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Author Archives: DCM

Species profile: Flaming Prawn Goby


flabbywhalefish

Ichthyology Doug Hoese © Australian Museum

The flaming prawn goby (Discordipinna griessingeri) may well just be the most beautifully frustrating fish I’ve ever kept. Without doubt, it is one of the most stunning fish you can get for a pico aquarium, but from my experience, you will very rarely get to appreciate its magnificence.

This tiny fish is becoming more popular in the aquarium trade and it’s easy to see why. They generally command a higher price than other nano fish, I paid £45 for mine, but I’ve seen them going for as much as £90, which is a lot of money for not a lot of fish. They are carnivorous and inhabit the coastal oceans of the Indo-Pacific.

Although termed a prawn goby, there is no evidence that this particular species actively interacts or lives with pistol shrimp. Unlike those prawn gobies that like to share burrows with…

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Zebra Eel (Gymnomuraena zebra) in Reef Tank – 8+ Year Update


Zebra Eel (Gymnomuraena zebra) in Reef Tank – 8+ Year Update

 

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Sick Pajama Cardinal


I started with 5 Pajama Cardinals (Sphaeramia nematoptera) 5-6 years ago and over the years they slowly died off. The last one looked beautiful for at least a year and then slowly started to deteriorate. Today I noticed she was doing this death spiral. I assume the end is near. 😦

 

 

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Green Hair Algae REMOVAL – Dolabella Sea Hare (Dolabella auricularia)


The Dolabella Sea Hare is the horse of the sea! I’ve had quite a few of them over the years and they do one heck of a job cleaning up the green hair algae in the tank. The only problem is that they will starve if you don’t continue to feed them or find friends with tanks full of food so keep that in mind.

Algae Scrubber Update: Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 43 weeks


Turbo Aquatics L2 Revision 3 algae scrubber update. Starting to grow a bit of dark green hair algae around the edges of the scrubber pad.

 

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2 Year Saltwater Aquarium Update


Our system has been up and running for 2 years. Here’s a quick video of the tank.

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Cree Lumia 5.2 Build – 1 Year Update


Well, it’s been about a year since I built my LEDgroupbuy light. I’ve gradually increased the LED intensity from 35% to 60% and am very happy with the results. I may boost the intensity up a little bit but I don’t think much. The only coral I have that seems to not be as colorful is the hammer coral which looks a little lighter. The clams seem to be very happy which makes me happy! 🙂

The only issue I’ve run into is that one of my MakersDRIVERS 5UP PRO units gave out here last week. I came home and noticed all the LED chips but one were off (far right on). I turned the lights off for a bit and then back on. All the Lumia chips fired up but the right side of my tank looked darker and more actinicly lit. The left side of the tank was bright and white. Turns out that when the MakersDRIVER went out it stop communicating to the other 5UP PROs down the line and the result was each Lumia chip down the line was running at a 100%. This could have been a bad deal for the coral, jumping from 60%-100%, but they weren’t too upset. I dug out an old window screen and placed it over the left side of the tank which seemed to filter out enough light to look consistent with the 60% output.

After the 5UP PRO went out I looked at the LED Group Buy website and saw the 5UP PROs only had a 90-day warranty… Fortunately after emailing LED Group Buy they priority mailed out a replacement at no cost. 🙂 I’m glad I went with a company who stands behind their, and their supplier’s, products!

Cree Lumia 5.2 not working

Here’s what the light looked like after I restarted it (evening). The sunrise/set controller plugs in on the right and daisy chains to the left. The second set of lights you can see are out and all chips to the left are running at 100% :-/.

 

LED group buy 6 foot Makers Light

 

Makers LED Makers DRIVER 5UP PRO failed

 

Cree Lumia 5.2 LED Chip not turning on

Even though the power was turned off to this 5UP Pro it still had about 1% power going to channel 3. I assume the Makers sunset/rise dimmer sends a little power through the audio cables.

 

Bad MakersDRIVER 5UP PRO Burnt Spot

Notice the burn spot between the fuse and fan wires. I’m guessing this is where the issue was.

 

LED Group Buy Makers Reef Light

Back up and running!

 

Happy Squami Clams, Achilles Tang, Rabbitfish, Clownfish

Happy fish and clams!

 

Achilles Tang (Acanthurus achilles)

Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 71 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 26 weeks


Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 71 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 26 weeks

Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 65 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 20 weeks


Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 65 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 20 weeks

Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 62 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 17 weeks


Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 62 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 17 weeks

Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 58 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 13 weeks


Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 58 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 13 weeks 

Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 54 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 9 weeks


Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 54 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 9 weeks
SURF2 & Turbo Aquatics L2 algae scrubber update.

Hydroid Jellyfish ID – Just Poke It!


Out of the corner of my eye I noticed what I thought was an anemone move in my tank. I took a closer look and watched an amphipod run into the anemone and it shot off like a jellyfish! Turns out it was a Hydroid Jellyfish. It might have came in on some chaetomorpha I got from LiveAquaria as that’s the only thing I’ve added to the tank for quite some time. Sounds like they aren’t too big of a problem in a reef tank so I wont worry too much about it.

Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 49 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 4 weeks


Algae scrubber update video: SURF2 – 49 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 4 weeks

Refugium Anemone – What is it?


This small anemone is living in my refugium. Any idea what kind it is? It’s about the size of a nickel, transparent and has arms that branch out like a snowflake. Watch when the amphipod steals food away from it and it pulls its arms in. Figured it out!

Clownfish Bite! Not so Nice Nemo


My friend Kelan’s clownfish isn’t happy about moving the tank! Clownfish truly are the piranhas of the sea (something they forget to tell you on Finding Nemo)! Our true percula clownfish bit my wife why she was trying to feed a piece of nori to the tank. I’m pretty sure that was the last thing she was expecting to happen and when it bit her she screamed and saltwater ended up all over.

Lumia 5.2 LED Build – Week 7 – 50% Intensity


Update video for my Cree Lumia 5.2 light build. 50% is looking pretty good. 🙂

Colonial Hydroids – Not Good for a Reef Tank?


I just found what appears to be a patch of Colonial Hydroids in my reef tank. I’ve never noticed them in the past 7-8 years, they just kind of popped up. Not until I changed my lighting over to LEDs did I notice them. Now they kind of glow during sunrise and sunset of my tank (most actinic). Many fellow reefers say they’ve had a lot of problems with them but if I’m just now noticing them maybe they won’t move like wild fire. Have any of you had problems with they in your saltwater tank?

Algae Scrubber Update: SURF2 – 47 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 2 weeks


Algae scrubber update video : SURF2 – 47 weeks | Turbo L2 Rev 3 – 2 weeks

 

Turbo HF/Rev 3 – L2 Algae Scrubber Build


Unable to get my SURF2 algae scrubber from Santa Monica Filtration to produce algae growth, I’ve decided to try an L2 algae scrubber from Turbo’s Aquatics. The purpose of an algae scrubber is to create an environment that out competes the rest of the system for growing algae. As algae is grown and harvested (removed for the system) phosphates and nitrates are also removed from the system as that’s what the algae is feeding on. In this thread I will show you how I installed the Turbo HF/Rev 3 – L2 (two cubes of food per day) algae scrubber on my system. I hope to have far better results with this scrubber than my SURF2.

Turbo's Aquatics Algae Scrubber Arrival

It’s always fun to get packages in the mail! Especially when it’s good stuff.

I hate peanuts...

I hate peanuts…

Well wrapped!

Well wrapped!

Turbo's Aquatics - Turbo HF/Rev 3 Algae Scrubber

Finally, the package inside of the package is an algae scrubber.

Turbo's Aquatics Algae Scrubber Accessories

Goodies and useful accessories.

Turbo's Aquatics L2 Rev 3 Algae Scrubber

Pop the top…

Turbo's Aquatics Algae Scrubber Accessories

More goodies and useful accessories.

Turbo's Aquatics Algae Scrubber with MakersLED Heatsink

It’s pretty evident at this point that this is a very well made unit. Lots of thought and energy put into this algae scrubber.

Turbo's Aquatics Algae Scrubber MakersLED Heatsink

I really like the MakersLED heatsink. It’s the same one I used for my LED build.

Turbo's Aquatics LED Board Version 1.0

The LED board inside of the MakersLED heatsink.

Turbo's Aquatics Algae Scrubber Light Wiring

These wiring connector clips work really well. A good solid connection.

Turbo's Aquatics Algae Scrubber Bottom

Since the scrubber is made out of quality materials it’s kind of heavy. I had a difficult time trying to figure out how to incorporate the scrubber into my system. My first thought was to use a 2X6 piece of lumber over my sump and to place the scrubber on top of it. But, I didn’t think wood would hold up very long.

Aquarium Bracket - NDS Spee-D Chennel Drain

After a quick trip to Home Depot I found exactly what I needed. A piece of PVC that could span the Rubbermaid sump, be drilled, and still retain structural integrity. This NDS Spee-D PVC Channel Drain was exactly what I needed! 🙂

A few modifications to the PVC bracket via chop saw...

A few modifications to the PVC bracket via chop saw…

Turbo HF/Rev. 3 Algae Scrubber Installation

Drill a couple holes. Measure PVC drain length and whittle down.

Aquarium Sump PVC Plastic Bracket

Finely tune the bracket’s position.

Aquarium Bracket Drip Rail

In case of leaks I decided to use some silicone and a couple pieces of hose to add a drip rail. This way if the scrubber springs a leak it will run into the sump and not onto the floor.

Fish Tank Algae Scrubber Feed Line

I used the return line from my chiller/UV sterilizer to feed the algae scrubber.

Turbo's Waterfall Algae Scrubber

One last look before I plumb this baby in.

Waterfall Algae Scrubber Feel Side

While installing the feed side of the algae scrubber I ran into a little issue. The spray bar is held in place between the right and left supports. Unfortunately, the feed side support hole was tapped too wide which meant I had to bottom out the support’s threads. When the support was snug it left too much thread inside the box to allow the spray bar to fit in. So I cut the thread back a bit, maybe a little too much. Luckily the extra rubber o-ring included in the order doubled up on the spay bar’s feed end made a good seal.

Installing Waterfall Algae Scrubber

Fit the scrubber into place.

Installing Waterfall Algae Scrubber Plumbing

Firmly connect feed line. I also use electrical tape to cover each hose clamp. I find it doesn’t take long for those clamps to start rusting and looking bad.

Aquarium Sump Algae Scrubber Bracket

Time to twist in the drain pipes and zip tie the filter sock. Both drain pipes run to about 1 inch from the sump’s water level to ensure consistent flow.

Waterfall Algae Scrubber Build DIY

Making sure the spray bar was tight I crossed my fingers and turned to water on. After no leaks I increased that flow until the water almost ran down the overflow.

I must confess, this is the first time I had to look up the instructions. I just wanted to make sure I hooked up the LEDs correctly. I would have felt pretty stupid if I blew them up! Turns out they’re fool proof and I just needed to daisy chain them together. A quick text message to, and quick reply from, Bud Carlson (Owner @ Turbo Aquatic’s) confirmed I was headed in the right direction.

Turbo's Aquatics Waterfall Turbo HF Revision 3 Algae Scrubber

Add lights and you have a functioning algae scrubber. 🙂

Update – Week 2:

Update – Week 4:

Update – Week 9:

Update – Week 13:

Update – Week 17:

Update – Week 20:

Update – Week 26:

Update – Week 43:


I will post update videos below so if you are interested please check or visit my YouTube channel.

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