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  #31  
Old 01-23-2019, 04:38 PM
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Quick update.. Things are going well but there are a couple new things I'm monitoring... A little over a week ago I trimmed my chaeto back (removed half) and there seemed to be a nitrate + phosphate spike after. It wasn't insane but the nitrates went from around 2-3ppm up to around 25ppm and the phosphates went from almost undetectable up to around 0.1. They have both been dropping slowly (seemingly as the chaeto grows back, the nutrients are dropping) and after a couple small 4 gallon water changes they seem to be back down to better levels. Nitrates are back down to around 8-10ppm and phosphates are back down to around 0.03-0.05. It's very possible the rise in nutrients was also caused by a snail dying or something. It seems like they're all accounted for but it's hard to get an accurate count of my Trochus and Cerith snails since I have 10 of each and they're never all visible at the same time (hiding in or behind rocks).

I've also started slowly switching my salt over to Red Sea Coral Pro from IO Reef Crystals over the last 3 weeks (each week I use a tiny bit more CP salt and a bit less RC during my water changes) and I've noticed that slowly during that time, my yellow tipped austera seems to have had some tissue loss around the base. I'm watching it closely. It could be completely unrelated but hopefully it doesn't continue. Aside from that small tissue loss on the base, the coral seems happier than ever and has colored up more than ever before on the rest of the frag. If it continues to lose some tissue at the base, I may try clipping off the top/healthy part and tossing the base?

Lastly, I found a pretty cool phone app called Aquarium Note. I doubt it's a new app but it is new to me. Great place to keep track of maintenance, track growth or issues, keep a log of changes, livestock, gear, take pics, etc. It also has a handy tool for reading color charts when testing your water parameters.

Last edited by Sidius; 01-23-2019 at 04:40 PM.
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  #32  
Old 01-23-2019, 10:31 PM
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I really do not think that removing Chaeto from your tank would have any impact on the nitrates and phosphates.

How often are you testing you phosphates and nitrates and what kits are you using and have they expired?

I believe the main thing that can cause a spike is fish, coral, large snail has recently died/ disappeared in your tank.

Your corals use nitrates, phosphates as does coraline algae, and a decline in their growth can lead to an increase in the nutrients in your tank.

I have found that the best way to tell how your hard corals/ coraline algae are doing is to monitor your alkalinity usage. If your alkalinity usage is dropping, basically your measured alkalinity is increasing you could have an issue.
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  #33  
Old 01-23-2019, 10:49 PM
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You are likely right (same thing another experienced reefing friend recently told me). It was just an observation as it seemed to happen almost over night after removing the chaeto. I've done an extra water change this week to bring them back down to 10ppm now (I typically do a 4 gallon change every Sunday). I'm testing every other day with Salifert test kits purchased from J&L about 6 months ago.

What prompted me to start testing was basically within a day or two of removing the chaeto, I had a green film algae growing on all my glass to the point I was having to scrape it a couple times per day (I'm pretty anal about clean glass but it was very noticeable). Prior to that I hadn't had to scrape the glass in weeks. It very likely was be caused by a trochus snail that died and it was just a coincidence. I'm still trying to get an accurate count. I will remember the tip about the Alkalinity usage. I have just ordered a Red Sea Reef Foundation test kit and will track that as well.
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  #34  
Old 01-24-2019, 01:34 AM
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Just an observation here, but you said that you have 20 snails in a 33 gallon tank. Snails need a constant food source. They also produce waste. Eventually your system becomes mature enough that you may not be producing enough algae as a food source and they will slowly starve. You can watch many videos online about the issues surrounding many "clean up crew" packs being huge overkill and most just dying off slowly which will cause spikes in nutrients.

To put your 20 snails in perspective, I have 8 snails (4 varieties) in a 25 gallon tank along with 4 small hermits and a single emerald crab. The tank is really clean for the most part and the snails are all very happy.

Keep a close eye on all 20 snails.
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  #35  
Old 01-24-2019, 04:56 AM
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I appreciate the concern and have watched all those videos. I certainly did not buy a clean up crew package. I've slowly acquired the snails I have over time, as needed. I do have over 20 snails, 5 hermits and a fire shrimp but a large percentage are small Cerith snails and I definitely don't feel I've gone way overboard for my tank. I will keep your advice in mind and I may give a few snails away if I feel my system matures to the point that they aren't getting fed.

I have watched more YouTube content and videos than I care to admit over the years lol, read more and more articles every day about every aspect of a reef system and have several conversations every week with a friend who has been keeping salt water systems for a very long time. I feed a rotation/combination of frozen brine shrimp with spirulina, nori, frozen mysis, Vitalis pellets and reef roids. Obviously not all on the same day, but like to switch it up a bit. I've been researching making my own food mix with fresh clams, mussels, mysis etc. but I just haven't found the time to go shopping with a 16 month old always on the go lol.

All that being said, it is most definitely possible that a snail died and caused the nutrient spike. I haven't found much info out there that supports removing chaeto being a cause of a nutrient spike, other than the odd person mentioning that there system takes a few days to a week to re-balance itself after removing it from their refugium. None of which said anything else about what they mean by "re-balance itself". It was merely meant as an observation since it happened so soon after removing it for the first time.

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  #36  
Old 08-29-2019, 05:15 PM
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Any update on your tank Sidius?
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  #37  
Old 08-29-2019, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthesis View Post
Any update on your tank Sidius?
The tank is doing well. I'm currently fighting off a small bubble algae outbreak that popped up in a couple spots. I also lost a couple corals while on a two week vacation. The person watching my tank overfed and my nutrient levels were through the roof. A series of water changes later and things were stable again.

I'm currently working on a tank upgrade and I'm close to getting it plumbed. The new tank will be a 5ft 110 gallon with both a 50 gallon Oceanic sump for filter socks + skimmer and a 75 gallon refugium (and possibly extra space for reactors or even a frag section, haven't decided). I also picked up an Aquatic Life T5 hybrid and some LED fixtures from a Reef2reef vendor (Noopsyche). Working on plumbing plans and getting all the parts for said plan..

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