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Seagrass

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lljdma06

Agreed, totally subscribing... This is a great thread! Can't wait to play with all the links!

 

I'm planning a system that will incorporate macro algae and was also looking into shore grass and star grass. I'm from Miami, so yes, I'm designing the scape to include species from only the Caribbean and South FL. May include some soft corals, LR, inverts, and fish. I know the macro algae is very plausible. I've got a 36g corner bowfront with 2 x 65W of CF lighting and 2x14W of T5. The tank is still in the planning stages, but could I possibly try one of the seagrasses I mentioned above? So far the literature I've read says "yes", but I'm still learning about this aspect of the hobby, though I've been doing Planted FW tanks for about 5 years. The shore grass and the stargrass were the ones that made the least demands with regard to substrate depth and overall care.

 

Again, thanks for this thread. The seagrass posted look great.

 

Liz

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kgoldy

Joining the seagrass club next week. DSB in my nice big DIY fuge will be filled with oolite and 2 jars of Miracle Mud, 1 bucket of Walt Smith's Figi Mud. I'll be sure to post how it goes on here.

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RESONANCE

Hey guys,

 

Just wondering what is the optimal temperature for tropical seagrasses?

 

Thanks.

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wombat

Anybody collecting their own Thalassia propagules rather than grown plants? The fruits wash up on shore in mid to late summer all over South Florida and the Keys. If you're late you can also find sprouted propagules in the sediment close to shore with a few leaves and no roots yet.

 

http://www.seabean.com/guide/Thalassia_testudinum/

 

According to the Florida State Dept. of Agriculture there are no permits required to collect them.

 

 

Here is what the young plants look like...

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wombat

Here is an area where we had really great luck finding a lot of young plants. This is just off the overseas highway in the keys. There is some obvious vertical zonation here that is dictated by the tides...the Thalassia beds are furthest out on the right, and slowly transition to a narrow bed of Syringodium (only about 4-5 feet wide here) as you get closer to shore. Then there is the narrow band of bare sand where seagrass can't survive at all from low tide exposure.

 

Furthest to the left is essentially beach rack, it's mostly dead and decaying Thalassia leaves. This last area is where Thalassia propagules are easy to find as the green leaves stick out like a sore thumb among the decaying brown mulm. Even if they do root here, they won't survive for long and establish a bed as they are buried in dead leaves and exposed at low tide.

Edited by wombat

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RESONANCE

Wow, really cool wombat! I wish I could do this... How about you? Have you been planting these in your tanks? Would love to see how they progress if so.

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seabass
Just wondering what is the optimal temperature for tropical seagrasses?
I've been told they do better in warmer water (around 80 degrees F).

 

-----

 

I removed a few seagrass plants with a hook. Here is a look at the plants.

 

Shoal Grass:

110111c.jpg

 

Oar Grass:

110111d.jpg

 

110111e.jpg

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RESONANCE
I've been told they do better in warmer water (around 80 degrees F).

 

 

Yep. I found that out by experimenting. Faster growth rate for sure.

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wombat
Wow, really cool wombat! I wish I could do this... How about you? Have you been planting these in your tanks? Would love to see how they progress if so.

 

Yes, I have them planted in several tanks. They are doing fine, zero mortality and all are growing well. Since August (3 months as of this writing) the longest ones have added 2-3" of growth at least. I am eager to see them start to send out runners.

 

Julian Sprung has some Thalassia that he collected this way that is still doing well after several years. He turned me on to the idea of collecting propagules and it is really the way to go with this species. Adult plants don't transplant very well.

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lljdma06
Yes, I have them planted in several tanks. They are doing fine, zero mortality and all are growing well. Since August (3 months as of this writing) the longest ones have added 2-3" of growth at least. I am eager to see them start to send out runners.

 

Julian Sprung has some Thalassia that he collected this way that is still doing well after several years. He turned me on to the idea of collecting propagules and it is really the way to go with this species. Adult plants don't transplant very well.

 

This is great! The plants look really good. I finally got my seagrasses planted in my 36g. :)

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wombat
This is great! The plants look really good. I finally got my seagrasses planted in my 36g. :)

 

Hi, where did you get your plants from and what species did you get?

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lljdma06
Hi, where did you get your plants from and what species did you get?

 

Gulf Coast Ecosystems

 

Halodule wrightii (Shoal grass)

 

Will say, I may have mispelled the scientific name. I'm on my way to teach my music history class.

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AquaticEngineer

Anyone else doing temperate seagrass? I'm going to keep a bed of Zostera Marina with collected along side the native pipefish that live in it.

 

I attached a PDF file I had found a couple years ago titled:

Light Requirements for Growth and Survival of Eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) in Pacific Northwest (USA) Estuaries

 

Found some good links for info about this particular seagrass.

 

Response of eelgrass Zostera marina to CO2 enrichment: possible impacts of climate change and potential for remediation of coastal habitats

 

Habitat preferences of British Zostera species

 

I will try and document everything I do with the Zostera spp I keep also. I'll be collecting some this monday night :)

Lighting_Requirements_for_Eelgrass.pdf

Edited by AquaticEngineer

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wombat

Yes, we keep Zostera at work. It is not particularly demanding but must be removed and transported carefully. Lots of light!

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Amphiprion1
Anyone else doing temperate seagrass? I'm going to keep a bed of Zostera Marina with collected along side the native pipefish that live in it.

 

I attached a PDF file I had found a couple years ago titled:

Light Requirements for Growth and Survival of Eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) in Pacific Northwest (USA) Estuaries

 

Found some good links for info about this particular seagrass.

 

Response of eelgrass Zostera marina to CO2 enrichment: possible impacts of climate change and potential for remediation of coastal habitats

 

Habitat preferences of British Zostera species

 

I will try and document everything I do with the Zostera spp I keep also. I'll be collecting some this monday night :)

 

Looking forward to seeing results. This species is a bit more light-hungry than I would've previously expected, but fits the bill for most species.

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AquaticEngineer
Looking forward to seeing results. This species is a bit more light-hungry than I would've previously expected, but fits the bill for most species.

 

I'm going to use a 50w LED spot light that I made previously. Runs nice and cool, puts out the PAR equivalent of a 250w halide and is 6700K roughly. Its too much light over my main tank and promotes algae growth on the front of my display. But it should be just right over a seagrass tank :D

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wombat
I'm going to use a 50w LED spot light that I made previously. Runs nice and cool, puts out the PAR equivalent of a 250w halide and is 6700K roughly. Its too much light over my main tank and promotes algae growth on the front of my display. But it should be just right over a seagrass tank :D

 

I would go MH or nothing. Have you confirmed that it matches a 250w MH with PAR readings, or is that a manufacturer claim?

 

The biggest obstacle is keeping algae from smothering the blades.

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AquaticEngineer
I would go MH or nothing. Have you confirmed that it matches a 250w MH with PAR readings, or is that a manufacturer claim?

 

The biggest obstacle is keeping algae from smothering the blades.

 

Thats confirmed PAR readings taken both dry and wet at depth when compared with a 400w halide and a 250w halide.

 

I guess that is a manufacturers claim since I made it from parts :D I got some videos of the tests somewhere, and I posted up info in one of the DIY LED threads somewhere. Its more or less the same thing as the EcoXotic Cannon fixture without the fancy housing, and about $450 cheaper ;)

 

The wasted energy in heat put off by halides isn't worth it IMO, especially with a coldwater tank where your chiller just has to combat it. Its also pretty tough to mount a halide 6 feet off the tank and have it put out a 2ft x2ft square of light right where you want it.

Edited by AquaticEngineer

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Amphiprion1
Thats confirmed PAR readings taken both dry and wet at depth when compared with a 400w halide and a 250w halide.

 

I guess that is a manufacturers claim since I made it from parts :D I got some videos of the tests somewhere, and I posted up info in one of the DIY LED threads somewhere. Its more or less the same thing as the EcoXotic Cannon fixture without the fancy housing, and about $450 cheaper ;)

 

The wasted energy in heat put off by halides isn't worth it IMO, especially with a coldwater tank where your chiller just has to combat it. Its also pretty tough to mount a halide 6 feet off the tank and have it put out a 2ft x2ft square of light right where you want it.

Any plans on connecting displays or is this a standalone project? I'm curious to see how primary productivity compares to tropical specimens in captivity and whether or not they can be used as a significant mechanism for N and P assimilation in cooler temps. Maximizing growth and transport would be a big first step. Would certainly be a fun project. What do you plan to use for water motion? IME, tropical grasses do better with vigorous, low velocity water movement.

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AquaticEngineer
Any plans on connecting displays or is this a standalone project? I'm curious to see how primary productivity compares to tropical specimens in captivity and whether or not they can be used as a significant mechanism for N and P assimilation in cooler temps. Maximizing growth and transport would be a big first step. Would certainly be a fun project. What do you plan to use for water motion? IME, tropical grasses do better with vigorous, low velocity water movement.

 

This will be a stand alone tank, for now ;) I would eventually like to tie it into the main system but that will involve some minor construction since I want this one inside the house,

 

Tank dimensions are 18" x 26" x 18" and made of 1": acrylic. I did spray foam rock work in it so I can have a place to adhere mussels and barnacles and keep the sand bed undisturbed.

 

Heres some pics of the tank:

th_IMG_20120130_201616.jpg

th_IMG_20120130_201450.jpg

th_IMG_20120130_201516.jpg

th_IMG_20120130_201540.jpg

 

You can kind of see it in the pictures, but one end has a coast to coast overflow. That will be ran more akin to an internal sump and kept at a constant water level. The skimmer will be housed in there as well and hooked up to a timer alternate the auto feeder (quick fix until I find a deal on a Reef Keeper)

 

There are drain and return bulkheads drilled in the underside of the overflow area that will run to an Iwaki pump that will push water through the chiller first, then through a refridgerated auto feeder, then back into the main display. So there will be one return that will come over the overflow wall in the back right corner. I will have a ball valve there on the closed loop to control flow into the tank.

 

I'm going to mount the 50w LED spotlight from a canister light attached to the ceiling and use a very narrow optic lens to focus the light on just the tank.

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wombat

That is some very cool looking rockwork. Kudos. :D

 

It would be completely inappropriate for a seagrass setup, but have you considered some of the temperate crinoids that are found deep around here? If you are keeping mussels and barnacles, they will eat food in the same size range. For whatever reason they are much more durable from shipping/handling than tropical crinoids. If you're collecting your own, even better! They only need a bit of porous surface to grasp onto. The smooth granite rocks from around here do not really work for them.

 

The latin name on them is Florometra serratissima.

Edited by wombat

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AquaticEngineer
That is some very cool looking rockwork. Kudos. :D

 

It would be completely inappropriate for a seagrass setup, but have you considered some of the temperate crinoids that are found deep around here? If you are keeping mussels and barnacles, they will eat food in the same size range. For whatever reason they are much more durable from shipping/handling than tropical crinoids. If you're collecting your own, even better! They only need a bit of porous surface to grasp onto. The smooth granite rocks from around here do not really work for them.

 

The latin name on them is Florometra serratissima.

 

Mosty definitely :D As soon as I am diving for my own stuff I will be getting them. They are one of the species I requested on my collection permit application. I was planning on adding them to my main display tank that has all the corynactis in it. I've started dosing live phyto plankton with tigroprius californicus growing in it via my auto feeder mini fridge and have noticed a HUGE difference. I have about 20 two liter bottles going now and I've been pouring a little out of each one to feed to the main tank. I've only been dosing it twice a day, but I'm going to bump it up to 4 or 5 times a day here real soon, especially if I get some crinoids.

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wombat

Super cool! I forget the entire list of what our temperate aquarist feeds our, but I know that baby brine and live rotifers are on it. I'll find out on Tuesday and post it, along with a picture.

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Amphiprion1

Found this pic by accident a few days ago. It is a familiar, but not so pleasant sight, but for those with seagrasses, I felt it appropriate to show it. This is what you can expect as grasses begin to become denser and the bed itself matures:

 

6118186823_fe66a01819.jpg

 

What can you do about it? Keep the grasses growing less densely--somewhere in moderation is best along with reasonable water motion. This develops from leaf litter that has decayed and is sitting in between sprouts. Even high water flow won't stop it for long, since the grasses only fill in thicker with higher water motion.

 

Keep in mind that his is pretty normal for seagrass beds in the wild, though. Doesn't make the most attractive display, however ;)

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bear-hugs

wow thanks for all the info and details, really interesting stuff. i wonder if this stuff works well in refugiums.

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