water change
bucket 1: 9.6 dKH; 465 ppm Ca
bucket 2: 10.0 dKH; 475 ppm Ca

diluted with 1 L RODI

View June 15, 2019 15:32
I have had the aquarium on auto pilot all summer and have really only fed the fish and emptied the skimmer cup. I've done occasional cleaning of the skimmer, but not very many times. Surprisingly, things are looking pretty good. The frags from Catalina's pick have put on lots of new growth. These new tips are a pale blue color. The tri-color seems to be thickening up. The SBSC has spread out on its rock, but no vertical growth. I lost my last round of WWC corals. I think they didn't like the frag rack location.

Now that I'm paying attention again, the trick will be to continue with "measured neglect." I will get better at the routine maintenance tasks that I have neglected, like water changes, and not do much else. I think I'm done with zeovit for now. I've gone all summer without it and the corals seem to be doing better. I have ordered a triton test kit and will begin monitoring the system through this method. I like the idea of zero or limited water changes.
View September 11, 2017 08:11
All of the corals now appear to be thriving in the display. I hadn't realized how much damage the Klein's butterfly fish was doing to the corals. Now all of my sticks have great polyp extension, the strawberry shortcake has accelerated its encrustation on the rock work, and the piece of strawberry shortcake that got broken off by the urchin has begun encrusting the frag plug that I mounted it on. I have also noticed that damage on the tricolor frag has been healing. I thought that this damage was mostly caused by fluctuating parameters while the tank was in the garage last year during the remodel, now I'm not so sure. My guess is that it was a combination of the parameters and the butterfly fish.
View May 17, 2017 07:49
My Unique Corals frags are doing well in the display tank. I have them on a magnetic frag rack for now. Both have had great polyp extension from day 1. The Blue Vermiculata had much more extensive encrustation on the plug than the Key Lime and appears to have encrusted a bit more since it arrived. The Key Lime Vermiculata hasn't really encrusted the plug. I'm not sure if this is a phenotypee of this particular strain or if it just needs time.

My plan is to wait until the Blue reaches the frag rack, and then I'll mount it permanently on the rock work. I'll keep observing the Key Lime and make a decision about when to mount it on the rock work.
View May 17, 2017 07:44
2 new corals from Unique Corals arrived today. I got a combo frag pack with the "Key Lime" and Blue Vermiculata Acropora vermiculata frags. I used a new, more rigorous dipping protocol with these based on the BRS videos. I first dipped in 0.5 gallon Coral RX pro mixed at 30 drops/gallon of tank water. I used a small colander and gently pulled the frags up and down in the mix for 10 minutes. I then swished the frags briefly in clean tank water (0.5 gallon) and transferred to a second rinse (0.5 gallon) container while I prepared the 2nd dip. The second dip was Bayer Advanced Complete insect killer for ground and turf mixed at 160 ml/gallon in tank water (0.5 gallons). I used the same colander method and dipped for 15 minutes followed by a double rinse before transferring to a frag rack in the display tank. My preference would have been to quarantine the frags, but a frag quarantine tank just isn't feasible for me at the moment.
View April 18, 2017 13:46
I guess if there is a silver lining to losing the Klein's butterfly fish, I have noticed already that the acros are showing noticeable polyp extension today. Before, I was only seeing polyps in the branches where it was too tight for him to reach. I also moved the hairy mushroom out into the light. Hopefully it will regrow now too.
View April 18, 2017 11:28
After battling marine ich for several days, I found the Klein's butterfly fish dead this morning. I was hoping that the hospital tank would be ready and cycled in time to save him, but that just wasn't meant to be. Seriously considering removing all fish for an 8 week quarantine and treatment to allow the display tank to go fallow and let the ich run itself out. I'll have to figure out how to get the watchman goby out. He's the only one I'm really worried about catching.
View April 18, 2017 09:06
Bio-mate/Zeozyme/Zeobak dosing worked quite well. My nutrient levels are back to undetectable. The only undesirable observation that I see has been some bleaching of my turbinaria coral. However, I can't be sure that this is a result of the treatment regimen. A few days ago, I decide to make a couple of small frags off of the main colony in the hopes that a new frag will grow and adapt in case the bigger colony doesn't make it.

I now feel that my nutrients have been sufficiently controlled and am cutting back on the zeozyme treatment. I'm still having problems with cyanobacteria, so I'm changing up the regimen to alternate between zeozyme/bio-mate and Coral Snow/Zeobak every other day.

Encrustation of my strawberry shortcake acro has also seemed to slow. When I started the ZZ/BM treatments, I stopped all dosing except the 3 major Zeovit components. This was both to reduce the input of nutrients (e.g. amino acids and coral vitalizer) and to reduce the number of variables that might be causing any observed effects. Now I plan to slowly add back supplements and observe if there are positive effects on the corals. My first supplement addition will be B-balance. B-balance is reported to increase encrustation, and so I will be observing closely the strawberry shortcake acro as well as the other corals to see if I observe this effect over the next 2 weeks.
View February 22, 2017 08:52
Alternating zeozyme/bio-mate and ZZ/ZB has made a real difference over the last 2 weeks. My nitrates are nearly unmeasurable, the tri-color actor is finally turning purple again, and all other corals look healthy. My GARF-bonsai has colored up, but the color is very dark still. It has been 2 weeks since I started this regime. I'm hoping to see continued improvement in coloration over the next 2 weeks.

The only remaining "problem" in the tank is persistent cyano. However, the cyano have become long and stringy rather thank the velvety coating that grew before. Hopefully, as the nutrient level in the tank remains ultra-low, the cyano will continue clearing. Today I will dose with coral snow/zeobak mix to hopefully give it a little extra nudge on the way out.

Finally, with this new dosing regime, I've noticed a significant improvement in skimmer performance. I'm emptying between half and a full skimmer cup every day of brown, smelly skimmate. So, I've no doubt I have found a sweet spot with the zeovit system and my ability to remove excess nutrients.
View February 12, 2017 10:10
Current Zeovit dosing:

ZeoBak 3 drops every day (until Wed.), then 3 drops 3x/week
ZeoFood 3 drops every day (until Wed.), then 3 drops 3x/week
ZeoStart 0.3 mL every day
3 mL B-Balance/day
3 drops PIF/day
3 drops AAs/day
3 drops CV every other day

Until sand clears and coral coloration improves, I will dose

ZeoFood/ZeoStart as above
ZeoZyme + BioMate 6 drops every other day alternating with ZZ/Zeobak
View January 28, 2017 17:35