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AlmightyJoshaeus

Great balls of fire! My 3 gallon macroalgae tank

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AlmightyJoshaeus

Hello all! My 3 gallon is now at the point that I feel comfortable starting a journal about it. Here goes nothing! 

Initial setup:

Lights: 49 watts worth of a generic LED outputting 50% 10000k and about 35% 460nm

Filter:  A generic internal filter at 160 GPH filled with seachem matrix (eventually going to start adding tiny amounts of vodka to encourage the growth of denitrifying bacteria)

Heater: Generic 50W heater

Fauna: None yet but will likely include a pom pom crab or two. Unsure on the fish front. Considering getting a photosynthetic sponge carried by gulf coast ecosystems.

Corals: Again none yet, TBD if I will have any.

Macroalgae: Caulerpa prolifera, Gracilaria parvispora and hayi, coralline algae. All are thriving and start producing oxygen bubbles within an hour of the lights going on (a timer keeps the lights on from 1 to 9 pm).

 

Here is a picture of my tank. Hope you enjoy it!

Photo04091446.jpg

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AlmightyJoshaeus

Almost forgot! I will be posting new pics weekly as the tank develops. Should see lots of growth, occasional new life, etc

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Blue-Man

Thats really cool! Keep up the good work!

 

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AlmightyJoshaeus

Thanks! Don't hesitate to give any suggestions on how to improve the tank.

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ajmckay

Nice tank.  Is it glass or acrylic?

 

What are your plans to grow the algae?  I agree that a fish generally has no place in a 3g but at least in my experience macros grow best in somewhat dirty conditions.  I have a clump of chaeto in my 2.6g fluval spec tank and I do water changes but I also feed the tank several times per week.  Unfortunately I have some flatworms so it's sort of a balance between feeding too much and having their population explode vs. feeding too little which can cause the dominant organisms to utilize the majority of the nutrients and then the corals suffer.  At least this is what I find. 

 

I suppose my only other consideration would be to monitor the growth of each type of macro and trim accordingly.   In my case I found that c. prolifera was pretty easily outcompeted by chaeto.  I'm thinking the other algaes in your tank aren't quite as aggressive but depending on the nutrient/mineral balance you may find that one type does very well while the others do only OK.   Good luck!

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AlmightyJoshaeus

Acryllic...it's a critter keeper.  The macroalgae is all pearling vigorously from oxygen; the parvispora is pearling the most, surprisingly. I will keep that advice in mind...feeding it daily as if it had livestock in it.

 

Anyhow, I am STRONGLY leaning towards making this an invertebrate tank with 1 pom pom crab and 2 bumblebee shrimp. Any comments on these species?

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AlmightyJoshaeus

Hello again everyone! Being the impatient fellow I am, I bought some pre-cycled live rock yesterday and replaced my current rock with that. Also, I rearranged the macroalgae and removed the caulerpa. Hope you guys like the results :)Photo04131302.jpg.61f3290146792666bca6fafd764dd84a.jpgPhoto04121647.jpg.624eb9fe658e510abe43971a87a6776f.jpg

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AlmightyJoshaeus

Hello again all! No new pic today because little has changed, but the macroalgaes are still doing well. Say...have any advice on corals that would look good in this setup?

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ajmckay
On 4/10/2018 at 3:55 PM, AlmightyJoshaeus said:

Acryllic...it's a critter keeper.  The macroalgae is all pearling vigorously from oxygen; the parvispora is pearling the most, surprisingly. I will keep that advice in mind...feeding it daily as if it had livestock in it.

 

Anyhow, I am STRONGLY leaning towards making this an invertebrate tank with 1 pom pom crab and 2 bumblebee shrimp. Any comments on these species?

Lol I knew I recognized the shape of the container.  Without the lid it's more difficult to tell.  I'm interested as to how well the acrylic handles cleaning.

 

I wouldn't quite feed it daily... Start slow and figure out what works.  I feed my tank probably 2x per week, mostly spot feeding but I also disperse some food for the pods and such. Note that I only use frozen food that's been mildly rinsed.  Not enough to get rid of all the tiny pieces but just enough so the water isn't cloudy.  I do this because pellet foods are loaded with phosphates compared to frozen.  Just some mysis is fine.   In my 3g (fluval spec 3) I have a pom pom, a sexy shrimp, a bumblebee shrimp, and a porcelain crab.  If I were to do it again I would just have the pom pom and 2 sexy shrimp.  The bumblebee shrimp are interesting, however, they're not nearly as active as the sexies and usually just hide.  Also I wonder if the bumblebee shrimp had something to do with my crab's pom poms going missing during a molt.  I would also avoid the porcelain crab if I did this again.  It doesn't necessarily fight with the pom pom, but it stole the pom poms hidey spot.   The tank has a nice overall dynamic but I feel it could be better.

On 4/16/2018 at 1:19 PM, AlmightyJoshaeus said:

Hello again all! No new pic today because little has changed, but the macroalgaes are still doing well. Say...have any advice on corals that would look good in this setup?

Tank looks good.  It's hard to tell - but to me the rock you got looks like it's uncured rock...  It has that "straight out of the ocean" look vs. the clean look of fully cured rock.  Might have to give it a bit before adding inhabitants - make sure there is 0 ammonia when you do.

 

IMO soft corals are ideal for tiny tanks.  Mushrooms and zoas are perfect and come in a variety of colors so you're not stuck with all green.  Given your desire to keep macros I would stick with some corals that do well in a variety of nutrient situations...  For that reason I would avoid xenia and GSP - which could compete more readily with the macros.  I would say get a small frogspawn or something - but those grow pretty quickly. 

 

Good luck.

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Tamberav

I love macro :wub: Great start!

 

Try these on a small spot to test for scratches and make sure it is the original (so no chemicals). It is what I use on my acrylic tank. I don't think those keepers are acrylic, some other type of plastic but these erasers are much safer than the stuff actually made for acrylic. I cut off a small piece to use each time.

 

Image result for magic eraser 

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ajmckay
2 hours ago, Tamberav said:

I love macro :wub: Great start!

 

Try these on a small spot to test for scratches and make sure it is the original (so no chemicals). It is what I use on my acrylic tank. I don't think those keepers are acrylic, some other type of plastic but these erasers are much safer than the stuff actually made for acrylic. I cut off a small piece to use each time.

 

Image result for magic eraser 

I've thought about trying this on acrylic but I always forget...  Good to know they *should* work on acrylic and possibly acrylic"ish" materials.

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AlmightyJoshaeus
13 hours ago, ajmckay said:

Lol I knew I recognized the shape of the container.  Without the lid it's more difficult to tell.  I'm interested as to how well the acrylic handles cleaning.

 

I wouldn't quite feed it daily... Start slow and figure out what works.  I feed my tank probably 2x per week, mostly spot feeding but I also disperse some food for the pods and such. Note that I only use frozen food that's been mildly rinsed.  Not enough to get rid of all the tiny pieces but just enough so the water isn't cloudy.  I do this because pellet foods are loaded with phosphates compared to frozen.  Just some mysis is fine.   In my 3g (fluval spec 3) I have a pom pom, a sexy shrimp, a bumblebee shrimp, and a porcelain crab.  If I were to do it again I would just have the pom pom and 2 sexy shrimp.  The bumblebee shrimp are interesting, however, they're not nearly as active as the sexies and usually just hide.  Also I wonder if the bumblebee shrimp had something to do with my sexy shrimp's pom poms going missing during a molt.  I would also avoid the porcelain crab if I did this again.  It doesn't necessarily fight with the pom pom, but it stole the pom poms hidey spot.   The tank has a nice overall dynamic but I feel it could be better.

Tank looks good.  It's hard to tell - but to me the rock you got looks like it's uncured rock...  It has that "straight out of the ocean" look vs. the clean look of fully cured rock.  Might have to give it a bit before adding inhabitants - make sure there is 0 ammonia when you do.

 

IMO soft corals are ideal for tiny tanks.  Mushrooms and zoas are perfect and come in a variety of colors so you're not stuck with all green.  Given your desire to keep macros I would stick with some corals that do well in a variety of nutrient situations...  For that reason I would avoid xenia and GSP - which could compete more readily with the macros.  I would say get a small frogspawn or something - but those grow pretty quickly. 

 

Good luck.

The rock has been in the pet store's tanks for months - I am 99% sure it didn't come from the ocean (he has a tank full of live rock at his store...very useful. I took the algae covered piece from one of his fish holding tanks with two damsels in it). I will still test the ammonia before adding anything though. Really leaning towards a Montipora capricornis to go on the whitish rock on the right, but I will also consider softies as long as the softies in question lack palytoxin. Didn't know pellets have lots of phosphates - guess I will be switching to frozen as soon as I have the money. Guess I will be reconsidering the bumblebee shrimp if it's that secretive...

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ajmckay
10 hours ago, AlmightyJoshaeus said:

The rock has been in the pet store's tanks for months - I am 99% sure it didn't come from the ocean (he has a tank full of live rock at his store...very useful. I took the algae covered piece from one of his fish holding tanks with two damsels in it). I will still test the ammonia before adding anything though. Really leaning towards a Montipora capricornis to go on the whitish rock on the right, but I will also consider softies as long as the softies in question lack palytoxin. Didn't know pellets have lots of phosphates - guess I will be switching to frozen as soon as I have the money. Guess I will be reconsidering the bumblebee shrimp if it's that secretive...

In the picture the rock just looks like it's covered with a bunch of sponges and hairy stuff.  IME looks like uncured anyways.  It could be the picture though.

 

A monti would be cool here, but they grow quick and in this small of a tank would create a lot of shade quickly.  Why not try an encrusting variety?

 

If you like spending a little bit of time each time you look at the tank to find the shrimp then it might be of interest to you still - they do look cool.  But they're cryptic - that's all.  If you're okay with that then by all means check out the bumblebee shrimp.  The same could be said about the pom pom though as well - they pretty much only come out at light out. 

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AlmightyJoshaeus

Good news...ammonia is zero :) guess the rocks WERE live after all (may need to do a nitrite test at some point...nitrate has consistently been zero, so either this tank has perfect specs or it is only partially cycled. I am guessing the macroalgae has helped the cycle along by devouring much of the nitrogen).

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AlmightyJoshaeus

Hello again everyone! I am 99% sure I am going to turn this into a 5 gallon macroalgae tank with dwarf seahorses :) It is going to take a while (I am strapped for cash right now) but I will document the whole process: I will get the 5 gallon next month. The old 3 gallon will house the brine shrimp hatcheries and enrichment stations needed by these finicky eaters. In the meantime, I have a few more pics of my current tank...note the oxygen bubbles the Gracilaria species have produced :) PS...forgive the pictures, the macroalgae is FAR less dull than it looks in these pictures...it's a bright pinkish red.

 

EDIT!: Well, the 1% happened...on doing more research I learned that dwarf seahorses are even more work than I thought they were and are very limiting on what you can keep with them, so I will be passing on keeping them. However, I will still be upgrading this tank to a 5 gallon...stay tuned :)

 

Photo04191814.jpg.14be058807219b7a053c0da33e1c7bf4.jpgPhoto04191814_1.jpg.6637f5eab43a7e558b88547a825c226c.jpgPhoto04191814_2.jpg.be370edc3e85efb7dbeaf8bcde1415d8.jpg

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AlmightyJoshaeus

Hello all! Little has changed in the tank, but still debating whether to use this for dwarf seahorses. Alternately I may use it as a fry tank for the banggai cardinalfish :)

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AlmightyJoshaeus

Hi again everyone! Significant changes were made to the tank last night. Since I am most likely going to use this for either dwarf seahorses or fish fry, I removed the filter and replaced it with a box filter run by an airline. Also, my Gracilaria parvispora is turning peachy orange...I hope that's not a sign of problems :(Photo04240755.jpg.ae0c97d8751b588b1a8f9e17230de8c0.jpg

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