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About Teebo

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  1. Backyard Mangrove Experiment/Study

    I am honestly finding all 3 of them mingled together right at the shore line, so I am going to test the theory. I have updates to post soon, I finally got a small housing setup together in the pool lanai.
  2. Backyard Mangrove Experiment/Study

    This was a very good statement, I did not realize black and white can not grow without substrate, I thought all substrate is a buffer to maintain a certain humidity level, provide nutrients, and act as a foundation for the plant, anything grows hydroponically with the right amount of care so I am a little confused. I really wish I could have the best of both, red base with the smaller whites leaves. I will admit I do not own a marine tank yet, I just do constant research on starting one to save from learning with living things lives. Therefor I have not bought a refractometer yet, BRS was sold out last time I went to buy one. Many on amazon say they do not hold calibration or are not best for marine tanks so I just figured I would wait it out and buy from BRS. With that being said, I still want to begin playing with these mangroves! Can someone please help me with a water to salt ratio to mix marine water using table salt to ocean salinity? I would rather be safe and mix slightly lower than ocean water since I do not have a refractometer yet, can anyone give me somewhere to start? I read 1/2 cup per gallon, I see no reason why table salt will not work if I am also using a fertilizer. Should I get non-iodized? I really do not feel like paying for marine salt just to play with trees in my backyard.
  3. Backyard Mangrove Experiment/Study

    What about black and white mangroves? Does the freshwater variable only apply to red species?
  4. Lets get the elephant out of the room, a commercial building I help maintain on the coast of Florida has mangroves that grow up to the buildings edge. They are legally allowed to clear a 6' buffer zone between our building and the groves which has not been done in over 5 years therefor I plan on bringing home one of each type to study in my backyard, and release my findings to various forums for educational purposes. So with that out of the way, I am trying to setup my experiment but have some thoughts on how I am to house these, I was thinking about just using simple Tupperware with powerheads but an open body of water is going to create a habitat for mosquitoes to breed in my backyard. I read there are a few species of saltwater mosquitoes found along the coast but what are the chances they will find my backyard over a dry land buffer zone with only freshwater pools? I want to compare the growth rates and patterns between freshwater and saltwater, as well as between species alone (red, black, and white). If they were ever released into freshwater environments I think they could potentially become invasive. To keep things cheap I was just going to use table salt and slow release fertilizer such as Osmocote. I am not sure if mangroves rely on the cal/mag traces in ocean water as much as nitrates and phosphates. The salinity level is something I am not sure about, should I use brackish or 1.021 to 1.026 gravity? I do not have room inside to dedicate to this with artificial lighting, not for all 3 species so I will be relying on natural sunlight.
  5. My Local Hunt For Rock

    I would certainly sun dry LFS rock, that is the plan if used.
  6. My Local Hunt For Rock

    Exactly my thoughts too. Thats why I want to go the dry rock route, this was the tipping factor. I do not think branch rock really looks that natural at all, especially in ratio to a 16 gallon nano.
  7. I am hunting store to store in the Tampa area looking for rock to start a new nano tank. This is one of those things I want to buy locally so I can see it, especially since I only need a small amount. There are tons of choices so I am not sure what I should buy...preferably dry (I will be using live sand and Bio Spira, with dry rock free of pests) but if I buy wet rock I will let it dry out first. Store #1: I seem to have no problem finding "base rock" but that description doesn't make sense to me...as in not used to grow corals directly on but the lowest quality rock meant to be used where it will not be seen under my out layer of rock? Small tanks do not have room for core rocks. This store kept their base rock wet @ $2.99lb but it has zero character. This store also had lots of Haitian rock @ $4.99lb which seems to be prevalent, nothing overly pronounced but it was the most cured rock I had seen locally...probably because it was a dirtier store less reefers trust so it had likely been there a while. This store surprisingly had the best deal on CaribSea LifeRock @ $4.99lb but I do not really care for the painted surface so I would rather not use it. They also have artificial painted branch rock (likely CaribSea) @ $6.99lb though I do not see a need for any of it right now. Store #2: This was a much cleaner and larger store, again I found the "base rock" this was CaribSea South Seas dry base rock. Attractive looking to me @ $2.39lb. Of course the Haitian rock is never hard to find, here too @ $4.99lb as well as the CaribSea Life Rock with the Life Rock being slightly more expensive here @ $5.99lb Store #3: This was a diverse but misleading store, as always the base rock was found here too at the best deal for $2.00lb for CaribSea South Seas. Here is where things started getting a little confusing, this store was selling the same CaribSea Life Rock (being sold as painted coraline rock) @ $6.99lb and the same branch rock @ $8.99lb! Then the top half of the sign listed 4 types of rock all @ $5.99lb which is where I started getting lost and the store owner was not of much help...I felt a bit deceived. First off I am pretty sure Fuji rock is the kind not being found in stores anymore due to the closure on exports from Fuji? I am not sure how to identify Totoka rock but I do not think there was any here. Pukani should be distinctive but I did not see any, then they had "slab rock" which I do not even know it sounds artificial to me but what he showed me looked like a dead piece of a very large table coral with the tips cut off. I really only saw two types of rock, one was very obvious they threw some South Seas base rock into the troth (which he admitted to me), and the other type was literally dead coral with well defined polyp dimples. Looks like someone dropped off a crashed tank to sell as live rock, not sure if it would make for good reef building?
  8. "Generic Palys" vs. Other Zoas?

    I was not aware anything was capable of growing and spreading across sand other than anemones.
  9. "Generic Palys" vs. Other Zoas?

    Are you saying Palys can spread on sand??
  10. I have been jumping store to store trying to find out what I can get for macroalgae species, I want to build a nice display for pods to breed in. These are some of the species I found at one store...I had to Google them as none are labeled it is all sold by the bunch. I think I could definitely do something cool with all these. There was a palm tree/feather caulerpa just out of frame. In this photo I think I have codium, cryptonemia crenulata, blue/purple ochtodes, they also had sea grapes, flat caulerpa, and chaeto.
  11. "Generic Palys" vs. Other Zoas?

    I visited many reef shops and spoke with many employees, trying to identify corals and then ask to see if I am correct. I have come up with a pretty good way of determining a Zoa from a Paly...indeed they do generally have larger polyps, they seem to always have long eyelash looking tenticals. Some of the Zoas have extended tentical looking things but not as long and whispy as the Palys. I think I can see the "generic paly" I am making a fuss over...some of the lower end reef shops with poor coral and frag choices seem to be loaded with really creepy looking brownish palys not even on frag plugs but just growing on the racks and glass. With all the choices available I will never put those brownish palys in my tank, I did see a few nicer looking palys in my rounds today...probably the nicest looking ones I saw were florescent green but I am not sure if those will spread the same way the generic brownish ones do.
  12. I understand why live sand is called live, but the OceanDirect line claims to have a more diverse variety of strains of active bacteria and not just "more" quantity of bacteria. Not sure if BioSpira has strains that OceanDirect does not and/or vise versa. My plan is use dry rock (or wet rock, washed and dried in sun) combined with live sand and Bio Spira...let that stew for a while before adding anything. I can add pods and anything beneficial, but would rather add beneficial critters myself than start with wet rock. I decided to go out to my LFS and look at CaribSea substrate products, it is a lot easier to see it in person than pictures and descriptions online. I had to visit multiple stores to see the various types available. I found the Fiji Pink and I did not like it, both the color and the grain size. I was not able to locate Special Grade but seeing how I wanted larger grains than the Fiji Pink and those are capped at 1.5mm I figured Special Grade at 2mm would not be that much larger. I did find West Caribbean Reef and I really liked that texture, it was on top of another Arag-Alive bag called "FCC Coarse" which appeared to be the same exact product...was it renamed? Maybe the bag is really old. The only thing I was not able to locate yet and would like to see is the Natural Reef which does not have anything below 3mm in it...but is not crushed coral sized. So since I am not feeling the Special Grade to be natural enough imo, I am between the West Caribbean Reef and Natural Reef. Still considering the OceanDirect but all I was able to see in person has been the Oolite which is off limits. Original grade may work if I let the fine sand settle.
  13. Something the size of Floramax seemed like a good option in theory, it is easily vacuumable and does not get siphoned out of the tank when cleaning. Don't they make several grain sizes of crushed coral?? I am definitely going with CaribSea live substrate (and using dry rock) since live sand is cleaner than live rock in theory. I like the concept behind the OceanDirect line with more strains of bacteria, but it only comes in two sizes so I would be stuck using the Original Grade (0.25mm-6.5mm) hopefully the grains under 1.0mm will settle to the bottom by the time it is done cycling. If I went with the trusty Araga-Alive then I would have more choices such as the West Caribbean Reef (1.0mm-5.0mm), Natural Reef (3.0mm-5.5mm), and Special Grade Reef (1.0mm-2.0mm) The one named "Natural Reef" caught my attention, seems like mostly gravel sized...but the "Original Grade" OceanDirect has pieces 1mm larger than that at 6.5mm. So at what size will I start having issues?
  14. Still working on my preplanning of my first marine tank, I am putting thought into the isolation of soft corals when trying to choose a substrate. I do not like the bare bottom look and it also allows things like GSP to run wild uncontrolled. I really strive for a natural as possible appearance in my tanks which is always my goal in my freshwater planted tanks right down to details. Some say that sand is not a natural part of the reef and that corals do not grow in sand therefor you do not find sand at the reefs which I do not really find true...I think it all comes down to the scale of the hardscape. There are sand channels between the massive live rock clusters, so when it comes to scale very small corals in a very large tank is what makes "a little sand" look proportionate. I have to say the black sand/substrate does look nice its not very natural, and that is where I am putting thought into crushed coral substrate mixed with rubble. The downside I need confirmation on is whether coral grows on crushed coral or not, I would assume yes and that sand is the only thing I can use for isolation? It seems that I get the benefit of crushed coral breaking down over time though and releasing calcium into the water column, sounds beneficial as long as it does not release more than my corals can consume...is that even possible?
  15. Carbon vs. Purigen?

    I was totally confused, I understand now. So not only do some people not run carbon they actually have to add DOC into their systems? The opposite of removing them with GAC? Little off topic: I really am set on my goal of a more natural setup, and I am spending lots of extra time, research, and patience to do so. I wish to run as little "products" as possible, through good system planning and design. This means really utilizing macroalgae either with or without a refugium, so that I do not need to run phosphate or nitrate export products. This goes for any size system, in theory even the simplest 10 gallon tank could be all but water changeless if you incorporate and do not mind macroalgae within your display. I would assume you could even push the point of having to dose a 10 gallon tank if it was really balanced well as far as nutrient export is considered. All I would be running is mechanical and Purigen, plus dosing...if you use macronutrients (wide spectrum low dose) and it does not bother your corals it will make your macroalgae thrive therefor uptaking nitrates and phosphates at an accelerated rate.