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Clarification on Cyano

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Kynneke View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kynneke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 02 2017 at 9:45pm
Originally posted by Mark Peterson Mark Peterson wrote:


Some concern about snails and hermits not surviving for long. Can you say more about this? Maybe we can help?

Aloha,
Mark  Hug

About 3 months ago I got a shipment of crabs and snails, 50 of each.  I now have 3 snails and probably about 10 crabs.  The crabs routinely kill each other off and if a snail gets too near a crab, they swarm it and kill it too.  I lost a peppermint shrimp for an unknown reason.  Same on 3 emerald crabs.  They all died on the same night.

My sand is now covered in empty shells.

When I get this cyano to go away (with new lights and way less feeding, it's nearly gone), I need to focus on getting rid of my foxface and maybe my dotty back.  My foxface picks at my GSP so badly that it's now in a crate where it can open and flow without getting picked at.  My smallest Bangaii is missing two fins, so I suspect my dottyback is doing that, even though I haven't seen it. 

I've tried the 'feed the fish from the net' trick but they never seem to get cozy enough with it to work.  Right now, I have a fluorescent light diffuser box with one open end that I've been feeding them out of.  The two fish I want to get rid of are the only ones that won't eat out of it.  UGH.  I want them gone.

I loved my old tank.  This one isn't giving me the things to look at and marvel at.  I don't have those spaghetti worms that I love to watch, he got sucked into a powerhead one night.  I don't have critters on the glass in the main tank.  Those are only in the sump.  I need to do something to get some fun things in there, but first, I have to get rid of my two bully fish.


Edited by Kynneke - June 02 2017 at 9:48pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 03 2017 at 8:14am
Thanks for sharing the info. Good to know. I agree, Dottybacks can be aggressive. I have a fish trap that belongs to the club. Let me know if you want to borrow it, though the pop bottle trap will work very well for the Dottyback and then with a larger opening, for the Foxface as well.

Sorry to read about the high mortality of the cleanup crew. That happens sometimes with shipments. Cry
We just have to bite the bullet and buy more. Rusty's Reefs is a great place to by fairly healthy cleanup crew. He puts them in all his tanks so they have something to eat while waiting to be sold. I believe the most common reason for mortality in these herbivores is starvation. They need to eat algae almost everyday, otherwise they get hungry and weak enough to die. Hermits that are starving will eat anything they can find, including coral, live Snails and other Hermits.

If you want to use the WMAS fish trap, I will be back in Murray next week, from Tuesday through Friday. 808-345-1049

Aloha,
Mark  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kynneke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 03 2017 at 1:02pm
Thanks for the offer.  I found someone in Colorado in my home town that's giving me one.  I'll use it to catch my two pains and then let people up here in Ogden borrow it if they need one.  Hopefully it works well.  Until then though, I'll try to catch the dotty with a pop bottle.

If I do catch it, I hope someone wants it.  I hate to kill it but it wouldn't be nice for them in my sump either.

Tank shot: 
http://saltwaterblog.blogspot.com/2017/06/june-update.html


Edited by Kynneke - June 03 2017 at 1:54pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 03 2017 at 5:49pm
Alright, we get to see a pic of the tank.   Party
Party  Remember on page 1 in my first reply where I said that if we could see a pic we could give more specific advice? I would be happy to advise now based on what I see in those pics. I have seen this before. I'm certain that I know the problem. Are you ready for it? I mean, do you want to know what I believe is causing all the problems with your reef aquarium, not only nuisance algae but fish and coral problems too?  Thumbs Up

Though the advice we have given on these two pages is valuable and has dealt with pieces of the problem, what I see has not been covered yet, not exactly. It may be a bigger answer than all the rest put together. In a way, it's a whole 'nother thing. Fortunately, it's a thing you can fix and it won't be too difficult and will hardly cost a dime.... 

Did I understand correctly from what you said above that this tank is not fun, did not grow, like your first reef aquarium?

Maybe the experience of your first reef aquarium was just luck, or maybe not? Wink 
Based on the difference between the two aquariums, before I add my 2 cents of advice, maybe you would like to make some guesses? When answers come on their own it can be satisfying and fun. Smile

Aloha,
Mark  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kynneke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 03 2017 at 6:29pm
I have no idea.  The first tank was used, with 100% dead rock, 100% dead sand and was overstocked with fish within the first month I had it.  It had trace amounts of copper that killed every coral I had, yet I couldn't get rid of the copper.  The fish were once wiped out by a stray current, and I came home to all but 1 dead fish.  I liked to watch the critters in the sand, but hated the tank itself.  My cheap attempt at getting into the hobby proved too much to handle and I got rid of it.

I swore I would get another tank someday that would start out with 'good' stuff in it and take things slower.  This one was done with new equipment, live sand, live rock, etc.  It's just lacking the spaghetti worms that I loved and those little things that crawl out of the sand that make it interesting.   Now that it's covered in cyano, I hate it too.  Maybe a new hobby is in order.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 04 2017 at 9:22am
Your frustration is something we all feel. I have never kept track but I probably go through that same emotion about once a year due to one issue or another. Lately, I have lost around 95% of my clownfish. I'm speaking not only the ones I keep but the ones in my client tanks. Just last month, a friend that I helped upgrade his tank lost all but one of his 8 newly purchased fish, a similar incident to what you described with your first tank. These are live animals we're dealing with after all. They get sick and die. They get old and die. They all eventually die. Well, except coral. Smile Coral mostly live and some coral polyps are pretty hard to kill! LOL

There really is a bright side to this hobby. Coral colonies live on and on, maybe even for a thousand years. Coral are simpler animals. Simple is good. KISS is an old WWII engineering term that actually applies to everything. Keep It Simple Stupid, meaning, make it simple enough for an ordinary soldier to fix in the field.

This leads into what I am going to advise regarding your aquarium. Let me start by referring to something familiar to many of us, the Bible. The basic way to set up a world is to take it in steps starting with the simplest organisms. It's the same way this world was started. The dumbed down version is found in Genesis chapter 1.  Though dumbed down, that text agrees with what we now know regarding the science of geology and biology. This scientific knowledge is relatively new knowledge to man, only having come to us in the last 200 years or so. Anyway, moving on...

Okay, so in the beginning we had a globe of rock/dirt and water circling the sun. The first living organisms to be introduced to our planet were plants (of course simple algae was probably the first plant). You know, come to think of it... I don't see any algae in this pic of your tank.



Certainly there is a film of green algae growing on the glass and a tinge of green on the LR but as for significant amounts of algae the only place that occurs in this tank is the symbiotic Zooxanthellae Algae living in the tissue of the coral. 

Yet there is a major algae eating fish swimming around in there. Shocked It's an animal that must continually graze on algae, all day long. Because it is living in an environment void of it's usual tasty algae, it turned to eating the algae in the coral! Angry

Now let's look at Snails, Hermits and other algae eating crabs, like the Mythrax/Emerald Crabs that were purchased in bulk online and introduced a few months ago. Was there enough algae for all of them to eat? By the look of it, I can say with confidence that there was not. There is just enough algae for maybe 5 Snails and one or two Hermits. Definitely nothing for Emerald Crabs to eat. So most of those animals starved and died, even going predatory and cannibalistic to get something to eat before they starved. Cry

Is this making sense? Please ask questions.

Moving on. Why is the Dottyback chewing the fins off the Bangaii? Let's look at the situation. There is just enough algae for maybe 5 snails and the Foxface has turned to eating coral to meet its needs. Here is an important fact that we learn from Genesis and science: Algae/plants are the basis of life. Plants were placed here on earth to give the first animals food to eat. The simplest of animals cannot live without greens. In turn, the complex animals cannot live without both plants and simple animals. (Bacteria are simple animals.) What does the Dottyback fish eat? Here is an old article that kind of touches on it. Is there enough aquarium space for enough of that preferred food? Okay maybe not, so to fight for food the Dottyback becomes aggressive towards it's competitor, the Bangaii Cardinal that is also trying to eat off the same plate. The Dottyback tries to force the Bangaii to leave, but there is nowhere for it to go so it just gets beat up. The Dottyback's territorial aggression is caused by a perceived lack of food.

Typically, most hobbyists think like you, they decide the two troublesome fish have to go. Okay, then what? We are left with a tank housing a few coral, a few snails and one fish. That doesn't seem very interesting to me and nothing is changed so the next fish added will end up fighting with the same issues. So what is the best or simplest answer to this problem? Is there a way to keep the fish?

The answer: Algae.    Algae will provide food for the Foxface to graze on and food for the bugs to live on/in. In turn the bugs will eventually grow to offer some food for the Dottyback and the Cardinal. Of course these small boxes of water, even when there is time allowed for algae and bugs to fully populate, cannot grow enough to completely support the fish. Supplemental food is required and external filtration (Skimmer, Macroalgae in a Refugium, AC, AA or GFO) is required to clean the extra pollution caused by the feeding.

What is the best way to introduce algae to improve this reef aquarium and keep all the fish healthy and happy so they can stay and not be removed? My experience in the hobby suggests three things: 

1) Add some real and lively LR and LS from another hobbyist tank. This lively LR is a lot different than bare, white rock from the LFS. Lively LR has lot's of Coralline Algae and sponge on it, as well as 100's of times more bacteria, bugs and worms. The Lively LS will contain tons of live bacteria, live worms and live bugs(mostly Amphipods and Copepods) that will start to multiply and help feed the fish.

2) Grow Caulerpa and Chaetomorpha right in the display. Just so you know, the Macroalgae in the display does not have to be there forever. Eventually, the tank will mature to the point where the algae can be reduced and eventually left out altogether if desired. I know some people don't like the look of macroalgae in the display. Yet I have seen lot's of hobbyists become very fond of Macroalgae when they begin to realize it's benefit to their aquarium.

3) Put Romaine Lettuce and Nori on a clip for the Foxface. And instead of dry pellets or flakes, feed meaty frozen foods that contain algae. Emerald Entree is an example. The Bangaii and Dottyback will love the meat with some algae while the Foxface will love the algae with some meat.

This post is long enough. I've said more than enough. If you have questions, and I hope you do, please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to keep the answers short and simple.

Aloha,
Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kynneke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 04 2017 at 9:40am
Thanks for the advice!

2.  I have caulerpa in the sump.  My foxface once ate $10 worth of it in ONE night.  I can't keep it in the display.  The fish store kept running out, and I was broke.

3.  There is nori in the tank.  My foxface won't touch it.  Go figure.  I'll try emerald entree instead of the mysis they get.  Petco has some in stock.  I'll go and grab it.

That brings me to another question.  How often do you feed EE?  I used to feed once a day but the cyano got worse.


Edited by Kynneke - June 04 2017 at 9:43am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 04 2017 at 7:23pm
Feed cheato to the Foxface. Stick a clump in between two rocks. I have a huge amount of chaeto, enough to fill a 20 gal tank. I may be able to bring you some. Call/text to arrange.

It would be good to see a pic of the sump/Refugium.
How often is macroalgae being harvested?

Put Romaine Lettuce on the clip. If necessary, stop feeding for a couple days to get it hungry enough to eat chaeto, lettuce and eventually nori. It has forgotten how it used to love it's greens, but that knowledge will return.

The rule of thumb about supplemental feeding is; If nuisanse algae grows, feeding is too much. It's a combination of frequency and amount. Feeding less is always useful in these situations.

You may be pleasantly pleased when you see the difference that a lot of good colorful, lively LR, lively LS and macroalgae makes when it's in the display. It's not only very beneficial to tank health and happiness, it adds color, activity and beauty.

Aloha,
Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 04 2017 at 7:25pm
I can also bring some Caulerpa, to be fed sparingly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kynneke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 05 2017 at 5:56am
I meant the Emerald Entree.  How often?  I gave them a block last night and they loved it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 05 2017 at 10:27am
I knew they would love it.Smile

About feeding, it's a combination of amount and frequency. Here is what I said before, but I may not have been clear enough.
"The rule of thumb about supplemental feeding is; If nuisance algae grows, feeding is too much. It's a combination of frequency and amount. Feeding less is always useful in these situations."

If a full cube/block of Emerald Entree was fed to those 3 fish, I'm sorry, but that's way overfeeding. Not to worry, everyone overfeeds at first, until they start to see the growth of nuisance algae and then start to think about the size of the fish stomach. It's very tiny. If this were my tank, I would feed no more than 1/2 cube every other day or 1/4 cube every day. (I use a big knife leveraged against the chopping block to cut/break frozen cubes into smaller cubes.)

In the wild, fish may go for days without eating because of storms that scare them into hiding. But when they do eat, they gorge. They don't know when their next meal will come. Tomorrow they might not be able to eat because of storminess or because a predator scared the daylights out of them. FYI, fish can go a long long time, even a month without eating. They pick on anything they can find in the tank (the Foxface picked on algae filled GSP coral Ouch). Actually, they are often healthier if fed less so that they scavenge live food, algae and bugs, from around the tank.

That said, I will occasionally, every 2 weeks or so, give my fish a Thanksgiving feast. I want them to appreciate me. Smile
I also train them with a stick if they start to misbehave (eat coral or pester tankmates; see ...Fish Training... in the Reefkeeping Tips), so they will know that I am the boss of the tank, I am the Alpha (look it up here).

Aloha,
Mark  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 10 2017 at 6:10am
Update?
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