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vlangel

Dawn's pony garden.

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The seahorse garden got some much needed attention today.  I always keep up with the WCs but it had been several weeks since I had actually put my hands in the tank to clean the bottom and corners.  I was being lazy and just using the mag cleaner.  Hair algae was actually growing on the silicon seam and it looked pretty bad.  I really do love the ease of cleaning a bb aquarium.  

 

The glass is just crawling with copepods since the seahorses are the only specie in the tank.  The fish must have been eating them when they were together but copepods are too small for ponies to bother with.  That is good news because it lets me know that the sump is well seeded.

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Those spikes are majestic as hell, ever had any problems with zoas stinging?

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What awesome critters.  Keep up fir good work - everything looks happy and healthy

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1 hour ago, Lypto said:

Those spikes are majestic as hell, ever had any problems with zoas stinging?

That's Delilah and she is exotic for sure.  No, those palys have been in with the seahorses for years with no problem.

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1 hour ago, Justind823 said:

What awesome critters.  Keep up fir good work - everything looks happy and healthy

They are awesome and totally charming.  Eve is 5 years old or there abouts but not doing too bad for her age.

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Well after I stated that I have never had dinos, it looks like the sump of the pony tank has them.  I am not quite sure how to deal with them or even if I should because they are not in the display at all, (which strikes me odd since its the same water).  I never test this tank because of the high percentage of WCs (24 gallons/week) which is about 50%.  Maybe for grins I should test just to see.  I would expect the nitrates and phosphates to be low, but testing would tell the tale.

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10 hours ago, vlangel said:

Well after I stated that I have never had dinos, it looks like the sump of the pony tank has them.  I am not quite sure how to deal with them or even if I should because they are not in the display at all, (which strikes me odd since its the same water).  I never test this tank because of the high percentage of WCs (24 gallons/week) which is about 50%.  Maybe for grins I should test just to see.  I would expect the nitrates and phosphates to be low, but testing would tell the tale.

oh no!!! 

is the light different down there than in the display? 

I'd say test before you do anything, just so you know what you're dealing with before you start trying things. 

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2 hours ago, mwhitelock said:

oh no!!! 

is the light different down there than in the display? 

I'd say test before you do anything, just so you know what you're dealing with before you start trying things. 

Yes, the light is a tuna blue par 38 led.  The display has a Coral Compulsion par 38 led and another led.  My guess is it's the flow that is the big difference.  The sump has a mere 400 gph going through it where the display has 1600-1800 gph in it.  I do plan to test and see what we have however.

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This is such an obvious step that I am embarrassed to admit that someone else had to suggest it to me...but I am going to turn my sump light off for a few days to combat the dinos.  I am also going to add some pods and snails to the sump.  Neither of these steps will have any effect on the seahorses so it's no big deal at all.

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6 minutes ago, vlangel said:

This is such an obvious step that I am embarrassed to admit that someone else had to suggest it to me...but I am going to turn my sump light off for a few days to combat the dinos.  I am also going to add some pods and snails to the sump.  Neither of these steps will have any effect on the seahorses so it's no big deal at all.

It certainly won't hurt. but it does raise questions about why they are present at all. did your nutrients drop too low?

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1 minute ago, mwhitelock said:

It certainly won't hurt. but it does raise questions about why they are present at all. did your nutrients drop too low?

That is a good question and I won't know that until I test nitrates and phosphates.  It's hard for me to imagine that as dirty as my ponies are that my nutrients are too low, but I do BIG water changes in this tank.  Actually I do around 50% a week.  My macro algaes are growing wonderfully too so they are using nutrients.  Finally I have a SCA-302 which is rated for a tank 3Xs this size, so maybe my nutrients are too low.

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4 minutes ago, vlangel said:

That is a good question and I won't know that until I test nitrates and phosphates.  It's hard for me to imagine that as dirty as my ponies are that my nutrients are too low, but I do BIG water changes in this tank.  Actually I do around 50% a week.  My macro algaes are growing wonderfully too so they are using nutrients.  Finally I have a SCA-302 which is rated for a tank 3Xs this size, so maybe my nutrients are too low.

I'll be curious to know your readings for sure!  it seems that the common theme of the tanks on here that have battled dinos have low nutrients and they seem to subside with elevated nitrate and phosphate. I think that was the case with mine, and it seems to be the case with jacky and another tank, the screen name is escaping my memory at the moment. 

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How old is the sump light? Possibility of a color shift? Is it on for more then 6-8 hours? Low flow and color shift will grow uglies. 

 

Now i may get frowns and sh@t for saying this. But uglies in the sump isnt a big deal to me. Especially with the high % of w/c's. Let em grow, just siphon in out during your w/c. They are afterall uptaking bad stuff in the water.

 

My 20 longs cheato hob grew chaeto and gha like it was nobodies business. Dt was spotless, even glass algae.

 

There is also old tank syndrome to ponder on.

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27 minutes ago, JBM said:

How old is the sump light? Possibility of a color shift? Is it on for more then 6-8 hours? Low flow and color shift will grow uglies. 

 

Now i may get frowns and sh@t for saying this. But uglies in the sump isnt a big deal to me. Especially with the high % of w/c's. Let em grow, just siphon in out during your w/c. They are afterall uptaking bad stuff in the water.

 

My 20 longs cheato hob grew chaeto and gha like it was nobodies business. Dt was spotless, even glass algae.

 

There is also old tank syndrome to ponder on.

the shift in light spectrum is an interesting factor- i recently messed with my spectrum, taking it a bit out of the usual blue. interesting.

 

what is old tank syndrome? 

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7 hours ago, JBM said:

How old is the sump light? Possibility of a color shift? Is it on for more then 6-8 hours? Low flow and color shift will grow uglies. 

 

Now i may get frowns and sh@t for saying this. But uglies in the sump isnt a big deal to me. Especially with the high % of w/c's. Let em grow, just siphon in out during your w/c. They are afterall uptaking bad stuff in the water.

 

My 20 longs cheato hob grew chaeto and gha like it was nobodies business. Dt was spotless, even glass algae.

 

There is also old tank syndrome to ponder on.

Thanks JBM for your thought.  Actually the par 38 led is not real old but it is on 24/7.  I have always kept my sumps on all the time so that caulerpa does not go sexual.

I could consider removing the DSB in the sump but I wont do that until I am sure its the problem.  Like you said, since they are in the sump I am not really worried.  They are easy to net out during WCs.

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On 2/12/2019 at 7:55 AM, mwhitelock said:

It certainly won't hurt. but it does raise questions about why they are present at all. did your nutrients drop too low?

Well Morgan, as it turns out my nutrients are quite low for a seahorse tank.  PO4 was less than .25 and NO3 was less than 2ppm.  For 3 seahorses in a 30 gallon display/20 gallon sump that was surprisingly low to me.  Of course the macro algaes in the display and the dinos in the sump are consuming some nutrients.  Still I think I could let my NO3 get a little higher without risk to the ponies.  Instead of 7-8 gallon WCs 3Xs a week, I am going to cut down to 7 gallons 2Xs a week for a while.

 

The other thing I noticed when I was removing the dinos from the sump is that most were floating, and those that weren't were on the codium I added several weeks ago.  I removed all the codium since it was not flourishing.  The rest of the dinos was easily netted in a fine net.

 

I had drastically pruned the green caulerpa because it was out competing my red algaes.  That must be what tipped the scales in favor of the dinos.  I thought the red titan, red caulerpa, codium and cheato would take over in place of the green caulerpas.  None of them flourished except the red grape caulerpa.  Unfortunately I did not start with much in the sump but what is there is very vibrant and healthy looking, (better in fact than its looked in months).  Since the conditions seem to favor the red grape I have added some more in hopes of getting it established to the point of out competing the dinos.  Those other macros may need more nutrients than my tank has atm.

 

My last strategy is I turned the sump light off and will black out the fuge for 3 days.  I am hoping with my thorough cleaning of the dinos plus the black out will weaken any remnants that the red grape will be able to get established and out compete.  There is still a little red titan and cheato in the sump so maybe if the nitrates raise a bit they also will begin to grow.  I will keep you posted.

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5 hours ago, vlangel said:

Well Morgan, as it turns out my nutrients are quite low for a seahorse tank.  PO4 was less than .25 and NO3 was less than 2ppm.  For 3 seahorses in a 30 gallon display/20 gallon sump that was surprisingly low to me.  Of course the macro algaes in the display and the dinos in the sump are consuming some nutrients.  Still I think I could let my NO3 get a little higher without risk to the ponies.  Instead of 7-8 gallon WCs 3Xs a week, I am going to cut down to 7 gallons 2Xs a week for a while.

 

The other thing I noticed when I was removing the dinos from the sump is that most were floating, and those that weren't were on the codium I added several weeks ago.  I removed all the codium since it was not flourishing.  The rest of the dinos was easily netted in a fine net.

 

I had drastically pruned the green caulerpa because it was out competing my red algaes.  That must be what tipped the scales in favor of the dinos.  I thought the red titan, red caulerpa, codium and cheato would take over in place of the green caulerpas.  None of them flourished except the red grape caulerpa.  Unfortunately I did not start with much in the sump but what is there is very vibrant and healthy looking, (better in fact than its looked in months).  Since the conditions seem to favor the red grape I have added some more in hopes of getting it established to the point of out competing the dinos.  Those other macros may need more nutrients than my tank has atm.

 

My last strategy is I turned the sump light off and will black out the fuge for 3 days.  I am hoping with my thorough cleaning of the dinos plus the black out will weaken any remnants that the red grape will be able to get established and out compete.  There is still a little red titan and cheato in the sump so maybe if the nitrates raise a bit they also will begin to grow.  I will keep you posted.

Good luck! Will be waiting and hoping it turns out well! 

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On 2/14/2019 at 7:26 PM, mwhitelock said:

Good luck! Will be waiting and hoping it turns out well! 

I see I forgot to answer " what is old tank syndrome?"  To me old tank syndrome means: tanks that have been set up for a very long time with live rock and dolomite or crushed coral but lacked the maintenance to keep detritus from building up to extreme levels.  Then the ph would suddenly drop super fast and a chain reaction would happen that depletes all the oxygen in the water column and everything dies.  I personally have only seen it in saltwater tanks that were set up years ago with under gravel filters.  In fresh water tanks it is ok for detritus to be sucked under the plate of an under gravel filter but with SW those plates MUST be partially siphoned monthly.  Nobody sets up saltwater tanks that way anymore so really old tank syndrome in my opinion is not an issue anymore.

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I am seeing a small amount of dinos in the DT of the seahorses now that I turned the lights off on the sump.  They are pretty much confined to the tips of the caulerpa so I think I will suck them off and only have the lights on for a shorter duration and while I  am feeding the ponies.

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6 hours ago, vlangel said:

I see I forgot to answer " what is old tank syndrome?"  To me old tank syndrome means: tanks that have been set up for a very long time with live rock and dolomite or crushed coral but lacked the maintenance to keep detritus from building up to extreme levels.  Then the ph would suddenly drop super fast and a chain reaction would happen that depletes all the oxygen in the water column and everything dies.  I personally have only seen it in saltwater tanks that were set up years ago with under gravel filters.  In fresh water tanks it is ok for detritus to be sucked under the plate of an under gravel filter but with SW those plates MUST be partially siphoned monthly.  Nobody sets up saltwater tanks that way anymore so really old tank syndrome in my opinion is not an issue anymore.

interesting! This also speaks to the value of your biodiversity approach. 

6 hours ago, vlangel said:

I am seeing a small amount of dinos in the DT of the seahorses now that I turned the lights off on the sump.  They are pretty much confined to the tips of the caulerpa so I think I will suck them off and only have the lights on for a shorter duration and while I  am feeding the ponies.

 oh no! well, hopefully you'll keep them under control. dosing phyto for more pods seemed to really knock them out for me- plus the addition of a filter sock (which i normally don't use- but seeing how nasty they get after a day or so, I'm a bit disgusted with myself that i never used them before).  Will be curious to see how they react to the limited light. 

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6 hours ago, mwhitelock said:

interesting! This also speaks to the value of your biodiversity approach. 

 oh no! well, hopefully you'll keep them under control. dosing phyto for more pods seemed to really knock them out for me- plus the addition of a filter sock (which i normally don't use- but seeing how nasty they get after a day or so, I'm a bit disgusted with myself that i never used them before).  Will be curious to see how they react to the limited light. 

They are not real bad in the seahorse DT so I am not too concerned yet.  I lifted the rock, macro algaes and coral out of the DT and put them in a 5 gallon bucket with new made salt water. Then I cleaned the DT and syphoned out all the dinos that clumped together on the bottom of the tank.  After the tank was clean I cleaned the macros and coral before I put them back into the DT.  Since the seahorse tank is somewhat spar it was easy to clean.  I can see how in a tank with a lot of rock and sand and coral how dinos could be a real nightmare.

 

I am afraid to dose phyto because of the ponies. Dissolved organic compounds can cause imbalances in seahorses that lead to buoyancy issues.  I am already cutting down on water changes and light so I will see if that helps.

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On 2/16/2019 at 2:03 PM, mwhitelock said:

interesting! This also speaks to the value of your biodiversity approach. 

On 2/16/2019 at 7:38 AM, vlangel said:

Dawn,

 

As always, your tanks & photography are stellar.  Kudos to you.

 

I would like to expound on the concept of “old tank syndrome”.   In forestry, the analogy of “old tank syndrome” is

Climax Forest.  

 

 

@mwhitelock

Your comment was incitful and shows an understanding of succesion of different levels of occupancy.  In forestry, that would be grasses to savanna to forest to climax forest.

 

In our marine enviroment, switch terms to trophic levels.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trophic_level

The trophic level of an organism is the position it occupies in a food chain. A food chain is a succession of organisms that eat other organisms and may, in turn, be eaten themselves. The trophic level of an organism is the number of steps it is from the start of the chain. A food chain starts at trophic level 1 with primary producerssuch as plants, can move to herbivores at level 2, carnivores at level 3 or higher, and typically finish with apex predators at level 4 or 5. The path along the chain can form either a one-way flow or a food "web". Ecological communities with higher biodiversity form more complex trophic paths.

The word trophic derives from the Greek τροφή (trophē) referring to food or nourishment.[1]

 

 

 

https://northernwoodlands.org/articles/article/what_is_a_climax_forest

The best way to grasp the idea of the climax forest – and why some don’t like the term – is to first understand that the concept is itself just one component of an even larger ecological view of how forests develop and change over long periods of time. This larger concept, known as forest succession, explains how even when people leave them alone, forests change. Trees and other plants grow, mature, reproduce, age, and die. Soils build and erode. Weather changes daily, and climate varies over long periods. Animal populations come and go. With time, these sorts of changes bring still other changes that go beyond the sizes of the trees to involve shifts in the kinds (species) and mixes of trees growing in the forest.

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11 hours ago, Subsea said:

Dawn,

 

As always, your tanks & photography are stellar.  Kudos to you.

 

I would like to expound on the concept of “old tank syndrome”.   In forestry, the analogy of “old tank syndrome” is

Climax Forest.  

 

 

@mwhitelock

Your comment was incitful and shows an understanding of succesion of different levels of occupancy.  In forestry, that would be grasses to savanna to forest to climax forest.

 

In our marine enviroment, switch terms to trophic levels.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trophic_level

The trophic level of an organism is the position it occupies in a food chain. A food chain is a succession of organisms that eat other organisms and may, in turn, be eaten themselves. The trophic level of an organism is the number of steps it is from the start of the chain. A food chain starts at trophic level 1 with primary producerssuch as plants, can move to herbivores at level 2, carnivores at level 3 or higher, and typically finish with apex predators at level 4 or 5. The path along the chain can form either a one-way flow or a food "web". Ecological communities with higher biodiversity form more complex trophic paths.

The word trophic derives from the Greek τροφή (trophē) referring to food or nourishment.[1]

 

 

 

https://northernwoodlands.org/articles/article/what_is_a_climax_forest

The best way to grasp the idea of the climax forest – and why some don’t like the term – is to first understand that the concept is itself just one component of an even larger ecological view of how forests develop and change over long periods of time. This larger concept, known as forest succession, explains how even when people leave them alone, forests change. Trees and other plants grow, mature, reproduce, age, and die. Soils build and erode. Weather changes daily, and climate varies over long periods. Animal populations come and go. With time, these sorts of changes bring still other changes that go beyond the sizes of the trees to involve shifts in the kinds (species) and mixes of trees growing in the forest.

Thanks Patrick, when folks talk about old tank syndrome I am never sure what they mean.  Thank you for a better explanation.  What I described must have a different name.  

 

I guess those of us keeping seahorses are not likely to experience old tank syndrome.  Seahorse tanks are usually spar and the maintenance is so over the top that a seahorse tank does not get to do much maturing, except perhaps the rock.  My rock is quite old (all my rock in both tanks is from 2004 or before) but I would nearly be positive that that is not what is contributing to the dinos.  I take a toothbrush to parts of the rock at a time.  I think the dinos are because I let the nutrients get too low in an effort to keep the ponies healthy.  I did not think a seahorse tank could get too low because of their bioload but I do really big water changes.

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