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SW Macro Newbie looking for guidance

Discussion in 'Marine Plants - Macroalgae' started by oblongshrimp, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. oblongshrimp

    oblongshrimp Junior Poster

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    I have done high tech planted fw tanks for the last 2 years and I have been interested in trying a sw planted tank. I was thinking of a 40 gallon breeder.

    Livestock
    No idea in this area but I was thinking eventually seahorses may be cool. Probably will keep this pretty light on the livestock though

    Macros/corals/ect
    I think I will just stick with macroalgaes for now may or may not add a couple corals in the future

    Lighting
    I have a 2x92w 36" PC with 10k bulbs. Do I need any actinic?

    Substrate and liverock
    How deep should my sand bed be? Do i need to add anything to it (I read stuff that Tom was saying about adding soil to it)? How much liverock should I have in the tank? Is there a big difference between all the different kinds of live rock that are out there?

    Filter/water circulation
    I assume I don't need a real filter since I have the liverock but know I need a good turnover rate. How much turnover do I need and whats the best way to get it (powerheads?)

    Dosing
    Does adding CO2 do anything in a macro tank? Any suggestions on a dosing schedule? I use dry ferts for my fw tanks so I have them all available.

    I appreciate the help and I will make sure to post some photos when I get it up and running.
     
  2. richardsantink

    richardsantink Lifetime Charter Member
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    Oblong..

    Here's what I can tell you (may be of limited value, since I run coldwater macros):
    Lighting: what you describe is more than adequate for macroalgae that I've encountered. No actinic required here (assuming algae only tank, no corals etc..)

    Livestock: I've added green crabs and hermit crabs to make things a little interesting and to have a bit of bio-load in the tank.

    Substrate: most macroalgae don't care about the substrate since they take their nutrients directly from the water column. That said some Caulerpa have runners, and some other vascular plants like Zostera like a fine substrate since they have roots, proper. Depending on the algae you intend to keep, it will come attached to a chunk of rock or something via the holdfast. Some types will regenerate a holdfast if fixed in place (though I can't say I've successfully achieved that - yet!)

    Water movement: Of paramount importance, in my experience ESPECIALLY with the coldwater types. Without vigorous water movement, fine deposits seem to accumulate on the thalli/fronds and they don't seem to do very well after that. I've had grape caulerpa with less water movement, and they fared considerably better.

    Although filtration isn't necessary with the lighter bio-loads, skimming seems quite important. I pull a nice cup of peasoup out of my skimmer every couple of days, especially at this time of year when some of my specimens die-off until spring.

    Dosing: CO2 definitely improves things, as does iron (Fe) and iodine (I). I occassionally add Kent Trace Elements, although I'm not sure why (I think I do it more for myself.. ;). Some calcareous (sp?) types obviously require supplements too. I have one alga that grows on a rock (Corallina officinalis) that is a reddish-purple with white calcified tips. When the calcium in my water is low, it is evident in the alga's tips.

    I hope this is of some value to you, as it can be hard to find information on macroalgae sometimes.

    Do you have any particular algae in mind for your setup?

    Cheers,

    RAS
     
  3. oblongshrimp

    oblongshrimp Junior Poster

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    nope no particular algaes in mind. I plan to just try out a bunch and see what works.

    So I have gathered that waterflow is important but what turnover should I be looking for? Any suggestions of powerheads or how many I need at what GPH? As I said I am completely new to the sw thing :)
     
  4. richardsantink

    richardsantink Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm currently using two AquaClear 110's (each 900 gph) situated side-by-side on one end of a 125g tank. One is placed slightly higher than the other, so that if you look through the opposite end of the tank you see two powerheads looking at you like a "%" sign. This gives me strong flow right to the other end of the tank, with a bit of 'disruption' (can't think of a better term to describe it) where they collide, which seems to eliminate any dead spots. My skimmer is placed at the same end as the power heads, just above the lower powerhead.

    You'll probably have to research the water conditions that your particular algae prefer when deciding where/how to place your algae. In my situation, I had to make sure that the Codium were in waterflow, but not too strong a flow. On the other hand the Ascophyllum did best where the water was moving along nicely.

    Chaetomorpha seems to like any kind of movement but can get tangled in just about everything, and is best left in the refugium, or restricted in it's movement somehow (I've used mesh onion bags, but they're unsightly).

    I suspect that the smaller tropical algae out there will be less demanding as far as circulation goes, but I can't say for sure. At least with the tropical species, I don't think you'll have to worry about seasonal die-off periods that seem to be common with coldwater species. Hopefully someone else will be able to verify this.

    RAS
     
  5. Jimbo205

    Jimbo205 Junior Poster

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    Shaving Brush Plants

    Not to highjack a thread, but I have a 20 Gallon Tall with a 4 inch Sugar Sand Bed (Seachem Meridian) with Kent Marine Bio Sediment underneath it.
    I finally was able to get 2 Shaving Brush Plants in my Reef Nano.
    I only have 1 coral in it so far.

    Which and what is safe to fert with? Seachem Supplements? Greg Watson Dry Ferts? The fronds are starting to get weak.

    Finding information on Marine Plants and Planted Tanks is ALMOST impossible.

    Help.

    Thanks,

    Jimbo205
     
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