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OldManSea

Old Man Sea's Shallow Reef Creative Contest Pico Tank - FTS 2018 - Mangroves have leaves; Green Banded Gobies

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OldManSea

Below is my entry sitting on a bench in the garage having its volume measured.  It is an old terrarium that my mother had plants in many, many years ago.  When thinking of a tank for the contest I thought of this as a possibility and called my brother to see if it might still be in the attic - it was!  As it is shown, there is exactly 2.0 gallons of water in it (the tank has an inside diameter of 12 inches and the rim is 7.5 inches high.  The water line as shown is just under 6 inches).  It holds just under 2.3 gallons to the rim.  This morning I was feeling brave and drilled a 3/8 inch hole in the rear a couple of inches above the water line to have a place for the heater cord and airline tubing or pump cords to exit.

 

Pico.jpg.6bfef61757fc60705b492fd27216a1c4.jpg

 

For lighting I have a PAR38 tuna blue bulb and a PAR38 10k bulb.  I will try to use the tuna blue but it may gross me out too much in which case I will use the 10k.  Since this is supposed to mimic a shallow reef the 10k will likely be more along the lines of what shallow reef creatures experience.  

 

For heating, I ordered a Cobalt Aquatics Electronic Neo-Therm heater, 25 watts.

 

I would like to have a small circulation pump and have several of the tiny Hydor's that I use for my 5.5 gallon tank - they are sort of under powered for that tank so may work well for this one.  If the flow seems excessive, I will go with an airstone and use mini-tubing.  

 

I plan to use live sand from my 170 liter tank and will pick up some rock.  I should have it cycling by this weekend.

 

My thoughts are for a shallow Florida/Caribbean reef dominated by Caribbean zoa's and ricordea's and accompanied by Caribbean anemone shrimp that naturally live in ricordeas.  I will think of some other tiny inhabitants.  I hope to source all of these from Florida divers although the recent hurricane disasters might make that challenging.      

 

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cfaye@Delaware

LOL......Oh Lord, no you didn't......

Such memories, to use your mothers container......

Good Luck......Will be following.......omgomgomg

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cfaye@Delaware

OOOppss, Forgot to say you have to post link to your entry and picture of your condiment in the official thread, don't forget, you have time......

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OldManSea
5 hours ago, cfaye@Delaware said:

OOOppss, Forgot to say you have to post link to your entry and picture of your condiment in the official thread, don't forget, you have time......

Uh, oh, thank you for reminding me about the condiment shot.  I was so pleased that I didn't break it drilling the hole that I forgot!

 

picocondiment.jpg.0bf7a804a22bc2231631b160c11c5e19.jpg

 

Old Bay in keeping with saltwater creature theme and to celebrate my Maryland background.  Of course I have been gone a long time or I would only have had a 5 lb or 10 lb bag and not a tiny 6 oz can....

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samnaz

Hmm just curious what you plan on fitting through that tiny hole?

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Droy008

My guess is an airline hose.

Love the bowl!

Following along to see how this goes!

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OldManSea
2 hours ago, samnaz said:

Hmm just curious what you plan on fitting through that tiny hole?

Good question, it is for the electric cords for the heater and circulation pump (or miniairline tubing if the pump is too powerful) so they don't have to go up over the top.  

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GunslingerGirl
11 minutes ago, OldManSea said:

Good question, it is for the electric cords for the heater and circulation pump (or miniairline tubing if the pump is too powerful) so they don't have to go up over the top.  

Getting out the heavy guns!

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Orangutran
12 hours ago, OldManSea said:

Good question, it is for the electric cords for the heater and circulation pump (or miniairline tubing if the pump is too powerful) so they don't have to go up over the top.  

Umm... if it's for cords, doesn't it have to be big enough for the plug to get thru? Doh! Unless you splice the cords. :) 

 

Overall, love the bowl, it's beautiful! And love your Caribbean plan. That is my goal as well, sort of. I should update my first post tonight.

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OldManSea
15 hours ago, Orangutran said:

Umm... if it's for cords, doesn't it have to be big enough for the plug to get thru? Doh! Unless you splice the cords. :)

 

Yes, I will remove the plugs and replace with new ones, using epoxy to seal the entire interior of each plug to make them waterproof.  The heater arrived today and I have the Hydor pump so I will do surgery tomorrow after work and get things set up.  I will have to choose rock that will hide the heater and pump without impeding heat exchange and flow.  I will take the bowl to the lfs with the appliances in place so I can choose appropriate rock.  Fortunately they always have several large tanks full of live rock which they take good care of so that cycling the new tank is a breeze.  The two tanks that I have set up using this source had very small blips during cycling, so small as to perhaps have been imaginary.  Nice to think of a tank small enough that filling with live rock should cost $5 or so!

 

On another note, I have been worried about not being able to source authentic Florida zoas given the recent hurricanes but through old marine biology friends I have found someone who has two types that he collected himself and has been growing for a couple of years.  One of them is quite colorful and goes by the name 'Vice' locally, the other he says is also pretty colorful but not quite of the same standout quality;  he thought that perhaps 'Vice' is the progenitor of the 'Miami Vice' zoas of commerce but is not certain. I also found a commercial listing of the 'green speckled' Florida zoas which are from somewhat deeper water.  In asking around it seems that several of the very shallow water Caribbean zoas grow well for a few months then crash whereas others from somewhat deeper water do well over at least several years.  In looking at videos it seems that the very shallow forms are essentially at the surface at low tide and are constantly subjected to really high currents and very intense light.  The folks at KP Aquatics confirmed those impressions saying that their shallow water zoas want very high flow and intense lighting.  They said that the prevailing opinion that those forms have short lifetimes in tanks is not necessarily true, one just has to be mindful of the lighting conditions.  They hope to be sourcing those again in the next few weeks to months.  I am looking forward to getting started.  Ricordea's, rock flower anemones, and Pederson shrimp are all in good supply, just need to make sure that I can source the authentic local zoa's - and keep them alive, and decide on a couple of other tiny inhabitants.

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cfaye@Delaware

Oh, yesssss.........:ninja:

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OldManSea

Still figuring things out.  First, the tuna blue bulb was horrible.  It was very blue and since many of the Florida/Caribbean critters tend to have a lot of blue, it will difficult to see them.  I shone the light on a blue Ricordea floridae in my 5.5 gallon tank and it was black and nearly invisible.  Here is the tank on Saturday with a 5000k bulb I had lying around.  I intended to have a mound of rock to emulate a reef top but the cords visible in back were really annoying.  To hide the heater and cords, I had to add enough rock to get above the water line.  I actually like the look - thinking mangrove?  I did some reading on the net and found a number of Florida diving photos of mangrove root tangles.  One actually had zoas.  I read a post from a diver who enumerated the corals he saw attached to mangrove roots in Florida and he said that zoas are the most common in some areas.  He mentioned many others as well so I can take a look at what might be available.  The heater and pump are behind the rock which comes away from the wall a good bit since it is flat on back, leaning against a concave wall.  The Hydor 160 gives a pretty good current but I may move to the next size up.  This is an older pump and I can hear it rattling inside anyway - these things tend not to last long for me.  With all the reflections from the glass, when viewed from the front the glass bottom is not apparent.  But top down it is.  I will add sand tomorrow to make a bottom since this is primarily a "look down" tank.  

59e57ae29e885_PicoTopDown5000k14Oct2017.jpg.4d2d3273a607b577d33171160ac6016c.jpg  PicoFrontUp5000k14Oct2017.jpg.90c6682007f1c561ffbcc686ac15d029.jpg  

 

PicoDirectFront5000k14Oct2017.jpg.6556efdcae700622e0c3811d26fb4040.jpg

 

I received a 50:50 bulb today.  It is much much better than the tuna blue but may still be a bit too blue for me.  I will explore a 10000k or 15000k bulb since this is supposed to be a shallow reef and 10000k is not unreasonable for a tropical midday sun.  I also read that mangroves do best at 8000-10000k.  I was able to reduce all the light reflections from the curved glass by putting the light in front and shining back at the rock.  I will have to figure out how to make the fixture look acceptable.  Once I have decided what to do, I will do a FTS that includes the fixture. 

 

PicoTopDown505016Oct2017.jpg.5e94db2bb87a072470fea78feba00e44.jpg  PicoFrontUp505017Oct2017.jpg.4f7d7db2686e28154fea1848acdc43d0.jpg

 

I measured the water volume with the rock in place and got 1.4 gallons.  I can add another 1-2 tenths of a gallon but I don't want to get too close to the lip since I plan to add Pedersen shrimp or similar.  This is a fun project since nothing is of standard aquarium size or shape.

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Orangutran

Do the mangrove and we can share tips! Lol my original idea was to have my LR pop out of the water too, but couldn't find a suitable piece. your Scape is awesome!

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vlangel

I love these jars with some of the scape rising up out of the water.  Nice scape.

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GunslingerGirl
22 hours ago, OldManSea said:

Still figuring things out.  First, the tuna blue bulb was horrible.  It was very blue and since many of the Florida/Caribbean critters tend to have a lot of blue, it will difficult to see them.  I shone the light on a blue Ricordea floridae in my 5.5 gallon tank and it was black and nearly invisible.  Here is the tank on Saturday with a 5000k bulb I had lying around.  I intended to have a mound of rock to emulate a reef top but the cords visible in back were really annoying.  To hide the heater and cords, I had to add enough rock to get above the water line.  I actually like the look - thinking mangrove?  I did some reading on the net and found a number of Florida diving photos of mangrove root tangles.  One actually had zoas.  I read a post from a diver who enumerated the corals he saw attached to mangrove roots in Florida and he said that zoas are the most common in some areas.  He mentioned many others as well so I can take a look at what might be available.  The heater and pump are behind the rock which comes away from the wall a good bit since it is flat on back, leaning against a concave wall.  The Hydor 160 gives a pretty good current but I may move to the next size up.  This is an older pump and I can hear it rattling inside anyway - these things tend not to last long for me.  With all the reflections from the glass, when viewed from the front the glass bottom is not apparent.  But top down it is.  I will add sand tomorrow to make a bottom since this is primarily a "look down" tank.  

59e57ae29e885_PicoTopDown5000k14Oct2017.jpg.4d2d3273a607b577d33171160ac6016c.jpg  PicoFrontUp5000k14Oct2017.jpg.90c6682007f1c561ffbcc686ac15d029.jpg  

 

PicoDirectFront5000k14Oct2017.jpg.6556efdcae700622e0c3811d26fb4040.jpg

 

I received a 50:50 bulb today.  It is much much better than the tuna blue but may still be a bit too blue for me.  I will explore a 10000k or 15000k bulb since this is supposed to be a shallow reef and 10000k is not unreasonable for a tropical midday sun.  I also read that mangroves do best at 8000-10000k.  I was able to reduce all the light reflections from the curved glass by putting the light in front and shining back at the rock.  I will have to figure out how to make the fixture look acceptable.  Once I have decided what to do, I will do a FTS that includes the fixture. 

 

PicoTopDown505016Oct2017.jpg.5e94db2bb87a072470fea78feba00e44.jpg  PicoFrontUp505017Oct2017.jpg.4f7d7db2686e28154fea1848acdc43d0.jpg

 

I measured the water volume with the rock in place and got 1.4 gallons.  I can add another 1-2 tenths of a gallon but I don't want to get too close to the lip since I plan to add Pedersen shrimp or similar.  This is a fun project since nothing is of standard aquarium size or shape.

I think KP has pederson's in stock. I THINK. Could be wrong.

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OldManSea
1 hour ago, GunslingerGirl said:

I think KP has pederson's in stock. I THINK. Could be wrong.

Yes, they do. Thank you!

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el fabuloso

Love the container and I love the concept!

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OldManSea
9 hours ago, el fabuloso said:

Love the container and I love the concept!

Thank you, now to make it happen.

 

12 hours ago, vlangel said:

I love these jars with some of the scape rising up out of the water.  Nice scape.

Thanks!

 

On ‎10‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 12:14 AM, Orangutran said:

Do the mangrove and we can share tips! Lol my original idea was to have my LR pop out of the water too, but couldn't find a suitable piece. your Scape is awesome!

I ordered propagules of red mangrove.  I will start playing with them when they arrive.

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OldManSea

I put substrate from my Red Sea Max into the bowl yesterday.  I also received red mangrove propagules.  

 

Mangrove20Oct2017.thumb.jpg.923953487325d4d026f29776c1163002.jpg

 

I saw them at $9.95 each pause $29.95 shipping from Live Aquaria.  The shipping cost seemed unnecessary so I looked at Amazon.  I got 6 for $15.95 which included shipping.  I have four floating in the sump of the RSM and added 2 to the bowl.  There are 3 holes in the top rock.  One of the propagules fit well, the other two holes are a bit small.  I will bore them

 

Picofts20Oct2017.thumb.jpg.fa4dd63f66e5e29a716c11128d5ea5c1.jpg

out so the propagules fit tomorrow.  I will have to raise the light 4 or 5 inches to adequately light them.

I added a number of Ricordea floridae today.  The blue-green ones are extras from my 5.5 gallon tank.  The others are new ones from AquaSD.  All of them are lying on the bottom for a couple of days and then I will place them more permanently.  

 

At the lfs, one of the part time staff is a scuba diver who often dives in Florida.  She lived there for several years and was a professional collector.  She has some Florida-collected zoanthids and said she will frag some for me.  That is extremely nice and will help to maintain authenticity as a pico Florida keys mangrove reef.

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Orangutran

How is this coming along? :) Are your mangroves doing good in the pico? 

 

Btw did your rics come on rock rubble? They look awesome so far! I'm still waiting for a specific LFS to get rics that aren't stuck on plugs, as I'm trying to avoid plugs in my jar.

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cfaye@Delaware

I hope things are going ok with you.......don't forget your monthly updates and full tank shots with tank pictures and such........still hanging w/ you.........

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Felicia

Hi!  Just a reminder to please pm me your November full tank shot (FTS) along with a link to your build thread by the end of the day on November 30th.

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OldManSea

I haven't been communicative since work has been extremely hectic all month - but now a short interlude for Thanksgiving.  I have been slowly improving the setup and accumulating inhabitants.  Here is the setup as of today (pardon these shots, please.  They were taken with a cell phone - batteries dead in each DSLR - and will be updated with real images when batteries charge...).  The original 24watt 50:50 bulb was too hot, even though I added a 6 inch spacer to raise the height of the fixture, so I replaced it with a 12 watt 50:50.  I noticed the heat when the mangrove propagules began to dehydrate whereas those in the sump of the other tank looked great and began to grow roots.  These three are now growing roots so I

5a17a3ea5aa81_Bowl2017Nov23.thumb.jpg.c4b6458ec62339f981462f452a23a4f9.jpg

 

hope to have some leaves sprouting in a few weeks.  Next, we have a shot looking through the glass to see the underwater portion of the scape.  The curvature of the bowl makes the

 5a17a5024ffdc_Bowlunderwater2017Nov23.thumb.jpg.8008f654a2d89a67fcc0055a5456759c.jpg

 

specimens on the sand bed difficult to see.  But, because of the angle at which the sphere is cut, I really only look at the scape from the top:

5a17a5e1a4a65_Bowlmedumclose2017Nov23.thumb.jpg.c2a1c288d514758e4d0e072e30854d91.jpg

 

The collection is growing.  On the bottom are two ricordea families on rocks (these are the ones from AquaSD).  I initially glued them to the rock walls but they were not readily visible so I will leave them on the sand.  On the rock is a bright light blue ricordea which I obtained from KP Aquatics.  I really like this color and once it has divided a few times, I plan to take one for my 5.5 gallon ricordea garden.  The other new ones were pried off the rocks of the 5.5 gallon.  Also from KP Aquatics were the very tiny bright green mat zoas at the top and far right.  The colony of blue ad red zoas above the striped rock flower anemone are from the lfs employee who scuba dives the Florida keys.  She has had a large colony of these for several years that she was kind enough to frag for me.  They were originally obtained when she was a diver for a licensed collector.  Just above the ricordeas is a mixed colony of zoas.  Those that are more blue were also collected by the diver in the keys.  The brighter greens that resemble radioactive dragon eyes were not collected by her but she believes they were collected by a colleague; she has had them a long time.  On the far right just above the bright green mat zoas is a small frag of Miami Vice zoas, a well-known Caribbean zoa, which I obtained from The Cultivated Reef.  Now that they are in the tank, I see that they are probably identical to the zoa colony from the diver, to their immediate left.  There are three rock flower anemones.  The red striped and the green and red leftmost specimen, were obtained last week from VIP Reef.  The middle specimen, which sadly looks just like the VIP Reef specimen, I should have looked more closely at the website photos, was obtained this week from Cherry Corals (along with some spectacular blasto's for the large tank).  I will pull one of these and replace it with the specimen in the 5.5 gallon which has a red center surrounded by yellow and then green.  It is about as large as these now.  I will just have to figure out how to get it off its rock without killing it. 

 

Here is a more close up shot of the underwater portion of the scape.  I got the red dragon's tongue from Salty Underground a couple of weeks ago.  It looked very nice.  Once in this

5a17aae809b6a_Bowlclose2017Nov23.thumb.jpg.51efb4bbef9b385fc592f9686e5fe041.jpg

 

tank it quickly turned yellow and I thought it was done.  But, over the past week, it has pulled off a great recovery.  The large amount of new growth is not quite as richly colored as the original but it is doing much better.  In the image there are a couple of Astrea snails transferred from my larger tank when this one developed a lot of  greenish tufted algae that threatened to overtake it.  The Astrea's - there are two of them - did a good job on the main plague but could not get into the small cracks, which became quite hairy.  I ordered a handful dwarf Ceriths from KP Aquatics, I think they sent 50.  There are 7 in the tank, one is visible at the center top, and another by the leftmost rock flower anemone.  They are quite amazing in that they went through all the cracks and have just about gotten all the algae.  Impressive job by all the snails as I thought the tank was in real trouble but they quickly cleaned it up.  Below is an image

 

5a17aca9c3ce8_BowlGreenmatzoas2017Nov23.thumb.jpg.e7c4062b988e8c215a01eeb26ac39542.jpg

 

of the mat zoa's, close up.  The tissue connecting the individual polyps is quite visible as tubes.  There are many reports that mat zoas do not do well in tanks for long periods.  The folks at KP said that they have good success with them with high light and high flow as they are a very shallow water species and often have waves crashing around them at low tide.  We will see.  They are only an inch or so under water in this tank.

 

I am happy with the progress.  I don't think I have killed the mangroves but the too-hot light for two weeks did set them back.  I have been changing water, 100 %, always once a week and twice a week when I am around.  I try to feed oyster feast, Reef Roids, and Phytofeast, roughly every other day.  Travel for work has made that more of an aspiration than a fact.  I feed the anemones mysis.  Some of my larger ricordeas in the 5.5 gallon tank also eat mysis but these are too small at present and show no interest. 

 

I would like to get a Pedersen's shrimp.  KP Aquatics was out when I placed my order but of course yesterday I received an email message that they have them again now.  I will have to see if they have some other things of interest available to justify the shipping charge.  I need something for the empty space on the rock just below the water surface.  It is tricky though.  While there looks to be lot of empty real estate in the side view, in reality, it is only about 3/4 to 1 inch from the water surface to the existing zoa colonies so I have to be careful.

 

Suggestions for additional inhabitants would be appreciated.  I just need to be careful to not overfill, especially with heavy polluters like the anemones.  I would to get one of the 1 inch blennies or gobies from the Florida area.  KP Aquatics has them from time to time.  I have a request in to be notified when they get some.  The Florida recovery and winter probably will make this a slow process.  I would like to get something for the above water area that makes sense but again, finding specimens will be difficult at this time of year. 

 

 

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OldManSea
On ‎11‎/‎18‎/‎2017 at 10:40 AM, Orangutran said:

Btw did your rics come on rock rubble? They look awesome so far! I'm still waiting for a specific LFS to get rics that aren't stuck on plugs, as I'm trying to avoid plugs in my jar.

All the ric's that I have gotten have been on rubble, sometimes the rubble is then attached to a plug, but I separate them with a utility knife.  The two "family rocks" arrived from AquaSD without being attached to plugs. 

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vlangel

I love these last set of pics.  Your bowl is coming along very nicely!

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