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Pearls of the Antilles - Macro algae reef system

Discussion in 'Marine Plants - Macroalgae' started by lljdma06, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    I agree on Bill's thoughts! Except I cannot supply the endlers :)

    I wish I was smart enough to contribute here, trust me!
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    I agree on Bill's thoughts! Except I cannot supply the endlers :)

    I wish I was smart enough to contribute here, trust me!
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I'll get the plants This next weekend.

    Likely will have plenty and the species I chose is rather fecund.
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I'll get the plants This next weekend.

    Likely will have plenty and the species I chose is rather fecund.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I really do not need any RO for water changes since the tap is quite good here.

    So a simple outdoor 35 gal rubber maid for pre mix and I am done.
    Water drains via this:
    [​IMG]

    Fills via a small powerhead and hose to tank which is right next to the backdoor.

    I can do 35 gallons or 50% basically once a week or once every 2 weeks etc, or once a month later.

    I need to add a skimmer that will fit, mud in the refuge.........then more sand for that..........redo the bag filter, get off those square ones, they suck. Add Frags of the coral I want.........then critters come last.
    I'll likely buy some more base rock also.
     
  6. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Prolific Poster

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    You are lucky. Miami water is disgusting, and probably has Viagra and Plavix and all the other weirdo medication floating around in it too. Probably cocaine too. Hahaha, the RO isn't hard to use, and I've made water outside easily.

    Has the site been slow? A lot of double posting. Let me know what plant species you pick, Tom, I'm curious. I still have to narrow down the red macros, I don't like so many.

    Thought I'd add a wee bit on adding the hardscape for those in the forum who are perhaps not familar with Marine systems...

    Adding the Marine hardscape

    To give you an idea of playing with Marine hardscape, I'm putting up pictures of two pico SW that I'm also working on, no plants or macros, just coral. I tend to dislike the look of most Marine scapes, finding them rather bulky and jumbled together. These are still the correct amounts of LR for each system, but I really made an effort to create some sort of scape shape and still allow for effective coral placement in the future & I have to be mindful of my eventual motile livestock. Be sure also to place your LR so that the coraline side faces the lighting. This further limits the potential orientation of your hardscape.

    Tank 1, 8g, eventual SPS garden.

    [​IMG]

    This tank will eventually house Montipora and other small-polyped stony corals, along with other species. Montipora cling to reef sides and tops, so there's a little peak there. I love the hole, that's fabulous.

    Tank 2, 2.5g NPS garden

    [​IMG]

    This tank will house mostly non-photosynthetic corals. A different look. Hill is a bit low now, but put a couple sun corals or other species and you'll get added height.

    The challenge is doing this all under SW. You should try to keep your rock alive, so leaving it out of the water all day and playing with scapes isn't an option, like it normally would be in freshwater, unless you want dead LR. Takes some patience. You also have to add the sand after the rock is placed otherwise the rock can shift when the sand is disturbed by burrowing critters. So make that adjustment when building for height.

    I'm opting to use buy my LR for the 36g from the same Lfs where purchased LR for the above systems. It's actually cheaper to just buy it and take it home rather than purchase the equivalent amount online and have it shipped, and I get to pick what I want. I liked the look well enough and the freedom to be able to choose pieces that best suited my scaping needs. I'll be salting the 36g soon and will probably add the LR at the end of the week. I'll also purchase some putty to perhaps glue larger pieces of rock together for the 36g. Haha, then I get to probably order my plants, once the tank clears up. I'm using Aragamax sand so, I'll have some nice milky water for a couple of days I'm sure.

    Thanks for looking. Comments and suggestions are alwasy appreciated. That was very nice of you all to post here and keep me company. :D

    llj
     
  7. JJ..Bequiet

    JJ..Bequiet Prolific Poster

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    In miami that picture with the scale the pyrex and white powdery substance looks suspect! and is liable to get your door kicked in by the swat/vice team! haha
    jk..
     
  8. JJ..Bequiet

    JJ..Bequiet Prolific Poster

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    emerald crabs look pretty and i have not had much trouble with them other than walking on zoa's and other things temporarily disturbing them..
    but some other can be nasty and almost like little wrecking balls,
     
  9. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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  10. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Prolific Poster

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    Catching up and My LR is in!! Woohoo!!

    I know, right? :lol:

    I'm only keeping ricordea and mushrooms, so maybe I might get lucky.

    I'll read this article. I've been at meetings all day and cleaning, so I haven't been on much. First I want to show updated pictures of the two picos. I added more LR and got some interesting results.

    The 8g

    [​IMG]

    The 2.5g

    [​IMG]

    But, the most important reason why I'm posting here...

    I picked up my LR... :D

    I initially purchased 40lbs of this Haitian rock, which I love. It's porous and full of holes and it's LR that does not smell. I repeat, does not smell.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    But I second-guessed myself and on my way home I stopped at another place and purchased this FL aquacultured LR

    [​IMG]

    It does't look all that bad from the pictures, but when I got it home, it stunk like high Heaven. Guy said it was cured, cured, my butt. :grr: Was not going to put that in my tank, found a dead crab in it and everything. So I stuck it in a bucket with a powerhead.

    [​IMG]

    I don't know what I'm going to do with this rock. Sigh... I may break off a couple of pieces if it smells better in the next few days. Or, I may mash it up and store it for frags or fuge rubble. Lesson learned, will trust my gut with LR.

    Well, anyway. I scaped the tank, using the good, non-smelly LR and...

    Got milk?

    [​IMG]

    hahaha, the oolite needs to clear. Don't freak at the depth of the substrate, I need this for the seagrasses. :)
     
  11. jaidexl

    jaidexl Prolific Poster

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    I would just put the FL rock in the tank, any die off is going to jump start the cycle. I think you really only need to worry about uncured rock when you're putting a lot of it in an established display full of expensive sps etc. Even if you attempt to quarantine a rock for pests like algae, bristle worms, you name it, something (many actually) is bound to pop up later in the tank, out of the blue. The only thing I have personally quarantined LR for is flatworms because they are the scurrrge.

    If you let LR die-off cycle the tank for you, with enough rock it can be over quick, it works like a fishless cycle but supplies it's own ammonia, you just test periodically waiting for amm and nitrite to drop before adding some cleanup crew. Then a fish or invert a couple weeks later and so on.
     
    #51 jaidexl, Aug 19, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2011
  12. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Prolific Poster

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    No, I know. It was also a matter of just having too much LR. I ended up not using it. If I had needed it, I would've used it, but the tank needs some room for plants. If I add any, as some of it has great lighter coraline, I'll build some height to the tank. Or do something.
     
  13. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Prolific Poster

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    Scape is finally up!! Yay!

    Picture Time!!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking. I like that it has lots of caves and nooks for fish to hide. I'm looking forward to planting this up. I think there is going to be a nice mix of planting space for seagrasses and rock work to attach macros and some corals. I may consider adding another species of grass. Something for the foreground. I'm just so happy to get the rock up. This build has taken forever.
     
  14. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    Looking good! Can't wait to see more.
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Nice rock. I planted my grass yesterday, took awhile:)
     
  16. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Prolific Poster

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    Neither can I. Thank you. :)

    Does it really take that long?

    Tom did you use LR or base rock, yours is much whiter than mine. Mine's all purple with coraline and I have to wait on potential die-off a bit. Also, what was the smaller species you used, H. dicipens? There was one of the smaller ones that didn't need as deep a sand bed.

    llj
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, that's the species I used. It's smaller than many think, but that's the point.
    I use old dead rock, the plants and other things will add to the tank as time progresses.
    I just had the rock laying around, no LR here.

    I can simply seed it if I chose.

    I might try using ADA AS for the refuge. It's pretty much like the Delta clay anyway.
     
  18. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Prolific Poster

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    While I initially didn't want it, I may add that back to the list, for some foreground action, in addition to the shoal grass that I had already planned. Might look really nice.

    I see, I just opted for LR, but I didn't use as much as I would for a normal reef tank. I love the color, was quite surprised by the Haitian rock. Yours has a really neat shape, though.

    That sounds like a good idea. I'm not planning a refugium for this one, already will run a skimmer, but I've got two other smaller systems that I'm planning refugiums for. Very basic modifications of HOB filters with some rubble for cheato to attach to. You still going to run a skimmer or no? I got one, might as well use it.

    Do you know what fish you're going to add yet? I keep pestering you on that, huh. :)

    llj
     
  19. jaidexl

    jaidexl Prolific Poster

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    Nice rock work, I like the cave. :)

    Remember our conversation about the strombus aka fighting conch? I ran across this video the other day that reminded me of it. I don't know if you're familiar with their strength, but this shows their crazy foot action which they can and will use to move sand and topple rocks. This one only looks half the size of the ones I find here. I'm not a fan of the fight match videos like this but I thought it was pretty funny how the snail basically owned the crab. Lets just hope the owner finally decided to intervene before it exhausted itself trying to escape it's stalker.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRW_VwvspSs
     
  20. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Prolific Poster

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    I like the cave too. I think the chalk bass will love it. As will the shrimp and other animals.

    Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. School started at the two universities where I work and it's been crazy. I've got time to do tank stuff, but not enough time to post what I did. :lol:

    I saw the video. I hope they intervened as well. That strombus is one tough cookie, though. I don't think I'll end up getting a strombus. There are some smaller Caribbean snails and hermits that are interesting to me. No mithrax crabs for this tank either. I'm really tempted to go with an arrowline with this tank. May be interesting to try and the caves really suit this species very well.

    Right now I'm dealing with sandstorm central. This oolite gets EVERYWHERE!!!!!! So annoying as the water is perfectly clear, but there's sand on the LR. Bleh... I have to play with my powerheads this weekend and go for less flow. I'll make it work. I've got a ton of extra powerheads running around and I can swap one for another to find the right combination.

    Otherwise, my stats are good.

    llj
     

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