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Tale of Two Tanks


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Yes, the tanks are stacked on top of each other with cinder blocks. I set these 55G tanks up in October as lagoon biothemes. They each get sunlight all day from a window facing east.

The bottom tank is eight months into maturity. It is set up with 1" of CaribSea Florida Crushed Coral. This substrate is coarse at 2mm-5mm. I initially cycled this tank with Red Ogo and beacoupe amphipods. One week into cycle, I added 30 mollies and feed heavily. With one week of grace from predators, the pods were well established in the spaces between substrate before introduction of fish. Imagine my amazement, to see large amphipods grazing in the open next to the mollies. These fresh water fish did not recognize the pods as food, yet they eat there offspring as food. This tank has been successful behind my wildest expectations. Sea Apples and Flame Scallops are my favorite inhabitants.

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The top tank is a different story. It was not cycled the same. It was overcome with a cynobacteria mat that caused me to get heavy handed with biological controls and introduced 1000 snails at the beginning of April. We one. During the course of the snail wars, I removed all live rock. With the tank set up with substrate and macro, I have decided to make this tank a mono species cultivation tank for Green Sinulara. I received a start of this from LFS owner diver friends from New Orleans more than 20 years ago. The culture that I have was collected in Palau and is at least tenth generation aquacultured.

In using available light fixtures that were on hand, I have decided to compare two light sources: 120W of multi spectrum LED reef lighting compared against 200W of compact florescent horticulture lights at 6500 kelvin. Each fixture coves 2' of tank. I plan on using an eggcrate platform at about mid level to intensify light but also to allow for a vertical loop current. Initial PAR readings at bottom of tank show LED PAR values at 350 with horticulture fixture with 200 PAR on the bottom.

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in the pictures there appears to be dividing line done the middle of the tank, algae on one side and none on the other. is that just the picture or is that how it is? the blue side is the LEDs?

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the top tank is freakin sweet, i wish i could get any type of macro to grow but every time i throw any type in any of my tanks it just withers away i dont understand

If your water is too clean, it will not support macro. I have not had good results with LED and macro. The macro growing in this tank was already growing from indirect sunlight. I just today put LED fixture and compact florescent fixture in this tank. I plan on growing macro on bottom with a mid level platform to grow Green Sinularia. Water circulates from left to right on top and right to left on the bottom.

We shall see if LED grow macro.

Patrick

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in the pictures there appears to be dividing line done the middle of the tank, algae on one side and none on the other. is that just the picture or is that how it is? the blue side is the LEDs?

Yes, the blue is LED. I will put more macro on both sides before the eggcrate frag rack goes up.

Patrick

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We shall see if LED grow macro.

Patrick

i hope so. my LEDs have white, blue, and royal blue. I'm not a lightologist, but I'm thinking that macro algae would prefer it to be dialed in with more white and less blue. mine is adjustable with the levels of colors, so i may dial in some more white and see if that helps. maybe have a time period that is very white heavy for the algae and others that have more blue for the corals.

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We shall see if LED grow macro.

Patrick

i hope so. my LEDs have white, blue, and royal blue. I'm not a lightologist, but I'm thinking that macro algae would prefer it to be dialed in with more white and less blue. mine is adjustable with the levels of colors, so i may dial in some more white and see if that helps. maybe have a time period that is very white heavy for the algae and others that have more blue for the corals.

Actually, white is not a color, but an accumulation of colors. Reds and then yellows are prevented from penetrating greater depths. I suggest that the first two spectrum that are filtered out are more important to macro algae.

Patrick

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We shall see if LED grow macro.

Patrick

i hope so. my LEDs have white, blue, and royal blue. I'm not a lightologist, but I'm thinking that macro algae would prefer it to be dialed in with more white and less blue. mine is adjustable with the levels of colors, so i may dial in some more white and see if that helps. maybe have a time period that is very white heavy for the algae and others that have more blue for the corals.

Actually, white is not a color, but an accumulation of colors. Reds and then yellows are prevented from penetrating greater depths. I suggest that the first two spectrum that are filtered out are more important to macro algae.

Patrick

Well, technically white is indeed a color, the color is formed from the blending of all colors. Where as black would not, because it is the absence of all colors.

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i told you i am not a lightologist; white/black color/not color, the box says to adjust "white LED" so that's what i went with. anyway, i will look up my light and see what mix of the three variations of leds will provide different spectra. there is likely a chart somewhere that will tell me white, blue, and royal percentages to get different kelvins. i can have a photo period setup that will provide 6500K in there somewhere.

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I find 6500 kelvin to be a crisp white. It is particularly pleasing with a red display. Patrick

a quick search at the AI website said that for my lights 100% white is 6000-7000K. sadly, there doesn't seem to be any handy documentation Kelvin vs. light percentages. Most of it seems to be forums with "this setup looks like 14000K to me". i am not sure how calibrated that system is, but i'm guessing it can be pretty good if the reefer has sufficient experience. So, if i have a period of solid white i think algae may do well. shrug. i still have a lot of light research to do.

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I anticipate the blue LED will have little effect on the macro. Neither do I expect blue LED to appreciable grow coral. However, even if the blue LED does not grow coral, it will cause floresance with the green pigment to glow within the coral.

Patrick

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Left side of tank is illuminated with (52) 3W LED of many different colors including red, green and uv (rated at 120W). The PAR value is 350 at bottom, this is 22" from light source with 6" air gap and 16" to substrate.

Right side of tank is illuminated with 200W CFL lamp at 6500 kelvin. PAR value at bottom is 225.

I have added two Green Sinularia colonies to each side of tank. The larger colony was slimming as leathers do sometimes. After being moved, it looks pretty bad. I installed Aquaclear 70 with large bag of activated carbon to provide chemical filtration. However, the HOB provides a more important function. It circulates any surface scum back down into water, by providing a powerful vertical shear at the surface. With a vertical loop current within the tank, the downstream from the HOB effectively turns the current down to be returned to the opposite bottom side to be lifted up by the air bubble curtain.

Pictures taken at 4PM with much outside sunlight entering back of tank. The sunlight PAR value entering back of tank is 110.

Patrick

PS. Note that the 110 PAR reading of natural sunlight is to be added to the values shown for left and right side of tank. The 350 and 220 PAR readings were made at night.

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Bottom lagoon tank lighting makeover includes 120W CFL fixture at 6500 kelvin on the right side. The left side has a horticulture 100W LED fixture that grew abundant blackberries and tomatoes on my south porch during the winter. The fixture is heavy on the reds and yellows and imparts an erie red glow. I am not sure what the fish think about it all, but I call it the red planet. In any case I am convinced that this horticulture LED for terrestrial plants will grow macro by the bushel.

In the top tank, in the last 24 hour, both Green Sinularia colonies slimmed away. I can only attribute it to the warmer temperature of the top tank with extra lighting at 7W per gallon. The temperature was 84 degrees. I have added evaporative fans and have cooled down to 78 degrees.

Three different macro were scattered over both sides of tank. All of feather Caulerpa slimmed away on blue LED side of tank. Caulerpa Prolifera and Gracilaria Hayi continue to look healthy under both LED and CFL.

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Partick,

I love the red planet. it just looks neat. the feather caulpera I got from you seems to be doing well, but i will keep an eye on it. it is somewhat shaded right now where i placed it. but it will get more light once i get a hanging kit.

one of the red macros sort of grayed out a little bit, but that could have been settling from the mud i stirred up and went all of the tank. it is looking better today and starting to get some of the red back. it has found a spot away from the flow and settled at the bottom. i may pick it up and let the current blow it clean a little to see if that helps. i think it came from the grow tank as opposed to the display tank.

the other red seems to be doing quite well.

when i get them weighed down i want to spread them out in different light levels to see where they seem to look the best.

i'm not sure if you want me to add updates to this thread or not. but i thought you would want to know. let me know how/where you would prefer to be updated.

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When I am asked, why run high nutrient systems, my answer is because I like natural filtration systems. When complex nutrient pathways, produce diverse food webs, then when I stir the gravel with a cloud of detritus and bacteria, Sea Apply eats.

Patrick

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