Jump to content
seabass

[Custom] seabass

Recommended Posts

seabass

Well, I was wrong…no phosphates either. I’ve ordered some monopotassium phosphate from Greg Watson. So until I receive it, I’m going to try more prepared foods. Does anybody know a better way to increase the phosphate level?

Share this post


Link to post
tinyreef

have you tried fertilizer sticks? i think they come in different concentrations for nitrogen/nitrate, phosphorus/phosphate, and potassium/maybe potassium po4 or other compounds, (N-P-K).

 

again, not sure how reef safe they are but they shouldn't need to contain copper.

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

Thanks tiny, I’ll check into it and see what I can find tomorrow. I’m thinking that this is why the seagrass has been having such a hard time. Wow, test kits can actually determine why things are having problems…who’d have thunk it? :blush:

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

Here's the clownfish that I moved to my 40 gallon:

012307_a.jpg

He is doing very well and can hold his own with the big guys.

 

Since I moved my clownfish and my Yellow Clown Goby jumped, my lagoon has been fishless. So I thought that I’d replace him with a young pair. They show no aggression toward each other and sometimes hang out side by side. Here’s one of them; you can see that they aren't much bigger than the airline tubing:

012307_c.jpg

 

The seagrass appears to have a couple of new growth areas. I’m watching it closely as there isn’t much room for error in its current state:

012307_b.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
seabass
have you tried fertilizer sticks?
I checked a few out, but I’m too much of a chicken to use them. Many contain copper, so that’s an easy elimination; however, there are typically a number of other ingredients which I’m not that sure of (and managing amounts to dose would be more difficult).

 

So I picked up some Seachem Flourish Phosphorus (P2O5). I will try this until I get my KH2PO4 from Greg Watson. Seachem’s Flourish line of products are marketed as a freshwater additives; does anybody know of a reason that I shouldn’t use Flourish Phosphorus in saltwater?

Edited by seabass

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

I’m kind of bummed about the lack of CO2 production. I’m using the pre-measured reactor mixture, but I’m thinking about rinsing it out and mixing my own. Sometimes I can watch it for a couple of minutes without any bubbles at all.

Share this post


Link to post
tinyreef
I’m kind of bummed about the lack of CO2 production. I’m using the pre-measured reactor mixture, but I’m thinking about rinsing it out and mixing my own. Sometimes I can watch it for a couple of minutes without any bubbles at all.
drink lotsa of soda and burp over the tank.

 

jk :P

 

have you looked around planted forums and such for fertilizer suggestions? the flourish sounds like a good idea though. i thought there was a thread on that product here somewhere, in fact.

Share this post


Link to post
kchisler

Not sure if this will work in a SW tank, but in my 29g FW planted tank I pour a .75L bottle of Perrier in my tank 2x a month. As noted on this water site:

 

http://www.aquamaestro.com/nitrates.asp

The truth is that the still water of Perrier - aggressively infused with CO2 bubbles - is an undesirable chemistry of unusual acidity (pH of 5.46), and a shocking level of Nitrates; the best thing you can say is that it's low in Sodium.

 

As I don't put any CO2 in my tank otherwise this seems to provide a sufficient amount of CO2 and Nitrates for my plants. Like I said not sure if it will work in a SW environment but it may work for a last ditch effort. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

Thanks, I appreciate the feedback.

 

 

have you looked around planted forums and such for fertilizer suggestions? the flourish sounds like a good idea though. i thought there was a thread on that product here somewhere, in fact.
I’ve searched the planted forums a bit, but I haven’t had the time to be too thorough. However, I have read that Flourish Excel does nasty things to saltwater critters (although I haven't heard anything about Flourish Phosphorus).

 

 

I was pleasantly surprised that I got my fertilizers from Greg Watson today:

012407_a.jpg

 

 

Not sure if this will work in a SW tank, but in my 29g FW planted tank I pour a .75L bottle of Perrier in my tank 2x a month…As I don't put any CO2 in my tank otherwise this seems to provide a sufficient amount of CO2 and Nitrates for my plants. Like I said not sure if it will work in a SW environment but it may work for a last ditch effort.
Good idea. So I went to the store and searched for a bottle, but apparently, it’s not that popular anymore (as the two stores that I went to didn’t have any). However, since I was mostly interested in the CO2 (as I already had a source of nitrates), I picked up some sparkling water instead:

012407_b.jpg

 

Then I added about 250mL of it to my tank. Very soon afterward, the red Blasto started to close up. Since it doesn’t contain any other ingredients besides carbonated water, I was a little puzzled by this reaction. Then it hit me, the pH must be off. So I quickly tested it; and sure enough, it wouldn’t register on my marine pH test kit (which goes as low as 7.8). So I changed out about 25% of the water and tried again. The reading was now about 7.8, and the Blasto seemed to be less stressed. Apparently, 250mL is just too much for a 10 gallon tank; however, it still might be worth considering in smaller amounts.

 

 

I also picked up the ingredients for the new yeast fermentation mixture. The system should dose the CO2 in a more controlled manner. Hopefully, this mixture will produce more CO2 than the one that came with the reactor.

Edited by seabass

Share this post


Link to post
avalanche1201

just read up on this...think a lagoon tank is a pretty sweet idea...the tank looked pretty good when you first got the sea grass....i hope you can figure out the problems and make a full comeback

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

Thanks avalanche1201. I basically knew that nutrients would be important, but I thought a bit of overfeeding would suffice. However, dosing nutrients seems to be very important (at least with a light bio-load). I hope my recent efforts start to pay off; they seem to be helping a bit. This is what they look like today:

012607_b.jpg

 

 

I’ve gotten used to not having to test my reefs as the results haven’t changed in years. However, the seagrass doesn’t look like it will survive in a nutrient poor environment, so dosing KNO3 (potassium nitrate) and KH2PO4 (monopotassium phosphate) seems to be helping.

 

Now that I’m testing more often, I’m finding that rummaging through the test kit boxes is a major pain. I decided to organize my kits to make testing a little easier:

012607_a.jpg

 

 

My last test results were:

• Nitrates: 30

• Phosphates: 0.5

• pH: 8.0

 

Since the nutrients were over twice what I’d prefer, I did another 25% water change for the sake of my other livestock. I eventually hope to keep nitrates around 10 and phosphates closer to 0.1.

Share this post


Link to post
Uploadead

I hope it all goes well, I am too thinking of a seagrass & seahorse tank, they look really nice when stocked. Any ideas of stocking?

 

will a FW Co2 reactor work? Yeast ones seem to do well though ;)

Share this post


Link to post
seabass
I hope it all goes well, I am too thinking of a seagrass & seahorse tank, they look really nice when stocked. Any ideas of stocking?
Thanks Uploadead. As you can see by my thread, I’m no expert and am learning as I go. However, I’d recommend stocking seagrass, like and Shoal grass (Halodule wrightii) and Star grass (Halophila engelmannii), that don’t require really deep sand beds. You will want to stick to hardy corals (and fish) that can tolerate nutrient rich water like zoanthids and mushrooms, but there are a number of other corals that could also be kept.

 

You will also find that many seagrass tanks include various macro algae; however, they can have very different growth rates, while competing for the same nutrients. I've been also wanting to try keeping a few gorgonians someday (check out Rene’s neat little gorgonian contest tank).

 

I haven’t researched keeping seahorses, so I can’t give you much info to go on there. Although I have heard that some tank bred seahorses can survive on frozen foods (like mysis), which would take a lot of work out of raising live foods for them. I’m sure that there are threads on this site that will point you in the right direction.

 

will a FW Co2 reactor work?
I think that a typical CO2 bottle system, that’s common in freshwater setups, should work well (and would probably be much more manageable than a yeast reactor). You will still need to shut down CO2 delivery at night, plus monitor pH and KH (in addition to NO3 and PO4).

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

My sand bed had a trace of cyanobacteria; however it was limited and was easily siphoned off during water changes - bringing nutrient levels back down to my target levels:

• Nitrates: 10mg/L (Seachem test kit)

• Posphates: 0.1mg/L (Seachem test kit)

• pH: 8.1 (Seachem test kit)

 

Seagrass growth still seems to be quite modest, but there are signs of new growth:

013107_b.jpg

 

Other livestock is looking good:

013107_a.jpg

 

One of my new Clown Gobies:

013107_c.jpg

Edited by seabass

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

10 Gallon Star Grass Lagoon

January 31, 2007

 

Last month’s summary showed that the seagrass has been in a state of slow decline; but since I see it everyday, I didn’t really notice how bad it was until I posted the comparison pictures. It was long overdue, but I finally tested the water to find that there were no detectable nitrates or phosphates. I had incorrectly been assuming that some overfeeding would be enough to maintain minimal levels of each.

 

To make conditions more favorable, I upgraded the lights with two 32W CustomSeaLife Super Nova Retrofit Kits. I’m using a 50/50 SmartLite along with a 10K bulb.

 

On the 18th, I also installed a yeast reactor to provide CO2 for the seagrass. I’m currently a little disappointed with the poor production, so I’ve also been adding some carbonated water (Canada Dry Sparkling Water) during the light cycle. I learned that small amounts must be used to avoid notable pH shifts.

 

To increase nitrate production, I added bio-media to one of the HOB filters, but I also ordered some KNO3 (potassium nitrate) and KH2PO4 (monopotassium phosphate) from Greg Watson. I’ve been dosing nitrates since the 20th and phosphates since the 23rd. I brought up the nutrient levels a little too high, as the seagrass was in dire need of some new growth; however, I have since brought them back down to my target levels through larger partial water changes. I’m currently targeting nitrates at 10mg/L and phosphates at 0.1mg/L.

 

Unfortunately, my Clown Goby jumped, so I have replaced him with two juveniles; they get along great and are primarily eating pods right now (as they have not yet taken to prepared foods). I have also replaced the skimmer and powerhead with the CO2 system’s HOB filter (the tank’s flow is still a little more than 25 times turnover). I feel that removing the pump has improved the look of the tank.

 

October 31st:

103106_b.jpg

 

November 30th:

113006_c.jpg

 

December 31st:

123106_a.jpg

 

January 31st:

013107_e.jpg

 

January 31st (Shrimp with eggs):

013107_d.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
avalanche1201

preggy shrimp eh....is it easy to take care of the offspring?

Share this post


Link to post
seabass
preggy shrimp eh....is it easy to take care of the offspring?
It might be possible, but the gobies will be more than happy to take care of them. :happy: I consider it good food for the tank.

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

I haven't performed any water changes since Wednesday; and yesterday I had dosed 1/16th of teaspoon of nitrates (but didn’t run any tests). Today my test results were:

• Nitrates: 2 (Seachem test kit)

• Phosphates: Undetectable (Seachem test kit)

• pH: 8.1 (Seachem test kit)

 

So I added 1/8th of a teaspoon of nitrates and 1/32nd of a teaspoon of phosphate. I’m surprised by the nutrient uptake of this tank and am convinced that my seagrass would have died if I hadn’t started to add nutrients. I see more signs of growth, but nothing that remarkable yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Reef Gator

WOW...those little plants are bad@ss nitrate absorbers! I suspect your DSB is helping with the nitrate reduction as well though. Most of us would kill for a system that efficient! I'm definately going to have to consider a seagrass refugium when (if) I set up a larger system.

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

Reef Gator, thanks again for the chemistry help on the other thread. I’ve been watching the pH when dosing KH2PO4 (monopotassium phosphate); and it appears that the small amounts that I’m using don’t dramatically drop pH.

 

I agree that the sand bed is likely helping to reduce the nitrate level. It would be interesting to setup a control tank with a similar sand bed to see how much nitrate the bed removes from the water. I’ve also noticed that the seagrass roots are currently very short; I wonder if that’s because the sand bed isn’t that rich in nutrients yet.

 

However, I’m thinking the same thing about the refugium. If nothing else, it would probably be a lot more interesting than a typical Chaeto fuge. In addition, once the biomass increases, I feel that the plants will add a lot to the nutrient export.

Share this post


Link to post
Reef Gator
Reef Gator, thanks again for the chemistry help on the other thread.

 

No problem :) . Gives me something interesting to do at work.

it appears that the small amounts that I’m using don’t dramatically drop pH.

 

Good to hear. Keep up the good work. I can't wait to see this thing take off.

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

My Cerith snails still occasionally dig up the seagrass as they move about the sand bed. I had to take another colony of seagrass off of the filter intake again today, so I moved one of the larger Ceriths to my 40 gallon tank.

 

I’ve been trying to narrow down just how much I need to dose on a daily basis. As part of this effort, I am trying to understand just how dosing raises the nutrient levels.

 

Today’s test results before dosing:

• Nitrate: 5

• Phosphate: undetectable

• pH: 8.1

 

I dosed 1/8th of a teaspoon of KNO3 (potassium nitrate), maybe 1/64th of a teaspoon of KH2PO4 (monopotassium phosphate), and a few ounces of carbonated water.

 

Results after dosing:

• Nitrate: 15

• Phosphate: 0.5

• pH: 8.0

 

I’m finding that only a very small amount of KH2PO4 is needed to increase phosphate from undetectable levels to target levels. I’ll post my test results tomorrow to help document the actual nutrient export.

 

Lately, a little cyanobacteria has been accumulating on the sand bed (which I’m pretty sure is due to the added nutrients and CO2). I’ve been able siphon it off very easily, but I was concerned that it might cover some the new seagrass leaves; so I dosed Boyd Chemi-Clean to protect the delicate leaves.

 

I’m still dosing ESV B-Ionic Calcium and B-Ionic Magnesium a few times a week. In addition, I’m dosing a very small amount of Kent Super Chelated Iron once a week. This is very unusual for me as I have typically advocated no dosing. Eventually I feel that I’ll be able to dose just KNO3 and KH2PO4 (which seems to be unavoidable).

Share this post


Link to post
Reef Gator

Seabass,

 

You may find it easier to dose small amounts of phosphate (and be more consistent with your doses) if you make up a "stock solution". For example, dissolve 1 teaspoon of KH2PO4 in 2 liters of RO/DI. An empty 2L of your carbonated water should work great for this. Then instead of trying to measure 1/64 teaspoon you could just add a measured number of drops of your stock solution. 20 drops from an eyedropper is about 1mL, equivalent to 1/1000 of a teaspoon of solid. Potassium phosphate is very stable in pure water. You should be able to use a bottle for a year or more. You could do the same for your nitrate solution, but you seem to be having more luck controlling the dosage of nitrate.

Edited by Reef Gator

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

Awesome, that’s exactly what I should be doing! I would have been fighting that for some time, and I really didn’t like the idea of having phosphates too high (even if they came down relatively quickly). It’s good to know that both would be stable in distilled water. Plus, it’s even something that I could make easy for a tank sitter to dose (via a daily top off mixture). Thanks again Reef Gator!

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

I’m sure that nitrate and phosphate reduction varies from day to day, as some feedings are heavier than others. Today’s test results:

• Nitrate: 10 (down from 15 yesterday)

• Phosphate: 0.25 (down from 0.5 yesterday)

• pH: 8.1

 

 

‘In my own experience with the grass tank I’m finding that the addition of B vitamins - thiamine, nictoinic acid, biotin and B12 - are all important to the growth of stargrass in particular.’ - Sarah Lardizabal, the SeaNursery

 

Since I’m not finding a product that contains the ingredients that Sarah lists, I’m considering adding vitamins and amino acids in the form of Seachem Reef Plus.

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...