It's been another month. The 400g has been running for 5 years and 7 months as of tomorrow. I've been dosing 40 ml of Nopox daily for 58 days. It looks like nitrate is finally approaching 10 ppm (looks like 15 ppm today via API), down from 50 ppm. Phosphates measured .1 ppm (Elos)
It's been 1522 days, or exactly 50 months since the 400g was restarted. And it's really looking more beautiful each day. I'm enjoying the open space above the corals, seeing how the acroporas have room to grow upward and the fish to swim. The reef is so colorful, and especially so when it's only lit with XHO lighting. I wish you could see it the way I see it because the camera just can't capture the beauty that the human eye can.
After more than 3.5 years of growth, some colonies were dominating the aquarium blocking light and impeding flow. Duane helped me with this project, which involved cutting out the huge corals and planting smaller choice bits to reset the reef. It's not an easy task, and mentally it can be challenging as well. I had to give him the reigns because left to my own means, I would have saved every coral instead of sacrificing the bulk to attain new beauty.
It's been five days since the reef was reset. I knew I'd need some time getting used to the new look of the reef. Duane begged me to turn on the 20,000K lighting Saturday evening because "your rock is so white!" under 10,000K lighting. Not surprising since it had about 60 lbs of corals shading it for the past couple of years, right? After he was done gluing the last frags in place, I did flip over to 20,000K so he could see his handiwork.
Last Saturday, Melev's Reef had a viewing party. Locals were invited to watch the transformation of the 400g which was desparately in need of a major clean-out. Corals had grown into massive colonies, completely shading whatever was beneath. Flow was obstructed, and the prettiest view was really only from above. Daily I saw the dead supporting skeleton holding up the living section above, and it was hard to 'like' my reef in that condition.
The frag system has been less fun that I'd hoped. Water quality has been an issue because it's just not as stable as I like. While skimming is hands-free as well as top off, dosing three part to the tank is an unpleasant task for me. I'm spoiled by my calcium reactor on the big reef, and would probably love one on this smaller tank. Mixing up the solutions, replenishing the reservoirs as they run out, making sure the parameters are on target or adjusting the dosing pumps to compensate for preferred numbers... not a fan.
Today marks 3.5 years since the 400g went up for the second time. November 10th, 2013 was the day all the livestock was moved from the temporary 215g tank into the 400g and the 60g anemone cube. This would be Day 1278.
If you follow my youtube channel, you've probably heard how I have to get my arms wet and really cull the 400g reef because the growth at the top is shadowing everything beneath, and those things beneath have little chance of living. I hate to have to rip out these big colonies, but there's no choice. Here are a bunch of pictures of the tank today. I've also included some images of the Anemone Cube.