Wed, 05/18/2005 - 01:28
A few noteworthy things from today:
The copperband butterfly is still doing well, and was out briefly a few times. Looks like it got a few featherdusters, but the aiptasia population seems unchanged in the back of the tank. I'm hoping it will become more and more courageous, so that it can cruise the reef as it wishes.
The pseudochromis elongata appeared for about 2 seconds, and then was out of sight again. Getting a picture of it will be unlikely. Should have done it when it was in my hand. It was discovered in the old sump during the change over. I thought it had died many months ago.
I turned off the Tunze Silphos pump last night while feeding. When I do this, that cylinder full of media drops like a bomb. I don't know if it is supposed to hang on tightly, but this has happened twice. I turned it on this morning, but for about 12 hours, it wasn't processing the water unfortunately. It appears my phosphate reading is 1.5 or maybe 1.25. So it is indeed coming down.
The new skimmer pulled out about 1/4" to 1/2" of skimmate, so I washed it out as the neck was already gunking up. After feeding tonight, it quickly bubbled up large bubbles and about 3/8" of wet skimmate. I opted to turn it off for an hour or so, since the sun coral usually eats during this time. I'd rather leave whatever planktonic food is still in the water for the next hour or so, then I'll restart the skimmer.
One fitting over the new pump is leaking. It was an annoying drip, so I tightened it and now it leaks a bit more than before. :(
I had the a/c unit at 79F in the fish room today, and the heaters actually turned on to warm up the tank. I can't believe it. So I bumped up the a/c unit to 80F. I really wonder how this will all level out during the summer months. I'm sure running the a/c at 80 instead of 77 like last year will help a little on the monthly power bill.
I was talking to awerna (He's a RC member, located in Germany) and we talked about a sump he wants. Our conversation covered a lot of other subjects, including my annoyance with aiptasia. Turns out people in Germany are having amazing success with Joe's Juice. We discussed the process, and I'm going to try to follow his guidelines for now. It isn't tough, but I'm going to have to be more proactive. Rather than hitting 200 aiptasia in one day, then expecting them to disappear miraculously, he suggested I target a few at a time every day until I can't find any anymore. Since sections of my reef seem to have a super-abundance, such as on Fraggle Rock within all the Montipora digitata, I'll probalby start my focus there. If I do this daily for a few weeks, maybe I can reduce the population to such a small scale that the Copperband will help me finish off the last of them.
A few weeks ago, I posted images of the Bergia Nudibranchs, which are known to eat only aiptasia. Well, I can't find them, and I have double to triple the amount of these stupid glass anemones in my frag tank, so I "juiced" them all tonight, and will be returning the rocks back to the reef. Hopefully, Nibbles will leave all my pretty zoos alone. They've made a full recovery.
Lastly, looking at the corals today, I have to say that they appeared to be more vibrant than they were just a few days ago. Maybe that is just a mental hope on my part. Honestly, my tank has lots of pretty corals in it, but some of the SPS that I've lost make it look less than it was before. This annoys me, because it translates into my lack of proper care. I don't like losing any livestock, period. Coralline algae is pretty much non-existant in my tank, so that tells me just how much the water quality has shifted from just a few months ago. Ca and Alk are pretty much within line, as well as salinity. The PO4 has a lot to do with it, I'm sure. My old sump had plenty of coralline in it, so perhaps I should switch my 1220w of light to a couple of my 19w 5100K refugium bulbs. LOL
Here are pictures of the new skimmer in action.
This is what accumulated after dinner before I shut off the skimmer for an hour.
Here is a picture of the water entering the refugium. I have the 90 degree elbow pointed away from the teeth, so water has to circulate to get back across and exit. The surface ripples gently, and the southdown has remained undisturbed. I almost want more flow in there.
The water is so crystal clear at the other end of the fuge, it is almost invisible.
The water drains into a section next to the refugium, and travels into the area where the skimmer sits. Here you can see how many bubbles are moving through the skimmer zone.
And after the bubble trap, you can see how many bubbles are being created by the water cascading over the final baffle. (The acrylic you see to the right of the bubbles is part of the Calcium Reactor stand, and is not a baffle at all.
And you can see how bubble-free the rest of the return section actually is. Plus, there is plenty of room for frags to grow if I decide to go that route.
One more shot of the section with the Ca reactor stand. I'm not sure what the flow is going through the sump, but I believe this pump can move 3000 gph at 0 head. I'm probably moving 2600 or more GPH now.
Tank temperature at midnight. I opened the door to the garage, and shut off the a/c unit tonight.