Kategoriarkiv: Aquarium

Skimmer broken

When I got home from work today I noticed that only one of the pumps on my new skimmer produced any bubbles, so I was a bit worried that it had already broken. That would be a surprise because these pumps are of very good quality and my previous skimmers ran for years without a single problem ( that means 24 hours a day for several years ) before I sold them when I got this new skimmer. And it turned out to not be such a big problem with the pump, when I reattached it from the skimmer body and opened it I saw that it was just clogged by a big chunk of algae with a jelly like consistence. The whole side pipe of the pump was totally filled with it, the other pump had nothing in it ( I of course had to check that one also to make sure it was not building up in there too ). Usually the algae is just whipped to tiny pieces that follow the skimmage up into the collection cup, but apparently this chunk was a bit larger and more dense than usual. Anyway if I get rid of all the algae I should not need to see this problem again.

It’s hard to say yet if the algae is decreasing, but it’s for certain that the new skimmer pulls out a lot more waste from the water so it should have less nutrients to use. Once a week I will also try to manually extract some of it.

The Deltec 902 has arrived

Today my new skimmer for my aquarium arrived. I have battled for a long time with algae and even though the meaning of what is the best way to get rid of algae is different I have a feeling that the situation is going to improve with this new skimmer. I have tried so many different ways that this is one of my last resorts. It is not entirely true as I have a few more ideas that can be tried if this is not helping either such as a macro algae refugium or an algal turf scrubber, or replacing the liverock if there perhaps is some problem with it. Nevertheless the previous skimmer I had was definitely too small for the volume of water I had. Actually I had two smaller ones but one was so much better than the other that that the second one hardly did any big difference. I have now replaced both of the smaller ones with the new.

I bought a Deltec 902 skimmer which is a huge skimmer for my aquarium, it’s actually rated for aquariums of over 2000 liters in size while my total water volume is closer to 800 liters, but I feel that it’s better to have one that is too big than too small, now I can tweak this to not run at full capacity if needed. I started it just an hour ago so I am not sure how to set it yet, I have a feeling that I have to adjust it down later when it starts to skim as it’s currently running at 100% air intake. It usually takes some time for it to start pulling out waste.

It was a bit pricey, but on the other hand Deltec equipment can usually be sold at good prices second hand due to it’s good quality.

It think it look bigger in reality than on this image though. And on the next image I have connected it and started it.

One downside with the new skimmer is that it is so big that I can’t have my wooden table hiding the entire sump anymore, that is irritating but not much I can do about it now. Maybe I can figure out a better solution later, one option is of course to run it outside the sump and I know many do this but I am a bit scared of doing so because if it starts to leak I might ruin the wooden floor of the entire apartment, 800 liters of salt water on a wooden floor is definitely something I do not want, as it is now in the sump a leak is no problem at all as it just flows back into the system and I can adjust it when I notice it without any damage done.

Hemitauricthys polylepis

Today I bought a new fish, it’s a Hemitauricthys polylepis. The english name for the fish varies, I have seen a lot of different names such as Diamond butterfly, Shy butterfly and others but it seems like the most common one is Pyramid butterfly which comes from the triangular white part in its colors.

Here is an image of one, it’s not mine I have not yet taken a photo of mine.

polylepis

It’s interesting to see how the different fish behaves when there is a newcomer in the tank. My largest fish that could scare all the others if it wanted is for some reason the most scared one, as soon as something out of the ordinary happens he hides in his cave. The cave is his own place where he sleeps at night and where he hides if he is scared. By the way he is a Blue tang.

Then I have my Powder blue tang, he is not scared but he is not very aggressive either but he is picky with food, he only eats frozen food and algae, not flakes or pellets. When the newcomer arrived he showed that he was not scared and approached the pyramid while extending his fins to look larger, but after a few hours he swam around as usual and did not seem to care anymore.

I have also three Clown fishes, they swam around at their usual location and did not seem to bother.

I also have a small Chrysiptera, not sure if it has a more common name but he is very territorial. But this newcomer is way too big for him to mess with so he stayed calm at his side of the tank. But when I added the three clowns (which are about the same size as him) he chased them around for days, he even managed to chase one such that it jumped out of the tank and fell 1,5 meters down on to the floor. Fortunately I was there and threw him back within 20 seconds or something and it seems like he got no problems from the fall.

Now there is one more fish to describe and it is my Purple tang. He looks like this:

purple tang

He have been quite aggressive towards the new pyramid butterfly all day and especially since the main lights went off. Now it’s so dark in the tank so I don’t know what they are doing anymore but I hope it’s just temporary. The tank should be big enough for them all.

Now I have referred to all my fish as he, but I have really no clue, they might all be girls. And clownfishes might even change sex if needed, quite convenient 🙂

New bulbs

So I finally decided to change the lightbulbs in my aquarium-lamp. According to the book you should change bulbs once a year, but I have now waited for about 5 years, partly because the bulbs are so expensive and partly because I do not have any corals (except for 2 dead ones) or other inhabitants that are very much in need of a correct light temperature or intensity. For two 250 W 13000K bulbs I paid 1750 NOK (~210€ ). Hopefully the higher (more blue) light temperature will make corals feel better than they did the last time I tried and hopefully the algae will like it less. The previous bulbs were 10000K. For reference the color temperature of a candle flame is about 2000K, the sun about 5000K and the sky 8000-10000K. So 13000K is pretty blue. By the initial definition it is the color that a block of carbon would glow with if you heated it up to 13000K (12727 ℃ ).

Changing the bulbs took me about an hour, becase you need a ladder to reach the roof, then you must make sure that you are steady on your hands so you do not drop the entire lamp into the saltwater. By yourself it’s a small challange, but it all went fine.

By the way note that I use real unicode chars for both Kelvin and Celcius. K is different from K, and ℃ is different from °C =) And by another way it’s not called a degree centigrade it’s called a degree Celcius since 1948!

Dying coral

In the last post I wrote about the two corals I had bought. Now one of them is dying :(. When a coral dies, it loses it’s color which is called coral bleaching. The colors of the corals come from the zooxanthellae living within the tissue. In nature this occurs more frequently now than in the past most likely due to the global warming effect. In the image below you can see where major coral bleaching has occured in the last 15 years:

coral bleaching

Sadly this means that perhaps many corals will die out in the not too distant future, corals are very sensitive to the water temperature.

And below you can see my bleaching coral:

my coral 1

my coral 2

And finally my still living coral, notice that the polyps are extended in comparison to the dying one where the polyps seem to be just empty holes.

my coral 3

I just hope that the other one survives such that I can continue to create a healty reef. I still struggle with some things but at least all water parameters seem to be where they should be, maybe a bit too salty, but that is very easy to fix. Prefarably the water should have a specific gravity of about 1.026, and I happened by mistake to push this up to almost 1.030, that might be why the one coral is dying but it’s hard to say.

Corals added

Yesterday I bought 2 corals for my aquarium. It has now been in operation in my apartment since I moved it here this summer. Hopefully they will make it now as my waterquality has improved lately.

Corals demand lots of light so I put one directly beneath one of the two 250W lights and one under the other. My reef structure is not so high though and the lamps are hanging a bit too high above the tank. I might lower it soon to give the corals more light intensity. The corals also need food, i.e. small particles of for example plankton. I hope there is enough for them such that I don’t have to manually feed them but we will see.

Even though corals may look like plants they are infact animals belonging to the animal kingdom, phylum Cnidaria (nässeldjur in Swedish) which includes jellyfish, corals and anemones. The corals are the animals in the class Anthozoa ( koralldjur in Swedish).

Another thing to note is that one coral, like the ones you see on the images below, is not one indidual but many, this is true for most corals but not all. The corals consists of individual polyps that share a common skeleton.

acropora1
acropora2

Moving an aquarium

Time to write something here again. The 1st of august I moved in to my new apartment. I have earlier lived together with some coworkers. I just got it nice and clean when I started the next project which was to move a large marine aquarium which I set up in 2001 and since then have not been able to put into my own place. But now it was time to do so, it really took too long time to get it back in my custody, but good I eventually got around to actually do it, and an apartment with 2 rooms was an necessity for this. My living room will now be like a day at the sea, with around 800 liters of water when the system is up and running at it’s full potential. We managed to move it all in one day, but it took all day. 4 rides back and forth by car, fortunately it’s not very far. It all went smooth and the fish seem to have survived the trip fine in the 400 liters of water we managed to transport from the old system. They now live happily in the sump until they get back into the aquarium. If you are not into the marine aquarium hobby you may wonder what the sump is; it’s an external tank beside the aquarium where usually all water cleaning equipments are placed. But as a temporary solution the fish and the other inhabitants live there. The other inhabitants are currently two small crabs and 2 seastars.

Things left to to now is to get the lamp up, go buy pipes to draw between the sump and the aquarium, make sure the aquarium is leveled, and make some new water with reverse osmosis and seasalt.

I have put some images that shows the mess in my apartment right now here. I put the images in the same gallery as the images from when I constructed it all the first time in 2001.