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Yardboy's Jetties Nano


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#26
yardboy

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Thanks for the name. Isn't it cool how when you know the name of something you can know so much more about it? Having that label I learned quite a bit about it by reading. I hope it survives. Now to figure how to get Sargassum, Gracillaria, and Ulva to grow in the tank. They are all present at the jetties but I can't get them to grow for squat.
Thanks again for the name!

Patience is not easy to come by for me either. I was determined to get some of the hard corals to grow on the rock. The first two years, nada. Then, this year it began to appear everywhere. Must have spawned this spring. So I finally got some to start, but I wasn't patient enough to let it develop, only single polyps! Here is one of them extended. I've counted five polyps on all the rock.

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Nothing fancy on this tank either. The creatures at the jetties can't afford to be to specific in their diets, as whatever floats by is what they grab. This anemone, a curley-cue I think, was fed flake food, and you can see it through it's tissue!

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Edited by yardboy, 15 October 2007 - 05:30 AM.


#27
yardboy

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After some serious tank watching this past weekend, we realized we had a serious problem with crabs. It seemed as if they were overruning the tank, and when we put a small wrasse in the tank Sunday we'd caught and he disappearred within a few hours, we knew we had to do something.
I called up the famous exterminator,

KUNG PAO CRAB

loosely translated into English as the

Florida Crab Snatcher

and got the job done. She removed 8 crabs last night and this morning!

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Edited by yardboy, 06 September 2007 - 02:09 PM.


#28
fewskillz

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Awesome thread yardboy!

Travisurfer and myself have had more than one conversation about starting a local tank from Wrightsville Beach/Masonboro Island & Jetty.

My name is Chris, and...I...have...an......aquarium....man, this is hard............addiction.  There, I said it, that feels better.
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#29
yardboy

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Even though I looked and looked some more, logged 10 dives just looking for one thing, a small cucumber, I couldn't find one. There are hundreds of cukes at the jetties, and every one I've seen is at least a foot long. Surely they don't "spring from their mother's womb" as full grown cukes, but i haven't been able to find one, so I finally bought the first critter for my jetties tank. He came from the Keys I think, and called by the lfs in Pensacola as a "tiger tail" cucumber. He's been doing his job since he was introduced two days ago, as witnessed by the piles of clean white "cuke poop" sand. The detritus in the sandbed was getting out of hand so I had to do something.
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Edited by yardboy, 14 September 2007 - 06:35 PM.


#30
MrAnderson

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very cool yardboy! i love the idea of being able to seed and supplement a tank from local natural sources. it's just so hard to duplicate the diverstiy found out there by buying each piece separately. your tank really does have a natural look to it.

regarding your comment about using water from the jetty and having to move to IO to get rid of the algae - did you test it for phosphates? just curious what you would find there. also, what are the other parameters that you see there of the local jetty? i've heard of some pretty wild local variations of salinity, Ca and hardness. can you let me know the values of everything you've tested?

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#31
yardboy

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Thanks for your interest Mr. A,
The salinity does not vary as much as I expected during tidal changes, due to the fact that the bay has very little fresh water influx. Also I've not been looking at the parameters but a few years and we've been in a drought condition, so it hasn't rained much either.
Nitrates, I've measured as high as 20 ppm, but then the Bay is shallow and full of seagrass, so they probably absorb a good portion of it. Also Florida has very strict runoff laws, where all new construction has to have catch ponds to trap runoff. With very porous sandy soil, there's not as much runoff here as at other places I've lived.
The flux of algae growth on the rocks at the jetties is pretty dramatic during the course of a year. In the winter, when the water gets as low as 55d F., algae covers everything. All kinds, but mostly micro stuff.
As the water warms in the spring, the black urchins appear and slowly eat it all away, so that by July the rocks are mostly covered with corraline.
I've not measured phosphate, but will have to start looking at that.
One of my anemones spawned last night. Very interesting to watch. Over the course of an hour, it kept shooting out strings of white finely divided material, I couldn't tell if it was male or female, but since I could see the particles with my eyes, I figured they were probably eggs. Unfortunately it's the only specimen of that species I have, but I also noticed that the corals were extended greater than I'd ever seen them, so they were probably getting their fill!
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#32
yardboy

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The tank is doing quite a bit better after removing a total of 10 crabs. There are a few more but they will have to be trapped. They are so quick it is unbelievable. They have antennae like a shrimp or something and are like shadows, they move so fast. Their mouth parts open and close quickly, their whiskers are constantly moving around, they are the hummingbirds of the crab world.
Anyway, I went back to the jetties yesterday and found this cool anemone. I feel more certain that this one is indeed a rock anemone. IT has the lines in its disk and purple tipped tentacles. It's pretty small, about the size of a quarter, and has moved around more than any other anemone I've ever seen.

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#33
Longinus

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Wonderful project, I think a region specific tank like this is very cool. Great work and great patience!

#34
diggman08

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nice work there Yard.. (any new cool pieces)

#35
joesmoe517

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you know what i was thinking yardboy? i bet you if you had a jetties full size tank with alot of anemones and other stuff found in the jetties, and you made your photoperiod match the natural one in your area, along with temperature, & moonlighting, i would be willing to bet you could get your anemones reproducing sexually. of course this tank would have to use either no filtration or sponge filters or the goods would be filtered out ;)
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#36
musthaveitall

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Very beautiful tank!! I would love to have something like that!

Clint

#37
knappkins

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any updates????

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#38
HeyLookItsCaps

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wow, great thread, im hooked! cant wait to hear the next update
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#39
yardboy

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Thanks for the encourangement guys.
As it has been said, "THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE", you just have to see it.
After bragging about catching 10 crabs out of the jetties nano, and earlier noting that it seemed as if they were eating algae........ well, maybe you can guess the rest. Major algae outbreak. It hasn't gotten as bad as it could, I guess, due to the spiny urchin working major overtime. Trouble is, if he continues to eat as he has, he'll be as big as a linebacker for Green Bay before he's through!
I've been back to the jetties diving, but the water is beginning to get chilly, and I haven't found any algae munching snails like I'd hoped. Earlier in the year, I often saw these brown sea hares (a type of sea slug) munching away.

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Like the cucumbers, I never saw any small ones. I'm going to bite the bullet again, and have ordered a sea hare from Sealife, Inc., which from the posted website picture, looks to be the same as I've got here.
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Hopefully he'll help get things under control. Right now I'm changing 10% every two days to keep it down, but I could sure use some help before I resort to bluelegs or turbo's. (non-natives)

Edited by yardboy, 03 October 2007 - 05:17 PM.


#40
knappkins

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how did the sea hare work out???

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#41
spanko

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tagging along now.

#42
ClowningAround

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Very interesting thread... good luck your experiment and with catching the rest of those crabs! :happy:
- Andrew
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#43
dshnarw

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UPDATE!!!


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#44
yardboy

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It's been a while since I've updated this thread. The tank is doing well, finally, but it requires a ton of work, more than any of my other tanks, not sure why, but it's either because the rock had so much nutrient in it, and with clams and mussels dying off, or there's no nutrient export other than water changes, so it's been a real pain. But I've wanted to be dedicated to imaintaining a biotope so I'm perservering. More than once though I almost gave it up, the red slime has been really bad and green hair can also be a challenge. I was unable to find a brown sea slug, but haven't given up yet.
I have scored some gorgonians, and another cool rock anemone, but he's in hiding on the back side of a rock, so no pics, but here is another of the bluetip I caught this summer, which I think is a flower rock anemone. I've also scored a horese conch and a decorator crab. After looking through my "Fishes of the Northern Gulf of Mexico", I've found that not only do clown gobies occur here, but so do neon gobies and jawfish. I'll likely buy all three if I can't find them myself at the jetties. I'm trying to trap the Beau Gregory now, as he's picked up the habit of moving frags around, he's pissed me off more than once over my gorgonians.
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And here's the obligatory fts, hope you enjoyed the cucumber butthole in the above shot! :lol: Warnings of cuckes declining have been of no concern in this nutrient sump.

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Edited by yardboy, 01 December 2007 - 06:45 PM.


#45
dshnarw

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YAY!

:wub: for biotope tanks
:wub: for anemones

I like it! Glad you're sticking it out cause I really like this idea. Amber and I had a 3g biotope from PCB with dwarf seahorses and some macroalgaes for a long time. Really want to do something similar to your tank.

And I seriously LOVE those anemones :)


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#46
opaquelace

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This is my favorite tank ever. :wub:

#47
clifford513

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I really like your tank too. Your scape looks very natural and the anemones are nice!

I'm already big time. ~Nuhtty


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I get my balls broken for the same reasons...such is life in the world of fish dorks

Sure, it's only a 1/2 inch tho, you may want somethin' bigger.


#48
Seanfg89

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Stunning! I too am doing a Florida/Florida Carribean biotope tank but mine is only 4.5 gallons. Yours looks very natural and its obvious you put a lot of care and work into it.

I tried to go snorkling around the Venice area on the Gulf Coast this Summer, especially around the docks and jetties but unfortunately they had really bad red tides this season and even if it would have been safe to go into the water, it most likely wouldn't have looked very pretty once in it. Dead fish lined the shore for miles in each direction and it really screwed with my plans to collect a few different types of crustaceans and macro algae common to the coasts.

#49
c est ma

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Wow, what a thread! What a tank! Yardboy, that's SO amazing! That last fts looks so---natural! (And beautiful.)

I, too, love the nems. The pic of the spawning one is an incredible shot.

So, what temperature are you keeping the tank at? Do you intend to vary it? And if your crabs were, after all, eating algae, are you thinking of adding any back? (BTW, I loved the "hummingbirds of the crab world" characterization.)

Altogether sweet!

--Diane
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(thanks, coppycatt!)

My 5.5g

#50
yardboy

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Wow!
Thanks Guys. I didn't think anyone was even noticing this little tank. While its appearance makes doing it worthwhile, you all's nice comments and personal experiences with similar areas make the drudgery of it worthwhile also.
Diane, that's a good point to make about adding back what I took away, since I'm not sure but think that was at the root of my problem, not enough "clean up crew" to keep ahead of the algae and detritus. I adding adding some back, but with hopefully more diversity this time. I was never able to remove all the crabs initially anyway, we've counted at least 4 that are still in there, 2 of the little "sally lightfoot" type, very quick and shy, they can even tell when you direct your eyes at them for too long, and flash, they are gone, at least one that looks like a red mithrax, and a native hermit. I just put the decorator crab in, and might go with an arrow crab also, as they are very common at the jetties. I'm also looking for a pederson's anemone shrimp to see if he hosts one of the anemone's, they are supposed to be seen around here, but I've had no luck.
I did get a shot of my newest anemone, still looking for his proper place, but I caught him when I checked the tank right before bed.
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Edited by yardboy, 02 December 2007 - 01:56 AM.