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Mangrove ATO Reservoir

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Hi all,


I've been out of the hobby for several years, but I'm now planning a nano aio lagoon, sps dominated, minimal-fish build for a new apartment. For parameter consistency, there will be an ato system where I also plan to dose. Mangroves have always appealed to me, but I find they look out of place in the reef. I am envisioning instead a mangrove growing in a separate display-tank-made-ATO-reservoir adjacent the nano reef. The ATO would itself be topped off with RO as needed (I see the irony here). My understanding is these in fact grow better in freshwater than salt. The ATO tank would only have a powerhead for circulation and crushed coral over a soil or live-mud bed for rooting. Exact location is tbd, but I plan for a grow light supplemented by a window. All this was inspired by ewelch's Micro Mangrove Build which operates as a closed saltwater system.


Some concerns:

1. Unwanted nutrient leach from the freshwater ATO mud concentrating in the reef

2. Impacts of dosing in the ATO on mangrove health


I can't seem to find any examples of people stacking uses of their ATO's, certainly not with plants. There may well be good reason for this and that's why i'd like to hear from some of you.



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An ATO is used to top off water into your display tank, if you start adding stuff into your ATO container that would pollute the water, then its probably just considered a second tank. It sounds like you are trying to build a display refugium.

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I agree....to me it sounds like you're trying to do so much that your ideas are kinda running together.  


How about just a rockin' SPS tank with minimal fish?  👍


(That's my own preference too, so maybe I'm biased.)

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Not saying it is impossible, but I tend to side with the thoughts and logic of the above posters as well as the potential issues you identified.  I have never attempted mangroves so my thoughts are based solely on what I have read and fact they (fresh, planted with soil/mud and salt/reef) are very different systems.  Obviously, in the real world, there are zones where these two systems "merge", but on such a scale and naturally occurring that it works.  Additionally, the livestock either swim to where they want and or die/grow (plants) as they will.  


I follow you in the sense of the mangrove seeming to be out of place to an extent, but I think the contrast looks nice and you could set up your refugium (place for mangroves) as a more proper display tank of sorts, which seems to kind of be one of your visions/goals.  I have always thought the fuge as a display piece is very cool.  Sure, it can be "dirty/unclean looking" compared to some displays, but it offer more a true/real view of a reef.  There is a huge rise in popularity of the macro algae tank, so the notion of plants in the forefront is well adopted at this point.  


Good luck!


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