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Old Yesterday, 07:45 AM   #1576
vlangel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
Thank you Dawn and Vinny! It is so helpful to discuss this stuff! Cheers!
You are welcome. It always comforts me to get multiple folks to weigh in on such things.


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Current Tank Info: A 56 gallon high nutrient macro algae/coral reef that overflows into a basement 30 gallon seahorse macro algae fuge that overflows into a 20 gallon sump
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Old Yesterday, 08:26 AM   #1577
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Michael, perhaps the best course of action is to leave those rocks in place and put in a couple additional rocks on top. This will be a very small disturbance and it will also mean that the rock won't just sink back into the sand again. Something to consider...


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Old Yesterday, 08:44 AM   #1578
Michael Hoaster
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I considered that McPuff. I thought I might purchase another ten pounds of Florida farmed rock to put on top, thus leaving the sand and rocks undisturbed. But this being the year 2020, I'm avoiding unnecessary purchases. Plus I'm not crazy about letting the live rock I have sink into the sand and die. I really like the life they have on them.

I did some staring at the area last night, and I think I can get what I want with less disturbance than I originally thought. If I focus on doing it in the most low-impact way possible, it should be ok.


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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 Yesterday, 08:53 AM   #1579
Subsea
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Ha ha, 'entropy' came to my mind when I was sprucing my tank up for my son's visit. He also has a marine tank and we both work feverishly on our aquariums to whip them into shape for a good showing when we visit each other. It's kind of cute actually. Anyway, I had noticed that my tiered sandbed was also sinking. Sand had been slowly and nearly imperceptibly seeping out to the lower levels, thus leveling my tiers. I got a small cup and proceeded to replace sand at the higher levels.

I definitely agree that entropy is constantly at work against our endeavor to create art in our natural water boxes. And why not, doesn't nature also go from order to chaos, from a higher state to a lower state. It's one of the laws of physics.

Good for you moving and transplanting the manatee grass and being anti-entropian! Ha ha, now that is a new word for my vocabulary!

A squirrel fish or foxface may be a good fit for your tank. I personally have experience with foxface fish and although they are venomous, I have never been stung. One of the big tank accounts that I maintained at an oral surgeon's office had one for years. It was a FOWLR and had a lot of rock and plastic coral that regularly needed bleached and cleaned. Even with all the constant re-scaping of that tank, I never felt nervous about the fox face stinging me. It just did not seem in the least way aggressive. It was the female clown that I kept my eye on as she would bite me every chance she got!
A wide open tank like yours would be no problem with a foxface in my opinion. They are beautiful too and would be a great center piece fish along with being a good grazer of Caulerpa.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention in my earlier post how much I like the latest pics. As your tank matures it just keeps getting better and better. I hope adding the new rock under the live rock in the tank does not set things back too much.

Good day Dawn & Michael,

I found myself needing to better quote Walter Adey in your signature, so I found your thread to get the quote, but instead read the last two pages of this thread. Kudos to your journey, Michael. I have always been partial to lagoons and grass flats as the incubator for life on the reef.


Dawn,
In forestry, there is a concept of “Climax Forest”, in which dominant species outcompete diversity. The Red Wood Forest of Pacific NW coast is classic example. You sometimes see that on a patch reef.

In our marine tanks, we tweak things to favor the “Climax Forest” of our choice.


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Old Yesterday, 08:59 AM   #1580
Michael Hoaster
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Look who the cat dragged in! Hello Patrick! It's good to hear from you. I hope to hear more. Did you enjoy our discussion on entropy? Welcome back!


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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 Yesterday, 09:23 AM   #1581
Subsea
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Ok, prettyish enough! Snapped some pics with my wife's phone.



The seagrasses look great, with many blades reaching the surface. The 'splash of red' patch reef got yet another scalping, leaving space for some new guys to flourish. See Seymour, the sea cucumber bottom right. I've had him around five years now, and he has grown. This kind of tank suits him.



From the deep end. Red macros trimmed waaaaay down.

It was good to get after it again, after slacking for so long. It's funny how much work it is just to get mediocre pics! But it gets me off the couch…

I was thinking how our aquariums are our forms of self expression. They're like art installations with living art. Science and Nature provide the boundaries. We are the artists/scientists, trying to make something beautiful and functional.

We are AQUARISTS!
Last paragraph is so true.

Loved the full tank shot.

What is your current fish load? I keep pigmy angels with four variety of sponges and no sponge grazing, instead they graze on mini feather duster and gorge on fresh mussels.

In one post you described your system as a refugium. I am very curious as to pH & oxygen fluctuation when display lights are off. While I have never seen fluctuating pH as a problem, low oxygen with lights out has been a large issue. Pardon if I missed how you deal with oxygen consumption of plants during lights out, coupled with large oxygen consumption of micro fauna & fana in sandbed.


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Old Yesterday, 09:46 AM   #1582
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Dawn,
In forestry, there is a concept of “Climax Forest”, in which dominant species outcompete diversity. The Red Wood Forest of Pacific NW coast is classic example. You sometimes see that on a patch reef.

In our marine tanks, we tweak things to favor the “Climax Forest” of our choice.
Hi Patrick and good day to you as well. I am not familiar with those concepts but I think I need to read up on it some. However from context, I think I am getting the idea. I am guessing in Michael's tank the seagrass is the dominant specie???with chosen macro algaes as 2and dominant species?


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And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, ...and God sawthat it was good. Genesis 1:20 - 21

Current Tank Info: A 56 gallon high nutrient macro algae/coral reef that overflows into a basement 30 gallon seahorse macro algae fuge that overflows into a 20 gallon sump
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Old Yesterday, 10:13 AM   #1583
Michael Hoaster
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I have four or five Allen's Damsels. I haven't seen one in awhile, but this happened before and the fifth one came back, so we'll see. I also have one remaining barnacle blenny. That's it. I hope to get more some day.

Which pygmy angel? The Cherub? I love the pygmy angels but I have plans to get sponges going, so I have avoided them.

I don't worry about pH and oxygen fluctuation at night. By the end of each day my tank is supersaturated with oxygen, indicated by the grasses and macros pearling (producing oxygen bubbles). I think this provides enough to get through the night.

In the past I have had a low oxygen event when fighting algae. Hundreds of sand bed creatures came out and climbed the glass, looking for oxygen. Once I got things under control, they migrated back down.


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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 Yesterday, 10:28 AM   #1584
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Cherub Pygmy. The first one I got acted a recluse and was skittering. The one I have now is bold & beautiful. At the same time that I got the Cherib, I copied an idea of yours and got six Royal Gramma.


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Old Yesterday, 10:43 AM   #1585
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Hi Patrick and good day to you as well. I am not familiar with those concepts but I think I need to read up on it some. However from context, I think I am getting the idea. I am guessing in Michael's tank the seagrass is the dominant specie???with chosen macro algaes as 2and dominant species?

Dawn,
You are correct in conceptual vision. In a land Climax Forest, the Giants capture direct sunlight with filtered sun getting to the ground with completely different methods to thrive.

If you look at the colonization of Seagrass flats, not much macro algae mixed in, but where there is a will there’s is a way. As Michael & you have already achieved “Master Gardner” status, I will copy Michael’s eulogy to AQUARIST

[I was thinking how our aquariums are our forms of self expression. They're like art installations with living art. Science and Nature provide the boundaries. We are the artists/scientists, trying to make something beautiful and functional.]

We are AQUARISTS!


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Current Tank Info: 10,000G. Greenhouse Macro Growout

Last edited by Subsea; Today at 01:11 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 10:52 AM   #1586
Michael Hoaster
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So the Cherubs don't go after your sponges? Good to know. That's great you got some Royal Grammas! I hope they're doing well for you. I've been thinking of getting another harem of Grammas. I had been considering doing a harem of Fridmani Basslets this time, but they're kinda pricey and I'm not sure they'd be as peaceful as the grammas


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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 Yesterday, 11:22 AM   #1587
Michael Hoaster
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To add to Patrick's discussion of Climax species, in my research on seagrasses, I have found that there are pioneering grasses and climax grasses. Both Shoal and Manatee grass are considered pioneering species. They are the first grasses to establish in newly disturbed areas, such as boat propeller scars in sea grass beds. As they grow and spread, they accumulate detritus that gradually enriches the soil around them. Once the soil is fertile enough, Turtle Grass moves in. They multiply and their broader leaves start to shade out the smaller, thinner pioneers. The process of pioneers giving way to climax species is called succession.

I observed this happening in the previous version of this tank, The Caribbean Biotope Seagrass Lagoon. Turtle grass gradually took over, until I decided not to let that happen, with a 'simulated turtle grass grazing event'.


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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 Yesterday, 02:22 PM   #1588
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That is fascinating stuff Patrick and Michael. I am glad to know that the turtle grass should come later as I saw some advertised and put a bookmark in my brain. Now I know that later is better than sooner unless I follow Michael's lead with a simulated turtle grass grazing event, ( btw, I think is hilarious!).


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And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, ...and God sawthat it was good. Genesis 1:20 - 21

Current Tank Info: A 56 gallon high nutrient macro algae/coral reef that overflows into a basement 30 gallon seahorse macro algae fuge that overflows into a 20 gallon sump
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Old Yesterday, 04:41 PM   #1589
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Look who the cat dragged in! Hello Patrick! It's good to hear from you. I hope to hear more. Did you enjoy our discussion on entropy? Welcome back!

Yes, I found Entropy discussion very interesting.

Physics
The definition is: "Entropy is a measure of how evenly energy is distributed in a system. In a physical system, entropy provides a measure of the amount of energy that cannot be used to do work."

I interpret that in our marine tanks as stability through dynamic equilibrium.

Another popular definition is random chaos.

1.PHYSICS
a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system's thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system.
"the second law of thermodynamics says that entropy always increases with time"
2.lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.
"a marketplace where entropy reigns supreme"

In the example of the Climax Forest, the process happened without man’s intervention, however the process can be speed up with controlled burns. In our aquariums, we are the controlled burns. Either we become the Janitor, to do the work or we contract out that work to the “little people”.

Michael, when you brought in healthy, diverse micro fauna & fana with substrate & live rock, you set “long term” success in motion. Kudos to you.


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Old Yesterday, 05:20 PM   #1590
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Yep. I had to look it up. Now I'm kind of surprised I haven't heard it mentioned around here on RC.

"Michael, when you brought in healthy, diverse micro fauna & fana with substrate & live rock, you set “long term” success in motion. Kudos to you."

Thanks for that Patrick! When setting out to build an ecosystem in a box, it made sense to me (thanks Walter Addy) to prioritize the 'little people' near the bottom of the food chain.


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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 Today, 08:07 AM   #1591
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Even though the water on a pristine coral reef may be low in nutrients, the microbes carry the food to hungry mouths.

Microbial loop in marine ecosystem
The microbial loop describes a trophic pathway in the marine microbial food web where dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is returned to higher trophic levels via its incorporation into bacterial biomass, and then coupled with the classic food chain formed by phytoplankton-zooplankton-nekton.

Michael,
Recently, while watching fish grazing on macroalgae, I realized the fish were not eating macro but instead were grazing on surface film. After some research I found this abstract.

https://academic.oup.com/femsec/article/88/2/213/46762

[The seaweed surface provides a suitable substratum for the settlement of microorgansims and also secretes various organic substances that function as nutrients for multiplication of bacteria and the formation of microbial biofilms (Steinberg et al., 2002; Staufenberger et al., 2008; Singh, 2013). Microbial communities living on the seaweed surface are highly complex, dynamic and consist of a consortium of microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, diatoms, protozoa, spores and larvae of marine invertebrates (Lachnit et al., 2009, 2011; Goecke et al., 2010; Burke et al., 2011a, b). Among them, bacteria are ubiquitous and occur either on the seaweed surface or in the cytosol of living host cells (Herbaspirillum sp. in Caulerpa taxifolia) and determine different stages of the life cycle of eukaryotic organisms including macroalgae (Delbridge et al., 2004; Burke et al., 2011a; Singh et al., 2011a, b, c). Quorum sensing (QS) signalling molecules produced by Gram-negative bacterial strains determine zoospores settlement in Ulva species (Joint et al., 2002) and spores liberation in Acrochaetium (Weinberger et al., 2007) and Gracilaria species (Singh, 2013). Thallusin, a bacterial metabolite, and nitrogen-fixing bacteria associated with seaweeds have also been found to be responsible for induction of morphogenesis and growth in marine macroalgae, respectively (Chisholm et al., 1996; Matsuo et al., 2005; Singh et al., 2011b). Macroalgae (as a host), also known to be ecosystem engineers, play critical roles in structuring of intertidal communities (Jones et al., 1994). Some water-soluble monosaccharides such as rhamnose, xylose, glucose, mannose and galactose are part of algal polysaccharides that constitute part of the cell wall (Popper et al., 2011) and the rest storage material (Lahaye & Axelos, 1993; Michel et al., 2010a, b). These algal polysaccharides are a potential source of carbon and energy for numerous marine bacteria (Hehemann et al., 2012) that produce specific molecules, which in turn facilitate seaweed–bacterial associations (Steinberg et al., 2002; Lachnit et al., 2013). Therefore, these interactions between seaweeds and bacteria have fascinated and attracted the attention of many researchers worldwide.]


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Old Today, 09:13 AM   #1592
Michael Hoaster
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Pretty interesting stuff, Patrick. For me it points out natural processes most of us don't even know about, much less understand. It's hard for us to grasp what we can't see, so we tend to generalize and just call it bacteria 'n stuff. But there is a vast, unseen world of trophic pathways going about their business, doing their thing. I'm especially fascinated by the huge variation in scale. That these invisible communities are food for both other community members and something as large as a fish. We tend to think of food chains as tiny steps up the ladder, but there are huge jumps too. A krill may feed at these microscopic levels, then it's consumed by a Blue Whale!

Also you pointed out that seaweeds provide community structures that are fertile ground for them to flourish, and that they, in turn, can benefit the weeds too. This ties in nicely with a discussion I had with Scrubber Steve. He brought up a very interesting idea that when we cycle a new (reef) tank, we should leave the lights out for the duration. Why? Because, as you pointed out there are bacteria that benefit weeds (and algae). By leaving the lights out, these algae-associated bacteria are limited, in a time that we want 'the good bacteria' to flourish. If done well, this strategy paves the way for a tank with no algae phase, and discourages algae formation down the line as well. He provided some very convincing evidence.

At first glance, this would seem to be detrimental to a tank like mine or yours, where we want lush plant growth. But hey, I'd love to start a tank without an algae phase! So I've been thinking about that lately. I think we could benefit from it. By discouraging algae early on, while adding the weeds we DO want, it might make our job as aquarists/artists that much easier.


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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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