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Calvin’s Lagoon

Calvin 🐠

New member
Jun 27, 2022
It’s been awhile but still alive and kicking in the reef hobby. Tank went through a mini ugly phase while back and over the winter it got REAL ugly, I mean algae growing everywhere even on the silicone seams lol , cyano was loving my tank too. After battling for months of water changes, adding a mini bubble magus Q protein skimmer and constistantly changing out carbon and gfo , along with the CUC gang, the tank settled and seems “balanced”. Fighting a battle for so long keeping an eye on the prize at the end and finally got the reward; tank is 452 days old and never looked better.

Some things I’ve learned is, a small tank it doesn’t take much for things to spiral and become off balance.
  • Need to stay on-top of parameter readings and adjust as the tank matures (dosing All for Reef).
  • Don’t rely on digital salinity checkers like Hanna unless you are willing to constantly calibrate it and tbh I still don’t trust it, caught my tank climbing by using refractometer and reference saltwater solution, good thing I check it !
  • Some corals seem to do fine and then all of a sudden they slowly wither away like my alveopora, some are bullet proof and came back bigger and brighter, I have SPS doing fine so I’m not sure if it’s always parameter related, bacteria related or just tank maturity…

At the end if you get discouraged don’t give up, you can beat the ugly phase which sometimes can seem it will never changed but it will.


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Andrew D

Active member
Feb 27, 2021
nice, and very good advice. I had a bad experience over-relying on my salinity checker so will now always check with multiple instruments, it's pretty rare for all to go south at the same time. I might have missed it, but what size is your tank?

Calvin 🐠

New member
Jun 27, 2022
It’s a 25 gallon Innovative Marine (display 24x16.3x12”) . Agreed, it didn’t go all south at once , each thing happened over months separately (learning). I was just doing water changes for a while to try and keep up with elements but I didn’t see good stability until I started dosing and kept it simple with single pump and All for Reef , took some time to dial it in and periodically adjust as the tank matures.
The algae phase was definitely my fault and using coral foods ontop of feeding fish for a small tank and thinking 8+ months means it’s mature enough which was incorrect and not exporting nutrients enough with just filter floss and water changes. Adding carbon+gfo and protein skimmer along with scrubbing rocks during water change helped get the tank to overcome the severe ugly phase.