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Posted 03-17-2008 at 07:50 PM by christyf5
So I guess I had better post to this thing eh? I'm just the right enough of bored today to actually do it. Who knows whether I'll keep it up though.

Alrighty then, so I have a 90 gallon tank that was set up in 2003 (upgraded from a 48 gallon set up in 2001 which was upgraded from a 20 gallon also set up in 2001 ). The original tank was purchased for $75 which at the time was a steal, it was only after I picked up the tank that I realized why. It was horridly scratched a full 8 inches from the bottom on all panels, I guess the previous owners must have had a very deep sandbed that they stirred every 5 minutes or something. Anyway, I was too excited to have a bigger tank to really make any melodrama about it (of course that came later).

I'd always had various algae problems do to a very green thumb (only if water was involved though, I'm crap with terrestrial plants unless they're outdoors where mother nature remembers to water them). But by April of 2004 I had a nasty case of dinoflagellate which could either be traced to a few new pieces of rock I added or having to take the tank apart to get a couple of fish out. Either way, I fought dinoflagellates for the better part of a year. Just when I would get them gone, the leftovers would provide nutrients for a caulerpa bloom. I would then prune caulerpa (this would take up to 3-4 hours each time) and then have a nasty brown algae bloom, in which I would call upon a legion of snails to clean up. Sometimes they did a great job sometimes the dinos would grow on top of the brown algae and would kill every last snail. This continued on for about a year. I tried everything, raising pH, raising alkalinity, two new skimmers, more water changes, less waterchanges, larger waterchanges, less photoperiod, only actinics, no lights at all, and putting blankets over the tank for a total blackout. I even swapped out the aragonite sandbed for sugar sand thinking the sandbed was locking up various nutrients for dinoflagellate production. I was dinoflagellate free for a whole 13 weeks that time, I think partly in thanks to the new sandbed and euroreef skimmer. But no matter what I did, they'd be back and stronger than before. Finally in 2005 I had totally had it and decided to take the tank completely down and restart it. All the rock was powerwashed, the sandbed was sent out to the driveway and the tank and equipment were thoroughly washed with vinegar. The tank was restarted and I awaited the return of the dinoflagellates but I was finally free of them!! Yay! During that year I lost 2 fish and all corals but one, a yellow porites that I still have to this day.

I ended "upgrading" the tank to yet another 90 gallon tank in 2005, this one brand spanking new, scratch free and eurobraced (oh how I hate those crossbraces). I figured if I was actually staying in this hobby I should be able to see into the tank clearly I still run the tank with no sandbed and I can certainly attribute the lack of sandbed to my success since then.

Since then there hasn't been near the drama of those early years which I certainly don't dwell on. I consider myself to be one of those lucky ones that survived as I know a few people that just gave up with the appearance of dinoflagellates. I'm glad I stuck with it and kept trying things to rid myself of them.

Of course its not like I've had smooth sailing since then (typical), I've still had caulerpa issues (which a powder blue tang has mostly cured me of in 2007), red bugs, hair algae (which now seems to be confined to the overflow with the PBT eating most algaes in the tank), acro eating crabs, fish eating crabs, softy eating Eunicid worm. I seem to be quite successful in having pretty much every issue konwn to the reef world except for acro eating flatworms (knock on wood). And currenly I have brown wafer algae which is doing its best to take over. At least its fairly easy to prune.

So I think that brings you up to date with the major goings on. I'll post more current stuff from now on, unless I think of something else to share
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