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Old 03/24/2015, 10:56 AM   #751
braden
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There are probably a few different shrimp species called "ghost shrimp": I think of this one.

I grew up going to the beach regularly in South Carolina; but it wasn't until years later that I discovered what was responsible for all those burrows. (And they are numerous.) I even encountered a ghost shrimp out of its burrow once or twice; but the creature's connection to the burrow was not apparent.

Amazing critters; but not really aquarium-appropriate. (Their burrows can extend to 5m deep!)

I have a few of the peppermint shrimp in my seagrass tank. I started with six last fall; three are still in there.


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Old 03/24/2015, 11:54 AM   #752
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Good to know, thanks.

Can anyone else recommend a prolific, model citizen shrimp?


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Old 03/24/2015, 12:00 PM   #753
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I added ghost feeder shrimp and they've been breeding. Many live in my sump now.
I got mine from reefs2go dot com.
Last night, there was a big spawning event with lots of tiny fully formed shrimp that were 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch!!

Not brine shrimp, mysis or pods.


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Old 03/24/2015, 06:10 PM   #754
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Six Months Old

Well, my tank has hit the six month mark. Almost three of them in cyano-hell. Man, that was rough! But there were some great lessons learned along the way. Among them is to hold off on carbon dosing until the tank is more mature.

The seagrasses suffered, but they survived. Hopefully, they'll rebound and start growing again. I wish I could find the right combination to get them growing faster. Right now, the only thing I'm doing is adding CO2. I'm tempted to bury some more glutamic acid pills, for an ammonia source, but after rereading my notes, I saw that they prefer to take up ammonia from the water, through their leaves. There's no way I'm dosing ammonia straight into the tank water! I'm sure the rock die-off is supplying plenty right now. My best course of action is to do nothing. Be patient, observe and think!

The tank appears more stable now. It's nice to look at it, and have my stress levels go down, rather than up. It seems to be taking the elevated nutrients, caused by the uncured live rock, in stride. And the new rock looks great. Lots of sponge material, which is just what I wanted. Now, if I could just get sponges growing on the fake root! Once the sponges get well established, I expect to see more pristine conditions the seagrasses prefer.


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Old 03/24/2015, 07:25 PM   #755
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http://youtu.be/1eEaGwfjXqY


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Old 03/24/2015, 10:17 PM   #756
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Nice , Karim!


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Old 03/26/2015, 11:07 PM   #757
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I've gotten an increase of diatoms and green algae on the front glass. No doubt from the new rock die off. So I have to clean it everyday now, which seems to be benefitting the gorgonian. The sponges probably like it too.

I've noticed some tiny white blobs on some of the root and the back wall. They sort of looked like eggs, but when I got my magnifier on them, they look more like baby sponges! I'm also seeing a lot of (living) single polyp hard corals on the rocks too. Tooth corals? I'm not sure, but I love the added biodiversity.

It's wild to sit and watch the tank. The mollies and snails are constantly cropping back the algae. They can actually make a dent in it now. I'm seeing more baby red macros uncovered by their handiwork. I may be seeing an uptick in benthic plankton as well.

I need to leave well enough alone right now, and let the tank adjust to the new rock. With thorough, everyday observation, I'm able to watch this mini ecosystem seek equilibrium. Yay!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 03/26/2015, 11:12 PM   #758
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I added a UV sterilizer at low flow and it obliterated all algae in my tank.


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Old 03/27/2015, 09:14 AM   #759
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Really? Wow, I've run a UV sterilizer in the past, and it eliminated 'green water' algae, but not the benthic stuff. I had it plumbed for this tank, but I removed it when I re-plumbed, to simplify, and reduce possible micro bubble sources.

No matter-I don't want to get rid of all algae. It's an important part of my filtration. I just want to keep it at a level that keeps the herbivores happy, without it taking over the tank.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 03/27/2015, 11:27 AM   #760
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I'm surprised at the number of people that seem to be running UV sterilizers on reef (and similar) aquariums these days. Back when I started with this hobby in the early '90s, the conventional wisdom was that they shouldn't be run on reef tanks as they'd kill valuable microplankton. Are folks finding that they don't have much impact on the plankton population? Or are the folks using them just not concerned with the plankton population?

I think my response to planktonic algae would be to add copepods.


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Old 03/27/2015, 12:14 PM   #761
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Algae competes with macroalgae for resources. Since I added it, my chaeto has grown even faster.

As far as hurting the plankton- sure. But I feed my tank with coral food and most reef corals are primarily photosynthetic.

I had a dino scrourge and marine velvet. I had to go UV.

When my shrimp had babies, I turned it off, but it's plumbed in and ready at a moment's notice.


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Old 03/27/2015, 12:18 PM   #762
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I think recently dead phytoplankton is just as yummy as living phytoplankton. Most adult pods don't swim openly, they hang out in the sump or other nooks and crannies. So the core population is fine, but the algae is impacted.

I should run experiments on day/night UV vs. all day. I'll google it first. LOL


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Old 03/27/2015, 01:05 PM   #763
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Braden, those are good points. Maybe it's the target feeding, as Karim pointed out. And benthic plankton wouldn't be harmed, just the pelagic plankton.

From what I've read, both my gorgonian and sponges eat phytoplankton. So if I get it, that would be good for them. Copepods if it gets out of hand.

Karim, I like your 'plumbed and ready' setup. That's how I had mine too, before my plumbing issues.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 03/27/2015, 04:33 PM   #764
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I like my food dead too!

Karim, I can't believe that UV alone cured your algae problem. All of it would have had to flow through it to be eradicated. UV can only kill what's suspended in the bulk water. So there must've been other measures you took, in concert with it, right?


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 03/27/2015, 08:31 PM   #765
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Sure. I use multiple contra-algae mechanisms, chief among them are my skimmer and DSB/chaeto farm and the GFO I added. But those were all running before I added the UV too.

I think the UV interrupted a pivotal event in the mass migration of the algae around the tank. So as my snails, fish and crabs consumed the algae and turned it into nutrients, it couldn't reappear elsewhere as easily. Stops the wackamole game. The chaeto got even richer and my skimmer froth got thicker.

After my baby ghost spawned, I turned the UV off and within 24hrs, little tufts of algae started showing up again...


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Old 03/27/2015, 08:36 PM   #766
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By the way, I had the UV on very low flow ~400gph return from my sump. This kills most organisms.

I think there's plenty of undescribed relationships in a marine tank. Especially the effect bacteria has in promoting some organisms vs others. This varies across the bacteria and the organisms. Some probably help corals, some help algae, some help pods... Or hurt.

The real effect of UV is that it shuts down a ton of covert operations that we don't understand- good and bad. In my case - it eradicated algae.


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Old 03/27/2015, 10:48 PM   #767
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Thanks, Karim. As you said, it was one of several methods, but a pivotal one. And blocking (or at least, reducing) the migration of algae around the tank sounds plausible. It sounds like you've got it dialed and it's working well for you, so that's great!

I agree, there are many unknowns in our tanks. Hundreds of species interacting, countless chemical reactions-it's dizzying! That's one of the things that fascinates me. Trying to understand all this stuff going on in our little boxes, is a surprisingly long journey!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 03/29/2015, 02:20 PM   #768
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I just did a manual algae removal from my grasses. Not much algae on them. Oh yeah!

The male molly is getting frisky with the ladies, and they don't seem to mind the attention one bit! Spawning behavior is fun to watch…

I think I've just about got the right cast of herbivores now, with room for one more-an Atlantic Blue Tang. It would be great to get one in there, but I think I want to add the royal grammas first.

Those little white blobs I thought were tiny sponges may be tiny sea squirts. It's all good…


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 03/29/2015, 02:23 PM   #769
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I prefer squirts and tunicates myself. The translucent ones are awesome.


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Old 03/29/2015, 09:54 PM   #770
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I put a couple of old coral skeletons in the quarantine tank. When I was messing around in there I found some more red macro fragments. I added them to the display. Little pieces are scattered about the tank. Maybe some will come back…


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Old 04/05/2015, 08:47 PM   #771
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I did a water change today. Green, filamentous algae is outpacing the herbivores. Got some exported. Got shrimpies on the way.

I just finished rereading Diana Walstad's book "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium". She advocates low tech planted tanks, using dirt, under some gravel, to nourish the plants. And using nothing but fish food to feed the fish AND plants.

Anyway, I have a round, three gallon vase, as a betta bowl. Today, I added dirt from my yard, and replanted it. The trick is to make sure no sunlight can reach the dirt. The plants and the betta look beautiful. We'll see!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 04/06/2015, 06:35 AM   #772
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
I did a water change today. Green, filamentous algae is outpacing the herbivores. Got some exported. Got shrimpies on the way.

I just finished rereading Diana Walstad's book "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium". She advocates low tech planted tanks, using dirt, under some gravel, to nourish the plants. And using nothing but fish food to feed the fish AND plants.

Anyway, I have a round, three gallon vase, as a betta bowl. Today, I added dirt from my yard, and replanted it. The trick is to make sure no sunlight can reach the dirt. The plants and the betta look beautiful. We'll see!
In my freshwater planted tank days, I used to do "low tech" planted tanks (i.e. no CO2 injection, HOB filter without any media just for water movement, just water changes and "natural" filtration) and I found that in the long run it was less of a hassle than my previous "higher tech" tanks although growth was slower without the CO2 injection. Using soil allowed me to keep plants for years while providing adequate nutrition without changing the substrate, and by the time I retired the tank when I moved to a different city the plants had formed substantial, extensive root systems. I used commercial potting soil (without perlite - that stuff floats to the top and is a real pain) and placed ~1 inch of sand above.

From my personal empiric experience, using soil seems to result in more nutrients in the water, so I would watch out for unwanted algae growth, and also discoloration of the water occurs especially at the beginning. I've never used soil from the yard, so I would in addition watch out for a spike in nutrients as previously terrestrial flora/fauna start dying and decomposing under aquatic conditions. Soil under water can be difficult to manipulate, as any soil that becomes exposed above the sand/gravel layer will start to float into the water and potentially cause a soupy soil mess. Planting can also be a pain - pushing stems and roots into the substrate invariably causes some of the soil to float into the water, potentially causing a mess. In some ways, I found this method to be a little bit more tedious and difficult in the beginning and you might have to be patient for results. I would say using this method to achieve those gorgeous planted tanks you see in magazines requires a lot patience and has a bit of a learning curve for management and getting the results you desire. That being said, if I have the space for a freshwater tank in the future I would do it the same again, because I enjoyed the "natural" aspect of it (although philosophically nothing is particularly natural about keeping plants and fish in a glass box but I do it anyways ) BTW I never read Walstad's book so I don't have any scientific insights, I just used my intuition and experimented.


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Old 04/06/2015, 08:35 AM   #773
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Yes, Guits, I'm a little nervous, as the vase gets a lot of sun! One thing I think will help, is, I planted the plants into the soil BEFORE I covered it in crushed coral gravel (and water). So for now at least, my water is crystal clear.

Walstad's book is excellent, with usable info throughout. It was very helpful in my freshwater planted tank days, and still is, as I try to get these seagrasses going!


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Old 04/06/2015, 09:24 AM   #774
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Maybe you could wrap the bottom with foil or something opaque to prevent any photosynthesis in the bottom layer?


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Old 04/06/2015, 10:01 AM   #775
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The dirt is completely hidden by the gravel on top as well as all the way around. The vase is a decorative feature on the kitchen counter, so it's got to be pretty. I think it'll be okay. I expect I'll have to do more frequent water changes for awhile, but that's easy with a 3 gallon vase!


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