New articles, and a DIY project in my future
A few articles have been added to my site, that have been in the club newsletters over the past few months.
My phytoplankton cultures continue to be ready at 5 days. Waiting until day 6 or day 7 results in a bad batch, as it is already crashing at that point.
The rotifer culture is doing well, much to my surprise. I've wondered about these tiny bits of live food, but somehow they continue to survive my poor regime. I need to make it easier to breed and feed, but to do so I'll have to change the way it is set up.
My BTA is not as beautiful as it used to be. I believe the clownfish are keeping it from eating, and chasing them away has proved fruitless. I got the tiny clownfish out with a net and a scraping tool after 10 minutes of effort, only to have the Blue Damsel constantly attack the poor guy in the open. The Damsel is chased by all the fish, and Kid is his only target. The only solution I see now is to make it pointed effort to feed the BTA a meaty portion every other day to assure that it gets some more nutrients.
The original yellow and green Acropora sp. (SPS coral) I bought 1.5 years ago is almost completely dead. About a month ago it started having some real problems, and one expert thought it was suffering from "Brown Jelly Disease." That proved to be false, as the brown portions within the branches were hard and couldn't be blown away with strong current. Various branches suddenly turned white from stem to tip, while the rest looked okay. About 80% of this coral has died now, and I just don't have the heart to try and save what little bit is left. I'll probably replace it with a new one instead.
My next big project is to build a calcium reactor, and I'm going to use this concept to make it. Darren's DIY Ca Reactor I've gotten a number of items so far, but need a few more parts. Then I'll hook it up to my 55g and stop dosing B-Ionic daily. This will be a new experience for me, but I'm hoping it will be worth all the effort. I'm going to use a regulator on the CO2 tank that has a solenoid built-in, so if the power goes out, the CO2 is shut off to protect the tank from excess CO2. Also, a pH Controller will be hooked up to it, so if pH gets too low in the tank, the CO2 will be shut off. From the advice I've been given so far, it looks like these two devices will be excellent safeties and provide better control & ease of use.
Dax and (my so far unnamed) green Mandarin continue to behave as before, with the green one antagonizing the other relentlessly.
Both of the refugiums now hold almost solely Cheatomorpha. I gave away all my Caulerpa racemosa to others wanting some macro algae. The Cheatomorpha seems to grow more quickly and, from what I've read, is more stable and can't crash / go sexual.