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40g Long Naturally lit macro-algae tank

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First started a dedicated macroalgae tank about 3 years ago to help grow enough pods for the mandarin fishes. And recently started anew with a semi-outdoor macroalgae in new house, no idea how it will work out in the long run but it has been working well so far :)

Here are the technical specs:

-40g long main tank
-10kg Arag-alive live sand
-Maxspect Gyre XF130 wave maker

-Deltec SC1455 skimmer

-Setup and designed by Henry from MarineLife

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The algae has been growing well with natural light and the tank gets direct late-afternoon sun. The temperature can get as high as 31 degreeC

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The evaporation lost can get really high hence an 'rain-proof' automatic water top-up system was built

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Also DIY-ed an light 'hood' for night viewing using outdoor switch and spotlight, the tank gets about 3-hours of artificial light everyday.

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Photo of the tank taken in mid-May

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Currently i've the following in the tank

Macro-algae:

-OCHTODES SP
-CAULERPA SERRULATA
-CHAETOMORPHA SP (Hitchhiked from somewhere, grown into few big balls now!)
-VALONIA SP

-PADINA SP
-GALAXAURA SP
-GELIDIUM SP

Fishes

-3 Mandarin fishes
-1 regal tang
-1 tailspot blenny
-1 clownfish

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Very interesting marine planted setup! :wub:

I had a semi outdoor tank as well in my yard but under more shelter than yours.

Looking forward to your updated pic.

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Love the concept bro! As well as the overall tank build and placement. Would love to experiment with a tank like this in the future. Following this thread! Do keep the pictures coming!

Interested to know how u maintain growth for the macroalgaes. Or is sunlight sufficient?

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Forgotten to add that am also using Bacteria King as biomedia and Balau wood for the rack. So far the rain has not affected that corner of the balcony much, trying to build up 'natural shelter' with money plants now :eyebrow:

I've no idea where to get mangrove and seagrass, would love to get them!

Am currently still experimenting with just macroalgae of different kind. Their growth has exploded actually, shall try to take better photo when i got the time :)


This Arduino aquarium monitoring thingy is enclosed in tupper-ware, it monitors the water-level and performs water-top. A check-valve is placed in the outlet air-tube to avoid back-flow of water from sump. The bluetooth module allows me to monitor the status and read the log over smartphone. Currently it is still on trial and will be adding more sensors (temperature, light intensity..etc) in future. Here are the part lists.

Float switch US1.66
http://www.ebay.com/itm/PP-Black-Side-Mount-Water-Level-Sensor-Liquid-Float-Switch-Tank-Horizontal-Hot-/371286309834?ssPageName=ADME:L:OU:SG:3160

Water pump US3.29
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-Mini-Micro-Water-Priming-Pump-DC-9V-RS-360SH-Spray-Motor-Pisciculture-Aquarium-/371152930836?ssPageName=ADME:L:OU:SG:3160

Bluetooth module us3.9
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wireless-Serial-4-Pin-Bluetooth-RF-Transceiver-Module-HC-06-RS232-backplane-/200924726178?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ec80c03a2

Currently using development Redboard from sparkfun, will be using the following cheaper (~USD3) and smaller Arduino when everything is confirmed
http://www.ebay.com/itm/MINI-USB-Nano-V3-0-ATmega328P-CH340G-5V-16M-Micro-controller-board-for-Arduino-/281626083826?ssPageName=ADME:L:OU:SG:3160

It is fully battery powered (4 x AA battery) and I've to recharge the battery every 4 days, the water-pump can use up to 1-Amps! I'm still experimenting with the code to try to extend the battery life, currently it works by interrupt hence the Arduino goes into power-saving sleep mode most of the time until the float switch is triggered.

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Oh ya i'm afraid of crazy storm which might throw the PH really off, but so far so good, worse to worse will add an outdoor blind to the balcony...see how..haha

Very interesting marine planted setup! :wub:

I had a semi outdoor tank as well in my yard but under more shelter than yours.

Looking forward to your updated pic.

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For mangrove you can try handpick at pasir risk park seaside or at the jetty toward end of line chu kang road. It is usually wash ashore when the tide come in.

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Thanks for the tips! do we have to go really early? (5-6 Am-ish) while the tide is still low before they get pulled back into the sea?

For mangrove you can try handpick at pasir risk park seaside or at the jetty toward end of line chu kang road. It is usually wash ashore when the tide come in.

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Thanks for the tips! do we have to go really early? (5-6 Am-ish) while the tide is still low before they get pulled back into the sea?

I usually go there when it is high tide.

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Recently installed 2 x 10W solar powered LED to light the rotating chaeto in the sump on reverse light cycle. The sump is currently "critters factory" with lots of amphipod, isopod, copepod and worm visible. The hairalgae are also growing in abunden there since it gets more direct sunlight than the main tank, but i guess its ok as long as it feeds the pod and doesnt get into the main tank

Gotten the lights from http://www.ebay.com/itm/10W-Solar-Power-LED-Flood-Night-Light-Garden-Spotlight-Waterproof-Outdoor-Lamp-/261666799105?ssPageName=ADME:X:AAQ:US:1123

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Added a trellis to hang plants and to provide natural shade for the sump

Now the solar spotlights are tied onto eggcrate instead suspended on strings.

So far the light would turn-on automatically from about 730pm onwards, but they usually run out of power before 6AM maybe due to the recent cloudy skies, no significant growth of cheato from it yet :|

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oops so sorry bro for late reply!

they have been fully lit using sunlight until recently after i added the solar powered spotlight in the sump. The spotlight on the main tank gets turned on only at night when i return from work so they dont provide much growth. They've been thriving so far with just natural light and strong current, i also make sure the surface of every macroalgae gets enough flow to stay 'clean' :)

Love the concept bro! As well as the overall tank build and placement. Would love to experiment with a tank like this in the future. Following this thread! Do keep the pictures coming!

Interested to know how u maintain growth for the macroalgaes. Or is sunlight sufficient?

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Hey, may I know what is the spectral output by the LED floodlights like? I tried 6500k LEDs to grow chaeto but I think the spectrum may be too narrow to have significant usable light by the chaeto. I think using LED lamps with 660nm and 450nm outputs may be better. At least from experience.

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Do you mean the solar powered one? The eBay merchant i bought from only indicated that is white light of 2700K-3000K

I'm using a white light and warm light for the cheato but no significant growth yet, will let it run for another month before i change them out to alternate light :)

Hey, may I know what is the spectral output by the LED floodlights like? I tried 6500k LEDs to grow chaeto but I think the spectrum may be too narrow to have significant usable light by the chaeto. I think using LED lamps with 660nm and 450nm outputs may be better. At least from experience.

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The tank as of 19 July 2015

New hitch-hiker Caulerpa (Taxifolia?) started manifesting itself in the center of the tank and Caulerpa Racemosa is fast taking over, this is also the most propagated algae in the tank. The reds are the slowest growing algae so far

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Thank you :)

Planning to fill up the sandbed with seagrass looking macro-algae next, or with real seagrass if managed to get them

Nice planted tank.

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The initial motivation of starting a macroalgae tank is to grow enough pods for Mandarin fishes which also serve as a good 'catch' for frozen food. Usually the feeding is done targeted onto a bunch of algae next to the Mandarin fishes & seahorses.

Here is a video of both the Mandarin and seahorses feeding on enriched brineshrimp, sometimes when i'm lucky, both of them will be nipping from the same spot!

 

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