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Broseff

Macroalgae Ecosystem?

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Broseff
6 hours ago, Frozen_Reef said:

I had a similar one on some macro I got from Florida. 

4E9A54CD-4AF4-4FA2-9DA3-F9EF27BF7711.jpeg

I got mine from Addictive Reef Keeping. 

 

Do you know if yours is a micro brittle or just a baby?

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Frozen_Reef
1 hour ago, Broseff said:

I got mine from Addictive Reef Keeping. 

 

Do you know if yours is a micro brittle or just a baby?

No idea, looks more like a serpent star but those are pacific not Atlantic I think

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Subsea

Looks like a baby Harlequin Serpent Star.  Micro starts are almost translucent with no such bands.

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Lypto

Some brittle stars are bioluminescent and sparkle with a green light when you bother them as a defense mechanism or to attract prey, super cool little critters. 

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Broseff

Well, I guess if it's not a micro I'll just rehome it to someone who has a bigger tank in the future. 

 

Hopefully I'll be able to keep it for a while and find it when it gets too big. 

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Broseff

Update:

 

Bad news - I scratched the front. I bought a magnetic glass cleaner and it said it was for non-glass aquariums. Apparently there's an acrylic version (which is the correct version) and I bought the wrong one.

Good news - The tank is a cube and I can just turn it around and hide the scratches later. 

 

Scape: I rescaped the tank. The hermit crab kept climbing between the rocks, falling, and getting stuck. So I bunched the rocks together in the center. It could use some work, but I think this scape looks the best so far. I'm trying to figure out where to place the larger macros around the rock work. 

 

Macros:

  • I got rid of the Red Ogo. It wasn't growing super well. 
  • The Gracilaria Hayi seems to be growing fine. 
  • The smaller Halimeda is growing fine.
  • The larger Halimeda is doing okay, it had some die off. 
  • The Xmas Trees are doing good, the newest one (sprouted up from one that I had) is growing really fast. 
  • The Codium seems fine, not too much noticeable growth. 
  • The Branching Coralline seems to be slowly declining? It has white spots.

Fauna:

  • The pod population isn't very big. I haven't seen anything other than some of the bigger ones. 
  • I accidently aquired another starfish. It's either a baby brittle or a micro brittle. So now there's two. 
  • The snails all seem fine, they really like eating algae off the rocks and not the glass though. Except the nerite, it never leaves the glass. 
  • I got a scarlet hermit crab, it's been very active in cleaning rocks and the macros. 
  • I haven't seen the asterina starfish in awhile.
  • The blue legged hermit is hiding, it loves hiding for some reason. 

Still no water changes, just the occasional top-off. 

 

I'm using an glass cleaner to scrub the algae off the glass until I find a more natural solution (Maybe nerites?). 

 

I was thinking of adding a small filter for the purpose of surface skimming once a week. My hopes are that as the tank matures and balances I won't have to worry about surface scum.

 

I've decreased my dosing. I'm gonna split up what I dose and dose small amounts twice a week. ChaetoGro and Iodine on Saturday, and everything else on Wednesday. 

 

I was thinking some coral would be cool, assuming anything could survive no flow. Otherwise I might add a small filter. Someone else told me they have a pico where they only run an airstone for a couple hours everyday, no other water movement and their corals grow great. 

Screenshot_20210322-101636_Instagram.jpg

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mcarroll
On 2/7/2021 at 10:27 PM, Broseff said:

My end goal: 

  • 3 gallon tank (same size as my freshwater, for aesthetic purposes)
  • Filled with Macros (I don't expect/want a large variety, 3-4 types at most.)
  • Little maintance (Specifically glass cleaning & water changes. I know that I'll need to dose, trim, and top off.)
  • Low tech? (Would love to just need a light. I know something that generates flow may be necessary.)
  • Some fauna (Maybe like asterina starfish, not expecting to be able to support much.)
  • Little testing (Hopefully once everything is stable I'll be able to do everything on a schedule and only test once in a while.)

Is this still accurate?

 

It seems like the importance of having "no flow" has grown since then....at the beginning you acknowledged the need for flow.  Why the seeming change?  (Knowing the "why" can important to gauging success.)

 

I may have said something like this already, if so I'm sorry for repeating...but I really think you should be researching tide pool ecology.  It's the closest thing there is to no-flow in the ocean, at least in terms of the realms we deal with.  Dana Riddle has done some detailed investigations on tide pool lighting, maybe other areas of the ecology too.

 

Taking your tank in that direction would be ecologically sound AND seems to fit pretty well with your end goals, at least as expressed above.

 

One other thing.  Tide pools aren't very much like our reef tanks:

  • Light is full-sunlight...something approaching 100,000 lux and 5,500 Kelvin in color.  
  • Flow is probably BRUTALLY HARSH for large parts of the day and probably ZERO for the hours of low tide.
  • Selection of corals seems to be very limited.  Porites and....? (Not saying there aren't others....just none I can name off-hand.)

At least check out that article I linked...let me know what you think!  🙂 

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Broseff
2 hours ago, mcarroll said:

Is this still accurate?

 

It seems like the importance of having "no flow" has grown since then....at the beginning you acknowledged the need for flow.  Why the seeming change?  (Knowing the "why" can important to gauging success.)

 

I may have said something like this already, if so I'm sorry for repeating...but I really think you should be researching tide pool ecology.  It's the closest thing there is to no-flow in the ocean, at least in terms of the realms we deal with.  Dana Riddle has done some detailed investigations on tide pool lighting, maybe other areas of the ecology too.

 

Taking your tank in that direction would be ecologically sound AND seems to fit pretty well with your end goals, at least as expressed above.

 

One other thing.  Tide pools aren't very much like our reef tanks:

  • Light is full-sunlight...something approaching 100,000 lux and 5,500 Kelvin in color.  
  • Flow is probably BRUTALLY HARSH for large parts of the day and probably ZERO for the hours of low tide.
  • Selection of corals seems to be very limited.  Porites and....? (Not saying there aren't others....just none I can name off-hand.)

At least check out that article I linked...let me know what you think!  🙂 

 Mostly.

  • Still a 3 gallon cube
  • I'm at maybe 5-6 types of macros. Still seeing what will grow and what won't 
  • I've dosed, done top offs. I had to clean the glass, I had an algae bloom and it got bad (nerites are definetly the solution though). And no water changes.
  • Just a light still. I'm still considering flow. I was thinking of getting a super small internal filter, like the actual filter part would only fit like a little filter floss (the size of two cotton balls).
  • Some fauna is still correct. I have starfish, snails and hermits. That's it (and pods).
  • I don't test at all still.

My main thought for the filter was just to clear up the surface scum and some of the finer particulates while the tank matures (ideally I'd filter out the finer particulates from the sand and the surface scum would not be created as the macros take over). I also just super want a small piece of xenia, or like a small duster cluster, which would require some flow. I'd probably test it in another tank first to avoid poluting this tank if it fails. 

 

I'm not sure if you mentioned tide pools, maybe. I was reading a bunch of other research around flow and seeing what survived in lower flow situations and how high flow affected things in nature. I'll get back to you after I read what you sent, it looks very much in line with what I was thinking. I used to live in Santa Barbara and I did some research about the ecology of the beach. There are some anemone (I think coldwater) that exist in situations like that, I remember seeing anemone living on rocks that would be exposed (out of water) for hours at a time. 

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ererer
On 3/22/2021 at 1:36 PM, Broseff said:

Someone else told me they have a pico where they only run an airstone for a couple hours everyday, no other water movement and their corals grow great. 

I think that both of these pico bowls run just airlines or airstones.

 

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Broseff
Just now, ererer said:

I think that both of these pico bowls run just airlines or airstones.

 

Yea, I've seen these. I think both of these run airlines all day.

 

Someone said they only run theirs like twice a day or something, similar to like a tide going out and coming in. 

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Broseff

Small update: Bristle worms have been added. I only put in a small baby one, but hopefully it will help with the cleaning/balancing of the tank. 

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mcarroll
2 hours ago, ererer said:

@Broseff both threads comment on circulation....but I see no mention of part-time usage.  

 

One even mentions fastidious regular maintenance of the airline tubing to "keep circulation strong".  

 

Consider:  There are no flat walls in a bowl...this is ideal for maintaining water flow vs a box with flat walls.

 

I wouldn't mistake a different way of creating flow (ie airlift) for "no flow".  

 

Airlifts are mostly what powered flow in fish tanks over the years (powerheads are recent introductions), and in many cases airlifts still power many commertial fish operations.

 

Like this:

image.thumb.png.3f68cdc147c0a60ca9142579c384c747.png

Also check out: http://agrilife.org/fisheries2/files/2013/10/Aquaponics-Paradigm-Shift-with-Airlift-Part-1.pdf

(From U of Hawaii @ Manoa – you can almost certainly improve on the implementations in those two bowls with ideas from this.)

 

Also consider that this approach (air-powered water circulation) is more or less how the protein skimmer was invented.  When airlifts were applied to saltwater, it became immediately apparent how the bubbles were able to attract "dirt".  (I think Tunze's first skimmer was released in 1963 or so...)

 

Airlifts can be messy in saltwater.  Most likely this is why neither bowl uses an air stone – both use just a naked air line, minimizing the number of bubbles. 

 

One of the two bowl reviews commented on how cleaning this muck was a necessary part of regular maintenance, and required draining down the tank to perform.

 

Neither review contains enough info to know if these setups are really that stable in the long run either.  One admits to requiring Vibrant to keep it going, so that one especially gets the hairy eyeball.

 

Neither bowl setup was really "low maintenance" or a hands-off experience either....not by the owners' brief accounts.  Both seem very intensive.

 

 

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Broseff
16 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

@Broseff both threads comment on circulation....but I see no mention of part-time usage.  

 

One even mentions fastidious regular maintenance of the airline tubing to "keep circulation strong".  

 

Consider:  There are no flat walls in a bowl...this is ideal for maintaining water flow vs a box with flat walls.

 

I wouldn't mistake a different way of creating flow (ie airlift) for "no flow".  

 

When I meant "they" I meant a different person from either thread. I'm also not considering part time flow as no flow. I'm acknowledging that flow may be necessary in the long run. Bowls may be better for flow, but I hate the way they look. 

 

18 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

One of the two bowl reviews commented on how cleaning this muck was a necessary part of regular maintenance, and required draining down the tank to perform.

 

Neither review contains enough info to know if these setups are really that stable in the long run either.  One admits to requiring Vibrant to keep it going, so that one especially gets the hairy eyeball.

 

Neither bowl setup was really "low maintenance" or a hands-off experience either....not by the owners' brief accounts.  Both seem very intensive.

 

 

 

I haven't had a lot of "muck". I don't feed the tank more than a pellet once per week. 

 

Yea, both of these bowl set ups require a lot of work. These were the first things I looked at and it's a big part of why I steered away from coral. It's a much large bio-load than what I have. 

 

In general, I'm just trying to balance a CUC with macros. Ideally: the macros would almost outcompete microalgaes (I don't think they would ever fully outcompete), the CUC would keep macro's and the glass clear of micros, and the waste would enough provide nutrients to the tank or be broken down to the point of almost being inert. 

  • Seems like nerite snails would be best for the glass.
  • Cerith snails seem to love rocks.
  • Asterina's may help with keeping macros clean.
  • And detrivores/detritus eaters will help with breaking down biological materials (pollution prevention and bringing waste closer to being inert). 

This all would be easier if Macros were actual plants and not a form of algae. In FW some plant fertilizers prevent algae. It would also be great if there were cheap shrimp that loved eating microalgaes. My RCS will eat algae growing on the glass in my FW tank. 

 

Also, to some degree flow may be necessary. From what I've been looking at, and seeing in my tank, calcified macros should fair better in these environments. But flow may be needed, even a little, or maybe just to help with a little maintance while things balance. A filter and maintenance may be necessary while the tank settles. I don't want an algae bloom killing things just cause the tank is relatively new. 

 

Coral might end up being impossible in the tank, but it's a nice thought and it'd be cool if it worked. Or anemone would be nice, some coldwater anemone are small and beautiful, but this would be anything but low maintenance.

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Lypto

There are cheap saltwater shrimp, grass shrimp are interesting feeder species sometimes sold, but they have to be the saltwater kind. Macros grow fast but are tempermental sometimes. You'll need flow and aeration of some kind regardless for any kind of long term success. Calcified macros are much harder to keep, a mermaids brush might be good if you use a mud capped by sand. I've kept stuff in a bowl for a while, it needs attention and without movement everything gets covered with slime even with a strong clean up crew. I've seen brains, zoas and porites exposed during low tide, all fairly tough. Mushrooms maybe. 

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Broseff
On 3/25/2021 at 7:41 PM, Lypto said:

There are cheap saltwater shrimp, grass shrimp are interesting feeder species sometimes sold, but they have to be the saltwater kind. 

I've never seen saltwater grass shrimp. I've tried acclimating brackish ones before, but my coral banded shrimp kept eating them. 

 

Is there a specific website I could order them from? I'd be super down to get some, I loved having them in my FW tank. They ate anything the moment it died, which was great honestly. 

 

 

 

 

 

I heard dosing microbacteria will help keep down nuissance algaes. Does anyone have experience doing this? Would it affect the macros?

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Broseff

Update: Not sure if my tank is getting over it's ugly phase, or my new dosing schedule is working, but there's a lot less algae growing on the glass. I started dosing Microbacter too. Not sure if the new schedule or if it's the Microbacter, but the tank seems a lot cleaner. 

 

Macros are all the same. My largest Halimeda and Haliptilon are the only macros that don't seem to be growing. 

 

My blue legged hermit died. It went into hiding for like over a week and I found it dead. Probably starved while hiding. 

 

I finally broke down my FW shrimp tank, so I'm using the good led on the tank now (lominie). Gonna have to play with the settings to figure out what works best. It has a lot of settings and was really cheap, would totally recommend. I was using it on my shrimp tank and to grow orchids under at the same time. 

 

I added a PomPom crab for aesthetics, it's so cool looking. It's also how I found out that my blue legged hermit died. Hopefully the crab will eat anything that dies, so that nothing pollutes the tank. 

 

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