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Old 09-23-2004, 01:43 PM   #1
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Desirable LR communities

What would you think are the most desirable organisms to have on a LR? Aside from the obvious nitrifying bacterial community, what else would you consider to be the most desirable macroinvert community to have? Do most of you just kinda toss the dice and take what you can get or do you try to pick and choose your rock based on the outwardly observable communities? I have an idea that a friend and I came up with last night and I want a little input on it from others that have experience with reef tanks as well as native/local species tanks. My friend and I have access to some pretty unique facilities and equipment and we want to try something out.
TIA for any input you can provide!!!
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Old 09-23-2004, 02:24 PM   #2
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Its pretty much luck of the draw. You can obviously pick the rock based on what's outside of it, but you never know whats inside.
Pods, worms and Brittle Stars are some of the more desirable critters.
Kinda like Christmas.
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Old 09-23-2004, 02:34 PM   #3
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I found that out this last time I bought a LR. I ended up with bristle worms in the rock pores. My friend and I have this idea of trying to culture some tailor-made LR using a method other than just sticking a piece of rock in the bay/ocean/jetty and letting it sit there for a month and soak up critters. We could do this on the cheap too! Moving water and lighting would be the largest portions of the cost involved in this sort of aquaculture operation. Besides, it would be kinda fun.
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Old 09-23-2004, 07:48 PM   #4
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just sticking a piece of rock in the bay/ocean/jetty and letting it sit there for a month
FWIW, it's more like 2-5 years to get good aquacultured lr.
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Old 09-23-2004, 08:41 PM   #5
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u could def. have citters in the rock within 2 months though
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30gal / 2: maxijet 600s / 150w heater / CPR Bak Pak2 (maxijet 1200)/FOWLR

30lbs base rock
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Old 09-23-2004, 11:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT79
Quote:
just sticking a piece of rock in the bay/ocean/jetty and letting it sit there for a month
FWIW, it's more like 2-5 years to get good aquacultured lr.
Maybe. From what I know about estuarine and marine ecology, putting a piece of good rock with lots of surface area in the right place could result in good recruitment of all sorts of stuff within a relatively short period of time. Granted, the same sort of result in oceanic (pelagic) systems would take a longer period of time. I won't debate that with you because you are correct.
My logic is drawn from the fact that it is entirely possible to culture marine organisms at super high densities (intensive or super-intensive culture) to obtain the same result in a relatively short period of time. Shrimp farmers do it on a regular basis in ponds that are only about 2 acres of area but they culture well in excess of 2 million animals over a 9-month period...some to 38 grams or more with decent survivabilities. I have personally witnessed a shrimp farmer harvest 23 thousand pounds of Pacific white shrimp from ONE pond. These ecosystems proceed from a dry earthen pond pottom to a fully established, VERY dense ecosystem in the course of 6 months or less. In an ideal situation, water is sourced from estuarine systems with close proximity to an oceanic exchange outlet.
The one month time frame was stated simply as a figure of speech. I realize that the process would take much longer, but 2-3 years is a time frame that IMO can probably be beaten with the proper WQ and culture techniques. Microbial biofilms will form very quickly. This has been shown time and again in the scientific literature. Several well-respected microbial ecologists have proven that biofilm formation in natural systems can proceed very quickly given the right set of conditions. Just look on www.sciencedirect.com and search for "biofilm formation" and see what you come up with in terms of peer-reviewed journal articles. Read just the abstracts...you might be surprised at what you find. These biofilms are obviously the basis for the entire micro-community.
Pelagic organisms such as barnacle larvae or molluscan trochophores will settle out on just about any suitable substratum. Crabs and polychaete worms will colonize quickly if the substrate is placed in an area that already harbors a high density of the desired animals. I will admit that recruitment of a coraline algae community will take a very long time. I want to try a little experiment that may help to overcome that time barrier. This is why I asked the question that I asked. Your answer is the exact sort of response that I was looking for.
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Old 09-23-2004, 11:59 PM   #7
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[quote="diverdown69"]
Quote:
Originally Posted by MT79
Quote:
just sticking a piece of rock in the bay/ocean/jetty and letting it sit there for a month
FWIW, it's more like 2-5 years to get good aquacultured lr.
Maybe. From what I know about estuarine and marine ecology, putting a piece of good rock with lots of surface area in the right place could result in good recruitment of all sorts of stuff within a relatively short period of time. Granted, the same sort of result in oceanic (pelagic) systems would take a longer period of time. I won't debate that with you because you are correct.
My logic is drawn from the fact that it is entirely possible to culture marine organisms at super high densities (intensive or super-intensive culture) to obtain the same result in a relatively short period of time. Shrimp farmers do it on a regular basis in ponds that are only about 2 acres of area but they culture well in excess of 2 million animals over a 9-month period...some to 38 grams or more with decent survivabilities. I have personally witnessed a shrimp farmer harvest 23 thousand pounds of Pacific white shrimp from ONE pond. These ecosystems proceed from a dry earthen pond pottom to a fully established, VERY dense ecosystem in the course of 6 months or less. Amazingly enough, if the farmers are forced to put their ponds on recirc, salinities can exceed 45 ppt. Algal communities are rampant and pathogens exploit the opportunity to infect animals that are already stressed by hypersaline conditions. In an ideal situation, water is sourced from estuarine systems with close proximity to an oceanic exchange outlet.
The one month time frame was stated simply as a figure of speech. I realize that the process would take much longer, but 2-3 years is a time frame that IMO can probably be beaten with the proper WQ and culture techniques. Microbial biofilms will form very quickly. This has been shown time and again in the scientific literature. Several well-respected microbial ecologists have proven that biofilm formation in natural systems can proceed very quickly given the right set of conditions. Just look on www.sciencedirect.com and search for "biofilm formation" and see what you come up with in terms of peer-reviewed journal articles. Read just the abstracts...you might be surprised at what you find. If you are one of those that requires physical proof, look at your teeth tomorrow morning before you brush them. That will show you how rapidly a biofilm can form. In a natural marine/estuarine system, there are no interfering factors that can inhibit the initial microbial col,onization on a decent substratum. These biofilms are obviously the basis for the entire micro-community.
Pelagic organisms such as barnacle larvae or molluscan trochophores will settle out on just about any suitable substratum. Crabs and polychaete worms will colonize quickly if the substrate is placed in an area that already harbors a high density of the desired animals. I will admit that recruitment of a coraline algae community will take a very long time. I want to try a little experiment that may help to overcome that time barrier. This is why I asked the question that I asked. Your answer is the exact sort of response that I was looking for.
Famous last words..."hold my beer and watch this"...
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Old 09-24-2004, 12:48 AM   #8
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Also if its close to shore, you may get more pollutants that you desire. Most of the desirable live rock is cultured far off shore. Not a factor there.
Also with the shrimp farmer you sited, what kind of run off water went into his system? did he do this on the shore, or in a closed environment?
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Old 09-24-2004, 01:00 AM   #9
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The shrimp culture was initially done in an open pond system known as flow-through culture. The culture ponds are situated on the shore of the Laguna Madre and are elevated about 20 feet above MSL. So, to answer your question, the culture was done on shore using NSW for the water source. You wouldn't believe the nutrient levels or the algal cell counts in one of these ponds. It is simply beyond belief. Certain events transpired that forced him into a continuous recirculation methodology that is less than desirable. The make up water was pumped directly from the Lower Laguna Madre of Texas near Brownsville.
The pollutant factor is already addressed. With the sort of organisms that we are targeting, pollutants are already a part of the overall water column and most organisms are already acclimated to their presence. Once I have a definite methodology established, I will make it known so that others can do the same. I know that water quality is of the utmost importance. If this works out like we have it planned, pollutants will be simply an annoyance and not a serious problem. If it doesn't work out, then we will still have a good research project to use as a publication submittal. I look at it like this: if barnacles and the like can colonize a piece of treated wood piling in a less-than-desirable environment, then there is no reason that the same sort of colonization can't be stimulated in a culture environment. Of course, there are a couple of factors that aren't so obvious like the way we plan to get our starting stocks...
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Old 09-24-2004, 01:29 AM   #10
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I don't doubt that this is already a worthwhile project and on that congrats are in order.
even if organisms are acclimated to the pollutants, that does not automatically eliminate this factor. What pollutants have you encountered? Lead? Phosphates? detrimental bacteria? It is well documented that certain pollutants remain in tissues from animal (even microscopic organisms) taken close to shore, away from the open sea (and currents) for quite some time.
I ask this question with what I assume is the end result in mind. Putting this stuff in our systems.
No offence intended, I just wonder it you really can "totally beat mother nature" with an equivalent or superior product, or is this just another (take it with a grain of salt please) more efficient (ie quicker) method of aquaculture?
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