Reefer 350 Build Blog

ghost_Nic

Reefer 350
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UPDATE: Day 169 of the Reefer 350

--- Refer next post if you'd rather just look at the images ---

Water parameters:
Holding nicely within the tolerances for a mixed reef.
Nitrates & Phosphates are still very low at NO3 = 1 or less and PO4 around 0.01 to 0.02

Dosing daily (all Red Sea):
kH = 24 ml | Ca = 12 ml | Mg = 8 ml | No3PO4X = 3 ml

Recent Fish Additions:
  • 5 little Green Chromis for schooling - I really like these and they fill-in the top level of my water column nicely
  • Royal Gramma (still very shy and mostly hiding in the rock-work)
  • Leopard Wrasse
This brings the total fish to 16. Not sure if that classifies as heavy or not, obviously depends on size and volume of fish etc.

Recent Coral Additions:
  • Zoa's: Candy Apple Green | People Eaters | Purple Macaw
  • Maze Brain Coral
  • Green Bubble Coral
  • Long Tentacle Plate Coral
  • Green Elkhorn Montipora
  • Acropora Echinata
  • Blue Green Acropora
  • Red Digitata
  • Purple Digitata
Successes:
Water parameters remain stable
I am starting to see growth on the SPS as well as some encrusting - very happy with that
The Copperband is still going strong and eating well -> oyster/mussel home-mix with a bit of Masstick in between
The fish in general are all doing very well and getting quite fat
My cleaner shrimp and hermits are thriving, I am getting molts every other day.

Failures and Losses:
I have had three incidents with the nennies:
  1. The RBTA killed my plate coral which was really my fault in pacing them close. I am leaving the skeleton in a shady spot in the tank in the hope that it will make babies
  2. The Magnifica is moving around a lot. It touched my Flower Pot and now there is what looks like a dead spot . I hope it will recover
  3. The GBTA went walk-about and ended up in my wavemaker. I was lucky to notice it before any real damage was caused. The GBTA is none the worst for wear
The cold snap caught me out a bit and I had to install a 3rd 150W heater to pull through. I will only use this 3rd heater when its really cold, otherwise the 2x 150W heaters are doing a good job

Snails!?! What can I say - they just die in my tank. Bought 9 assorted snails recently and they are all gone except perhaps two.
The only snails surviving and cleaning my rocks are unidentified snails I picked-up in the rock pools in Ballito. Must go to the coast again soon. I will post a pick of the shells below, perhaps you can help me ID them.

Lastly, I am having a bit of an ugly phase with diatoms. Its been going for two weeks and is really annoying. I am guessing its the low NO3 and PO4 that's causing this but will see how the heavier fish load changes things.

That's about it . . . photos below
 

ghost_Nic

Reefer 350
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Some pictures of the tank and inhabitants . . .
 

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They buggers of snails. They awsome algae eaters... But they also like to climb out of the tank. When I use to keep them I found mine often crawling around outside of the water.. And on one or two ocations on the floor.... Lol
 

ghost_Nic

Reefer 350
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How are thing going here Nic?

Experiencing a bad ugly phase of diatoms. Wasn’t sure if it was diatoms or cyano so I tried some Chemiclean - now i am sure it’s diatoms.

I then went wet skimming, dropped the lights to 50% of the usual and left for a week of driving at Sodwana. I have no idea what awaits me on return but will update you soonest.

Chemiclean did hit the BTA’s hard but otherwise no obvious harm. Skimmer went completely bonkers but that was expected. I made sure to stick to the instructions.
 

ghost_Nic

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OK so I am back home and the tank has survived a week away under care of my trusty gardener - he really did a good job overall!

The ChemiClean has really hit the softies and some of the LPS hard, I would not recommend using it on a tank heavy on these type of corals.
I wont use it again unless absolutely necessary.

On the positive, my Zoa's have done well and are looking better than ever
SPS have lost some color because I dimmed the lights by 50% to try and limit the dinos while away - dinos did not mind but the SPS did mind.

So my next step is to start dosing Nitrates and Phosphates as I have bottomed-out on both = dinos galore

I am aware of some home-made solutions (Randy Holmes style) but for now I am looking for off-the-shelf products that I can start with.
Something similar to Brightwell's NewNitro and NeoPhos or Nyos Nitrate+ and Phosphate+ would be great.

Any advise/recommendations will be appreciated!!
 
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I use potassium nitrate (saltpetre) and Seachem phytoplankton to raise No3 and po4.

229863
 

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Also get 1 or 2 counch snails for the substrate. Nassarius snails are also recommended for the substrate. Don’t siphon the substrate. Well that’s what I do. I struggled with the ugly phase for 18 months. Only after the 3rd treatment with fluconazole did my algae and bryopsis go.
 
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Dinos is toxic to snails. If they eat it they die. I battled dinos for months. Almost to the point of shutting down my tank. Dinos not fun trying to sort out.
 
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