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About MaeganWink

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  1. So the one tank in particular is still giving me problems. I'm still getting readings of about 80 with nitrates. All fish seem fine, though some of my corals seem unhappy. Last week I added purigen to all my filters, which helped the other tanks but didn't seem to make a difference for this one. I rearranged rocks looking for anything rotting, haven't seen anything. All fish are accounted for. I'm honestly at a loss for the source. Aside from a couple of small corals, I haven't increased the bioload from the past 4-5 months when everything has been fine. Could excess algae cause a nitrate spike? Not sure what else to do. I plan on doing a larger % water change once I get my R/O system in (should be any day now), but until then it's not feasible for me to go to the store to get that much water. Any other thoughts or suggestions?
  2. So I had my students do a 20% water change today. How soon would I be able to get accurate readings for nitrate and salinity levels?
  3. Not the best picture, but we've got a pair of clowns in one of our class tanks. There are no anemones in the tank at the moment, since the water isn't really stable enough, but the one clown LOVES to nest in this one coral. It's rather hilarious...and luckily it doesn't seem like the coral is any worse for the ware so.
  4. I am working on grants, it's just there is redtape on my end (school has procedures I need to go through) to apply for grants, so I haven't completed any yet, including the one through WAMAS. But it's definitely on my list, especially for equipment, since WAMAS would actually understand the need, while other grants might go "but you already have equipment even if it's subpar" xD
  5. Yes, they are all similarly stocked. I know the HOB filters aren't the best, but they're all I could manage to start, considering my school only gave me $250 to do all three tanks...I've gone well into my own pocket money at this point xD Grants are an option I'm working on for improving equipment, but it is what it is at the moment.
  6. It is possible, but these are highschoolers. They know if they are caught messing with the tanks it's an immediate referral. So I would hope not, but...
  7. Went from under 15 to as high as 60-80. Each has an HOB powerfilter. I only changed the filters after I got the off readings, not before, so I I doubt that's it. Also, if that were the case, wouldn't it have affected the other two tanks? All three have the same HOB powerfilter on them. The other two are getting readings of less than 10.
  8. So one of my classroom 55 tanks has had a Nitrate spike. At first I thought it might be the test kits, but I've used three separate pairs of test bottles and all gives high readings, so at this point it's probably the water. My biggest concern is determining why the spike happened. I've added no new organisms aside from one coral, none of the fish have died (I had a head count and all are accounted for), I've only added buffer and Prime to the water, and I even changed the filters. This first came up Friday (when I initially thought it was a testkit issue), but today is still presenting the readings even with additional kits. None of the fish or coral seem to be in distress...I plan to do a water change as soon as I can, but I obviously want to prevent this from happening. My two other tanks have had no issues. Thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
  9. It could be like Houdini...we overturned every rock and bit of sand and couldn't find him. Then one day, poof! There was the Raineford goby.
  10. I'm a bit of an unusual example, but my saltwater tanks are in my classroom. I teach Marine Science and we don't live close enough to the ocean to reasonably go on trips; so the only way students get any kind of hands on experience with Marine Science is through my tanks. It also opens the door to discuss the issue of how the hobby effects the environment, what we can do to reduce our impact, etc. It allows students to be more aware and invested in an environment that some of them may never visit, but can still impact.
  11. That's very sweet, thank you! We have two ocellaris in one of the tanks now, so I think for the moment we're good. Here's a big update, including pictures~ Marine Science Saltwater Tanks Liberty High School Introduction: I teach Marine Science (among other things) at Liberty High School in Fauquier County. As a semester-long project I have students manage 50+ gallon tanks. This is the first semester, so my 3 small groups of students are setting up our first 3 tanks from scratch. The tanks will be passed on and maintained by the next class of students when the new semester starts. This is a student driven project, meaning most of the research, problem solving, and work falls on the students. I am supporting them and doing legwork where they cannot. Funding: $250 from the school, all else out of pocket Tanks: Two 48 x 13 tanks guessed to be 50-55 gallons One 36 x 12.5 tank guessed to be 50-55 gallson All were donated. One has a leak we hopefully managed to patch. Patch successful! Off to the side in storage I have another 50-55 gallon A 40 gallon breeder tank with holes for plumping someone used to top off freshwater A refugium (seems about the same size or larger than the 40 gallon, different dimensions) Current stage: 3 complete tanks Need 1 additional due to increase in students in January, in planning stages for that tank Needed Materials: Sump, piping, heater, coral light Incoming donations: None Previous Donations from: Kyle Gustafson Ms. Merrek (coworker), Overklok, and Waterworld Special thank you too Megan Hill at Capital Aquarium for all her help throughout the process! Invertebrate Friendly Tank Organisms: Peppermint Shrimp x 6 Longspine Urchin Chromis x 2 Firefish Banggai Cardinal Emerald Crab Fighting Conch Scarlet Red Hermit Nassarius Snail x 3 Turbo Snail Puffer Tank Organisms: Valentini Pufferfish Tiger Pistol Shrimp Watchman Goby Fanged Striped Blenny Rainford Goby Coral Beauty Clown n' Friends Tank Organisms: Ocallarius Clowns x 2 Pajama Cardinals x 3 Spotted Hawkfish Molly Miller Blenny Scarlet Red Hermit Nassarius Snail x 2 Turbo Snail x 2 Peppermint Shrimp x 3 Xyenia Green Star Polyp Some other coral that was donated that I haven't identified... I've only had 2 casualties since I first set up. The first was a turbo snail that was munched on by multiple nassarius just a day or so after I got him. The other was the original Coral Beauty lasted about a week and a half before she mysteriously died. Water quality was all fine, but she her body was stuck to a rock when my students tried to remove it. They had to yank pretty hard to get her free. Don't know if she died before or after. Now pictures! I don't have pictures of everything, just snapshots of things I thought my students would fine interesting. The rainford goby, for example, was literally missing for about a week. We upturned everything and couldn't find him. Then he just started showing up on a whim.
  12. My peppermint shrimp seemed to have made short work of them. Thanks everyone! I found some bristleworms as well. I don't think they are fireworms, though, but could anyone offer a second opinion?
  13. Don't worry about it, I really appreciate the thought! If in the future you ever go home and want to bring back the light, I could surely use it, but I have a 55 gallon tank I'm still finding a use for so I'm not in huge need of another (I don't think? You never know) Thanks for the clarification, Alan! Yeah, definitely sounds like I should avoid a canister. Also, I found someone who was giving away a 40 gallon tank and a refugium tank. Both have holes already drilled for plumping. I'm going to pick them up this weekend. Perhaps these could work with a sump, like many of you suggested?
  14. I was talking to someone at the shop where I get my water currently and they suggested using my 55 gallon (since I already have it) and getting a nice canister filter for it. What do you think? Also, I plan on starting with just easier to manage corals, because again, I don't know much about the process and it's meant to be a learning experience for myself and the students.
  15. Thanks for all the suggestions! I'll check out those other RO systems. I honestly don't know what makes one good, so having you guys point things out helps a lot. I will say I am NOT a very DIY person...I tried cutting class to make tops for the current tanks I have (since they don't have any sort of lid) and all I did was cut myself up and not the glass. I'm not sure I'd trust myself to set drill things and other such steps on my own. The students could perform weekly water changes. I would need to get salt, but in theory with an RO system the cost of water would be greatly decreased (It's the school's water bill not mine soo....) The only other issue with not using the 55 tank I have that was donated is I would obviously need to allot money for the different type of tank. @AlanM when is that sale normally at Petco?
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