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Old 11/23/2020, 07:20 PM   #1551
vlangel
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It sounds like a delicate procedure but having the patch reef elevated to stay sure would be nice. Entropy does seem to have a way of leveling everything.


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Old 11/23/2020, 11:33 PM   #1552
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Agreed, it would be nice for the live rock to not get swallowed by the sand. Stacking it on top of rocks will really expose much more surface area for colonization by sponges and such. I need to go look in my box of rocks, and see if I have enough to do it.

I have to admit, 'entropy' went right over my head. Thanks for the word Dawn! Randomness and disorder. Yep, that applies! I love adding new words to my lexicon.

So, would you say entropy is another factor in our quest to harness art and nature? Are our constant adjustments the yin to entropy's yan?

Yesterday I pulled up and replanted nine manatee grass plants. There are spots with too many plants and spots with too few. They transplant well. So I move some around. Anti-entropian?

Research indicates Rabbitfish is the winner of the 'I love Caulerpa' search. Downside is they get pretty big and they have venomous fins. They're supposed to be pretty mellow community citizens, though. Foxfaces don't get that big. My wife will like a bigger fish. The small ones are hard to see.

But I also need to think of the plan for the overall fish community. Since it will be one of the biggest fish I get, it will likely go in pretty late in the order of introduction. So, lots more to think about.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 11/24/2020, 04:30 AM   #1553
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Agreed, it would be nice for the live rock to not get swallowed by the sand. Stacking it on top of rocks will really expose much more surface area for colonization by sponges and such. I need to go look in my box of rocks, and see if I have enough to do it.

I have to admit, 'entropy' went right over my head. Thanks for the word Dawn! Randomness and disorder. Yep, that applies! I love adding new words to my lexicon.

So, would you say entropy is another factor in our quest to harness art and nature? Are our constant adjustments the yin to entropy's yan?

Yesterday I pulled up and replanted nine manatee grass plants. There are spots with too many plants and spots with too few. They transplant well. So I move some around. Anti-entropian?

Research indicates Rabbitfish is the winner of the 'I love Caulerpa' search. Downside is they get pretty big and they have venomous fins. They're supposed to be pretty mellow community citizens, though. Foxfaces don't get that big. My wife will like a bigger fish. The small ones are hard to see.

But I also need to think of the plan for the overall fish community. Since it will be one of the biggest fish I get, it will likely go in pretty late in the order of introduction. So, lots more to think about.
Ha ha, 'entropy' came to my mind when I was sprucing my tank up for my son's visit. He also has a marine tank and we both work feverishly on our aquariums to whip them into shape for a good showing when we visit each other. It's kind of cute actually. Anyway, I had noticed that my tiered sandbed was also sinking. Sand had been slowly and nearly imperceptibly seeping out to the lower levels, thus leveling my tiers. I got a small cup and proceeded to replace sand at the higher levels.

I definitely agree that entropy is constantly at work against our endeavor to create art in our natural water boxes. And why not, doesn't nature also go from order to chaos, from a higher state to a lower state. It's one of the laws of physics.

Good for you moving and transplanting the manatee grass and being anti-entropian! Ha ha, now that is a new word for my vocabulary!

A squirrel fish or foxface may be a good fit for your tank. I personally have experience with foxface fish and although they are venomous, I have never been stung. One of the big tank accounts that I maintained at an oral surgeon's office had one for years. It was a FOWLR and had a lot of rock and plastic coral that regularly needed bleached and cleaned. Even with all the constant re-scaping of that tank, I never felt nervous about the fox face stinging me. It just did not seem in the least way aggressive. It was the female clown that I kept my eye on as she would bite me every chance she got!
A wide open tank like yours would be no problem with a foxface in my opinion. They are beautiful too and would be a great center piece fish along with being a good grazer of Caulerpa.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention in my earlier post how much I like the latest pics. As your tank matures it just keeps getting better and better. I hope adding the new rock under the live rock in the tank does not set things back too much.


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Old 11/24/2020, 09:50 AM   #1554
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It's funny, I'd heard the word used before, and always figured I knew the gist of it. But when you used it referencing our tanks, I had to look it up. It really does apply to our aquariums, for sure.

In some ways though it seems like Nature makes our crude work look more idealistic. Like my heavy-handed pruning of my red macros. I know that they will look much better once Nature has had it's chance to 're-idealize'. But then, over time, they get shaggy and entropy is back.

We walk a tightrope of making adjustments, relaxing and enjoying, and then more adjustments, since entropy never ends! So we struggle using art and science to achieve our aquarium goals, and all the while entropy lurks.

That's good to hear about foxfaces. I've never kept one.

Thanks, I've been pretty happy with the tank overall, especially the Manatee grass. It's been a roller coaster ride. Remember it wasn't that long ago that I almost killed it all off. I went from more than sixty plants down to thirteen.

I think the rock work project shouldn't be too disruptive. At least I'll try to minimize it. Hopefully, I have enough old rocks to do it.


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Old 11/24/2020, 10:45 AM   #1555
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Looking forward to seeing the changes!


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Old 11/24/2020, 11:09 AM   #1556
Michael Hoaster
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Thanks ThePurple12! Me too! I'm kind of excited about it.


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Old 11/24/2020, 06:19 PM   #1557
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I'm curious to see how your foxface will do. I'm sure it'll destroy the caulerpa, but you don't think it will eat your seagrass?


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Old 11/24/2020, 11:15 PM   #1558
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Nothing I've read mentions seagrass in their diets. But most macros are, barring the heavily calcified ones, like halimeda. My biggest worry is that it will eat my prized red macros, few that I have. If I do get a rabbitfish, I'll have to deal with that. It's possible that it might go after my grasses, once the macros are gone. So I'll need to get it eating veggie fish food or remove it.

Who knows! Maybe I won't get one. Now that the tank has the lush growth that I wanted, I'm talking about mowing it all down. Once I get it mowed down, I'll think it's too bare. It's a sickness!

Given the economic uncertainty, I'm inclined to spend less these days, so I doubt it'll happen anytime soon. And, as I mentioned, I still need to consider what other fish I'll be adding, and the order of introduction.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Old 11/25/2020, 05:45 AM   #1559
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It's funny, I'd heard the word used before, and always figured I knew the gist of it. But when you used it referencing our tanks, I had to look it up. It really does apply to our aquariums, for sure.

In some ways though it seems like Nature makes our crude work look more idealistic. Like my heavy-handed pruning of my red macros. I know that they will look much better once Nature has had it's chance to 're-idealize'. But then, over time, they get shaggy and entropy is back.

We walk a tightrope of making adjustments, relaxing and enjoying, and then more adjustments, since entropy never ends! So we struggle using art and science to achieve our aquarium goals, and all the while entropy lurks.

That's good to hear about foxfaces. I've never kept one.

Thanks, I've been pretty happy with the tank overall, especially the Manatee grass. It's been a roller coaster ride. Remember it wasn't that long ago that I almost killed it all off. I went from more than sixty plants down to thirteen.

I think the rock work project shouldn't be too disruptive. At least I'll try to minimize it. Hopefully, I have enough old rocks to do it.
This post hits the nail on the head. There is a hidden tension between letting nature do what it does best, and yet without us there to tend and garden our tanks they would grow wild and out of control. You articulated that so well.

I think we who keep more natural tanks see the balance and tension at play more readily. We know and understand what a powerful perfect force nature is and have less illusions about our own ability to totally control it, and ultimately understand that our own efforts are far less perfect. If we can merely reroute the laws of entropy at work in our tanks, then we have probably done the best we can do.

Good luck Michael in adding rock to the sandbed. Also I am looking forward to seeing what fish you ultimately choose to go with. I actually have no experience whatsoever to draw on whether a foxface would eat seagrass. You are the first person that I have come across that has grown seagrass. And actually I do not know many marine aquarists who even keep macro algae and none with a foxface. In many ways you are breaking new ground with adding fish to your system. It should be interesting.


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Old 11/25/2020, 08:21 AM   #1560
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Keep in mind that rabbitfish eat a lot and grow fast. They will almost certainly eat whatever macros you have whether you want them to or not. I'd recommend avoiding rabbits altogether. Foxface are closely related but not as piggy. They are pretty shy though especially if they don't have a lot of places to hide. Being venomous really shouldn't be a concern unless you plan to try and pet the fish. :0) I've had mine about 7 years and they can be quirky for quite a long time. It wasn't until it was in the 300 for a year or so that it started to calm down and not get scared whenever someone looked at him. A good option for you might be a bristletooth tang as they stay smaller, won't eat as much as the aforementioned fish, and will also help to keep the nuisance algae at bay.


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Old 11/25/2020, 08:51 AM   #1561
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Thanks Dawn. I enjoyed discussing entropy and how it factors into what we do as aquarists. It's good to learn new words too!

We'll see on the foxface. Since it will likely be awhile before I pull the trigger I really should try to enjoy the lush growth I currently have.


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Old 11/25/2020, 09:00 AM   #1562
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Hey McPuff! Yep, that's what I have read. So getting a foxface or rabbitfish of some kind is not a perfect solution. But if I decide to be done with macros I know what to get. I've been looking at the bristle tooth tangs too, for help with detritus and associated algae.

Good to hear from you! How about a tank update and pics?


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Old 11/25/2020, 11:21 PM   #1563
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Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

I'm thankful to have you all as friends. So many great discussions! It's a privilege!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Old 11/27/2020, 07:46 AM   #1564
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Cheers!


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Old 11/28/2020, 09:47 PM   #1565
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Given my cautious approach with finances in 2020, I like to do things for my tank that don't cost money. So I come up with projects like transplanting seagrass and adding rocks. This type of tank lends itself well to thriftiness. With heavy plant growth, it's more common for me to remove, rather than add stuff.

I managed to get some old, dead coral skeletons out my crawlspace. I say managed, because it wasn't without complication. There is snow on the ground here and I had on my Ughs boots, which have zero treads. With an armload of rocks, I slipped, tripped, stumbled and fell hilariously. With no-one to witness it, I laughed at myself, bruised though I was.

I got the blood washed off the rocks and played around with arrangements. I wrote down a list of steps to perform the re-scape. Now all I have to do is get up the gumption. Moving sand is going to be a mess. High pain, high reward, I guess. Dread and anticipation. I do look forward to getting the rocks just so. Which means I get to use the artist in me. That'll be the fun part. And another effort to hold back the sands of entropy…


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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 Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 11/30/2020, 09:19 AM   #1566
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Given my cautious approach with finances in 2020, I like to do things for my tank that don't cost money. So I come up with projects like transplanting seagrass and adding rocks. This type of tank lends itself well to thriftiness. With heavy plant growth, it's more common for me to remove, rather than add stuff.

I managed to get some old, dead coral skeletons out my crawlspace. I say managed, because it wasn't without complication. There is snow on the ground here and I had on my Ughs boots, which have zero treads. With an armload of rocks, I slipped, tripped, stumbled and fell hilariously. With no-one to witness it, I laughed at myself, bruised though I was.

I got the blood washed off the rocks and played around with arrangements. I wrote down a list of steps to perform the re-scape. Now all I have to do is get up the gumption. Moving sand is going to be a mess. High pain, high reward, I guess. Dread and anticipation. I do look forward to getting the rocks just so. Which means I get to use the artist in me. That'll be the fun part. And another effort to hold back the sands of entropy…
I hope barring the 'hilarious fall' incident that your Thanksgiving was nice. I too am thankful for online friends to share in this wonderful hobby with me.

I have no doubt that when it's time to add the rocks to your sandbed that it will be another step forward in the development of your tank.

BTW, wishing you to heal quickly from the bumps and bruises you recieved!


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Old 11/30/2020, 09:36 AM   #1567
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Yes, thanks we had a nice, quiet Thanksgiving. And the swelling has gone down. Just a touch of holiday mayhem…

I am kinda excited to get the project going. I was thinking last night that I may want to break the rocks into smaller pieces. They're kinda big. Smaller rocks would allow more flexibility in the design of it. Giving myself a little time before committing, allows me to think of different possibilities.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Old 11/30/2020, 11:38 PM   #1568
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Dusk on the Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon



Not much to complain about. The Manatee Grass is flourishing and the back wall is covered in green. Not far off 'the vision' for this tank. I'm hoping to get the red macros bigger and more diverse. Getting the live rock out of the sand will go a long way towards giving the sponge life on them the space to respire and grow.

With my inputs, the ecosystem changes over time. It's amazing to combine my efforts with Nature. I learn stuff.


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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 Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 12/01/2020, 08:35 AM   #1569
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Dusk on the Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon



Not much to complain about. The Manatee Grass is flourishing and the back wall is covered in green. Not far off 'the vision' for this tank. I'm hoping to get the red macros bigger and more diverse. Getting the live rock out of the sand will go a long way towards giving the sponge life on them the space to respire and grow.

With my inputs, the ecosystem changes over time. It's amazing to combine my efforts with Nature. I learn stuff.
Michael, that is a beautiful lush pic! One thing I am wondering...perhaps you should unearth the current live rock and then give it a week or so before you disturb the sandbed again. The reason I am saying this is because the rock that has been enveloped by the sand may be somewhat in the absence of oxygen. Those surfaces may need a little time to re-establish nitrifying bacteria so that the tank is once again at full bio-filtration when you add the rock you want to add to the sandbed. The disturbance of the sandbed will undoubtedly release detritus and other debris that has settled in the sandbed, but I believe nature can handle all that naturally if you do not do too much too fast. Any way that is merely my 2 cents and I am by no means telling you what to do. I am merely sharing thoughts.


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Old 12/01/2020, 09:18 AM   #1570
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Picture Perfect comes to mind Michael.
& I think I will agree on going slow moving rock around.
Feel Better & get a set of good boots.


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Old 12/01/2020, 01:59 PM   #1571
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Thanks Dawn! I appreciate the compliment and great suggestion. You got me thinking. Taking a week between steps would definitely make the project feel less daunting. On the other hand, I may want to stick with it and just get it done. I suspect I'll do something in between. I do appreciate your 2 cents!

I agree, the rocks are probably not operating at peak efficiency right now, bio-filtrationwise. However, I have a very low bio-load and a gargantuan filtration capacity in the plants and (undisturbed part of) the sand bed. I suspect that my ten pounds of live rock (in a 180 gallon tank) are a rather small percentage of my total filtration capacity.

I'm most concerned with the sand bed disturbance and Hydrogen Sulfide. Here's a good article by Randy Holmes-Farley: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-12/rhf/index.php

Mr. Holmes-Farley seems like a very smart guy. The way he rattles off chemistry equations so conversationally blows my mind! I was always good at math, but chemistry is a challenge. It's important to remember that he's addressing reef tanks, which are significantly different to what I have, which is essentially a 180 gallon refugium, with no reef to filter and very few fish.

He addressed what I'm doing in my upcoming project almost exactly in the article here:

"8. If an anoxic sand bed needs to be removed from a reef aquarium, and there are organisms that cannot be relocated out of harms way, the following precautions may be useful based on the principles detailed in previous sections, although I've not tested any to see how effective they are:

A. Remove delicate organisms from the tank system, if possible.
B. Perform the change when the lights are as bright as possible, preferably near the end of the light cycle. The lights drive the O2 concentration higher, speeding the oxidative removal of hydrogen sulfide, and the light itself will catalyze the oxidation of H2S.
C. Maximize aeration. A high oxygen level drives hydrogen sulfide oxidation, and high aeration will drive some off as volatile H2S gas.
D. Add an iron supplement to help catalyze oxidation of hydrogen sulfide and the precipitation of ferrous and/or ferric sulfide. Use one chelated to an organic; either ferrous or ferric iron will work.
E. Pass the water over iron oxide/hydroxide (GFO) to convert hydrogen sulfide to elemental sulfur.
F. Pass the water over activated carbon, which may bind some sulfide, and may also catalyze the oxidation. If forced to choose between carbon and GFO, I'd pick the GFO media."

Points B, C and D are especially helpful and doable for me. I already have high oxygen levels, indicated by my grasses producing oxygen bubbles later in the day. I also have a large bottle of Iron supplement ready to go.

After taking a quick look, I'd estimate I'll be removing/disturbing around 10-20% of the sand. Luckily, I have no sensitive organisms, like corals. Hopefully, between the rest of the sand bed and the plants, the tank will be able to weather the storm.


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Old 12/01/2020, 02:12 PM   #1572
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Thanks Vinny, for the kind words! Thanks also for seconding what Dawn said. It made me stop and think. A good thing!

Any thoughts on my long-winded post above?

Ironically, I do have a better pair of boots. I even contemplated putting them on! Me not so smart sometimes…


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Old 12/01/2020, 02:20 PM   #1573
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With such a small percentage I think you are OK as long as you can do B-C & D.


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Old 12/01/2020, 04:01 PM   #1574
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I agree. I think the large percentage of the undisturbed sandbed will offset the release of any hydrogen sulfide, and definitely using GFO and/or carbon can be beneficial and easy to implement. I really believe it will be fine whether you spread the procedure out or whether you do it in one and done. Sometimes there is something to be said for just 'git her done!'


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Old 12/01/2020, 04:25 PM   #1575
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Thank you Dawn and Vinny! It is so helpful to discuss this stuff! Cheers!


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