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Old 11/09/2017, 11:13 AM   #1
JTL
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Pods and phyto

Since I am still not growing much if any chaeto in my fuge I am thinking of stocking it with pods. My nitrates are low and I don't leave much detrius in my fuge so I wonder if I should also use phyto. I do have some some small pieces of LR in the fuge, not rubble, bigger than that. I use a sock on the water going to my skimmer but I divert some of that water to my fuge. Thoughts or suggestions?


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Old 11/09/2017, 11:24 AM   #2
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Pods and phyto will both rapidly distribute throughout your system and their population levels will quickly reach equilibrium with your environment's ability to support them. You can't really stock either in a refugium.

Unless you started with a totally sterile environment, you likely have lots of species of pods and phyto in your system already, and already in equilibrium in terms of population counts. Unless you have some major imbalance factor (ie a mandarin eating all the pods), stocking these things in an established and healthy system will likely have no long term impact on the diversity or numbers of these life forms.


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Old 11/09/2017, 11:32 AM   #3
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I have seen some in my dt but not in my refugium. I only have a pair of clowns in a 100 gallon tank with lots of live rock so the pods should be pretty safe...for now. I am going to soon be adding a midas blenny, royal gamma, and perhaps a flasher wrasse. I think the latter eats pods. Eventually, I will get a mandarin, once I think I have a sufficient and sustainable pod population. I thought that phyto is good pod food and will help increase the numbers.


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Old 11/09/2017, 02:41 PM   #4
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Phyto is a fantastic food for your entire food chain. Use live phyto, so anything not consumed can populate your system. All of your micro-inverts will benefit from occasional addition of live phyto.


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Old 11/09/2017, 02:55 PM   #5
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Has anyone used one of these for a pod hotel?
https://www.target.com/p/the-bathery...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

Easy to shake out or transfer to the dt and shake.


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Old 11/10/2017, 06:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTL View Post
Since I am still not growing much if any chaeto in my fuge I am thinking of stocking it with pods. My nitrates are low and I don't leave much detrius in my fuge so I wonder if I should also use phyto. I do have some some small pieces of LR in the fuge, not rubble, bigger than that. I use a sock on the water going to my skimmer but I divert some of that water to my fuge. Thoughts or suggestions?

While phyto feeds food chain bottom up, I also suggest you allow unfiltered tank water to settle in sump for pods to eat. Remove lights and chaeto.


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Old 11/10/2017, 07:07 AM   #7
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I you saying that chaeto is not good for pods?


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Old 11/10/2017, 08:22 AM   #8
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Chaeto needs light - some people advocate a cryptic refugium, which is basically one where non-photosynthetic life is allowed to flourish, so you wouldn't have a light and hence no chaeto. Pods will pretty much live anywhere, including on/in a mass of chaeto or in a cryptic refugium.

Let me add a bit to my earlier post. My point was, whether you dump a bottle of pods in the tank or not, eventually the population will equalize to what the conditions can support. The population in your tank right now is, essentially, what it can support. If you want lots of pods and other micro-life, you really need to manage the overall environment in their favor, rather than buying/adding bottles of pods. Having protected areas in the DT, ensuring good food sources, ensuring reasonable or no predators for your tank size, and so on.


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Old 11/10/2017, 08:25 AM   #9
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I wouldn't use that bath sponge. Some are treated with chemicals. And don't have to tell you what or if they are. I used some in my pod cultures and the cultures did very poorly. Use an aquarium filter sponge.

As for feeding phyto, I say go for it. I'm restarting my cultures after a brief hiatus. All the micro life in the tank and filter feeders will do very well with it. And if you keep dosing it the population will grow due to increased food source.


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Old 11/10/2017, 08:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Chaeto needs light - some people advocate a cryptic refugium, which is basically one where non-photosynthetic life is allowed to flourish, so you wouldn't have a light and hence no chaeto. Pods will pretty much live anywhere, including on/in a mass of chaeto or in a cryptic refugium.

Let me add a bit to my earlier post. My point was, whether you dump a bottle of pods in the tank or not, eventually the population will equalize to what the conditions can support. The population in your tank right now is, essentially, what it can support. If you want lots of pods and other micro-life, you really need to manage the overall environment in their favor, rather than buying/adding bottles of pods. Having protected areas in the DT, ensuring good food sources, ensuring reasonable or no predators for your tank size, and so on.
I am talking about either adding more pods or increasing the numbers that I currently have but in either event feeding the pods with phyto. Wouldn't I in essence be "managing" the environment by adding phyto? I think my problem is that I have low nutrient levels and only two fish so there is not much for the pods to eat. I do have plenty of live rock so there are lots of safe places and I don't think the clowns eat many if any pods. As I add a few more fish conditions will change.


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Old 11/10/2017, 11:59 AM   #11
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Adding a food source for the pods is a great idea. Feeding live phyto can certainly help pod populations and it is a safe way to feed since you're not adding something that'll instantly break down into polluting nutrients, but it's also a lot of work! Practically a hobby in and of itself, assuming you're growing your own - if you've got the cash to buy on a regular basis, have at it.

At any rate, there are probably easier ways to feed pods - just feed your fish more, and/or rotate in some of the fine "coral food" products on the market. Provide good habitat, and wait...

Also worth asking - what is your goal for increasing pod populations? If it's to support a target-feeding fish that makes sense. If it's for biodiversity, or just because you want more, that makes sense, too. But if you're doing it because you want pods as part of your cleanup crew, then I would focus on habitat and NOT feed them - feeding a cleanup crew is just inflating your population beyond what you actually need and IMHO doesn't make sense.


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Old 11/10/2017, 12:08 PM   #12
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I am anticipating a mandarin in the not too distant future. I tried on a few years ago but I could not get it him to eat prepared foods and my pod population was not sufficient to sustain him. I am not going to make that mistake again if I can help it so I figured I would experiment with getting the numbers up. I am getting some more fish so that will help from a feeding standpoint but it will be a couple of months by the time I do a ttm and put them in qt. I won't qt a mandarin.


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Old 11/10/2017, 12:34 PM   #13
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What do you have for nutrient export on the system? As soon as you start getting in to feeding fine things (like phyto) you need to think about whether or not you're just going to instantly skim it all back out. This is a good reason to let them grow off detritus or leftover food, then you're growing your food off waste instead of having to add more food for your food.


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Old 11/10/2017, 01:32 PM   #14
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I run a skimmer with a sock GAC, but I let some drain water go into my 16 gallon refugium section. The tank is still pretty new (4 months) and with only 2 fish I am not creating much for waste/nutrients which is why I can only grow a small golf ball sized piece of chaeto. The good news is I have not had any algae, diatoms, ect....yet. At some point I may go sockless but it sure is nice to have a clean sump! I do rinse my sock in the fuge in case there are some pods in it. My plan was to put a little phyto in the fuge once in a while and see if that would feed the pods, realizing that is would eventually flow back up to the DT. Anyway this is all a game of experimentation, but thanks for the comments.


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Old 11/10/2017, 01:39 PM   #15
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Experimenting is fun! Adding phyto can't hurt, unless you're using a dead culture or adding a TON. That said, you may not see a big difference in the pods, it takes a LOT of phyto to grow pods (when people are culturing brine or copepods, the phyto is added at a high enough dose that the whole culture is bright green.)

I think you're doing well by allowing bypass water to the 'fuge instead of filtered water.

Might make sense to come up with another food source to try out, too. Finely ground flakes or one of the powdered coral foods, in low doses, right in the 'fuge is what I would try. And/or just get more food and/or feed the fish more. With such a light bioload in such a big tank and good nutrient removal, there's no reason to be skimpy on food. If you start seeing algae problems or other nutrient issues, you can just cut back again.

I'd also get as much rubble as you can scrounge, golfball and smaller sizes, and put it in your 'fuge. Keep a pile in the back corner of your display, and once a week or so, swap a few handfuls of pieces.

Lots of things to try.


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Old 11/10/2017, 01:49 PM   #16
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I got one of these at the dollar store and soaked it in water with bleach. It would be nice to have something that could reside in the fuge and could be periodically shaken in the dt. I think a large piece of black aquarium sponge/filter may also work. My wife bought the shower thingy, and her favorite color is purple....guess what color I got! She does more day to day work on the tank than I do. Plumbing and wasting my time on RC is my contribution.


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Old 11/10/2017, 01:55 PM   #17
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I've used scrubbers similar to the one you posted in FW tanks as biological media. They work great, assuming you get lucky and don't end up with one that somehow pollutes the system (I've heard rumors but no confirmed cases). That said, a ball of chaeto is mechanically very similar - I know you said you can't grow more than a golfball, but it might be worth pursuing that in addition to the scrubber or with the longterm intention of replacing it. Feed more! You've got the capacity to handle it, and it will probably kickstart your chaeto growth.

If it's stubborn and still won't grow, I would suggest dosing iron. I use the Kent brand product and dose at half the suggested rate until I start getting good growth again. Any time I have stalled Chaeto growth that doesn't have an obvious cause, this has always solved the problem. I have had chaeto in my current tank for maybe 3 months now and it stalled a few weeks ago. Started dosing iron last week and it's doubled in size in a week.


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Old 11/10/2017, 02:30 PM   #18
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I dose iron. Iron sulfate from the drug store. Got the idea from Randy Holmes Farley. Dirt cheap 200 tabs for $5 and based on Randy's formula that will last 30 years.


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Old 11/10/2017, 02:38 PM   #19
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Yeah, I would do that if I had more than this little 25 gallon tank. A bottle of the Kent stuff is going to last me years! I nearly bought the iron tabs but they'd go bad before I'd used more than a few of them.

I feel like a broken record but I would really just start feeding more.


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Old 11/10/2017, 03:00 PM   #20
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Will increase the feedings...can you hear my clowns clapping their little fins?. I also have some BRS Reef Chili that I can put in the fuge. Thanks again for your help.


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