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Old 01/17/2021, 12:40 PM   #1701
McPuff
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It's amazing how many differences there are in nutrient and elemental uptake in marine vs freshwater ecosystems. For example, freshwater is N limited while marine is P limited.


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Old 01/17/2021, 01:08 PM   #1702
Michael Hoaster
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So true, McPuff. I read Randy Holmes-Farley's article on iron. Most of the chemistry went over my head, but it made sense and I got the gist of it. He's good at summing up what it means in layman's terms, which is most helpful.

I'm definitely seeing it in practice having tried both fresh and salt water versions of iron.


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Old 01/17/2021, 02:24 PM   #1703
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The streams where I live aren't N limited at all. All the cows pooping in the water have brought the nitrate up to ~100!


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Old 01/17/2021, 03:46 PM   #1704
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thepurple12 View Post
the streams where i live aren't n limited at all. All the cows pooping in the water have brought the nitrate up to ~100!
lol!


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Old 01/18/2021, 08:11 AM   #1705
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The streams where I live aren't N limited at all. All the cows pooping in the water have brought the nitrate up to ~100!
:0)

The term "limiting" doesn't mean that it's not around, it simply means that production is limited by this nutrient. So the more of the nutrient, the more production is possible. Guessing you already knew this but figured I'd add the comment just in case. The cow joke is definitely appropriate. :0)


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Old 01/18/2021, 08:55 AM   #1706
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McPuff View Post
:0)

The term "limiting" doesn't mean that it's not around, it simply means that production is limited by this nutrient. So the more of the nutrient, the more production is possible. Guessing you already knew this but figured I'd add the comment just in case. The cow joke is definitely appropriate. :0)
Ah, I didn't know that. Now I understand...and it's no joke, I was being serious!


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Old 01/18/2021, 10:22 AM   #1707
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Ah, I didn't know that. Now I understand...and it's no joke, I was being serious!
Ah, no worries. But in a way you are correct that in agricultural streams, nutrients are no longer limiting and in fact can become excessive.


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Old 01/20/2021, 01:47 PM   #1708
Michael Hoaster
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I've got a couple new macros and marine-specific Iron on the way. I ordered Galaxaura and Ulva Intestinalis (or similar). They called it Grass Lettuce. I've tried both plants before without success. Hoping for better luck this time. I also have high hopes my macros will color up after dosing the Iron.

I'll likely remove some of the Caulerpa from the back wall to make room for the new Ulva sp. Hopefully the damsels will leave it alone. It should be pretty easy to keep otherwise. They move really well in the current. I pulled a couple large handfuls of Caulerpa the other day. You can't really tell. Some of it was starting to shade the growth tips of the Mangroves.

Plenty of room on the new patch reef for the Galaxaura. It's another cool-weird plant. I seem to be attracted to the unusual ones.


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Old 01/21/2021, 11:54 PM   #1709
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My Galaxaura came today. I bought it from Gulf Coast Ecosystems, aka live-plants.com. As usual, they over delivered, sending me four small plants instead of the specified two. That's one order for ten bucks (plus shipping). Best value I know of for macros.

I planted them around the patch reef, with each one in different light. Hopefully, at least one will be happy and grow big and beautiful. I'll try to get pics, as soon as I can get the tank presentable.

I'm expecting the Ulva Intestinalis tomorrow. Ultimately I want it to grow on the back wall, but I'm not sure where I'll place it at first. I'll probably put it on the sand for a while to let it acclimate to the lighting conditions. I want to make sure it's adapting before I move it closer to the light.

I'm hoping the Iron comes tomorrow as well, but who knows with USPS tracking. I've been checking for last five days, and all it says is "accepted". Then it will say "delivered", which of course is no better than looking in my mail box.

I'm going to need to prune off Manatee Grass blades that are coated in precipitate (again!) before I dose the new Iron. That should indicate whether the old Iron was the source of it, if it doesn't happen with the new stuff.

I did a little more removing of Caulerpa from the sand bed today. Maybe this weekend I can get it all. For a long time it seemed hopeless, but I'm getting close. It's just so tedious removing the tiniest little plants.

The Allen's Damsels are doing their digging thing in the patch reef again. This will be a test of my new construction. I expect there will be a little settling, but not much. By opening up more space between the rocks, it'll provide more real estate for sponge growth. I'm already seeing some so I'm encouraged.


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Old 01/22/2021, 09:37 AM   #1710
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AHHH Maintenance. Takes 3 times longer than anticipated!
BUT- there is a satisfied feeling when we are done and can sit back & enjoy our accomplishments.


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Old 01/22/2021, 10:05 AM   #1711
Michael Hoaster
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Yep. The Caulerpa has been a maintenance issue, just keeping it under control. For me that means letting it go nuts on the back wall, and nowhere else.

I still remember vividly, when the first, tiny Feather Caulerpa popped up on the live rock. At the time, very little of anything was growing and I was a little desperate to get SOMETHING going. I thought to myself, "should I remove this little bugger before it gets established and takes over my tank?" Here I am now, wishing I did. Even before the tank was up and running I talked about being very selective with choosing macros, even calling out Caulerpa as a plant I did not want.

Now I'm wrestling with the thought of trying to eradicate it. I don't mind it on the back wall, so I'm also trying to enjoy it. But with the progress I've made on the sand bed, I'm starting to think I might just be able to get rid of it. Stay tuned!


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Old 01/22/2021, 06:06 PM   #1712
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Quote:
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AHHH Maintenance. Takes 3 times longer than anticipated!
BUT- there is a satisfied feeling when we are done and can sit back & enjoy our accomplishments.
...'sit back and enjoy our accomplishments' for a day before we need to do it all over again! Ha ha!!!


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Old 01/22/2021, 10:11 PM   #1713
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It's worth it! With the satisfying glow of finishing up my chores, I love stretching out on my couch and staring at my tank for hours, maybe take a nap…

My Ulva Intesinalis came today. Hooray! It was a bit cold, but it seemed to be okay. A couple of sizable clumps were loose in the bag, and the rest was attached to a rock, as advertised. I was surprised to see several, small barnacles on the rock. I wonder if they could survive in my tank? Now I need to order some Phytoplankton! The sponges would like it too. I put a small rock on top of the loose plants among the grasses. Having a couple loose ones will be handy for when I plant them on the wall. I think I'll start them low, and let them climb higher if they want. This would suggest that I rip all the Caulerpa out, but I think I'll do an un-thorough ripping for now and see how it goes. I just want to give the Intestinalis room to grow without being grown over.

While I was in there I went after the cyano and more of the caulerpa on the sand. I'm making pretty decent progress! I know a lot of reefers like to keep their hands dry, but not me. I like to get in there and make stuff happen! I don't have time to sit and wait for some chemical to do it's magic, I want to get it done now! Manual removal is underrated in my opinion. It's empowering! And it works.

The plan is to get the tank tidied up for a photo session this weekend. I'm excited to show off the new plants, as well as some old ones that have been rearranged on the patch reef.


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Old 01/23/2021, 09:49 AM   #1714
Vinny Kreyling
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Waiting patiently on those pictures.


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Old 01/23/2021, 06:33 PM   #1715
Michael Hoaster
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Thanks Vinny. No pics today, but hopefully tomorrow. Just got my hands out of the tank, pulling Caulerpa and calcium precipitate-coated seagrass. Tomorrow I'll get the glass cleaned up and try to get some good shots. Oh wait, I did take a before pic! Shoot, let me go take an after shot before the lights go out. Back in a minute!

Okay, here we go. Before and after pics.


Before. Lots of tall grasses, but note the tan-colored ones covered in precipitate.



After. Fewer tall grasses and less coated ones, after pruning. Sorry about the glass. Lots of Coralline algae spots. Tomorrow it will look better, and I'll try to get some decent pics of the new macros.


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

Last edited by Michael Hoaster; 01/23/2021 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 01/24/2021, 12:54 PM   #1716
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Wow, that's great. The Caulerpa on the walls, and not on the sandbed, really takes it up a notch IMO!


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Old 01/24/2021, 01:09 PM   #1717
Michael Hoaster
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Hey thanks The Purple12! It took a keen eye to see that. Also I agree. I like the sand bed clear of Caulerpa. From a functional perspective, it reflects more light, which is always good.

I'm just about to get after it again to clean the glass and probably a little more export of my never-ending supply of Caulerpa. Then I'll take pics this evening when the reflections die down.


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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 01/24/2021, 04:18 PM   #1718
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I like the before and after pics. Yes you have made good progress with the sandbed. I am anxious to see the new macros including the ulva.

I was just teasing about doing maintenance for a day and then doing it again. I actually am a hands on and hands in the tank reefer myself and enjoy the fruits of my labors as well!


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Old 01/24/2021, 06:46 PM   #1719
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Thanks Dawn. Sure, I knew you were joking around. I also know you are a hands-on aquarist as well. I almost said "right Dawn?" as I went on and on.

Today I removed every last Caulerpa from the sand bed and cleaned the glass. I also added some new sand to cover some exposed dirt.

The tank is cloudy so I can't get decent pics right now. I did set the light timer to 'ON', so I can shoot later if it clears up. If not, I'll attempt to get up before dawn to shoot. After all that work I'm kinda bummed I can't show it off tonight. Oh well!


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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 01/25/2021, 09:22 AM   #1720
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Got up early to get pics before daylight, to avoid reflections.


Full tank shot. No Caulerpa on the sand bed. A lot of work, but I'm happy.



From the right end.



This is the flat red macro that broke free. So far it looks happy in it's new location. There are a couple more smaller ones of these still growing from the rock.



The new Ulva Intestinalis. Probably not the correct name, but it's in the Ulva family. You might be able to see some of the barnacles. Some are alive! It's going to be a challenge to keep the snails off this plant. I may have to suspend it by a string or something.



Overall shot of the patch reef. You can see three of the new Galaxaura plants at center and bottom right.



A pretty good shot of an Allen's Damsel and the dense Caulerpa growth. His tail looks a little weird but it's whole and intact.



Patch reef overview.


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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 01/25/2021, 09:41 AM   #1721
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And more pics!


A good look at the Sargassum and Grasilaria, and the Pearls in the foreground.



Good sponge growth at center, and the flat red just above.



Another one from the end.



And another.



Pretty good view of the Galaxaura and a couple of String of Pearls frags.



Galaxaura, Pearls and flat red.



And last but not least, the grasses. A little beat up from the pruning but no Caulerpa to compete with on the sand.


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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 01/25/2021, 09:55 AM   #1722
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The flat red macro looks like a growth form of Gracilaria hayi. I could be wrong, but I've seen the same look in some of my hayi. How long have you had it?


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Old 01/25/2021, 11:09 AM   #1723
Michael Hoaster
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It could be but I don't think it's G. hayi. It does look similar but the growth is quite different. If I was to guess, I'd say it was in the Grasilaria family. I think it's a plant that I got as a freebie with an online order about 3 years ago, though it's growing in a different shape now. Or it's a completely new plant that grew from the live rock. I've seen something similar in a macro tank on Pinterest. It would be nice to know what it is, or at least get close, so I could assign an actual name. I'll do a little looking. If it is hayi, it is the best example of (wait for it) PHENOTYPIC PLASTICITY I've ever seen! Whenever I use that phrase, my wife says I made it up…


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Old 01/25/2021, 12:20 PM   #1724
Michael Hoaster
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I did some looking. It appears to be a Halymenia species.

https://eol.org/media/11780138
Halymenia floresii

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=...AAAAAdAAAAABAD
Halymenia durvilaea


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Old 01/25/2021, 02:27 PM   #1725
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Holy moly, those are the cleanest most crisp pics I have ever seen of your tank. I think it is because the sandbed is so pure without caulerpa so the sand really reflects back the light. Whatever it is the effect is quite dramatic in a wonderful way. No wonder you want to sit in front of the tank for hours and even take a nap there.

Also it appears that your patch reef is totally recovered from adding the foundational rock and it seems to look like it is growing in the ocean and has never been disturbed. I am impressed that your sargassum seems to be doing so well as I have heard that that can be a tricky macro to grow. I had planned to see how well you did with it before I ventured to give it a try.

All I can say is 'Bravo Michael', it looks amazing.


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