NO! I have been having difficulty keeping the pH up lately- even using buffer. I start with R/O water that is at 8.2 but it always drops once it's in the tank. The guy at the LFS says I should check the hardness of the water but the thing is I don't want to make a major change in anything right now. By the time I realized it was (possibly) more than a buffer problem the babies were just about due. I'm still adding buffer with H2O changes in hopes that I can adjust things slowly.
Forgot to add to earlier post that I took out 2.5 gal yesterday and added 5 gal to the big tank. I'll start doing 10% changes every other day starting tomorrow. BTW: it was very easy to siphon the detritus and other yuk off of the filter socks on my homemade panels while cleaning yesterday. Waiting until it was the brightest part of the day kept all of the babies in one corner so that not a one got siphoned out while cleaning. In the kreisel that got ambient light from above the babies were scattered and even though there were only 7 of them a couple still ended up riding the siphon flume!
I have found one and only one buffer that seems to stay dissolved and not gung up my holding tanks, Reef buffer by SEACHEM (NOT Kent). Odd that your water comes out of the RO unit at 8.2 as mine is 6.4 (do you use a DI sand filter as well?). I know we have very acid water here (hence the azailias, magnonlias etc) but the RO unit should bring the water to nutral (some where between 6.4 and 7) and NOT anywhere near 8. Thales and I have had discussions about the major differences in the water after treatment (he does not use an RO unit, however, just a LOT of DI).
Well, yesterday morning there were 3 babies in the tank. Within a couple of hours I couldn't find any more, so I cleaned up the tank and set things back to normal. I think I learned a couple of good things this time. I'm not sure why I lost all the babies so soon, but to be honest I didn't have the energy for it like last time.
-To start with there weren't as many babies. It wasn't just me, the kids agreed there just weren't as many as last time.
-The low pH may have been a factor, but to be honest the pH was fluctuating in the low end last time, too. I got a different kit that I hope will be easier to read. With this one, each person you ask says something different and just the angle you look through the tube changes the color you could read. At any rate, it was somewhere between 7.8 and 8.2 the whole time.
-I expected to find WAY more babies in the filter than I did. I do think that the current it provided was too strong. Even though I never found any babies sucked up against the filter screen or even in the back corner I created, the filter probably did take out some good part of the food chain. Last time there was a murky soup in that tank, and the water quality was still good. I didn't need the filter, I kind of wanted to see what would happen...
Good things I learned:
-Using the light to keep the babies in one place was great for cleaning the tank. Even if I put the tank lights on for some of the time, in this particular tank I would use only the natural light from the window during the day.
-Creating a back corner space in that shaped tank worked pretty well. I didn't ned to run the filter full time, that was probably a detriment, but knowing that I could run it if needed, is good. Next time I'd use that back corner space with a small power head and the same PVC bar hook up to get a "horizontal" flow that doesn't beat the babies up like this one may have.
-Using the bubble rope in the center of the flow helped to keep the surface moving, keep the babies off of the live rock, and gave them the boost they sometimes seem to need while swimming (pulse, pulse, pulse, ride the current...). Being able to control the flow is key.
-I'd try clipping the macroalgae to the side again. They didn't hang out in it a ton, but they seemed to take a rest in it. It also gave the food a place to concentrate, especially in the sunny spots.
Well, here's to trying. And here's to not trying again so soon!
Sedna, thanks for the YouTube vid of the precious li'l octokitten! I'm sorry to hear he and his siblings didn't survive, but the video is quite amazing. Have favorited it and added the first comment. (I assume you will soon be getting several more comments from others following this thread.)
BTW, love your User ID -- does it refer to the Inuit goddess, the planetoid, or both? Also, what exactly does your sig mean? (Sounds like "Everything comes out of a shell", though my Latin is pretty rusty so I'm probably way off base.... )
For me, Sedna is the Inuit sea goddess- I didn't know it was a planetoid! After reading "Julie of the Wolves" I took an interest in Inuit mythology.
My sig comes from Erasumus (sp?) Darwin, Charles' grandfather. He had lots of ideas of his own about the origins of life, like so many unknown others who laid the foundation for Charles and helped pave the way to the theory of evolution. "Everything from shells," Grandpa Darwin had that latin quote painted on the side of his carriage for a short time (before bowing to social pressure), a bold statement at his time that he didn't believe Divine Creation held all the answers.
Thanks a lot for the nice comments, they means a lot! To be honest, that little bit of video made this whole last time worth it! I can hardly believe pointing the camera lens into the eyepiece of such a low power scope gave me anything! I don't really care how hopeless it may be to try to raise small egged octos, but I'm addicted. Getting supportive comments just adds to the fun!