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A few questions about mangrove care


CC26

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I am planning to pick up a single mangrove propagule for my 5.5 gallon pico. I have a few questions.

 

Lighting

I currently run LEDs but will soon be upgrading to a two-bulb T5HO fixture. I plan to run it with ATI Blue+ and Coral+, which will put my colour temperature close to the 15000K range, if I'm not mistaken. While not optimal for mangroves, for which a 6500K temperature is more ideal, will this suffice to grow me a relatively healthy plant? Or should I be looking into supplemental lighting?

 

Substrate

This being a pico where real estate is especially precious, I do not run a deep sandbed, but have a shallow (~1 inch) sandbed for aesthetic purposes. I often see a much deeper substrate depth being recommended for mangroves, but is there a reason why I couldn't make it work with a shallow sandbed like mine? I could try to pile up more sand in the spot I plan to grow the mangrove if necessary.

 

Consumption

By far my biggest concern, with how quickly ion levels are depleted in a pico. I've read that mangroves are huge magnesium sinks. I currently run my tank on Red Sea Coral Pro salt, which has elevated Ca, Mg, and alkalinity. I also dose Tropic Marin's All-For-Reef (one-part dosing solution containing the three aforementioned components as well as trace elements). With weekly/biweekly 10% water changes, is there any concern that a single mangrove in a 5.5 gallon could deplete magnesium levels to the point where my water changes and dosing wouldn't be able to keep up? I am wondering if I should have an additional magnesium supplement on hand, as I can't adjust my magnesium dosing with All-For-Reef without also tweaking the other parameters.

 

My apologies if these are stupid questions. Just want to make sure I clear up any doubts before I make my purchase.

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Cannedfish

RSCP and dosing on a 5.5g? Dang, what do you keep your alk at? How much alk is the tank consuming a week? Do you have a FTS?

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48 minutes ago, Cannedfish said:

RSCP and dosing on a 5.5g? Dang, what do you keep your alk at? How much alk is the tank consuming a week? Do you have a FTS?

I'm aiming to keep it at 12dKH. Still working my way up there gradually because I started the tank with Aquaforest Reef salt (bought pre-mixed at the LFS) which has its parameters closer to NSW levels. I actually started dosing before making the switch to RSCP, so I will most likely have to adjust my dosing regimen in response to my tank's consumption rate after it fully settles in with the new salt mix. When my tank was on Aquaforest Reef, it consumed 1.3dKH of alk and 25ppm of Ca per week (I didn't have a Mg test kit at the time of testing). This was when the only stony corals I had were two tiny M. capricornis frags (which, by the way, have not shown any visible growth the whole time I've had them - though PE is good) so I was actually rather surprised by this consumption rate. Dosing 1mL of All-For-Reef every other day kept my parameters stable (again, this will be tweaked once the tank is fully running on RSCP and when I add new LPS/SPS frags, based on the new consumption rate which I will measure).

 

I'll probably start a thread on the pico forum or aquarium journals with the FTS - but not just yet. I want to get it looking halfway decent first. :wink:

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I would worry that it's going to bust the tank. Those things can get some really extensive root systems, and I've heard about them growing into silicone, or pressing so hard against multiple walls of the tank that they bust the seam. Are you planning to keep the roots trimmed? 

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mitten_reef
23 minutes ago, CC26 said:

This was when the only stony corals I had were two tiny M. capricornis frags (which, by the way, have not shown any visible growth the whole time I've had them - though PE is good) so I was actually rather surprised by this consumption rate

how long have you had them?  because if i recall, you also wanted to switch to T5 fixture because your sps isn't growing.    

 

and from your other thread on red PPE zoa, your tank (at least the sandbed and rocks) look quite new.  

 

continuing to tinker with parameters will only prolong your corals acclimation period to your tank.

 

as far as mangrove, probably not worth it.  I'd recommend considering display macroalgae as a natural nutrient export instead.  

 

please do share pictures, we're not in an instagram beauty contest here.  we share the good, the bad, and the uglies to help each other.  

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15 minutes ago, Tired said:

I would worry that it's going to bust the tank. Those things can get some really extensive root systems, and I've heard about them growing into silicone, or pressing so hard against multiple walls of the tank that they bust the seam. Are you planning to keep the roots trimmed? 

If there is a way to do that safely, then yeah, I wouldn't mind undertaking the extra maintenance work. The only thing is that I've read before that it's not easy to safely trim a mangrove's roots as damaging the roots can hinder their ability to process salt. FWIW, the tank will only be running for another year and a half before I tear it down when I graduate from university and move back home. Are the roots growing too much still a reasonable concern within this timeframe?

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5 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

how long have you had them?  because if i recall, you also wanted to switch to T5 fixture because your sps isn't growing.    

 

and from your other thread on red PPE zoa, your tank (at least the sandbed and rocks) look quite new.  

 

continuing to tinker with parameters will only prolong your corals acclimation period to your tank.

 

as far as mangrove, probably not worth it.  I'd recommend considering display macroalgae as a natural nutrient export instead.  

 

please do share pictures, we're not in an instagram beauty contest here.  we share the good, the bad, and the uglies to help each other.  

I don't remember too precisely but I'd say I've had the montis for about a couple of months now.

 

The tank itself is probably another month or so older than that - so you're right, quite new. As an aside, the zoas I posted about in that thread have been recovering steadily.

 

I have my nutrient levels under control (I've actually been trying to raise phosphates a bit as per the recommended nutrient levels by Red Sea for tanks running their Coral Pro salt), so nutrient export is not the reason I want a mangrove. It's purely for aesthetic purposes and any effect it has on nutrient levels will just be a nice bonus. However, if it really is more trouble than it's worth I will forgo it.

 

Here's a picture. They always come out with a purple tint, but it doesn't look like that in person. Tagging @Cannedfish as well for the pic.

IMG_20200511_210110_3.jpg

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mitten_reef
3 minutes ago, CC26 said:

I don't remember too precisely but I'd say I've had the montis for about a couple of months now.

 

The tank itself is probably another month or so older than that - so you're right, quite new. As an aside, the zoas I posted about in that thread have been recovering steadily.

 

I have my nutrient levels under control (I've actually been trying to raise phosphates a bit as per the recommended nutrient levels by Red Sea for tanks running their Coral Pro salt), so nutrient export is not the reason I want a mangrove. It's purely for aesthetic purposes and any effect it has on nutrient levels will just be a nice bonus. However, if it really is more trouble than it's worth I will forgo it.

 

Here's a picture. They always come out with a purple tint, but it doesn't look like that in person. Tagging @Cannedfish as well for the pic.

IMG_20200511_210110_3.jpg

thanks for sharing.  the likeliest cause of slow growth on the sps, is its location. you're placing a high light demand coral on the bottom, and let it being shade by the xenia and leather.  The monti is probably the highest light demanding in your tank at the moment.  position-wise, they should literally be swapped.  xenia is your current nutrient control, if you want to have some N and P, take them out.  they also grow like weed, and jump all over the tank, not fun.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

thanks for sharing.  the likeliest cause of slow growth on the sps, is its location. you're placing a high light demand coral on the bottom, and let it being shade by the xenia and leather.  The monti is probably the highest light demanding in your tank at the moment.  position-wise, they should literally be swapped.  xenia is your current nutrient control, if you want to have some N and P, take them out.  they also grow like weed, and jump all over the tank, not fun.

 

 

I actually moved it there because it bleached from too much light when I had it higher. The tank is less than 10 inches in depth (most frag tanks are deeper) and that is without taking the sandbed into account.

 

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Cannedfish

Curious to why you’re running alk so high? It not only seems like it’s more work in every way, but you have so much less margin for  error, especially in a pico...

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  • 10 months later...
melissachris

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