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Old 12/07/2017, 02:51 PM   #1
redlobstor
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40G Breeder Caribbean Seagrass Biotope

Hello Everyone,
I am looking to get some feedback on a couple of seagrass tanks that I want to set up. I have a 20gxh and and a 40G Breeder that I am looking to do seagrass with. I have some other tanks like a 75G and some 55G but I would prefer the first 2.

I'm thinking for the 20gxh Turtle grass and seahorses with a 8-12"DSB. No heater and no sump. Not sure what to use for water movement. Deciding between 2 small powerheads or some type of closed loop which might be difficult with no sump. Any ideas or suggestions? Internal power filter?

I could plumb this to a 20G and 29G but would limit space in the 20Gxh as tank has footprint of 20x12. If I went this route one of the other tanks would be a soft coral tank, maybe NPS and the other would probably contain macros. Thought would be if I did NPS and fed heavily then the seagrass and macros would help clean the water.

For inhabitants probably just a pair or 2 of breeding seahorses and maybe some pipefish with the intent to raise the fry. Does anyone have suggestions for a small goby or fish that might do okay or is found in with seagrass.

Light for this tank would be 165w led ran at 120w from ebay. Would run whites at 100% and blues around 50% unless someone thinks both should be run at 100%. If nobody thinks this light will work I could use on another tank and look into t5 or metal halide. I do have an extra metal halide bulb but I think its 20k and 150w. If heat is an issue I could get a small chiller which would help flow a little as well but would rather not go this route.

For the 40G Breeder a combination of manatee, shoal grass and some halophilia species (probably star grass.) Sand bed would be around 6" in the back sloping to about 2-3" in the front. With this arrangement Manatee grass in the back, the shoal grass, then halophilia species.

I have three green filefish(Monocanthus ciliatus 1 male and 2 females) that will go into this tank. They are currently in the refugium of my 75G. Theme of this tank will be a patch reef that leads to a seagrass bed. Besides the filefish, other inhabitants I'm thinking pair C. Argi, seagrass safe? I'm also thinking pearly Jawfish and I have a couple ideas I've read about to keep away from seagrass. Any other suggestions? I'm also going to do rock flowers and ricordea's as I believe they would be appropriate for this tank, although filefish may be of concern not sure how they would do with a rock flower or ricordeas.

Lighting for this tank would be 8x39w t5. I have fixture but need new bulbs and the way its setup 2 bulbs, 3 bulbs and 3 bulbs on separate switches. I'm thinking 4-5 6500k, 2 ati blue+, and maybe 1 fiji purple and ati coral+ or kz new generation. Suggestions?

I'm also thinking no heater and no sump being the inhabitants are from the Caribbean and can handle cooler temps. I keep house at 77 during summer and 73 during winter which isn't very often.

For flow I have a Jebeo 10 or 25 wavemaker and am looking into getting another powerhead, wavemaker, or maybe closed loop.

For a sand bed for both tanks I was thinking some type of live sand/aragonite mixed with some live mud from Florida Pets, GCE, or maybe collect my own as I don't live too far from the ocean.

Anyone think mixing detritus from my 75G into the sand would be a good idea to act as a fertilizer. I'm also contemplating the use of soil instead of mud to jump start the bed.

I feel like I missed something. I am open to suggestions and critique.

I am open to different seagrass than those listed but seahorses is a pivotal species to the 20G as is the filefish for the 40G and I want seagrass. I know I could use a caulerpa and I may incorporate into the patch reef.

Thanks in advance

Jason

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Old 12/07/2017, 04:20 PM   #2
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Hi Jason, I am a seahorse keeper and I have a few things for you to think about. Conventional seahorse wisdom is that a 30 gallon tank is the minimum for a pair of the greater seahorses. They have fairly primitive stomachs that are not very efficient. Since they eat mysis which is high in fat and they are messy, it all makes for a very high bioload. They need excellant water quality to insure that the tank is not fueling pathogenic bacteria that they are extremely vulnerable to. They do not have the same immune ability as other fish.
Seahorse keepers generally have oversized skimmers (mine is 3Xs my tanks capacity), have at least 10Xs turnover with 20Xs becoming more popular and do very large frequent water changes, (20-40% a week). My guess is that could be counter-productive as far as providing the nutrients for the grasses. The DSB might be problematic for the seahorses as well. I love DSBs but have been afraid to use one in a seahorse tank afraid the ponies would overload its capacity in a closed system.
I am not trying to discourage you but its heart wrenching to watch seahorses perish (I learned the hard way)and I am just cautioning you.


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Old 12/07/2017, 09:12 PM   #3
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Vlangel,
I appreciate your honesty. I do have a skimmer but will probably not hook it up at least in the beginning. I could put the seahorses in with the files in the 40G Breeder and not add the rock flowers and then tie that to a 75G macro tank.

The 20gxh would still have seagrass but with the upside down jellyfish as the only inhabitants.

No matter what I would let the tanks go fishless for awhile and give the seagrass a chance to grow and give the pod population a chance to grow. Although I already have the filefish.

Jason

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Old 12/08/2017, 10:14 AM   #4
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Anyone else have suggestions and Vlangel do you have anymore input especially with regards to seahorses?

Jason

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Old 12/08/2017, 01:00 PM   #5
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So if I somewhat take Vlangel's advice and move the seahorses from the 20G to the 40G then I'm thinking I would still keep seagrass but instead of seahorses I would keep the upside down jellyfish as they can be found amongst turtle grass.

I'm wondering if the filefish would out compete the seahorses for food although from what I can see the filefish just hangout and are not rambunctious.

I'm also thinking of the spiny box puffer(Chilomycterus schoepfi) as I was reading that they are found amongst seagrass.I know 40 is too small in the long run which is why I'm considering the 75G or even the 125G I have laying around.

I'm wondering if seahorses would be safe with the puffer or even the seagrass for that matter. I'm also wondering if 125 would be too big for the seahorses. Too hard to feed?

Thanks Jason

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Current Tank Info: 75 Gallon mixed reef. Fish are a powder blue tang and a lightning filefish. Smokeless with some macros growing in the sump.
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Old 12/09/2017, 02:48 PM   #6
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Old 12/09/2017, 02:56 PM   #7
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I feel like I am being a killjoy in regards to seahorses. I double checked on some sites that gives input to seahorse tankmates. Puffers are considered to be a 4 on a scale where 0 is the safest without risk and 4 is the most risky and not advised. Filefish ranged in the 2 or 3.

125 gallon is not too big for seahorses if you train them to eat from a bowl. That is how I feed and it cuts down on wasted food as well.


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Old 12/09/2017, 06:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
I don't have much to add. Welcome to the very exclusive seagrass club!

A closed loop is by definition without a sump. It's overflow, pipe, pump, pipe and return nozzle. I like them because you can do it with no plumbing visible in the tank. Powerheads are versatile and moveable.

Kp Aquatics has some good blennies and gobies to choose from. C. argi is seagrass safe but can be a holy terror, better suited to a more aggressive community. Jawfish should work well. Ever since I saw a huge reef tank completely overgrown with ricordeas I have avoided them. Filefish are great. From what vlangel has said, I'd recommend them INSTEAD of seahorses, but it sounds like you're determined to try them.

An underlayer of mud, potting soil or dirt right out your yard would work. Avoid perlite-containing potting soils (little white balls). I've used Florida pets' live mud and sand. Their mud is actual, real mud. GCE' live sand is the best I've found. I'd definitely collect my own if I could.

The only thing you didn't mention is major plant nutrients - Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphate. Look up the C-N-P ratios of your chosen plants. Plants prefer CO2 as a carbon source. Potassium nitrate (stump remover) is a good nitrogen source. Phosphate is taken care of with fish food, so you shouldn't have to add it. However, seagrass prefer to take up phosphate through their roots. A plant tab high in phosphate would theoretically help, but my own experience did not support this. Iron is the most important trace element - iron supplement. The rest are handled with sea salt in water changes, or you can add a trace element supplement.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
Thanks Michael for the input. As far as closed loop I'm trying to avoid an overflow but may not be possible.

I am dead set on seahorses but not necessarily with seagrass but would be preferred. I truly believe that when you set up an environment that matches what can be found in nature that the livestock adapt better and are more disease-resistant then when put into an artificial setting.

If I use potting soil or dirt would I need to mix it with the substrate or put it on the bottom and just put the substrate on top. I would prefer to collect my own I have a friend at work that goes to Sebastian inlet alot which is where one of the places that water from the ocean can enter the Indian River Lagoon. Salinity should be closest to sea water near one of these inlets which might be the best place to get the mud from and maybe even collect my own seagrass. I just need to check out licenses and see what's restricted and what isn't.

I wouldn't mind if I had a ricordea problem LOL. If I did have the puffer fish I probably wouldn't be able to have the mushrooms or even Rock flowers for that matter. Plus C. Argo would probably be too small to put in with the puffer maybe even the jawfish. I'm going to need to research this puffer fish a little bit more as much as I'd like to have it may not be advisable.

Does anyone think the filefish would be safe with ricordeas or Rock flowers?

I'm more focused on the setup of the tank and choosing inhabitants rather than dosing although I do know it is important. The biomass of the sea grass and the bioload of the tank will determine how much to dose if any. With regards to carbon if I get a calcium reactor does anyone think that would put enough carbon into the water or should carbon be dosed separately?

Jason

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Current Tank Info: 75 Gallon mixed reef. Fish are a powder blue tang and a lightning filefish. Smokeless with some macros growing in the sump.
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Old 12/09/2017, 07:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by vlangel View Post
I feel like I am being a killjoy in regards to seahorses. I double checked on some sites that gives input to seahorse tankmates. Puffers are considered to be a 4 on a scale where 0 is the safest without risk and 4 is the most risky and not advised. Filefish ranged in the 2 or 3.

125 gallon is not too big for seahorses if you train them to eat from a bowl. That is how I feed and it cuts down on wasted food as well.
I don't think your a killjoy as I appreciate your honesty even if it's not what I want to hear. Doesn't mean ill listen lol. I'm a little stubborn at times but the well-being of the livestock is of utmost importance to me.

While I will definitely have seahorses and seagrass I may not put them in the same tank. Regardless of what I do my plan was to let the sea grasses develop and let the tank develop for a while before putting other livestock in. I guess that means I might be dosing a lot in the beginning. One of the exceptions to this might be the file fish as I already have them and any invertebrates that might help establish the seagrass.

I have heard and read of training sea horses to eat from a bowl.

Jason

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Current Tank Info: 75 Gallon mixed reef. Fish are a powder blue tang and a lightning filefish. Smokeless with some macros growing in the sump.
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Old 12/09/2017, 09:55 PM   #10
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon

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Old 12/10/2017, 04:51 AM   #11
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Either way on the dirt. I put mine underneath to keep a nice, pretty sand bed. Overflow or just a hole in the tank, whatever. I was just trying to explain the components of a closed loop. Overflows are probably best, because they don't easily clog and they surface skim that biofilm that can occur on the surface of the water.

The tank I mentioned overrun with ricordeas was absolutely hideous! I don't think the files would be safe with ricordeas or rock nems. The one I had started going after my condylactis. Maybe it could keep ricordeas from overgrowing.

A calcium reactor would be perfect. You get CO2 and calcium.
Okay thanks Michael. If I did an overflow I would do a herbie style like I did on mine other tank.

That's good to hear about the calcium reactor being enough to carbon dose. Since it's maybe a Patch Reef that leads out to a seagrass bed I probably could do halimada species of algae on the rocks and they would benefit from the calcium as well. Yeah I noticed the final fish eating some of the aptasia that's growing in the sump. So they probably would develop a taste for the wrong flowers probably even the ricordeas.

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Current Tank Info: 75 Gallon mixed reef. Fish are a powder blue tang and a lightning filefish. Smokeless with some macros growing in the sump.
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Old 12/10/2017, 07:49 AM   #12
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I don't think your a killjoy as I appreciate your honesty even if it's not what I want to hear. Doesn't mean ill listen lol. I'm a little stubborn at times but the well-being of the livestock is of utmost importance to me.

While I will definitely have seahorses and seagrass I may not put them in the same tank. Regardless of what I do my plan was to let the sea grasses develop and let the tank develop for a while before putting other livestock in. I guess that means I might be dosing a lot in the beginning. One of the exceptions to this might be the file fish as I already have them and any invertebrates that might help establish the seagrass.

I have heard and read of training sea horses to eat from a bowl.

Jason

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I was merely informing you of what I know. I am definitely not telling you what to do. Actually by not following the norms of conventional wisdom is how new knowledge is gained! Maybe you will be successful with ponies in a way that most of us have not ventured.


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Old 12/10/2017, 07:26 PM   #13
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I was merely informing you of what I know. I am definitely not telling you what to do. Actually by not following the norms of conventional wisdom is how new knowledge is gained! Maybe you will be successful with ponies in a way that most of us have not ventured.
I appreciate you sharing your knowledge, vlangel. I love to experiment and try new things and try to think outside the box at times.

I would never intentionally put my livestock In Harm's Way But if I think that there's a reasonable chance for Success then I have no problems trying something different.

I think sometimes in order to learn and grow one has to try something different plus being like everyone else is boring LOL

Jason

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Old 12/10/2017, 09:10 PM   #14
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I'm still debating on what tanks I want to use. I have three maybe four pivotal species: seagrass, seahorses, filefish, spiny box Puffer and upside-down jellyfish. Okay that's five.

I think the puffer and the filefish would be okay together. The seahorses and upside-down jellyfish would essentially need species tanks.

I may have to ask this on the fish Forum but does anyone think the spiny box puffer which maxes out around 9 to 10"will be okay in a 75 gallon tank. I'm not talking bioload wise but psychological wise as I believe no matter how high a bioload someone has you could always design a filtration system around it.

I have 125, 75, 55, 40, 20 tall, 20, and 29 gallon tanks and multiples of most. I would prefer to save the 125g if puffer would be ok in a 75g.

20 tall for seahorses, 29g for upside-down jellyfish, 20 for macro display refugium.

The two 20s and the 29 would be plumbed together and probably feed into a 15 gallon sump that would be used to increase volume slightly hide heaters and that way I'd be able to create a closed loop system for all the tanks.

Anyone think that C. Argi and pearly jawfish would be ok with the puffer or a meal.

I still got to figure out what to do with the 40 gallon any suggestions?

Jason

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Current Tank Info: 75 Gallon mixed reef. Fish are a powder blue tang and a lightning filefish. Smokeless with some macros growing in the sump.
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Old 12/12/2017, 05:09 PM   #15
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I guess I better get back to just the 40G for this thread and start new ones for the other setups.

This tank will house my 2 plumed scorpions. I have a 3rd unidentified scorpion that I may put in there as well when it gets slightly bigger. I also have a source for these and may add more as they are not territorial. If they get too big I will move them.

All three scorpions are already eating frozen food which is good.

I've decided this tank is going to be a patch reef on the left side of the tank that leads to a field of grass. Fishbase says the following about the plumed scorpion fish "Inhabits seagrass beds, grassy bays and channels." So from this I think they should be right at home.

I'm going to create a rubble area around the patch reef.

What kinds of macro algae would be appropriate for this setup?

Thanks Jason


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Current Tank Info: 75 Gallon mixed reef. Fish are a powder blue tang and a lightning filefish. Smokeless with some macros growing in the sump.
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Old 12/12/2017, 05:39 PM   #16
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon

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Old 12/13/2017, 03:09 PM   #17
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Sounds cool Jason. As for macro choices, you may want something similar to your scorpions' colors, so they can blend in, and/or go the opposite with contrasting colors.
Thanks! 1 scorpion is reddish, 1 is grayish, and 1 is brown and white.

This will be a display for 2 55G tanks

Jason

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Current Tank Info: 75 Gallon mixed reef. Fish are a powder blue tang and a lightning filefish. Smokeless with some macros growing in the sump.
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Old 12/14/2017, 07:54 AM   #18
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Jason,

Glad to hear your progress. Sounds like several irons in the fire.

When you mentioned the Indian River Lagoon for collecting, I perked up. I am interested in a starting culture of Gracilaria Tikavhae. It is discribed by the Smothsonion as “graceful red seaweed. The Hawaiian’s call it Red Ogo and consider it a delicacy to eat. At times it grows so thick it clogs up waterways.

https://www.sms.si.edu/irlspec/Gracil_tikvah.htm


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Old 12/14/2017, 11:02 AM   #19
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Jason,

Glad to hear your progress. Sounds like several irons in the fire.

When you mentioned the Indian River Lagoon for collecting, I perked up. I am interested in a starting culture of Gracilaria Tikavhae. It is discribed by the Smothsonion as “graceful red seaweed. The Hawaiian’s call it Red Ogo and consider it a delicacy to eat. At times it grows so thick it clogs up waterways.

https://www.sms.si.edu/irlspec/Gracil_tikvah.htm
Thanks for the link Subsea.

Yes I do have several irons in the fire.

I am currently constructing a stand that will house two 20G and a 29G.

I am also currently building a stand for a 125G.

I will post pics later tonight of where the 40G will go and I will need to build a small stand for that as well. The 40G will be a display sump for 2 55G that sit on a hole in the wall.

I am possibly getting 3 more plumed scorpions for this tank. I am waiting to here back of their size before ordering as I don't want them to snack or be snacks to the ones I already have.

With this order I am also getting a spiny box puffer that will be for the 125 and a queen/blue angel hybrid approximately 5". Both will be housed in a 55G quarantine until the 125 is ready. The queen will eventually be in a 180G once it gets resealed.

I have some friends at work that go to Sebastian inlet a lot which is towards the southern end of the lagoon. My kids are always wanting to go to the beach so this way I can kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Plus its a good family project as they like to help me out and I can show them how to collect and what to look for.

On my way to Cocoa Beach one day I pulled over to the side of the road where it crosses the Lagoon and I seen some red algae growing on the concrete right there by the shore. It was cool to see and full of pods so I will definitely look into what I need permit wise to do my own collecting.

Jason

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Current Tank Info: 75 Gallon mixed reef. Fish are a powder blue tang and a lightning filefish. Smokeless with some macros growing in the sump.
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Old 12/14/2017, 11:19 PM   #20
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I would just like to share my recent, short lived, experience with Gracilaria Tikavhae "red ogo". About 2 weeks ago I put some in my cycling 20g long. I had 2 cheap 17w fluorescent fixtures to get me through the process until I upgraded. About 5 days ago, I found a deal on a pair of FathomLED's I couldn't resist and set them up. They are overkill (138w) for the size aquarium, so I'm only running them at 50% b/w at 12" above the surface. Until this point, the ogo was thriving and doubled in size. After 5 days of the new lighting, the red is fading quickly and it is covered with a film of small bubbles. It isn't a nutrient issue because parts not exposed to direct light are still doing well.
Also, I have green ogo and it is still doing well under the same lighting conditions.
I will probably move it to another bin cycling lr with less intense lighting to see if I can save it.


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Old 12/15/2017, 01:06 AM   #21
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Thanks for the link Subsea.

Yes I do have several irons in the fire.

I am currently constructing a stand that will house two 20G and a 29G.

I am also currently building a stand for a 125G.

I will post pics later tonight of where the 40G will go and I will need to build a small stand for that as well. The 40G will be a display sump for 2 55G that sit on a hole in the wall.

I am possibly getting 3 more plumed scorpions for this tank. I am waiting to here back of their size before ordering as I don't want them to snack or be snacks to the ones I already have.

With this order I am also getting a spiny box puffer that will be for the 125 and a queen/blue angel hybrid approximately 5". Both will be housed in a 55G quarantine until the 125 is ready. The queen will eventually be in a 180G once it gets resealed.

I have some friends at work that go to Sebastian inlet a lot which is towards the southern end of the lagoon. My kids are always wanting to go to the beach so this way I can kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Plus its a good family project as they like to help me out and I can show them how to collect and what to look for.

On my way to Cocoa Beach one day I pulled over to the side of the road where it crosses the Lagoon and I seen some red algae growing on the concrete right
there by the shore. It was cool to see and full of pods so I will definitely look into what I need permit wise to do my own collecting.

Jason

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Jason,

All you need for collection is a resident fishing license. Do not sell what you catch, then it would be a differrent license,

I have been trying to get a cultivore of G. Tikavihae for five years. Every since I spoke with Gerald Heslinger of IndoPacific SeaFarm, he informed me that many Hawaiians preferred Tikavihae over G. Parvispora, the original Red Ogo.

Considering the many differrent systems you are planning, I am sure we can trade something to benefit each other.

Let’s make a deal.
Patrick


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Old 12/15/2017, 11:10 AM   #22
redlobstor
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I would just like to share my recent, short lived, experience with Gracilaria Tikavhae "red ogo". About 2 weeks ago I put some in my cycling 20g long. I had 2 cheap 17w fluorescent fixtures to get me through the process until I upgraded. About 5 days ago, I found a deal on a pair of FathomLED's I couldn't resist and set them up. They are overkill (138w) for the size aquarium, so I'm only running them at 50% b/w at 12" above the surface. Until this point, the ogo was thriving and doubled in size. After 5 days of the new lighting, the red is fading quickly and it is covered with a film of small bubbles. It isn't a nutrient issue because parts not exposed to direct light are still doing well.
Also, I have green ogo and it is still doing well under the same lighting conditions.
I will probably move it to another bin cycling lr with less intense lighting to see if I can save it.
REEFGuy04,
Thanks for sharing your experience. I heard that red macros tend to like less light and your experience seems to support this. Do you have any other experiences with macros or seagrass that you would like to share?

Jason

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Old 12/16/2017, 12:09 AM   #23
Reef Guy 04
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I had several types do very well in my 90g reef. My lighting was 2 175w MH and 2 96w Actinic pc's. Flow was about 1500gph (900gph through fuge and 600gph with 2 powerheads).

Here is the list:
Red fern - Haliptilon Sp
Sawtooth - Caulerpa Serrulata
Grape Algae - Caulerpa Racemosa
Feather Algae - Caulerpa Sertulariodes
Cactus Algae - Halimeda Incrassata

They all seemed very hardy and were not affected by lighting or flow. The red fern was my favorite because it wasn't green... If you are looking for a red algae that one may be a good choice for you.


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Old 12/16/2017, 11:28 AM   #24
Subsea
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REEFGuy04,
Thanks for sharing your experience. I heard that red macros tend to like less light and your experience seems to support this. Do you have any other experiences with macros or seagrass that you would like to share?

Jason

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I don’t agree with red macro like less light.

What I have found is that most red macro turn orange/yellow under intense light. This feature makes Dragon’s Breath very attractive. In the case of Bortacladia, it is collected by divers 60’-120’. When I receive it, the color is a dark, rich burgundy that is very attractive. When placed in higher light, it turns orange/yellow, loses flotation balls and sometimes goes sexual. In fact, two years ago, Red Grapes went sexual in #2 growout tank with red grape sprigs everywhere including dimly filter box, but of more interest, in high light areas. Under intense light, the color shifts from burgundy to fire engine red.


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Old 12/16/2017, 05:43 PM   #25
redlobstor
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I don’t agree with red macro like less light.

What I have found is that most red macro turn orange/yellow under intense light. This feature makes Dragon’s Breath very attractive. In the case of Bortacladia, it is collected by divers 60’-120’. When I receive it, the color is a dark, rich burgundy that is very attractive. When placed in higher light, it turns orange/yellow, loses flotation balls and sometimes goes sexual. In fact, two years ago, Red Grapes went sexual in #2 growout tank with red grape sprigs everywhere including dimly filter box, but of more interest, in high light areas. Under intense light, the color shifts from burgundy to fire engine red.
Thanks Subsea,
Beautiful picture! Thanks for sharing your experience. It seems like I'm constantly reading of people putting red macros in high light only not to have it do well. Would you mind posting your experiences with different macros, in particular reds and browns?

Jason


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