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Old 02/13/2018, 06:25 AM   #3276
Chasmodes
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My thought about maintaining this thread or starting a new one is that it's your story. People will adapt no matter what you do. If you keep it in this section of RC, I think people will have an easy time finding it.

As for the name, whatever you call it vs. whatever you do is also up to you. In my opinion, things worked out fine before as an "ish" biotype like tank, and we all loved it. So, if you create a cool tank, whatever you call it, we will like it!


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Old 02/13/2018, 09:10 AM   #3277
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Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
What do you mean by Caribbe-analog? I haven't heard of that.
Caribbean, analog. As in picking a good reference point (e.g. Caribbean seagrass meadows), and making a tank that may not have the same species composition but similar structure and function. Ergo, the tank is not a 100% replication but an analog.
Puns.. jokes never work when they have to be explained

On a separate note, did you ever run a cucumber in your tank? I've had mine for 1.5y or so now and its done well to cycle the top layer of the sand. I think the sand aggregates left behind create interesting structures that must have some value because they are broken down by some biological means.


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Old 02/13/2018, 11:37 AM   #3278
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Thanks Kevin. I agree. I appreciate the input, from you and everyone else who has weighed in. I have really gotten a lot out of the discussion! It helps me see things from different angles, so I can make better decisions.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 02/13/2018, 12:04 PM   #3279
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Thanks JZ for explaining. That cleared it up for me. That's a good idea. But…

I think I want to say that it represents a seagrass lagoon ecosystem without saying where. Sure, a lot will have come from the Caribbean, but I'll feel freer to choose creatures based on their merit as part of the ecosystem, without worrying about biotope correctness. I think that warrants starting a new thread.

Yes, I have a lovely, white sea cucumber, named Seymour. He and the fighting conch, Mom, take good care of the sand bed surface. And they do it WITHOUT consuming beneficial worms and pods, like sand-sifting gobies and sea stars do. I agree, cucumbers are great detritus consumers, breaking it down further, in their niche of the food web. Eventually, it becomes plant food. The plants grow and old leaves drop to become detritus again. The sand bed community is basically a recycling center for aquariums!


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Old 02/14/2018, 12:41 PM   #3280
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I gotchya.
Ran across a photo that reminded me of your tank...



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Old 02/14/2018, 01:23 PM   #3281
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Nice JZ! Yep, that's pretty much what I'm shooting for. Great pic, thanks!


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Old 02/14/2018, 02:38 PM   #3282
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I gotchya.
Ran across a photo that reminded me of your tank...
O wow, I love that! It really does remind me of your tank Michael.


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Old 02/15/2018, 06:33 AM   #3283
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Now that is cool! You'll need more light though Michael, especially if you want to incorporate the stylophora... which would be super cool!

Also, I like to joke that the past tense of "remind" should be "remound." It sounds way better. :0)


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Old 02/15/2018, 09:22 AM   #3284
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Now that is cool! You'll need more light though Michael, especially if you want to incorporate the stylophora... which would be super cool!

Also, I like to joke that the past tense of "remind" should be "remound." It sounds way better. :0)
Correction:
O wow, I love that! It really does "remound" me of your tank Michael. LOL


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Old 02/21/2018, 10:47 PM   #3285
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My tank is still chugging along, kind of in limbo. My re-do project is on hold for a few weeks. So I just observe the tank and think about what I want to do, and how I want to do it. At least I have plenty of time to think.

Just the other day I got the idea to alter the return from the main pump. Adjusting the height and/or angle would have a huge impact on the water movement. I remember not being super happy with the direction of seagrass' movement. Maybe I can fix that. I should fashion an adjustable return, so I could try out different heights and angles to see what works best. I also need to keep in mind the height of the manatee grass, which I don't have right now, but is taller and more affected by the current near the surface. I may need to wait for new manatee grass before attempting.

The only things I'm trying to bring over to the new version are the shoal grass, snails and worms, and maybe some macro and sponge fragments. I need to plan out what vessels will house what. And what can I do to make sure I don't transfer any of the nasties? Maybe a diluted bleach solution for the plants?

In-tank structural changes include:
Covering the left end of the tank with a fake wall, and adding foam to the top of the back, fake wall.
Lengthening the deep sand bed planter, allowing for more seagrass.
Lowering the overflow-turned-refugium, allowing a lower water level.
Altering, repairing and painting the fake root.

With the foam walls I'm hoping to get a dramatic overhang, shadowing the lower parts. It should look pretty cool. Right now the seagrass' bed extends half way across. I want it to approach two thirds across, giving the seagrass more dominance in the plant-scape. Dropping the water level a couple inches will more closely align with the hood overlap. Right now, the top two inches of water are obscured by it. I think the fake root could look less fake, with a better paint job.

If I'm able to make all the changes I want, I should end up with a tank I'm really happy with!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 02/22/2018, 06:50 AM   #3286
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I'll definitely be following along. It sounds like an exciting plan.

If you are going to redo your wall and add the fake wall on the left side of the tank, may I suggest that you perhaps do it in a way to hide the tank corner, as if the wall is one unit (back and left side). Another way to do that is to have a rock outcropping of some sort. No matter what you choose to do, I have confidence that it will look great, as does your current version of your tank. I like the rock wall as it is, but adding an overhang would be very cool as well.


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Old 02/22/2018, 07:02 AM   #3287
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I was thinking the same thing, Kevin. I want to blend the corner well, especially higher up, but not as much down low, so I don't impinge on the seagrasses. Plus I have to make sure water can flow through easily. Hopefully, I can mod the back wall with minimal material and hassle, with just top left part affected.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 02/23/2018, 03:18 AM   #3288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
My tank is still chugging along, kind of in limbo. My re-do project is on hold for a few weeks. So I just observe the tank and think about what I want to do, and how I want to do it. At least I have plenty of time to think.

Just the other day I got the idea to alter the return from the main pump. Adjusting the height and/or angle would have a huge impact on the water movement. I remember not being super happy with the direction of seagrass' movement. Maybe I can fix that. I should fashion an adjustable return, so I could try out different heights and angles to see what works best. I also need to keep in mind the height of the manatee grass, which I don't have right now, but is taller and more affected by the current near the surface. I may need to wait for new manatee grass before attempting.

The only things I'm trying to bring over to the new version are the shoal grass, snails and worms, and maybe some macro and sponge fragments. I need to plan out what vessels will house what. And what can I do to make sure I don't transfer any of the nasties? Maybe a diluted bleach solution for the plants?

In-tank structural changes include:
Covering the left end of the tank with a fake wall, and adding foam to the top of the back, fake wall.
Lengthening the deep sand bed planter, allowing for more seagrass.
Lowering the overflow-turned-refugium, allowing a lower water level.
Altering, repairing and painting the fake root.

With the foam walls I'm hoping to get a dramatic overhang, shadowing the lower parts. It should look pretty cool. Right now the seagrass' bed extends half way across. I want it to approach two thirds across, giving the seagrass more dominance in the plant-scape. Dropping the water level a couple inches will more closely align with the hood overlap. Right now, the top two inches of water are obscured by it. I think the fake root could look less fake, with a better paint job.

If I'm able to make all the changes I want, I should end up with a tank I'm really happy with!
What is the purpose of fake wall?
Instead of dilute bleach for removing nasties from macro, consider iodine. However, I have found the nasties to be pretty resilient.


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Old 02/23/2018, 08:21 AM   #3289
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My original reason for the fake wall was to provide housing for Royal Grammas. I knew I wasn't going to add much, if any live rock to the tank, which wouldn't allow for much refuge for fish to feel safe. Having studied up on them, I knew they preferred vertical structure. So I started collecting small, plastic bottles, and researching fake walls. I decided to go with expanding foam (pond variety) to hide the bottles on the back wall. It took me awhile to get what I wanted, but it turned out well, and the grammas loved it. It's so fun to watch them surf the current with their ventral surfaces oriented to the wall, just as they do in nature.

It has other purposes too. I hate cleaning algae off the back wall, so I don't. I think it looks much more natural growing on the fake wall. It also provides a better surface to attach macros, and numerous sponges have popped up on it as well.

As for the new fake wall I have planned for the left end wall, I want to hide the flow-through slits and make the end wall match better with the back wall. Several people asked why I didn't do it in the first place. I was concerned it would obstruct flow, but the more I looked at it, the more I thought visually, it needs to be there. Right now, the left end wall is the least natural looking thing in the tank. With the tank breakdown looming, now is the time to fix that.

The idea of making the fake walls overhang is to allow some shading on the lower half. This will provide space for some macros that don't wan't so much light. Also the shadow it will cast should provide a nice contrast behind the seagrasses, allowing them to pop visually. The overhanging look should be really dramatic as well. I saw a photo in nature of an overhanging wall that looked so cool, I knew I wanted that for my tank.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 02/26/2018, 11:00 AM   #3290
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I can't wait to see what you come up with!

You said you might modify your fake root, right? If so, what do you plan to do with it? Have you considered adding more roots? Or, is that too tough to maintain?


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Old 02/26/2018, 11:47 AM   #3291
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Thanks Kevin!

I'm pretty excited too. It sucks waiting, but it's giving me more time to think and plan.

The plan for the fake root is rather modest. I want it to sit a little lower in the tank, so I'll have to mod the mount. I need to repair a crack in one of the roots. I also want to move it just slightly (maybe an inch) to the left, to give me a little more room for cleaning the end glass panel. I'll need to coordinate this with the lengthening of the seagrass planter. Really the only noticeable change will be a new paint job. I'm hoping to make it browner and darker overall, and a little lighter towards the top - kinda like the pic JZ posted above.

I haven't considered adding more roots. Mainly because it turned out bigger than I wanted. I can see how it could be better with more roots, but I don't think I could muster the gumption to do it. I'll be happy if I can make the changes I want, without messing it up!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 02/27/2018, 05:25 AM   #3292
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Michael,
Have you grown the Sargassum cultivar that is a bush at about 16” tall. I think it could compliment the roots aquascaping. The tank that I tried it in did not have enough light.

https://www.marineplantbook.com/mari...sumhystrix.htm


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Old 02/27/2018, 06:00 AM   #3293
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No Patrick, I haven't tried that one. I've had my eye on it for awhile though, because it likes bright light. I may give it a go. It's a cool plant. From what I gather, it's not an easy one to keep alive, but I think it would look very natural.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 02/27/2018, 08:04 AM   #3294
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That might be the perfect plant for your left corner


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Old 02/27/2018, 11:52 AM   #3295
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That's going to be a big focus after the redo-picking plants. Having tried a lot of them, I now have a pretty good idea of what I do and don't want. So I'm going to be rather picky this time around. Some of the plants I have now I don't want, but I can't get rid of them. They keep coming back. That's where the tank break-down comes in-to eliminate several pests, including anemones, slugs and plants.

Lot's of mundane tasks ahead. But it's exciting for me, as every one gets me closer to
'the vision'.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 02/28/2018, 06:18 AM   #3296
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It will be exciting for us as well. I think your plan sounds fantastic, and the new version of your tank will be amazing (as is the current one). I know that we offer suggestions all of the time, some that you like and some that you may not, but ultimately, it's your tank. I find it interesting when someone has a vision and brings it to fruition, and the trials and tribulations along the way. And once you get there, to your liking, I'm sure that I'll enjoy it too


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Old 02/28/2018, 07:46 AM   #3297
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Thanks Kevin! I do appreciate suggestions. I know I don't always follow them, but they are helpful regardless. Getting different perspectives and discussing is hugely important. Sometimes it steers me in a different direction, sometimes it confirms my original thought. It has been proven that discussion is the key to breakthroughs, and I've seen it confirmed, often right here!

I think having a vision is an important starting point. Without one, you're just stumbling along. With one, you may be stumbling along, but at least you have an endgame in mind.

I'm digging your vision. So original! Who builds an oyster reef! Modeling different ecosystems, rather than the same old coral reef, I think inspires other aquarists to consider something new. Trailblazin'!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 02/28/2018, 09:20 AM   #3298
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No Patrick, I haven't tried that one. I've had my eye on it for awhile though, because it likes bright light. I may give it a go. It's a cool plant. From what I gather, it's not an easy one to keep alive, but I think it would look very natural.
Some on NR forum have done well in their pico tanks with intense lighting. I tried LED at 12K. I suspect my 120G newbuild has enough intensity, but Sargassum was declining when I put it in there.

Years back, when I went to the Texas Maritime Aacademy in Galveston, floating mats from the Caribbean would come in to the beach. I collected many differrent things in those seaweed mat islands. While I could not support the seaweed, I floated it in my tanks so the critters felt at home.


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Old 03/13/2018, 11:55 AM   #3299
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I'm back from a trip to Tulum, Mexico. It's a beautiful, exotic beach town. One hilarious occurrence was that there was a lot of macro algae there. There were literally hundreds of tons of Sargassum washing up on the beach! I did a little snorkeling and found lots of red macros and a few greens growing on the bottom. It was great to see them in their natural environment! It was tempting to collect some, but of course that would be illegal, and would have added stress to my trip. When I told people I put this stuff in my aquarium, they were like, "here you go, take all you want!"

Now that I'm back, it's time to start the re-do!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 03/14/2018, 05:06 AM   #3300
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I am really excited to see the re-do. I have been checking everyday to see if it was started yet, ha ha!

O man, that must have been inspiring to see all those aquatic plants in their native enviroment. I love snorkling for that reason.


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