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Launching into this Bloggo thingie, uncharted waters. An update on Ampís 135 build

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Itís been said, by smarter people than me, ďChange is the only constant in this worldĒ. Not sure who said it and I donít care. Change can be painful. It can lead one into uncharted waters, where danger lurks around every reef formation. Change can also be good for us. It can make us stretch ourselves in directions never before imagined. At my age, stretching can hurt. So here goes... A new direction of stretch for me.

My 135 mixed reef thread has had 38,337 visits and 790 posts, many from people like you. Thank you for having the interest and taking the time to read it. Thank you also for taking the time to respond. It has been a rewarding experience for me. Iíve received PMs, e-mails and phone calls from many of you with questions, comments and suggestions. Many of you have become close friends, even customers. I cherish each of you in one way or another, especially the ladies. Itís only natural!!!

Many of you have, and still do, recommend it to new TR members. I appreciate that you think my 135 build is worthy of recommendation to others. Now, it is closed to further additions. For those new TR members that want to know what on earth 38,000 people would find interesting in an old manís 135 mixed reef thread, you can find it here - Amphibious, 135 gal mixed reef. It is an informative and fun read. At least thatís what Iíve been told.

In order to continue I must learn about this thing called Blogging. So, here goes...

The update of Amphibiousí 135 gal mixed reef. First a FTS as of 2/9/10.

As with every captive reef system, there have been changes. Some planned and some not. Because we are dealing with living critters taken from various oceans around the world, we have to face the real life and death events. Gone are some of my favorite fish. For instance...

My rare find Amphiprion thiellei, disappeared without a trace about two months ago. He was with me for two years. Drat, I hate it when this happens. He had bonded with my female A. percula shown together here...

I had hopes of breeding them in the aquaculture facility. Not to happen. After a few weeks of fighting over the Anemone between the female and my A. ocellaris, they bonded and now share the RBTA...

Life goes on. A lesson for us humans to learn. When one door closes, another opens.

Weíll continue, later.


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  1. rayme07's Avatar
    Its looking good Dick. Is those lights on top the new LED lights?
  2. V's Avatar
    welcome to the blogging generation. Dont worry, im new to, so your not alone old timer.

    Ampage, i say this with love bud, the top shot wasn't the best from you. It makes your tank look old & tired. Ive seen you capture some real quality bud. How bout treating us.
  3. Amphibious's Avatar
    Ray, no, those are the Nova T5s. The new LEDs will be put to use out in the aquaculture facility, when I can afford to buy two more.

    V, I know. That upper shot is washed out for some reason. Itís me that should look ďold and tiredĒ!

    Iím working in too many directions right now. Mostly on the aquaculture set-up but other pressing things get in the way. Want to get water flowing ASAP before life deals me a low blow. At my age that could be anytime. Got to keep busy, keep the mind sharp, need to stay healthy by being active. You never know when a Mermaid will swim up to the boat and say, ďHey old man, want to play? Jump in, the water is warm.Ē LMAO!

    The blog was down for a few days. I do have more to add. Hereís a few...

    Blastomussa wellsi, a coral that has given me headaches finding just the right place to thrive. It seems to like lower light levels. Here it is on the bottom looking itís best. Iíve had it at least two years, a gift from Russell the owner of Oceanís Blend additives.

    The much sought after Purple People Eater Palythoa. First ďdiscoveredĒ by Blane Perun in 2001, the PPE became an instant hit among Zoanthid/Palythoa lovers. They command a high price even today, nine years later. They are slow to mature and propagate. Mature PPEs get about the size of dime or larger. BEWARE of E-Bay sellers passing off something other than PPEs as the real thing. I just did a search on PPEs and thereís a knot-head selling something other as PPEs. Know what your buying before you bid. I sent him an e-mail challenging his product ID.

    Iím soooo bad. Bought this a couple of months ago and forgot what it is.

    More to come later. Got to get out to the aquaculture building and get gluing.

  4. rayme07's Avatar
    Dick, The corals are looking awesome as always. The last coral looks almost like a Horn coral. Horn Coral, Fluorescent
  5. saltaddict's Avatar
    Love the new Blogging Dick!!!

    That doesn't sound right - you know what I mean
  6. rayme07's Avatar
    LOL that's funny right there.
  7. Amphibious's Avatar
    LMAO! That is funny, saltaddict. I’m glad you love it.
  8. Amphibious's Avatar
    Who said you canít teach an old dog new tricks. AND, who, on TR, thought I was wise beyond my years. Now thereís an oxymoron or maybe more aptly, it is just moronic (what I did). WOW, Ampage gets lax and almost has a reef melt down. This is a confession. Hopefully you will learn from my mistake!

    We all get lax from time to time and it can cost us plenty. Have you ever walked by your tank, glanced at it, become aware youíve neglected it, maybe for months? Well, Iím guilty of that and it nearly cost me big time. For the last few weeks there were subtle changes happening in my tank. Then disaster happened!!! My large Monte Cap simply melted away, bleached. It was not the Monte eating nudibranchs. The tissue turned into a stringy mush. In three days it was gone.

    Testing the water I found my nitrates OFF THE CHART, 160 ppm. Did two 15 gal water changes in two days but it was too late. This is what it looks like today...

    Pretty ugly! Then I tested my Phosphates, they were 5 ppm. Higher than Iíd ever had them. I should have seen the warning signs, green algae kind of out of control and red slim algae covering much of the rock and DSB surface. I began realizing just how lax Iíd gotten. Too many distractions I guess.

    I attribute the high numbers to my feeding regimen, heavy feedings with a multitude of ingredients both for the Tangs, clowns, Marine Betas, Gobies and all the corals. Iíd toyed with the idea of getting a Denitrator but thought they were a nuisance to control. Then I was introduced to the DTI Sulphur Denitrator (SD). A rather simple device that comes complete with media and pump. I installed on Tuesday evening. I did another water change of 15 gallons before installing the SD. Now what Iím going to tell you is truly mazing and literally unbelievable. Following the SD instructions, I ran the flow wide open through the SD for twenty-four hours. The next evening, Wednesday, I slowed the flow down to a fast drip, about 120 drips per minute. Then I tested the water for Nitrates. Much to my surprise they had dropped from off the chart to about 80 ppm. That was unbelievable to me. I called the designer/manufacturer and he agreed that was incredible. Thursday evening the test looked to be between the 80 and 40 ppm color bars. Tonight I took a picture of the test because it dropped further...

    It appears to be between 20 and 40 ppm. This drop is in 72 hours of running the SD. Here is the device...

    You can see itís a dual chamber SD with pelletized Sulphur in the left chamber and Aragonite gravel in the other. Still learning about this device but have a positive feeling about it. The results are showing up already not only in lower Nitrate but my Zoanthids are opening wider, coral polyps are coming out on corals that havenít opened in months and my 2 pieces of Atlantis Meteor Shower are looking the best they ever have. This in 3 days (72 hours).

    We are putting the DTI Sulphur Denitrator on our web site for those interested.

    So, an old dog learns another of lifeís lessons, donít get lax about water testing. I have some further thoughts on why this happened and why the DSB didnít handle the rise in Nitrates. Thatís for another day.

  9. rayme07's Avatar
    I am sorry to hear about the loss of your coral. I am glad you found the problem and are fixing it.
  10. Kaymanager's Avatar
    long time no hear. hows everything in the tank going? hows the aqua culture building coming along? my move went well and good news! got the wife talked into a bigger tank! i am super excited. so open to any suggestions. i am thinking a 90 gal drilled.
  11. saltaddict's Avatar
    I am sorry about the coral Dick but I am curious why you only did a total of 30g water change?
    So glad you are getting it pulled down. I will not tell you how often I test but I do a 30g water change every 10th day, run a sock to catch food debris that is changed daily and observe daily.
    Best of luck.
  12. V's Avatar
    i did mention your tank looked abit tired my old friend, just a pitty it slipped off the edge & took something out - although laxed can be forgiven bud, you DO have alot going at the moment.

    so 45gal water change on a 135, with a denitrator install in between. i still dont see how you can go from 160 to 20 in that time. the maths & bacterial populations dont add up.

    You have a massive bed, you have more rockwork you can poke a stick at, & you also still have that section in the sump dont you?

    Im interested in your theory bud, cause this blip by normal standards doesn't make a huge amount of sence unless your simplyly introducing more than can be converted via max populations.

    im asuming a massive overkill on bed cleaning wasn't an issue as youve already admitted you droped the ball & someone else got the call.

    You been dosing anything that can cause the bacterial populations to degrade?

    Do you have burrowing animals (including fish) that expose the bed more often?

    Is your sand smothered to the point where bed diffusion is limited?

    alot of varibles you old goat, your the person most qualified to answer them so indulge me