The tank is coming along quite well! The ecosystem seems to have stabilized. I believe that between restructuring the sump, the Aiptasia-X, and a mess of new snails, that the recovery is guaranteed.
With the last update, I mentioned the Aiptasia-X. There are 3 Peppermint Shrimp in the tank and they could not keep up with the rate of spread of the Aiptasia. I dosed the Aips two or three times while they were still populating like bunnies. Since then the numbers have not gone up. The Pepps are not doing an amazing job of eliminating them, but they are not spreading either. It has been a couple of weeks since the last dose. Used it again today and I am not seeing any more Aiptasia.
With the Aiptasia under control, I turned all my attention to the algae infestation. You saw two of the rocks were scrubbed clean last time. That was done outside the tank. Because I could not get the bubble tip anemone off the other rock, I have been scrubbing it in place. While hunting for a cheaper source for snails, I came across Reef Cleaners. At first, I was thrown off by their low prices, but they have tons of great reviews, so I ordered from them. John at Reef Cleaners is great! Top-notch customer service. He even followed through afterward to ask how everything was adjusting.
The new algae crew consists of 2 Turbo Snails, 5 Astrea, 3 Trochus, and 2 Blue Legged Hermit Crabs. Together, they have been able to stem the tide of algae in the tank. I also tried blacking out the tank last weekend, which seemed to help.
This wall had the worst of it!
Water changes are much better also! Before, the water I was pulling out was a dark muddy brown. The last change was nearly transparent.
The Bubble Tip Anemone now looks very healthy and happy. During the day it has been sticking out loud and proud. No more hiding inside the rock. It is good sized too, maybe five inches across.
Oscar, the Emerald Crab has been hamming it up on Instagram. 48 followers in just 13 days! https://www.instagram.com/crabnamedoscar/
All in all, the tank is coming along well!