75 gallon Black Mangrove paludarium build.

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by rharr21, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. rharr21

    rharr21 New Member

    Location:
    Slidell, LA
    One of my favorite landscapes in S. Louisiana are those surrounding the Black Mangrove (Avicennia germinans (L.)). Here in LA, these trees do not attain their true genetic potential, in height (up to 25' tall), because they are growing at the northern most reaches of their range. As a result, the trees are usually stunted and shrubby (up to 10' tall) with multi-trunks. The Black Mangrove lacks prop roots like other mangrove species, however it has very interesting pneumatophores. It is my desire to have one of these beauties as the centerpiece in my future aquascape.

    I have an extra 75 gallon AGA (48" x 18" x 20") that I purchased from a flooded pet shop shortly after Hurricane Katrina. I am going to use this aquarium to house the Black Mangrove. I have the option of making this a brackish or freshwater system, and I have not decided which way I want to go. I am torn between making this a replica of a brackish swamp which limits the variety of companion plants I can grow or staying on the fresh water side which gives me a wider variety of plants to choose from.

    I am going to build the aquarium stand out of Pecky Cypress scraps I salvaged from the neighbor's trash. The scraps are end of boards at most two feet in length and 16" wide. Since the Black Mangrove will grow out of the water and the aquarium, I was thinking of making the aquarium stand 18" tall. So that is mostly viewed from above. This would place the top of the aquarium at about three feet in height.

    For lighting, I am planning on using a 450 W metal halide pendant suspended above the aquarium.

    I have not decide what to use as a substrate. I can either mix up an artificial substrate or use some of the natural substrate found in the mangrove swamp.

    Well, I'm running out of steam tonight and will continue this at a later date. Feel free to give me some input, as none of this is set in stone.
  2. Anti-Pjerrot

    Anti-Pjerrot New Member

    Sounds sweet. Any thoughts on when you will start?
  3. Al G. Begone

    Al G. Begone New Member

    Location:
    McKinney, Texas
    It would be great to see you choose brackish and go for more of a natural habitat.
    This way you might get to appreciate more of the things that you consciously and also subconsiously appreciate about the Black Mangrove and surrounding environment. You may forgo certain other plant species etc. that you like, but maybe the common concept of an aquascape is not what this particular project is about?
    Just my 2 cents.
  4. rharr21

    rharr21 New Member

    Location:
    Slidell, LA
    I plan on starting on this project between Christmas and the New Year.

    Today, I measured some of the Pecky Cypress and counted the pieces to make sure I have enough to wrap around the circumference of the tank stand. I also collected a couple of Cord Grass (Spartina sp.) seedlings which may go into the planting somehow.
  5. nonamethefish

    nonamethefish New Member

    Location:
    CA
    How close to water are black mangroves growing in LA? I remember in Costa Rica red mangroves would often be right on the beach, whereas black mangroves were a ways away but often next to a incoming stream or storm drain outlet. So you would probably need a decent sized hill in the tank to accomodate the black mangrove and hopefully encourage the growth of pneumatophores. Perhaps you could even grow both trees.

    For inhabitants. I could see a brackish setup working well. For the land area maybe some terrestrial crabs(fiddler or maybe ghost crabs). The only problem I see is you would need to have a way to allow the tree to grow out of the tank...yet not the crabs. I could see screening working once things get to that point. For the water most brackish Fundulus sp. should do. Adinia xenica(diamond killifish) would be nice but only if you use small species of the first otherwise they will be bullied. Lucania parva(rainwater killifish), and sheephead pupfish(Cyprinodon variegatus) are also ok. And of course mollies and gambusia. You could probably collect most of these. A neat bottom scavenger for that size tank could be violet gobies...I'm sure they'd love winding between mangrove roots and sifting the mulm on the bottom. A last addition if you don't mind anything it grabs getting eating(and preferably you'd want your tree to be decent sized and the leaves to have grown out of the tank and been screened so it doesn't eat those too)would be a mangrove crab or two(Cardisoma).

    Can't think of many plants besides that you could experiment with cordgrass/eelgrass and maybe some local macroalgae. Your lighting should be strong enough. a neat touch I think would be to use some manzanita branches to substitute for mangrove roots since it will take a while to get the trees to the point you want them. Find some wood or similar covered with dead barnacles or even oyster shells glued to the branches could add natural touch. I'd avoid live barnacles in the tank for obvious reasons.

    Btw, if black mangrove seedlings are abundant I've been toying with this idea and would love a few(same goes for ghost/fid crabs). LMK
  6. Carolina

    Carolina New Member

    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    If you use the natural substrate found in the mangrove swamp be careful. There could be something in there that would give you a nasty bite. This is something I read happened to someone whom used clay from a river bank. Read that it is best to boil dirt from the wild to kill any unwanted items.

    Here a few links to substrates:
    El Natural
    http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/showthread.php?t=26458
    [FONT=URW Gothic L, sans-serif]
    [/FONT][FONT=URW Gothic L, sans-serif][/FONT]How to Grow Beautiful Aquarium Plants (cheap)!
    http://home.infinet.net/teban/how-to.html

    Mineralized substrate
    http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...-mineralized-soil-substrate-aaron-talbot.html
  7. nonamethefish

    nonamethefish New Member

    Location:
    CA
    with just a bit of care you shouldn't have any problems. If you are really worried you could strain the mud and see what lives in it.

    I would not use alot of mangrove mud mainly because the tank would become anoxic. I'd use a bit to add all the cool critters, and the rest could be lava rocks/fine sand.
  8. Carolina

    Carolina New Member

    Location:
    Atlanta GA

Share This Page

Sponsored link: