounds into the water that fall under the label of Dissolved Organic Carbon, DOC. The DOC corals produce promotes autotrophic microbial processes the I find easiest to think of as oxygen enriching. The DOC algae produces promotes heterotrophic microbial processes that are oxygen depleting and promote pathogenic bacteria on corals. The amount of DOC released by algae also varies considerably by species with what we colloquially call hair algae or nuisance algae being one of the worst. Algae and corals are also competing for the phosphate and nitrogen (in all their various forms) that is available in aquariums. I would advise against adding more than what you are feeding your fish while your tank is maturing. Be aware research has shown high nitrates and low phosphates can seriously compromise a coral by disrupting it's relationship with it's zooxanthellae. I have systems, fish and corals that are decades old without having to add beyond what is in fsih food. If it helps for refference my ICP test results for one of my systems is here: http://www.austinreefclub.com/topic/40758-icp-test-results-90-gallon-mixed-reef-w-tapwater/ I never try to eradicate all the algae. I wouldn't do more than 10% water change per week trying to get rid of it. I just try to keep it knocked back until the equilibrium of the ecosystem takes over. Keep in mind while your system is maturing it is easy to exacerbate a problem by trying to hard to fix it. Like Jolt pointed out above patience is important here for success. A Tuxedo or Royal urchin will help but they like to drag frags around which can be annoying. I prefer hermit crabs to snails, they have a longer life expectancy in my experience.
  15. Timfish

    Repeated cyanobacteria blooms

    To give an example of my concerns about using or adding additives or equipment that may disrupt the microbial balance in either our reef systems or our coral's holobiont I'm going to point to the problems with Clostridium difficile, aka C. diff, (see also this TEDMED talks video). C. diff infections often gets started after being taking antibiotics that disrupt a person's microbiome letting C. diff proliferate. In the past additional anitbiotics typically prescribed, often with little effect, but with a better understanding of of the human microbiome C. diff infections are now often treated with probiotics and fecal transplants to restore a healthy microbiome. We often look for immediate solutions and we want to see immediate results. It's my belief if we take care of them properly our reef systems should last decades, if not centuries. Looking at what we are learning about how critical healthy microbial processes are to our own health (and sustainable farming has the same corallation with healthy microbiomes) as well as my own experiences with systems, corals and fish I've had for decades, my first thought when I do something with my reefs is what effect will it have on the various and complex microbiomes, is there research which shows this product, equipment or technique will have a negative impact. But to answer your question about your hammer I doubt the chemiclean was the primary reason(s) it died. For getting rid of the algae I would only do manual removal like Jolt said (see my beta video on using stainless steel straws in the video section). Another technique I started using over 2 decades ago was using some water from a healthy and mature reef system to help with additional bacteria (it was gratifying reading about researchers using bacteria transplants and infusions to restore a healthy microbiome ) I also would not worry about getting rid of it right away or in a single cleaning. Look at my two threads on nuisance algae, Hair ALgae 1 and Hair ALgae 2, in both cases the algae disappeared with only manual removal AND it disappeared from nooks and crannies where I couldn't get with a toothbrush or where the urchins couldn't get. At some point there was a fundamental shift in the ecosystem that favored corals over algae. (Forest Rohwer discusses this shift in the equilibrium of an ecosystem in ch. 5 of his book Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas.) Since corals are proactively promoting autotrophic microbial processes (think oxygen enriching, use the search terms Haas, DOC, DCNS on scholar.google.com if you have a weekend ) my advice differs from Jolt's in that I would be adding easy corals right away to both compete against the algae for nutrients and help promote autotrophic processes. I do strongly urge at least some wild or maricultured live rock to get some beneficial cryptic sponges that will help cycle DOC (Dissolved Organic Carbon, another thick subject) but I only use 1/4 to 1/2 lb per gallon.