Jump to content
cosmicbread

Muddy Macros - 12g Long

Recommended Posts

cosmicbread

Hello all, excited to finally put an end to my lurkage. I’m an avid planted freshwater aquarist currently running a low-tech 50g community of the sort, with some experience getting my hands salty in the past. This will be a "dirty" macro and softie-centered mini coastal ecosystem experimenting with natural sunlight and a mudded substrate. Suggestions, critiques, your favorite bread recipe, conversation etc more than welcome.

 

I'm going to be using aquacultured live rock, nearly explicitly for the hitchhikers, and look forward to discovering, learning about, and doing my best to care for each of them. "Bad crabs" may be relocated, if needed.

 

The hardware deets. Keeping this as low-tech as possible.

-       Mr. Aqua 12g long.

-       x2 Hydor Koralia Nano powerheads, 240 GPH (might not be suitable for my substrate; we shall see).

-       Cobalt 75w Neo-Therm heater.

-       Stock twin grow lights, full spectrum.

-       Tunze ATO.

-       Current Orbit Marine light.

-       No sump.

-       No skimmer.

 

Stock lists Updated 1/21/2020

 

Macroalgae

-  Caulerpa prolifera.

-  Caulerpa paspaloides.

-  Flat Branch Gracilaria

-  Red ogo Gracilaria.

-  Gracilaria hayi. 

-  Udotea flabellum. 

-  Ulva

-  "Fire Fern"

-  Halimeda optunia

-  Halimeda incrassata.

-  Halimeda monile.

- "Dragon's Tongue" halymenia.

- Purple Fauchea.

- Pencillus dumetosus.

- Pencillus capitatus.

Cladophora prolifera.

 

Other

- Red mangroves x3.

 

Coral

- Neon green toadstool leather x1.

- Ricordea florida x1.

 

Inverts

- Zebra hermit, "Hector"

- Unidentified small hermit, "Chili"

- Dwarf Cerith snails x10.

- Hecka bristle worms and other as yet unidentified worm friends.

- Unidentified green bivalve x2.

- Asterina star(s).

- Mico bristle stars.

- Bushels o pods.

 

Live Rock Hitchhikers

- Hitchiker coral, potentially Tubastrea.

- Curlique anemones.

- Decorator crab

- Red Mithrax crab.

- Several gorilla crabs.

- Unidentified shrimp.

- Giant brittle/serpent star.

- Whelk (given its own tank with other "pests")

- Small white Eunice worm?

- Assorted tunicates

- Assorted tube worms

 

Half the tank will be a mix of Miracle Mud and Caribsea Mineral Mud, with the other half Caribsea live sand. I am anticipating a mess at first. 

 

On the muddy side, I’ll plant mangroves and begin a sea grass field. Live rock and macros will be strewn throughout. The tank also has access to direct sunlight for several hours a day. Hoping this will suffice for the mangroves, for now. I’ll be playing around with the amount of time the Orbit will need to be on, or if different supplemental lighting is needed. I'll be monitoring temperature and the like.

 

Naked tank pictured below. Excuse the acrylic paint stains on my desk.

 

D4631529-C029-44E0-AC32-7022F6006810.jpeg

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Christopher Marks

Welcome to the community @cosmicbread! Your plans for a muddy coastal planted reef tank sound really cool! I was eying that tank at a LFS just the other day, it’s such a cool dimension. Looking forward to following along. 

 

Where are you sourcing your macro algae and other plants?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
cosmicbread
3 minutes ago, Christopher Marks said:

Welcome to the community @cosmicbread! Your plans for a muddy coastal planted reef tank sound really cool! I was eying that tank at a LFS just the other day, it’s such a cool dimension. Looking forward to following along. 

 

Where are you sourcing your macro algae and other plants?

Thanks, Christopher! It looks like a fun tank. It's been sitting in a closet for well over a year now, so I'm happy to finally be stable enough for the moment (i.e. no long stints of travel) to get it some water and stuff in it. 

 

The first macs are coming from Reef Cleaners and Gulf Coast Ecosystems. The trees are from a dealer on Amazon that other people on this forum (or R2R) have had some success with, and were reasonably priced. We will see what those look like. The sea grass is from Rusalty/aquaculturenurseryfarms. No experience with this place, but was the only one offering grass. I know cold weather is not the best time to have plants shipped, so I'm crossing every finger here.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
WV Reefer
29 minutes ago, cosmicbread said:

 

 

 

Hello all, excited to finally put an end to my lurkage. I’m an avid planted freshwater aquarist currently running a low-tech 50g community of the sort, with some experience getting my hands salty in the past. This will be a "dirty" macro and softie-centered mini coastal ecosystem experimenting with natural sunlight and a mudded substrate. Suggestions, critiques, your favorite bread recipe, conversation etc more than welcome.

 

Planned stars of the show:

-       weird tiny critters from a shipment of aquacultured live rock. 

-       macroalgae, sea grass, mangroves.

-       softies, gorgs.

-       in the future, maybe one or two nano fish; sexy shrimps???

 

The hardware deets. Keeping this as low-tech as possible.

-       Mr. Aqua 12g long.

-       x2 Hydor Koralia Nano powerheads, 240 GPH (might not be suitable for my substrate; we shall see).

-       Cobalt 75w Neo-Therm heater.

-       Current Orbit Marine light (I am a little unsure how well this will grow macros).

-       AC HOB that will probably only run in the very beginning. May replace one of the powerheads with it.

-       No sump

-       No skimmer.

 

Half the tank will be a mix of Miracle Mud and Caribsea Mineral Mud, with the other half Caribsea live sand. I am anticipating a mess at first. 

 

On the muddy side, I’ll plant mangroves and begin a sea grass field. Live rock and macros will be strewn throughout. The tank also has access to direct sunlight for several hours a day. Hoping this will suffice for the mangroves, for now. I’ll be playing around with the amount of time the Orbit will need to be on, or if different supplemental lighting is needed. I'll be monitoring temperature and the like.

 

I have some macros, shoal grass, and a bushel of red mangrove seedlings on their way, as well as an order of Tampa Bay aquacultured live rock that may possibly come this week. Will update stock lists accordingly. Thank you for reading!

 

Naked tank pictured below. Excuse the acrylic paint stains on my desk.

 

D4631529-C029-44E0-AC32-7022F6006810.jpeg

:welcome:

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
billygoat

This is great! omgomgomg Can't wait to see it once it comes together. I always get super excited for macro tanks, and keeping Halodule has been a private dream of mine for a long time. I'll certainly be following along! 

 

Oh yeah, and welcome to N-R! 😁

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
cosmicbread
1 hour ago, billygoat said:

This is great! omgomgomg Can't wait to see it once it comes together. I always get super excited for macro tanks, and keeping Halodule has been a private dream of mine for a long time. I'll certainly be following along! 

 

Oh yeah, and welcome to N-R! 😁

Thank you! I'm hoping the Halodule likes the mud and doesn't give me too hard of a time. :< I have no idea what is gonna happen with this tank...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
billygoat
1 hour ago, cosmicbread said:

Thank you! I'm hoping the Halodule likes the mud and doesn't give me too hard of a time. :< I have no idea what is gonna happen with this tank...

If the mud starts to make a huge cloudy mess, you can try covering it with a thin layer of aragonite sand to keep it in place. You'll likely have to spend some time playing around with the flow, but I think it should probably not be too much of an issue! 😊

 

Also I absolutely love your decision to go with aquacultured live rock. I've made a lot of mistakes so far in this hobby, but getting real uncured rock straight out of the ocean was definitely not one of them. It basically teleports your newborn tank directly into the future. The biodiversity is absolutely amazing! Plus all the dead stuff it comes in with will both seed and feed your cycle, meaning you don't have to use ammonium chloride or ghost feeding or anything like that. I would never start a new system any other way. 👌

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Tom@HaslettMI

I’m looking forward to seeing this come together!

 

Tom

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
cosmicbread

Received some macros a bit ahead of schedule today, so for the moment I’ve thrown them into the tank with some chunks of base rock. I think I may add a little more mud and sand in the near future. Due to weather, Debbie et al from TBLR won't be able to dive for the rock til after the holidays -- which is absolutely fine and will give this tank a bit more time to even out before additional lifeforms appear. 

Nothing was particularly happy on arrival, but I guess this is officially a go. I’ll post in-water pics of the plants tomorrow with the sun and more settled water. 
 

 

0310FBBD-F8E5-4361-8647-8DA76676E026.jpeg

0436648A-0D14-4C22-8C58-06C3EE23A9FC.jpeg

24DAA635-63AD-44E6-8AC0-7E5CDAF35236.jpeg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
cosmicbread
On 12/16/2019 at 2:38 PM, billygoat said:

If the mud starts to make a huge cloudy mess, you can try covering it with a thin layer of aragonite sand to keep it in place. You'll likely have to spend some time playing around with the flow, but I think it should probably not be too much of an issue! 😊

 

Also I absolutely love your decision to go with aquacultured live rock. I've made a lot of mistakes so far in this hobby, but getting real uncured rock straight out of the ocean was definitely not one of them. It basically teleports your newborn tank directly into the future. The biodiversity is absolutely amazing! Plus all the dead stuff it comes in with will both seed and feed your cycle, meaning you don't have to use ammonium chloride or ghost feeding or anything like that. I would never start a new system any other way. 👌

Yes!! I'm so excited. I had a piece of aquacultured rock from KP Aquatics in one of my pico jars and I stared at that thing for hours. Really looking forward to the Tampa stuff.

 

So far the mud is behaving itself...but we shall see! I'd love to just have an exposed mud patch in a display tank. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
cosmicbread

The trees and shoal grass arrived yesterday. There is some cold damage on the mangrove leaves, but they were packed really nicely and seem healthy otherwise. The portions of grass I received from floridapets are large and healthy as well. 
 

I haven’t turned my power head back on since adding the mud, but will play around with that soon. The water cleared fairly quickly after I added miracle mud to the mineral mud flat...perhaps the AC 20 helped with that. It’s temporarily running for just that purpose.

Reiterating here that I don’t quite believe in the “miracle” of mud, but am curious as to what the plants think.

 

Im not a huge fan of the heater being so visible and may play around with other ways of hiding it. Maybe a micro sump for just that purpose

 

Next steps:

- Add more sand to the sand bed.

- I am ordering a cup of “live mud” from floridapets to seed the mud flat. I may end up needing to lightly cap it once I turn the power head back on...

- I’m not too sure how the Halodule will fare. I may need to up the depth of that mud bed and play around slightly with nutrient levels. I think I may also add oar/paddle grass to see how it does.

 

I’m also now aware that the sea grass and macros are probably gonna end up competing for nutrients, so in the near future I may need to decide to keep just grass in here.

 

Mangrove unboxing and current tank shot with the light removed. The macros and rocks are only going to be where they are until the live rock arrives. The Ulva is especially displeased right now, while the reds (except for the dragons breath) seem to be acclimating OK, so far.

 

 

 

A50DE67B-1184-4ECB-8DDA-22315F62B6F0.jpeg

3E1609F7-66C8-4B59-B8CB-E7D6E6FFEDE6.jpeg

B7240BFA-33E1-4DCA-BD53-E4D9D9157022.jpeg

B6284976-8E08-477F-81C1-461D9960AA7D.jpeg

07715507-ED9A-4A9F-9D72-76631AF8288B.jpeg

B0B632FF-AA5C-4B67-A574-CF10C02E8C4D.jpeg

C24AE162-CE54-465F-8436-52096E1FD8ED.jpeg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Tom@HaslettMI

Looking good!  
 

Please let me know if you find a source for paddle/oar grass. I have been searching for it for several years. Floridapets is the only site that shows it, but it is always out of stock. 
 

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
cosmicbread
1 hour ago, Tom@HaslettMI said:

Looking good!  
 

Please let me know if you find a source for paddle/oar grass. I have been searching for it for several years. Floridapets is the only site that shows it, but it is always out of stock. 
 

Tom

I will definitely share. Also...dang it, that was the site that I was keeping an eye on. 

Share this post


Link to post
cosmicbread

A few changes have already come upon this little 12g. I decided to rehome the sea grass to a reefer neighbor of mine — I think I would like to try again in the future, with a dedicated and taller tank.
I removed the carpeting Halimeda since it never did recover from transport. I have a few macro orders on the way, including more Halimeda — so it’s fine.

 

Rescaped a bit, although it’s still pretty temporary until the live rock gets to me 🤞🏻 still delayed due to weather, but I’m in no hurry and the system’s cycle seems to be coming along in due course. I have some diatom and algae action. I’ve also ordered supplemental lighting for the mangroves, and need to install the new Tunze osmoregulator.  

 

I think my sea fan is creating baby sea fans...which is a little weird since it’s barely been planted for two weeks and has looked consistently haggard since arriving. What else could these little nubbies be?! 
 

An order of live mud due today, so will update again when that arrives. Is it weird to be excited about mud ?

 

Tank shot:

042FB538-6C40-4F75-858D-3602633C7D21.jpeg

 

Nubbies (and a Mac dirty from mud silt):

236CCC56-AE97-4089-B250-B1CC4DBA97A8.jpeg

 

Closer view of the nubbies. They've been growing at quite a pace since I noticed them two days ago:

C302A832-3AC5-4FB5-9FDD-A814668D5FE8.jpeg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
billygoat
1 hour ago, cosmicbread said:

An order of live mud due today, so will update again when that arrives. Is it weird to be excited about mud ?

I for one would be stoked for mud! 😁 I'm sure all your macros are going to love it too. Can never have too much of that delicious live mud, that's for sure. Are you planning to get any Caulerpa? I bet any sort of Caulerpa would go wild in that substrate.

 

1 hour ago, cosmicbread said:

I think my sea fan is creating baby sea fans...which is a little weird since it’s barely been planted for two weeks and has looked consistently haggard since arriving. What else could these little nubbies be?! 

I used to see the same thing with rooting macroalgae in my tank. Apparently when they are subjected to the stress of shipping they often don't bother to regenerate their primary stipe, and instead use their energy to send up new shoots from the root ball under the sand. New fans will appear close to the old one at first, but in time their rhizomes will spread horizontally throughout the sandbed. Don't be surprised if you see them popping up in unexpected locations a few weeks or months down the line!

 

I know it's just getting started, but I love this tank already! I can't wait to see your live rock once it comes in. That will definitely be a very exciting time.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
cosmicbread

Thank you! It’s just a collection of weeds right now, but I’m having fun with it. Happy to hear that I’ll have new little fans soon. I’ve been a bit bummed about the one specimen not really bouncing back, but you’re correct in that it seems to be directing its energies elsewhere 😁

 

The mud will be my first introduction of critters (I hope). More from a different source will arrive in a week or so. I may end up capping it when I’m finished, as I have another power head that I was planning on installing in the mangrove side of the tank. Which may or may not induce a mud cyclone. I’m also a bit unhappy with all of the equipment in the tank, but not sure what to do about that at the moment.

 

As for the caulerpa, yeah — c. paspaloides 😄 we will see how it does!

Share this post


Link to post
cosmicbread

Live mud and a heck of a lot of caulerpa came from Floridapets!

A massive salad of caulerpa (prolifera), in fact (that I had forgotten I had ordered). 0-0 But it smelled fresh and is in great shape. Also got some paspaloids. 
 

The mud is very fine. Lots of shell fragments, but no critters visible to the naked eye. Poured it in and planted the caulerpa around the foot of the DMB. The Aquaclear is running again to help with the cloudiness. I’ve also turned off the power head for the moment. 

 

Now I have three out of my four mud sources accounted for...

 

I guess it lives up to its namesake.

FFADB9AC-7ACD-4375-898A-40D101A0E7CB.jpeg


My gloriously filthy mess, immediately post live mud inoculation.

E7F66498-4347-4AF0-A9C4-5D4E9F42F150.jpeg

 

Swirly parfait of sediment layers. Can't wait til it gets churned up by worms and things.

CCB4C798-82B0-4B95-9407-D1D7DF66C6DE.jpeg

  • Like 2
  • Wow 1

Share this post


Link to post
cosmicbread

Happy New Year! I have a Q about the mermaid’s fan. As you can see, the new growth is coming in great. When should I remove the original parent? It’s not looking too hot...but will it recover?

 

 

F4D24F95-832E-4FD1-8AE8-6E4B6B487788.jpeg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
billygoat
1 hour ago, cosmicbread said:

Happy New Year! I have a Q about the mermaid’s fan. As you can see, the new growth is coming in great. When should I remove the original parent? It’s not looking too hot...but will it recover?

In this situation the parent blade will usually not recover. In time it will deteriorate and simply fall to pieces. I would give the new shoot a week or so to grow and establish itself, and once it seems like it is making good progress I'd clip the frayed parent as close to the base as you can get. Don't try to pull it out because you'll tear the rhizome out along with it.

 

Also happy new year! I can't wait to see what 2020 brings for you and your lovely aquarium. ☺️

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
cosmicbread

Thank you, billygoat!! Will do. 🙂

fingers crossed that I will finally be able to add the rock to my swamp sometime in the next two weeks. Have been getting decent growth on a few of the other macs (the c. prolifera, fauchea, and what I think is the dragons breath), annnnnnd the mangroves havent died, so yay!

Share this post


Link to post
Tamberav

Beautiful tank already! I love what you are doing here! Macro tanks are my favorite! I honestly don't know why I keep corals.

 

I wonder if I should put some mud in my fuge 🤔

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
cosmicbread
53 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

Beautiful tank already! I love what you are doing here! Macro tanks are my favorite! I honestly don't know why I keep corals.

 

I wonder if I should put some mud in my fuge 🤔

Thank you 🙂 Do it!! Lol. It’s so incredibly messy and wonderful.
I would like to try some soft coral in here, eventually. I’ve never kept any coral before, so I’m excited and terrified about that...
 

Im admittedly feeling a little impatient about the delays I’ve encountered with this, but only because I just wanna scape it already, haha. But nothing good happens in aquaria fast. I’ve been dosing tiny bits of ammonia/letting dead algae tissue stay and decompose, and added Biospira a few days ago. Tank is entering the third week of life and should be cycled in time for the aquacultured rock (one of my intents for this build was to “feature” the LR and its hitchhikers). Plan right now is to do a big water change the night before I know the shipment will arrive, and dose once more with something like Turbostart for good measure. I’m also leaning on the macros to help, but it’s gonna get weird balancing nutrients eventually when I start with the corals. Thank goodness there are so many brilliant peeps on this site to draw info from.

 

Some pics. Excuse the silt, this was before I turkey basted everyone this morning.
 
pic 1: can you spy the tiny caulerpa leaves forming?
pic 2: new shoot under the ragged paspaloides. Hoping it’s a new pap, but it’s probably prolifera (I’m kinda wondering if I will regret adding prolifera in the future...)

pic 3: the “purple fauchea” in its temp spot definitely seems a little bigger than it was a week ago. Maybe prefers the grow lights over the mangroves.

pic 4: the dragons breath (possibly) that was a freebie with the fauchea. Plopped under the power head and has grown about an inch.


 

 

001C2A7C-F448-400B-A933-C719164EF6EF.jpeg

A443131B-F32E-4488-9535-8B1D8FD59434.jpeg

8FA9BBEC-5E6C-47E9-9BA5-0F92F3478CD7.jpeg

B6AD204D-DC8E-4B6E-B1FF-D679516B1BD1.jpeg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Frozen_Reef

I love this tank, even with it being new you have given me inspiration for my 29 BioCube!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
cosmicbread
40 minutes ago, Northwoodsreefer said:

I love this tank, even with it being new you have given me inspiration for my 29 BioCube!

Haha, thank you 🙂 I've stalked your crazy college tank thread and have just begun The Cubeeee. Really looking forward to watching that one progress! It seems like we have similar tastes 😄 

Share this post


Link to post
Frozen_Reef
5 minutes ago, cosmicbread said:

Haha, thank you 🙂 I've stalked your crazy college tank thread and have just begun The Cubeeee. Really looking forward to watching that one progress! It seems like we have similar tastes 😄 

For sure! Speaking of the college reef...I should update that and The Cubeeee thread

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...