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cosmicbread

Muddy Macros - 12g Long

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Tamberav

Soft coral is easier than macro imo...

 

 

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cosmicbread

Eep. Well, I know macros aren’t exactly plants, but I’ve been seeing how much of my FW planted background can carry over. (Plus, just endless research). We shall see...

 

The paps are creating more branches. And I notice what I assume are pods flitting around the glass in the mangrove corner this morning 🤗 

I also removed the original mermaids fan so its progeny can fly wild and free.

 

 

 

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billygoat
22 hours ago, Tamberav said:

Soft coral is easier than macro imo...

 

 

I definitely agree with this! Macroalgae can be very temperamental, and keeping the right balance of nutrients for them in the long run can be very challenging. That's part of the reason that I switched my initially macro-dominated system into more of a soft coral tank. I think you're off to a fantastic start with all that mud though, so don't feel discouraged! Your research + your existing expertise will no doubt guide you towards great success with this system. It already looks really good. 👍 

 

I'm honestly on tenterhooks to see what sort of awesome hitchhikers you get when your shipment of aquacultured live rock finally arrives. 😁 Don't be surprised if you get a considerable ammonia spike when you first add the new rock to your tank, as there's likely going to be a large amount of life on those rocks that will decay in transit and add a lot of nutrients to your system. Normally this would be a bit of a problem, but honestly I don't think it will be too much of a concern for you with so much macro in the tank. All that algae will happily eat up all those nutrients and pave the way for more complex life to be added later on down the line. 👌

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Saltslinger

Really amazing look! I love coastal "edge of the shoreline" aquariums like this, it's a really cool and unique look. Plus the dimensions for that aquarium make it look really natural.

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cosmicbread
13 hours ago, billygoat said:

I definitely agree with this! Macroalgae can be very temperamental, and keeping the right balance of nutrients for them in the long run can be very challenging. That's part of the reason that I switched my initially macro-dominated system into more of a soft coral tank. I think you're off to a fantastic start with all that mud though, so don't feel discouraged! Your research + your existing expertise will no doubt guide you towards great success with this system. It already looks really good. 👍 

 

I'm honestly on tenterhooks to see what sort of awesome hitchhikers you get when your shipment of aquacultured live rock finally arrives. 😁 Don't be surprised if you get a considerable ammonia spike when you first add the new rock to your tank, as there's likely going to be a large amount of life on those rocks that will decay in transit and add a lot of nutrients to your system. Normally this would be a bit of a problem, but honestly I don't think it will be too much of a concern for you with so much macro in the tank. All that algae will happily eat up all those nutrients and pave the way for more complex life to be added later on down the line. 👌

Thank you for your continued words of encouragement and insight :)) Noted about the die off. I’m really hoping that it won’t be severe, but packing and shipping is super stressful on things and my system probably won’t be able to support the more fragile filter feeders. I’m wondering if my “dirt” might eventually help with that, though.

 

Saltslinger — I love your username — thank you 🙂 I’m really pleased with the growth on some of my algae. Coastal environments have always intrigued me. Since I don’t live in a place where I can go gaze into tidepools any time I’d like, I think I’m just trying to recreate something similar on my work desk...(dunno how much work I’ll get done now, with it sitting here being all fascinating and stuff).

 

In more exciting news, my “live sand activator plus” from IPSF arrived a day early and is acclimating as we speak. I can see that snails were included, even though I asked them not to be...so I’m not sure what to do about that at the moment. I was also given a beautiful shell..and a little freebie coral 🤭

 

My tank has been an ammonia and ‘trate devouring beast for the last 3 days, so fingers crossed the transition will be smooth for all of these guys. Further report incoming.
 

 

 

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SaltyBuddha

Great little tank! I really want to set up a similar long tank eventually. I love the natural light on the tank

Macros are super fun in a reef tank but more complicated than most people think.

 

I highly recommend ChaetoGro to keep the green macros healthy. I noticed that fast growing caulerpa will use all the micro nutrients in a tank and eventually die off. In my 20 gallon this would happen in about 4 to 6 weeks. ChaetoGro allows me to regulate how much the caulerpa grows as well!

 

I've had my macro tank for a little over a year now and I just learned that macros use bicarbonate to grow. Once you get enough macros, you may need to start dosing two part to keep the alk and calcium stable. Just an FYI for later on down the road.

 

I also have to dose phosphates to keep my coral happy - so plan for this if you want to keep any .

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cosmicbread
5 minutes ago, SaltyBuddha said:

Great little tank! I really want to set up a similar long tank eventually. I love the natural light on the tank

Macros are super fun in a reef tank but more complicated than most people think.

 

I highly recommend ChaetoGro to keep the green macros healthy. I noticed that fast growing caulerpa will use all the micro nutrients in a tank and eventually die off. In my 20 gallon this would happen in about 4 to 6 weeks. ChaetoGro allows me to regulate how much the caulerpa grows as well!

 

I've had my macro tank for a little over a year now and I just learned that macros use bicarbonate to grow. Once you get enough macros, you may need to start dosing two part to keep the alk and calcium stable. Just an FYI for later on down the road.

 

I also have to dose phosphates to keep my coral happy - so plan for this if you want to keep any .

Oh, thank you! I already have Cheatogrow and 2 part (probably premature of me, but it’s what I’ve gleaned from the other threads I’ve been reading). Haven’t dosed anything yet 🙂 what do you use for phosphates?

 

speaking of coral. Can someone identify this?

Also, are these Ceriths?

 

 

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SaltyBuddha
1 hour ago, cosmicbread said:

Oh, thank you! I already have Cheatogrow and 2 part (probably premature of me, but it’s what I’ve gleaned from the other threads I’ve been reading). Haven’t dosed anything yet 🙂 what do you use for phosphates?

 

speaking of coral. Can someone identify this?

Also, are these Ceriths?

 

 

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I buy some K2SO4 from Green Leaf Aquarium and mix it up myself. Works great and super cheap! I probably have enough mix for 1,000 years after one purchase.

 

Not sure on the snails but the coral is a green leather toadstool. I love mine

 

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cosmicbread

Ooh, thanks! I’ll look into that stuff.

 

also. Yay!! I’ve been very interested in toadstools. So cool that my first coral is one! It’s so lovely. All of the polyps are extended:

 

 

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SaltyBuddha

Also - be careful with the clean up crew you put in the tank. Some will eat macros :scarry:

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cosmicbread
2 hours ago, SaltyBuddha said:

Also - be careful with the clean up crew you put in the tank. Some will eat macros :scarry:

Yeah, that’s why I originally told IPSF “no” on the snails, since I wasn’t sure what would be included. Ive been informed that they are periwinkle snails, and as such I don’t think this species will last very long in a heated tank (?) I was planning on dwarf ceriths and maybe one trochus in the future.

 

Ive added everything else: the “live sand” and “wondermud” were full of an assortment of worms;  I now have a collection of dwarf zebra hermits, whom I plan on spot feeding and keeping a close eye on; the aforementioned periwinkle snails; orange branchy macro; assorted pods. Surely there are a ton of microscopic critters as well. Everything was in great condition upon arrival. Happy to get some more complex lifeforms in here 🙂 

 

Tampa Bay saltwater folks are still having poor visibility on dives and thus, no rock.

 

FTS tomorrow when everything clears up!

 

 

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cosmicbread

Okay, I know hermits can be little buggers but I am falling in love with their personalities already. I tossed a chunk of shrimp in to distract these three who were having a standoff. Note to self, next time cut up the shrimp so they’re not playing tug of war. White claw guy (orange banded?) seems to like chowing down while on his back, juggling the giant piece of shrimp with tiny spindly legs.
Maybe once a week or so I will offer shrimp or nori to this gang, to keep them placated. I’ve also ordered an assortment of empty shells for their perusal.

 

 

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billygoat

Awesome updates! What a cool assortment of worms and things! I'm actually kind of jealous of all those little amphipods and stuff. Is that strange? 😂

 

There are a wide variety of different periwinkle snails out there, so chances are they shipped you a few that will do just fine under normal reef conditions. They're likely too small to do any serious harm to your macros either, but it wouldn't hurt to keep an eye on them just the same. Many periwinkles are intertidal species, so they may occasionally try to climb out of your tank to get a breath of fresh air.

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cosmicbread
3 minutes ago, billygoat said:

Awesome updates! What a cool assortment of worms and things! I'm actually kind of jealous of all those little amphipods and stuff. Is that strange? 😂

 

There are a wide variety of different periwinkle snails out there, so chances are they shipped you a few that will do just fine under normal reef conditions. They're likely too small to do any serious harm to your macros either, but it wouldn't hurt to keep an eye on them just the same. Many periwinkles are intertidal species, so they may occasionally try to climb out of your tank to get a breath of fresh air.

The larger of the amphipods are pretty neat to watch. They kinda remind me of my freshwater dwarf shrimp, although a bit more...sparky? I was given a wide range of life stages and species, although I can’t identify everyone yet. Looking forward to when the worms et al begin multiplying and nosing through the mud and sand 😁

Good to hear, re the snails. Although I’ve already had to redirect a few who decided to trek down the outside of the glass. I am a little concerned about this behavior...

 

 

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cosmicbread

Pics with the morning light. The large gravel sizes are from the IPSF sand. I like the way it looks in the mangrove and caulerpa patch, gradually phasing to finer grains. I experimented with another power head between the trees, but it was whipping the caulerpa around like a hurricane. Could I get away with two power heads on one side of the tank? I guess that would depend on what else I intend to keep.

 

 

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Northwoodsreefer
5 hours ago, cosmicbread said:

Pics with the morning light. The large gravel sizes are from the IPSF sand. I like the way it looks in the mangrove and caulerpa patch, gradually phasing to finer grains. I experimented with another power head between the trees, but it was whipping the caulerpa around like a hurricane. Could I get away with two power heads on one side of the tank? I guess that would depend on what else I intend to keep.

 

 

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This is a perfect mini transition from the mangroves to a patch reef, I love this so much  and can’t wait to watch it transform and grow

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Amphrites

God I love this tank haha.

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cosmicbread

Thank you, guys 🥰

 

I’ve got some new macs due tomorrow!! A variety of calcareous stems, halimeda opuntia, and a clump-o-coralline algae. Also expecting an unknown number of dwarf ceriths soon. I gave the periwinkles to my lfs; they were being very intertidal and exploring above the water line. I would like to finagle a lid for this tank eventually, but right now the snail jaunts were giving me anxiety.

 

The Caulerpa Forest is going gangbusters and I will likely trim it a bit tomorrow, before the water change.

 

Empty shells for the hermits arrived yesterday, and they’ve been excitedly trying them on and such.

 

No word yet on the rocks.

 

A new coral baby was added today. A common blue/green Ricordea Florida, couldn’t pass him up. Already fluffing out and eeeeeeeee

The toadstool seems to be fairly content 🙂 

Hmm...a “toadstool” and a “mushroom” coral. Seems to fit my fascination with fungi 😉


Something gnawed on the mermaids fan 😠 but I think it was a one time deal.

 

 

 

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cosmicbread

This morning I majorly hacked up the caulerpa, in an effort to keep it thinned out and less likely to be all sexual.  I really like the prolifera but it does scare me a tad.

 

Added some cool new calcified algae. Including a monster Penicillus sp.. I’ve sort of plopped things down in spots where I feel they would be approximately happy, but will likely be moving things around further. Gonna start keeping tabs on my calcium now...

 

Can someone ID the codium-esque algae on the lower left corner? H. monile or H. incrassata, thanks @billygoat 1CC0E86C-5069-4170-A057-4170D6C7ACE1.jpeg

 

Nifty purple coralline branching cluster.

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The monster Penicillus and friends. Should I give it a haircut?

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The H. monile (probably), another clump of coralline, and H. opuntia. Oh, and a mad toadstool. (Edit: he's less mad now)

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My tank is full of bizarre shapes.

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Bad quality phone pic of the ric, it's poofing out more than it was in its frag tank.

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The Caulerpa forest before the Great Mowing. I'm sure it will be back in full splendor soon enough.

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billygoat

Everything looks so lush and wonderful! I know it's just getting started but I already can't get enough of this tank. 😁

 

The Codium-looking fellow is probably Halimeda monile, a rooting variety of Halimeda. Could also possibly be H. incrassata. Definitely some sort of Halimeda sp. though.

 

That's a huge shaving brush you've got there! I would skip the haircut on it for now. You'll almost certainly end up trimming it sooner or later, but it's best to give it a chance to settle down and situate itself first. 

 

To think that the aquacultured live rock isn't even here yet! I love this tank already, but I can't wait to see it in like six months. It's going to be a wonder to behold.

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cosmicbread

Thank you billygoat ☺️ Mostly I need to be sure that I can stay on top of everyone's needs in the long term. This forum has been a great help!!

 

When the rock comes, it will certainly be an exciting day of me making a huge mess. But then I can at last decide on more specific locations for things. The one downside of having my tank positioned by a window are the limitations on viewing...so it'll be interesting for me to figure out how to make the most of the space, while also considering the needs of the livestock and own desire to see it all. Haha...

 

I'm starting to dream of a bigger tank. Sometimes I look at my freshwater 50g and imagine it as a macro-infused reef 😶 Such a great footprint. But I told all of my FW fish that they were with me for life. Couldn't really afford a larger salt system right now anyway!

 

Noted about the shaving brush, I'll let it settle 🙂 

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Northwoodsreefer
2 hours ago, cosmicbread said:

Thank you billygoat ☺️ Mostly I need to be sure that I can stay on top of everyone's needs in the long term. This forum has been a great help!!

 

When the rock comes, it will certainly be an exciting day of me making a huge mess. But then I can at last decide on more specific locations for things. The one downside of having my tank positioned by a window are the limitations on viewing...so it'll be interesting for me to figure out how to make the most of the space, while also considering the needs of the livestock and own desire to see it all. Haha...

 

I'm starting to dream of a bigger tank. Sometimes I look at my freshwater 50g and imagine it as a macro-infused reef 😶 Such a great footprint. But I told all of my FW fish that they were with me for life. Couldn't really afford a larger salt system right now anyway!

 

Noted about the shaving brush, I'll let it settle 🙂 

An idea with the rock could be to lower the water level so there isnt as much water sloshing and then you could re-fill the tank to account for the displacement the rock will as well. I can't wait ti watch this tank grow...im jealous fr this tank (I want to set mine up already). Your tank design will pretty much be how I want my sand bed to look minus the mangroves! 

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cosmicbread
21 minutes ago, Northwoodsreefer said:

An idea with the rock could be to lower the water level so there isnt as much water sloshing and then you could re-fill the tank to account for the displacement the rock will as well. I can't wait ti watch this tank grow...im jealous fr this tank (I want to set mine up already). Your tank design will pretty much be how I want my sand bed to look minus the mangroves! 

Yeah, the mangroves are purely for aesthetics. I'm not sure how well they're gonna do with me...but for the moment I'm digging the underwater forest look on that side of the tank. The funky shaving brush Halimeda is definitely contributing to the vibe. 

 

Are you gonna do a mud section in your tank?! 😄 

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Northwoodsreefer
2 minutes ago, cosmicbread said:

Yeah, the mangroves are purely for aesthetics. I'm not sure how well they're gonna do with me...but for the moment I'm digging the underwater forest look on that side of the tank. The funky shaving brush Halimeda is definitely contributing to that vibe. 

 

Are you gonna do a mud section in your tank?! 😄 

I might get some mud from florida pets and mix it into my sand bed, as well as some live florida sand too

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cosmicbread
8 minutes ago, Northwoodsreefer said:

I might get some mud from florida pets and mix it into my sand bed, as well as some live florida sand too

I like that idea. The Florida pets mud is pretty nice. Very silky and fine. 

 

The four different muds I used have separated into layers of grain-size, largest to small: mineral mud -> miracle mud -> the live muds, with an unintentional strip of sand in the middle. So, "deep mud bed" section as opposed to a DSB, but it's not too terribly deep. Originally was going to be for the sea grass (and if I can find star grass, I'll try that again), but the mangroves and other macros should do well in it. I'm also wondering what the long-term effect might be on filter feeding critters. 

 

Were you planning on doing sea grasses?

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