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Everything posted by SantaMonica

  1. Just make sure any waste can flow out of the pipe
  2. Very nice, just discovered these vids.
  3. Basics are great to learn. And if anyone wants the next steps, here are some vids: Marine Biology Basics... the videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfMaBeLwiO4 - Ocean Productivity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d96F0ak4uY - Photosynthesis part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTBlq3gUv5Y - Food Chains vs. Food Webs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwZDIU6sM_4& - Nutrients and Primary Production http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnlCx7mVcZ4 - Chlorophyll http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtZ75KW2t-U - Zooplankton and Primary Production http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quH4x640Jgs - Bacteria http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdIjMQATQks - Food Webs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bc_fGWjmNeI - Microbial Food Web http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQaE0e0iD3s - Trophic Pyramids
  4. If putting pipe, don't angle the ends up like I did, because it will collect waste. The ends should be straight or down... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qVOnLdz2n8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJDT6xSxX_c https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZ8wqhE4vL0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAYoyHwoh20 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OkkULM8fUo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-czlAYmvzM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLi5-GBRMNk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1s9DagZzW8
  5. What do all algae (and cyano too) need to survive? Nutrients. What are nutrients? Ammonia/ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate and urea are the major ones. Which ones cause most of the algae in your tank? These same ones. Why can't you just remove these nutrients and eliminate all the algae in your tank? Because these nutrients are the result of the animals you keep. So how do your animals "make" these nutrients? Well a large part the nutrients comes from pee (urea). Pee is very high in urea and ammonia, and these are a favorite food of algae and some bacteria. This is why your glass will always need cleaning; because the pee hits the glass before anything else, and algae on the glass consume the ammonia and urea immediately (using photosynthesis) and grow more. In the ocean and lakes, phytoplankton consume the ammonia and urea in open water, and seaweed consume it in shallow areas, but in a tank you don't have enough space or water volume for this, and, your other filters or animals often remove or kill the phytoplankton or seaweed anyway. So, the nutrients stay in your tank. Then, the ammonia/ammonium hits your rocks, and the periphyton on the rocks consumes more ammonia and urea. Periphyton is both algae and animals, and is the reason your rocks change color after a few weeks from when they were new. Then the ammonia goes inside the rock, or hits your sand, and bacteria there convert it into nitrite and nitrate. However, the nutrients are still in your tank. Also let's not forget phosphate, which comes from solid organic food particles. When these particles are eaten by microbes and clean up crews, the organic phosphorus in them is converted into phosphate. However, the nutrients are still in your tank. So whenever you have algae or cyano "problems", you simply have not exported enough nutrients out of your tank compared to how much you have been feeding (note: live rock can absorb phosphate for up to a year, making it seem like there was never a problem. Then after a year, there is a problem). So just increase your nutrient exports. You could also reduce feeding, and this has the same effect, but it's certainly not fun when you want to feed your animals
  6. Iwarna was carrying several models; not sure if they still have them
  7. 7-point screen is good; the holes are about 3mm diameter. But must be roughed up well.
  8. First be careful of the poison... use a facemask and gloves. Then just glue part of the rock and let those zoa's be buried.
  9. They do eat lots and lots of food particles in the water. Maybe some additional feeding will change the color.
  10. Yes this is one of the best thought that I've seen in a while, Triton or not.
  11. Those are such generic names, that you might have a better result by getting the scientific names and comparing those.
  12. This is just food particle feeding. Small particles like the reef has. The more, the better. However there is a reason to think that using reef particles like pods, blended shrimp, etc, might be more accepted by the corals. Main point is to keep the particles in the water 24/7. And especially at night.
  13. Oils, from feeding. Same as the ocean. Means the corals are getting lots of food.
  14. Any reason for the hurry? Maybe they are client service tanks.
  15. Advanced Aquarist Feature Article for December 2013: Coral Feeding: An Overview http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2013/12/aafeature The picture in the article shows that in the 1000 litre test tank: 98% of the food particles go to the skimmer when there are 2 coral colonies 71% of the food particles go to the skimmer when there are 40 coral colonies 92% of the food particles go to the skimmer when there are 2 coral colonies, when skimming is cut in half 55% of the food particles go to the skimmer when there are 40 coral colonies, when skimming is cut in half "This trade-off between food availability and water quality can be circumvented by using plankton-saving filtration systems, which include [...] algal turf scrubbers" "Corals are able to feed on a wide range of particulate organic matter, which includes live organisms and their residues and excrements (detritus)." "...bacteria [...] can be a major source of nitrogen." [corals need nitrogen] "...when dry fish-feed or phytoplankton cultures are added to an aquarium, a part of this quickly ends up in the collection cup of the skimmer. "...mechanical filters (which can include biofilters and sand filters) result in a significant waste of food." "Detritus is a collective term for organic particles that arise from feces [waste], leftover food and decaying organisms. Detrital matter is common on coral reefs and in the aquarium, and slowly settles on the bottom as sediment. This sediment contains bacteria, protozoa, microscopic invertebrates, microalgae and organic material. These sedimentary sources can all serve as coral nutrients when suspended, especially for species growing in turbid waters. Experiments have revealed that many scleractinian corals can ingest and assimilate detritus which is trapped in coral mucus. Although stony corals may ingest detritus *when* it is available, several gorgonians have been found to *primarily* feed on suspended detritus." "Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is an important food source for many corals. [...] scleractinian corals take up dissolved glucose from the water. [algae produces glucose] More ecologically relevant, corals can also absorb amino acids and urea from the seawater" [algae produces aminos]
  16. In statistics, "n" needs to be a sizable number, so that the other variations cancel out. This is why surveys are done on thousands of people, not five. The simple experiments I mention are just hobbyists, with n=1 for each person. But there have been many over the last ten years. I did not keep a list of them, sorry.
  17. My understanding of "studies" is a scientific undertaking, which reduces noise and variables, so that the data of interest become valid. For just "simple" experiments, these are already plentiful across the web and forums.
  18. Studies are not too useful with n too low. At least n=100. Otherwise it's just anecdotal. And I already have thousands of anecdotal reports over the last 10 years.
  19. Would love to set up lab test type setups, if someone in West Los Angeles would like to donate some warehouse space and the tanks etc.
  20. An ATS can handle all bioloads, if sized properly.
  21. Chaeto Reactors compared to Algae Scrubbers, part 2 Now for some basic differences; more detailed differences will be in subsequent posts. The first and maybe most important difference is that chaeto reactors grow only in saltwater (fish only, or fish with live rock, or reef) whereas algae scrubbers grow (filter) in both saltwater and freshwater. Growing = filtering. But even if you are exclusively freshwater, understanding the differences between reactors and scrubbers enables you to optimize a system for your tank. There have not been any experiments of chaeto in brackish water however. A second difference is size; a chaeto reactor needs to be much larger than an algae scrubber. Many saltwater tanks have large sumps, and even dedicated fish rooms, so this may not be an issue. Through experiential results of individual aquarists running chaeto reactors over the last few years, and through many thousands of aquarists running algae scrubbers over the last ten years, it has been observed that a chaeto reactor needs to be 4 to 8 times the physical size of an algae scrubber to provide the same rate of filtering capacity (rate of nutrient removal). A third difference is seeding; a chaeto reactor needs to be seeded with a small amount of chaeto, either from another aquarium, reactor, or from your last harvest (i.e., you don’t harvest all of it), whereas an algae scrubber will self-seed from invisible algal cells in the water. When self-seeding, algae scrubbers usually start out with a slime type of growth, and this sometimes progresses on to a green hair algae growth, depending on the nutrients in the water. A fourth difference is in how you clean (harvest). For a chaeto reactor, you disassemble the reactor usually by unscrewing several screws on the top of the container, and then by pulling out a tube or frame from the container; the chaeto growth is then removed from the frame and the frame is replaced back into the container, and the lid and screws are put back into place. Since chaeto does not attach to a surface, you often get broken chaeto pieces that flow into your tank or sump when you harvest; a filter screen in the reactor can reduce this. For an algae scrubber, cleaning (harvesting) varies on what design it is; freshwater versions will usually be taken to a sink for the cleaning because of the thin and slimy growth (saltwater versions can also be cleaned in a sink, but are sometimes harvested in-place). A horizontal river design will have a light that you lift up off of the container, and a screen that you remove from the container. A waterfall design will have a screen that you remove from a pipe; sometimes the whole pipe is removed, and sometimes the pipe is in a container that you need to open first. A bubble upflow design has at least part of the container under water, which you lift out of the water. And for all algae scrubbers, since the growth is attached to a surface, broken floating algae pieces are not common when you harvest on a proper schedule. Bubble upflow scrubbers almost never detach because the growth is supported by the water. A fifth difference is fish feeding; by feeding your fish from the growth, the fish eat naturally and you don’t have to buy and add food to the water (which creates nutrients). Very few if any aquarium animals eat chaeto, so the only option is to remove the chaeto and either throw it away or give it to a friend. For algae scrubbers, it depends on the growth: Slime (although full of absorbed nutrients from the water) is usually not eaten by aquarium fish and thus is scraped off and thrown away or used as garden fertilizer. Green hair algae however is eaten by almost all herbivore fish and many snails (it’s their nature food), and thus some of the growth can be fed back to the fish, especially in freshwater where algae scrubbers almost always grow this type of growth. A sixth difference is overgrowth of algae on the lights. Chaeto reactors usually have a large surface area light (such as a long coiled light strip), and the illumination from these is not enough to “burn” off algae growth on the surface of the clear wall (this growth reduces illumination output). So you will need to clean these glass surfaces in order to keep the illumination at full output. Most algae scrubbers however use discrete (separate) high power LEDs which produce enough illumination in a small space to burn off algal growth on glass surfaces; for these you do not need to wipe the growth off because it does not grow there. A last difference is overgrowth of algae on the algae itself. Chaeto is a slow growing species of algae because of it’s thick cellular structure, and if conditions favor faster growing algae you will get green hair algae which attaches on top of the chaeto, causing the chaeto to be blocked from light and flow, and eventually causing the chaeto to die and rot. There is no easy way to wipe green hair algae from chaeto; the chaeto must just be harvested earlier instead. For algae scrubbers, green hair algal growth on top of more green hair growth is how scrubbers operate in the first place, so earlier harvesting is not needed.
  22. The answer is speed. Plants are slow, and that's why you see algae grown right on top of them. Will cover this later. The sexual part is correct, but chaeto is actually a slow grower which I will cover.
  23. Chaeto Reactors compared to Algae Scrubbers, part 1 All macroalgae operate basically the same, chemically. They all use light, photosynthetically, to absorb nutrients from the water (i.e., filtering) and to grow biomass. Just like trees. The differences between types of macroalgae are in the physical structure of the macroalgae growth and the way the structure affects nutrient absorption speed, which means filtering. Here are the main differences as far as aquarists are concerned: Chaeto: Pronounced KAY-toe. Chaeto is the nickname for Chaetomorpha, and it looks like a green dishwasher cleaning pad. It has no "roots" and thus does not attach to solid surfaces. It grows in saltwater only, and is not eaten by many fish. Green Hair Algae: Includes Cladophora "angel hair" and Ulva "Easter basket" types. It has "roots" which attach to solid surfaces. It grows in freshwater and saltwater, and is eaten by almost all herbivores. Slime: A solid algal growth, bright green to brown to black in color, that attaches to solid surfaces but not very securely. Chaeto Reactor: A device that has water running through it, with chaeto growing in it. Also known as an "algae reactor". A chaeto reactor does not allow air to enter; only water, and these reactors usually have a lid attached with screws to keep water in and air out. Algae Scrubber: Also called a Turf Scrubber, or Algal Turf Scrubber (ATS). A device that allows air and water to interact to create a turbulent air/water interface like waves on a beach; it grows green hair algae or slime that attaches to solid surfaces. Reactors and scrubbers are different from refugiums; a refugium (“fuge”) is a space in a sump where macroalgae is placed, and a light is put over it. Refugiums have very slow flow, and very low light penetration, compared to reactors or scrubbers. You could modify a refugium to be a reactor, and with more mods you could make it a scrubber. But then it would no longer be a refugium. All oceans, reefs, lakes and rivers are naturally filtered by photosynthesis. This means that algae does all the filtering of these waters. This is why algae is at the base of the entire aquatic food chain, and why algae biomass dwarfs the biomass of all aquatic animals combined. But for algae to absorb nutrients out of the water, the algae must grow. And to absorb nutrients faster, the algae must grow faster. Next we will look at what makes different types of macroalgae absorb nutrients differently.
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