seabass

Seagrass

166 posts in this topic

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.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

seagrassa.jpgseagrassb.jpg

 

seagrassc.jpgseagrassd.jpg

 

 

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

021111a.jpg

 

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seagrass Communists of the Gulf Coast of Florida: Status & Ecology

http://gulfsci.usgs.gov/gom_ims/pdf/pubs_fl.pdf

 

CHEMISTRY AND THE AQUARIUM by RANDY HOLMES-FARLEY Iron in the Reef Aquarium.

http://advancedaquarist.com/issues/aug2002/chem.htm

Edited by bitts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Solenoid and check valve for CO2:

021211a.jpg

 

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.com/books?id=IHGIL7az7...p;q&f=false

 

http://books.google.com/books?id=oDhSjvjJg...p;q&f=false

I'm never going to get all of these read.

 

Oh & this is the scary one.

http://books.google.com/books?id=pL-FOsGar...p;q&f=false

Edited by bitts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 CO
2
in plant growth is clear, since plants are primarily made up of carbon (or C) and oxygen (or O
2
). During the light cycle, photosynthesis utilizes the CO
2
in the water. Without other limiting factors (light, temperature, and nutrients), photosynthesis and growth increase as CO
2
levels increase.

 

An increase in temperature can increase the level of photosynthesis. With the addition of CO
2
, the temperature should also be increased along with the availability of nutrients. Balancing CO
2
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 CO
2
, bicarbonate (or HCO
3
), and carbonate (or CO
3
). 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.
. Isabelle Lemay, agr. and Melissa Leveille

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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 CO
2
in plant growth is clear, since plants are primarily made up of carbon (or C) and oxygen (or O
2
). During the light cycle, photosynthesis utilizes the CO
2
in the water. Without other limiting factors (light, temperature, and nutrients), photosynthesis and growth increase as CO
2
levels increase.

 

An increase in temperature can increase the level of photosynthesis. With the addition of CO
2
, the temperature should also be increased along with the availability of nutrients. Balancing CO
2
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 CO
2
, bicarbonate (or HCO
3
), and carbonate (or CO
3
). 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.
. 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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting; I love your tank! I'm glad that you are having good luck with your grass.

DSC_0027-1.jpg

That's just awesome. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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/lo/toc/vol_48/issue_1/0093.pdf

http://www.sid.ir/en/VEWSSID/J_pdf/108220100209.pdf

http://www.biogeosciences-discuss.net/7/18...-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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Respiration:

031111c.jpg

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

Edited by seabass

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

 

 

Here's a quote taken from WetWebMedia.com:

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now