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Old 11/04/2018, 01:16 PM   #1
rmchoi
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RC40G Mangrove Refugium

Who would ever think of planting a tree in saltwater aquarium? Julian Sprung has done this for years and grown a beautiful mangrove tree in his tank. This was the inspiration for this mangrove refugium.





Originally, I changed from Zeovit biological filtration back to old school natural filtration, giving nature a try at balancing nitrate and phosphate. I removed the zeovit reactor and added a 25G refugium with chaeto and this 40G breeder with a mangrove.


In the 40G breeder tank is a ďredĒ mangrove tree. It is about 36Ē tall. There is about a 4Ē substrate with a under layer of miracle mineral mud full of bacteria, microfauna, worms and minerals for the tree roots. Capped over the mud is Carib Sea live reef sand.







For lighting the plant, there is an ATI SunPower light fixture. It has six 24w 6,500K daylight T5 bulbs. The fixture is set high enough to barely feel heat above the leaves. The light intensity ramps up in the morning and down at night for total of 12 hours a day.


Between the return water and a Ecotech powerhead, there is moderately strong flow. The strongest flow at the top keeps the surface rippling and enough to keep the detritus from settling at the bottom.







To keep the maintenance low, the top and sides of the tank are kept blacked out to reduce algae growth. A long spine sea urchin eats the algae that does grow. Iron and iodine get dosed weekly. And few times a week, the leaves get a mist of water.


There were low expectations if the two refugiums would be adequate filters for a 80G mixed reef tank. All three tanks flow through a Lifereef sump. Once the chaeto and mangrove became established, the skimmer hardly produces skim, but still runs for aeration.






Starting out reefing, the colorful fish was the allure. Then came colors on ďsteroidsĒ from corals, starting with LPS. Then came SPS corals with their high demands of water quality, time and care. These days, this plant growing in saltwater has the intrigue.


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Old 11/04/2018, 02:48 PM   #2
xoshagsox
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The tank looks amazing. Iíve always wanted to make a mangrove focused tank. How long did it take to grow out that mangrove?


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Old 11/04/2018, 05:38 PM   #3
Michael Hoaster
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That is a nice mangrove!

I'd love to see more. Is there a thread for the whole system?


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Old 11/06/2018, 07:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xoshagsox View Post
The tank looks amazing. Iíve always wanted to make a mangrove focused tank. How long did it take to grow out that mangrove?

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Appreciate that, it's a few years old, but tripled the amount of leaves this year.



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That is a nice mangrove!

I'd love to see more. Is there a thread for the whole system?

Thanks, I will try to add a few more pics.


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Old 11/11/2018, 04:33 PM   #5
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Here is the entire refugium set up. Under mangrove refugium, is a Lifereef refugium and Calcium Reactor.










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Old 11/11/2018, 06:35 PM   #6
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Thatís so cool, looks awesome! Now Iím tempted to try one, already know the wifeís answer though lol.


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Old 11/28/2018, 09:09 PM   #7
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Thatís so cool, looks awesome! Now Iím tempted to try one, already know the wifeís answer though lol.
Thanks! Mom / wife / boss...I get it :-)


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Old 11/28/2018, 10:27 PM   #8
xoshagsox
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RC40G Mangrove Refugium

Any updates on the tank progress? Iím really thinking of starting one like this. You have been an inspiration.



Last edited by xoshagsox; 11/28/2018 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 11/29/2018, 08:18 AM   #9
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Very cool! Are you going to add any fish in the future?


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Old 01/01/2019, 09:54 AM   #10
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Any updates on the tank progress? I’m really thinking of starting one like this. You have been an inspiration.
Here are a few update pics.












Last edited by rmchoi; 01/01/2019 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 01/01/2019, 10:13 AM   #11
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Very cool! Are you going to add any fish in the future?
Still considering adding fish. I did add a couple feather dusters and a red starfish to the long spine urchin already there.



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Old 01/08/2019, 06:33 PM   #12
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Cool tank! In the third photo, are those baby feather dusters?


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Old 01/09/2019, 08:02 AM   #13
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Cool tank! In the third photo, are those baby feather dusters?
Yes, they are tiny fan worms. They stay small and don't get any bigger.


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Old 01/09/2019, 09:35 AM   #14
lifeoffaith
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Can I ask where you sourced the large mangrove? Looking for one for my tank.

EDIT: I see you grew it out yourself, nice!


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Old 12/23/2019, 03:02 PM   #15
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Here is a One Year Update since starting the mangrove refugium. The mangrove has grown about 12". It has lost almost all its leaves and regenerated new. Its shedding leaves on the lower branches, while multiplying rapidly on the upper branches. It continues to send new root shoots towards the substrate. I continually raise the light with the plant grows. For a short period, mealy bugs infested and ate the leaves with some growth stunt. With regular cleaning of the leaves with alcohol, they are under control. The overall height from substrate to tip top is about 4 feet now.










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Old 01/19/2020, 12:26 PM   #16
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Thats awesome! Are you worried about the mangrove roots breaking the glass on the bottom?


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Old 01/20/2020, 03:37 PM   #17
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Thats awesome! Are you worried about the mangrove roots breaking the glass on the bottom?
Thank you. Yes, the thought of the mangrove roots growing thick enough to break the glass has crossed my mind. This is slow growing so it might take a while. I would guess this gets risky about five or six years form now.


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