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Old 04/12/2019, 09:55 PM   #801
Michael Hoaster
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I still have two barnacle blennies. It's interesting that the others died in order of size, starting with the largest. So I'm left with the two smallest. That's fine. Maybe I'll get to enjoy them longer. They seem to be doing well. I'm trying to emulate Dawn and keep everybody well fed.

I'm very happy with the live rock I got from Gulf Live Rock. It's amazing all the plants growing out of it. I spotted a new red macro that looks similar to Grasilaria Hayi, but I think is something else. I also have a tiny sargassum plant trying to pull through. There are several small, delicate greens also popping up.

I've still got a few more tiny players to add but it looks like the ecosystem is stabilizing.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/13/2019, 05:09 PM   #802
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Yay for free hitch hiker macros on the live rock. Things are really falling into place. I wished I knew how my barnacle blennies compared to yours in size.


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Old 04/13/2019, 09:02 PM   #803
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Note the caulerpa left and mystery red right. Just above the red is a golden sargassum leaf.








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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/13/2019, 09:04 PM   #804
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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/14/2019, 12:16 PM   #805
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Wow Michael, I can't believe how quickly your tank turned around. Its not just in maintenance and nuisance algae, but also in how the macro algaes are really taking off. I hope that sargassum makes it!


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Old 04/14/2019, 02:42 PM   #806
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Thanks Dawn! I'm having a hard time believing it too! I just kept plugging away and eventually the magic happened. There was plenty of hard work involved, of course, and I may have gotten some key decisions right. But like you said, it's hard to believe, when things actually work out. I'll take it!

Today I did a little tank modification, removing a bit of the tank top, that was causing a shadow. This will make placing plants easier, at the the right end. I pulled the rock with bubble algae out and did my best to remove it, without harming the others. I also decided to remove the Caulerpa, since it looked to be a variety I don't want. I was hoping it would be C. mexicana, with it's dark color and thick fronds. Instead I think I had C. sertulariodes, which is thinner and lighter colored. I think it would be best for anything growing on the back wall to be darker than the grasses. I shuffled a couple of live rocks too, to get the mystery red macro and sargassum in better light.

I came up with an idea to alleviate my closed loop problem. Since the biggest issue was the water level drop in the outgoing chamber, I put a stand pipe in place. This fixed the water level but not the micro bubble issue. So I'm still unable to run the pump anywhere near full power. I'm thinking of trying adding a 'U' at the top to get the opening below the water level, where the bubbles are. I'll try that next and report back. Ideas welcome!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/14/2019, 05:45 PM   #807
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Here's a couple more pics:








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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 04/15/2019, 08:10 AM   #808
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Nice shot of the damsel!

I just added my 3 damsels to the 300. They hide a lot so far. :0)


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Old 04/15/2019, 11:13 AM   #809
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Wow, the pics are so cool! The progress if your tank is pretty amazing, and that it's turning out pretty much as you had hoped so far. The damsels are beautiful, both species, and a nice contrast to the greens and reds of the macros and grass. The grasses look like their getting thicker too, and very healthy.


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Old 04/15/2019, 12:34 PM   #810
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Thanks McPuff! Good luck with your damsels! How about some pics!

Thanks Kevin!

Progress did seem to come quicker this time. Thanks to SaltySully, I started with much more Manatee grass. It looks like getting them in before the macros was a good call. Lots of little decisions, born from my experience with v1, have led me towards my vision for this tank. I couldn't be much happier!

The grasses are doing very well. I'm pretty sure my Yard Dirt DSB had something to do with it. It's funny, I was talked back from adding much dirt in v1. The grasses took much longer to get established. This time I went whole hog with the dirt, and they are happy little piggies!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/16/2019, 11:04 AM   #811
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I'm seeing increased late afternoon bubbles on the grasses, indicating the dinos are not all gone. So I suspended CO2 again. I guess I'll just have to wait a little longer to drive the ecosystem at full speed. Patience.

I am going to address the big question mark on my tank's main circulation woes - by building a big question mark. Let me explain. The outgoing (overflow) chamber is a tight space for a two inch standpipe with a 'U' on top. The bulkhead at the bottom is centered in the space. I need to offset the standpipe so there is enough room to accommodate the U. So I got a couple of 45 degree elbows to offset the vertical run of pipe, so there's room to fit the U at the top. So, the overall shape, is a question mark. I have no idea if this will work, so it's trial and error. But I am encouraged by the standpipe idea so far.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/17/2019, 05:28 AM   #812
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
The grasses are doing very well. I'm pretty sure my Yard Dirt DSB had something to do with it. It's funny, I was talked back from adding much dirt in v1. The grasses took much longer to get established. This time I went whole hog with the dirt, and they are happy little piggies!
Sometimes you have to go with your gut! Maybe it's commonplace in FW, but you are breaking ground (no pun intended) in the marine tank world.

Good luck with the outgoing overflow redesign.


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Current Tank Info: 101g 3'X3'X18" Cubish Oyster Reef Blenny tank, 36"X17"X18" sump
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Old 04/17/2019, 07:27 AM   #813
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Right on! It is counterintuitive to add dirt to an aquarium. But the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. Seagrasses are higher plants that are used to getting nutrients from the substrate.

The big question mark is a big question mark! I'm crossing my fingers!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/17/2019, 01:27 PM   #814
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I have found that my new damsels are hunting the benthic surfaces. This surprised me. I thought they'd only eat from the water column. This puts pressure on the benthic pod population. I'd really like to keep a sustainable population of pods in the display. With rising predation levels, as I add more damsels, I need to ramp up pod levels to match. I think the key to doing that will be to increase macro algae density.

Besides adding more ulva back to the tank, I have a few more macros I want to add. More habitat density should equal more pods. I can also occasionally add pods for a boost. I'm considering adding mysids. They are seagrass residents normally, but I'm unsure if they could maintain a population in my tank.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/18/2019, 05:14 AM   #815
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. I'm considering adding mysids. They are seagrass residents normally, but I'm unsure if they could maintain a population in my tank.
I think the mysid could be maintained in your tank. I have kept some in 5 gallon macro tanks and although they cannibalize their own larvae shrimp with dense macros some survive and I would have a few younger smaller ones to feed the seahorses from time to time.

With your tank being so much bigger and as the macros continue to grow and provide more cover, I would expect them to do well.


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Old 04/18/2019, 05:15 AM   #816
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Do your damsels eat food that you add to the tank? If so, maybe keep them heavily fed. If they are full, maybe they'll ease up on the pod predation somewhat. If not, they'll get nice and fat! Plus, the extra nutrients shouldn't matter in your tank, but instead, be beneficial. Or, are you already doing that?


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Old 04/18/2019, 10:09 AM   #817
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I wonder, Dawn. I tried mysids in v1. They gradually disappeared. I think increasing the density of macros would help, providing cover to evade predation. I need to find out more about them. Having a sustainable population of pods and mysids would be ideal. I just have doubts it could be done, given the increased predation they'll face with each new addition of fish.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/18/2019, 12:07 PM   #818
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Yes, Kevin, I'm feeding pretty heavily. Even so, they are constantly hunting for food, both in the water column and on surfaces. I do think feeding well is a good strategy and I'm guilty of being stingy with the food, so I'm trying to get better. Combining this with more macro density, is the best thing I can think of.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/18/2019, 10:23 PM   #819
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I'm really jonesin' to get more plants. With new reds exploding out of my live rock, I may not need any more reds, but I need a few more greens. I'm loving the Ulva, but I want a few more textures and shades of green. It's going to be cool! Some on the back wall, some on the sand. Once that's done, I kick back and watch the reds and greens grow in.

Approaching the vision!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/19/2019, 01:54 PM   #820
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I wonder, Dawn. I tried mysids in v1. They gradually disappeared. I think increasing the density of macros would help, providing cover to evade predation. I need to find out more about them. Having a sustainable population of pods and mysids would be ideal. I just have doubts it could be done, given the increased predation they'll face with each new addition of fish.
I forgot about fish who would prey on the mysis. When I keep them they have no predators except themselves!


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Old 04/19/2019, 09:35 PM   #821
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With the algae phase apparently over, the tank's a lot less work. Now I can fiddle around and tweak stuff, to optimize. Today I tidied up around some of the new reds, so they get good light. I'm very excited about them! One that I originally thought was red grapes may actually be Halimenia Elongata, or Nemastoma. Both cool plants! Several other reds that are too small to call for now, look very promising.

What's next? I'm hoping to get my standpipe set up, and resolve my circulation issues. That would be nice. I've got some thoughts on making a slight adjustment to rock placement. The arrangement is a little square which fits the space, but could look a little more natural.

Mostly I'll be doing a lot of tank watching and try to understand what is going on in there…


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/21/2019, 11:50 PM   #822
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Happy Easter!

I got my standpipe built today. I'm giving it 24 hours to cure before trying it out, so tomorrow we'll see. I hope it works!

Last week, one of the Codium plants floated up to the surface. I took the opportunity to plant it up on the back wall. This week it seems to be doing well, so I planted a few more up there. Getting codium to grow on the fake wall is an option I hadn't considered. I'd never had success with it before, so it's a treat to see them grow and prosper. I love how they look like corals or sponges.

The Manatee Grass is doing phenomenally well. I planted it on December 18, 2018. Four months have passed. 4! Right now it is multiplying like crazy in an orgy of asexual reproduction. New rhizomes and blades are everywhere. It took at least twice as long to get this far in v1. Big dif!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/22/2019, 05:31 AM   #823
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Happy Easter!

I got my standpipe built today. I'm giving it 24 hours to cure before trying it out, so tomorrow we'll see. I hope it works!

Last week, one of the Codium plants floated up to the surface. I took the opportunity to plant it up on the back wall. This week it seems to be doing well, so I planted a few more up there. Getting codium to grow on the fake wall is an option I hadn't considered. I'd never had success with it before, so it's a treat to see them grow and prosper. I love how they look like corals or sponges.

The Manatee Grass is doing phenomenally well. I planted it on December 18, 2018. Four months have passed. 4! Right now it is multiplying like crazy in an orgy of asexual reproduction. New rhizomes and blades are everywhere. It took at least twice as long to get this far in v1. Big dif!
Happy day after Easter to you! Codium is a really cool macro and I like it too. Sometimes mine gets hair algae on it, especially in the seahorse tank. I am able to just clean it up periodically and it does fine.

It must really be rewarding to see the manatee grass multiplying so well so quickly.

And good luck with the stand pipe today!


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Old 04/22/2019, 08:07 AM   #824
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Thanks Dawn!

I am thrilled with the progress of the Manatee Grass. It was a challenge getting them to progress in v1. This time they appear to be much happier. The difference is in the dirt!

The question mark standpipe gets tested today. I'll let you know!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 04/22/2019, 04:25 PM   #825
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Fail. I tried several variations on the question mark standpipe without success. Back to the drawing board, I guess. No matter what I did, I had to throttle down the pump to an ineffective level for it to 'work'.

I think the main issue is that water cannot flow quickly and easily enough on the outgoing side, causing the water level to drop too low in the overflow chamber and allowing air into the plumbing. The problem is exacerbated by the new fake wall and wave box.

Here are a few sketches:


Overflow chamber with no standpipe. On the right you can see surface and subsurface slots for water flowing out. Just to the left you can see the overflow weir (shaded grey) that all outgoing water must flow over. The water drops a long distance, making lot of noise and a lot of bubbles.



This shows the first standpipe I tried. Water level started out OK, but cycles through higher and lower water levels, making bubbles again. This got me thinking that putting a 'U' at the top so that water would be drawn from below the surface, would solve the bubble issue.



The question mark. I tried different length extensions to reach deeper, as well as no extension with just the 'U'. No matter what I tried, the same issue of water fluctuation/air introduction caused major bubbles.

All configurations had the same results. Whenever I turned the pump up to a useful velocity, overflow chamber water levels dropped, introducing air.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

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