The Canbay Reef

Welcome to our reef aquarium site. This reef aquarium is just being set up and I will post my progress. I will record how I set up my reef and what problems I have. It will be a "green reef" by that I mean nothing from a reef. There is a lot of damage on some of the best reefs in the world and I hope by documenting my green reef it might help to save a little of our magnificent wild reefs.

tufa rock
This is my new tank. 90 gallons, live sand, tufa rock, and a little rubble that I saved out of the sand. It is already starting to grow coralline.

tufa rock
Note how porous the tufa rock is. It should make great live rock, that is if it does not dissolve.

tufa rock
If you look closely at this photo you might be able to see the fuzz on it. It looks like diatoms but I think it might be one of my rocks is dissolving. I tested the water to see if there were any changes. All seemed OK. It is only 10 days or since I set the tank up and there is coralline algae showing up.

tufa rock
If you look closely you can make out an ancient tree leave.

tufa rock
Here is my first coral. Not that much but a start. LOL There is another shot of the tufa, it shows it's porosity well.

It is my goal to take as little as possible from the ocean and even less from the wild reefs. As a benefit there will be less of the undesirable guests from the ocean. Hitch hikers!  Following are some of the pests.

Aptasia (Glass Anemones, Rock Anemones) Aptasia anemones are a nasty threat to your tank. They can sting and even kill other corals around them. If they are noticed, they need immediate removal or they might reproduce and the problem could get out of hand. There are various ways of killing them. Be quick, using a syringe or an eye dropper you can inject them with kalkwasser also known as calcium hydroxide or lime water. Be careful not to raise th PH, if you have a lot of them. Vinegar or lemon juice should work also. Once again watch your PH. Be sure to work quickly or they will close up. It is best to get them right in their mouths Although I never tried it I was told that boiling water served with a eyedropper or turkey baster might also work. They are difficult to get rid of so keep a look out for more.

Dinoflagellates: Here is a discusion that I had with some others who helped me with a bad problem.

I have something growing in my tank. It looks a lot like Cyanobacteria except that it is brown. Also the snails seem to eat it, though reluctantly. Could I have help naming it and what I can do to get rid of it. My tank is fairly new, but was set up with (all) sand out of an established tank.

live rock
Dinoflagellates

live rock
Dinoflagellates

I have someone give me this reply, they solved my problem.

Looks like dinoflagellates. Im having the same issue in my tank

Thanks, do you have any suggestions on what maybe causing it. There is something wrong in my tank and I can't put my finger on it.

Dinoflagellates can be pretty brutal IMO. I fought with them for a year before I finally figured it out. I tried everything and my "cure" was removing my sandbed which was basically a nutrient sink and powerwashing the rock. I have no idea what causes it but the cure for it could be on this list: reduce photoperiod increase alkalinity increase pH add refugium increase skimming feed less increased waterchanges (frequency and volume) Good luck!

I searched it on the net. It maybe the dinoflagellates. One thing tonight I watched as a snail did his best to avoid it. I have a few corals that are showing signs of stress. And I had tufa rock that I threw out because it was giving of something into the water. I will empty my tank tomorrow and start again. I have a large batch of diy rock that should be ready for the beginning of April. It is hard to see but there are long hair like structures that break of and float around the tank.

live rock
Dinoflagellates

Hi I would not empty the tank as you have not found the cause,but I would call it lights off for 2-3 days this will not hurt the corals. before doing the lights off clean as much as you can out of the tank vacuum the sand and rock as good as you can do a partial water change. are you using ro/di water , tap water or filtered water. if using tap get some prime it will help with the bad stuff in the water. +1 Christyf5 has listed everything you need to do from here on out. skim a bit wetter do a 25% water change and lights out for 2-3 days then have a shortened light period for a few months till your tank adjusts and ages a bit more. I have found once a tank is established and not much more will be added to it the whole thing stabilizes it's self. As long as you have enough LR and LS or LR and fuge, test your parameters more for the next while. Everyones system is different. In my 110g I have never had any problems with this just a HA bloom from a digital timer being messed up found out the connection on the inside of their time was wired wrong. Now I can't grown the stuff in my tank this I can not figure out PH04 is 0.1 But since I upgraded my kids tank to the Bow front I have had some dinoflagellates on the gravel no where else there is lots of flow as the dinoflagellates is not in a carpet but long strings if I cut the flow it becomes a carpet in a day or so. Its not the red algae I have no HA in that tank either so I don't know I just lights out every now and again it goes away and comes back alittle less each time so sooner or latter it will get sorted out. I would go with what you have and monitor and keep a file on what you are doing to improve the tank and algae problems this will help also document what the out come was after the change. This gives you a reference as to what is working and not you will find the right combination faster this way. I keep a log on my tank so I know what is happening and what is changing this includs what fish I have and corals when added and if died that is recorded and of what it died of.

Ya know, looking at that third pic you posted I'm not convinced its dinoflagellates. Is the algae producing bubbles at all because that is a telltale sign. I would try to get your water parameters in order first. Go with what Bill said about the lights off for a couple days or reduced photoperiod. Try the list I posted and get all your parameters in order. If the algae still persists and is that much of a problem then I'd think about some more drastic measures.

I think its probably a combination of a few things.. the first two are typical dinos.. had them in my tank a few weeks ago and they have not come back yet.. (fingers crossed) I blacked out my tank for a day and a half (towels up), fed less, and then ran my tank on a 3 hr photo perdiod for about a week. Started dosing Sodium Bicorbonate for alkalinity and starting CA and MG this week. Bubbles are the ID (+1 to christy) if they're making bubbles, its Dinos. but i also agree that that last photo doesnt really look like dinos to me.

I'm glad you posted those pictures cause I have the same problem in my tank. Mine is producing bubbles. I can assume it is dino's for sure? You said to raise the alkalinity. How high should it be raised?

Thanks so much for the advice. For the comments that you folks made it makes me quite sure that it is dinoflagellates. Here are some of the things that I have observed in my tank. It seems to be less after the lights are shut of over night. Little pieces tear of and float to the top(air bubbles). Although it looked a little different and it might of been a diatom bloom there was a fuzzy brown growth on the rocks that had lots of bubbles in it, but that growth was short about 1/4". I am not sure it is related, I guessed that it may have been diatoms. That stuff also really responded to the MH lights and had tons of bubbles. It didn't do much under the actinic lights (420 and 460) About the last photo it was taken shortly after the MH turned on and only one day after I had syphoned the stuff of the glass. Also it is in the highest water flow in my tank.

Today it seems a tiny bit better. I adjusted the KH or carbonate hardness. It is a new tank and I just didn't think I would be short so soon with new water, but it tested at 90mg/liter so I added the max it said on the instructions 1teaspoon to 40gal. once per day. I now have shut out the lights. I also use prime. A new question when putting the lights back on how much should I start with. I have actinic and MH. on different timers. Thanks and I will keep posted.

I had reef tanks in in which I have used artificial live rock. I made this rock out of various things. I used oyster shells and had so so live rock. I had much better success using ground limestone. Lime stone has its origins as a reef millions of years ago. Although it takes a long time to make live rock out of concrete the quality is very good. I tried to speed things up and purchased some tufa rock at a local garden supply, it seems to be dissolving so it will be coming out of the tank. It was interesting rock because there were tons of fossils in it, but they were fossils of tree leaves. The tufa would have been ideal because it was very porous. I suppose I should of looked at it closer but there was snow and ice covering it. So now I am making a batch of concrete rock.

I have two of these polyups appearing in my tank and I wonder if they might be a pest. They do not appear to spread the same way polyups normally do. That is attached to the mother. These seem to spread by larva or eggs. If anyone knows what they are please let me know. If I need to get rid of them now is a good time.

tufa rock

March 16,10

Well I watched the tank and finally I decided that the tufa rocks were just to risky to spend a lot of time and money trying to build a reef aquarium around. I watched as snails seemed to avoid some of them, it almost appeared that the snails disliked it because it irritated them in some way. I put a mushroom on it and it did not like it either. There was only one that grew coralline, it had a good start. The tufa seemed to be crumbling and had a dust like substance come of it. So I took it out. I am making some live rock and so far it appears to be OK. It should be ready to go into the tank by April 5th. That would give it 5+ weeks of soaking. I will do a pH test during the last week. If it does not go up beyond 8.4 - 8.5 it should be good.