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Old 02/17/2020, 05:27 AM   #1251
Scrubber_steve
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Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
Back in the dirt…

Starting up my new ecosystem requires a foundation for life. A suitable substrate for the sand bed creatures and the seagrasses is required. To support biodiversity, I will provide a variety of sand grain sizes, dirt, mud, shells and rubble - just as I've seen in Nature. It will not be a sterile, dead sand bed. It will be messy and wriggling with life.

How will this new substrate differ from the previous one? It will have more dirt and mud in it. In my experience, the grasses and the creatures enjoy it.

I managed to save a number of spaghetti worms from the old setup. I'll be adding live sand and live rock. I'm really hoping to get the bottom of the food chain established early. I believe this will help with stability, in an unstable phase of the tank's life.

Other members of the crew include two species of reproducing snails (Cerith & Mini Strombus), a fighting conch and a sea cucumber. Right now they're in my holding tank. I'll add some serpent stars and pods as well.

This an important step. Laying the foundation for life. Yay!
The environment your reproducing reminds me of the Minnamurra River, where I live. One end of the river is greatly influenced by the sea, & the other end by grazing land & natural bush. Gets plenty of plant & tree matter, & soil washing into it. Water movement from incoming & outgoing tides only.

There's lots of mangroves growing, starting about a couple of hundred yards from the mouth. Lots of sea grasses starting at the same area.

Talking about substrate, where the sea grasses & mangroves are the sand is a darker color, & digging down its black. When walking in these areas at low tide your feet sink down about 6" to 8". Very squishy. I guess it very aerated by the organisms mixed through it.




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Old 02/17/2020, 05:39 AM   #1252
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Welcome mndfreeze!

In my experience, ulva seems to need to be driven hard, with high light and high nutrients.
Ulva is what grows on my scrubber screen- naturally seeded.

Not sure but I'm guessing Enteromorpha (ulva) intestinalis. There's lots of varieties. I think I've had a few, & its changed somewhat, or evolved over time.

Super awesome for nutrient export, & easy to grow & non invasive. It's my only filtration besides some floss & occasional GAC.

I can even keep growing it with no3 & po4 levels reading zero, although thats only on hobby grade kit, & I do feed the tank a fair amount.

[IMG][/IMG]


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Old 02/17/2020, 07:48 PM   #1253
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Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
You never know when you're going to stumble onto new, potentially game-changing information.

Here is the (basic) gist of what Scrubber steve is saying: Algae of all types have associated bacteria that 'help' the algae. If we let algae run amok in the formative stages of our aquariums, we're encouraging these algae-friendly bacteria to get established, to the detriment of nitrifying bacteria. This can lead to more virulent algae that's harder to get rid of, down the line. On the other hand, if we try to discourage algae during the cycling phase, by keeping nutrients low and the lights out, the 'good' nitrifying bacteria can get established first, making it difficult for algae-friendly bacteria to move in. If done well, an algae phase could be completely avoided. KABOOM!

Could this really be true? I don't know, but the science behind it sounds good to me, and I'd sure like to see it tested. This has applications to reef tanks obviously, and really any other tank where algae isn't welcome, but could it be applied to a planted tank like mine? My first inclination is to say no, since accepted methodology is to get plants in from the start, deemphasizing nitrifying bacteria, which competes with plants for nutrients. But maybe some variation of this method could work in a planted tank. After all, I'd like to avoid an algae phase too!
This is also along those lines You will need to insert reef 2 reef and...... threads/algae-release-useful-proteins-carbohydrates-and-metabolites.359116/

https://www.*********.com/threads/al...olites.359116/


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Old 02/18/2020, 08:22 AM   #1254
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I don't think I've seen that article before, Steve. I have read about bicarbonates and figured they'd pretty much help out where they can with no help from me. And I presumed the plants wouldn't have to work as hard to get CO2, if I just gave them CO2. But the article raised this point that I found interesting:

6. Keep the carbonate alkalinity up to at least 2.5 meq/l (7 dKH; 125 ppm calcium carbonate equivalents) to provide adequate bicarbonate for photosynthesis. Higher alkalinity may even be better, especially if the pH is also high, limiting carbon dioxide itself as a CO2 source for photosynthesizing organisms. This suggestion is likely already followed by most reef aquarists, but perhaps not by some with fish-only or related types of aquaria that also rely on macroalgae for nutrient export.

It sounds like my seagrasses might appreciate access to more bicarbonates.


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Old 02/18/2020, 08:37 AM   #1255
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Steve, thanks for pointing out the similarities between my tank's substrate and your local river. That's really what I'm going for, providing a fertile substrate for the seagrass, as well as worms and other detrivores. I'm attempting to close the loop with detritus, allowing it to settle out, so it can be consumed and processed down the line to the grasses. It works pretty well, though I occasionally tidy up to keep things looking good enough for display. I have one fat and happy cucumber, which tend to gradually starve in cleaner tanks. I'm considering adding a detritus-eating fish as well, so I'll have to watch and see if it can support both.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018

Last edited by Michael Hoaster; 02/18/2020 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 02/18/2020, 08:45 AM   #1256
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Ulva is a great utility plant. I've kept some in my tank from the beginning. I often suggest it to others over chaeto. Makes sense to use it in a scrubber. I'm considering using Enteromorpha intestinalis in my display. It looks like it would move well in the current.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 02/18/2020, 09:05 AM   #1257
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Interesting thread lapin, thanks. I followed the progress of a few folks attempting the Triton method. I've also read about plants' chemical warfare, know as allelopathy. I didn't read the whole thread, but I got the impression Mr Farley wasn't fully on-board with Triton. I wasn't either, but I can't remember all the reasons. Mostly I didn't like how it made users too dependent on the company for testing and maintaining the suggested levels. Too proprietary for my taste.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old Yesterday, 10:55 AM   #1258
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I did my usual tidy-up/export over the weekend. No pics this time. Not enough change to show anything.

My turtle weed was getting overgrown with caulerpa again, so I picked up the rock it's growing on to remove it. This usually triggers the turtle weed to die back, then gradually grow back. While I had it in my hands, I got the idea to try something different with this plant that has confounded me so far. Since I haven't had any luck transplanting any of it to the back wall, where I want it to grow, I thought maybe I could attach the whole rock to the back wall. There is one rather large hole on the back wall that I thought the turtle weed rock just might fit into. It did! So now I have turtle weed high up on the back wall. I noted today that there is some expected die off, but also some new growth as well. If the plant stays happy there, maybe, just maybe it'll grow and spread out on the wall. That would be great!

Also, after reading the article that Scrubber steve posted, I am trying to increase alkalinity to boost bicarbonates. I want to see if this improves seagrass growth.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old Yesterday, 07:10 PM   #1259
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Wow, I have missed a lot of good stuff here the past week that I have been MIA. I will go back and reread the article that Steve posted and try to understand as much as I can.


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Old Yesterday, 09:59 PM   #1260
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Welcome back Dawn! There's some pretty interesting stuff. I LOVE the idea of no algae phase! Enjoy!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old Today, 06:15 AM   #1261
Scrubber_steve
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Originally Posted by lifeoffaith View Post
My tank also cleared up yesterday. Interesting because I haven't really added anything within the last couple of weeks, but there seems to be less micro algae. I have also noticed some Coralline algae starting to grow on the rocks. All good stuff! Hoping to add some fish soon and some more macro algae.
Hi Michael, this is where I'm up to in your thread.
I haven't seen a post with your no3 or po4 levels.
I would have been more than curious,,, do you measure them?
Also, had you considered ozone by this time to help clear the water?


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Old Today, 10:22 AM   #1262
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Hey Scrubber steve. No I haven't measured them. I observe the tank. Since hobbyist test kits aren't particularly accurate, and I've been doing this for quite awhile, I don't feel the need. I am open to testing if I'm mystified, or trying to hit some number. I'd rather just observe and deduce.

No, I didn't consider ozone. I used what I had at the time, which was charcoal and UV. I also used UV temporarily, when I had dinos. Most of the time, I keep the gadgets to a minimum.

Now that I have a large population of 'living filters', I can rely on them more. I have sponges and hundreds of tiny tunicates and assorted other filter feeders. I had a plant melt-down recently, that clouded up the tank. They took care of it. I like to keep things very low tech and use Nature instead. That is the 'mission' of this tank, to see if I can let Nature and natural processes take care of things reefers have replaced with gadgets.

It's not that I don't appreciate a nice hi-tech reef. I just feel like I can learn more about Nature by relying on Nature more than technology. These days, with tech everywhere, I wanted a more analog experience. So my system stuff is very basic.

This Naturalist approach helps me to learn more about how plants and animals interact in ecosystems. I also learn a lot from smart guys like you, here on RC!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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