thread: Weeds
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Old 06/21/2018, 12:31 AM   #44
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 2,236
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
Thanks taricha. Yes, I would expect the mud to have abundant organic material, as well as all kinds of fauna, adding biodiversity. I have read that seagrass likes soft, muddy sand to root in. In the previous setup, I added some of this mud, then covered it with sand, so it's not exposed to light or the bulk water. The grasses responded well.

I got it from Florida Pets. It is actual, black, stinky mud. So you don't need a lot.

Rather than planting in clean sand, I want to give the grasses a fertile home right from the start, rather than waiting for nutrients to build up. And since they are true, rooted plants, they take up a lot of nutrients from the soil.

So hopefully, my dirty sand bed will provide a good home to both the grasses and micro fauna, adding nutrients and diversity to the foundation of the ecosystem.

While we're on the subject, I wanted to elaborate on the reasoning for using multiple sand grain sizes. Layers of different grain sizes are conducive to different pore water oxygen levels and thus different kinds of bacteria. By layering with coarse at the top, medium in the middle and fine on the bottom, I should get a gradient from aerobic to anaerobic to anoxic conditions. This should foster diversity in bacteria, which is a good thing. Also, the coarse top layer provides habitat (and refuge) for pods and other tiny creatures to feed on accumulating detritus.

I have some of the florida pets mud in a little HOB fuge on my 24G aquapod reef tank. It really is black stinky mud haha. My reef tank seems to love it, but since adding it I can't seem to keep macro alive anymore. I get layers of bacteria growth on the top layer of the mud then as it puts off gas it literally raises the entire mat to the top of the water which then floats out into my sponge. The process repeats every day. It seems like the bacteria are actually outcompeting my ulva for nutrients.

My coral however, has never looked better and I get no cyano or anything in my main tank. I do however need to seed it with more micro life. Pods don't seem to care for it as much and while I do have some burrowing brittle stars (also from florida pets) they don't seem to eat or affect it much.

I really would like to find more things to properly seed it with, but living in AZ gives me limited choices and places like ISPF are just way to damn expensive.

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