Category Archives: 150G Saltwater Tank

These posts mention the 150G saltwater tank.

8/6/2012: Bangai Cardinal fry!

I was looking in the saltwater tank last night and I saw a baby Bangai Cardinal resting on the side of the tank! I managed to get a couple of good pictures — he’s so small you can make out the individual grains of sand in the picture.

I’ve never seen a cardinal make it this far, though I’ve seen a lot of positive mating behavior between the two cardinals. I don’t know how many others are still around, but hiding (which is where I thought they would all be); and I also have no delusious of any of them actually growing up to be mature fish, since there are plenty of bigger fish the can make a quick snack out of a fish this size.

…but there’s always hope 😀

6/25/2012: It’s been a while (pictures)

Hi. I have some updates 🙂

The LED lighting system on the 55G tank had gone into disrepair; the sunrise/sunset lights weren’t working anymore and one of the white LED strips was falling off, so I ordered new parts and fixed it over the weekend. I think they way I re-attached everything will make it less likely to break in the future.

In other news, the saltwater tank refugium is finally working right again. I’m not increasing nitrates anymore with just the fish that are left, which is an important thing for keeping a reef. I’ve ordered some more macroalgae to help out some more with this, and also some more test kits. Once that arrives, I’ll be able to get a good idea of what all of the important parameters are, and what I have left to do before I can get some corals. Hopefully it won’t be all that much. Also, I plan to get some more fish soon as well; I want a lawnmower blenny and a diamond watchmen goby for sure, and I’ll probably get some other fish as well!

I decided to take updated pictures of all of the named fish, and at least attempt to take pictures of the shrimp tank. I’m going to have to find a better solution for taking pictures of the shrimp, though, because I’m not happy with the quality. I’m also planning to change the descriptions on the Roll Call page so that they are updated. Here are the pictures:

3/28/2012: Coming apart…

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the saltwater tank. I think everything is under control now, but there have been several losses.

The issues started (I think) with one of the heaters, the temperature was fluxuating between 80 and 90 degrees. I also had a nitrate spike, which I’m not exactly sure what caused it, but I think it was a combination of several different things. Regardless, at the beginning of last week I planned to do a few large water changes to bring things back.

I had 40 gallons of pre-mixed saltwater in a trash can in my living room, I was going to do the water change the next morning, but the can fell over at 2AM, which caused a lot of issues with my carpet and laminate floor. All of the damage is covered by my homeowner’s insurance, but at the very least, dealing with this along with having to travel for work and vacation meant that the water changes were delayed.

As part of the restoration process, there were several large pieces of dehumidifying equipment in the room with the SW tank, which resulted in the ambient temperature in the room being 95 degrees for about 4 days. The nitrates spiked to about 200 ppm during this time.

Needless to say, I’ve lost several fish because of all of this: it’s easier to say who is left, really. All of the damsels and the tangs are still alive, along with a mated pair of the cardinals (and the snails of course). I’ve been doing extra water changes recently, and the nitrate level is down to between 40-80 ppm, and the temperature is stable between 76-80 degrees. The casualties seem to have stopped for now.

The other thing that happened was that it seems Filet has asserted himself as the dominant fish again. I know this because he beat the ever-loving crap out of Buzz. For 3 days or so, Buzz would hide in a cave all day, only coming out to eat a little bit. He had significant damage to his entire face and was obviously in a lot of pain. Thankfully, he doesn’t appear to be sick, just beat up, and yesterday he started coming out of his cave and eating more. He’s also showing signs of healing, but he’s definitely not the same — he’s still treading very lightly around Filet.

I’m going to keep up the frequent, large water changes until the nitrates get down below 40 ppm, and I’ve ordered a new refugium light. I plan to change the macroalgae situation in there quite a bit, since that’s supposed to help keep the nitrates down and I think the chaeto algae I had down there mostly dying contributed to all of this. I don’t plan to stop until my nitrates get below 5 ppm (or whatever the appropriate level for corals is), but the plan of attack for reducing nitrates changes when you get down below 40 ppm. After the tank is stable there for a while and everybody seems to have calmed down, I will start replacing the fish I lost, and eventually add corals.

On a happier note, the other two tanks are doing quite well: the shrimp tank is getting more and more populated with lots of shrimp — my strategy of “Don’t Touch ANYTHING” is working quite well so far 🙂

12/28/2011: Update and a couple of pictures

Things have been going well, and there have been a couple of changes recently to the fish tanks so that means it’s time for an update.

150G Saltwater Tank: The bad news first, I haven’t seen more than 3 cardinals at the same time for a few months now, so I can only assume that I lost one of them. On the good side, though, everybody else has been doing great. Buzz had a big growth spurt and is now larger than Filet, enough so that he’s starting to become dominant. I also added a bunch of Nassarius snails to the tank so there’s a real clean-up crew in there. I’ve ordered a protein skimmer and some new RO/DI membranes, so over the next couple of months I’ll be trying to get the nitrates down in the tank. Once they hit zero and I have some idea what I’m doing, I’ll start putting corals in the tank!

55G Freshwater Tank: Not much to say here except that I found out that they make blue and purple GloFish now, so I put six orange and six blue GloFish into this tank yesterday. They go along with the color scheme of the tank and will make the tank a little more active. I have some pictures of that tank:

20G Planted Shrimp Tank: I’ve learned my lesson from my past failures now: when the shrimp tank is surviving, don’t touch it! The new colony is starting to take hold. They’re very difficult to get good pictures of, but I managed to get one picture. It’s just a matter of time before they multiply enough so that some adults will be out all of the time.

10/18/2011: Hey, it’s a post!


I haven’t updated in several months. I have a couple of reasons for this, some of them good reasons.

First, nothing really bad has happened to any of my tanks. All three of them are in a state where everyone inside is alive and happy, and I haven’t been messing with them very much. There are things I want to do, but I’ve been concentrating on doing work on my house and that kind of takes priority at the moment.

I had set a goal to have corals in the saltwater tank by the end of the year. I’d still like to shoot for that goal, since that’s the next big thing I want to do in fish-tank-land.

I’ll give a short update on the status of each tank.

150G Saltwater Tank: Things are going just fine. I suspect that I might have lost one of the cardinals, but it’s difficult to be sure. They don’t appear to be fighting anymore and that could be why.

55G Freshwater Tank: I don’t think it’s possible to determine the sex of the two Bolivian Rams in the tank, so I’ll just assume one male and one female and give them the names Doug and Patti like I wanted to give the last pair of rams.

This tank needed frequent large water changes before because of the new driftwood. I’m happy to say that it doesn’t need that anymore. Also, there was an issue with the lighting system and I had to take the sunrise/sunset LED strips off. I’ll order new ones some day but that’s not a very high priority.

20G Shrimp Tank: The fishless cycle completed successfully and I added in a new colony of Red Cherry Shrimp. There were several weeks where the survivors hid most of the time, but they’ve built up their numbers to the point where they don’t all hide anymore! It’s finally a successful shrimp tank!

The plants took kind of a beating during this process, but they’re starting to recover. I’m gradually adding fertilizers and it doesn’t seem to have any bad effects on the shrimp, and the plants appreciate it.

Most of the shrimp are still very small, and I have to sneak up on the tank or else they all hide, but hopefully I’ll get some halfway decent pictures and/or video of this tank soon. Over the past week or two it’s really started to look good.

I’ll probably update more as I prepare the saltwater tank for corals, there is one big thing left to do on the house, so after that’s done and winter starts, I’ll seriously look at getting the equipment I need to make this tank a reef tank.

7/9/2011: so… it’s been a while

It’s been a while since I updated last, and actually it isn’t because of a lack of things happening to the tanks, unfortunately. I have no excuse :-(. However, I’m updating now, and I will have pictures!

150G Saltwater Tank: Things have mostly gone very well here, there are only a few things to write about. First, one of the cardinal pairs was doing their egg thing when the other pair suddenly decided that it was the time to declare war on them, so for the next few weeks, they mercilessly pestered this pair to the point where they can’t do anything in the tank without getting bitten and chased. It’s as aggressive as I’ve ever seen them, but the two victims are still alive and beginning to recover. I think the only reason they’re recovering though is because now the meanie pair did their egg thing. I’m confident that they’ll all be fine and hopefully they’ll work out their differences, since I know they are capable of coexisting in this tank.

Second, I went to the fish store today and got 10 Nassarius snails to help out with the sand bed. They aren’t exactly photogenic creatures, since they spend almost all of their time buried in the sand, but it’s the beginning of rebuilding the clean-up crew. Once I have a full clean-up crew, the next step is a protein skimmer, and then I can begin the process of getting the levels in that tank appropriate for a reef system! If everything goes perfectly, I might be buying corals by the end of the year.

20G Planted Tank: Well everything I’ve come up with has resulted in failure. I don’t know what’s happened, but I can’t even keep fish alive in this tank. Any survivors were moved to the 55G tank today, and I’m going to start it over. I’ll do what I can to keep the plants going during this process, and I’m still researching the best way to do that. Once the “start from scratch” process is done, though, I’ll be attempting to make it a shrimp tank again. I’ll hopefully be able to update during that process.

55G Freshwater Tank: This tank has had the most activity since the last update. After the whole heater incident, there were about 10 fish left in the tank, so I’ve been slowly restocking it since then. After a trip to the fish store today, here’s the stock list:

1 Female German Blue Ram (still haven’t decided on a good name for her yet)
1 Black Neon Tetra
1 Harlequin Rasbora (the survivor from the 20G tank)
1 Albino Bristlenose Pleco
about 15 Neon Blue Tetras
about 15 Priscilla Tetras (the grey ones in the pictures)
about 15 “Popcorn” Tetras (the orange ones in the pictures)

All of these fish have been doing really, really well; things are finally starting to calm down in that tank. The only thing that isn’t going really well is the fact that there’s so much new driftwood in the tank. It’s not bad for the fish, but after a week the water will be tea-colored, which makes the tank pretty dark. I have to do large (at least 50%) water changes every week, and I just have to keep doing this until the driftwood releases all of its tannins.

Now, I have some pictures of the new guys in the 55G tank:

5/3/2011: New video

Saltwater Tank: It’s nothing but good news here. I was worried for a while because one of the male Bangai Cardinals was hiding for a really long time with eggs in his mouth. I hadn’t seen him in about 3 weeks, and the other three cardinals were starting to act a little more aggressively toward each other. I was convinced that I had lost the male and the two other females were fighting over the last male, but a couple nights ago I finally saw all four of them, and imagine this: one of them was really hungry. Behavior is back to normal now, so I’m happy. I also took an updated video of this tank like I said I wanted to earlier.

“Shrimp Tank”: It’s back in quotation marks again because the last batch of shrimp didn’t last very long. I’m in the process of trying to figure out why they aren’t lasting in this tank like they were before, and trying to fix those things before I get the next batch. There will be updates, since I don’t want to leave this tank empty for long. Hopefully it works out the next time.

4/22/2011: Red Cherry Shrimp

You thought I’d disappeared, didn’t you? Well, I didn’t. I have a couple of interesting things to talk about too.

I’ll start with the big one: after several days of looking locally for some Red Cherry Shrimp, I finally found a source for them that is about a 15-minute drive from me. I went yesterday to pick up the shrimp and surprise! Some of them actually made it alive into the tank! I got about 25 of them, most of them are juveniles, and some are as small as 1/4 inch, but I’m already starting to see their red color develop, and they seem to be doing well so far. I have some pictures:

If all goes well, there will be enough to start a colony and they’ll reproduce like crazy.

Last night while I was getting the algae ready for the saltwater tank, I noticed three of the cardinals doing something kind of strange. They were trying to intimidate each other, and they were being kind of aggressive. This is weird because I can’t think of much of a reason they would decide to do this unless the male that had eggs in his mouth somehow died. I haven’t seen him in a while, so that’s not really a good thing. On the other hand, when they’re doing this, it’s a great time to take pictures of them, so I have a few pictures.

I also took some up-to-date full-tank shots of the shrimp tank and the saltwater tank, since I think my previous ones are several months old. Here they are.

What’s next: I want to take an updated video of each of the tanks, particularly the saltwater tank since the last video I took was before I moved. Also, there’s a different local fish club I found out about, which is actually how I was able to find the guy who sold me the Red Cherry Shrimp, so I’m going to look at that some more and with any luck, it might be a source for the rams I’ve been wanting for the 55G tank.

4/14/2011: Names!

I figured out why the tangs were getting along so well so quickly. It was easy for the Powder Brown tang because I saw where he got hit, but it turns out that the Atlantic Blue tang got hit as well, which explains why he has accepted his submissive role so quickly. He actually got it pretty bad, even worse than the Powder Brown, I just didn’t see it until I came home one day and he turned yellow for a bit, then it was really easy to tell.

Yeah, there was a little bit of violence in the tank, but both of the new guys are going to be just fine, and I’m pretty happy with how it all turned out. I’m confident enough at this point about everything to officially give the new guys their names (and it’s about time, too).

The Atlantic Blue Tang will be known as Buzz

and the Powder Brown Tang will be known as Fido.

That’s all for now.