So my last post was a picture of a Coral Beauty that I purchased from an awesome LFS
. The fish was on hold for me for (2) weeks, and when I picked her up she looked awesome. Within a few days she had scar marks and what looked to be a hole near the top of her right fin. She didn't last, and I never saw her again (CUC).
This was my 2nd attempt at an angel, (Flame before) but alas it wasn't meant to be.
Previous to this, a few months ago I came home and I must've startled the Pink-spot goby because she flew like a torpedo out of the tank and landed next to me. Maybe she just wanted a hug... None the case, I scooped her up, cleaned off some hair and back in she went. Swam right to the bottom and other than heavy breathing, she was great. Next day I watched my serpent star drag her into the dark recesses of the tank, I couldn't react in time.
This morning, out of nowhere, I fed the tank as per my normal schedule and to my disbelief, no Midas Blenny. No rhyme or reason. I had noted that he seemed to be losing weight, but he ate like a pig, and I mean pig, everytime I fed. (Every other day)
Over the past few months I've seen and done these changes in the tank:
- I removed one of the MP10's and put it on another tank.
- The micro fauna in the tank had diminished - mini brittles, pods, bugs, worms, etc.
- Corals were growing faster than I could accommodate
- TONS of brown algae on the side glass and sandbed
- Scraping the front glass more often
- Fragged multiple 5-6" pieces off of the plate to eliminate shading
- Lost my Pachyseris coral, poirites
- Started feeding PhytoFeast again
- Lost Pink-spot goby (Had for year), Coral Beauty (3-4 days), and Midas Blenny (had for year)
As you can see there are lots of happenings.
The way that my rockwork is set-up in the tank absolutely sucks for flow. I have detritus build-up like crazy, and my corals are literally out of the water they've grown so much
The entire backside of the tank is basically one huge orange sponge that has fused itself to every rock in the tank. The fish have a ton of hiding / sleeping places, but its nearly impossible to move anything.
The reduced flow from removing (1) MP10 is, I'm certain, attributing to the algae on the sandbed and walls.
The nitrates are still running solid at 5ppm, never deviating. The rest of my tests are always well within spec as well, although I don't test for Mg
. Honestly, I don't test very often until something bad or weird happens. Almost never.
I'm still doing weekly 15-20% PWC
's without missing, ever.
My R.O. Skimmer takes 2-3 weeks before I have to empty the cup.
I still have my Radion set to Natural mode as well with about a 12 hour photo period from Dawn to Dusk. I'm convinced that (1) radion is barely enough to support what I have in the tank. The placement of corals are crucial.
Today I went to my normal LFS
and bought a few turbo's, and (2) emerald crabs just for kicks. I also ended up buying a small school of (5) small blue/green chromis. Its ironic since I started the tank with (5) chromis that came with it.
I now house: (2) B/W clown pair, purple firefish, (5) chromis, many inverts.
It's very hard for me to find a "Swimmy" fish for such a small tank. My clowns swim in a 6" area most of the day and the firefish is the same. Hopefully my chromis will do some nice swimming stuff...
I would love to upgrade immediately, and I have so many ideas for aquascapes, and layouts, but I'm really trying to buckle down with the finances and keep my Debt snowball rolling along. ~Tip - Don't go $40K in debt with student loans, to get a Master's, unless you find a job that will pay them off for you. Even making $1K payments a month, it's still going to take me nearly (4) years!
I have still been doing a lot of planning about placement and such if I can find the perfect tank, for the right price. I know I'll be into it for at least one more Radion so thats $750, plus two MP40's and I'm toast.
Thats all for now. Thanks for hanging in there with me along my arduous journey.