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Thread: Pearls of the Antilles - Macro algae reef system

  1. #71
    I have this same dilemma, though I don't have grass yet. Have you heard of this species? Parablennius marmoreus? Called the Seaweed blenny. It's a local species, gets about 5 inches long, a little less. Eats vegetable matter. Requires a tank with high amounts of micro algae in the tank. Diet can be supplemented with Spirulina in dried and frozen form. Was looking up fish in my guide and found it. I wonder if John over at reef cleaners can dig this one up. It says it'll nip at stoney corals and clams, but I'm not keeping any of these. Don't know how far you intend to go with corals. I'm not going past softies. I know also Emerald crabs will eat this micro algae too, but I'm super concerned about adding an emerald crab with all the macro algae and seagrasses I'll be having. Either that or jawfish for sand sifting, but jawfish are predatory, the blenny is a vegetarian. What do you think? I'll post this over at Reef central too. Maybe we'll get some imput.

    I like the shrooms too. They look great under the actinics. I think zoas will look stunnin as well, as will the Ricordea florida. It's taking shape, it's just an algae mess right now. And I do big water changes too, just not 90%, but I don't have seagrass yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Barr View Post
    Shrooms look good in this tank, color is nice........

    I did a 90% water changes today, those diatoms on the sand......they are able to move down and up in the sediment, so if you cover them with a fine dusting of sand, they will poke up and through it in a few hours.
    I need something that eats those, but not the grass.

    Sand shifting gobies would be good...if they did not also uproot plants.
    If it's Baroque...don't fix it.

  2. #72
    Forgive me for not posting here regularly. I've had a busy performance schedule. This tank has gone through some major updates, but I thought I'd start with the most important update. I now have a Planted marine.

    The Moment of Truth... Plants arrived (11/16/2011)

    My package from Gulf Coast Ecosystems arrive yesterday. I'll admit, I was pleased with the packaging. Very heavy package, but you can see why...





    The plants were fully submerged and packed in water, then placed in a styrofoam box with insulation. Excellent packing.

    I ordered...

    2 orders of Halimeda opuntia
    2 orders of Halodule wrightii (shoal grass)

    But it seems I also got a Halimeda discoidea as well. No problem, still received plenty of H. opuntia. I've got spare plants too. Here are the plants out of the packaging...

    Halimeda opuntia



    Halodule wrightii



    OMG! Water in the bags stunk like High Heaven! Thought I was gonna puke. :sick: But, it smelled just like the gulf coast, so it's great to have such local plants. The plants themselves did not smell, so I know it wasn't the plants, just that lovely Gulf Coast water with all that organic content. Yum!

    So, I basically treated the H. opuntia like anubias and attached them to the rock work, which is consistent with how I see it growing in photographs. The Shoal grass was treated with a lot of care. I separated it into individual rhizomes and plants, ala Eleocharis or Lilaeopsis species and planted individually and spaced them for spread. Took forever and was very difficult as I had to keep an eye out for my Jawfish, which are accomplished jumpers. This is the initial planting. I may, again, tweak this a bit. Forgive my algae and cyano, I've got a larger Caribbean CUC coming today.











    Under actinics...



    I'm so excited, you have no idea. I think I managed to create a working biotope that caters to the needs of its inhabitants and yet still create an aesthetic aquascape. Again, I've got to tweak things, but I'm very proud right now. It looks like a planted tank, but it keeps with Marine principles. I'm very happy I resisted the urge to "collect" species. I only have three species. I'm also glad I resisted red macro algae. I think there is plenty of red and purples with the Haitian rock. Now I just need the chalk bass and a cleaner shrimp species.

    Getting the grass to grow is going to be a challenge, I've got enough light, I just have to cater to its needs. I don't need break neck growth, just need to maintain it.

    Sooooooooo excited. This took forever to realize. Thanks for looking.

    L
    If it's Baroque...don't fix it.

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Grand Forks, ND
    Posts
    967
    It looks great! It is very cool. The green over the rock work looks nice. Congratulations! your hard work is paying off.

  4. #74
    Your odyssey to the kingdom of planted salt water tanks has been so interesting for me! I can't wait to see what it looks like when you get back to Ithaca - or maybe that will be the beginning of the next phase of your journey?

    Please keep posting often, but don't let that get in the way of good beer!

    Bill

  5. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowMac View Post
    It looks great! It is very cool. The green over the rock work looks nice. Congratulations! your hard work is paying off.
    It's starting too. I'm very pleased.

    Quote Originally Posted by aquabillpers View Post
    Your odyssey to the kingdom of planted salt water tanks has been so interesting for me! I can't wait to see what it looks like when you get back to Ithaca - or maybe that will be the beginning of the next phase of your journey?

    Please keep posting often, but don't let that get in the way of good beer!

    Bill
    Never, as I'll often enjoy a beer as I aquascape! I love the Odyssey, and I'll say sometimes this build felt like one. It went much slower than my two other SW tanks and I still need a few things.

    So, after about 10 days of letting it settle in while I busied myself with concerts, I epoxied the macro to the rock and the Ricordea florida.

    Now, this'll kill your neck to watch but here are the jawfish in action...



    Now for some tank shots...













    Under actinics





    Another jawfish video because I think they are super awesome!



    Seriously guys, the next step is to get chalk bass. I already see roots in the substrate. Going to do a waterchange Monday.

    Thanks for looking,

    L
    If it's Baroque...don't fix it.

  6. #76

    Time for an update... 12/10/11

    Guess what arrived at the LFS?

    3 chalk bass, I need one more though



    I'm excited, they're eating like pigs

    Updated tank shots







    And videos...



    And you may be wondering what those antennae are? I have a mated pair of Coral banded shrimp (Stenopus hispidus). There is the smaller golden banded coral shrimp which is Caribbean but the standard coral banded is also found in the Caribbean, and that is where this pair was sourced. They are elegant and splendid to look at. They are fed mysis along with my jawfish.



    Thanks for looking. I'm thinking about changing to a Metal Halide or an LED fixture. I'm getting good growth with my CF lighting, but I don't love the look. I like the pretty shimmer I get in my picos.

    L
    If it's Baroque...don't fix it.

  7. #77
    You have a lovely tank. Please keep showing it to us as it matures.

    And, to be a little off-topic, here's a link about a diva who is saving the world, one pigeon at a time. http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pb...WS11/111229830

    Happy New Year!

    Bill

  8. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by aquabillpers View Post
    You have a lovely tank. Please keep showing it to us as it matures.

    And, to be a little off-topic, here's a link about a diva who is saving the world, one pigeon at a time. http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pb...WS11/111229830

    Happy New Year!

    Bill
    Thanks Bill. I will. Nothing much to report except that two of the chalk bass died at the LFS, so I need to wait on them. Otherwise, plants and tank are doing very well.

    Neat link.
    If it's Baroque...don't fix it.

  9. #79

    1/6/12 Photo update! I need to prune this thing!!! Tom, how do I do this??? LOLOL

    Time for some pictures. It's been almost a month. Sorry, this is with my camera phone. I'll get better ones later with my HD camera.

    There has certainly been some growth...

    Before



    After



    I'm getting to the point where I really need to think about pruning the Halomeda. But I'm kinda scared. I need to ask a few people how to do this.





    Some Halomeda discoidea




    The shoal grass is doing ok. I lost some of it to over enthusiastic hermit crabs and burrowing fish and other animals. What's securely anchored though is showing new growth and I trust eventually it'll spread. It's also getting taller.



    The Florida ricordea are doing extremely well. I've had two spits already and the pieces are finding rocks to attach too. I'd like to expand the corals to include St. thomas mushrooms and some grandis polyps as those are Caribbean, If I can find bulls eye zoas for the top half, that would be sweet. Those are a Florida Keys zoanthid.







    Finally, it looks like I got me another macro algae. I know I didn't order this. Hehehe It looks like either Chondria or Ochtodes, but I'd love some confirmation.





    Thanks for looking, I'm still waiting on my chalk bass. I'm down to one at the local fish store, so basically I've asked her for 5, which I'll then quarantine at home. I also want to add more shoal grass, now that I'm much better at planting it, but I'm running into the problem that everything is now out of season, so I won't be getting any for a while. In the meantime, I'll fix what I've planted so far and hope that the stuff spreads a bit.

    L
    If it's Baroque...don't fix it.

  10. #80
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    5,592
    Hi,

    It looks great! Keep up the good work and keep posting!

    As for trimming, try a small section first. If it has a rhizome type growth, I would try splitting it. If more stem like, I would top a bit of it and see if it branches. I bet it will.

    Remember that if conditions are good, you SHOULD be able to trim and expect regrowth/expansion/branching.
    Thanks,

    Gerry.

    'When something's not right, it's wrong'. Bob Dylan

    Current 220 scape

    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...3219-220-video

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