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Old 10-05-2004, 10:53 PM   #1
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SW plant id question

Is there a site I can go to that will help me to identify some plant I have in my tank. I know there are not supposed but a few plants that are actually "sw" plants. This one was given to me from a fellow sw fiend and he said it don't grow much. . I started out with a plant about the size of a fist and now I have 7 or 8 the size of a fist (gets too big so I break it up). Kinda looks like a catus.
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Old 10-06-2004, 12:29 AM   #2
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Re: SW plant id question

Quote:
Originally Posted by justmy2cents
Kinda looks like a catus.
Sounds like Halimeda sp.

Try some of the pics on WWM

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Old 10-06-2004, 06:49 AM   #3
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Thanks for the link, couldn't find any sw plants on it though. I'll take a picture and get it posted.
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Old 10-06-2004, 10:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justmy2cents
couldn't find any sw plants on it though.
There really aren't many true plants in SW. Some that you might find are terrestrial plants that have adapted to utilize SW. Most all in fact are macro algaes even though they have a "plant like" apprearance and structure.

I'd be interested in the pic though.

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Old 10-06-2004, 01:07 PM   #5
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http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-04/nftt/index.htm
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Old 10-06-2004, 03:25 PM   #6
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That's it. Thank you. Stuff grows like a weed. 8O
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Old 10-06-2004, 03:32 PM   #7
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Make sure that you keep the colony size down. (I'm copying and pasting this from a post I made on another board).

Very few critters will eat it due to something called Activated Defense Systems. Not only that, they are holocarpic (described below) and go sexual in a synchronous manner. Don't let the populations get out of control. I have an aquaintance whose coral prop tank got nuked. He had a lot of it and it all went sexual at once.

quote:
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Halimeda go a step further to ward off aragonite-munching herbivores, such as parrotfish, by synthesizing noxious and potentially toxic secondary metabolites. The aptly named halimedatrial and halimedatetraacetate are diterpenoid compounds that appear to give Halimeda an extremely noxious taste and could prove toxic in large quantities (Paul and vanAlstyne 1988). Some of the few predators that threaten Halimeda are the chloroplast-thieving sacoglossan slugs. Lettuce slugs steal chloroplasts from algae, killing or damaging the algae and rendering themselves photosynthetic. Halimeda are vulnerable to this robbery, but have developed, perhaps inadvertently, a defense against even this type of grazing. The chloroplasts of the green tissue, which are normally clustered near the surface of the thallus, migrate more deeply into the tissue at night, leaving little for a marauding slug to pilfer (Drew 1990).

Halimeda's sexual reproduction is similar, but with the added benefit of a known warning indicator. Hours before releasing gametes, the algae will turn pale white with dots of very dark green or almost black along the edges of the thalli. The dots are called gametangia and contain all of the contents of the living plant, concentrated in tiny capsules. This creation of the gametangia is called sporulation. Shortly thereafter, the gametes are released in a fashion similar to Caulerpa's. Plants that reproduce in this fashion, with the entire plant becoming reproductive, are said to be holocarpic. These sexual events have been blamed for sudden deaths of tank inhabitants, and the secondary metabolites of the algae are often fingered as the cause.
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http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-04/nftt/

quote:
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Recent observations have shown that sexual reproduction in Halimeda plants is to some extent synchronised (Clifton 1997, Hay 1997). Many individuals in a population may become fertile within a period of only a few days, and sometimes on the same day. Synchrony can be so exact that fertility events have been observed to occur simultaneously in the field and in a laboratory aquarium (Drew and Abel, 1988).
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http://www.aims.gov.au/pages/reflib...ges/bb-08d.html

The important thing to think about with algae is that it is sessile. It doesn't have the ability to run and hide when predators come around. As a result, they have come up with strategies to prevent predation. Most turf algaes just fragment to make sure that their offspring survive. However, most other macro's have another plan...Activated Defense Systems.
quote:
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Activated defenses against herbivores and predators are defenses whereby a precursor compound is stored in an inactive or mildly active form. Upon damage to the prey, the precursor is enzymatically converted to a more potent toxin or feeding deterrent.
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This is the reason that most fish won't touch caulerpas, chaetos, halimedas, ulvas, etc. It's also the reason that it is very dangerous to move non-native macroalgaes like shown in the link Witfull posted. There is typically only a couple of predators that are immune to the toxins in an area. If the macroalgae gets transported to a different area where none of the herbivores have immunity, it overgrows everything.

Caulerpas don't go sexual in a synchronous manner but they have some issues too. The "safe" precursor compound in caulerpa (caulerpenyne) is a toxin to SPS and it is constantly released as the algae respires. It doesn't even have to enzymatically turn into Oxytoxin (or be released sexually) to be dangerous to SPS. Halimedas are a pain....they don't go sexual as often as caulerpas but when they do, ALL of the algaes go sexual instead of just one plant.

Strangely enough, it's not usually the toxins that cause the problems. Because the Halimeda is holocarpic, ALL of the cellular contents are then available for bacterial respiration, which will quickly assimilate these nutrients and consume available O2 until either the O2 is depleted or the nutrients drop to normal levels. It is most often the O2 drop that kills vertebrates and the like in the water column, not the toxins. These toxins may precipitate bleaching events in the corals, in particular stony corals.
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