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Old 02/12/2019, 09:36 PM   #676
Michael Hoaster
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My pleasure!

I'll climb out of this ugly phase at some point. I've got more pods, plants and snails coming. I thought I'd get the pods today, instead they shipped today.

With algae starting to wane, the time is right to get some more macros in, to replace it. More nerite and mini cerith snails should help with algae consumption.

I like this part. Adding more puzzle pieces. Building an ecosystem!


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Old 02/13/2019, 09:37 AM   #677
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Thank you for explaining your approach in dealing with the dinos...much to think about and remember. I probably should invest in a UV unit for the big tank. I'm not going to worry about the dinos in my current tank just yet, but maybe I'll try the blackout thing. I guess you still feed the fish, right, then cover up again?


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Old 02/13/2019, 11:14 AM   #678
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Thanks Kevin. I wish my approach to dinos was helpful to everyone who has them, but there is so much variation in what works. It really depends on which dinos you get! And I am far from an expert! I'm more of a simpleton. I love simplicity and simple solutions.

I just read a bunch of articles and threads first. Then I wrote down things to try, and tried them. This helped me narrow down what was effective for me (and my dinos).

I used my experience to 'filter out' a lot of stuff that just didn't make sense to me. For example, some say that low nitrates fuel their growth. My experience tells me the opposite. Both of my dino outbreaks followed my own ill-advised dosing of ammonia. My dinos did not flourish in nutrient-poor conditions. For people to believe that dinos were caused by zero nitrates and phosphates is a bit of a stretch! When this happens with other algae, we conclude that the nitrates and phosphates are all bound-up in the algae. Why don't we reach the same conclusion with dinos?

Dinos are not aliens. They don't require us to do the opposite of every other algae cure. Though technically, dinoflagellates and cyano are not quite algae, for our purposes, they're just another algae. Sure, they're a tough one to crack, but there's no need to try outlandish methods that fly in the face of conventional wisdom.

One of the better articles I read had the author trying a multitude of chemicals and techniques, without success. It was only after he started using natural methods that he won the battle. He increased competition with added macros, and he increased predation with pods and snails. That's right up my alley!

Now, if you have the kind that kills snails and fish, there are other methods that work. Maybe someday someone will come up with a dino calculator, where you input your symptoms and it suggests solutions. For now, it's a bit of a maze, with many possible solutions and contradictions.

You can feed your fish during blackouts. You can choose to not feed. I generally don't. Three days without food shouldn't be a problem for fish, and withholding those nutrients helps in the fight.


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Old 02/14/2019, 10:10 AM   #679
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Yesterday, I removed some dinos, cyano, and ulva from the back wall, but not the grasses, which weren't too coated. This produced a rather large export. My shipment of 1000 pods came and I added a small, red macro I found at my LFS as well. I ordered a few more macros and snails from GCE too. More puzzle pieces.

I've been re-reading my old thread. It's particularly interesting to read posts at around the 2-6 month mark. They sound eerily similar to what I'm posting now. Even the puzzle metaphor gets tossed around! I had a brutal cyanobacteria infestation that I struggled with for three months, before finally giving in and using Chemiclean. I combined that with blackouts, manual removal and water changes, and I still wasn't completely out of the woods.

Also in that time frame, I added the reproducing mini strombus snails. I only started with around eight or ten of them, so it took months for them to reproduce to the point that they made a difference. But they did make a difference! I now believe that they were likely the key puzzle piece in my battle with algae. Still, they were only one piece. I added pods, live sand, live mud and live rock soon thereafter.

I'm hoping that this time around, with more players in place, earlier in the process of maturation, maybe I'll get out of Algaetown a bit sooner this time. Supplying the newly-forming ecosystem with diversity, and then stepping back, letting Nature work her magic, seems to be the right course of action.

It would be an interesting experiment to set up two identical tanks, with identical herbivore and detrivore additions. One tank (A) gets all the aquarist's attention, with algae removal etcetera, and the other (B) gets none. How would they differ after one year? I suspect they wouldn't be very different! Sure, tank A would look better after maintenance days, in the interim, but after one year, I believe Nature's influence would be greater than a year's worth of 'aquarium work'. This reenforces my belief that no matter what methods we choose as aquarists, if we are patient enough, Nature makes it work. I can think of no other explanation for so many different methods producing successful aquariums. Miraculous!


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Old 02/14/2019, 11:47 AM   #680
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
Yesterday, I removed some dinos, cyano, and ulva from the back wall, but not the grasses, which weren't too coated. This produced a rather large export. My shipment of 1000 pods came and I added a small, red macro I found at my LFS as well. I ordered a few more macros and snails from GCE too. More puzzle pieces.

I've been re-reading my old thread. It's particularly interesting to read posts at around the 2-6 month mark. They sound eerily similar to what I'm posting now. Even the puzzle metaphor gets tossed around! I had a brutal cyanobacteria infestation that I struggled with for three months, before finally giving in and using Chemiclean. I combined that with blackouts, manual removal and water changes, and I still wasn't completely out of the woods.

Also in that time frame, I added the reproducing mini strombus snails. I only started with around eight or ten of them, so it took months for them to reproduce to the point that they made a difference. But they did make a difference! I now believe that they were likely the key puzzle piece in my battle with algae. Still, they were only one piece. I added pods, live sand, live mud and live rock soon thereafter.

I'm hoping that this time around, with more players in place, earlier in the process of maturation, maybe I'll get out of Algaetown a bit sooner this time. Supplying the newly-forming ecosystem with diversity, and then stepping back, letting Nature work her magic, seems to be the right course of action.

It would be an interesting experiment to set up two identical tanks, with identical herbivore and detrivore additions. One tank (A) gets all the aquarist's attention, with algae removal etcetera, and the other (B) gets none. How would they differ after one year? I suspect they wouldn't be very different! Sure, tank A would look better after maintenance days, in the interim, but after one year, I believe Nature's influence would be greater than a year's worth of 'aquarium work'. This reenforces my belief that no matter what methods we choose as aquarists, if we are patient enough, Nature makes it work. I can think of no other explanation for so many different methods producing successful aquariums. Miraculous!
Wow, that is an interesting thought Michael about setting up 2 identical aquariums. I have always been of the assumption that that scenerio would be like 2 identical gardens...and at the end one garden would be beautiful and the other would be a weed patch. Maybe not however, its interesting to ponder.

I think you are correct however that v2 may go thru Algaetown a bit faster with more puzzle pieces in place earlier. Ahh, nothing like experience to help smooth the way as you go along.


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Old 02/14/2019, 01:17 PM   #681
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Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
I've been re-reading my old thread. It's particularly interesting to read posts at around the 2-6 month mark. They sound eerily similar to what I'm posting now. Even the puzzle metaphor gets tossed around!
That's amazing! I bet if kind of vindicates your original plan though. V2 isn't that much different, just a bit more careful approach.

Thanks for the input on how you deal with algae and dinos...definitely gives me ideas on what I need to do next and in the future.

How are all of your fish getting along?


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Old 02/14/2019, 10:08 PM   #682
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It is an interesting thought Dawn, thanks.

Maybe Nature is as important a player as we, the aquarists are, if not more. It's humbling, but also reassuring, that I, bumbling human that I am, can probably have the cool aquarium I have in my head some day.

If my experience helps to shorten my stay in Algaetown, that'll be OK by me! Next stop, Seaweed City…


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Old 02/15/2019, 12:38 PM   #683
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I don't know if I feel vindicated or like a broken record! I wanted to read what I was doing when I was in the ugly phase of v1, and was surprised to find crazy-similar posts.

I'm glad I've given you some ideas on dinos. They're challenging but not impossible.

All the fish I have right now are doing well. Unfortunately, I lost most of the royal grammas in QT. I learned some painful lessons. Most importantly, I learned that my 'oversized' QT isn't big enough to quarantine seven grammas.


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Old 02/16/2019, 10:47 PM   #684
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A little maintenance today. I pulled the canister filter, put some new charcoal in it, and cleaned it. It was filthy. I cleared the pump that feeds the UV, which had clogged. I pruned back the old ulva and added some new. I cleaned the seagrasses of dinos. I missed a few days with a sore back. It didn't seem any worse, really. I think I'm wearing them down.

Right now it looks like I could use some more macros. I have a few on the way. I may be at that point where the algae is weakening and macros can succeed them. So I want to have some ready. I'm itching to get some live rock too. More diversity on the way!


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Old 02/17/2019, 12:43 PM   #685
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A little maintenance today. I pulled the canister filter, put some new charcoal in it, and cleaned it. It was filthy. I cleared the pump that feeds the UV, which had clogged. I pruned back the old ulva and added some new. I cleaned the seagrasses of dinos. I missed a few days with a sore back. It didn't seem any worse, really. I think I'm wearing them down.

Right now it looks like I could use some more macros. I have a few on the way. I may be at that point where the algae is weakening and macros can succeed them. So I want to have some ready. I'm itching to get some live rock too. More diversity on the way!
Its sounds like you are on the verge of a very exciting time for the tank.


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Old 02/17/2019, 09:43 PM   #686
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Thanks Dawn. We'll see how it goes. I'm optimistic.

There are still several elements to add, but so far it's good. The latest addition was 1000 pods. It's funny, you add a bunch of pods, and they disappear! But they gotta eat. I hope they like dinos!


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Old 02/18/2019, 11:17 PM   #687
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From the end. I have moved the red macros closer to the light to see if I can coax them to grow. The new one from my LFS is on the barnacles. Water is still too cloudy. I think the solution for that is to get the live rock in, and turn on the circulation pump. With real current in the tank, filter feeders can be cultivated. It will be nice to have critters that eat phytoplankton.



Closer. The first reds. I've got more on the way, so these won't be lonesome for long.


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Old Yesterday, 06:46 AM   #688
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Looking good!


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Old Yesterday, 11:05 AM   #689
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It does look to me that your reds are growing. In the beginning if I remember you really only had like 1 and a half strand of the string of pearl and its definitely more than that now. The other 2 macros look taller to me also.

Is that detritus laying on the sandbed?


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Old Yesterday, 12:27 PM   #690
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Thanks lifeoffaith! Thanks Dawn!

If the reds have grown, I haven't noticed. The grasses have definitely grown.

Yes, detritus and algae form thin mats on much of the sand. I export a little at a time. I'm less concerned about it than the stuff that coats the grass. I'll be more fastidious when I have more desirable macros to replace it. Right now I just go after the gnarliest stuff.


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Old Yesterday, 07:40 PM   #691
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Thanks lifeoffaith! Thanks Dawn!

If the reds have grown, I haven't noticed. The grasses have definitely grown.

Yes, detritus and algae form thin mats on much of the sand. I export a little at a time. I'm less concerned about it than the stuff that coats the grass. I'll be more fastidious when I have more desirable macros to replace it. Right now I just go after the gnarliest stuff.
Oh no, my question (about the detritus)was not in any way criticism of your husbandry. Sorry if it came across that way. I asked because I wondered if it was a puzzle piece.


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Old Yesterday, 11:06 PM   #692
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I didn't take offense at all, Dawn. I appreciate the question!

So, is algae on the sand a puzzle piece? Kinda. I'm giving it more time to soak up nutrients, before I export it. It's doing the dirty work temporarily, until I can replace them with something prettier.

I noticed the tank water is clearer today. Yay! I credit the fresh charcoal and better UV circulation. I also think that nutrient levels have dropped, with the slower return of all algae. My new macros and snails arrive Thursday. That should be fun. I'm really looking forward to adding plants!


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Old Today, 06:48 AM   #693
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My tank also cleared up yesterday. Interesting because I haven't really added anything within the last couple of weeks, but there seems to be less micro algae. I have also noticed some Coralline algae starting to grow on the rocks. All good stuff! Hoping to add some fish soon and some more macro algae.


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Old Today, 07:10 AM   #694
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I didn't take offense at all, Dawn. I appreciate the question!

So, is algae on the sand a puzzle piece? Kinda. I'm giving it more time to soak up nutrients, before I export it. It's doing the dirty work temporarily, until I can replace them with something prettier.

I noticed the tank water is clearer today. Yay! I credit the fresh charcoal and better UV circulation. I also think that nutrient levels have dropped, with the slower return of all algae. My new macros and snails arrive Thursday. That should be fun. I'm really looking forward to adding plants!
O good, I am glad that I was not offenseive.

That is smart letting the algae on the sand take up nutrients. I am sure that is much easier to deal with than algae on the grasses.

That is great news that you are seeing a drop in nuisance algae oroduction already. I would think with the snails and new macros that nuisance will continue to wane.


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