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"Pearls of the Antilles" llj's Macro-algae/Reef scape

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by lljdma06, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. roach

    roach New Member

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    Hey it's getting there!! Great progress.

    That sucks to hear about the LR, are you able to take it back? What makes it smell? What makes it a bad thing?

    I am looking forward to some better pictures once it clears up.
     

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  2. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    It's not really a bad thing. I can throw the rock in there & then it would indeed help me with my cycle. I just didn't need to buy the rock in the first place. I had plenty. Didn't need to second guess myself. So now I've got a bunch of LR that I don't know what to do with & I've run out of tanks. :D
     
  3. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    Scape is finally up!! Yay!

    Picture Time!!!

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    Thanks for looking. I like that it has lots of caves and nooks for fish to hide. I'm looking forward to planting this up.
     
  4. Vele bit

    Vele bit New Member

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    Wow! You did a stuning job with hardscape, now I'm really hooked on your theme..
     
  5. roach

    roach New Member

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    Really love the big cave too, great feature.
     
  6. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    Thanks. I essentially wanted something for fish to swim through. I'm really excited about adding the grasses & macro algae.

    @ Vele bit - thanks for following. I apologize for not following more of the scapes here myself. I've been very busy with school preparation, but once my schedule settles, I'll check out more of the scapes here.

    I LOVED working with LR as a scaping material. The Haitian rock I used is particularly lovely. I have to rethink red macro algae, however, as the LR is already very purple with coraline. I'll have to look at more of the green & brown macros & perhaps add a seagrass for the foreground. I'll see.

    Again, thanks for looking & I'm glad you like the hardscape.

    Llj
     
  7. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    And we have some life...

    Some pictures... All cleared up. I shifted the rock a bit to look for the sea urchin that I found a couple of days ago and didn't put it back in scape form. LOLOL I also reduced the flow. I'm running only one Koralia 425, still gives me about 10x turnover, so I'm not really complaining. Plenty for macros and seagrasses. I just haven't removed the 750 yet. Tried running just the 750, but still had sandstorm. so stopped.

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    My sea urchin is still alive... Actually was super suprised to find him during the day as I was told he was nocturnal. He'll be named soon. It's a young pencil urchin. A hitch hiker & also an algae eater. I can either remove him, or keep him and work to find macro algae that isn't palatible. He's too large for my 8g, but the 36g isn't a bad size for him. There were several species of macro algae on my list that fit that criteria and I think I can find a happy medium that still makes this a nice planted marine, yet will not end up a giant sea urchin salad!

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    And some video of the urchin.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhu-m4SFnmw]36g SW Sea urchin video - YouTube[/ame]

    In addition to the urchin, we have speghetti worms, colonial hydroids and a feather duster (small one). Looks like my sand storm days are over. :)
    thanks for looking.
     
  8. qpixo

    qpixo New Member

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    Great set up!
    I can see put lots of work and effort on it. :)

    What kind of equipment did you use to make DIY RO water with powerhead setup?
     
  9. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    Thank you, but I'm not sure what you mean by your question?

    llj
     
  10. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    Picking the plants... LOLOL

    Well, I did some narrowing down. Doesn't seem like I did, but I'm also taking into account availability, so if one species isn't available, you'll see a similar substitute, especially with the macro algae. I also took into account whether or not the algae is edible, so the urchin won't bother it. I'll grow some edible stuff in my refugiums so I can feed him. :)

    Halophila decipiens - short seagrass,
    Halodule wrightii - tall seagrass, resembles vallisneria a bit
    Halimeda incrassate - A Halimeda for the substrate
    Halimeda opuntia - A halimeda for rockwork
    Padina - very cool brown macro, looks a bit like some terrestrial mushrooms
    Dictoya - brown macro algae, more fragile than the others
    Chondria - red algae, fine texture
    Gelidium - more leathery, and fernlike
    Thanks for looking. With the color of the rock, I'm not even sure I want a red macro anymore. Anybody have any thoughts?

    I had a NitrIte spike but it's starting to go down. Thank goodness. Diatoms are getting messy. LOL... Some pictures for you. These aren't great, I've been enjoying some beer today. LONG day at the University.

    fts
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    See, diatoms are definitely there. Have not seen Mr. Spinypants at all. :( I have dubbed the urchin Mr. Spinypants.

    I'll tell you, Becks Oktoberfest is delicious!

    llj
     
  11. roach

    roach New Member

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    The rock look's fantastic, hope your friend is ok.
     
  12. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    CUC added 9/3 with PIX!!

    Thanks, I like the rock work too. I can't wait to see chalk bass swim through the caves.

    Nitrites are zero, did a water change, about 35-40%, and I put in my CUC. I've got the following...

    7 tiny blue-legged hermits
    3 ceriths (2 teeny ones and one medium one)
    3 Nassarius snails (2 big ones and one small one)
    I'll add more I think. Especially Nassarius, these guys are great.

    Fts
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    Acclimating...
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    LR, but with a teeny, tiny Acetabularia macro on it.
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    You can see nassarius if you know what to look for.
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    Blue leg hermit shed...
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    Cerith snail, the largest, he goes everywhere.
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    Mr. Spinypants, still hanging in there. He seems to have moved to this rock which is great because I can feed him easily. The problem is that pulling him out of the crevice will cause him undo stress. If he ventures out of the rock, I'll catch him and put him in a critter keeper I got to isolate him, but at least I can feed him crushed pellets regularly because I know where he is. He gets fed 2x a day, but I can certainly increase the amount.
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    I have no idea what this is a picture... Can't see on the thumnail in photobucket.
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    More LR
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    Can you spot the Nassarius?
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    Here he is! With a feather-duster friend... These nassarius are great, they go everywhere. I want more. Ideal for the DBS.
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    Hermit crab and cerith... In the crevice
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    fts with actinics
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    Tank was much cleaner this morning. CUC is doing a good job. I may expand it a bit. Plants and macros will be ordered soon, when I get paid. :D

    Thanks for looking. I feel like this is taking forever, but slow and steady wins the race.

    llj
     
  13. hamza

    hamza Aspiring Aquascaper

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    You have utilized the triangular space very well
     
  14. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    Thank you very much. Corner tanks definitely pose challenges with regard to aquascaping.

    My stats looked great again and I wanted to expand on my cleanup crew, but I couldn't find good specimens of the species I'm keeping, so I got this instead.

    First mushrooms. They are more green in person. Like a kelly green, but they photograph blue.

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    Blue-legged hermits on the Haitian rock.

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    Another view of the mushrooms. It's a decent sized rock too.

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    FTS, this tank's still kind of dirty. The Nassarius aren't cutting it. I'll have to get in there and remove the diatoms myself. Or get the macros in there soon. I just need to get paid before I add the macros.

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    Thanks for looking. I'll get the plants soon, promise. Been having laptop issues so couldn't do online ordering. But now I've fixed the issue. Got a new laptop. :)

    llj
     
  15. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    Time for a massive update... It's about TIME!!! Woohoo!!!!

    Hi everybody! I swear, I didn't drop out of the face of the Earth. Lots have happened with this tank since September when I last posted here, and I apologize for not being active. Here's a promised update...

    The Moment of Truth... Plants arrived (11/16/2011)

    My package from Gulf Coast Ecosystems arrive yesterday. I'll admit, I was pleased with the packaging. Very heavy package, but you can see why...

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    The plants were fully submerged and packed in water, then placed in a styrofoam box with insulation. Excellent packing.

    I ordered...

    2 orders of Halimeda opuntia
    2 orders of Halodule wrightii (shoal grass)

    But it seems I also got a Halimeda discoidea as well. No problem, still received plenty of H. opuntia. I've got spare plants too. Here are the plants out of the packaging...

    Halimeda opuntia

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    Halodule wrightii

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    OMG! Water in the bags stunk like High Heaven! Thought I was gonna puke. :sick: But, it smelled just like the gulf coast, so it's great to have such local plants. The plants themselves did not smell, so I know it wasn't the plants, just that lovely Gulf Coast water with all that organic content. Yum!

    So, I basically treated the H. opuntia like anubias and attached them to the rock work, which is consistent with how I see it growing in photographs. The Shoal grass was treated with a lot of care. I separated it into individual rhizomes and plants, ala Eleocharis or Lilaeopsis species and planted individually and spaced them for spread. Took forever and was very difficult as I had to keep an eye out for my Jawfish, which are accomplished jumpers. This is the initial planting. I may, again, tweak this a bit. Forgive my algae and cyano, I've got a larger Caribbean CUC coming today. :)

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    Under actinics...

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    I'm so excited, you have no idea. I think I managed to create a working biotope that caters to the needs of its inhabitants and yet still create an aesthetic aquascape. Again, I've got to tweak things, but I'm very proud right now. It looks like a planted tank, but it keeps with Marine principles. I'm very happy I resisted the urge to "collect" species. I only have three species. I'm also glad I resisted red macro algae. I think there is plenty of red and purples with the Haitian rock. Now I just need the chalk bass and a cleaner shrimp species.

    Getting the grass to grow is going to be a challenge, I've got enough light, I just have to cater to its needs. I don't need break neck growth, just need to maintain it.

    Sooooooooo excited. This took forever to realize. Thanks for looking and thanks for being so patient. I had a heavy performance and teaching schedule, and I couldn't maintain a presence here. I'll catch up with many of the journals here as soon as I'm able. There are other updates that happened earlier, some livestock additions, but I'll update that later. This is a planted tank, so I thought you'd want to see planted updates first.

    L
     
  16. roach

    roach New Member

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    Hey an update!!

    I am glad to see you stuck with it, I had been wondering what was going on.. it's looking great to see some colour in there and I look forward to seeing it grow in :D
     
  17. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    Thanks Roach, nice to know some people are still interested in this build. The plants have grown in a bit

    &, I epoxied the macro to the rock and the Ricordea florida.

    Now, this'll kill your neck to watch but here are the jawfish in action...

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    Now for some tank shots...

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    Under actinics

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    Another jawfish video because I think they are super awesome!

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    Seriously guys, the next step is to get chalk bass. I already see roots in the substrate.

    Thanks for looking,

    L
     
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  18. randy0319

    randy0319 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I have very little knowledge of SW tanks but I can honestly say that your tank is truely inspiring and down right gorgious! If I ever make that kind of money to support that kind of tank then I will be doing some hard study of your tank. The growth is lucious and your animals seem happy, healthy, and moving about. Best wishes and can't wait to see more pics of this fabulous tank/SW paradise that you have created---R
     
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  19. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    Thank you very much. It took a lot of work.

    Guess what arrived at the LFS?

    3 chalk bass, I need one more though

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    I'm excited, they're eating like pigs

    Updated tank shots

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    And videos...

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    And you may be wondering what those antennae are? I have a mated pair of Coral banded shrimp (Stenopus hispidus). There is the smaller golden banded coral shrimp which is Caribbean but the standard coral banded is also found in the Caribbean, and that is where this pair was sourced. :) They are elegant and splendid to look at. They are fed mysis along with my jawfish.

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    Thanks for looking. I'm considering upgrading to a Metal Halide or LED light. I don't like the look of the CF. The lighting is sufficient, but I just don't like the look.

    L
     
  20. GR1KTR

    GR1KTR Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Location:
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    Yeah looking really awesome now. I was hesitant at the start about this one but it looks really natural and clean now. Nice work!
     

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