Archive for March, 2013

New Frags

Posted: March 17, 2013 in 90 Gallon Reef

Camera Flash washed out the colors some. Oh well…

Duncan and Hammer

Acropora Valida

April’s Pick: Light Green ToadStool

Pink Birdsnest, Green Slimer, Acropora

Full Tank Shot


Stress before Success

Posted: March 14, 2013 in 90 Gallon Reef, Refugium

After realizing, yesterday, that I needed to redo all my fuge plumbing, I had to hold off on plumbing until I got the remainder of the parts.

I picked them up on the way home from work today, and began assembling them. Unfortunately, the angle I need to get the new piping from the emergency overflow through was pretty tight.  This meant I needed to move the refugium until it was lined up correctly. So I began moving the tank to line it up. I kept bumping the pipe that was from my main tanks overflow.

Little did I know how barely watertight the bulkhead on my main tank was. As their was some pressure on this pipe, I heard something through the wall… wondering what it was, I walked around the picture. Water was pouring from the bulkhead on my main tank!  Panic set it.  I tried to stop the leaking, but (since the fuge tank was in the way, and I didn’t realize it) I was unable to turn the piping enough to stop the leak. Frantic I started looking for solutions. The hole is too tight to get my hand up there, and I can’t even get my hand down the overflow in the tank because of how tight it is. Eventually realizing that I needed to move the refugium to get the pressure of the plumbing.  There is no feeling the this hobby like the idea that you’ve completely screwed you tank. Especially when it’s due to a change that wasn’t entirely needed, and shouldn’t have effected the display tank in the slightest.

Where’s Life’s undo button?

This picture was from when the leak was mostly stopped. Though, it was fairly intensely dripping. At this point, the leak was still too much to be “acceptable”.  After a while of fiddling with the configuration of the pipes, I was able to get it down to roughly a drip every 10 to 20 seconds. This is how it was originally before, and stopped on it’s own. Let’s cross our figures it happens again.  Overall, I had a couple gallons of water on the floor of my stand.

Once I had the leak situation under control (though, my pounding heart persisted for most of the night), I realized that my initial plan of plumbing the emergency line straight through the wall wasn’t possible due to how the tank needed to be situated. This left me with a ton of water in my stand, an extra hole in the wall, and a dilemma on how to get the plumbing right on the emergency overflow.

Luckily, I was setup well enough to get the emergency overflow line to go across the wall and then through a hole next to the original overflow.  So (after another trip to the hardware store) I was finally able to get the plumbing completed.


Needless to say, I ended my night with a couple drinks and a visit to the bar. This project ended up taking WAY more than expected.  Let’s hope the (now tiny) leak from the display tank overflow stops on it’s own from salt creep, as it did before. So far, I see no leaks from the fuge now. So at least something went right!

Fuge Back Online


Posted: March 14, 2013 in 90 Gallon Reef, Reef Angel, Refugium

Well… I have had several issues with my refugium. The first being a slow leak from the bulkhead, and the another being that I didn’t allow my plumbing to be easily removed. The final issue, which was major, was a clog (snail maybe?) resulted in an overflowing Refugium. I only lost a few gallons since I caught it early (thank god for reef angel emailing warning my ATO reservoir was low… I knew something was up since I had only filled it 2 days prior) but this would be an easy way to destroy my salinity, flood my basement, and burn out my return pump.


So, my plumbing needed to be worked. No easy task.  My plan was to drill a second overflow. This would be above my overflow box as an emergency overflow. Next I wanted to fix my pre-existing plumbing by sawing enough off to insert a union right after my overflow.  I originally didn’t use a union because I didn’t want the extra space between the wall and the tank. Plus my plumbing budget was shot, and unions are like 10x the price of all the other fittings (a very short sighted decision).


However, nothing comes as easily as planned. I didn’t have enough pvc between fittings to easily insert a union. Therefore, I had to saw through a fitting to even get the tank moved away from the wall. This means that 3/4 of the plumbing I have from my fuge needs to be thrown away.

Not as much done as I’d hoped… but still a success

Luckily, I did have some success. After a hard battle, I was able to remove the silicone around my bulkhead that had been my last attempt at fixing the leak prior to redoing it all.  Additionally, I got the worst part done: drilling another hole in the glass.  Since I wasn’t anticipating need double the plumbing parts, I need another stop at the hardware store today. Hopefully I will have it all replumbed by tonight!

Pray for no leaks!

New Reef Residents

Posted: March 7, 2013 in 90 Gallon Reef

Skunk Cleaner Shrimp

My Night

Posted: March 6, 2013 in Misc

I didn’t make this video, but it sums up my evening fairly well…

Java Update

Posted: March 3, 2013 in The Dogs

After Java’s scare we gave us, we were waiting for some good news. The Vet got a hold of us yesterday, and said her blood work came back clean. This means that it either was a fluke thing, or likely epilepsy. Going forward, he’s asked us to call him if she has any seizures again, and rush her into pet emergency. The seizures themselves shouldn’t be bad; however the length of the first one was troubling. If she stops seizuring on our way to the vet in the future, he said to just turn around and go home, then call and let him know it happened.

Java will need to go on anti-seizure medication if she has more than 2 seizures in a month. Potential side effects outweigh the benefits if she’s having less than that. So far we haven’t seen any more, and she’s been acting completely normal.

Here’s to it being a random occurrence!


Yellow Tang and Butterfly Fish


Update Time!


So, Cleanup Crew is all in, and going good. Much needed as my rocks and sand are covered in algae (guessing diatoms).  Additionally, I noticed my wetside on the vortech was slowly rotating through out the day, so I set it to be tighter. The snails in the sand, mixed with the better flow from a properly setup vortech have unleashed a TON of fine particles in my water. I think the mostly look like sand. So I am running a filter sock for a few days to see if it helps any.

So far, my corals are only doing so so. I have one Pink Zoa that is opened up nice and has already started to multiply. However, the original colony of pink zoa that I originally cut that from (and is sitting right next to it) wasn’t opened in a while, nor has an orange one.


Sad Hammer

I got a hammer, and it still doesn’t look too happy either. However, my palys and montipora all look great with polyp extension. I honestly can’t tell if my acro is happy or not, though it hasn’t had any RTN, so that’s a plus.

Montipora Spongode

Additionally, I had an emergency vet bill this week… so it looks like it’ll be another month before I can buy my skimmer

Our nearly 3 year old Rat Terrier gave us quite the scare yesterday. Around 5:30 in the morning, I felt Java (who likes to sleep under the covers with my Fiance, April) stumble into me. I was 90% asleep still, but I grabbed her instead of letting her jump off the bed like she normally does when she gets too hot. I can’t explain it, but something in how she moved just felt off. When she continued to lean towards going off the bed I let her jump. She landed on her feet, then stumbled sideways into the closet door, hitting it with her right side. From here, she staggered around the room and ran into the dresser, again with her right side.

By now, it was apparent that this was more than a sleepy dog being clumsy, so we switched on the light. She had made her way across the bedroom to where our other dog, a chocolate lab named Benny, sleeps. It became apparent she had lost bladder control on the way there. She then turned, and stumbled sideways to the right, and hit the sliding glass door. The best way to describe how she was moving was like someone that is so drunk they can barely stand…. staggering and falling to one-side  While April started to clean the small mess up, I let Java out. She appeared to move more normally outside, though this may be because there was less obstacles she had to negotiate.  When she came back in, she laid down between April and I on the bed, and seemed to be ready to go back to sleep.  A few minutes later, she started stirring. At first, since I had been petting her lower end, I thought she was just moving. However April, who had been petting her head, realized that her neck was spasming.

I got up again, and switched on the light. Java tried to stand, but by this point her whole front half of her body (maybe more, I only noticed the front) was twitching. She tried to stand, but couldn’t. It was like she was reaching out with her right foot, but was unable to do anything more with it.  April ran out to the living room to look up the number for the Emergency Vet. Java was struggling to move, so I picked her up, and put her in my lap on the floor, where I pet her head. She had been drooling all over the bed, and now was continuing to drool excessively, and her mouth started to slightly foam. She never lost consciousness, and the seizures slowly subsided.

By the time April came back into the room, Java’s seizure had stopped, and she was just laying in my lap. April informed me that the only Emergency Vet that was open was downtown, and that they would transfer all animals to other vets at 8 am. Since it was now a little after six, and our normal vet opened at 7, we decided to wait and head there for when they opened.

Between 5 and 10 minutes later, Java was back to her normal self. Upon arrival at the vet, we were informed that we need to wait until all the surgical patients arriving needed to be checked in first (I think part of this was that she was acting completely normal so it was not an emergency situation). Java acted excited and occasionally barked at every one that entered, which is basically her normal self.

When the vet saw us, he did some basic tests. Based on her age, he suspected she had epilepsy. He found no indication of other brain issues, no indication of toxins (since she snapped out of the seizures on her own) and said she appeared in otherwise good health. He ordered blood tests to look for other causes, but felt that it was an idiopathic seizure.

Meanwhile, Java is back to her normal self completely. She even seemed extra energy yesterday. Hopefully it doesn’t happen again anytime soon!

A photo of Java from Summer 2011