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The Maroon Lagoon V2.0

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So last night I noticed that there was some salt creep coming down from one of the return bulkheads of my tank. The bulkheads Marineland included with the tank are spigot style so I had hose clamped the return lines to them. I guess the wiggle of the manifold cracked the bulkhead and when I went to check the tubing this happened...
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I didn’t even pull that hard! I guess I’m lucky it happened while I had the return pump off, but it still made a mess and was not how I wanted to spend my Friday evening as I was winding down to relax with a drink. Two separate trips to HD and Lowe’s and I got it repaired with a new bulkhead, reducers, and unions to get it back up and running.

I was a little shocked at how much detritus and junk had built up in my overflow. I had to completely drain it and dry it to get the new bulkhead in. Here’s the cup of gunk I drained out of the overflow e21dc1a62dcf7208ab36cd47c4022dc7.jpg

I definitely never want to have a bottom drilled tank or deep overflows like this EVER again. Any future build will be drilled in the back utilizing solid bulkheads and plumbing. I should have bought my own bulkheads instead of using the cheap ones that Marineland provided with the tank. Hindsight is always 20/20...

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So I’ve hit a rough patch with the tank ever since I left town for a few weeks on vacation in May and lost a bunch of corals. Still never was able to definitively nail down the cause, and honestly it doesn’t seem like the issue has been resolved yet... ~6 months later. I’m still having issues with some SPS. Growth seems to have slowed, colors have slowly been coming back, but I lost my two largest plating colonies and some very expensive “high end” acros.

As a result of the weakened health of my corals and the subsequent coral deaths, I have now been struggling with a GHA outbreak. The stuff is everywhere in my tank now and I pulled out over two full pitchers worth of algae from my tank in October. On top of this, all of my sponge growth died back last month, I assume because GHA exploded and starved my sponges to death. Needless to say I have become discouraged with half a year of struggles and unsolved health mysteries.

I couldn’t take the GHA any longer and thought maybe it was compounding my coral health issues by outcompeting them and smothering them. I bought Vibrant and dosed the entire bottle to no avail. Then last week I gave up on hoping Vibrant would work and dosed Fluco 200. The GHA is still there, but I’m starting to think it is at least stunted, if not starting to die. The pH in my tank took a sudden drop and, even with windows open last night, is lower than it has been. This tells me that some big CO2 scrubbers in the tank are taking a hit and microbial activity is starting to break the algae down and drive pH even lower. I assume (and hope) this trend will continue and is indeed indicative of dying GHA. Here’s a snap of my pH trends this week:
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What I observed is that it stopped it from growing which allowed the cuc to kill/eat it. I don’t think it literally dissolved. But that’s me.


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What I observed is that it stopped it from growing which allowed the cuc to kill/eat it. I don’t think it literally dissolved. But that’s me.


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How do you get CUC to eat the stuff? I’ve added all kinds of CUC staff and they seem to largely ignore the GHA.

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Watch for a phosphate spike following the flucon.  Mine jumped from 0.05 up to 0.12 within 36 hours

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Watch for a phosphate spike following the flucon.  Mine jumped from 0.05 up to 0.12 within 36 hours

I took carbon out and replaced it with GFO. I have two GFO canisters running now, so hopefully that’ll keep it in check!
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Urchins are the best thing for GHA, not only will they eat and scour the rock, but they constantly disturb it so that you can remove it easily.

 

 

 

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Urchins are the best thing for GHA, not only will they eat and scour the rock, but they constantly disturb it so that you can remove it easily.
 
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I have one tuxedo urchin, but I’ve never seen it graze on GHA. ☹️ maybe it does and I just don’t notice it.

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I don’t want to be too optimistic and jinx myself, but it seems like things are starting to turn around for the better. The hair algae is getting more thin, hasn’t been growing back where it usually does, and may be disappearing slowly.
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My sponge might also be starting to recover too. You can tell the dead sponge that is more washed out and transparent and what might be new sponge growth that is more tan color in the shadows there. Hopefully that’s a sign that the tank ecosystem is returning to normal
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And here are a couple of tank shots just for the heck of it
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That flucon works man. Imagine all the people who could have save so much money and corals and rock had this been found earlier!


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That flucon works man. Imagine all the people who could have save so much money and corals and rock had this been found earlier!


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True! Just hoping it continues to work and won’t be an issue for a while 🤞

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Wow John - hate to see that happen to such a thriving tank.  That pic shows SO much real estate, and you were literally jam packed last time I was over there.  Glad it looks to be on the mend!

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I’ve felt hopeful about my tank for the first time this week in a long long time. The GHA is mostly gone now thanks to the Fluco treatment, and what a difference that has made on the health of my corals! I performed a large water change this week and it seemed like the next days the colors of my corals was noticeably better. Sponge growth is definitely starting to come back, my feather dusters are starting to pop back up again, and I’m starting to see mysid shrimp in the sump again. I’m hopeful the recovery will continue and corals that have laid dormant for half a year will start growing again. Fingers crossed!

New sponge growth peaking through the dead sponge.
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A couple FTS:
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Nice, that stuff totally works man.


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Freaking miracle drug! I’ve shut tanks down in the past out of frustration with GHA. I’m always going to have some Fluco on hand now going forward
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Congrats!  Nice to hear you feeling positive about the tank.  So much room to work with now compared to the last time I had seen it - going to be a rebirth: Maroon Lagoon  Version 3.0.

 

Now, if someone would just finally buy that setosa/red dragon piece. . .    😃

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Congrats!  Nice to hear you feeling positive about the tank.  So much room to work with now compared to the last time I had seen it - going to be a rebirth: Maroon Lagoon  Version 3.0.
 
Now, if someone would just finally buy that setosa/red dragon piece. . .   

Haha right? Glad someone noticed...

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