40g Seagrass Patch Reef Build

Reefkeeping, Coral, Fish and Invertebrates.

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Amphiprion
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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:09 pm

Small update:

I got the scrubber running--well, at least the water part. No lights yet, as I haven't had the time to make it to Home Depot. It is 100% overflow-powered, so no extra expensive, hot pumps to run the thing and no extra electricity. Seems to be plenty of flow with my modified drain, too. All of this and the absence of a skimmer have made everything really quiet--barely a whisper and that is standing next to it. Still holding on to my Deltec skimmer if I ever need it, since it can be run externally, which is nice. It's hard to decide when it's so quiet and using so few electrical plugs, lol.
Andrew

40 breeder seagrass patch reef

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Amphiprion
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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:18 pm

More progress on the isopod situation. I've managed to catch another 2 dozen or so of these things, all in about 10lbs of rock! I think if I had more I'd be royally screwed, as there are absurd numbers of these things. Anybody reading this be careful with any new rock you get no matter where you get it. I did NOT order this rock online--it was locally obtained from a few sources and all of it had them to some degree. This is a reason more than ever to never assume rock is pest free nor any particular source isn't infested. Caveat emptor.
Andrew

40 breeder seagrass patch reef

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Amphiprion
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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:21 pm

Pics! Ignore the big breeder nets with my poor fish in it. Had to get them and didn't have room or time for quarantine. At least isopods can't get into these.

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40 breeder seagrass patch reef

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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:21 pm

Update:

Turtle grass looking a little rough. May have to add a very small quantity of root tabs for it--like many fractions of a single tab, since it contains ammonium. The leaves are yellowed a good bit, at least older ones, anyway. I'm looking for signs of new ones starting to yellow. In any case, I'm expecting to lose at least one or two shoots, since I broke the rhizome off completely on 2 of them like a klutz. If I can managed to save 2-3 of them, they will recover just fine and repopulate.

For better news, I got a few little corals today as a litmus test. Nothing fancy, just branching Montipora and Pocillopora frags that I may not even keep in the long run. The Montipora wasn't in the best shape to start with, but looks okay, while the Pocillopora seems completely unfazed and unconcerned. The tank has little to no algal growth in the display, partially thanks to the scrubber, so I'm not worried about that. What I am worried about is the intensity of the lighting I have (2-250w 10K halides) vs. the dim conditions the corals came from--basically med. low-end LED fixtures that were raised about 3 ft. from the surface to give better spread. I may have to move the frags into the shadows a bit if I notice them lightening up on me. No pics right now, but I will update a bit later with some of the new pieces.

Also got LiterMeter III running fully. It is currently dosing the tank with 25% strength kalkwasser as top off (but more controlled than an auto top-off). I will adjust the dose accordingly, as it may not even need the 25%.
Andrew

40 breeder seagrass patch reef

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AuroraDrvr
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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by AuroraDrvr » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:02 pm

Seagrass V2 looks pretty good. If you ever want some various algaes (not Caulerpa) let me know and next time I'm in Mobile you're welcome to some. :)

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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:50 pm

AuroraDrvr wrote:Seagrass V2 looks pretty good. If you ever want some various algaes (not Caulerpa) let me know and next time I'm in Mobile you're welcome to some. :)
Thanks and I likely will get some algae. Not sure how it will do with the algal scrubber, but it's something I'd like to include in the future.

I'm hoping v2 will work a bit better in the long term with a different, much slower growing grass. That Halophila grew so fast and had so much biomass, that when it reached the end of its typical lifespan (which is much shorter than Thalassia), it really gunked up everything. It's like taking a couple giant handful of Ludwigia in freshwater and suddenly burying it all under your sand to rot--in a 25g tank. Not gonna go well no matter what. I'm also going to curb nutrients a lot more in this system to keep growth manageable. The scrubber should go a long way in dealing with that. The last one I had built was almost too effective, so this one should do alright, at least I hope. One thing I can say is that there are tons and tons of harpacticoid copepods EVERYWHERE...
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40 breeder seagrass patch reef

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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:36 pm

New FTS:

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Left:
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Right:
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Close-up of Pocillopora starting to get pink tips:
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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:19 pm

Well, the tank's been through hell and back with dinoflagellates. I started getting them a month or so after setting up this tank, so just under 1.5 years and they became so bad that I was pulling up fistfuls of sludge. I finally got fed up and started breaking the tank down when I thought about a last resort I could attempt. So, I started siphoning off as many dinoflagellates as I could find through a fine filter sock and I shut the lights off--and left them off for over 10 days. In the meantime, with little to lose, I overdosed some Algaefix marine, which I'd never use under just about any circumstances. I put another fine filter sock in-line to make sure to catch any free-swimming dinoflagellates also. After the 10+ day blackout, the algaefix, etc., the dinos appeared to be gone. I waited for 2 weeks to see if any grew and then did a water change. I am happy to say they have been gone since and it has been nearly 7 weeks now. The few corals I had left looked rough, while the fish and seagrass were fine the whole time. Everything has made a huge rebound since, but there is still work to be done. Some pics of the setup I took yesterday are below. The light looks funky because the XM 10K halide bulbs are 18 months old. New ones are on the way.

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All in all, while sparse due to the hardships I dealt with, I am pretty happy with it. The look is extremely natural and representative of the sandier patch reefs and accompanying stands of seagrass I've seen in the wild. I hope and expect it to get better with time as corals grow and fill in.
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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:54 pm

New lamps in pics below. Growth has been very nice, considering how in the 4 weeks or so between pics, the tank spent 1 of those in darkness.

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Some brown-outs and white-outs that showed promise:

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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by AuroraDrvr » Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:36 am

Quit beating around the bush and go collect your own seagrasses/macros. ;)

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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:43 am

Ha, you're right. Not too many excuses for that one. For the most part, I want slower-growing climax species in this tank. I am looking for some T. hemprichii seeds--saw some on Liveaquaria and they got snatched up before I could do anything. Should look similar to the little patch reefs in the Pacific and Caribbean with interspersed seagrass. I'm working on having only corals and fish found in such habitats, too. My original vision is starting to come together, finally.
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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Kresnahw22 » Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:51 am

Watching this build, I'd considered doing the same a little patching reef seagrass surrounding spacely coral colony

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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:41 pm

Kresnahw22 wrote:Watching this build, I'd considered doing the same a little patching reef seagrass surrounding spacely coral colony
Thanks for following along. As many issues as this little tank has had, aesthetic-wise, it is a unique, fascinating and beautiful little biotope. Not everybody agrees with me on those adjectives, but I'm happy with the direction it is headed and how relatively natural it looks.

I'll have updates about this time next month to give a good idea of how things are doing, especially since everything has really taken off as far as growth goes.
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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Kresnahw22 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:47 pm

I wanted to do like patch work of an Acro colony with taller sea grasses around them or like a reefsetup with sea grass sparsely as if a meeting point in the wild between the sea grass fields and reefs.

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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Sun Aug 03, 2014 3:54 pm

Updated coral-only pics. Compare growth and color to just over 3 weeks ago. For once in a long while, I am very happy with the direction this system is going. FTS to come in the next couple of weeks, as seagrass has grown more, too.

Pocillopora top-down:
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From front:
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Porites:
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Ugly, but fast growing Montipora:
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Purple Acropora:
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Crazy fast growing Acropora, probably A. prostrata:
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Andrew

40 breeder seagrass patch reef

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