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Reef Mag » 600ltr Mixed Reef

Decommissioning stress

Phew, finally got around to getting the Sand Wrasse out of the 600 litre system and I’m now just left with enough water to cycle the live rock. What a nightmare though. The Wrasse just wouldn’t play ball. I ended up getting about half the sand out of the bottom with a net to find the little bugger. Very murky and smelly tank ensued. It looked very upset in the bag ¬†whilst acclimatising to the new tank (the shallow lagoon). Perked up after a while though but went and sulked behind a rock when I let it out. It did eventually start to check out its new surroundings and all was good until the Tang took a sudden dislike to its new housemate. Ahh stress. Poor Wrasse has not been seen since. I think … Read entire article »

Filed under: 600ltr Mixed Reef, Seagrass Lagoon Biotope

First Coral Purchase

Even though I still have some algae issues to resolve I finally gave in and have started to add some corals to the system. First up is a Clavularia sp. Large glove or clove coral. These are my favourite corals along with the Organ Pipes (hope to source a blue variety soon). Need a top down piccy to do them justice which I will sort out when I get the waterproof case out from the shed. I have also added a very small frag of pulsing Xenia. I know these can be a weed but t’other half loves them and I have a soft spot for them as well. I will be posting in a week to say they died or in a few months cursing there domination. Edit: a slightly better colour representation: … Read entire article »

Filed under: 600ltr Mixed Reef

Good News, Bad News

A quick diary update. First the casualties. After a seemingly good start the Medusa Worm has sadly been getting smaller and smaller over the last few weeks and has now vanished from the system. I was going to fish it out into the sump and it might reappear yet but I fear the worst. I do have to say this is probably my last foray into that side of the invert world. Maybe these things should be left in the wild. The hearth Urchin has also died. I have no idea why it seemed active and healthy all along and was doing a grand job of keeping the substarte clean and sifted. No answer to this one. One of the Mithrax is also MIA. The female. I did catch the crabs mating about a … Read entire article »

Filed under: 600ltr Mixed Reef

Automated Water Changes and Salinity Maintenance

Equipment Required: GHL Computer Controller 2 x Dosing Pumps 2 x Level Controller Conductivity Probe 2 Containers Step 1 :: Setup the Timer For some reason you can only add 8 entries to a given Timer so I have gone for 8 entries of 15 minutes through the day (I believe 15 minutes is the maximum time you should run a dosing unit for). Step 2 :: Setup the Level I use Level 1 for my auto top-up, and this is placed in the last chamber of the sump. Level 3 has been added to the top of the water out container to stop it overflowing. Step 3 :: Setup Programmable Logic Logic G1 is true when the timer is active and the water out container is not full. Logic G4 is true when G1 is true and the Auto Top Off is … Read entire article »

Filed under: 600ltr Mixed Reef

The 100 Years War against the Algae continues

I have gone against some more of my founding principles. I call it Live and Learn. I now have 7 Scarlet Legged Hermits (Paguristes cadenati) in residence. Never wanted non commensals but I have had crabs in a FOWLR many moons ago and they didn’t cause any issues so I’ll play this by ear. Not only that but also 5 Electric Blues (Calcinus elegans). These are a little more in the terror department if they don’t have everything their own way but again I’ll be keeping a close eye. One worrying thing was I got a an imposter: Thanks to some detective work I think it is an Clibanarius eurysternus. I have also got an auto water change system moving 35 litres in and out a week. Once my coral stock is in and eating … Read entire article »

Filed under: 600ltr Mixed Reef

Log of Scrubber Progress

Not bothering to seed the screen there are already small bits of algae stuck to it. DAY 1 Params: NH3: 0 NO2: 0 NO3: 0 PO4: 0 Ca: 440 Mg: 1260 Screen: DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4 DAY 5 DAY 6 DAY 7 DAY 8 DAY 9 DAY 10 DAY 11 Did the first clean. I only cleaned one side – the lit side (opposite to picture). Not a lot came off but I got rid of some errant cheato that was stuck to the screen. I have also moved the light to be much nearer the acrylic. DAY 23 Cleaned the unlit side. This side has by far the least algae on it – still, I was quite surprised to get a good egg cup full off of it. No noticeable changes in the display algae infestation as yet. DAY 24 Here it is the day after the near side clean. As you … Read entire article »

Filed under: 600ltr Mixed Reef

Not so Dirty Little Scrubber

Algal Scrubber added – I will take readings later although PO4 and NO3 are usually zero. The proof will be in if it can compete with the algae in the display. Ignore the piping and light this side of the curtain – this is my return with a tee off into my skimmer. The light pointing down is for my cheato. Things I did do: Built the frame to slot over my sump with 5mm clear acrylic. Cut the 25mm pipe with a Dremel cutting bit to about 3 to 4mm. Fix all joints with PTFE (may glue them at some point). Took a tee off my sump return with 1″ pipe to feed it. Moved the curtain from off my DSB so it drops down between my baffles – it was disturbing my bed too … Read entire article »

Filed under: 600ltr Mixed Reef


First corals! Well, sort of. I spotted some mushrooms on some cured live rock fragments and throught they’d make some good test candidates. Much cheapness. I wanted some LR with algae attached to add to my bucket-o-algae now the LED lights have arrived. Red Spotted Shroom (need to white balance the camera to my blue lighting): Green Bullseye(??): Notes: Algal Scrubber nearly completed Removed the phosphate reactor Removed Carbon Reactor Detached pod culture Added a filter sock to the tank return. … Read entire article »

Filed under: 600ltr Mixed Reef

Hearth Urchin

New arrival. A sand bed cleaner and stirrer – quite an unusual subject for the job a “Hearth Urchin” (Maretia planulata). They hide in the substrate during the day and come out at night to feed on the surface. … Read entire article »

Filed under: 600ltr Mixed Reef

Bumble Bees

Added 10 more Bumble Bee snails to the main tank. My originals are all doing well and seem good little omnivores. They can certainly get to the parts other detrivores fail to reach. Did my first water change ever yesterday as part of filling the Nano with 50% new salt mix and 50% mature tank water. About 40 litres. Have a possible purchase planned for tomorrow. All might be revealed. … Read entire article »

Filed under: 600ltr Mixed Reef