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Timfish

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Everything posted by Timfish

  1. Timfish

    New tank cycle

    From your posts it sounds like you added some live rock that had hermits on it. Between adding bacteria and using live rock I wouldn't expect any nitrites to show up for long even if it was ever at detectable levels. For what it's worth I haven't had a nitrite test kit for 15 years or more.
  2. Timfish

    Aluminum tank stand.

    Looks really nice! Having seen steel stands for tanks 10X the size use only 1" square tubing it looks like you went for some serious overkill there.
  3. Timfish

    Reef 1992

    I thought I had a thread on thsi system but just hadn't updated it since it was rehomed 5-6 years ago. Even though I have referenced it in posts in the past I apparently haven't actually started a thread on it so here it is. The system was started in 1992 and has brown finger, Palau Green Finger (Sinularia foliata), Discsoma sp. mushrooms, Tricolor Frogspawn all added mid 90's. Purple Tang initially purchased 1994 and rehomed 2007. FIlter is just a cryptic sump (skimmer was removed ~'97-98). Lighting initially was T12s then T5s then LED bars and currently is 3 "PopularGrow" 3' LED bars. (Notebly the mushrooms that thrived under fluoresents for 14-16 years have never done well under LEDs) System still has a couple pieces of the original Florida Worm Rock which a few old timers might remember. Originally set up in a 75 gallon system the tank has been moved and replaced several times and and rehomed once and it is now in a DAS 110. https://youtu.be/Pc1Ahpyaxb8
  4. Timfish

    Repairing Acrylic Sump

    In addition, you could also reinforce the joints with acrylic rods. Clear swizzle sticks would be a good diameter I think.
  5. Timfish

    Hair Algae, a second case study

    Here's a time lapse of a spot showing the changes in algae as the herbivores graze. It can be clearly seen there are spots in the nooks and crevices that have algae the herbivores can't get too but there is no hair algae growing. https://youtu.be/vxMn6YBwIDM
  6. Nuisance algae in reef systems is pretty much a ubiquitous problem, and one that is a common source of frustration for reef aquarists. It is also one I've learned to view the problem very differently than what is generally portrayed and it just takes a few rather basic steps, and patience. (This is longer than I planned so feel free to jump past the backgound info.) Back in the late 90's I realized the general notion of nuisance algae being just a nutrient issue didn't fit what I was seeing in my maintenance business. In my systems there was not a correlation between PO4, Nitrate, and nuisance algae problems. A nice looking tank that did not have a problem would test "bad", have "unacceptable" levels of PO4 and/or Nitrate, while a tank with "good" numbers would have a serious nuisance algae issue. If there was a correlation between equipment and nuisance algae it was a positive one, more and fancier equipment didn't get rid of nuisance algae. There was clearly something else going on and I'll get back to this in just a sec. While I have tried various chemical fixes, the first, and very simple, technique I realized worked well and produced the most consistent results was just small weekly water changes, 5% - 10%. One aspect of these early fixes with water changes that I didn't really appreciate until years later (reading reef research was at the time for purely aesthetic reasons), I would siphon out nuisance algae when doing a water change. The top layer of sand would also be siphoned off if there was any "color",any single cell algae, rinsed quickly in tap water, then put back in the tank. This constant removal of algae, not aggressive but persistent, turns out to be very beneficial and very similar to the way the primary herbivores (Parrotfish in the Pacific and Urchins in the Caribean) on reefs control the algae. Fast forward a few years, a little bit more than a decade, and I started getting on the internet and checking out the forums. I didn’t look up every forum, but the ones I did pursue suggested nuisance algae was still treated as a nutrient issue. So maybe I was missing something? I started wondering what the scientists and the research being done say about reefs? This was a real eye opener. Here are just two of the observations I stumbled across: "When I see the colors of some of these low nutrient tanks, I can't help but be reminded of bleached coral reefs. It should therefore not come as a surprise that feeding corals in such systems becomes a very important component in these systems. Though reefs are often categorized as nutrient "deserts", the influx of nutrients in the form of particulates and plankton is quite high when the total volume of water passing over a reef is taken into consideration. Our crystal-clear aquaria do not come close to the nutrient loads that swirl around natural reefs. And so when we create low-nutrient water conditions, we still have to deal with the rest of a much more complex puzzle. Much like those who run their aquarium water temperature close to the thermal maximums of corals walk a narrow tight rope, I can't help but think that low-nutrient aquariums may be headed down a similar path." Charles Delbeck, Coral Nov/Dec 2010, pg 127. "Imported nutrients are usually transported to reefs from rivers; but if there are no rivers, as with reefs remote from land masses, nutrients can only come from surface ocean circulation. Often this supply is poor, and thus the vast ocean expanses have been referred to as "nutrient deserts". The Indo-Pacific has many huge atolls in these supposed deserts which testify to the resilience of reefs, but the corals themselves may lack the lush appearance of those of more fertile waters. Many reefs have another major supply of inorganic nutrients as, under certain conditions, surface currents moving against a reef face may cause deep ocean water to be drawn to the surface. This "upwelled" water is often rich in phosphorus [2.0 mg/l] and other essential chemicals." J. E. N. Veron "Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific" pg 30 " What was real gratifying was reading Forest Rohwer in ch 5 of his book "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" discussed how it wasn't nutrients per se that causes algae problems on reefs but a shift in the equilibrium of a reef ecosystem that allows algae to take over. This really resonated as I would see nutrients stay the same or increase as algae abated. Chasing some of the references Forest Rohwer mentioned, there is a far more complicated picture involving microbes, herbivores, corals, algae and the various roles of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC). I'm going a bit off topic, but there's a lot of stuff aquarists are doing that's either not relevant or is detrimental to the long term sustainability of reef systems. I encourage every reef aquarist to read his book. So, back to the problem at hand. Patience. You're not getting rid of algae. You are changing the equilibrium of your reef ecosystem. It ain't going to happen overnight. Expect to see it get worse at times; two steps forward, one back. Changes in the types of algae is a good thing. As far as using any of the various products out there touted for dealing with nuisance algae, I strongly, strongly discourage their use. First of all, they definitely are not at all needed to fix a problem. These products do not actually fix the underlying problem; there's still the issue of why the ecosystem's equilibrium is favoring nuisance algae. Some of the products if overused have the potential to create superbugs which none of us want. Most importantly, corals have a holobiont, an assemblage of various microbes, viruses, cyanobacteria, fungi and archaia which is species specific and essential components of a coral's immune system and nutrient cycling. Much of the holobiont is in the mucus coating of the coral (a portion is internal and a portion is also endolithic, in its skeleton). Anything dumped into a reef system that kills nuisance algae will be killing beneficial, and I'll argue essential, portions of a coral's holobiont. And pointedly, one (if not more) of these products were used in this thread by a previous maintenance company with no effect. Small water changes. These don't have to be weekly. I'm posting links to two threads I've done dealing with nuisance algae below and one had water changes every 3 or 4 weeks. 20% monthly would be a good target number but I've never seen any benefit to going more than 30%. When siphoning, remember, suction strength is determined by the weight of the water in the hose and the height of the surface of the aquarium water above the surface of the water in a bucket you're siphoning into. Use a 1/2" or 9/16" diameter hose; smaller diameter is way too slow and the amount of suction gives poor performance. Larger is hard to control, has a higher suction over a larger area making it harder not to hurt animals, and siphons off water way too fast requiring larger water changes to accomplish the same amount of work. Stainless steel straws can be helpful and they have the advantage of actually increasing the suction strength at the nozzle end of the straw but decreasing the area that's seeing the suction. Below is a video using stainless steel straws to remove palies safely and works well with some aspects of algae removal. At some point straws do slow things down and I rarely do more than a third of my target volume using them. Usually, like I did in this thread and the 1st thread I've linked too below, I will pull out rock and scrub off algae in aquarium water with a toothbrush or small scrub brush. But I have also dealt with nuisance algae leaving the aquascaping in place (see below). If there's anything valuable like cryptic sponges, corals or coraline algae, I'll put a rock back in the tank. Some stuff may not be worth the effort and I'll use dry rock or a quality, quarantine wild or maricultured live rock to replace it in the aquascaping. I have yet, in all the tanks I've fixed over the years, seen one where I need to pull everything out to fix a problem. There are also occasions where I might do select rocks a second or third time, but never to the extent of the initial scrubbing. Remember though we're trying to get the corals growing again so minimize the disruption as much as possible. Here's my second example shifting the equilibrium of a system to favor corals: This is a 4 year old ~200 gallon 4' tall half cylinder on a 42" tall stand. Previous maintenance companies had tried to deal with it with gfo, algae reducing products and reduced feeding (once per week). The first thing we did was remove about half the rock and scrub it off. The first water change was ~25 gallons. We also removed gfo, turned off the skimmer. With the 2nd week we dropped to just 5%-7% weekly water changes with tap water. We also added an auto-feeder set to 8 small daily feedings, ~1-2 grams Spectrum pellets daily total (X6 or X7 for approximate frozen weight). Several urchins were added, a long spine, short spine pink and royal urchins and a couple Mexican Turbos (DO NOT ADD TO MANY SNAILS! short spine urchins like Tuxedo or Royal are the best options since they chew the algae "holdfasts" off rocks ). I removed the squirrel fish partly because it was seriously under weight 😕 The sump was setup to use a filter sock which I used a few times to help remove stuff but was permanently removed in August. The finger corals are gradually being removed, my client doesn't like them but I needed them to compete with the algae until other corals get going. March 3rd April 27. Here's what it looks like during a scrubbing. The height makes it impossible to get to spots even with a scrub brush with an extended handle (I stuck it in a section of PVC). Some of the sand was siphoned off with water changes, rinsed and dumped back in. June 15. A little nit of cyano started to show up. (This didn't happen in Mike's tank.) It was just siphoned off with water changes. July 6. Here's a weeks worth of cyano growth. July 20. And the cyano has stopped. (This step has taken longer in other systems.) August 8. Still got some hair algae showing up but this is 3 weeks worth. Last week. Here's links to my first thread and to my video on using stainless steel straws: http://www.austinreefclub.com/topic/34556-hair-algae-a-case-study/?tab=comments#comment-275433 http://www.austinreefclub.com/topic/40619-stainless-steel-straws-beta/?tab=comments#comment-340809 I also wanted to share this following experience I had with one of the systems I've maintained over the decades which I think demonstrates a reef system's ability to change it's equilibrium with just water changes. Last decade one of the house systems I had maintained for over a decade was left empty for over three years. During this period I still maintained the system on a weekly basis. On three separate occasions the system was crashed from either AC failures or circuit breakers being turned off. Because the house was empty the home owner chose not to put any effort into any remidiation, just keep doing the basic maintenance. While a few fish and robust mushrooms survived each crash the only animals added were overflow from other systems. As expected because of the dieoff there was a bad nuisance algae outbreak each time. But in each of the three events, in a process that took roughly 6-8 months, the nuisance algae abated. And the only action taken was siphoning out the algae small weekly water changes. No scrubbing, no removing rocks, and each water change left algae in the system. For those wondering the filtration was a wet/dry and no skimmer.
  7. Timfish

    Royal Gramma larva

    I've been pretty sure for a couple decades grammas in my tanks are breeding but this is the first time I've seen and recovered an egg mass from the male's nest. The video is shows the larva at about 18 hours old, assuming the hatch at sunset (lights off) like clownfish. They are much smaller than clownfish larva, the faint grid on the background is 1/4" graph paper
  8. Timfish

    Royal Gramma larva

    I did get rotifers used for clowns but I didn't see any feeding. Size may have been a factor or maybe species. Benroman has raised clowns and is looking into it. Unlike clowns that lay a large batch every few weeks female grammas lay just a few eggs daily and the location of the male's nest is known getting more eggs to work with should be much of a problem.
  9. Timfish

    Royal Gramma larva

    Here's pics of the egg mass I forgot to add yesterday. Their roughly a third the size of clownfish eggs
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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. 😬
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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?
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Timfish

    Color and growth influenced by water flow

    ouch For clarification Ty, the tank you saw at my house was water, sand, rock, fish and corals was from a 450 gallon UNLS system that had to be dissmantelled on very short notice. I do feel some ownership as I built the 350 gallon acrylic tank, stand and canopy and installed the aquascaping. My friend, who technically owned it, was very aggressive about keeping itas an UNLS and when I tested with Red Sea and Elos there were no detectable nitrates or phosphates. Unfortunately after moving there were repeated brown jelly infections that would reappear a month or two after dipping the corals. As annoying as it was losing the A. echinada it it turn out to be a very fortuitous series of events. I was able to demonstrate iodine could be used in tank to treat tissue loss and a coral could recover. Additionally, the frustration from losing because I didn't stay on top of the anthelia motivated me to find better ways to control anthelia which led to the use of stainless steel straws. It's much simpler now to control invasive/aggressive species. As a scientist I would expect you to know the importance of being honest and accurate. So I must say I was pretty disappointed and dismayed when you lied about going 4 years without a water change. Justifying your lie by saying it wasn't a "systemic" water change, especially as it was part of fixing a problem with your reef system, struck me as inane. I can understand the emphasis on color and growth. Unfortunately there's no coralation between color and/or growth with healthy. My perception of healthy has been blown out of the water, there is just no gross physical characteristic that denotes a healthy coral. Multiple papers looking a physiological markers have shown even though a coral may appear to be "healthy" it can in fact take months for physiological markers (like internal lipid levels) to return to normal after a stress event (like simply being moved). Since many of the pathogens of corals are found in the holobiont, messing with environmental conditions can impact a coral's immune system and reduce it's resistance.
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