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Old 11/19/2020, 11:41 PM   #1
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The Macroalgae Jarquarium

I thought my marine tank adventures ended fifteen years ago, when my 110 gallon custom-build (second hand) burst in the middle of the night (silicon seal rupture), but decided that there'd be nothing better to try in dark, cold days of fall than to start another a jar. Yes, yes, I know -- but I'm only going to try some macroalgae at first. There's a Canadian company that has some lovely halimeda clumps, and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to do some aquasacaping. Of course, I know zilch about pico setups -- let alone in a jar -- so this should be an interesting experiment.

I had a lovely Anchor-Hocking 2g jar that was doing nothing but storing rice, and I thought it would be a good place to start. Now for the hard part: stocking the jar.

I'm a ten-hour round trip to the nearest LFS and, with quarantines and winter-road conditions (with logging trucks...LOTS of logging trucks), a trip was out of the question. And shipping rates are outrageous! Fortunately, Amazon seemed to have everything that I needed. Right?

substrate: CaribSea live sand. I was afraid that it would be too fine, but the grain is fairly large, and that's what I was seeking.

"Aeration" and flow: water pump with air stone

Lighting: faux architect's lamp and SANSI full spectrum 15w bulb

Heating: Pawfly 50w heater. I know this is going to cause problems, and I have a replacement on the way.

"Topography": Amazon-special seiryu rock. I bought 17lbs for a great price...and found I could only fit in one rock. Oops!

Marine salt mix: Fritz's. Which burst all over the inside of the shipping box during transit. Of course it did.

Day 1:

After returning home from a business trip, I decided it was time for the build! I added the sand, rock...and seawater made with tapwater. Yes, yes...criticize if you must (and you will), but I was too tired to set up the RO unit I bought off of Amazon. Pump and heater went in next; lighting was turned on.

SG: 1.015 (I decided to go lightly on the salt as I had to convert from imperial to metric with a mix of imperial and metric kitchen utensils), and did not want to oversaturate the jar. Plus, my brain was tired after a long drive on icy roads. Now that I know better, I'll fix it tomorrow.

KH/Mg/ -- ? Test kit arriving next week.

To do:

-fix the lid. I was planning to drill a hole through the lid through which the lighting and air hose could be inserted. The air stone is throwing up a surprising amount of spray, though, and I'm concerned that a hole will be very problematic. I don't like leaving the lid half-on, though.
-move the rock. It's too far in the front of the jar, and ruins the aspect. Plus, the back of it is more interesting.
-Check water parameters daily! I've got to see how SG changes daily in such a small, and potentially closed, system.
-Oxygenation. Is this going to be a problem?

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Last edited by davidcalgary29; 11/19/2020 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 11/19/2020, 11:56 PM   #2
Michael Hoaster
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Location: Boulder, CO
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Pretty cool! Glad you started a thread for this. The small size is intriguing! Following along.

Enjoy the journey!

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 11/20/2020, 12:03 AM   #3
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Thanks! I managed to get a 5 gallon storage jar and a neat Beverage Dispenser with spigot. Those will be my next victims after I set this one up!

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Old 11/21/2020, 01:14 PM   #4
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Location: Virginia
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This will be pretty cool! Stock idea: Hawaiian red shrimp.

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Old 11/21/2020, 03:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ThePurple12 View Post
This will be pretty cool! Stock idea: Hawaiian red shrimp.
Maybe with the 5g that's next up; this 2g is just too small, I think. And it's certainly not cycled, so just the macrolaga(e) for now.

I've also got to contend with the fact that I'm a looong way away from a LFS, and will have to get livestock shipped in. And that means a limited selection (no red Hawaiian shrimp; perhaps a peppermint down the road, if I'm lucky) with real risk, as winter temps here are pretty steady between -5C and -40C -- not ideal shipping conditions for delicate tropical creatures.

DAY 3:

SG: 1.026 at a steady 26C, and the water has cleared up nicely. I'm surprised to see that the 50W heater isn't overheating the tank, based on multiple poor reviews on Amazon. I'm still trying different positions with the rock.

Tank considerations: Having a cylindrical jarqiarum is cool, but this jar wasn't made for aesthetics, and mutiple bubbles and waves in the glass create visual distortions and/or optical flaws. I'll have to see how bad this is with the 5g jar and 3g Beverage Dispenser.

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