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The Marine Planted Tank & Macro Algae Thread


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Great thread and I'll be following your build Amphi. You guys can expect plenty of newb questions from me in the near future.

 

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much a fully functioning, healthy tank can process. It is much more than what most will think.

 

Agree 100%.

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Great thread and I'll be following your build Amphi. You guys can expect plenty of newb questions from me in the near future.

 

Cool!

I love it that we're getting a nice core group of ppl working on SW Planted Tank setups. :happydance:

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Weet's could you link that thread you found on reeftank by I think basil. I keep trying but can't get it to work at the moment.

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Actualy envy I think I saw it in your macro tank thread. Maybe.

 

Damn the blackberrys great but I still can't do anything I want/need. Sorry guys.

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Hey guys,

 

I need input on lighting for seagrasses. The tank is a 39g "cube," but actual working dimensions due to the huge overflow are 18x18x21H.

 

With a 6" DSB I'm looking at an actual height of 15". I want to fill the tank with seagrasses.

 

I want to eventually do a DIY LED, but not sure if I'm ready for that just yet and I want to get this tank running within the next 1-2 wks. So, I'm deciding between a 150w or 250w MH pendant. The 150w will of course save money both initially and over time, so it is preferred IF it is definitely sufficient. I don't want to have to worry about not having enough lighting.

 

I was looking at the fishneedit.com fixtures with either a 6500K or 8000K bulb.

 

So do you think I should go with 150w or 250w?

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Keep in mind that I don't have actual personal experience with seagrasses, although I've researched them.

Having said that, I would think that with an actual depth of 15" that light would need to penetrate, the 150w would be sufficient.

Personally I'd go with the 8000k bulb, but that's my own preference there.

You could ask johnmaloney for his input.

I believe dtfleming has tried to keep seagrasses and I also believe that seabass is currently building a seagrass tank and has tried them before, you could check with them.

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ok thanks I'll PM johnmaloney...

 

looks like fishneedit doesn't have the 150w 8000K in stock only the 250w. I bet all the freshwater people are buying them up since the only other 8000K bulb I've found is from ADA for $100!

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Amphiprion1

It is going to largely be dependent on species and how fast you want them to grow. I'm using a 250w 10K lamp over Halophila decipiens and I'm getting pretty fast growth in my 25g (also about 15" actual height). The lamp is about 5" from the surface and temps average ~82-83 F. A 150w would work, but the growth would be slower, IME, even with adequate nutrients. You may also want to shoot for a higher PAR lamp, as well as keeping it as close to the water as practical/safe.

 

John's a great guy and very experienced with a large variety of plants. He'll be able to shoot you in the right direction.

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Amphiprion1

Good deal. As long as you have a mechanism to control the heat, I don't think you'll be disappointed. I'm definitely happy with the growth under this 250w lamp. I don't think I would've chosen anything less for the application, personally. If heat weren't such an issue, I would've even jumped up to 400w, but I would've lost a lost of PAR from having to raise the fixture so much. I'm probably getting about the same PAR with this 250w that I would've gotten with a 400w that I'd need to raise ~12" or more above the water surface.

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Well the tank will be connected to a larger NPS system so there should be good heat dissipation, plus I have a chiller but electrical costs are definitely a consideration- hence the plan to go LED in the future. 400w wow that would be intense!

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Amphiprion1

Fortunately, short of the halide, electricity usage is minimal in this tank. I have a maximum usage of around 300w, counting the halide, at any given time. One of the perks I've gained from having minimal equipment (and mostly energy efficient equipment). But I don't run any sort of skimmer. Once I can get an LED fixture for around the same reasonable price, I will more than likely upgrade, myself.

 

Edit: Oh, and you likely already know this, but be sure to get some good live sand for the bed. I actually skulk around the LFS and ask for the crud that builds up in their live rock holding vats. It is great to jumpstart a sand bed. Handfuls of sand from other folks' tanks is also a good idea. I also bought some of the same crud from Premium Aquatics, carefully mixing it into the sand. The amount of diversity is fantastic and with the amount and quality of food you'll be feeding, it will be even better. That will largely be responsible for processing all of that food (as opposed to it simply being skimmed out). The addition should also encourage a lot of larval release, which only stands to benefit the NPS tank. Seagrass and/or macroalgal growth in and of itself will also encourage plankton (especially bacterioplankton), so it's a win-win situation as long as everything balances properly.

Edited by Amphiprion1
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Amphiprion, a question, since you have current experience with Halophila: what are your thoughts on planting Halophila with the substrate in which it was collected intact, rather than planting bare rhizomes?

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Amphiprion1

It would likely help survival rate in transport and captivity, but isn't as seemingly important as it is in other genera. If I had that kind of opportunity, I'd do it--but not in an established tank or one with any other livestock, at least not for a while. It affords other benefits than just a substrate for the grasses, as it is also a hotbed of infaunal diversity.

 

Edit: I guess I should post some pics. This should give an idea of how much the 250w has made, along with my heavy feeding regimen (keep in mind that this was with bare-rhizome plants).

 

They went from this (what I had left from my old 40g) on 5/26:

DSC_0191-1.jpg

 

To this, as of 7/7-keep in mind that is only one spot in the tank. That's not counting the fact that it has spread in every direction. It is much more substantial, but the pic gives you and idea.

DSC_0012-1.jpg

 

None of this counts the 9 days of total darkness it experienced in between.

Edited by Amphiprion1
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