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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. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    Hehehe, one is always hesitant when you start Marine. It's definitely an unusual type of planted tank. But thank you for your kind words.

    The Halimeda is really taking off, but the shoal grass, while doing ok, is going at a much slower pace.

    Adding the corals adds a different dynamic too, though I doubt this tank will progress beyond Ricordea and some zoanthids.

    One of my ricordeas split

    [​IMG]

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    And it landed on the sand bed.

    [​IMG]

    Eventually, I put it near a rock and it should attach.

    Also, my chalk bass have arrived at the lfs

    [​IMG]

    I'll try to whip out my good camera and take some better fts. The corner bow makes it tough.

    L
     

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  2. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    1/6/12 Photo update! I need to prune!!

    Time for some pictures. It's been almost a while. Sorry, this is with my camera phone. I'll get better ones later with my HD camera.

    There has certainly been some growth...

    Before

    [​IMG]

    After

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    I'm getting to the point where I really need to think about pruning the Halomeda. But I'm kinda scared. :look: I need to ask a few people how to do this.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Some Halomeda discoidea
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    The shoal grass is doing ok. I lost some of it to over enthusiastic hermit crabs and burrowing fish and other animals. What's securely anchored though is showing new growth and I trust eventually it'll spread. It's also getting taller.

    [​IMG]

    The Florida ricordea are doing extremely well. I've had two spits already and the pieces are finding rocks to attach too. I'd like to expand the corals to include St. thomas mushrooms and some grandis polyps as those are Caribbean, If I can find bulls eye zoas for the top half, that would be sweet. Those are a Florida Keys zoanthid.

    [​IMG]

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    Finally, it looks like I got me another macro algae. I know I didn't order this. Hehehe It looks like either Chondria or Ochtodes, but I'd love some confirmation.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking, I'm still waiting on my chalk bass. I'm down to one at the local fish store, so basically I've asked her for 5, which I'll then quarantine at home. I also want to add more shoal grass, now that I'm much better at planting it, but I'm running into the problem that everything is now out of season, so I won't be getting any for a while. In the meantime, I'll fix what I've planted so far and hope that the stuff spreads a bit.

    L
     
  3. Ed Villagracia

    Ed Villagracia Active Aquascaper

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    nice salt water scape. yesterday i went to a place where you can shop almost
    everything...dogs, fish, aquatic plants etc.....again i keep staring every store
    who sells salt water tanks on display...really look awesome. i like but i am afraid i can not handle the maintenance:))
     
  4. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    Added the Chalk bass

    Thanks. I have a small update. I finally got my chalk bass

    [​IMG]

    Also added a royal gramma, but it was killed by the chalk bass. They are compatible, but in a larger tank and with less numbers of chalk bass. Lesson learned, literature says that they are compatible, but it's more complex than that and the literature doesn't delve into it much. He was a stunning fish though. It's frustrating because it wasn't a parameter issue, but a compatibility issue, which is much trickier.

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    Put a black background in the tank. Plants are doing rather well.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking,

    L
     
  5. randy0319

    randy0319 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Your tank has developed very nicely and the black background adds tremendous depth. Great Job!! You are giving plant brain a run for his money, and some salty competition. Well done!!
     
  6. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    Oh wow, comparing me to plantbrain is a real honor. Thank you. I'm certainly not worthy and nowhere near his level. He actually knows what he's doing, I'm sort of just bumming around.

    I like the black background. Usually Marine tanks opt for blue, but I like the look of the black. It's not a permanent background and I can flip it to try blue for a bit. Then I'll make my ultimate decision.

    Fish are doing well. Chalk bass make the tank very interesting. I'll be putting in an order with Sea Life Inc. for more Caribbean corals and inverts. The top of the tank is ready for palythzoas and other corals. May be adding my first gorgonians too. Once shoal grass is back in season, I'll be ordering an extra pot to fill things in.

    L
     
  7. randy0319

    randy0319 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I can't wait to see what you have in store for your bit o' paradise. keep us posted and great job! I know that plant brain is a master of all things aquatic but I feel that your tank is every bit as charming and fasinating as his offering. Yours is still in development. In a way that is half the fun to see what you come up with. Once again great job and good luck with the new corals and critters.---R
     
  8. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    Geez, again, I am all warm and fuzzy with your kind words. Haha, I finally put this old corner bowfront to good use. I've had it as a planted tank, but while it looked good to me, it wasn't always well-received in planted circles. I think the corner tank suits a Marine system better. I'll be ordering some extra corals from a website that does just Caribbean species and I'll be finally giving this tank a nice photo shoot. If the snails cooperate. They get in front of everything. :lol:

    I have to go check out his tank. I haven't seen him update in a long while. He's got much better grass growth, but he injected CO2, I didn't. Mine was a Marine system from the get go, he started off as a planted tank essentially. I couldn't risk the pH dip that the CO2 injection causes to the inverts already present.

    Again, thank you. Didn't think people were following this.

    L
     
  9. randy0319

    randy0319 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Your admirers are silent but numerous. The number of hits proves it. best of luck and post soon when your photo shoot is done.
     
  10. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    Thank you, will do. I may be able to do the photoshoot tonight. I'm supposed to do a water change today.

    Will be adding a rock anemone too. They are native to the Caribbean.

    L
     
  11. randy0319

    randy0319 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Do you know of any books that could help out a newbie to salted tanks and what/how to set one up? I am the newbie to salt but want to know more.
     
  12. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    Good morning, Randy. Two books pop into my head immediately that really helped me with my journey to the salted side.

    Michael Paletta's The New Marine Aquarium

    Jeffrey Kurtz's A Simple Guide to the Mini-Reef Aquarium.

    Both are a little outdated now, but they really help you wrap your head around the basics of a marine tank.

    I added the rock anemone.

    [​IMG]

    Didn't get to the photo shoot though. I was setting up a new Oceanic biocube as another SW tank. I've got 4 now, plus a planted tank that needs an overhaul. I also have to wait for the anemone to settle onto a spot. It's doing a wee bit of traveling now.

    This is my 4g - non photo synthetic corals

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    This is my 8g - it's my zoanthid garden

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    My new biocube, just set this one up yesterday.

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    Thanks for indulging me. :D
     
    nick.scott likes this.
  13. randy0319

    randy0319 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    WOW!! They all look really great! I am impressed! The anemoni looks lucious and I knew that they were a type of critter but I didn't know that they could travel around. Very cool. Thanks for the info on the books. I'll see what Amazon has to offer, and I'll checkj the library. Once again great job on your gorgious tanks. Take more pics when you can and I will be checking this post for more salt water eye candy. Best Wishes---R
     
  14. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    Thank you Randy. I'd like to be able to enter some biotope competitions with this system.

    I'll keep you posted on my other tanks too. Are you planning on setting up a Marine system?

    L
     
  15. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    HD photos and time to upgrade. :)

    I finally got around to giving the tank a nice clean and giving it a proper photoshoot. Well, not really a proper one compared to what all of you do, but proper in the sense that I whipped out my HD camera and actually tried to be artistic.

    But first a few things.

    1. Added Caulerpa prolifera. Can go "sexual" but a lovely plant and the "sexual" issue can be curtailed with regular pruning.

    2. I'll be upgrading the lighting in this tank soon. I've been spoiled by Metal Halide and LEDs in my other system! I found a cheap MH 150W fixture from another hobbyist. Picking that up tomorrow. Yay!

    Now for the pictures. Of course with the Halide up, I'll have to take pictures again, but is that really such a bad thing?

    fts

    [​IMG]

    jawfish peeking

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    Macros and ricordea

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    Ricordeas

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    Chalk bass

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    Caulerpa

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    Another fts

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    Thanks for looking,

    L
     
  16. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    that shot of the 8 gallon is stunning. the colors are so vivid.

    You know...you are not helping me avoid a salt water tank at all.

    thanks for sharing all your hard work with us!
     
  17. randy0319

    randy0319 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I am also having trouble resisting the temptation of salt and corals with beautiful set up like these.
     
  18. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    Awwww, you two! Shucks! It's very nice of you. I love my SW tanks, and I love that with this tank specifically, I can still enjoy my plants. :D A pico SW tank is NOT beyond the skills of someone who's kept high-tech planted tanks. The water changes are the same, about 50%, and the chemistry involved is essentially the same as the dosing that any one of us would do for a Planted tank. I loved that I went into this side of the hobby with all those years of planted under my belt. Helped a lot. I've not applied planted principles to the SW technique, and some SW techniques to my current planted tank.

    If you two do go in that direction, I'll answer any questions you may have.

    Nothing much going on here, just really need to prune... AGAIN. It never ends... LOLOL It's a wild macro fest in there and even the sea grasses are starting to perk up.

    The first MH was a bust, the ballast didn't work, but the seller is super nice and is refunding my money. Afterwards, I see another hobbyist about yet another MH, so I haven't given up my MH dreams for this tank.

    Jawfish hides more, since he lost his mate, I really make sure I drop food into his cave, as the chalk bass are extremely fast and extremely greedy. Any fish I pick next has to be on the aggressive end, that's for sure. It's a pack of four chalk bass who all happen to get along, when they're together, I don't think much can stand in their way.

    The only addition has been a small Caribbean brittle star that John Maloney at Reefcleaners found on a diving trip and thought I'd like. :D I'll try to get a picture, but it's very reclusive.

    L
     
  19. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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  20. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    I got a few things...

    3 more rock anemones
    3 more small ricordea florida
    1 frag of Caribbean paly

    Forgot to take a picture of the paly, silly me, but I have pictures of the other items.

    Also, got stupid first rock nem out of the corner. He's now all comfy and happy in a crevice where I can see him! :hyper:

    Peeechur time...

    Rics

    [​IMG]

    Neony green nem and red tentacled nem

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    Stunning neon orange nem

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    Thanks for looking, I'll be HD'ing this tank this weekend. It's due for one, especially since I got the MH.

    L
     

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