Rock cleanup day
by, 04-21-2012 at 04:05 PM (710 Views)
It has been a while since I last posted, mostly due to lack of time due to work overload.
Which obviously meant I also had little time to take care of the tank, and it went backwards.
My 4 mithrax crabs gradually died (of age I believe), leaving me without valonia eaters, which isn't good. One of the mithrax crabs (the hardiest of them, last to die) apparently was of a different species and I caught him eating my zoa colony. Moved him to the sump a month ago, and I guess he died because I haven't seen him since.
The red bubble algae, which I mentioned before, and for which I have no consumer, gradually took over all the rocks. Rocks in the DT were either covered with red algae or a combination of red algae and valonias. One one occasion, about 3 months ago, I took out two rocks and scraped the algae out. It grew back fairly quickly.
Today I took out all the rocks (not all at once) and scraped them all, removing all the red algae (well, removing 99% of the red algae). If the stuff were edible the amount I removed would easily feed one fat or two thin vegetarians. Really, if piled up on a dish it would be a considerable amount (sorry, no pictures).
As I moved rocks in the tank detritus from the crushed coral substrate clouded the water. No, they turned the water into milk, yeah, that's a better description. The obvious conclusion from that is that over the years I've overfed and "under cleaned" the tank. Now I have a nice reservoir of organic matter sitting in my 10 cm deep crushed coral base, ready to feed anything that wants to grow.
About a year ago I bought, but never used, a 50 micron bag to remove stuff from the water. Decided to use it. Guess what happened? When the water was milky and I tied this bag to the pipe bringing water from the DT into the sump, my skimmer went crazy. Crazy means started to produce a thick foam, of the type that doesn't dissolve when you touch it. Like shaving cream, but with wider bubbles. No special smell (I was afraid of soap on the bag, but that wasn't it), just I guess an abundance of fine particles of organic matter in the water ready to produce that horrible foam you see on the shore of polluted beaches...
I have several conclusions out of this all, which I'll post in a later blog. Got to go now...