01/22/08 - Boise, Idaho USA
Hello, This is Sally Jo. I want to welcome you to this web page.
It is very important to remember and understand that when caring for a reef system not all algae are bad. Every single system will go through many cycles through out its life span. It is so difficult for anyone to predict what will happen next. So much depends on how one sets up their system. Did you use live rock from the ocean? Did you start with man made rock and live sand? The types of lights are you using and the age of tank will change the timing of the stages that all reef aquariums have.
GARF has found natural ways to control all types of problems that occur in closed reef systems. I hope the following article will help you pin point some of the issues you are facing and make your hobby as fun for you as it is successful for us.
Diatoms - One most remember that this is not a bad thing. Without Diatoms there would not be enough oxygen for all of us to breathe. We feel it is extremely important that we find natural ways to maintain our beloved reefs. We do not use phosphate remover, we are careful with the supplements we add, and know that when diatoms show up it is a indicator that something is slightly out of balance.
Diatoms will always be present in your tank and it is relatively easy to keep in under control. There are several different strains of diatoms, some occur in fresh water others occur in salt water. Diatoms look like a brownish dusting that will show up on your glass and rock. It usually shows up in the early stages of setting up the tank while it goes through some cycles. It will show up when one does water changes, when something dies, temperature fluctuations and even when up grading or changing lights.
I think it is also important to point out that the snails will not scratch your glass, or plastic tanks. Once algae is no longer visible you should feed the tank a pinch of flake food so that you make certain they have enough to eat. We find that one needs to replenish their janitors about every six months. The more stable you keep your tank the better the animals; fish and janitors will reflect their gratitude through beauty and years of amazement.
We keep our tanks at 78 degrees. Salinity is kept at 1.023 - 1.025. When doing water changes make certain the salinity of the water you are replacing is the same as the water you are removing. Also make certain the temperature is the same as well. When preparing your fresh salt water give it a day to really mix in before testing the salinity.
Another point to ponder is that you need to service your salinity monitor. We rinse ours out after every use and allow it to soak in fresh water until we put it to use the following day. We add makeup water to all of our systems every morning. This is the fresh water mixed with the Sea Chem. powders (you will find the recipe in my articles on bulletproof reef keeping). We add the make up water every day for the more stable you keep your animals the better they will do. If you do not replace the evaporated water each day the salinity will continue to rise.
The smaller your tank the more important this task becomes. Add the makeup water slowly so as not to shock any of the animals and try to have the makeup water be the same temperature as the tank water. One more subject comes to mind when speaking about water. Please, please be very careful about adding water from your pet store or the water your fish comes in. For many of these tanks are treated with copper and if you add it to your tank, it is so toxic. They also do not tear down their tanks and many pests can run ramped and pass it on to your closed system. Having a quarantine tank will save you much heartache.
On a private note, I want to thank all the people who have expressed their prayers and concern for my medical battle I am fighting. It means the World to us. I wish I could say that I am winning but I can say that your support goes along way to keep me strong and focused. I will try to continue to write these articles, share more pictures and never give up on being the voice for these animals whose livelihood is so threatened.
IF YOUR REEF AQUARIUM IS LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS OLD AND THE MAIN PROBLEM ALGAE IS A LIGHT RED BROWN DUSTING ON THE GLASS AND ROCKS - YOUR REEF HAS A DIATOM BLOOM. The Reef janitors Diatom control mixture contains extra Cerith and Nerite snails. Both of these Janitors do a great job of eating Diatom algae. Diatoms are often a problem in new tanks because they do not contain the micro animals that eat diatoms. This Garf GrungeTM will add many of needed micro grazers your reef aquarium lacks.
CONTROL DIATOMS WITH GARF GRUNGE*
GARF GRUNGE* HAS A VERY LARGE NUMBER OF CORALINE ALGAE SPECIES IN IT.
NO WILD LIVE SAND CAN HAVE THE BIODIVERSITY FOUND IN THIS ACTIVATOR!$5.00 PER POUND
Reef aquariums require a large variety of organisms to filter the water properly. Aquarium habitat is very different from ocean habitat.
Live Sand from a natural reef is good for starting marine aquariums, but each location on a reef has a limited number of species. Poor packing and shipping methods further deplete this fragile wild population.
We have been keeping an unbroken chain of successful reef aquariums in Idaho since 1977. Several times during this period we have had over 100 aquariums. We have researched captive breeding of such diverse species as Chambered Nautilus and Acropora coral.
This is the best cerith snail we have tested. It stays down in the aquarium on the glass cleaning algae and diatoms. It is listed in Julian Sprung's Reef Aquarium as a good algae eater. One inch long pointed shell, it can get in between rocks, it is a great glass cleaner. This snail cleans in zig zag pattern. It's radula is able to remove diatoms so well that they do not regrow from the original algal film. This snail does not dislodge or disturb any specimens.
SUGGESTED RETAIL EACH $2.98
LIVE ROCK RESEARCHOur continuing research into the commercial production of tank raised live rock has allowed us to purchase tons of prime live rock and live sand. We select species from the rock for our live rock genetic bank.
During the last year I was able to purchase over 1000 lbs. of the live sand and rubble from the bottom of the live rock holding tanks at several of the most famous live rockers.
This mixture was much more than just live sand!! Hundreds of invertebrates from the tons of live rock held in these tanks are now reproducing here in Idaho.
RESEARCH COLLECTING TRIPSThis mixture is now being added to by myself and Sally Jo. We are collecting sand stirrers and filter organisms on our research trips. We have made several trips to Mexico during the last two years looking for a site for a live rock farm. We are able to select various types of live sand for our experiments.
Last year Tom Frakes and I Explored Coronado Island in the Sea of Cortez. We found a bay with sand made up of branching coraline algae fragments. This coraline is the fastest growing dark purple and blue types I have found.
TRY LIVE SAND ACTIVATOR
0NE POUND FOR EACH THREE GALLONS WILL ACTIVATE TWO INCHES OF ARAGONITE SAND
3the most important part. This is a "Grunge" from G.A.R.F. What the stuff contains is a culture of sand, coral rubble, small reef rocks, macro-algae, annelid worms, small pieces of sponges and corals, snails and crabs that is some of the coolest stuff I have ever seen!
I still keep seeing different things I didn't see before. We got 10 pounds about a week after the system was set up and mixed it in with the top layer of sand. This really gave the reef a pleasing natural look since it is very coarse and has a lot of color to it2 *
Letter from The Sea Star A monthly publication for the marine aquarium hobbyist by the President - Tim L. Weidauer Wasatch Marine Society in Salt Lake City, UT.
HOW TO ORDER DIATOM CONTROLREEF JANITOR MIXTURE*
WE ARE OFFERING THIS COMPLETE REEF JANITOR PACKAGE FOR $1.50 PER GALLON.
Geothermal Aquaculture Research Lab