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Old 02-27-2018, 10:12 PM   #1
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Planted marine aquarium ?

Hello there,

I have a 29 gallon tank and planning on Caribbean theme. Thinking of having macro algae alongside an anemone and possibly some easier/ hardier corals. So some questions:
1. Green and red macros? Trying to avoid any species that may go sexual.
2. Fertilizers to supplement Calcium, nitrate, phosphate? If so, ballpark ranges?
3. 3 inch sandbed for planting?
4. How much live rock for a tank this size? I plan on using the sandbed for red macros, let a green macro grow out in the back/ near the top.
5. I have a finnex planted LED. If eventually adding an anemone or other sessile inverts, what additional light would be helpful?

Any other bits of advice would be welcome. Thanks in advance, Angel
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:42 PM   #2
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Can't help with any of the other but you can't use a finnex planted on a saltwater tank, while you could totally put it on top of the tank and turn it on, it won't grow anything or provide anywhere the needed lights for any corals, you'll need to look into a different light to do the best thing for your tank
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Old 02-28-2018, 01:03 AM   #3
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An anemone is the hardest thing you have listed. They need a mature tank and strong lighting, definitely not something to be added immediately. Most macros are gonna grow on the rocks with the exception of maidens hair and chaeto. Definitely no adding phosphate or nitrate to a marine tank. Thatíll make the tank an algae nightmare. Theyíll get most of that from fish poo and such. Youíll want alk around 7-9, calcium 400-425 and magnesium 1300-1450. A lab of rock per gallon is usually recommended for sw tanks as that is your main filtration
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Old 02-28-2018, 05:23 AM   #4
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Many who grow plants in marine go with the calcareous algae to avoid the plant going sexual.
Halimeda is often chosen.
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Old 02-28-2018, 06:40 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone for the bits of advice
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Old 03-03-2018, 03:41 PM   #6
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The only thing about macro algae is that they can overtake a tank and pretty quickly. You'll need constant pruning.
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Old 03-03-2018, 03:44 PM   #7
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The only thing about macro algae is that they can overtake a tank and pretty quickly. You'll need constant pruning.


Thank you for the info.
Even the more calcerous varieties?
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Old 03-03-2018, 03:48 PM   #8
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Depends on nitrates and DOC's in the water column.
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:17 PM   #9
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Depends on nitrates and DOC's in the water column.


Thatís good to know.
If thatís the case, regular pwc and/ or protein skimming works better in the long run rather than shortening the photo period vs lighting intensity? (Itíll be in a 29 gallon tank, starting as a planted FOWLR. The sessile inverts will happen later.)
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:17 PM   #10
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The only thing about macro algae is that they can overtake a tank and pretty quickly. You'll need constant pruning.
You are talking more about Caulerpa types overtaking a tank. This is not true for other macro plants such as Shaving brush, Halimeda or Fan plants. These are individual plants that do not spread like caulerpas.
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:22 PM   #11
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Hello there,

I have a 29 gallon tank and planning on Caribbean theme. Thinking of having macro algae alongside an anemone and possibly some easier/ hardier corals. So some questions:
1. Green and red macros? Trying to avoid any species that may go sexual.
2. Fertilizers to supplement Calcium, nitrate, phosphate? If so, ballpark ranges?
3. 3 inch sandbed for planting?
4. How much live rock for a tank this size? I plan on using the sandbed for red macros, let a green macro grow out in the back/ near the top.
5. I have a finnex planted LED. If eventually adding an anemone or other sessile inverts, what additional light would be helpful?

Any other bits of advice would be welcome. Thanks in advance, Angel
The hardier corals in the Caribbean are illegal to collect so your next best is the gorgonians. Problem with your combo is that the hardier gorgonians come from deeper water so your plants will not do well or the gorgos won't do well because of the light needed for the plants. The shallow water seafans are not the hardiest but the best choice if you are doing plants.
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:38 PM   #12
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The hardier corals in the Caribbean are illegal to collect so your next best is the gorgonians. Problem with your combo is that the hardier gorgonians come from deeper water so your plants will not do well or the gorgos won't do well because of the light needed for the plants. The shallow water seafans are not the hardiest but the best choice if you are doing plants.


The gorgonians are pretty cool, thanks. How about the red macros?
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Old 03-07-2018, 03:31 PM   #13
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The gorgonians are pretty cool, thanks. How about the red macros?
Which ones? There are many. A lot of them are food sources for certain fish species.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:25 PM   #14
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Which ones? There are many. A lot of them are food sources for certain fish species.


I was thinking of edible (gracilaria seems to be a good choice) and inedible varieties (Bryothamnion looked like a good option). Even possibly a specimen of sargassum.
The idea is that my display tank have a variety of sea life, in one place.
My ideal plan after the tank cycles (sand and live rock), is get macros, pods and CUC in place. From there, get some herbivores like a sea urchin to hang out. Then a few fish, like a neon goby, a royal gramma, and a pearly jaw fish. If these folks are pleased with each other and their surroundings, adding one of gorgonians (thanks for that), or Ricordea or even a seafan (again thanks)- though the idea of a Condy/ Haitian anemone surrounded by an underwater forest looks really cool (too much sting for everyone in there?).
Thatís kind of where my head is right now. From some of threads I read on this forum, that seems to be the order in which folks here have built their Tanks. Again, Iím still researching all of this.
Thanks again for everyoneís input. It definitely helps. Angel.
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:42 PM   #15
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here is a little good reading on macros , one of the biggest issues is livestock some fish will wipe out your macros in no time flat .
https://www.marineplantbook.com/marinebookpage3.htm

it took me forever to find the right mix of macro's and fish that didn't eat the macros
I so miss the tank but it also was a full time job keeping it trimmed back

this was my first macro tank it took me almost 6 months to get it to where I liked it
I do regret the day I broke it down haven't been able to recreate it yet
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:52 PM   #16
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Thanks 54seaweed! Good to know that it will be a commitment.
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:04 PM   #17
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Most urchins are also algae eaters and if you mix the wrong ones, your plants will do the suffering. Short spine rock urchins will eat your rock.
Sargassum is a floater and needs high light. That means the harder to keep sea fans would do better than the deeper water gorgos. If you want deep water gorgos, you need to concentrate on deeper water varieties of Algaes.
As I explained to you on the other forum, marine biotopes are very different from FW biotopes. There are at least 3 different ocean zones that fish and inverts live in. Most living things in one zone do not do well in another zone. Pick your zone ( Shallow, Medium or deepwater) then find out what lives in that zone. That's what mixes together the best. If it doesn't live there in the ocean, it will not usually do well in a tank not set up to specifically for that zone. Light spectrum changes about 20 feet down. Many plants and inverts use the particular light spectrum in that zone. They won't just absorb the one spectrum out of the white light and ignore the rest. ( In some cases, they get burned by certain spectrums) This is why coral reef tanks are so much harder ( and expensive) than just a fish only tank. Fish adapt ( and in some cases, will travel from the deep zones to the shallow zones in a days time) much easier to changes than inverts do. There needs to be more specificity for invert tanks.
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:00 AM   #18
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It might help if you go to NOAA.gov and research what is found in FL waters at what zones ( depths) so that you mix the right varieties.
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:22 AM   #19
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It might help if you go to NOAA.gov and research what is found in FL waters at what zones ( depths) so that you mix the right varieties.


Thanks for that!
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