Success, failures and a conundrum.... (long post)

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by Picasso, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Picasso

    Picasso Seahorse Whisperer

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    I haven't been posting because I'm kind of in limbo. I don't know enough to give advice, but I've been doing ok with my tanks, well until last weekend.

    Success first: My 29 gallon: Start date Nov 1st. It's doing awesome! My corals are thriving, my fish: 1 marroon clown, 1 firefish, and 1 goby of some sort: are all happy. The mysterious alien hasn't been spotted and my shrimp: 2 peppermint and one cleaner and an emerald crab, they are all happy. Every evening they come out for a hand feeding and crawl all over my hands! I started out hating them because they were creepy looking with all those legs. I got them to eat my aiptasia (which worked). Now we have a party every evening! They are so fun. The cleaner has finally coerced my clown and the goby to hold still long enough for it to tickle them and it seems very happy. My maroon fish has decided to make friends with one of my purple 'shrooms and not my bubble coral. The 'shroom is kind of flat and I don't think the clown will be able to damage it but I'm keeping a close eye on it and I'll move the 'shroom if there are any signs of distress. The coolest thing about my 29 gallon is that I got a small handful of what I'm calling seaweed about a month ago. I was so tired of all the brown in my tank! Between the diatome bloom and mostly brown corals I needed color. So I got a handful of this green seaweed and stuffed half on one side of my tank between the rocks and the glass and half on the other side. This seaweed stuff is unbelievable! It started off as just a bit of green in the tank but now it is swarming with what I think are pods but some of them are pretty big, tons of snails some the size of the tip of a pencil and some the size of a small grape and every size in between and it is all growing like crazy! I was worried because it is getting kind of dense which has decreased the water flow in the seaweed but it just seems to be pumping out more and more animals the thicker it gets! I could watch it all day! I know that soon I'll have to thin it out a bit but it's really cool right now. My prism skimmer isn't working right (no foam but it does help circulate water) but my numbers are spot on and I think that's because I went slow and focused on building my sand community before adding too much. Loving this little eco system!

    Failures: My daughter's overstocked tank suffered a major loss over the weekend. The power strip failed and everything was off overnight. The water temp dropped and killed one of her clowns. Her two corals looked dreadful, a kenya weed and a brown 'shroom and her two PJ fish were not to be seen. Her snails and crabs looked ok and her cleaner shrimp was moving about. We got her heater on ASAP but the other little clown looked horrible. He was bumping into things and he kept trying to turn on his side. Not knowing what to do, I put him in a plastic bag and floated him in my nice and warm 10 gallon. He flipped upside down and stuck his little fins out but his mouth was still moving. After about 15 mins, I trickled a tiny bit of water from my 10 gallon into his bag. He started to perk up a bit. Slowly I added little drops at a time and he finally started swimming a bit. He was still really pale though. I really didn't know what to do with him. My 10 gallon was set up to be kind of a refugium that will eventually hook to my 29 gallon. I've got two hard corals and two softies, a bunch of seaweed and a bunch of that wiry green stuff that kind of looks like moss a good bit of LR and there is about 3-4 inches of sand. Last week, I put two baby fish in there a sand sifter and a scooter blenny just so my corals would have some fish poop. I made a deal with my LFS guy that I could bring them back when they grew so I wouldn't overload my tank. This tank also has an emerald crab. On Saturday, I added a baby yellow goby, from my daughter's tank because it was too tiny for her tank and he kept getting stuck in the filtration system of the BioCube. I know my little 10 gallon can't handle all those fish and I can't put the stripey clown in my big tank because I've got a maroon clown in there and he'll attack him. I ended up putting the little clown in my 10 gallon. I'm keeping a close watch on my numbers (dip strip every morning and full nitrate/nitrite test every evening) and for the past 3 days everything is staying at 0. I have forbidden my daughter to buy any more fish and told my LFS guy that if he sells to her he will loose my business as well.

    Conundrum..... I don't want to add any more fish to my 29 gallon, I LOVE to watch everything in there and they've all seemed to find a happy balance together. My daughter's 14 gallon biocube has two PJ fish and one shrimp and I think that's plenty. My 10 gallon, which was really supposed to be a place for corals and mangroves (waiting for spring to re-ship the plants) is now an overstocked tank. It's really beautiful, rockin' lights, beautiful coral bones and live rock, lots of green, good water flow.... Right now I'm getting away with all those fish because they're all tiny babies. In a month, I'm going to have a problem. My daughter wants to move the clown back into her tank. I've got an empty 20 long that I could set up but my rockin' lights that are on my 10 gallon are only 20 inches and new lights aren't in the budget right now.

    My options:

    1. Set up the 20 gallon and center my lights. I think this is only going to postpone the problem because these little babies will out grow the 20 gallon tank in a few months?

    2. Take a few fish back to LFS guy. He agreed to this when I made the purchase but I know I'll have to have a "your worrying too much, your tank can handle all those fish" conversation with him and, well, now I really like the fish I've got. The scooter and sifter hang out together zooming all around the tank and the yellow fish has made himself a little home under one of the LR's. The tank is set up so there is a ton of sand, on the right side there is a huge pile of LR with lots and lots of nooks and crannies so all the fish can hide easily if they wish. Also, I would feel like such a failure taking fish back.

    3. Let my daughter put the clown back in her 14 gallon along with the creapy red-eyed PJ fish and let them all live in stress. Her tank is running a bit high in both nitrates and nitrites at the moment. Frequent water changes is keeping everything ok and I've ordered some more pods and miracle mud for her tank. We are getting rid of the "bio-balls" this weekend and getting crushed live rock for that chamber and have a prism skimmer ordered which should be here thursday. Again, I think the tank will handle the load for a couple of months because that clown is really tiny, once he grows....

    4. Sell a kidney and buy a monster tank now instead of in October like I've planned. This really isn't an option right now but I do think about it a lot (I'm ready to join the Tank Anonymous Meetings)

    I miss my blog, I've been working like crazy lately and I really love to watch all the drama in my tanks and all this extra stuff is distracting me from loving this hobby as much as I would like. I want to learn more about plumbing so I can start the process of hooking my tank to an auto fill and to hook my tanks together. Conundrum.
     
    Picasso, Feb 24, 2009
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  2. Picasso

    dustin_P74

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    why dont you set the 20 gallon up as a holding tank for the fish while you get your daughters tank parameters back in order, and you can keep your corals in your tank. but also if your not having a problem with your parameters in your tank with the bio load you have you should be fine and not have to worry about it for awhile
     
    dustin_P74, Feb 24, 2009
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  3. Picasso

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    I'm thinking along the same lines as Dustin.
     
    yote, Feb 24, 2009
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  4. Picasso

    daugherty part time reefer

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    i have to agree with dustin on ths one
     
    daugherty, Feb 24, 2009
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  5. Picasso

    d2mini VIP Member

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    Oh sure, why don't we ALLLLLLLL agree with Dustin. :bowdown: :rolleyes:


    Ok, I'm on board since I don't have a better idea. :mrgreen:
     
    d2mini, Feb 24, 2009
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  6. Picasso

    Teixeira29 Live Rock Fish only

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    Dustin has it covered for now!!!
     
    Teixeira29, Feb 24, 2009
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  7. Picasso

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Y'all know this is going to give him the big head right? :mrgreen:
     
    yote, Feb 24, 2009
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  8. Picasso

    dustin_P74

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    dont worry, it cant get any bigger
     
    dustin_P74, Feb 25, 2009
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  9. Picasso

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    HAHAHAHA


    Yeah right:mrgreen:
     
    yote, Feb 25, 2009
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  10. Picasso

    simpleman

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    Is there a reef club in your area Catherine? If so I would recommend checking it out. I say this because it seems like someone is always upgrading in my local club (MARS). Looks like I'm going to pick up a 90 gal with stand, canopy, and sump for $100. That is if I can talk my wife into it.
     
    simpleman, Feb 25, 2009
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  11. Picasso

    Picasso Seahorse Whisperer

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    Well, I picked up a new light today for my 20 long. Tomorrow, I'll see what I can get set up to get my fish better distributed. I can thin out my sea weed and steal one of my daughter's large rocks. I'm going to put my 10 gallon and 20 long next to each other and pretend they are one long tank. I got some live sand and some dry sand that is the prettiest sugary white I've ever seen. I'm going to cover the argonite with the white sand even though I'm pretty sure it will sift down. If all goes well, I'll move a fish or two next week. Thanks for the suggestion Dustin. If I can figure out how to move water back and forth, I'll hook my 20 and my 10 together, that will be a fun challenge! I'll get pics up ASAP! Thanks guys.
     
    Picasso, Feb 25, 2009
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  12. Picasso

    surferido funky buttlovin

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    i say sell the kidney...you have two.
     
    surferido, Feb 25, 2009
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