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Thread: A Macro Algae Specific Saltwater Tank

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Talking A Macro Algae Specific Saltwater Tank

    Hello. travis recommended me to this forum and I can say that I am impressed by what I see so far. I look forward to contributing during my time here.

    A little background on my experience first: I've been working with planted freshwater aquariums for over three years now (Aug 03) and have been working with saltwater/reef aquariums for almost two years (Jan 05). I know it's not a long time and I'm not much one for advice, but I'm a very fast learner and I really like this hobby and the things you can do with it. Plus its nice to look at your work and just stay interested in all the life that's inside of them.

    Planted FW: I've had a few 10G tanks, one 2.5G tank, and one 20G tank. When I heard about CO2, my first method was by yeast and the old Hagen bubble ladder with a HOB filter (I know, I know, bad combo). I increased light, CO2 and nutrients to levels you wouldn't believe and forced my plants to do things normal people shouldn't do--hard to keep algae controlled. Then I upgraded to a canister filter with my 20G setup and added a pH controller with a pressurized CO2 setup for pretty good growth under 65W bulbs.

    Reef SW: I've had a 50G tank that started out ok, had some bumps in the road, smoothed those out and starting doing really well for a while. Then I went through some bad experiences with a cross-country move and things went downhill quickly as the tank went through another cycle. I lost quite a few corals and fish before I can find someone to take them. Then I restarted the tank. Almost a year later, I decided to sell the equipment down to a much smaller 10G system. From there I've been rocking and rolling with this little guy. Easy maintenance, easy to move, kinda hard to keep clean, but fun nonetheless. Its skimmerless with high flow and 96W of light with zoanthids, ricordeas and hair algae .

    Now this is what I want to do. I'd like to start a saltwater macroalgae tank in a 10G format and specialize more on simple, easy to keep species of macroalgae. I've never dealt with macroalgae before so I'm brand new to this. As far as lighting, filtration, water movement, nutrient levels and general maintenance are required on a tank this size? I have some 13w bulbs, ballasts and sockets from my previous tanks, could these be used? And would a HOB filter with some bio-media for KNO3 production be acceptable? What kind of substrate should I incorporate? Would Seagrasses be able live in this type of environment or will the depth of a 10G be too shallow?

    Thanks ahead of time and hopefully I can learn a lot of good information. And Tom Barr, you are awesome!
    Last edited by WarEagleNR88; 10-06-2006 at 04:24 AM.

  2. #2
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    Any suggestions?

  3. #3
    Most of us are freshwater tank enthusiasts, so there isn't as big a pool of experience with salt water tanks here. But, I'll bet someone will be able to answer this eventually.
    Hoppy

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by WarEagleNR88 View Post
    Now this is what I want to do. I'd like to start a saltwater macroalgae tank in a 10G format and specialize more on simple, easy to keep species of macroalgae. I've never dealt with macroalgae before so I'm brand new to this. As far as lighting, filtration, water movement, nutrient levels and general maintenance are required on a tank this size? I have some 13w bulbs, ballasts and sockets from my previous tanks, could these be used? And would a HOB filter with some bio-media for KNO3 production be acceptable? What kind of substrate should I incorporate? Would Seagrasses be able live in this type of environment or will the depth of a 10G be too shallow?

    Thanks ahead of time and hopefully I can learn a lot of good information. And Tom Barr, you are awesome!
    You do not need so much light for the 10 gal.
    About 50 w or so.
    Caulperas are nice, depends on the stae, they are generally illegal to keep in CA.
    Add some rocks for depth perspective and scaping.
    Some use live rock(3-8$ lb! haha), some use chepay rock(me).
    HOB, the Skilter's work well.
    A bit large for this tank, but good never enough current in marine planted tanks.

    I use sugar sized Arag, I add some seasoned dirt/mulm from another tank, then some garden soil that's been soaked in water is shallow tray(2-3 weeks) or boiled(10min), about 1/4" or so, and then the mulm and about 4-6" inches of the arag.

    I'd chose Halophila's for a vascular angioisperm personally, they are cute and neat little weeds.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr

  5. #5
    Thanks for heads-up, Tom!

    Nice to hear that one can cycle the SW-tank in the same way as a FW-one. I was wondering if additional CO2 (pressurized) would promote growth on the macro algae? I'm thinking on starting a SW tank with seaweeds and macroalgae, can I use EI on that too in pretty much the same way as in freshwater?

    Patrik.

  6. #6
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    This is what I've done so far--this is actually for a nano-reef.com contest! Since I'm in the stock division of the contest, max lighting is 40W using the Current USA Satellite 40W 50/50 bulb and that is the light I'm using. I also picked up a Penguin 200 BIO-Wheel filter (200 gph) and am using the Bio wheel at the moment. I also have a Maxijet 600 (160 gph) on hand for any extra turnover that I may need, but it is not installed now.

    I actually did go with 7 lbs of somewhat cured live rock from a LFS, and got some caulerpa, halimeda, and udotea along with coralline as hitchhikers on the rock. Less I have to buy ! For the substrate, I went with 3/4 aragonite mixture of seeded Nature's Ocean from my other SW tank, fine aragonite, and coarse aragonite. The other 1/4 of the substrate is Eco Complete Planted substrate from my planted FW tank. It has lots of good stuff in it.

    So far after just a couple of days, the cycle is almost complete, new caulerpa shoots are sprouting out of the rock, and everything is looking good. For halimeda, should I now artificially boost the calcium to sustain it? I have on hand Seachem's Advantage Calcium, Seachem's Reef Builder, and Greg's KNO3. I'm thinking of ordering Greg's CaNO3 and supplementing that since K is not really as important in a reef, or is it?

    Here's a pic from the other day and the thread of my contest entry.



    [Stock] WarEagleNR88 - Nano-Reef.com Forums

  7. #7
    Good rocks, now you need a lot of Halophila to make a nice field in the front and some reds on the rock, Heterosiphonia would be rad!

    Regards,
    Tom Barr

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Barr View Post
    Good rocks, now you need a lot of Halophila to make a nice field in the front and some reds on the rock, Heterosiphonia would be rad!

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
    Tom, thanks! Question for you if I may, what kind of Fe dosing schedule do you use for your macro algae tanks?

    I'm considering purchasing "Kent Marine Super Chelated Iron Supplement with Manganese" through a local vendor and am wondering its performance with regards to macroalgaes. I've read through Randy Holmes-Farley's Fe article and realize that with macros, I should definitely dose Fe. The only Fe supplement source I currently have is Planted CSM+B and that includes chelated Copper at 1% which is a big no no for reef application--and I plan on having invertebrates in the tank.

    I plan on fully utilizing your EI of dosing as I have done in the past with my very successful planted tanks--that does remind me I should bring my 10G out of hibernation to put my current plants. I have lots of Marsilea sp. that were growing out of control over the substrate of my 20G long before I swapped my reef into the tank. I love that little plant but I don't want to lose them as they are currently bagged! Are there any marine plants like that?

    Also, I'll be transferring my SMS122 w/ 5 lb tank over to this macroalgae setup and pumping it with CO2 to help out my macroalgae growth. What do you think of that!

  9. #9
    Hi there!

    Nice to see your trying out a marine planted! I had plans for a 100L(~25G) marine planted this summer but finance and problems getting hold of seagrasses got in the way. After research I planned a small center LR pile and two fields of grasses on both sides. I wanted to experiment with grasses, macros and corals as nutrient exporters.

    I'll follow your tank with interest!
    //Mattias

  10. #10
    Dosing EI is tougher unless you plan on doing a lot of water changes with Marine water.

    EI is not something you want to use verbatum off the EI article, the concept yes, not the dosings.

    I dose the Kent stuff at 5mls per 80 liters 2-3x a week.
    I dose KNO3 at about 1/8 teaspoon for this same volume 2x a week.
    A "speck" of PO4 after things have grown in 1x week. About 0.2ppm.
    I do 70% water changes weekly, sometimes I slack.

    I found that CO2 did not really help the macro's.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr




    Quote Originally Posted by WarEagleNR88 View Post
    Tom, thanks! Question for you if I may, what kind of Fe dosing schedule do you use for your macro algae tanks?

    I'm considering purchasing "Kent Marine Super Chelated Iron Supplement with Manganese" through a local vendor and am wondering its performance with regards to macroalgaes. I've read through Randy Holmes-Farley's Fe article and realize that with macros, I should definitely dose Fe. The only Fe supplement source I currently have is Planted CSM+B and that includes chelated Copper at 1% which is a big no no for reef application--and I plan on having invertebrates in the tank.

    I plan on fully utilizing your EI of dosing as I have done in the past with my very successful planted tanks--that does remind me I should bring my 10G out of hibernation to put my current plants. I have lots of Marsilea sp. that were growing out of control over the substrate of my 20G long before I swapped my reef into the tank. I love that little plant but I don't want to lose them as they are currently bagged! Are there any marine plants like that?

    Also, I'll be transferring my SMS122 w/ 5 lb tank over to this macroalgae setup and pumping it with CO2 to help out my macroalgae growth. What do you think of that!

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