Details of the tank setup are archived here, otherwise
what you have on this page is the most recent segment of the
tank diary. Our piece of advice for anyone starting a
marine aquarium is "think SimCity". You will have in your
hands an entire and rather complex ecosystem; it's not just fish
and filtration. Keep that in mind and you'll do the Right
Thing. As well as the diary, we now have:
aquarium fishcam (please login with username "guest" and
password "guest") that shows the tank occupants. This
works in Internet Explorer, though you will have to agree to
install an ActiveX control. Can't guarantee that it will
work with other browsers. If you want to know how it's
done: buy a D-Link DCS-2230 Wireless N Full HD Cube IP Camera
(or equivalent) that connects to your wifi network and has a
built in web server, convert your broadband provider's dynamic
IP address into a static one using a free service from www.no-ip.com, quote that
address on your web page, then get your wireless router to
forward HTTP requests to the camera. Job done.
There are cheaper ways but the wifi approach gives added
18 March 2013
While looking for the replacement skimmer we found something else
rather intriguing, a product called Aiptasia X from Red Sea. Anyone who
has tried killing aiptasia with a syringe and kalkwasser will know
that the aiptasia retract the instant you get near them.
This stuff, on the other hand, is amazing. It is a milky goo
in a bottle and comes with a syringe which you use to apply it,
much as you would the kalkwasser but without the need to jab a
sharp needle into the centre of a quickly retracting creature.
Instead the aiptasia stay open to collect the lovely go and then quickly
collapse utterly. As the instructions say, they almost implode.
Absolutely amazing. Where has this solution been all my fishy
18 March 2013
The new Deltec MC500 skimmer was inserted on the evening of 14th
March. Since we're monitoring the tank's vital
statistics it is interesting to look at what has changed as a
result. Temperature, salinity and pH have not changed form
but both dissolved oxygen and redox potential have:
The redox is showing a steeper rise, which is expected, but the
amplitude of the daily dissolved oxygen curve has also reduced
quite dramatically. This is good, of course, but answers on
a postcard as to why adding a bubbling thing to the water has done
Getting Things Back Into Order
17 February 2013
The tank has been allowed to lie fallow for several
years, water changes down to once every 6 months, the single
Pyjama Wrasse from 2009
its only fishy occupant. It is suffering from both red and
green slime algae while the Deltec MC500 skimmer has died without
us noticing. It is time to sort things out.
First we put in a handful of snails and hermit crabs to begin
cleaning, then two cleaner shrimp. However, the cleaner
shrimp didn't survive a day. Hmmm. The IKS Aquasatar
monitor suggests that the pH is low at 7.85 though not intolerably
low (should be above 8). A test suggests that nitrates are low at
15 mg/l. Temperature is steady at 25 C.
Redox, though, is far lower than it should be at +240 mV
(range should be +300 mV to +400 mv). The salinity meter on
the IKS Aqaustar unit was broken and, once replaced, it showed a
density of 1.017, far lower than the accepable 1.025, which is
probably what did for the cleaner shrimp. Dissolved oxygen
is good at ~6 mg/l but a TDS meter goes off the scale with an
electrical conducitivity (EC) level of at more than 19 uS.
Now since this is salt water we're not sure if that measurement is
meaningful but the redox reading suggests that it is pretty dirty.
So, the strategy:
Replace the skimmer, getting rid of the dirt (once Deltec's
factory fire has passed).
Replace all the lights, lets get the stimulus right.
Do a 10% water change (the maximum practical amount) every
couple of weeks with double the usual amount of salt (usually
1 kg in 25 litres, so now 2 kg in 25 litres) to gently get the
salt levels up without killing the pyjama wrasse.
Add some caulerpa in the sump tank (the previous lot had
Repair the live data page so that we can monitor the
When safe, add some cleaner shrimp.
Should take around 6 months we hope.
9 August 2012
Well, it's been some time since we've update this page. The
tank has been left pretty much alone and, as the fish population
has died off we've not replaced them as Rob's time spent
maintaining the tank has reduced. Less fish means they
survive with less maintenance.
Anyway, a few days ago the Urchin
passed away and the remains are quite fashinating. Back in
early 2007 it looked like this:
Now, just two days after it fell of its perch, all the organic
material has fallen away leaving the shell:
...and inside the shell was this skeleton, which appears to have
hooked in place on these lugs, just like some sort of plastic kit
with five-sided symmetry:
16 June 2010
The Regal Tang
was absolutely covered in white spot today. Here's a bad
picture of it.
We have dosed with 50 drops of eSHa Oodinex
and hope it will clear up quickly.
We also purchased some more coral:
another variety of Green Star.
While giving the fish their first
feed we noticed worm activity once more. This time it's
clear that there are two worms and that they notice when brine
shrimp are put in the tank. Watch the one at the back: it
picks up a brine shrimp and wolfs it down through its, err,
14 February 2010
Yesterday we very briefly spotted a
huge bristle worm in the tank and, today, managed to catch it
out in the open, though unfortunately not with the right
camera. Still, here are a few fuzzy pictures of it.
It seems to be around 15 cm long when fully extended and quite
"hairy" in tufts along its side.