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EMeyer last won the day on November 29 2019

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About EMeyer

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  1. I forgot, this forum never allows me to post images on the first try. Lets see if this fixed it.
  2. Hi all, I have a bunch of Melanarus Wrasses for sale (I have 13, and would like to get rid of at least 10). These fish are fat and happy, 2-3" long. They don't sit still very long so its hard to measure them. Each fish has been housed by itself for over 4 months, in an isolated tank that never housed any other fish. So these are pre-quarantined. They eat pellets or frozen food readily. $40 each, If you buy multiple I will make you a deal. I am no expert but based on the number of fish and the variation in markings I am pretty these include both males and females. I find wrasses impossible to photograph because the friggin things never sit still. But here are a couple images to prove I really do have them You'll find prettier pictures online, but the fish I have are just as colorful as any pictures I've seen online. Warning, they do eat small snails or hermits. Larger ones are fine but the little ones become tasty snacks.
  3. Looks like I'm finally ready to start this carbon dosing experiment. Its funny how much time maintenance and testing a little nano tank can take, when there are 12 of them. Decided to modify the treatments slightly, to range from less complex to more complex: ethanol ethanol, vinegar, & sugar my homebrewed DOC (a mixture of partially hydrolyzed polysaccharides) This will let me test whether a single carbon source leads to a bloom of one type, while a more diverse mixture promotes multiple blooms. Anyone think I should switch one of those first two for something else? Is there a different carbon source more widely used?
  4. Whoa, seasoned media and water from the famous SuncrestReef tank, awesome! Cant wait to see your next diversity score. If this follows similar dynamics as in my live rock study the community should be established within 2 weeks after putting the rock in the tank. You've got another sample kit in hand now, right? Thats an exciting experiment because it would be a nice answer for people who want live rock diversity but are concerned about hitchikers...
  5. Totally agree, I love these things. I also share your experience that they sometimes need to be calibrated when you first buy them, one of mine was off by over 1 degree C. But easy enough to check and adjust.
  6. Hi everyone, I've written up my experiments starting new aquariums with live rock or dry rock. I've previously described the chemistry part; in this article I analyze changes in the microbiome of these tanks. Here are some of the conclusions: The article is here. I'll be curious to hear what you think! -Eli
  7. So not only are your parameters rock solid between the two samples, there werent even any large water changes. This makes the changes in several major families in your tank even more interesting. Although theyre unexpected I am inclined to believe them, and only wonder why. For comparison here are some of the changes during establishment of an experimental tank with live rock. The samples are about a week apart. So at least for some tanks, microbiomes remain relatively stable and recognizably the same over this time scale. (None of which is to say this microbiome shown is in better health than yours; in fact yours is more similar to the typical community than this one). Even during the dynamic early days of establishing a new tank. And a figure I've shown before, demonstrating that duplicate samples taken at the same time (A1 and A2) produce nearly identical results. So I think its unlikely the differences result from random errors in estimating the community. So I'm stumped what caused the change but inclined to believe it is a real change in those families... You havent changed anything, and your measured parameters are rock solid. Have you seen any differences in the livestock? (I'm thinking of subtle unreported things like more or less algae on the glass, etc) Its a puzzle... So much for the water change idea in your case, huh!
  8. Hi everyone, Since some of you have had your aquariums' microbiomes tested more than once now, you have probably noticed differences and wondered why. While we're thinking about changes in the microbiome I wanted to remind you of this classic paper on the effects of large water changes in aquariums. The authors found that Microbial diversity increased substantially following a large water change (90%) The groups enriched after a water change include both Cenarchaeaceae (ammonia oxidizing Archaea) and Vibrionaceae (a group with lots of pathogens). (These specific effects probably depend on what community you start with before the change) The authors emphasize that microbial communities are destabilized by disturbances, leads to a succession effects like those that happen after clear cutting a forest (just much more quickly!) This is why I've always advised clients to sample before doing any of their daily maintenance. But its worth thinking about more broadly. Even if you didnt change anything in your system between sample 1 and sample 2, even normal maintenance events may affect the community for a while. The authors suggest the changes are unlikely to affect the health of the inhabitants, but I'm not so ready to assume that tripling the ammonia oxidizing microbes and tripling Vibrio are neutral effects. They just werent measured here. And the study makes me wonder about automated low volume water changes vs infrequent large ones. I didnt capture that info in the survey. I wonder, for those of you who were tested, what are your water change practices and how do those affect the stability of your microbiomes?
  9. Yeah, thats definitely the safest answer. I do plan to make a standardized diversity score (based on resampling to a standardized sequencing depth), so we can (within the PNWMAS group) compare our round 1 and 2 samples diversity using that metric. Directly comparing the reports could be misleading. Although as I described above in many ways these results are consistent.
  10. The best answer is sampling was so different we should not compare them on the basis of raw number detected. This is one of the reasons I was so hesitant to adjust the sampling method, but felt it was worth it in the end. I am working on a standardized diversity score that will make it possible to compare the diversity numbers themselves. With that said, putting aside the diversity numbers themselves, the community barplots are directly comparable. I've showed before that taking two samples side by side from a single tank produces nearly identical results, so we know the measurement itself is reproducible. Your samples had plenty of DNA and sequenced well, so I have no reason to doubt the new community profile or the old one. Lacking any other information I have to conclude the community has changed and am also curious why. I do note that in many has it hasnt: You consistently have detectable levels of AOB and NOB in both samples, something many of us envy. You consistently have low levels of cyano, which in both cases includes Ulvophyceae. You consistently have no fish pathogens (found in 1/8 of tanks) or coral pathogens (found in 1/10 from the first round, zero client samples from the second) Many of the core families are consistently similar in your tank to the typical tank, e.g. in both samples, these families match the abundance in the average tank: Rhodobacteraceae, Vibrionaceae, Pseudoalteromonadaceae, Oceanospirillaceae, Hyphomicrobiaceae, Cenarchaeaceae, and Bacteriovoracaceae. That is a lot of agreement! (In comparing these plots, I note that I did change the color scheme slightly in the updated version, sorry about that. I'm trying to minimize changes to make these comparisons less confusing) It looks to me like what has happened is a proliferation of Alteromonadaceae and a reduction in Flavobacteriaceae and Pelagibacteraceae. Since the latter two are the most abundant in the typical reef tank (and in your first sample), and Flavobacteriaceae is one of the more diverse groups, these changes alone could account for a lot of what we're seeing in your scores. The high levels of Alteromonadaceae in your sample are almost entirely a single type, a bacterium that has not been identified beyond the family level. It showed up in many of the tanks surveyed, but was absent from most. A few had this same exact bug at high levels. Its present in all 4 of my home tanks at relatively low levels, for example. I can't find examples of this exact bug in previous environmental samples, although other members of the family are widespread in marine environments https://obis.org/taxon/393035 I include this just to say its not odd to have it present, but interesting to have it bloom like this in a few tanks. Your water conditions appear to have very stable during this time, in terms of what we typically measure. I wonder if there were other unmeasured changes. By any chance have you done any ICP during this period?
  11. As you discuss this with various LFS it'd be great to ask about wholesalers who can special order it, too. For example at QM the Tonga Nano Branch Rock is not in inventory right now but is still shown on the special order page, so it might be available as it was earlier this year. I don't know if other wholesalers could special order other live rock not currently in stock, and only those with accounts can easily see what various wholesalers have to offer. (I have a hard enough time getting wholesalers to even respond to emails.) What helped me in discussions with suppliers was emphasizing (as you pointed out) that what I was looking for was rubble from high quality natural live rock.. it didnt have to be big and pretty.
  12. I want to clarify the meaning of the color codes to be sure the results aren't concerning anyone needlessly. I dont have, and I dont think anyone has, evidence for what is the threshold between a good and bad microbiome. I am purely comparing each of our tanks to the rest. Red = most tanks (75%-100%) are more diverse than yours Yellow = 50%-75% of tanks are more diverse than yours Green = your tank is more diverse than at least 50% of tanks So yellow is the lower half of the typical range, not an extreme outlier. 50%, the line between yellow and green, would be the typical tank (the median diversity). 2 of my 4 home tanks are in the yellow (151,156), my oldest (5 y) is in the green (201), and my newest is in the red (72). None of these were started with good live rock. If a group buy for some real live rock (coral rubble from the ocean) happens I am in! Here is my thinking about diversity -- diversity is just a proxy for having the right microbes. We don't know exactly what each bug does, but most of us agree there are many beneficial roles for microbes. So if most of the tanks are more diverse than mine and my tank has problems, its likely I need some of what they've got. If my tank's doing great, I've probably got the microbes that perform the important roles. -- I also like to emphasize that its not just about diversity. Look, if I come over and drop a tube of Aquarickettsia rohweri, Vibrio coralliilyticus, and Vibrio alginolyticus in your tank, BAM! I've just increased the diversity. But I don't think anyone imagines the tank would be healthier I think as much about balance as diversity. My home tanks' balance scores range from 0.32-0.4, reasonable scores close to the median (0.3). But I see systematic excesses of Alteromonadaceae in 3 of them, deficits of Pelagibacteraceae in 3 of them, and deficits of Flavobacteraceae in all 4. So for most of my tanks, addressing the balance is a higher than the diversity per se. I'm still in if we can get our hands on some good live rock though!
  13. I dont wanna reveal the microbiome of anyone's products without their consent, but I'll just say you can't spell "Fiji saltwater live rock" without "live rock a" Still grumpy about that purple cement
  14. I've tested one of the products. I concluded that while it had the advertised effects of quickly metabolizing DON, it had basically no impact on the microbial community. I'll write up those results soon. We need more tests, but tentatively, my working model is that these products have very short lived effects on the microbiome and that using them for making a persistent change to the community (an off-label application, for most or all) is unlikely to make any difference. But this is testable, and I'm considering experiments on this subject for the upcoming round. For now, Live Rock is what I have found evidence for. Here is what good live rock vs bad live rock vs dry rock does in the first month of a tank's life. (Each symbol is the average of duplicate tanks. Dashed lines indicate 10th and 50th percentiles from my initial survey of 20 PNWMAS tanks). My home tanks also came up kind of low on diversity. One of them I'm running a nutrient experiment on, so I'm not gonna do anything else to it. But I'd be interested in adding some new live rock to the others. Maybe a group buy? I havent tested enough live rock to say this with confidence, but my gut feeling is that the good live rock in my study (above) was good because it was real coral rubble. The bad live rock was Walt Smith purple-dyed (i.e. concrete), that was covered in some of the most beautiful live rock life I've ever seen (which all promptly died). I still get grumpy when I think about how dense that stuff was when I broke it open. Fake live rock that looked so real. Lets find some nice, imported coral rubble that has stayed wet since it was in the ocean. Thats what I've found to rapidly promote a healthy microbiome. Maybe one of our PNWMAS retailers could set up a group buy for some nice live rock? The good stuff above was from Quality Marine. I could look into setting up an order through them if we don't have other options.
  15. Hi everyone, I am pushing results out today, you'll be notified by email. Since the new (and future) samples include both water and biofilm, I'll caution you that comparing them with results from the previous "water only" samples may lead to some head scratching. I'm happy to discuss details but on a practical level, I think its something of a moot point because I can't imagine dropping the biofilm samples in the future. If you don't get a notification email by end of day it might mean your sample is not logged on the website. So if anyone sent me a sample but never logged it online, now would be a good time to do it! I'll post soon with some discussion of this round.
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