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Old 05/22/2020, 03:41 PM   #1
ThePurple12
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125g 2 in 1 Seagrass Reef

This is the build thread for my 125g seagrass reef tank. I started it this Christmas.

Half the tank is a coral reef, and the other half is dedicated to seagrass and macroalgae.

I've started this build thread at a bad time, as the tank's going through a cyano phase, probably due to the fertilizer I added to the sandbed for the seagrass. I added the fertilizer because the seagrass wasn't doing well. I think the seagrass might be coming back, but I'm having to clean the blades off twice a day due to cyano growth. The cyano's growing on the gorgonian, too, and for some reason the bubble tip anemones are all shriveled up. As you can see, the tank's not in its prime....

Equipment:
2x blackbox LED
2x 150w metal halide
2x 1500gph Hydor Koralia powerhead (Yes, I know I need more flow!)
20g sump that currently has no real purpose
2x 150w heater

Fish:
cleaner wrasse
2 ocellaris clownfish pairs (we'll see how this plays out)
yellow watchman goby pair
engineer goby
bicolor blenny
coral beauty angelfish
female bluestripe pipefish (I'm looking for a male)

Corals:
several acroporas
orange and green montipora capricornis
mystic sunset monti
montipora spongodes(?)
candy cane coral
hammer coral
unknown zoas
purple gorgonian
7 bubbletip anemones (I know, not a coral)

Plants:
shoal grass
Johnson's grass
sargassum
codium
Gracilaria hayi
Botryocladia
cyano



Last edited by ThePurple12; 05/22/2020 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 05/22/2020, 03:58 PM   #2
Michael Hoaster
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Can't see. No pics.

I think your grasses will come back. They take awhile to adjust to new conditions. Hang in there with the cyano. A multi-day manual removal, chemiclean treatment, 3-4 day blackout and water change combo punch is what worked for me.

A fast-growing green macro like Ulva may help soak up excess nutrients.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 05/22/2020, 04:01 PM   #3
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[IMG][/IMG]


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Old 05/22/2020, 04:02 PM   #4
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Old 05/22/2020, 04:03 PM   #5
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Believe it or not, the Johnson's grass used to cover the entire sandbed. It all disapperead, and the shoal grass growth stopped. The Johnson's is recovering, though.


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Old 05/22/2020, 04:12 PM   #6
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Here's one of my better-looking acro colonies

[IMG][/IMG]


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Old 05/22/2020, 04:12 PM   #7
Michael Hoaster
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Cool tank! Looks good.

Sorry to hear your grasses are struggling. Manual removal removes the most concentrated food source-the cyano itself. So you're on the right track.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 05/22/2020, 04:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
Can't see. No pics.

I think your grasses will come back. They take awhile to adjust to new conditions. Hang in there with the cyano. A multi-day manual removal, chemiclean treatment, 3-4 day blackout and water change combo punch is what worked for me.

A fast-growing green macro like Ulva may help soak up excess nutrients.
Thanks, I think the grasses are recovering.

I've found that cyano will go away on its own with proper conditions. But speaking of Ulva, I discovered a tiny little macro that looks like ulva growing on the base of the gorgonian.


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Old 05/22/2020, 04:18 PM   #9
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Michael, any tips on growing Codium? I just picked up a colony of it on Craigslist the other day.


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Old 05/22/2020, 04:19 PM   #10
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I call this "Macro Mountain"! It's surrounded by Gracilaria hayi, there's a patch of codium, and sargassum and a gorgonian on top.

[IMG][/IMG]


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Old 05/22/2020, 04:33 PM   #11
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I found that Codium does best in bright light, among the grasses. Also it likes cooler temps, like below 80. Your macro mountain is nice. Sargassum is very challenging so congrats to you!


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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 05/29/2020, 05:50 PM   #12
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I rearranged the rockwork on the reef side, it looks much better now:


The Johnson's grass is definitely coming back now, adding the rose fertilizer really worked. I see new leaves every 2 or 3 days. Soon it'll be back to covering the whole sandbed!
[IMG][/IMG]
I think I know why there's so much cyano. My phosphate's at .25!

Today I got some Spectracide Stump Remover (KNO3) from Lowe's for $6. Using a calculator, I added enough to raise nitrates from 1 to 5. I read in an old thread that adding more nitrate to balance phosphate will help the seagrass grow faster (or, in my case, start growing again), therefore lowering phosphate and killing cyano.


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Old 05/29/2020, 06:53 PM   #13
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Nice rock work! Glad to hear your johnson's grass is coming back. Good call on the potassium nitrate too. Looking' good!


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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 05/29/2020, 07:18 PM   #14
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Thanks!


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Old 07/01/2020, 08:19 PM   #15
Michael Hoaster
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Hey! How's it going?


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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 07/02/2020, 12:58 PM   #16
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The tank's coming along! The 2 clowns almost imediately ditched their bubble tips and moved into the new magnifica anemone I got, and they hardly ever leave it.

As for the planted side, the nitrate dosing definitely seems to be working. I think the shoal grass might be improving. The leaves aren't dying off so much anymore and the cyano's slowed down, but I haven't seen any new plants yet. Johnson's is growing, but not as fast as it probably should be.

The tank went through 25 ppm of nitrate in less than a week! The macros are growing like crazy. The sargassum reached the surface a while ago, and the gracilaria's in serious need of a trim.


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Old 07/02/2020, 02:06 PM   #17
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Sounds good! I often thought that my rapidly growing macros were outcompeting my grasses for nutrients. You may be having the same thing. I think it helps to prune the macros back, essentially making them a smaller mouth to feed.

It seems like seagrasses take a lot longer to get established than they should. Hang in there and keep trying to find the conditions they flourish in.


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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 07/02/2020, 04:10 PM   #18
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That makes sense. Pruning time.


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Old 07/08/2020, 11:04 AM   #19
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Cool concept for atnak. Any issues with the corals while dosing ferts for the macros? Update pics?


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Old 07/08/2020, 09:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkeyfish View Post
Cool concept for atnak. Any issues with the corals while dosing ferts for the macros? Update pics?
Thanks!

No issues so far, and the macros are loving it. I'll try to get some pics tomorrow.


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Old 07/14/2020, 08:57 AM   #21
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I love your tank and look forward to future updates. It sounds like you're on the right track and winning the cyano battle. I like the rearrangement of your reef rock work, looks great.


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Old 07/15/2020, 10:40 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasmodes View Post
I love your tank and look forward to future updates. It sounds like you're on the right track and winning the cyano battle. I like the rearrangement of your reef rock work, looks great.
Thanks for the kind words!


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Old 07/15/2020, 10:50 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkeyfish View Post
Cool concept for atnak. Any issues with the corals while dosing ferts for the macros? Update pics?
Sorry, I forgot the pictures. Here're some

I found this unknown NPS coral washed up on the beach while I was on vacation in Florida two years ago. I brought it home with me and I've been feeding it Reef Chili coral food every few nights. It hasn't grown at all, so I should probably feed it more frequently.
[IMG][/IMG]

FTS, you can see the new 14k MH bulb in place of the 10k. I like it so far.
[IMG][/IMG]

Clowns loving the magnifica anemone
[IMG][/IMG]

2 of my 9 bubble tip anemones (started with 2 bubble tips 2 years ago and they split) hanging out under the overflow box.

[IMG][/IMG]


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Old 07/15/2020, 12:45 PM   #24
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Nice pics! I bet there are a lot of reefers checking out your tank, with an eye to try something similar.

Indo-Pacific Sea Farms (ipsf.com) sells mini strombus snails that are small enough to clean your grasses, and reproduce prolifically to match the food source. These snails alone may be the biggest factor in my success(?). First pic, top right looks like dinoflagellates on some of the grasses. The same thing happened to me. UV, manual removal, pods, snails and mollies did the trick for me. A Fighting Conch may help keep your sand bed clean.

In your FTS, is one MH light 14K and the other still 10K? What wattage? What are the dimensions of your tank?

I'm really digging your scape!


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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

Last edited by Michael Hoaster; 07/15/2020 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 07/15/2020, 01:56 PM   #25
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Thanks for all the advice!

I will look into the mini strombus snails, and I’ve actually been thinking about getting some mollies for a while. Maybe I’ll pick some up from Petco tomorrow.

The light on the coral side is a 14k and the seagrass side is 6500k, both are 250w. Tank is 72” x 18” x 21”.


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