Back in the game
By: Kevin | November 14, 2015
After a long hiatus from the tank word I decided I would come back. This time back to my roots, freshwater. I am however trying a few new things like Bioballs. I’ve always used some sort of mechanical filter in the past so we will see how this goes. I’ve always done African Cichlids so I’m also trying new fish too. This blog will serve mostly as recording keeping for myself, water changes, pictures/videos of how things progress.
This tank had been sitting dry for at least a year. It previously was a salt water tank which I failed majorly at. I clean things up and did multiple rinses of the tank to get the salt out. I filled the tank 11/14/15. To help cycle the tank I also put in two Goldfish.
Green Algae Update
By: Kevin | December 23, 2012
My green algae problem has improved leaps and bounds since my post in November. Though, still not completely gone it is very manageable now. Take a look.
I really need to be doing more water changes but have been busy moving to a new city and starting a new job. Over the next few months I plan on doing more regular 10-20% water changes weekly to bi-weekly.
I need more current in the tank to help reduce stale water which I believe is where most of the green algae settles. I currently have the two power heads in my tank however the current provided by these is very narrow stream. I’ve been recommended to get a Hydor Koralia Evolution Circulation Pump/Powerhead 550 gph. As you can see the stream on this bad boy it much wider.
By: Kevin | October 18, 2012
Long time no talk.
By: Kevin | June 10, 2012
Hello world. I have been busy with life and haven’t gotten around to blogging much,..at all. Things have been tough of my little 29 gallon biocube. In the last 9 months it has moved cities, then two different houses. Lost some fin friends as of late too.
I am currently a discouraged saltwater tanker. I’ve considered taking a break., or maybe switching back to fresh water. I am good at that.
Time will tell. Saltwater tanks are extremely expensive and time consuming.
Green Goo – My Algae Problem
By: Kevin | November 10, 2011
For reasons unknown to me, as soon as I arrived at my new home, my tank began to break out with this green cyno bacterial algae.
Crazy stuff! It grows faster than gun slinger and is removed extremely easily in what appears to be flakes…think Gold Member…but green. So, I’ve consulted the aquarium elders and received the following recommendations:
1: increase water flow
2: check phosphate levels
3: lower temp from 78-80 to 72-74
4: change water daily or weekly
First, I ran to Iowa Pet in West Des Moines to get my water tested for phosphates (since I don’t have a kit for that just yet). I was banking on this being the problem, however, to my dismay the phosphate reading came back at a whopping zero. Although this is a good thing, I was secretly hoping it would be my issue.
Next, I attempted to increase my tank water flow. Now, coming from fresh water, flow was never really an priority or even a need due to the filtration system which naturally caused a slight current. Thinking back, I remembered that when I visited my fellow saltwater fish/reefers friends, they generally had a TON of current in their tanks – it almost looked as if it was too much. How can the fish possibly swim in there? Well they do; even though it kind of looks like they just shook the crap out of a snow globe! Apparently flow is a must. I managed to scrounge up two old power heads and have placed them in the tank — I haven’t noticed an immediate improvement to the algae problem, but my little piece of coral appears to like it A LOT!
I decided to lower my tanks temperature as suggested by the pet store management. The manager mentioned that he has a similar problem with a setup of his own and lowering the temp a few degrees clears it right up. After a couple days of doing this, the green goo appears to have gotten lighter but is still very present.
I turned the tank light off over the weekend in an attempt to starve the algae of some light. This didn’t appear to have any effect either.
In reality, I think I need to pick up the pace and just get some water changes going on a more regular basis. I’ll check back soon.
Keep on keeping on, my friends!
I Moved,…with my tank
By: Kevin | November 3, 2011
I’ve relocated to Central Iowa and surprisingly, all my fish survived. I figured at least one would die in the process! It was a royal pain to move but I got it done. Because I had just started this new eco system, I didn’t want to start over from scratch. Therefore, the only way was to take it all with. Now, in my short time with saltwater aquariums, I’ve learned how expensive saltwater aquariums can really be I decided to downgrade a bit and purchased a 29 gallon bio cube by Oceanic. Instead of moving my 55 gallon tank, I took everything but the tank with me. I ordered my new tank and had it delivered to my new address. I loaded up water, sand, rock, and fish into buckets and packed it all up in my car. When I got to my new address, my better half and I set the tank up and put it all together. This way the eco system remained intact and reduced stress to the few with gills.
Since the move I have had a problem with green cyno algae, something I need to clear up before I can start getting the corals I want. The one piece of coral I picked up for free started off promising, looking like this in its new digs….
Then has experienced a few set backs due to water conditions in the new tank.
The white, or covered by green algae, is dead, I figure about half of it is still alive. I hope to post more often now that things have began to settle somewhat. Stay cool.
business as usual
By: Kevin | August 3, 2011
Well, I haven’t spoke lately. And honestly I haven’t had much to speak about. The last few weeks have been slow. I have been feeding, my 3 fish that are left, flake food for the most part. They don’t particularly like it but when you hungry you’ll eat what you get.
I am still recovering from the metallic plumbing incident. This has set me back on my coral quest by at least a month, if not more. I still am having difficulties keeping a snail alive. I plan on changing water again shortly and am hoping that that does the trick.
The tank does appear to have stabilized and algae blooms have subsided. All three fish look very healthy. I can find three (of the original four) crabs. Good to know most of them survived. I have noticed that the crabs are most active at night and nearly impossible to find during the day.
Sorry this post is so sort but not much to report. I will post some Kibby funnies soon.
The Saga Continues
By: Kevin | July 6, 2011
I spoke too soon. Basically as soon as I posted the last blog more things hit the fan! Here I’m patting myself on the back about my plumbing job that I did in a hurry. Turns out my plumbing did more harm than good.
Little did I know the metal tub drain from Ace Hardware was a definite no-no! I had been told that snails were a good idea for a sort of ‘cleanup crew’ for tanks. In my freshwater tank days I would throw a Plecostomus in the tank and they would be my ‘cleanup crew’. If you don’t know what a Plecostomus is you’ll have to check this out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plecostomus
Very prehistoric looking and, in my experience, can live through anything. Anyway, I began to notice none of my snails seemed to move much. Then after a day it was apparent they were dead. I had also picked up some hermit crabs that seemed to handle the conditions a little better and lasted a bit longer. But unfortunately, I lost all my invertebrates!!! *tear*
I consulted the Internet and my friends over at GIRS and was informed that snails and other invertebrates have a low tolerance for copper (CU). Many fish medications have copper in them as the fish have a much higher tolerance to it. If my fish were to get sick, also known as ich, a copper solution would be the treatment. This was all news to me. I have had my African Cichlid fish get ich before and I had treated copper solution however it never had negative effects on my ‘cleanup crew’.
Since I knew my saltwater tank has never been treated with copper solution it just had to my wonderful plumbing and copper right??? I needed to know for sure so I ran over to Pet’s Playhouse and grabbed myself a copper test. I ripped the test open thinking this was for sure going to identify the problem. I was a little dumb founded to find the test at a solid zero. I proceeded to test all the other water parameters and everything checked out fine. I was persuaded to just go ahead and change the plumbing because it is likely some sort of metallic that is causing this problem.
After a run to my local Menards I had all the PVC a dude could ask for. I’m quite shocked at how cheap PVC tubing is! Now my plumbing is up to ‘code’ with no metal! And sadly, my tank has broken out with algae since I haven’t had my ‘cleanup crew’. This ordeal has pushed back my progress by a few weeks. Soon I will take a run to the pet store and pick up another snail and crab. (Just one at first to make sure they live.) Right now my tank floor looks like the graveyard from the movie “The Lion King”, bones and shells everywhere. The bright side, my fish didn’t die from the copper.
So peeps what have we learned today? DON’T USE METAL IN YOUR SALTWATER AQUARIUM PLUMBING!!!!