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My Slice of Nature (Part 3)


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I received some queries about how to load the AI Hydra64 light setting file since everything is on the mobile phone nowadays. Here are the steps for iPhone. I suppose it should be similar for android systems.

 

Step 1 : Click on the .aip file (similar for whatsapp or facebook)

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The text screen appears. Click on the icon on the top right 

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Click on the row showing the applications. If myAI app is not there, click on ' More'

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Scroll down & look for the myAI app

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The preset will then be loaded & ready to use.

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Hosting this chalice for a fellow reefer. Can see its covering a little more of the frag plug.   Found a baby Banggai Cardinal yesterday morning. Scooped it out before it gets eaten by

Review of the  DD Clarisea Gen 2 automatic Fleece Filter   Roller Mat filter systems provide robust mechanical filtration for extended periods of time are getting popular these days. 

Currently the Kalk stirrer is hooked to the Apex & switches ON for 2min. Once every hour. Quite a waste to use the Apex for this simple purpose.  Tried using one of those standard smart wifi

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Very sad to see my Achilles Tang pass away several weeks back.

Its sense of sight seems to be affected & tend to miscalculate the location of falling pellets. And then there was bullying from the now larger Atlantic Blue Tang. Started to slow down.

Moved it to a holding box but it continued not to eat.

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Died a week later. In retrospective, more could have been done. Taking it out earlier. A larger holding tank with better filtration.

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With the Hawaii ban, another AT will probably be out of reach in the near future.

RIP. August 2018 - January 2021. 

Day 1 pic from 2018

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Sad to hear your loss. I had similar experience with my previous blue tang. Seems to have lose his vision and in the end starve to death. Tried putting it in a small tank and hand feed it but not successful. Maybe there should be a euthanasia service for fishes to put them out of their misery when it is beyond hope

Sent from Singapore Reef Club mobile app

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4 minutes ago, Maipian80 said:

Sad to hear your loss. I had similar experience with my previous blue tang. Seems to have lose his vision and in the end starve to death. Tried putting it in a small tank and hand feed it but not successful. Maybe there should be a euthanasia service for fishes to put them out of their misery when it is beyond hopeemoji25.png

Sent from Singapore Reef Club mobile app
 

You can use clove oil to euthanize fish. Clove oil is a sedative which at high doses, can put the fish down humanely very quickly. eg. a few drops of it in a plastic bag with the sick fish.

 

Now Foods, Essential Oils, Clove, 1 fl oz (30 ml)

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On 12/10/2016 at 10:19 PM, SubzeroLT said:

Tank is now about 1 month old. Still trying to stabilize things (CR tuning, light setting......)

Some photos to share :

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  • The very effective skimmer does a fantastic job of removing organics fast & helped keep nitrates quite low. 
  • Diatoms appeared during the 1st week then disappeared after 1 additional week & never came back. I'm attributing the reduced diatom / algae in the display tank to the ATS.

1.5wks of hair algae from the ATS screen.

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Green Monti nicely encrusted on back wall already.

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This has lighted up significantly

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Jade green digi 

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wow nice

 

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Alkatronic regent finished already. Think this bottle was since Aug 2019 :)

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A random pic from this week :

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Full tank shot (with DD Coral Lens)

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The torch tentacles can be quite long. Can be quite devastating for the gonio garden nearby.

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There were many vermatid snails growing on the torch colony. I've found it useful to break the vematid snails' shell with a frag cutter and bubblebee snails will home it within a few hours.

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Often we don't clean the skimmer due to the hassle of disconnecting the skimmer pump wire through the spaghetti of wires in the cabinet. What I did after the warranty ended was to extend the pump wire with a IP67 waterproof connector. Then dismantle the various parts for cleaning.

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As for the pump, just dismantle & wash the parts in a bucket of water there.

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Don't forget to clean the venturi valve as there can be calcium deposits blocking the air flow. 

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Inter-dental brushes are great for cleaning the tiny slots of this piece. This was from Daiso.

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A friend was planning to put some fish in his sump & requested a skimmer guard. I printed one for myself as well.

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I switched over to the DD FR75 fluidized reactor for Rowaphos.

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My previous reactor was short & had a flat base. Noticed that not all media inside the reactor tumble. Just a small section only. 

The DD reactor has a concave base which re-directs water upwards to improve tumbling effect.

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Its also quite long - which is actually very important for fluidized reactor - so you can get high flow rate through the reactor but yet allow the fine bits to lose momentum as it rises & fall back down. i.e. not flow out.

To emphasize, the concave base & extra height is important for media that needs to be fluidized like rowaphos & biopellet. Not critical for media that do NOT tumble such as activated carbon or zeo stones.

 

Someone asked me about the salt I'm using now. This is it :

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One screenshot from the Facebook Live event on 21st Feb.

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Full video here. Long countdown in the initial section of the video. Need to forward to 3hr 32min mark to watch the event. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=862706797910592

 

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Some coral pics from today

 

Tunicate.

Not very popular/common in the hobby because they are supposed to be quite hard to keep alive. This particular one has been at Iwarna for many months & assume this species may be possible. Tunicates are non-photosynthetic but do need to be placed in a place with good flow in order to catch 

 

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Tunicates are filter filters that take in water through their pharynx

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Recent Horrida frag from Reefing Reality. Quite a good selection of frags at RR & many LFS recently

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Another Horrida

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Fiji pink birdsnest. This piece was grown from a 1cm frag.63878989_P3020032(Medium).jpg.4cdd3bbaaa16786b9524480c8841da7b.jpg

 

Recent addition - Trachyphyllia from Coral Fanatics

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Photosynthetic gorgonian 1726862868_P3020055(Medium).jpg.3817e598f8b1986e944e3173c13bf788.jpg

 

Time to trim the bali slimer

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Superman Blasto2054205788_P3020048(Medium).jpg.b29116a6a7a71c8a42278ecbf8fb2781.jpg

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1 hour ago, SubzeroLT said:

Time to trim the bali slimer

Do I see a hot spot of light  where the Bali slimer grows sideways rather than up? Right hand side half way up. 

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28 minutes ago, JiaEn said:

Do I see a hot spot of light  where the Bali slimer grows sideways rather than up? Right hand side half way up. 

Left side is under the center bracing. Its generally brighter on the right side (under a Hydra64 fixture), perhaps that contributes to the slightly different growth pattern. 

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Yeah. Bracing take away quite a lot of light. 

It's interesting to shape the growth pattern by adjusting topological light profile 

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Quick update on the Mastertronic. Its expected to be a crazy busy year on my side, so having a Mastertronic will be critical to ensure the fundamental water parameters are kept in view.  Installed on 18th February and have been testing it the past few weeks first before giving an update here.

Sitting next to the tank. The tubes are standard 2m in length and should not be altered. 1 tank water inlet, 1 RODI inlet (for rinsing) and 1 waste water outlet (into a waste bucket).

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Test kits used. This should last about 6 months. 

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Reagents loaded in the carousell. 

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Calibration is quite straight forward. 

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Only 2 pumps need to be calibrated. Easy to check accuracy by testing outlet water.

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The trick to getting good calibration & accuracy is to ensure the hoses are fully primed before calibration. I struggled a little with Pump A calibration (not accurate after calibration). The trick is to give it an extra prime. In fact, it was suggested we check & re-prime as necessary in the user manual.

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I validated pump A & Stepper pump accuracy every day for the past weeks just to ensure it remains accurate. Its spot on 7ml (target)

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Went through the very dreaded task of rinsing the sulfur reactor last weekend. Saved up 3 buckets of tank water during water change to rinse the mulm off the sulfur beads. Nevertheless, the reactor needs to go through the cycling process again (hopefully shorter cycle)

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In the process, the ceramic shaft of the pump was found to be broken. Good thing a spare was available in my stash of spare parts.

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A good time after that to put up the hammock & relax.

From Airmocks : https://www.airmocks.com/

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I shared about washing the sulfur reactor 2 weeks ago which in a way 'reset' it and needed to be cycled again. The drip rate today (about 2 weeks since) is almost back to original state. As can be seen by the Mastertronic's nitrate table history (read from bottom to top). Nitrates running around 7.6ppm now. Not bad.

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I'm a firm believer to feed more to the tank. Just have a better nutrient export system to handle the extra load.

Aside from the regular pellets (2x a day), nori seaweed (about 2-3x a day since there are quite a few Tangs), a cube of home made fish/prawn minced prawn, the following are also fed. Pumps/wavemakers in feed mode so they remain in the display tank longer. My feed mode is set to 20min.

 

A must have....Reef Roids. Every 2-3 days. Target fed but most will be blown around the tank for pick up anyway. Mostly in very early morning when the mesenterial filaments are still out.

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DD Reef paste. I shared this some years back. Contains fish and shellfish extracts. Has complete balanced profile and a blend of soluble amino acid to trigger the feeding response in both fish and corals. Fish love this too.

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LRS Reef Frenzy. A tiny piece goes a long way. Mostly broadcast feed. The corals love it.

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Oyster Feast & Phyto Feast.

Oyster feast - contains oyster eggs,  gonads and tissue. High levels of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Good for SPS, gonios & filter feeders. 

Phyto feast - I stopped culturing my own phyto to supplement some variety of food for the pods in the tank. So this is quite convenient. Don't think its a must, just good to have. Not expensive anyway.

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I've started to journey into the microscopic world of the reef tank. Invested in a good microscope with a camera hooked up. Its great to be able to pinpoint issues and apply the correct fix. For example : Is this dinoflagellates or diatoms? What kind of algae is this? Or be able to identify various parasites.

For a start, many have experienced brown jelly disease on hammer & torch corals. The common advise is to discard it immediately as the brown jelly can spread. Another common advise is to dip the coral with coral dip or with iodine to disinfect it.

 

This post hopes to give some insights on what works & what does not.

Under the microscope, the brown jelly are actually a huge colony of a type of protozoa (single celled microscopic animal) known as ciliates. They are characterized by the presence of hair like organelles called cilia. 

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Pic from Wikipedia

 

From numerous articles (eg https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1385110115300095), the common ciliate associated with coral diseases are Philaster Lucinda & Philaster Guamense

 

Pic below taken by my microscope. The brown bits you see are zooxanthellae. Some have been ingested.

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I tested some new purchased / store bought hammer corals and a tiny amount of the ciliate are present. Apparently, ciliate are always present in the water but have no effect if the coral is healthy or if the population of the ciliate is small. 

However, when they colonize in large populations, they attack the weak coral & the infamous brown jelly  or RTN occurs. I collected the brown jelly & soaked them in various kinds of coral dips and iodine. Apparently, the ciliates do not die! All still alive!  This means that while coral dips & iodine may do well to 'wash' the coral, bits of this parasite are still present and can cause further issues. Possibly that's why brown jelly tends comes back a few days later.

In the video below, you will see big colonies of the ciliate. This slimy cloud contains the parasite that can move around to infect the nearby coral. Hence the advise to dip & trim away the infected piece is correct.

Of all the products tested, the only one that actually destroys the ciliate is Polyplab Reef Primer. Within 10 minutes, the cilates stop moving (die!) and the cell walls start to disintegrate. And if left for longer periods, it seems to disintegrate entirely (or perhaps it becomes so transparent that I can't see with my microscope)

 

Next step is to understand how to prevent brown jelly or ciliate colonies in the first place.

 

 

 

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Nice write up! 

It appears that ciliates are associated with many coral diseases. 

But the question is,  are they the cause of the disease,  or are they just proliferates when the tissues become necrotic.  It could also be the case of increased pathogenic bacteria population at the disease coral,  which provides food for these bacteriaphagic ciliates 

Great start for more discovery! 

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