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Old 09/21/2017, 01:32 AM   #1
winn
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Join Date: Sep 2017
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Advice on substrate for black mangrove terrarium/riparium?

Hi everyone! New user here, and just finished reading through the mangrove sticky, some really great stuff in there. I just have a few things where I was hoping maybe to get some advice or feedback from anyone here who has experience with growing black mangroves. Most importantly: what substrate mixture would be best for the kind of setup I'm planning?

Right now I have a black mangrove that's over a year and a half old, but I've abused it a bit with multiple transplants, cool and dry summer weather (Seattle outdoors), and I don't think it's loving the current substrate I have it planted in either. Here are some random photos I've taken over the last year and a half, most of which while it was planted in a 20-gal brackish aquarium:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/nzOerURllXUNjkul1

At the moment, it is in a smallish plastic bin from IKEA (like in that moving container photo), which I had intended to just be what I moved it across the country in, but it's now been a couple months and I haven't gotten around to getting its setup ready yet. Until now!

I have purchased a 30-gal "Tuff Stuff" oval-shaped black plastic tank, and I'm hoping to make that the permanent home of this mangrove as I nurse it back to good health under strong lighting in my basement. My vision is something similar in concept to the tank shown in the photos above, but with a better divide between water and land, and the mangrove planted near the center between the two. I will keep it fairly brackish, but most likely let it fluctuate a bit with waterings and water changes.

And this gets me to my main question: what mixture of commercially available substrates would be ideal for a black mangrove? I've ordered some Mangrove Mud (which is already about 1/3 of its current soil mixture), and I'm planning to mix that with some crushed coral/limestone gravel and topsoil, but I'm not sure if this is a good combination, or what ratios I should be aiming for. From the ecosystems where I've seen these things growing in South Florida, I'd say a rich organic (anaerobic) mud is the goal, I'm just unsure how to best achieve that with what I can get here in Seattle!


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Old 09/22/2017, 11:49 PM   #2
Michael Hoaster
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Florida Pets dot com sells some rich, stanky mud I bet your mangrove would like. Potting soil should work too. Even yard dirt. You can cover it all up with at least an inch of sand to keep things pretty.


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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 11/01/2017, 12:16 AM   #3
winn
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Just thought I'd update:

The tub is planted and the water area is cycling. I'm planning to add a nerite snail (the eggs will add a tidal zone authenticity, I think), then eventually try some mosquitofish in there.




The plants (left to right) are the black mangrove (grown from sprouted propagule), sea purslane (collected from a S. Florida beach), and in the buried plastic bowl up top, holywood lignum-vitae (Guaiacum sanctum), which I grew from seeds collected from a specimen growing in a friend's yard in the upper FL Keys.

For substrate, it's a mixture of Carib Sea mineral mud, generic garden topsoil, and coarse aragonite, topped with a mixture of sand and aragonite.

I plan to modify the shoreline a bit once the sea purslane roots start to hold it together, probably will add some larger chunks of coral/limestone around where the airstone is.


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Old 11/01/2017, 04:19 PM   #4
Michael Hoaster
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Looks great! Thanks for the update!


__________________
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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