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Old 11/14/2018, 10:17 AM   #351
Michael Hoaster
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Thanks McPuff! I had to google Ma'at. I agree. Like the rest of us, I'll still have to step in and make adjustments. In my experience with the last tank, even with a wriggling, wall-to-wall detrivore filled sand bed, detritus still built up. This is normal for a seagrass bed in the wild, but it just wasn't pretty enough for display, for my taste. So, on a few occasions, I vacuumed. I don't expect that to change, this time around.

One thing I do hope to change this time is pruning. I had several fast growing macros that required weekly pruning. This time I'm going to be very particular which macros I introduce. If I do it right, pruning will be greatly reduced. Probably the biggest difference between v1 and v2 is that seagrass coverage will be increased, and macro coverage decreased.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Lagoon in the works
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Old 11/14/2018, 11:09 AM   #352
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subsea View Post
I think substrate dynamics are woefully under appreciated in the hobby.

Michael,
Your point about detrivore predators is right on target. Due to Red Planaria infestation, I introduced a Melanurus Wrasse to my 25 year old 6 deep sand-bed, it caused a major upset that required me to remove > 80% of sandbed.

In adding substrate with differrent grain sizes, eventually, the finer substrate will migrate to the bottom no matter where it is placed.

With respect to getting dirt from back yard, I take great pleasure in shocking the bare bottom group that promotes sterile conditions in their tanks. PaulB has promoted this concept for 47 years.

Keep the good news coming.


Dawn,
Anaerobic conditions do not necessarily have to be a deep sandbed. Fine silt or mud can promote anaerobic activity with 0.5 substrate.
O I hadn't thought of that but its so dense I guess that oxygen doesn't permeate it. So much to digest.


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Old 11/14/2018, 11:15 AM   #353
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
OK Dawn, thanks for clarifying. I don't really see it as a limitation. Don't we all choose to avoid certain fish? Certainly we all have different philosophies and methods, and I realize mine are pretty out there!
You are right Michael, limitation was the wrong word. We each will set our own parameters to get our desired effect. And I think yours is super cool, and who knows...I may change mine before I redo my tank, LOL.


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Old 11/14/2018, 02:05 PM   #354
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At some point, we do need to step in and solve problems now and then, to stabilize our box to mimic the vastness of nature. But, it sure is nice if you have to keep it to a minimum!

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Originally Posted by Jijlo View Post
Currently my saltwater tank is quite underwhelming, it's made to be as simple as possible. It's a 21 gallon with a single Orchid Dottyback, a massive colony of flower leather coral and a forest of caulerpa and ulva with dozens of different critters living in it.
That sounds awesome! I don't find that underwhelming at all. You should start a tank thread of your own, post vids and pics


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Old 11/14/2018, 03:56 PM   #355
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Thanks Jijlo, and welcome!

It's a pleasure to hear from you! You appear to have accomplished an ideal I aspire to - the self sustaining aquarium. Congratulations! I had imagined it would probably need to be somewhat underwhelming to make it work, like a single, herbivorous fish and lots of plants. But you've done it with a carnivorous fish, critters and plants. So cool! I agree with Kevin. It doesn't sound underwhelming! That you can maintain a sustainable population of food for your dottyback in that small a tank is astounding!

It feels like I'm finally gaining momentum on my tank progress. I'm thrilled you've been inspired. Please feel free to question what I'm doing and ramble on any time!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Lagoon in the works
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Old 11/14/2018, 06:33 PM   #356
Michael Hoaster
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Thanks Dawn! No worries. It sounds like you're happy with your tried and true methods, and want to learn more about mine. But you don't want to abandon yours. I wouldn't either! You've been doing this for a long time and you know what works for you. Either way, I'm enjoying the discussion! So I have another question for you: Is there a specific thing I do that you think is just nuts or just too different than what you do?

Wrasses are beautiful fish. Do you have any in particular you're interested in?


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Lagoon in the works
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Old 11/14/2018, 07:42 PM   #357
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Quote:
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You can safely eat popcorn and not break the rules of your carb diet. :0)
hahhaha I just got back from calif. 6 loaves of bread in my suitcase.

Good to get caught up and the progress here. Michael you have done a bang up job. Im interested to see how long it will take for the substraight to balance out.


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Old 11/14/2018, 07:54 PM   #358
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Sourdough? Man I love bread! Sorry Kevin.

Thanks lapin! Nice to hear from you. On the substrate balancing out, what did you mean? Like how long will it take to get out of the ugly algae phase? Or something else?


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Old 11/15/2018, 12:09 AM   #359
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Thanks to everyone who chimed in today. I really appreciate it! I hope I addressed everyone's comments. Please feel free to question and challenge what I'm doing. I love the discussion!

A quick update: I am still getting together all the sand, dirt and mud. So far, I have about 80 pounds of very fine oolithic sand, 20 pounds of garden soil, 50 pounds of silica sand, and 20 pounds of coarse, crushed coral gravel. I'm guessing I'll need close to double that much. I'll get the live mud and sand last, once I know the seagrasses are en route. SaltySully, who has posted here, is collecting seagrass for me. He's a licensed collector and knows his stuff. I'm so fortunate to have his help. Without him, I have no seagrass.

My attempts to bleach the new fake wall to match the old one has not been successful. Oh well. I still need to buff out the scratches in the tank. It looks like I'll be doing it before the tank is filled. I need to get it done!


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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 Seagrass Lagoon in the works
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Old 11/15/2018, 06:05 AM   #360
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
Thanks Dawn! No worries. It sounds like you're happy with your tried and true methods, and want to learn more about mine. But you don't want to abandon yours. I wouldn't either! You've been doing this for a long time and you know what works for you. Either way, I'm enjoying the discussion! So I have another question for you: Is there a specific thing I do that you think is just nuts or just too different than what you do?

Wrasses are beautiful fish. Do you have any in particular you're interested in?
I definitely do not think you are nuts. What draws me to your tank is your attention to details of the substrate. I love your methodology and I love the idea of cultivating and nurturing the microbial life to make the substrate so alive. You in fact influenced me when I recieved my macros yesterday. My supplier collects them from the keys so I not only added them but all the sand that came with them in hopes of divesifying my own substrate.

As far as a wrasse is concerned, I am limited to ones that can live in a tank under 60 gallons. I checked out live aquaria and there are a few. That is down the road however, there are other fish I want before a wrasse.

I have been thinking that when I no longer have the seahorses of using their 30g tank for a display fuge. I may apply your principles of how you do your substrate to that fuge where there will be no predators. It would be very easy to add between my drain to the sump and the sump since its a tall tank with a small footprint.


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Old 11/15/2018, 07:30 PM   #361
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"On the substrate balancing out, what did you mean? "
As you add sea grass you will naturally get a slew of other sea life, as I did with the macro's I added. I always like to see what pops up and decides it likes to live in the environment we create. In your case, with the dirt and mud not normally used in a reef tank, who knows what will show up for the party and decide to move in.


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Old 11/15/2018, 08:22 PM   #362
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Ah hah! Thanks lapin!

You're right, I definitely want a slew of other sea life. I've gotten all kinds of hitchhikers 'n stuff on different plants - even other plants! I got at least four different plants this way, that just popped up and started growing. Lot's of pods and worms too. What would really be awesome to get is a few micro brittle stars. They're great detrivores that also reproduce.

I expect that most critters will come in with the live rock, live sand and live mud I have planned. But I'll take it where I can get it!


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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 Seagrass Lagoon in the works
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Old 11/16/2018, 11:29 AM   #363
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I have a bunch of yellow sponge in my tank, probably from some of the 13 year old pieces of live rock. Would definitely send you some if I thought it would survive the trip. Heck, I find pieces buried in the sand sometimes and they are fine. So who knows??


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Old 11/16/2018, 01:55 PM   #364
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That's cool, McPuff. Those sound like hardy sponges! I'm hoping to get some with my live rock order. I got a good amount last time.

Everything good with your tank? How about an update/FTS? I need a fix from the best aquascape out there!

Speaking of aquascaping, now seems as good a time as any to talk about my upcoming aquascape. It will be greatly simplified, compared to v1. There will be no DSB planter or fake mangrove root. It will be more of a whole tank deep sand bed. I expect the right end of the tank to get shallower because of the current at that end. There will be a live rock 'island' roughly where the fake root was. This is where I'll plant the few red macros I plan to keep. The rest of the bed I want filled with seagrass. In v1 there was maybe 1/3 seagrass coverage. In v2 I'm hoping to get around 3/4 coverage. Now that I have confidence I can keep them alive, I want more!

The DSB planter was cool, and avoided the ant farm look, but it also provided a hard surface for runaway macro growth. This time around, if any of them want to go nuts, they'll have to set up shop on the fake walls. There are a few greens I'll let grow amongst the grass, like tufted joint algae. So the overall look I'm going for is ninety percent green, ten percent red. I've seen this done in fresh water tanks and I love it.

I know the DSB planter and fake root really distinguished my tank from others, but I'm looking forward to the new look. There is a chance I may be able to bring the root back, or even sculpt a new one, but for now I'm going to do without.


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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 Seagrass Lagoon in the works
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Old Yesterday, 11:17 PM   #365
Michael Hoaster
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I buffed out my viewing panels today. My arms are like overcooked pasta right now. Quite the workout. If I'm not mistaken, that was the last difficult project I had to do before the fun stuff. Oh yeah!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Lagoon in the works
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