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Old 12/12/2018, 10:54 PM   #476
Michael Hoaster
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It occurs to me that I've thought a good deal about the 'what' I'm trying to achieve, but not so much about the 'how'. Basically, I want to take what I learned in v1 (which was a jungle) and use it to get what I want in v2, which (I'm hoping) will be more like a desert. Where v1 was a free-for-all, in v2 I want control.

How will I achieve this? What will I do differently? I mentioned above that adding dirt is the first big difference. The point of it is to give the seagrasses a fertile soil to grow in. This will allow me to deemphasize dosing the water column. I'd like to get the grasses in before I add macros, so they can get established without any competition.

Another big change is not having the DSB planter I made of coral skeletons. It provided a perfect substrate for macros to sprout from. It became a turf that required pruning - an endless battle. Without it I'll have much more control over where macros grow. And less pruning to do.

For the most part, this will be a more slow growing display. I've had my time in the fast lane. It was fun but too much work.

So, for now, I focus on the substrate. As life forms, I'm adding more characters. In time, it will be able to support a natural ecosystem, right in my living room.


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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 Lagoon in the works
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Old 12/13/2018, 07:12 AM   #477
Chasmodes
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That kind of reminds me of my front yard, the endless battle to keep the wrong kind of weeds out. I'm losing that battle, and the war, though, and your underwater version has a much better chance at success!

As your plan unfolds, more and more I think about duplicating what you are doing for perhaps a section of my larger tank, starting with a plan building from the bottom up, not just dumping play sand in the tank. I have a luxury that I have yet to take advantage of, to actually bring in substrate from the actual ecosystem that I'm emulating. Anyway, this is very exciting!

BTW, any idea of when your grasses will arrive? Should be pretty soon, right?


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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 12/13/2018, 09:08 AM   #478
Michael Hoaster
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Thanks Kevin! It was a losing battle with out of control macros, in v1. I brought it on myself of course. I drove the tank hard, with high light and nutrients. This gave me lots of good growth but it became too much of a good thing. My plan this time is push the seagrass and restrain the macros. Will it work? Time will tell.

Employing your local substrate is very exciting! I think it will look and work beautifully.

I'm hoping to hear from the collector any day now!


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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 Lagoon in the works
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Old 12/13/2018, 10:18 AM   #479
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I was wondering if it would matter or not, if you avoided macros altogether until you get a thick grass bed? Is that your plan, or only adding a few types of desirable macros as you establish the grass bed?


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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 12/13/2018, 11:24 AM   #480
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That is the way I'm leaning, Kevin. The possible downside of that strategy is that without macros to help soak up nutrients, micro algae can take hold. So I may employ some macros to help keep the water column low in nutrients.

At this point I don't know anything for sure. In v1, it felt like the macros were outcompeting the seagrasses. I'd like to avoid that. I remember saying that it may have been better to start with the grasses only.

The big difference this time is the dirt in the substrate. That should provide for most of the seagrass' needs. If they do flourish in the dirt, that will allow me to be more stingy with water column dosing.

Bottom line is yes, I'd like to plant the seagrass first, and get it growing well before adding macros.


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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 Lagoon in the works
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Old 12/14/2018, 01:31 AM   #481
Michael Hoaster
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It's kind of strange, starting up a tank this way. A big pile of substrate, a few rocks, some tiny fish, and a nearly insignificant amount of plants. I've had a diatom bloom, and now I'm getting a hint of green. I wonder how big of an algae phase I'll endure this time. With the crew I've got, it will be interesting to see what happens.

Oddly, I don't feel rushed. Usually at this point in a build, I'm going nuts, adding stuff at a feverish pace, to get the tank looking good. This time I'm going at a more geological pace, allowing Nature's input. It's fun thinking about all the natural processes happening right under my nose. My tank is like a blank canvas, with hardly a mark.


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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 Lagoon in the works
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Old 12/14/2018, 10:42 PM   #482
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The barnacle blennies are enjoying having the run of the tank. They've really gotten bold. I've been feeding them (and the tank) well. The snails, conch and cucumber are all settling in. The two mollies are eating algae. The grammas are still surprisingly mellow. I think they'll do fine in QT. They now associate me with food, so they're less cryptic. I think they'll be an excellent addition to the community of fish I hope to keep. They're so gorgeous in groups. I bought them from KP Aquatics. I've had great luck with fish from them. Once those guys get into the display, I'll be bringing in the first wave of damsels.


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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 Lagoon in the works
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Old Yesterday, 07:24 AM   #483
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The color and activity in your tank should be amazing with the choices of fish you have chosen. That neon blue from damsels, and fuscia and yellow from the grammas plus the activity of the blennies ought to be be fun and interesting to watch.


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Old Yesterday, 11:18 AM   #484
Michael Hoaster
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Thanks Dawn! That's what I'm going for - great colors and lot's of natural, social behaviors. With the grammas and blennies, I'm dealing with fish I have experience with. The damsels are new to me, so there's less certainty with them. It's hard to get a lot of good info on specific species. What I've found out about the ones I'm considering, is encouraging, but there is also conflicting info out there that makes it feel like a gamble. But I've done my homework, and there's nothing left to do but try 'em out!


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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 Lagoon in the works
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