View Full Version : Lagoon build--macro algae and sea grass

11/24/2016, 04:08 AM
I am getting ready to do a lagoon build. I have a couple of mangrove shoots I want to incorporate into the build. What I planned to do was plant them in containers with miracle mud and cover with substrate. This is in hopes to give the trees plenty of nutrients, better ground to take root in and keep the miracle mud in one place to to influence the nitrates in the water as little as possible. Has anyone tried this? Or do I need the miracle mud at all? I plan on mostly gorgs, grasses, and macro algeas to be in this tank, however there will be a few LPS such as an enormous Favia I have and a quite large wellso, perhaps even a few shrooms. The tank inhabitants will be a mated pair of sea horses, hermit crabs, and maybe other sea horses down the road. Perhaps another pair of mandarins as well. This is not a new tank, but a well established tank that is getting a make over. All the water and current substrate will remain.

Ron Reefman
11/26/2016, 05:33 AM
Mangroves don't need miracle mud. They hardly even need sand! I've hung them from the glass halfway down and the do just fine.

The idea is they take the nutrients out of the water and store them in their new growth. Giving them miracle mud is defeating the whole idea... unless you just want them for looks? But why? They grow fast enough anyway that in 2 to 4 years they will have grown out of the tank and above the lights. Then what do you do? Cut it back or raise the lights, or even add new lights higher up?

However, your idea of keeping the root system in something that will contain them over time is a good idea. I have a 2' tall mangrove in my 65g shallow reef tank now and I'm beginning to worry about roots getting into the silicone and the edges of the tank. After all, I have a Bald Cypress in the front yard that is starting to push 'knees' up through the asphalt of the street!

11/26/2016, 04:17 PM
Well, I was worried they might need more nutrients than I have available but if I move the sea horses to that tank, then they'll probably have more than they can stand. I might wind up with them hitting the ceiling (of the house) by the end of next year. I'll probably continue with the plan for root containment. Anyone ever use clay pots? I'm assuming since they have been used for clowns they should be a-ok for corals. Anything particular I need to watch out with them. Anything some manufactures add that could cause issues?

11/30/2016, 11:48 AM
Mangroves and sea grasses have completely different needs. Since the needs of mangroves were already discussed, I'll focus on sea grasses. To get them to grow under optimal conditions, you'll need a deep sand bed with mud, and should supplement with CO2 and fertilizer. I am trying to build a system without CO2 and I can only grow turtle grass, and it's extremely slow going.

12/06/2016, 12:15 PM
Do you think the sea horses will provide enough fertilizer?

Ron Reefman
12/07/2016, 04:47 AM
The sea horses probably won't, but the fact that you will have to over feed the tank could. Sea horses don't chase for food, they hang onto something like a branch or some algae and wait for food to come to them. So you tend to put more food in for them than for fish in any other tank.

12/08/2016, 08:25 AM
Yes, they definitely don't chase their food and yes I am having to over feed the tank to make sure they get plenty. Thank you nassarius snails for your clean up efforts.

Ron Reefman
12/08/2016, 07:19 PM
Yes, they definitely don't chase their food and yes I am having to over feed the tank to make sure they get plenty. Thank you nassarius snails for your clean up efforts.

Ha! Very cool.

12/09/2016, 09:02 AM
Had anyone tried putting sea grass into clay pots with their own substrate and incorporate them into the build? How much "soil" does sea grass actually need? I guess I'm wanting to know if I need pots (several inches) or if I can do this with the catch pans of said pots (also clay) which would be more versatile in a build.


Michael Hoaster
12/09/2016, 12:32 PM
Yes, there was a guy who posted a couple times on my thread who did that. Turtle grass is the only seagrass that needs a really deep sand bed, so your idea should work with any of the others available. I think 2 inches is deep enough. If I was doing what you're thinking, I would put one inch of potting soil on the bottom and one inch of very fine calcium sand on top.

Let us know how it goes!