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Old 01/09/2019, 10:18 PM   #576
Michael Hoaster
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I slipped out for a cross country ski today. I had a large moose run across in front of me. What a rush!

In the cozy confines of my home, I'm the king of beasts. Outside, I'm considerably lower in the pecking order. It gives me perspective. The natural world has much to teach. I enjoy the outdoor classroom!


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Old 01/10/2019, 06:09 AM   #577
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I slipped out for a cross country ski today. I had a large moose run across in front of me. What a rush!

In the cozy confines of my home, I'm the king of beasts. Outside, I'm considerably lower in the pecking order. It gives me perspective. The natural world has much to teach. I enjoy the outdoor classroom!
Amen!


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Old 01/10/2019, 07:29 AM   #578
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I slipped out for a cross country ski today. I had a large moose run across in front of me. What a rush!
Wow, that must have been cool! Have always wanted to see one in person.


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Old 01/10/2019, 08:23 AM   #579
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Wow, very cool! Yes, the outdoor world is truly amazing. Every time I'm on the water or in the woods, I see something either new or amazing. Many of the small things that amaze me don't phase other people though, so I guess I'm weird in that way.


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Old 01/10/2019, 08:46 AM   #580
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Wow, that must have been cool! Have always wanted to see one in person.
My husband and I both motorcycle and have ridden in all the lower 48 states. We have seen bear, elk, deer, coyotes, antelope like animals, prairie dogs and a multitude of cool birds. We have kept our eyes peeled for moose but bave never seen one. Maybe when we do our Alaska trip?


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Old 01/10/2019, 09:06 AM   #581
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I slipped out for a cross country ski today. I had a large moose run across in front of me. What a rush!

In the cozy confines of my home, I'm the king of beasts. Outside, I'm considerably lower in the pecking order. It gives me perspective. The natural world has much to teach. I enjoy the outdoor classroom!
Way to hijack your own thread. Here you had me all excited for an update!


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Old 01/10/2019, 10:48 AM   #582
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Thanks guys! I thought you'd like to hear about my moose encounter. Even here, where their numbers are coming back, they are very elusive and not often seen. To pass one at close proximity was insane! I was skiing downhill through the woods pretty fast, and he ran across the trail, right in front of me. For a split-second our eyes met, and I just got the sense we were equals. It was a spiritual moment I'll never forget.

We are God-like, manipulating Nature in our aquariums. When we venture outside into our aquarium known as Earth, we're just pods, playing in the algae. Perspective!


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Old 01/10/2019, 09:09 PM   #583
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I snapped a few pics tonight.


Full tank width. More green now, mostly from Ulva. Note the difference in water height, end to end - wave box.



End view. So far, so good.



Manatee grass. Looking OK, but far from their best. When they triple in height, I'll be happy.



Algae on the sand bed. Not pretty but a necessary phase of ecosystem development. The white disc on the back wall is a sponge frag.



String of pearls. One of only a few that survived low light conditions for months in my holding tank.



Another survivor and a freebie. This red is flattened - it just grows like that. No idea what it is, but I like it. A Grasilaria?



My so far, limited selection of reds. There are some small hypnea pieces rolling around that might make it.



Can you see the peppermint shrimp emerging from the near-right wall?


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Old 01/11/2019, 06:07 AM   #584
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Thanks for the pics. I am guessing that manatee grass takes time to settle and get established and then starts to take off and grow? Do you remember in v1, how long it was before the grasses began to grow?

Your red macros look good and healthy. I like the growth pattern of the flattened red. Is it calcarous? It looks more fibrous and stiff.
The ulva is definitely growing nicely.

I would have never noticed the peppermint shrimp if you had not mentioned it. Is it in there all by itself? That picture is somewhat symbolic, tiny shrimp on a giant wall...kind of like us on this earth and in this universe!


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Old 01/11/2019, 08:31 AM   #585
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Michael! Those grasses look to be growing already. Your wicked little plan seems to be working swimmingly! (dad jokes!).

I like how unique this system is, and will continue to be. I have one thought for aesthetics as there is just a certain "I don't know what" missing... the root does a nice job of "utilizing" the full height of the tank. You don't need to use a complex root though. Instead, you could construct a simple, slender rock structure (rocks & hydraulic cement). In my opinion this would complete the look and make the scape that flows, for the eye and the biota.

Anyway, my two cents (obviously I'm not shy to share and you may be sick of it already). :0)


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Old 01/11/2019, 09:04 AM   #586
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That's right, Dawn. Manatee grass does take a while to recover and grow. It took months to see growth in v1. I'm banking on the dirt-filled sand bed to speed up the process. I'm actually seeing little signs of growth already, but not enough to say all of it is growing, so I'm hopeful.

The 'steamroller grasilaria' feels a little like G. hayi, so it may be calcified. The Ulva is starting to slow down it's growth now, but it appears to be performing a lot like my caulerpa racemosa peltata did in v1, mopping up excess nutrients, and preventing (delaying?) the full algae uglies. It is much easier to export than the slimy, mucky stuff too.

For now, the peppermint shrimp is solo. I got it moths ago, when my holding tank got fully taken over with aiptasias. It eradicated hundreds of them by itself. I'd like to give it a mate, but I want to see how well it behaves in the display first. I think I'll name it Han Solo.


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Old 01/11/2019, 09:29 AM   #587
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Thanks McPuff! I love a good dad joke!

The grass is showing a little growth. It's a little hard to tell since I pruned them down a little. I have seen a new blade here and there, but not wholesale growth yet.

I appreciate your compliment on the uniqueness of this setup! I like it! It's a little counterintuitive to keep the layout so simple, but I'm sticking to the vision! This is where the gardening part comes in. I'm really trying to exert control over what does and does not grow in this version. In v1 I had more of a jungle, with almost no control.

Thanks for the suggestion. I do plan to add live rock to the pile, but I'm keeping it low-profile. I really like the understated look of it. I'll count on the manatee grass to use the full height of the tank. I really want he overall design will be simple and zen-like. So far, I'm on track.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Old 01/11/2019, 09:30 AM   #588
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That's right, Dawn. Manatee grass does take a while to recover and grow. It took months to see growth in v1. I'm banking on the dirt-filled sand bed to speed up the process. I'm actually seeing little signs of growth already, but not enough to say all of it is growing, so I'm hopeful.

The 'steamroller grasilaria' feels a little like G. hayi, so it may be calcified. The Ulva is starting to slow down it's growth now, but it appears to be performing a lot like my caulerpa racemosa peltata did in v1, mopping up excess nutrients, and preventing (delaying?) the full algae uglies. It is much easier to export than the slimy, mucky stuff too.

For now, the peppermint shrimp is solo. I got it moths ago, when my holding tank got fully taken over with aiptasias. It eradicated hundreds of them by itself. I'd like to give it a mate, but I want to see how well it behaves in the display first. I think I'll name it Han Solo.
Thank you for answering my questions. I remember reading earlier in this thread that your hopes were that the ulva would help prevent the micro algaes from getting too out of hand. I am happy for you that it seems to be working for the most part.

Hans Solo is a perfect name!


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Old 01/11/2019, 02:55 PM   #589
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Loving the reds!


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Old 01/12/2019, 10:40 PM   #590
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I did a little exporting today, grabbing some slimy algae and some ulva. Plus more tidying around the seagrass. I'm not trying to eliminate algae - just keep it reasonable.

I spent a lot of time just watching the tank. I'm trying to understand what is going on with the overall system, and what's next. My little ecosystem is rapidly developing. With good algae and ulva growth, I appear to have high nutrients in the water column. I'm very curious to see how ugly this algae phase gets. In v1 I didn't have the crew I have now. I think this time should go easier.

As for what's next, first I'd say it just needs some time grow and develop. I only added the pods and worms days ago. The next addition will probably be a small (10lb.) quantity of farmed live rock. This will bring in more diversity, and add additional structure.

I'll be adding more macros over time. I have a couple of red macro frags on the way, from eBay. I haven't had much luck with their tiny frags in the past, but I'm giving it another try.


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Old 01/12/2019, 11:32 PM   #591
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I spent a lot of time just watching the tank.

Watchin grass grow eh?


When we gonna get to see some more fish??

That aquarium I went to in Dallas had a big school of lookdowns too.

Any thoughts about getting another condylactis or Mr. Pederson?


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Old 01/13/2019, 09:52 PM   #592
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Yeah, gotta chill and watch it grow. Let Nature do her magic!

I'm trying to resist getting another condylactis gigantea, but I want one. In v1, I had thoughts that I shouldn't have added one, when I was focused on the plants. So this time I'm limiting my efforts to plants only, for a while at least. It will allow me more freedom to accommodate the plants, without harming sensitive anemones.

Today I received my two red macro frag orders. One of them had ice in the bag! Otherwise it looked OK so I got them planted in the rocks at the right end, with the other reds there. I think my splash of red is going to be pretty cool. Right now, everything is quite small. Assuming I don't kill them, they should grow and provide a nice contrast to the greens.

My crew is starting to make a dent in the algae. Still a ways to go but I'm encouraged. If I recall correctly, in v1 I never really got algae under control, until I got the mini strombus snails in there. Getting them in the tank much earlier this time gives me hope that this algae phase won't be so bad. I can hope!

The manatee grass looks to be doing well. They did bring in with them some unwanted algae, so I have to tidy them up to export some of it. It will take some time but I'll get them prettied up eventually.

All is well so far. Even in this less than perfect condition, I'm thoroughly enjoying the viewing experience. There's much still to do, but also there is much of doing nothing and just watching and thinking.


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Old 01/14/2019, 08:01 AM   #593
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I spent a lot of time just watching the tank.
Amazing how fast time can go by when you're just sitting/standing and staring into the tank, huh?! My wife thinks I spend a lot of time working on the tank, but I really don't. Much of it is spent watching the fish, inspecting the corals for growth (almost daily!), and just keeping tabs on everything. It's the best way to assess the health of your system. Data from test kits or a controller don't tell the full story of what's really going on. By carefully monitoring the system, you can really be on tops of things and react when necessary.

And for me, it's a stress reliever, even when I'm cleaning equipment, vacuuming the sand, scrubbing rocks or the glass. It's knowing that I'm in tune with the system (as much as possible) and that I can make a difference with very small tweaks. If you don't stare and obsess over the details, then big changes are required, stability is disrupted, and that's when things get shaky. My point is that I'm fully on board with you! :0) Though my system is SPS and therefore more "complicated" by necessity, I still try to simplify it as much as possible. I leave it alone as much as possible! Gives me more time to sit and stare!! :0)


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Old 01/14/2019, 09:35 AM   #594
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Right on McPuff! I couldn't have said it better.

Besides getting a better idea of what's going on, just watching the tank is the fun part that we earn, with all the hard work we do to make it look good. If we don't take the time to sit and enjoy, why are we doing this? My most important aquarium component is my couch!


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Old 01/16/2019, 10:56 PM   #595
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One of the new reds is looking iffy. I moved it to a brighter location. I then moved all of the reds to better light. They're still at the right end of the tank, just a little further left, towards the light.

I moved the rest of the mollies into the display, giving me five. They can help with algae processing. There's a fair amount of new tank algae. I think my crew will be able to handle it. They're playing catch up right now.


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Old Yesterday, 06:47 AM   #596
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Right on McPuff! I couldn't have said it better.

Besides getting a better idea of what's going on, just watching the tank is the fun part that we earn, with all the hard work we do to make it look good. If we don't take the time to sit and enjoy, why are we doing this? My most important aquarium component is my couch!
My couch is an important component too. It's about 12ft away though and with my tank having so many little creatures in it, I often pull up a tiny chair(I have just for the purpose) of pulling it up and parking right in front of the aquarium.


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Old Yesterday, 06:49 AM   #597
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Right on McPuff! I couldn't have said it better.

Besides getting a better idea of what's going on, just watching the tank is the fun part that we earn, with all the hard work we do to make it look good. If we don't take the time to sit and enjoy, why are we doing this? My most important aquarium component is my couch!
My couch is an important component too. It's about 12ft away though and with my tank having so many little creatures in it, I often pull up a tiny chair(I have just for the purpose) of pulling it up and parking right in front of the aquarium. My husband calls Limpet!


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Old Yesterday, 09:37 AM   #598
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Right on Dawn! I have a chair for up-close viewing too. And two magnifying glasses!

I brought up the couch thing because I think a lot of aquarists forget to think of themselves as the most important species in the aquarium equation. They locate their tank in a space that 'fits' in their home, without considering how they can comfortably sit and enjoy their tank!


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Old Yesterday, 10:52 AM   #599
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Right on Dawn! I have a chair for up-close viewing too. And two magnifying glasses!

I brought up the couch thing because I think a lot of aquarists forget to think of themselves as the most important species in the aquarium equation. They locate their tank in a space that 'fits' in their home, without considering how they can comfortably sit and enjoy their tank!

+10 to that Michael.

My oldest grandson is 12 years old. When he was 2 years old we shared a lighted magnifying glass as we lay on out stomachs looking into 30G mud/macro refugium that had been set up for 12 years at th3 time.

Natural systems take care of themselves when balanced correctly. I am a minimalist & a Laissez Faire reefkeeper. I am here to enjoy my reef tank, not work on it. Aquascaping is differrent. I do it often. Its fun to project vision.


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Old Yesterday, 06:32 PM   #600
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Thanks Patrick!

Reaching a balance and having a natural system that functions smoothly, with little interference from me is one of my goals. I'm still in the building phase at this point, so there's a bit more work for me to do. I'm trying to assemble enough of Nature's players to get there, so they can do the work they naturally do.


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