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Unread 04/14/2003, 07:04 PM   #1
BradM0138
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Seagrass lagoon

Mr. Calfo-
I just finished reading your book "Book of Coral Propagation" and found it the most informative resource I have ever come across! Thanks a lot! I was very inspired by your seagrass nutrient export idea and am planning a trip to inland aquatics to purchase some Thallasia. A few questions I had are.....How many plants should I plant in a standard sized 55 gallon tank? What kind of light do plants require? And are there any other plants besides Syringodium and Thallasia that you recommend, because of the two all I can locate is Thallasia but I wouldnt mind some diversity. Basically any other husbandry tips for sea grass would be useful to me also. Thanks for your time and inspiration! -Brad


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Unread 04/14/2003, 07:46 PM   #2
Anthony Calfo
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Thanks for your kind words, Brad

I pray that you share your wisdom in kind.

The crash course for your seagrass is to plant it in live sand that has been established for a minimum of 6-12 months... and is at least 6 inches (15 cm) deep.

The pods or clusters of undamaged Thalassia are to be planted at least 3" deep in the sand by digging a hole, placing the pod in and then gently cover the crown/roots. Never push a seagrass into the sand like a plug (often fatal damage occurs).

Its my strong advice not to mix any plant species together here... it will be a waste of time/resources as one plant will inevitably outcompete the other in the short run.

You have made the right choice with Thalassia... Syringodium gets too tall for a 55 gall. The two other commonly recognized true vascular plants (Zostera, and paddleweed) are temperate and not yet in the trade, respectively.

The amount you select to start with is somewhat up to you. More pods will give you a faster start, but at some point in time (X months/years) you will have to thin them out in the tank with good growth. Buy at least 6-10 pods/clusters, I suppose. More if you can afford it.

As far as lighting... brighter the better with this genus (and Syringodium). Since you will have at least 6" of sand in a 55 and the water will be fairly shallow... you can get away with a VHO system. Still... MH or HQIs would grow them much better. Nothing too excessive though. 150 watt double ended 10Ks would be fine (2 lamps).

Do say hi! to Morgan Lidster at Inland when you visit... a very nice chap.

Kind regards,

Anthony


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Unread 04/15/2003, 09:54 AM   #3
BradM0138
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Would it be ok to put a 2 inch layer of year old aragonite on top of 4-5 inches of new southdown aragonite or must I still wait 6-12 months to plant the seagrass? The reason I ask is because I am setting up an entirely new system and unfortanately all I have in my old system is two inches of aragonite! Since I set that tank up I have educated myself better instead of just trusting the LFS advice and plan on setting up a 125 gallon display tank for mostly SPS with a 6 inch sandbed which will drain into the basement where I want to set up the lagoon tank for seagrass, lps, and a few soft corals with 6-8 inches of sand that will be plumbed to a propagation tank and finally into a 100 gallon sump. I was hoping to put the nutrient export theory into effect immediately but I will wait if I must!! One other question I had is will the seagrass reproduce and how? Or will I only be maintaining the original plants I buy. Thanks again for your time! -Brad


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Unread 04/15/2003, 10:23 AM   #4
Anthony Calfo
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Quote:
Originally posted by BradM0138
Would it be ok to put a 2 inch layer of year old aragonite on top of 4-5 inches of new southdown aragonite or must I still wait 6-12 months to plant the seagrass?
The entire bed needs to be established and mature... bearing in mind that the root system will be 3" and deeper in the raw/new sand in this case. And a bed only 6 months mature is perhaps already an unreasonable compromise considering the nature and needs of the wild sediments these plants grow in. Patience is needed here my friend.

The reason I ask is because I am setting up an entirely new system and unfortanately all I have in my old system is two inches of aragonite! Since I set that tank up I have educated myself better instead of just trusting the LFS advice and plan on setting up a 125 gallon display tank for mostly SPS with a 6 inch sandbed which will drain into the basement where I want to set up the lagoon tank for seagrass, lps, and a few soft corals with 6-8 inches of sand that will be plumbed to a propagation tank and finally into a 100 gallon sump. I was hoping to put the nutrient export theory into effect immediately but I will wait if I must!! [/QUOTE]

Indeed, its a simple matter of time/patience. It reminds me of the many overseas aquarists I have chatted with that set up live rock in their reefs and do not add fishes or corals for 6 to 12 months to allow the microcrustaceans, algae and other desirable organisms to develop very strong first before stocking with macro-organisms. Such patience leads to magnificent displays!

One other question I had is will the seagrass reproduce and how? Or will I only be maintaining the original plants I buy. Thanks again for your time! -Brad [/QUOTE]

After some months/establishment... Thalassia will reprodice readily in your system. No worries It grows like a weed in rich, deep substrates (but also dies quickly in thin or barren media).

All in good time, my friend.

Kind regards,

Anthony


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