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Old 02/03/2018, 12:05 PM   #3226
Michael Hoaster
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OK, I'm back home. It was nice to get away for a week or so, especially with all the work I've got ahead of me.

With the UV and other measures going, it looks like dinos are all but gone. I now have chaeto taking over! The caulerpa on the back wall has been knocked back again. I quick look revealed 3-4 adult slugs, doing their business. I guess I'll just have to let them chow down until I drain the tank.

Looking over my list of to dos, the first thing I can do is rehang the metal halide light. This I want to do BEFORE I drain the tank, so I can see the light spread through the water. I want to raise it up to see if I can reduce the heat radiating into the water. I also want to make sure I can limit the spread to where I want it, so I'll be bending the reflector in to constrict it. These two desires oppose each other but hopefully I can make it work.

Everything else will be done after I drain it. So, I'll need to figure out holding tanks for the stuff I want to keep alive. The fish I should be able to fit into the two QTs. I'd really like to keep as much of my sand and its residents as I can. What I don't want to do is bring any aiptasias or dinos or caulerpa slugs. That would be bad. I will also try to frag some of my sponges to carry over. As for macros, I probably won't try to keep many, especially because they have been invaded with aiptasias. And this time around, I'd like to focus on the seagrasses. I noticed an unwanted trend of ever-growing reds. I would prefer the overall look to be more green-dominated, with a small splash of red, that never attempts to take over.

So that's the vision! With luck, I hope to improve on the original concept, and fix a few mistakes.


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Old 02/03/2018, 04:19 PM   #3227
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OK, I'm back home. It was nice to get away for a week or so, especially with all the work I've got ahead of me.

With the UV and other measures going, it looks like dinos are all but gone. I now have chaeto taking over! The caulerpa on the back wall has been knocked back again. I quick look revealed 3-4 adult slugs, doing their business. I guess I'll just have to let them chow down until I drain the tank.

Looking over my list of to dos, the first thing I can do is rehang the metal halide light. This I want to do BEFORE I drain the tank, so I can see the light spread through the water. I want to raise it up to see if I can reduce the heat radiating into the water. I also want to make sure I can limit the spread to where I want it, so I'll be bending the reflector in to constrict it. These two desires oppose each other but hopefully I can make it work.

Everything else will be done after I drain it. So, I'll need to figure out holding tanks for the stuff I want to keep alive. The fish I should be able to fit into the two QTs. I'd really like to keep as much of my sand and its residents as I can. What I don't want to do is bring any aiptasias or dinos or caulerpa slugs. That would be bad. I will also try to frag some of my sponges to carry over. As for macros, I probably won't try to keep many, especially because they have been invaded with aiptasias. And this time around, I'd like to focus on the seagrasses. I noticed an unwanted trend of ever-growing reds. I would prefer the overall look to be more green-dominated, with a small splash of red, that never attempts to take over.

So that's the vision! With luck, I hope to improve on the original concept, and fix a few mistakes.
It will be exciting watching part 2. I know what you mean about the red taking over the green. Even I have that with just macro algae if I am not careful.

I love the look of metal halides. It will be great if you can control the heat and bend the reflector to get the effect you want. This should be fun!


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Old 02/03/2018, 04:58 PM   #3228
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Thanks vlangel!

With this new, brighter bulb, the reds were bleaching out anyway, so what reds I have, will have to be confined to the dimmer end of the tank. I'm going to have to figure out which green macros can handle the brighter light as well, if I want to grow it on the back wall. The peltata I have doesn't like it that bright, so I'm looking for something that loves the brightness. Maybe I'll try several caulerpas and see what likes it.

Yes, I like the halides as well. I wonder now if what I'm running isn't too bright! At this point, I'm pretty sure the grasses will like it, as well as ulva, but I'm not sure what else. We'll see!


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Old 02/04/2018, 06:38 AM   #3229
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Do you think you could get halimeda to attach to your back wall along with something like caulerpa? Does your wall have crevices that a sprig could be wedged into? If one or two can be wedged in then eventually others will probably grow naturally there.
I think it probably likes the bright light plus you would have some variation since the halimeda is calcarous and grows in a segmented branching fashion. I just think it would look cool.


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Old 02/04/2018, 08:56 AM   #3230
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Do you think you could get halimeda to attach to your back wall along with something like caulerpa? Does your wall have crevices that a sprig could be wedged into? If one or two can be wedged in then eventually others will probably grow naturally there.
I think it probably likes the bright light plus you would have some variation since the halimeda is calcarous and grows in a segmented branching fashion. I just think it would look cool.
Matting halimeda and a few kinds of caulerpa would look sweet. Halimeda is a calcium hog.

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Old 02/04/2018, 09:55 AM   #3231
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I have tried halimeda on the back wall recently, without success. I think the canister filter I'm using isn't functioning as well as a calcium reactor, compared to the previous one. I hope to upgrade at some point, so I may try halimeda again. Any more suggestions for very high light-loving macros would be appreciated.

I got the project underway yesterday, with repositioning the light up higher in the cabinet. I also bent in the reflector to limit its spread. Now I'm just waiting for it to come on, so I can make any needed adjustments.


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Old 02/05/2018, 07:36 AM   #3232
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The new concept sounds very cool.

Regarding the sea hares, if they ate all of the caulerpa, then wouldn't they die out since they only eat caulerpa? I guess it doesn't matter at this point though because you're taking the tank down altogether, but if it happens again...


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Old 02/05/2018, 09:37 AM   #3233
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Thanks Kevin.

Yes, the caulerpa slugs should die out when the caulerpa is gone. Otherwise, they should die out when I drain it. My only worry is them going dormant, and surviving the dry out. Or laying eggs that somehow survive. I would guess the back wall, with all its pores, etcetera, would take a long time to fully dry out, making that a real possibility. I suppose I could put a fan in there to expedite.


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Old 02/05/2018, 09:58 AM   #3234
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I would do a mix of sea grass, pencil caps, mermaids fans, and some slow growing caulerpa like prolifria or cactus.

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Old 02/05/2018, 10:48 AM   #3235
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Thanks SaltySully.

I do like some of those, and others like them, like the pinecones and tufted joint. My main concern with caulerpa on the back wall is bright light tolerance.


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Old 02/06/2018, 06:15 AM   #3236
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Bright light tolerance?


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Old 02/06/2018, 08:08 AM   #3237
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Yep. My new 400 watt, 6500K metal halide bulb is very bright. At 36,000 lumens, it's considerably brighter than any bulb I've used before. I know lumens aren't ideal units of measurement for this application, but it's what I have. Also, what I have is a lot of bleached out macros, including the caulerpa. I'm confident the seagrasses will enjoy it. The shoal grass already is. This is my priority, providing lots of light for them.

I'm working to limit the spread, so I can grow a LIMITED amount of macros this time around. The real challenge will be finding plants that can flourish in very bright light, on the back wall, closer to the light, hence the bright light tolerance requirement.

In your experience, Subsea, which plants do you think would do well in this situation?


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 02/07/2018, 09:00 PM   #3238
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Last Pics Before the Project


FTS. I've ripped most of the macros out. They were all riddled with aiptasias and dinoflagellates. You can see the heinous UV setup. Also note the ultra-ghetto clothes-pinned bag of phosphate media, for extra style points.



The shoal grass is in great shape. If only it was taller… The yellowish 'ground cover' is the black grasilaria, that doesn't do so well in bright light.



A near bucketful of assorted macros. About half of it is chaeto. I've been trying to eradicate it for three years. After letting it go for a couple months, it became the dominate plant in the tank! The hardest plant to let go is the nemastoma. It did well for me and I had a lot of it. Clean slate!

It's a little sad to have to rip out the macros. I've got to be sure that nothing unwanted survives the changeover. I saved a few tufted joint algae for now. We'll see if I chance keeping it. Probably not.

It's also kind of exciting to get things moving!

Before I drain it, I still need to putz with the light. Even with bending the reflector in to limit the light spread, I still have a little too much. I'm thinking I may fashion some extensions out of sheet metal to further customize it. It's know it sounds odd to limit the spread of a singe bulb over a 180, but with the new, higher position, it's necessary.

See you on the other side…


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon

Last edited by Michael Hoaster; 02/07/2018 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 02/07/2018, 09:07 PM   #3239
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Best not throw it away so I can come get it =P


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Old 02/07/2018, 09:25 PM   #3240
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I would LOVE to give it away, but I can't in good conscience do that. There are hundreds of aiptasias and tons more dinoflagellates embedded in all of it. The thought of starting an outbreak in someone else's tank is not something I can get comfortable with. Sorry JZ!


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Old 02/07/2018, 11:53 PM   #3241
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Haha. Fair enough. You just reminded me though that I need to move some aiptasia ridden rocks from my sump into my tank. Gotta keep my filefish sharp!

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Old 02/08/2018, 06:54 AM   #3242
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This is going to be very cool in the long run. Are you keeping the shoal grass or going with all manatee grass?


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Old 02/08/2018, 08:45 AM   #3243
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Thanks Kevin! Exactly! I think so too.

Having had the experience of trying lots of different plants, and living with them for awhile, has given me a good idea of what I want and don't want. Now I have a much clearer vision of how I want my 'sea garden' to grow. Before, I would just try plants, to see if they would survive in my tank, and then just let them grow where they wanted. Now that I have a better idea of what works and what doesn't, as well as where they'll work, I can make better informed plant choices. My tank is at a point where several plants I don't want, have become a nuisance that I can't get rid of. Starting over will clean the slate and give me a blank canvas to start over with. I am VERY excited about that!

I'm hoping to keep the shoal grass. I will have to clean each blade and then QT and observe them to make sure they don't bring any bad stuff with them. Mixing it in with manatee grass should give me the look I'm looking for. It should fill in and give me that thick, lush look. I also like how their flat blades catch the light. The manatee grass will give me the height that works well with the tall dimensions of the tank. I'm hoping to lengthen the DSB 'planter' to make more room for more grasses too.

I am super stoked to get a second chance! Now that I think about it, this is another thing you and I have in common. Right now, you are gaining experience with various characters. When you set up the big tank, you'll have the chance to 'edit' as well!


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Old 02/08/2018, 02:39 PM   #3244
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Now that I think about it, this is another thing you and I have in common. Right now, you are gaining experience with various characters. When you set up the big tank, you'll have the chance to 'edit' as well!
Funny, I was thinking the same thing


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Old 02/08/2018, 03:08 PM   #3245
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Sounds like you have a good plan and have a great start on it! The grass in there looks nice and healthy too. Looking forward to seeing where you go with it now.


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Old 02/08/2018, 05:10 PM   #3246
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Kevin, I look forward to see what you come up with!

Thanks Sam!

Yes the shoal grass looks really good right now. It's still putting out new runners. It's going to be tough to remove it. My vision of where I want the tank to go is to feature the grasses more, while limiting the macros to only a few, carefully chosen ones. I enjoyed the jumbled jungle I had before, but now I'm ready to be a little more choosey. It will be a real challenge to see if I can 'tame the beasts' and keep things how I want them. I've already got some ideas I'm pretty excited about!


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Old 02/09/2018, 11:40 AM   #3247
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Caulerpa Paspoidoides is a very fast grower. It’s downside is it should be pruned at least twice a month. Gorgeous lacy fern like leaves.

I grew Caulerpa Paspoidoides & Prolifera under 1000W MH at 6500 kelvin in 150G tank at 32” deep. Both went sexual the same night.

It is my opinion, that macros will photoadapt. Let us do a case study with Red Grapes. When I get Red Grapes from the divers, it is a rich dark burgundy, as it is collected in low light conditions between 30’ - 120’ of water. If I put it into reef lighting, it will turn orange, loose flotation balls, desinigrate, and go sexual.
I have a 55G tank that had red grapes “go sexual” two years ago. Red Grape frags are growing inside of covered HOB filter box and in high light areas. I can take a hanging bracket with red grape branches and put under intense light. Bortrycladio closest to light was yellow to orange to red to burgundy as Grapes went deeper and were shielded from lights


https://www.marineplantbook.com/marinebookbotryo.htm


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Old 02/09/2018, 01:44 PM   #3248
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Excited to see version 2.
By the way, you are you going to ReefStock. I'll be there on Sunday.


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Old 02/09/2018, 01:50 PM   #3249
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Yes, Patrick, I've been re-reading the Marine Plant book a lot lately! I like several of the caulerpas, but I may avoid them this time around, to avoid the heavy pruning duty.

For the back wall, I am considering Maiden's Hair. It loves bright light, spreads out, and looks good in the current.

I agree on adaptability. My C. racemosa peltata likes shady areas, but it grew right up to the surface and pretty much everywhere else, at its peak. I'd still like to grow botryocladia at the right end of the tank, in dimmer light. I still have a few tiny remnants, but I doubt they'll survive the re-do. Another red I'd like to have is Dragon's Tongue. It too can grow pretty big. I tried one of the eBay frags, but it didn't make it.

My theory on macro frags is that they're too small - almost like a short fuse. I think you need a bigger plant to give it more time to adapt to your conditions and/or time for you to make changes to suit it. A smaller plant gives you less time for that to happen.


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Old 02/09/2018, 03:28 PM   #3250
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Background question/statement/suggestion.

Adding a green macro to the wall will wash out the grasses, visually speaking. If you leave the wall free of plant life, unless it’s red (not green), your seagrasses will pop and stand out better and be more of a focal point.

Guess there wasn’t much of a question there. Lol

Here’s one!

Jealous of my ginormous spaghetti worm???

That’s all the tentacles wadded up together.


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