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ZOANTHID COMBO ROCK PROPAGATION
CAULERPA CULTURE & CULTURED REEF ROCKS IN PLACE OF WILD LIVE ROCKS
ISSUE # 7 page 3 July 1997
GROW OUT SYSTEMS USING HORSE WATER TANKS
This is a project that you can set up in your garage or spare room. We now have four 300 gallon round tanks. One tank has 40 watt lights and the other three have 400 watt halides. We are growing aquaculture live rock in all of the tanks. Now that rock has grown a good coat of coralline algae we will be gluing reef animals to the layer of rock that is on top. I have been cutting frags of sps corals and gluing them to the coralline rocks. I glue four or five different frags to each rock and then I move them under the lights. This type of rock would be hard to ship , but they are very easy to deliver to local shops.
Zoanthids are one of the best inverts. to grow in these tanks for a profit. You can glue several small groups of five or six polyps to each rock. I use the plugs from the rack tanks to get my cuttings. This is a good :
My new sps coral system will consist of eight four foot square by 30" tall plastic fork lift boxes. These boxes are molded out of food grade plastic and they have double walls with a 3" air space between them. We purchased these tanks for only $50.00 each because they are seconds. These tanks are used to move produce into storage. I saw some like them last month on the coast that were used for moving fish at the dock.
A good tank to do a Summer experiment with costs only $14.00 and it is six feet wide. These tanks are made by using a childs hard plastic wading pool. It is fun and it can produce several hundred pounds of coraline covered AragocreteTM live rock before it gets too cold outside. I place these tanks in a location that gets morning sun and afternoon shade.
LIKE I HAVE SAID BEFORE - THE WAY TO START , IS TO JUST START!
ENJOY- LEARN - AND SHARE :)
CAULERPA CULTURE & CULTURED REEF ROCKS IN PLACE OF WILD LIVE ROCKS.
This is in the area of passing something along, in May I was helping Joe Woods move a bunch of big tanks, and in removing a powerhead from one tank I cleaned several pieces of grape and feather caulerpa from the intake, the feather was just about four inches long, and two pieces of grape, each about three inches long, not seing anyplace to put them I dropped them into a bucket by the tank of several live rocks I was moving to my new cycled colony tank in my ofice.
I took them home with the almost bare rocks and put them in the one week old tank, about 60% of it gets morning sunlight, partially filtered through a big cedar outside the window, but some direct sun for at least two hours a day in May and June.
I anchored each piece with a piece of GARF GRUNGE rubble. Within two days each piece had almost an inch of new growth! In three weeks each piece had replicated itself several times by runners and in five weeks there was over twenty inches of runners with 'feathers' and /or 'grapes' all over the sunny part of the tank. meanwhile, on the other end, one live rock with about a 3" length of grape caulerpa had only grown about two inches, with 3 each 40W florescents overhead. the difference between the growth is astounding!
I cant reccommend enough that if you want good growth on caulerpa - get it into the sunshine! It also needs to be kept in mind that spring is when caulerpa grows best, but, I believe that it will also do better in its 'log' time with sunlight then only overhead artificial light.
I think that this has an application for those who want to use 'reef scrubbers ' if they can get the scrubber into a good morning light window and then use strong overhead light all night. I think that this is worth a try.
One other point, cultured reef rocks versus conventional "live rocks" for cycling new tanks. I am beginning to think that there is a strong advantage to using cultured rocks over the purchased 'live rocks' now available.
With the cultured rocks you have a known quantity, it will have strong active denitrifying bacteria, and NOT creatures that you dont want, bristle worms, bivalves and other dead or dying organisms to send your nitrites/nitrates off of the scale. Cultured rocks will usually have several species of life that you want in addition to the coraline algae, and, these are already acclimated to tank life.
Comparing 'mushroom rocks' in a large pet shop in Rochester,NY to 'live rocks' I found the mushroom rocks to be slightly less expensive than live rocks- about $23-29 per rock to about $5 per pound for the 'live rocks', which were larger but, had less desirable life forms. This needs to be balanced out, also, these mushroom rocks were 'wild imports', not cultured.
The cultured rocks that we are beginning to produce have coraline algae, caulerpa and 2-3 reef species grown on them, and, in the process of growing the coralline rock have acquired a healthy microfauna on them. and NO bristle worms etc to provide unpleasant surprises. These are each healthy colonies of desirable reef life forms.
I am going to be soon cycling two more tanks, and intend to use all cultured reef rocks to start them. A plenum, with 3-4" of arogonite, about 5# each of GARF GRUNGE for the 'goodies' in it (including all the coralline algae on it) and then about eight or ten cultured reef rocks on a base of cast rocks with coralline on them. Two powerheads and 3 each 40W flo overhead and a heater in each, I will also have them connected by syphons, and they will become the colony tanks for a production module of 3 more growout tanks plus a vat for coralline growout. All of them syphoned together for common water flow through them.
I think also, that I will finally buy a test kit to track the nitrite/nitrates on this module to see how it tracks ( gasp, horrors, he doesnt own a test kit!!!!!). Nope, no kit yet, but, if I can find an accurate one, then, it would be interesting to track this with all cultured reef rocks.
Truth be known, the only test items that I own are thermometers and an aquarium systems hydrometer. I do have several 'skilters' that I check regularly to dump any accumulation, and adjust my feeding accordingly. Skilters on colony tanks only. plenums in everything.
LeRoy has the 'Bullet Proof Reef', maybe I will call this the "Kiss System"? as in' keep It Simple Stupid'. I dont know, I thought Lee Eng was nuts back in the 70s, now I wonder how he got so smart! Ten years from now we will be further along then we are now, I wish you all well in getting there!