Author Archive

May Update

Posted: May 15, 2014 in 90 Gallon Reef


I guess it’s time for an update. Wedding planning has hit REALLY hard, mixed in with some other summer starting related stuff, and I have sadly been neglecting my tank more than I should. Everything is doing great, but I’ve got a touch of algae starting.

My Skimmer was starting to make a terrible noise, so I think I have something in the impeller (and hopefully not impeller damage!) but I’ve been unable to have the time to address it, so I’ve been running skimmerless for a few days.

Today, I had a pretty big freak out, but it looks like I’m going to be ok. I was clearing some algae out of the fuge right before I went to work. I lightly brushed the overflow (was 3d printed for me), and the whole thing crumbled apart! So, I ended up being late for work, but I had to turn off the pumps and be sure it wouldn’t overflow. Thankfully, it didn’t! Hopefully that’s still the case after I add back the volume from the Skimmer… If it still works fine without the overflow box, then I may just go without.


New Mandarin Dragonet

Posted: December 5, 2013 in 90 Gallon Reef

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April’s New Tank

Posted: November 11, 2013 in April's Freshwater Tank

5-Gallon Hex

I’ve been too busy to clean-out, drill and plumb my bowfront tank.  So, in the mean time my fiance April has decided we need another tank in our dining room. She has decided to setup a 5-gallon freshwater tank.  Filled and beginning the cycle now (she’s not thrilled about having to wait to add anything!).

Beginning the Cycle


Houston… We have a Problem

Posted: November 11, 2013 in Misc

Clown stuck in overflow

One of my clowns decided to ride the wave into my overflow. So tight I can’t get my net in. Looks like my overflow has a resident until he decides to ride the plumbing to the sump!  Just going to be sure he gets food… and wait him out!

My first thought, after giving it a few days, is to plug the overflows from the sump, and let the tank fill up enough he can just swim out.

Scenes from the Fuge

Posted: November 10, 2013 in Refugium

I took a couple pictures from my fuge that actually kinda show the amount of life that has started to explode out of it.  Most of the little dots on the glass are pods. Hopefully it’s easy to make a couple of them out.

Micro Brittle Star

Full of Pods!

Mandarin Prep

Posted: November 3, 2013 in 90 Gallon Reef


The Mandarin has been one of the fish I was most interested to keep.

My refugium has become LOADED with pods over the last few weeks. Additionally, I have started to see really small ones appear within the display tank. I believe I am now pretty close to being able to support a Mandarin.  My biggest obstacle is my 6-line wrasse.  The 6-line will compete for pods and could potentially be aggressive. I have had 0 aggression out of this particular fish, so I think that shouldn’t be a big issue.

The fact that I have pods in the display is encouraging. I am going to start pursing options of increasing the population in my display.

First, I have started to dose phyto. Increase in food should increase pod reproduction. Next, I am going to use the plastic Gutter Guard to create  “pod condos”. The basic idea is that it’s a plastic sleeve that you fill with live rock rubble. These (I plan on making 5 or 6) will be placed in the refugium. The will act as a breading ground for the pods, which then can be quickly moved into the display, bringing a pod payload with it.  This should help move my massive pod population from the fuge into the display.

I am hoping to order the Mandarin around Thanksgiving (when I have plenty of time off to receive the shipment). This should give me some time to get the display tank where it needs to be.


Post Blackout Success

Posted: November 1, 2013 in 90 Gallon Reef

It’s been over a week since I went for a complete blackout of my tank.  This was a big push to remove the algae that has been plaguing me since summer.

Full Tank Shot Right after the Blackout ended

I turned the lights off, and covered the tank with blankets, for a week. During this time, I transitioned to running my fuge light 24/7 and did every-other-day water changes.

I’d call the results a success!  The algae was greatly dissipated.  Since the lights have been turned back on, the algae has continued to go down.  The fuge is now full of nasty algae, as it should be (I plan on adding some more macro algae to fight this. I’d like to add some ulva to grow food for the tang).  Additionally, I have witnessed an explosion in pods in the fuge and my overflows.  Also, I am seeing a lot of coralline growth on my rocks!

I’ve still got a decent amount of gunk on the back wall of the aquarium. But overall, things are improving fast!


Labor Day Updates

Posted: September 3, 2013 in 90 Gallon Reef, Refugium

Things slowly are looking a little better in the tank after the weekend. Added a couple Emerald Crabs to go after the algae (at the suggestion from John from Reef Cleaners), and my WP25 showed up. So far, I am really impressed by this little pump. Really pushes some water. There are a couple negatives (little worried about the bracket that attaches it to the aquarium as it seems kinda weak and I HATE the plug on it since it takes up so much room… ), but well worth the price.  Definitely doesn’t create the same undertow that the Vortech’s do, so I have no plans of removing the vortech that I have on there now.

I still need to tweak the direction the powerhead is placed to get the flow I want. I may actually even add another down the road. Right now I have it pointed down the back of the rock work from the middle left side, which I know needs flow. But I still feel like the front end directly opposite the vortech still doesn’t have the desired flow.

I couldn’t believe the amount of gunk that the powerhead got off the rocks. Does everyone normally clean their rock work?  I think this may end up being something I need to incorporate into my water change routine, but not really sure of an efficient way to do it.

Additionally, my fuge is starting to look a little more fuge like. The water definitely has a film starting to go. I accidently left the light in the room on while I was away, so that might be part of it. Going to increase flow a tad more, and also add to my light cycle. Right now I have a regular bulb in there. Debating between swapping the bulb to one of those long lasting/energy efficient bulbs since everything else in my house is on one… and that’s what was on from the room light.

I also put in a restocking order on my cleanup crew, which definitely has dwindled a bit in recent months.

The Work Continues

Posted: August 26, 2013 in 90 Gallon Reef

Not surprisingly, after a week and a half vacation, all progress on getting the tank cleared up has been lost.  Think my problem has to do with skimmer filling up so that mode of filtration was gone. It was waterier than I’d like, but I’m at least close to being dialed in. I think a couple coral aren’t going to make it due to Algae growing over them, but a few other SPS actually seemed to be thriving (great polyp extension and color getting better than when I put them in the tank).

I’m going to bump up water change schedule to twice a week or more (more once Labor Day weekend is over). Luckily I’ve gotten it down to basic water changes taking around 5 minutes to complete (once water is at correct salinity).

I should be getting my new powerhead this week (finally. Shipping SUCKS).  Additionally, I am going to be restocking my cleanup crew after the long weekend.   Still not getting growth in fuge. I upped the flow through my fuge (it was barely moving before) in hopes that I just wasn’t getting enough turnover. Hopefully that’ll help.

Last I am thinking of picking up a TDS Meter to add to my RODI unit to be sure that water I’m adding is actually pure.

I will get my tank over this hump!

Truckin along

Posted: August 6, 2013 in 90 Gallon Reef, Refugium

I have read with biopellets that things get worse before they get better. I am starting to think that is what happened with me. Lots of hair algae along the back glass, some along the rocks. Looks like it’s started to peak out and subside a little.

Finally got enough of the ChemiClean out to get my main skimmer up and running, which should help a ton. Additionally, my fuge (which should be perfect for algae. Slow flow, no predators, less intense light) isn’t growing crap. I am going to try a basic shop light with a standard light bulb to see if I have any better luck. With the tank how it looks now, that fuge should just be CRAWLING with icky stuff! However, it’s not. Time for a change to see if I can get better results.