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Old 06/13/2019, 01:45 PM   #951
Michael Hoaster
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I got a couple of new plants in today. Caulerpa mexicana and two mangrove pods, though I only ordered one. Thanks GCE!

I've been wanting to try C. mexicana on the back wall, and when I saw they had it in stock, I jumped on it. I had tried eBay, but what I got was compost at best.

Getting the mangrove was a bit of an impulse buy. Since I got two, I'm planting them in two different locations, to see which they like better. One is up high, half out of the water. The other I planted into the sand bed, completely submerged. From what I recall, planting them emergent will yield more aerial roots. I thought it would be cool to compare growth to the one in the soil. I haven't done any research on them lately, so I'll have to get into it. I don't have really high hopes, but I thought it would fun to give them a go. My pods have no leaves or roots, so I'd say I'm starting from scratch.

I haven't been able to find Turtle Weed (Maiden's Hair) online for a reasonable price, just a few ridiculously priced ones. Ha! I'll keep waiting and watching for that one. It is one I've been wanting to try.


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Old 06/13/2019, 07:47 PM   #952
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ATTENTION!

Florida pets dot com has Turtle, Mantee, Shoal and Widgen grass in stock right now! As a lot of you know, seagrasses are rarely available, so now is a good time to get some!


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Old 06/13/2019, 08:09 PM   #953
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From what I recall and past experience, I believe the mangrove propagules need to be partially submerged and the top 1/3rd or 2/3rds above the water. Fully submerged I believe the top of the shoot will shrivel and die.
You’ll need to mist the leaves with fresh water too to keep salt off the leaves.


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Old 06/13/2019, 08:18 PM   #954
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Well hello there Sam! Nice to hear from you again. Thanks for the mangrove info. I just read through the sticky thread here in the macro forum. I'm sure I'll do some more studying up on them.

So, what's up with you? Got FTS? New LED projects? Do tell.


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Old 06/13/2019, 08:50 PM   #955
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Weeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
Well hello there Sam! Nice to hear from you again. Thanks for the mangrove info. I just read through the sticky thread here in the macro forum. I'm sure I'll do some more studying up on them.

So, what's up with you? Got FTS? New LED projects? Do tell.


Eh, sadly lost interest. Tanks are still up and running though. The cube has a bunch of algea on the glass, but it’s starting to thin. Lol
Gonna see if it goes away on its own. I think the frag racks blocking the view of stuff doesn’t help.
The 2.5 similar deal except algae mostly gone since the light was failing. Just got all the parts to rebuild the light and will probably do that tomorrow night.



Work and the 4Runner generally take up most of my time.

Rebuilding the A/C system tomorrow. Perks of having over 300k miles. Lol



Im gone 18 days of the month, but off 11 and loving it!



Oh and the dog is more fun than the fish. Lol




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Old 06/18/2019, 02:50 PM   #956
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Well, that was quick. I just got back from camping over the weekend. Looking in the tank, I see no Caulerpa Mexicana. None. Five days after planting it all, it's all gone!

Sometimes, when I get macros in that are in rough shape, my army of snails devours them, before they can recover. That appears to be what happened. I accidentally let it sit in my mailbox for an extra day, so it was a little iffy. Still, it's surprising to find absolutely none.

In an odd coincidence, the caulerpa that I removed months ago suddenly popped back up. It's not the one I wanted, but I guess I'll give a try. Maybe I'll get lucky with the Mexicana and it will pop up somewhere again.


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Old 06/18/2019, 06:47 PM   #957
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Isn't that just how things happen...something you removed is back and something you wanted is gone!


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Old 06/18/2019, 11:15 PM   #958
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That's how it goes! De do do do, de da da da. A lot goes right, but not everything. I don't have total control. I provide the basics. Nature fills in the blanks and makes it work.

Plants are mysterious. In v1 I killed some plants, and most of them popped back up later. In this tank, I've got a lot of plants growing from the live rock. If I'm fortunate, they'll grow into a nice splash of colors.


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Old 06/19/2019, 06:14 AM   #959
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Cuc cleaned up a little too much, eh? Sorry it was something you paid for and not the unwanted stuff. You are so right about control...we really can't control everything.


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Old 06/19/2019, 08:03 AM   #960
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Yep. That's the one downside of the army of snails. Any plant that's not in great health looks like snail food to them!


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Old 06/22/2019, 09:49 PM   #961
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Three quick pics:


Mangrove pods, sargassum, and a gold mine of reds coming out of the live rock. The pinks at the base of the right pod look like Halymenia Floridana to me, aka Dragon's Tongue!



Barnacle Blennies and more macro freebies busting out of the rock. Also note the caulerpa near top.



Splash of red zone.


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Old 06/23/2019, 11:32 PM   #962
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I'm kind of worried about my Manatee grasses. They were doing so well before, putting out new runners and blades, in a burst of life. Then, for the last month or so, they've been yellowing and dying back. It's very odd that they would do so well, then suddenly die back. I must have done something to upset them. I think it may be the dosing. I can't think of anything else I've done lately that would cause it. I'm going to back off on dosing for awhile. They shouldn't need it anyway, with the dirty sand bed. In nature they favor low-nutrient conditions, outcompeting macros, which like higher nutrients.

This weekend I did an algae export and water change. I noticed the salinity had drifted down some, so I got it back up to MG's favored salinity of 25-27 ppt. Maybe it didn't like higher nutrients combined with lower salinity. In v1, I killed my Manatee grass with hypo salinity.

The macros are doing well. I really hit the jackpot with my live rock. I counted at least eight plant species growing out of it that I'm excited to have. Also, I've had a burst of growth in the Shoal grasses. I planted most of them in the front, since they aren't as tall as Manatee Grass. One of the nuisance macros, I'll call Black Grasilaria has really taken off, unfortunately. They're like aiptasias - for every one you kill, ten more pop up its place. I may have to find a fish that eats it.

Overall, things are good. I'm just a bit bummed with the Manatee Grass. Hopefully I'll get it figured out. I suspect I may have been too heavy-handed with my 'assistance' and Nature is telling me to get out of the way…


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Old 06/24/2019, 07:23 AM   #963
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The pics look great, but I'm sorry to hear about the grass but I think that you'll figure out to bring back the growth. The pic with the barnacle blennies and your live rock macro growth blows me away, awesome!


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Old 06/24/2019, 07:39 AM   #964
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Thanks Kevin!

I too am blown away with what's growing out of the live rock. I'll let everything settle down for awhile, to see if the manatee grass rebounds.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Old 06/26/2019, 07:40 AM   #965
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Michael, I meant to ask you, what specifically were you dosing prior to you stopping it? I'm just trying to better understand what was going on.


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Old 06/26/2019, 08:06 AM   #966
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Hey Michael, when I saw this video, I thought of your tank. Would these (Pseudochromis fridmani) work for you? ThRoewer's tanks are pretty cool, but man, this is a really cool idea and I don't think that many people do this with these fish.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=2564212


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Old 06/26/2019, 08:51 AM   #967
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I'm still injecting CO2, for a carbon source. For Nitrogen, I dose ammonia or potassium nitrate. For phosphate, I feed the fish, which also covers trace elements, except that I add iron specifically, which can get used up quickly in planted tanks. Occasionally I add magnesium and iodine.

I too am trying to understand what was going on, and why my manatee grass is receding. It may have just been lower salinity. It may have been too much ammonia, or too much iron. It may be increasing sulfides in the deep sand bed. I've thought of poking the sand bed with a stick, to see if any bubbles up.

I suspect the cause was me, being a bit heavy-handed on the dosing. Manatee grass does well on low nutrients in nature, and also responds well to dosing in captivity. I've been trying to determine how much and how often to dose. Clearly, I haven't figured that out yet.


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Last edited by Michael Hoaster; 06/26/2019 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 06/26/2019, 09:22 AM   #968
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Kevin, thanks for posting that link! You read my mind! I have been considering doing a harem of Fridmani Basslets instead of Royal Grammas. They also like vertical terrain and form harems. As a big plus, you can get them captive-bred. The big concern is aggression, as they can be pretty mean to each other. I attempted a pair, years ago, and it didn't go so well, even in a 180. As ThRoewer pointed out, it helps if one is already bigger, so they don't have to fight it out to see who gets to be 'Big Daddy'. I saw a lot of that with my Gramma harem. There was constant bickering until one finally emerged as the king. Then harmony was achieved and breeding began.

I love those fish. Their coloring is so beautiful! I think they would be a very nice pairing with the Neon Damsels. They have a similar sheen characteristic. I was thinking of getting four of them. I think they would enjoy the fake wall.

First, I need to get my QT situation resolved. I now believe all three tanks are infected with Uronema. I'm considering breaking them all down and disinfecting them (again) and then letting them sit dry for an extended time. In the meantime, I may buy an all new QT tank setup, to get more fish quarantined. I'd need to get several other fish in before I add the Fridmanis. But it is an idea I'm seriously considering!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Old 06/26/2019, 02:32 PM   #969
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His videos mesmerized me, to the point that I'd consider keeping a harem of them in a dedicated tank. But, his blue spot jawfish vids did that to me as well. I don't have a tank of them yet either. I need a fish room!

I love their coloration, and keeping a harem of them would be awesome if it can be sustained long term. I love their movement and their curiosity as well as their brilliant colors. P. fridmani are the least aggressive of the dottybacks, so that is also promising, and captive bred might be the ticket. I kept one P. porphyreus when I was in college in a 10g tank in my room, and it was a great fish. It lived in my tank at home during the summers. They have so much personality and are so alert! Unfortunately, during my senior year, he jumped out of the tank and died. I replaced him with a P. diadema, and that was a great fish too. I never kept more than one dottyback at a time though.

Prior to either of those fish, I was sold a "yellow grouper" by an LFS. It was about 4 inches long when I bought it, and was almost 5" when I traded it a year later. I didn't know it at the time, but it was also a dottyback, P. fuscus. It had a larger mouth and would eat feeder guppies. I traded all of my aggressive fish for store credit, and eventually purchased more peaceful fish. I kept a FO tank back then. Fun times. I wish I knew then what I know now!


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Old 06/26/2019, 03:36 PM   #970
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Oh, I meant to say that what reminded me of your tank was his last video looking down on the dottybacks along his wall, and mostly when that one dottyback was darting in and out of the hole in the wall. I thought, wow, that seems like a good fit for the holes in your wall, a harem of dottybacks!


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Old 07/01/2019, 06:39 PM   #971
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Just back from camping over the weekend, and the Manatee Grass is still in decline. All the other plants are doing well. Growth throughout the tank is slowing, since I've stopped dosing. This is good, I think, showing me that nutrient levels are dropping. I think my next step will be to dose one thing at a time, with long enough intervals between them to see if any one nutrient is lacking. I'm going to leave it be for a little while longer, however.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Old 07/03/2019, 07:50 AM   #972
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I exported a bunch of black grasilaria yesterday. Since I missed the weekend camping, it really grows in quickly. I wouldn't mind having it so much, if it looked better. It's just rather grey, and just makes the tank look dull. I'm fighting it with manual removal, lowered nutrients and increased competition.

The lowered nutrients are already affecting the ulva, with little to be seen lately. It comes and goes, and is a good indicator of nutrient levels - just like in Nature.

For competition, the caulerpa is gaining momentum. I found a few strays on the sand bed, behind the grasses. I moved a few up against the back wall, in hopes it will climb and spread across it.

I'm considering options for predation. Unfortunately, the plague of snails doesn't go after it, so I'm looking for fish that would eat it. The challenge, of course, is to find one that eats black grasilaria, and not the other macros!

In v1, I used a Caribbean Blue Tang to manage caulerpa for me, and that went very well, but eventually, he would have wiped out all of my macros, so I had to remove him. But for about six months, I was able to sit back and watch him do the pruning for me. It was awesome!


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Old 07/05/2019, 02:20 PM   #973
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Once it's overall mass exceeds the Gracilaria, maybe the Caulerpa will out compete the Gracilaria?

Is pruning the Gracilaria a pain in the butt? You need some sort of tool or something to make it easier if you can't find a fish predator.

How does the manatee grass look now?


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Old 07/05/2019, 04:25 PM   #974
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Yes, Kevin, that's what I was thinking. Basically, I'm treating the black grasilaria like a pest micro algae, exporting it frequently, while trying to favor the caulerpa, and all other plants. Lowered nutrients is helping to slow their growth, but it slows the grasilaria as well. It IS a pain in the butt to remove! It grows as a turf, so there are many tiny stems, impossible to get them all. I've tried a couple of different tools. The biggest problem is that many little pieces float away, so I have to quickly grab my net and try to get them all, which is almost impossible.

I have researched some fish, but I doubt I can find one that would eat it, without eating others. Maybe I can find a way to weaken them enough, so that my snails go after them. Any plant that's not fully healthy tends to get devoured. Hot water maybe?

The manatee grass doesn't look to be getting any worse, which I'll call progress. The shoal grass is growing and multiplying, which is good, but baffling. On the bright side, it points to my dirt in the sand bed not being the cause. I still wonder if low salinity is the cause. In v1, when I dropped salinity to hypo levels, the manatee grass faded, and the shoal grass flourished. This is exactly what's happening now.

I think I'll go raise the salinity. Thanks for the post Kevin! You got me thinking!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Old 07/06/2019, 07:30 PM   #975
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OK, so I went after my pest macro, black grasilaria, with hot water today. I used a syringe to baste them. I made two passes. The idea is to weaken them, so that my hungry plague of snails go after them. A few hours later, I'm seeing the snails on them. Maybe by morning I'll be able to tell if they are eating it. If this works, it will be a huge relief.

The manatee grass is looking pretty rough, seriously bumming me out. I bumped up salinity levels to about 29ppt, from 25. I hope this stops their decline. I think the cause was an unnoticed downward drift in salinity. They do not like salinity lower than 25ppt. From now on, I'll be more vigilant in monitoring salinity levels.

Everything else is doing very well. Growth is stalling, with no dosing for the past couple of weeks, but no decline. One of the caulerpas I put against the back wall has started to climb it.

It sux the plants I care most about are the only ones struggling. My hope is that I'm getting conditions back to their liking and they'll rebound. I'm crossing my fingers!


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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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