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Old 03/27/2014, 11:35 PM   #51
Michael Hoaster
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I went online to find info specific to the species I want to grow in my tank - Syringodium filiforme or Manatee Grass. Why I didn't do this in the first place is unknown…

Here's what I read in various articles/studies:

This plant is adaptable to different substrates - from soft, black mud to firm sand. One study said its' favored substrate is very soft, loose, muddy sand.

It is absent in areas of poor water quality. Increased eutrophication harms it and favors opportunistic macroalgae and detrivores, such as polychaetes.

It is more sensitive to salinity changes than other seagrasses and maximum growth rate occurs at 25 ppt (parts per thousand). This seems rather low in comparison to the ocean's average of 35 ppt.

It favors strong currents as evidenced by more luxurient growth in tidal channels compared to quiet lagoons.

Optimum growth rates occur at light intensities of 200-450 foot candles (or 2152.78 - 4843.76 lumens per square meter) Growth rate is greatly reduced above and below this range.

50 - 60% of its' biomass is underground. Higher root biomass relative to leaf biomass indicates plant adaptation that increases nutrient uptake through increased root surface area in low nutrient sediments. Fertilization of the substrate with nitrogen and phosphorus (plant tabs) increased root and leaf biomass.

Favoring nutrient uptake by roots or by leaves appears to be concentration (or bioavailability) - dependent.

It's limited by nitrogen in terrigenous substrates and phosphorus in carbonate substrates.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 03/28/2014, 07:53 AM   #52
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Sound like Your on the right track now!I look forward too seeing this tank in the future.

jpappy,Welcome too RC.Glad to have You on the forum!


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Seagrass,Mother nature's way of organic carbon dosing.

"Nitrification is controlled primarily by 02 and nitrogen as ammonium supply,
while denitrification is controlled by nitrate and organic carbon supply" Seagrasses 2006

Life on earth depends on plants-without plants,no life.Alf Jacob Nilsen

Current Tank Info: 125 DT,135 grass fuge/sump;75g seagrass/seahorse tank 70 fuge/sump
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Old 03/28/2014, 10:17 AM   #53
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Good to see you found some more conclusive studies for your particular needs.

And thanks 3D!


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Old 03/28/2014, 01:08 PM   #54
Michael Hoaster
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Thanks guys! I wish I could have found more.

Another interesting thing I read was varying C:N:P ratios (carbon to nitrogen to phosphorus) in the plant's tissue that averaged around 4000:40:1. This would seem to confirm 3DReef's idea of dosing carbon early on.

So at startup, I'm thinking substrate, some live sand, added live sand critters, as well as some cycling starter bacteria and the manatee grass. I may dose some ammonia to help both tank cycling and nitrogen uptake for the grass. I may also dose vinegar as a carbon source for them. I of course will be very careful and ere on the side of caution with any dosing.

I've been reading about fish-less tank cycling using household ammonia. Sounds like a good idea. As an alternative to that I may introduce 1 piece of uncured live rock, which should also be a good source of ammonia. On second thought, it may also be a good source of algae.

I guess cycling a new marine seagrass tank is for me, uncharted territory. Not a reef tank, not a fish only tank. Probably more like a fresh water planted tank really. It occurs to me now that there may be no rush to get through the nitrogen cycle with all the grass. And I'm in no hurry to introduce fish, so maybe no starter bacteria or ammonia. Any thoughts?

I'll cure all the rock separately. I'm only going to get 50 pounds of it for this 240 gallon tank, to provide bio-diversity, hard-scape and attachment points for some caribbean inverts like sea fans, gorgonians and anemones. The manatee grass will be the star of the show, occupying 1/2 to 2/3 of the substrate.

I can't wait!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 03/28/2014, 03:57 PM   #55
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Could you link which papers you read on C:N:P? It would be greatly appreciated.

I currently only do fishless for FW if I'm in a situation where I have to completely cycle from scratch. Even if I'm transferring some seeded media to a new tank I pretty much always add some ammonia first and make sure things run through like they should...maybe a bit much, but I like to play it safe.

By "uncured" rock do you mean that it still has some decomposing organisms left in it? Or would it essentially be organic-free? I'm not up on the slang.


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Old 03/28/2014, 05:46 PM   #56
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Here's the link:

http://www.geraceresearchcentre.com/..._1stBotany.pdf

Looks like I was off on that ratio-I guessed from memory, or it could have been another study of another area.

Yes, uncured live rock has stuff dying off on it, but a lot also survives, so you get more biodiversity with it. You just have to cure it yourself. If you put dry sand in the bottom of the curing vessel you'll get some tiny critters migrating into it and, voila! live sand!

Hope that helps!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 03/28/2014, 09:08 PM   #57
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I went back through My notes and if Your wanting to dose a N source You might look into glutamic acid.There is a formula in the study by Ehringer and Anderson called Seagrass transplanting and restoration in Tampa Bay.


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Seagrass,Mother nature's way of organic carbon dosing.

"Nitrification is controlled primarily by 02 and nitrogen as ammonium supply,
while denitrification is controlled by nitrate and organic carbon supply" Seagrasses 2006

Life on earth depends on plants-without plants,no life.Alf Jacob Nilsen

Current Tank Info: 125 DT,135 grass fuge/sump;75g seagrass/seahorse tank 70 fuge/sump
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Old 03/29/2014, 07:51 AM   #58
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I found that study. Pretty Cool! they made a seagrass formula out of prilled nitrogen and other stuff. They never mentioned glutamic acid, but I looked it up. Main ingredient in auxigrow.

I could use more info. Can you expand? Why do you recommend, with other, easier to get materials out there? I mean yes, they had success with it. Have you used it in your tank? Anything you can pass along would be great.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 03/29/2014, 10:17 AM   #59
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There have been many studies done trying to come up with a pathway to encourage grasses to grow/regrow, transplanting,ect.All of the attempts using different sources/combo's of nutrients and fertilizers have failed.Except for the glutamic acid.So far as I know it's the only one to actually stimulate the formation of new growth tips.

I have another study around here some where I'll see if I can find it.It may have been in the seagrass book.I'll do some looking.It's been a couple of years since I have seen it though.

I haven't tried it on My tanks.It sounded pretty expensive,plus I didn't need 100 gallons of ferts for a 130 gallon tank.


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Seagrass,Mother nature's way of organic carbon dosing.

"Nitrification is controlled primarily by 02 and nitrogen as ammonium supply,
while denitrification is controlled by nitrate and organic carbon supply" Seagrasses 2006

Life on earth depends on plants-without plants,no life.Alf Jacob Nilsen

Current Tank Info: 125 DT,135 grass fuge/sump;75g seagrass/seahorse tank 70 fuge/sump

Last edited by 3D-Reef; 03/29/2014 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 03/29/2014, 12:57 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
I found that study. Pretty Cool! they made a seagrass formula out of prilled nitrogen and other stuff. They never mentioned glutamic acid, but I looked it up. Main ingredient in auxigrow.

Your right! It's gibberellic acid in the study.Serves Me right for trying to remember rather than look it up.

In the seagrass book it says "Concerning nitrogen,urea is an effective nitrogen source in seawweeds, but not in seagrasses.However,some amino acids (glutamic acid) can contribute to seagrass N nutrition (Bird et al.,1998)."

An other interesting read...

Production of rhizome meristems by thalassia testudinum Dawes and Andorfer


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Seagrass,Mother nature's way of organic carbon dosing.

"Nitrification is controlled primarily by 02 and nitrogen as ammonium supply,
while denitrification is controlled by nitrate and organic carbon supply" Seagrasses 2006

Life on earth depends on plants-without plants,no life.Alf Jacob Nilsen

Current Tank Info: 125 DT,135 grass fuge/sump;75g seagrass/seahorse tank 70 fuge/sump
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Old 03/29/2014, 01:57 PM   #61
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I googled glutamic acid for seagrass and found a study. Here is a pertinent quote: "A noteworthy observation was the inability of in vitro cultures of H. engelmannii to grow when nitrate was supplied as the only nitrogen source, whereas growth was supported by glutamic acid or ammonium. H. engelmannii showed better growth when the nitrogen source was provided as glutamic acid as opposed to ammonium."

From Sarah Lardizabal's excellent article on seagrasses: "While biologists typically provide nitrogen to plants with ammonium or organic sources like glutamic acid, both of these tend to spark nuisance algae blooms in aquaria. Aquarists are lucky to have access to several forms of nitrate salts from a few different sources, making nitrate additions practical and simple."

From another study (not related to glutamic acid): "Seagrasses physically and chemically change the sediment through release of oxygen, decomposition of subterranean parts, and by bioturbidation through growth of their roots and rhizomes (Moriarty and Boon, 1989). Chemical changes wrought by the below-ground components are critical for survival because the high levels of sulfides in the anoxic sediments are toxic to the plant... Ammonium is the most abundant form of nitrogen in the sediment. It is dissolved in the interstitial water (5 to 100 ""M to 15mM), bound with organic matter and clays (exchangeable)…Based on growth rates, seagrasses require large amounts of fixed nitrogen (10 to 450 mg N m-2 d-I), with ammonium being the preferred source. By contrast, nitrate and nitrite concentrations are usually low «5 ""M) in the anaerobic sediments, presumably due to their rapid utilization by denitrifying and other anaerobic bacteria...However, in the Indian River Lagoon, ammonium was found to be the limiting nutrient during peak growth of Syringodium filiforme. Mean concentrations of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in the leaves of 27 species of seagrasses were 34, 2, and 0.2%, respectively, of the dry weight giving a mean C:N:P ratio of 474:24:1."

Lot's of good info. I also found that you can buy glutamic acid (a.k.a MSG) as a nutritional supplement in tablets. Maybe I'll try pushing some of those into the substrate, and avoid the algae problems mentioned. Again, it would be great to find preferred nutrient sources specific to manatee grass. I may have to experiment with different nutrients to see what my grass prefers. I could push different nutrients into the substrate in deliniated sections to find out…SCIENCE!


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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-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon

Last edited by Michael Hoaster; 03/29/2014 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 03/31/2014, 08:11 AM   #62
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Good information indeed!


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Seagrass,Mother nature's way of organic carbon dosing.

"Nitrification is controlled primarily by 02 and nitrogen as ammonium supply,
while denitrification is controlled by nitrate and organic carbon supply" Seagrasses 2006

Life on earth depends on plants-without plants,no life.Alf Jacob Nilsen

Current Tank Info: 125 DT,135 grass fuge/sump;75g seagrass/seahorse tank 70 fuge/sump
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Old 04/01/2014, 08:14 AM   #63
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I bought some glutamic acid in pill form. I pushed one deep into the substrate in my fresh water planted tank. I look forward to seeing what happens. I've been looking for ammonium bicarbinate as well to try as an ammonia source. It's also known as Baker's Ammonia. It's a very old school leavener. Seems like it might be a great combination with ammonia and carbon.


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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-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 04/01/2014, 08:34 AM   #64
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It will be interesting to see what happens.Keep us informed for sure.

How much did the pills cost?


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Seagrass,Mother nature's way of organic carbon dosing.

"Nitrification is controlled primarily by 02 and nitrogen as ammonium supply,
while denitrification is controlled by nitrate and organic carbon supply" Seagrasses 2006

Life on earth depends on plants-without plants,no life.Alf Jacob Nilsen

Current Tank Info: 125 DT,135 grass fuge/sump;75g seagrass/seahorse tank 70 fuge/sump
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Old 04/01/2014, 12:38 PM   #65
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I will report my findings. So far after 24 hours, no change visible. I put it in the substrate next to a plant that's never really taken off, growth-wise. It's doing fine with new leaves and flowers, but it never really got huge. I suspect it may be nutrient limited. With CO2 addition, and I imagine plenty of phosphate, I would guess it's nitrogen limited. If so, the glutamic acid should give it a boost, unless the ammonia reaches toxic levels.

I got the glutamic acid pills at a health food store in Boulder, Co. 100 500 mg tablets cost $9.48 with tax. Not cheap, but I paid for instant gratification/convenience. Picked it up when I was running errands. I hope to find a small amount locally of the 'bakers ammonia' as well.

I have found good sources online for glutamic acid and ammonium bicarbinate.


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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-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 04/07/2014, 02:31 PM   #66
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OK, it's been a week since I pushed the glutamic acid tablet (deep) into the substrate of my freshwater planted tank. I had put it close to a plant that wasn't doing much growth-wise. At first glance I saw no change. Then I looked a bit more. I did notice that the leaves looked a bit greener and lighter. They tended to grow darker and darker until they were brown. The whole plant just looks 'newer', or maybe it's mind playing tricks on me. The next closest plant seems to be doing well too, but I'm not sure it's because of the GA or not.

So, so far, not a lot of change. But 1 week isn't much time. I'm sure that when I get some positive change it will be obvious.

No bad changes either. No algae bloom and no evidence of ammonia toxicity.


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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-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 04/09/2014, 06:01 PM   #67
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Wow, I just found this old thread:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=1160264

Beautiful tank with red macros and seagrasses. Very good read as well with system details. I especially like the 'nitrate factory'.

It's funny too because I was thinking of doing a mass of red macros among my fake mangrove root, to balance with my planned 2/3 substrate covering of seagrass. after seeing this setup, I'm even more excited!


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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-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 04/10/2014, 07:34 AM   #68
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That is one beautiful tank for sure!
I've been looking around town here for some of the glutamic tablets but haven't been able to find any yet.The one store is looking into ordering some,but no luck so far.Thanks to Your research,You have inspired Me to try something else.


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Seagrass,Mother nature's way of organic carbon dosing.

"Nitrification is controlled primarily by 02 and nitrogen as ammonium supply,
while denitrification is controlled by nitrate and organic carbon supply" Seagrasses 2006

Life on earth depends on plants-without plants,no life.Alf Jacob Nilsen

Current Tank Info: 125 DT,135 grass fuge/sump;75g seagrass/seahorse tank 70 fuge/sump
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Old 04/10/2014, 08:18 AM   #69
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You might have better luck online. Lots of nutritional supplement stores there. I saw it in powdered form as well, which you could put into gel caps yourself. I've had no luck finding ammonium bicarbinate (baker's ammonia) locally. I even went to a bakery and they'd never heard of it!

On RedMangrove's tank, I thought it was a great idea to make his own leaf litter compost. He did several cool things and experimented to get his desired results. A fine example for us all!


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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-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 04/14/2014, 11:54 AM   #70
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I got in touch with gulf coast eco systems about an outdoor grow out tank im going to set up. They were very helpful with my question and the had mentioned an outdoor seagrass tank they had. Might hit them up and ask how they do it.


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Old 04/14/2014, 12:34 PM   #71
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Awesome, thanks joekidwell! I will talk to them. I already look at their site everyday, to see what's in stock. It would be very helpful to know how they set up their seagrass system, since I will likely be buying my seagrass from them. Mimicking their conditions would smooth the transition from their system to mine, giving the grasses a better chance of survival/flourishing.


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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-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 04/16/2014, 11:56 PM   #72
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It's been 2 weeks since I dosed the substrate in my FW planted tank, with 1 500mg pill of glutamic acid. Glutamic acid is what I'm testing as a source of ammonia/nitrogen. Given that my tank is CO2 injected (carbon) and I feed the fish well (phosphate), I'm thinking the plants could be nitrogen-limited.

I had not noticed any real changes in the plant closest to insertion point. However, a plant more than a foot away is suddenly bigger and healthier. This is a very mature planted tank, and the root systems of the plants are extensive. So this is pretty good indication that it's working. Another plus is there is no uptick in algae at this time, which I think indicates it at least currently is confined to the substrate. On the other hand, the tank is getting a bit overgrown, so if the glutamic acid has leached out into the bulk water, I might not know it because the plants are sucking it up faster than the algae can get to it. But since only one plant is showing improvement I tend to doubt it.

The tricky part is transferring what I'm learning from testing on a mature fresh water planted tank, to a brand-new saltwater planted tank. The nutrient balance will be completely different. With the nitrogen cycle starting up, there should be plenty of nitrogen available, I'll have CO2 injection going and also possibly a carbonate source, so phosphate could be the limiting nutrient at first. That will change quickly when I add animals and feed them.

Anyway it's fun, geaky stuff!


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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-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 04/17/2014, 08:21 PM   #73
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If you're starting up with dry rock, chances are there will be phosphate at the beginning. My older live rock is looking good in the new DT, but the dry rock I added is crimson red. Your challenge will be to get the phos to the macros. Next setup I do, I'm going to condition my dry rock and try to skip this part of new tank syndrome lol.


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Old 04/17/2014, 11:16 PM   #74
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Ok, I've got some old coral skeletons I'm planning to use as buried base rock to support my live rock. Maybe I'll put them in the curing vessel with the live rock. I'm already putting some sand in there to get some critters and bacteria.

I also plan to plant the tank heavily from the start to outcompete undesirable algae.

Thanks for the heads-up.


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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-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 04/21/2014, 08:09 AM   #75
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If you are still looking for sea grass research, you may want to look at Marine Pollution Bulletin. They have a number of articles about sea grass in their recently published articles.

Here is one of the articles:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...25326X14001118

Recent articles ( http://www.journals.elsevier.com/mar...cent-articles/ )


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Its a tad hard to play with your aquarium if you cant lift more than a gallon of water...
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