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Old 09/24/2017, 10:48 AM   #2726
Chasmodes
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Thanks for the update!

Lookin' fantastic! Lots of color and only going to get better. Are you going to keep the Caulerpa and prune or try to get rid of it?

The sailfin blennies are cool. How are the barnacle blennies doing?


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Old 09/24/2017, 05:37 PM   #2727
Subsea
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Less technology more biology

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Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
Me too! Making my tank look like a natural place is the goal. I have truly enjoyed my fake wall. It's a fascinating challenge, combining random, encrusting organisms with things like plants that you purposely plant. Last weekend, while pruning, it occurred to me that what I'm doing is basically gardening, with the added complication of ecosystem building, all in a pretty confined, underwater environment. Aquarists are an ambitious bunch, aren't we?

I feel like I'm learning a lot more about the natural world, utilizing nature's players, to achieve some semblance of balance. It seems so normal to me, yet I often feel like a very tiny minority, in this rather tech-obsessed hobby. Where some see excessive detritus, they think mechanical filtration, and I think detrivores. To each, his own!

Michael,
John Tullock put it so eloquently in his book "The Natural
Aquarium, "Less technology more biology". His central theme was designing compatiable ecosystems: either a pivitol species or a biotheme. Your Caribbean seagrass biotheme is well balanced and a delighht to look at. I gave up on seagrass and went the macro route because, imo, it was much easier.
I have numerous mollies that have been acclimated to 1.026 SpG. Because I have differrent species in the same tank, over 50 mollies in 55G tank, they have crossbred with crazy color combinations. I use them for algae control in macro propagation tanks. Yesterday, I moved 5G of Grape Caulerpa into 150G Rubbermade tanks buried in the ground. Included in the matrix of macro was amphipods and copepods. My goal was to house macro and pods that required minimal electrical cost for heating water. To that end, I will make a collection trip for wild green mollies and convert to salt water. Live Aquaria has six differfent species of pods. I plan on putting these in Rubbermade tanks. I have three 150G tanks buried in ground for geothermal heating and cooling. Tanks are at differrent levels which facilitates pumping from #1 at the bottom to #3 at the top. Tanks #2 & #3 will have macro and pods. I am using Grape Caulerpa in #3 and Chaetomorphy in #2 and C. Prolifera and mollies in #1.

Three years ago, I ran these tanks with diver collected uncured live rock along side Edwards Plateau dense holy rock. The idea was to sell econominal live rock. The electrical cost became unrealistic to make money and I pulled the plug on the project. I will try hardy pods and macro.

Can you suggest any other macros that would do well in this ecosystem?


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Old 09/24/2017, 06:06 PM   #2728
Michael Hoaster
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Thanks Chasmodes! I've decided not to fight the return of caulerpa racemosa. Having looked at pics of the tank with and without, I decided I like it better with. Not to mention it's a battle I don't think I can win! I could have worse problems-like NOT being able to grow caulerpa!

All the blennies are doing well. Unfortunately, I lost the last two of the blue chromis, in QT. Huge bummer. I'd give them another try, but I'm very gun shy at this point. It sucks because they are perfect for my tank, but losing every single one makes it seem I wasn't meant to keep them. Oh well.

I meant to get in there and prune today, but I went for a bike ride and now I have no gumption…


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Current Tank Info: 180g Caribbean Biotope Seagrass-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 09/24/2017, 06:16 PM   #2729
Michael Hoaster
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Subsea, it's great to hear from you again! Thanks for the compliments! Still charming the ladies with your macro salads?

I agree with you on the seagrass! PITA!

The only other macro I might suggest for you would be ulva. Grows fast. Pods and pretty much all herbivores love to eat it as well. Sounds like a cool project!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Caribbean Biotope Seagrass-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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Old 09/24/2017, 09:54 PM   #2730
Subsea
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Talking

[QUOTE=Michael Hoaster;25224114]Subsea, it's great to hear from you again! Thanks for the compliments! Still charming the ladies with your macro salads?

I agree with you on the seagrass! PITA!

The only other macro I might suggest for you would be ulva. Grows fast. Pods and pretty much all herbivores love to eat it as well. Sounds like a cool project![/QUOTE

Yes, I like Ulva and plan on adding some to tank #1 with the Caulerpa Prolifera.
It is coincidental that you mentioned the macro salad. I have been experimenting with Grape Caulerpa with a simple lime juice and sesame seed oil. Pretty good stuff. Saturday, I fixed a triple header: vegetarium chevichee, yellow fin tuna sushi and Grape Caulerpa. Each was in a seperate dish so that people could taste individual dishes or mix and match. It surprised me how big of a hit it was. Perhapes I will be in demand for the party circuit here in Austin.


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Laissez les bons temps rouler,
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Current Tank Info: 10,000G. Greenhouse Macro Growout

Last edited by Subsea; Yesterday at 09:25 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 06:08 AM   #2731
Chasmodes
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Sorry to hear that Michael. Good luck on your next try. Some fish, even in the same species, just can't deal with the stress of shipping, etc. and never recover and adapt to captivity, no matter how good the conditions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Subsea View Post
I have been experimenting with Grape Caulerpa with a simple lime juice and sesame seed oil. Pretty good stuff. Saturday, I fixed a triple header: vegetarium chevichee, yellow fin tuna sushi and Grape Caulerp. Each was in a seperate dish so that people could taste individual dishes or mix and match. It surprised me how big of a hit it was. Perthapes I will be in demand for the party circuit here in Austin.
That's awesome! It would be so cool if I could make an Ulva salad for my family some day


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Old Yesterday, 09:45 AM   #2732
Subsea
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I find that the texture of Ulva does not work for me. IMO, for eating freash seaweed, the texture is best crisp. To date, I have found Gracilaria Parvispora [Red Ogo or Tang Heaven Red] and Grape Caulerpa to be excellant candidates. Also, from the Gulf of Mexico, I find Gracilaria tikvahiae. When I inquired about G. tikvahiae with Russ Kronwetter of Gulf Coast EcoSystem, he told me that there was much collection on the beaches of Florida by the Asian community. I think that the Asians have it right, seaweed is a "super food".

https://www.sms.si.edu/irlspec/Gracil_tikvah.htm

The Smithsonian calls Tikvahiae "Graceful Red Weed".


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Laissez les bons temps rouler,
Patrick Castille

Current Tank Info: 10,000G. Greenhouse Macro Growout
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Old Yesterday, 07:41 PM   #2733
Michael Hoaster
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Thanks Chasmodes. What's bugging me is I don't know if blue chromis are just too fragile in general, or I got some iffy ones, or is my QT killing them. I've still got two mollies in there, doing fine.

It sucks because I'd really love to keep some! But taking another ($100+) chance on another group of them is an expensive risk I'd tend to avoid.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Caribbean Biotope Seagrass-Mangrove Mudbank Lagoon
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