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#1
seabass

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I'm starting this thread to compile information specifically about keeping seagrass in a marine aquarium. I've been interested in using it in a display tank; but seagrass's ability to utilize nutrients could also prove to be an ideal (and attractive) export mechanism for a refugium. I plan to contribute to this thread with my own attempt(s); however, I hope to learn a lot from other people's contributions and experiences.

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#2
seabass

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Let me start by including an article by Sarah Lardizabal

Beyond the Refugium: Seagrass Aquaria


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#3
lakshwadeep

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http://www.chucksadd...m/seagrass.html

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#4
Amphiprion1

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Beautiful Seagrasses - Keeping True Flowering Plants in Your Marine Aquarium

Edited by Amphiprion1, 06 February 2011 - 07:31 PM.


#5
jeremai

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Let me start by including an article by Sarah Lardizabal

Beyond the Refugium: Seagrass Aquaria

another, specifically for Halophila sp.:

The Genus Halophila

pretty sure jer was referring to the length

 
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#6
seabass

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Here was my first attempt with Star Grass. It was ultimately unsuccessful; however, it does contain some nice examples of Halophila engelmannii.
Posted Image Posted Image

Posted Image Posted Image


Reasons that I speculate the seagrass didn't make it:
◆ poor CO2 production
◆ temperature too cool
◆ moderate light intensity
◆ substrate composition not ideal
◆ nutrient deficiencies in substrate

Edited by seabass, 09 February 2011 - 06:33 AM.

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#7
seabass

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Regulator for my new CO2 tank (to supply CO2 to my calcium reactor and my seagrass tank).
Posted Image

I did a little research on where to get it filled/refilled, and discovered that there are three grades of CO2. Scientific grade is the purest, while food and industrial grades are both 99.97% pure. Food grade is more expensive because it requires a glass lined container that is washed before each refill, so most home beer brewers get their CO2 tanks filled with industrial grade CO2 from home brewery stores, welding supply stores, or places that service fire extinguishers.

Edited by seabass, 11 February 2011 - 11:11 AM.

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#8
bitts

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Effects of community structure on seagrass
http://www.int-res.c...84/m184p083.pdf

#9
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seagrass seabass make up your mind.

#10
bitts

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Seagrass Communists of the Gulf Coast of Florida: Status & Ecology
http://gulfsci.usgs....pdf/pubs_fl.pdf

CHEMISTRY AND THE AQUARIUM by RANDY HOLMES-FARLEY Iron in the Reef Aquarium.
http://advancedaquar...ug2002/chem.htm

Edited by bitts, 10 February 2011 - 03:38 PM.


#11
seabass

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Solenoid and check valve for CO2:
Posted Image

If dosing CO2, make sure that you get CO2-proof tubing and a CO2-proof check valve. The check valve should go between the tank and the solenoid. Some people use a timer to run CO2 during the day, and shut it off at night; however, I'm using my RK2 controller and pH probe to shut it down when pH drops below 7.9.

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#12
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mmm. interesting...watching!

My Innovative Marine 16 gallon SPS/LPS reef:

http://www.nano-reef...eanuss-nuvo-16/

 

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#13
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Posted Image
Seagrass Habitat
http://www.sms.si.ed...ass_habitat.htm

#14
seabass

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I was doing a search on the effects of CO2 and temperature on seagrass and ran across:

Seagrasses: Biology, Ecology, and Conservation
- By A. W. D. Larkum, Robert Joseph Orth, Carlos M. Duarte

I was reading part of Chapter 6, which seemed pretty interesting, so I thought I'd share it here. I wish I had more time to read through it all.

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#15
bitts

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LOL did you get a chance to look at any of the other one's they have up. I keep trying to find a complete copy of these two.
http://books.google....7...p;q&f=false

http://books.google....g...p;q&f=false
I'm never going to get all of these read.

Oh & this is the scary one.
http://books.google....r...p;q&f=false

Edited by bitts, 15 February 2011 - 08:28 PM.


#16
seabass

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LOL did you get a chance to look at any of the other one's they have up...

Bitts, you'll never read all of that; I know that I won't. However, if you do, I expect that you'll just tell me what I'm doing wrong. ;) Thanks for the resources! It will be helpful to have these links in one place.

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#17
seabass

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After doing some more reading tonight, I've determined that in addition to dosing CO2, I should also monitor alkalinity, along with nitrate and phosphate. When my nutrient levels are sufficient, I plan to increase the temperature a few more degrees.

The importance of CO2 in plant growth is clear, since plants are primarily made up of carbon (or C) and oxygen (or O2). During the light cycle, photosynthesis utilizes the CO2 in the water. Without other limiting factors (light, temperature, and nutrients), photosynthesis and growth increase as CO2 levels increase.

An increase in temperature can increase the level of photosynthesis. With the addition of CO2, the temperature should also be increased along with the availability of nutrients. Balancing CO2 and temperature could be the key to utilizing seagrass as a nutrient export in the refugium.

The dissolved carbon in seawater includes dissolved organic carbon and dissolved inorganic carbon (DOC and DIC). DOC typically comes from waste products, decaying plants, and/or decaying animals; while total DIC is composed of CO2, bicarbonate (or HCO3), and carbonate (or CO3). Because the total DIC is tied to the pH of the water, I should pay particular attention to alkalinity as well as pH.


References:
1. CO2: The Secret Ingredient for a Better Harvest. Isabelle Lemay, agr. and Melissa Leveille


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Amphiprion1

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After doing some more reading tonight, I've determined that in addition to dosing CO2, I should also monitor alkalinity, along with nitrate and phosphate. When my nutrient levels are sufficient, I plan to increase the temperature a few more degrees.

The importance of CO2 in plant growth is clear, since plants are primarily made up of carbon (or C) and oxygen (or O2). During the light cycle, photosynthesis utilizes the CO2 in the water. Without other limiting factors (light, temperature, and nutrients), photosynthesis and growth increase as CO2 levels increase.

An increase in temperature can increase the level of photosynthesis. With the addition of CO2, the temperature should also be increased along with the availability of nutrients. Balancing CO2 and temperature could be the key to utilizing seagrass as a nutrient export in the refugium.

The dissolved carbon in seawater includes dissolved organic carbon and dissolved inorganic carbon (DOC and DIC). DOC typically comes from waste products, decaying plants, and/or decaying animals; while total DIC is composed of CO2, bicarbonate (or HCO3), and carbonate (or CO3). Because the total DIC is tied to the pH of the water, I should pay particular attention to alkalinity as well as pH.


References:
1. CO2: The Secret Ingredient for a Better Harvest. Isabelle Lemay, agr. and Melissa Leveille


Seagrass are capable of utilizing both, though it requires less energy to immediately utilize carbon dioxide. That's why many often see the boost in growth when using it. I don't like using CO2 in marine systems, personally, which is why I always concentrate more on carbonate alkalinity than the CO2 concentrations, as well as nitrogen and phosphorus. In my experience, they don't have to be particularly high for grasses to do well, but they do need some. In my tank, they have been very effective at scrubbing a huge amount of nutrients from the system, effectively showing undetectable levels of N and P. Temps should be maintained closer to what would be natural for tropical grasses, anyway, so that was never a limiting factor in my system.

#19
seabass

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Thanks for posting; I love your tank! I'm glad that you are having good luck with your grass.
Posted Image
That's just awesome. :)

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#20
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I'd wager it has a lot to do with a) how your seagrass gets to you (i.e. roots intact) and what type of substrate you're using. As an example, today I was out collecting zooplankton over seagrass beds. I spent a good 10-15 minutes checking out a 2'x2' area. Lots of mud, lots of muck, lots of shells. Try using the miracle mud or whatever its called. There are a few studies out there that link the bacteria of the mud to the growth of the seagrass.

Good luck - I'm turning a 14 biocube into a seagrass tank tomorrow.
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#21
bitts

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Actually its the ratio of hetrothopic & autotrophic resulting in the amount of N & P available to the root structure while also affecting the O2 levels.

http://www.aslo.org/...ssue_1/0093.pdf
http://www.sid.ir/en...08220100209.pdf
http://www.biogeosci...-2010-print.pdf

in mud or silt the bacteria will compete for the Ammonium, while in sandy to aggonite/crushed coral type substrate it will be for P.

#22
Amphiprion1

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I'd wager it has a lot to do with a) how your seagrass gets to you (i.e. roots intact) and what type of substrate you're using. As an example, today I was out collecting zooplankton over seagrass beds. I spent a good 10-15 minutes checking out a 2'x2' area. Lots of mud, lots of muck, lots of shells. Try using the miracle mud or whatever its called. There are a few studies out there that link the bacteria of the mud to the growth of the seagrass.

Good luck - I'm turning a 14 biocube into a seagrass tank tomorrow.


Intact substrate and rhizomes are definitely important for some species, as is a good substrate with a reasonable mixture of mud/sand. In some species, like H. decipiens, however, it doesn't seem to be important at all. Most of the pieces that comprise my bed started off as single shoots with barely (or no) discernible rhizome and zero substrate attached. Then again, it is also believed that at least some Halophila species may harbor more of the necessary cyanobacteria than other genera, like Thalassia, lending to its hardier disposition and seeming disregard for substrate composition. I haven't found any peer-reviewed literature that confirms this in particular, granted, but it seems quite plausible.

#23
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Respiration:
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If you look close, you can see a trail of gas coming from a couple of blades.

Edited by seabass, 12 March 2011 - 09:31 AM.

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#24
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Hi peeps,

Just wondering if anyone has tried using freshwater root tab fertilizers (like seachem flourish tabs) with sea grasses? Do you think it would help? Btw, flourish tabs aren't supposed to 'melt' when exposed to water. Thanks.

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#25
seabass

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Just wondering if anyone has tried using freshwater root tab fertilizers (like seachem flourish tabs) with sea grasses? Do you think it would help?

I can imagine how they might help. I think I remember Sarah Lardizabal using them to start a new bed. For no particular or justifiable reason, I've been reluctant to try them in a tank with fish and coral.

They contain essential trace elements, amino acids, and vitamins. They are rich in iron, manganese, magnesium, calcium, potassium, inositol, choline B12, biotin, and other factors that have been determined to be beneficial to aquatic plant roots.



Here's a quote taken from WetWebMedia.com:

"I started using FW plant fertilizer tabs buried 2" below the DSB by the roots per Eric Borneman's advice at MAX '09, but I see no change."

Hard to say why this didn't work for this poster (could have been one or more other limiting factors).

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