Saltwater Walstad?

"For those who wished to find the answers to their questions by doing some experiments." - Paul K

Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:37 am

I dropped some yeast in the bottom tank and the rightmost species of star polyps curled its little fronds around the pellet of yeast and brought it into its mouth and ate it. :( I'm going to have to rehome that one. Carnivorous creatures do not belong in this breeding setup. The other two polyps are fine; they don't seem to be able to move their arms and must be purely photosynthetic.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKfbj_J4nxk

Update: The carnivorous polyps have found a new home in the tank of someone I know.
Also, I saw some weird hand type things waving from within something that looked like a rock attached to the gracilaria. I didn't know what they were but it looked kind of like they were eating my copepods. It was only as I was reaching in and removing them that I saw two growing together and realized they must be barnacles. That is too cool. Too bad they really don't fit with my setup; no harpacticoid copepod eater other than the synchiropus splendidus will be tolerated. There are copepods crawling all over the place. I'm feeding them yeast and they're breeding like crazy. Watching them is kind of dizzying, like watching a snow globe.

"The other two polyps are fine; they don't seem to be able to move their arms and must be purely photosynthetic." <- I watched them carefully and it's possible I might be imagining it but I think they wave more. It's like although they can't close their hands they know there's food. How sad :(
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:11 pm

The white dots are harpacticoid copepods on the glass. I am (hopefully) picking up the adult breeding stock mandarin dragonettes on Wednesday. Wish me luck!
white dots are harpacticoid copepods.jpg
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:38 pm

I went and got a male mandarin dragonette! The shipment with the females is coming in tomorrow.

He's so skinny :(
But he's sure to plump up fast; those white dots you see around his eye are tisbe harpacticoid copepods. He's been on a feeding frenzy ever since he got in the tank. :)
skinny male with insert of copepods on the glass.jpg
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:08 pm

"The shipment with the females is coming in tomorrow."
Wishful thinking. What part of this project hasn't gotten delayed? The new expected arrival date is Monday, a shipment from Bali.
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:07 pm

Erica Wieser wrote:"The shipment with the females is coming in tomorrow."
Wishful thinking. What part of this project hasn't gotten delayed? The new expected arrival date is Monday, a shipment from Bali.

The purchase of the female was rescheduled to today. But the boxes of fish all got squished and only one (a male) arrived alive this afternoon. :( Next shipment soon.

The male is much fatter :)
There are these flat things on the glass with the copepods that look a little bit like the shape of a mermaid's purse. They are mostly stationary except when a copepod moves past. Then they make a sudden, lunging motion as if to grab and eat the copepod. Grr. The local fish shop sold me some flatworm exit because he thinks that'll help. I'm going to try it and let you all know how it goes.
Edit: This is it, this is it! That's exactly what's on the glass lunging at copepods. Picture: http://www.saltwateraquariumlighting.com/flatworm.jpg
These people seem to think that flatworm exit is fairly safe for copepods: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showt ... ?t=1790397
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:42 pm

Update:
The flatworms do not like Flatworm Exit. Not one bit. :)
The copepods don't seem to mind. :)
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:45 am

Update:
The male is so much fatter now :) His belly is no longer concave. There's still a nice healthy population of copepods, now in both tanks. (I seeded the fry tank with them too after doing some research and remembering about how tisbe harpacticoid copepods are small enough to be eaten by the fry.)
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:19 pm

So, I just wanted to comment here in case anyone else was curious.

I own four 32 watt T8 four foot long shop lights and two 54 watt T5 high output four foot long aquarium lights. The 32 watt T8's were $10 for the fixture at Walmart or $20 for the fixture at Home Depot and $10 for two full spectrum 6500K, 2750 lumen 'Daylight Deluxe' bulbs. The 54 watt T5HO's were $100 on ebay and each individual bulb is about $16 to replace. There are two bulbs each in the $10 32 watt shop light fixtures and four bulbs each in the $100 54 watt T5HO light fixtures. I have two of the $20 Lithonia Home Depot kind, two of the $10 Walmart kind, and two of the $100 Odyssea T5HO kind.
Links to all of the above things:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Lights-of-Ame ... e/19759624
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R ... reId=10051
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R ... ifications
http://www.ebay.com/itm/48-T5-Aquarium- ... 43ad786fed

Okay, so, what's my point? Of my four T8 lights and two T5HO lights, zero of the cheapo lights are broken and both of the two expensive lights are. One of the Odyssea has dim LEDs (like, ridiculously dim so you can barely tell they're on) and one of them won't turn on two of the light bulb locations. It's not the bulbs but the locations themselves.

So I just thought I'd share my experience and help anybody in the future who cares maybe make different choices than I did. ;) Good luck, future tank builders.

Edit 8pm August 18th:
Ha ha, no, I'm just stupid. I was inspecting the little box coming out of the two lights that weren't turned on in order to get the model number to order a new one, when I noticed that the little box itself had an on/off switch. That was turned off. XD I turned it back on and the lights came right on. Lol, I apologize for defaming the good reputation of the Odyssea T5HO lights; they do indeed work great when turned on. :) (except for the LED moonlight in the fry tank, which is still very dim. After this I kind of wonder if I don't have it set to dim or something silly like that though :) )
Last edited by Erica Wieser on Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:28 pm

I like how plant-like this macroalgae, caulerpa prolifera, is. It has grown in towards the front from the back along runners.
caulerpa prolifera resize crop.jpg
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:13 pm

aquariums as of august 18th 2012.jpg
aquariums as of august 18th 2012.jpg (35.97 KiB) Viewed 8714 times

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/ ... /017-6.jpg
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:11 pm

Ahhh! The heater on the top tank got unplugged and the copepod population is greatly decreased and the male mandarin dragonette is hiding :(

Update: I plugged the heater back in and the water slowly warmed up again. I'm not sure how long it was unplugged but it doesn't seem to have been too catastrophic. The fish is still alive and there are still lots of copepods. I just got worried for a bit there because the water was so cold.

Update a day or so later: The copepods are breeding again. They've got this little bubble on their butts that I think might be eggs or something to do with reproducing.

I'm glad I set up two tandem tanks. That way if the copepods ever do truly fail in the adult tank I can restock from the thousands of them in the fry tank. Here's a photo of the fry tank's glass. The white spots are copepods.
the copepods are the white dots on the glass.jpg
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Last edited by Erica Wieser on Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:12 pm

She's eating every copepod in sight :) Good girl.
my new female mandarin dragonette.jpg
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new female mandarin dragonette.jpg
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:49 pm

Now I think I have spent my final expense, so I will post the expenses list.
list of expenses.jpg
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pie chart of costs.png
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categorized cost breakdown.png
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:42 pm

Update:
The copepods in the top tank are gone. Yeah, that was fast. I think the flatworms helped contribute to their demise (if not by directly eating the copepods then by indirect killing by poisoning either from the Flatworm Exit or the poison that dead flatworms release). I feed the tank with grindal worms twice a day. Hopefully the mandarin dragonettes are eating them. They ate them when I put the worms in the fish's containers before adding them initially in the tank. But now the tank water's opaque-ly green with phytoplankton greenwater that I encouraged in the hopes of feeding the copepods, so I can't see the fish and whether or not they're eating the grindal worms. It's all sort of a mess. I'm going to buy some Tetra Pond Algae Clear this weekend to clear the water so I can see the fish and see if they've lost the weight they gained. I hope not. I guess worst case scenario I can put them in the fry tank, which does still have copepods. It somehow didn't receive the flatworm contamination.
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:27 pm

Erica Wieser wrote:Update:
I'm going to buy some Tetra Pond Algae Clear this weekend to clear the water so I can see the fish and see if they've lost the weight they gained. I hope not. I guess worst case scenario I can put them in the fry tank, which does still have copepods. It somehow didn't receive the flatworm contamination.


I realized, thankfully before buying it, that Tetra Pond Algae Clear has been safe for my tanks in the past because the green floating stuff is algae and the green vertical stuff is vascular plant. Now, in this tank, both are algae. I fear that the Algae-Clear would 'clear up' my macroalgae, too.

So this leaves me with a dilemma. I can't use the anti-algae chemicals because they'll kill my wonderful (and expensive) macroalgae. I can't remove the macroalgae because it's rooted (I just tried, I ripped some from the filter intake. It came off in pieces )-: ). I tried going in there with a net and somehow finding the one inch fish in the four feet opaque tank. Unsurprisingly that failed. Yeah, at this point I'm sort of stuff. I can't do a blackout to get rid of the greenwater because my macroalgae might also die. I don't know what to do. The way I see it, only $52 of the $1067 I've spent have been mandarin-dragonette specific. The other $1015 were basic setup costs for a saltwater breeding setup. I guess if worse comes to worse I'll just get seahorses or clownfish or something that eats pellets (screw these copepods) and breed those. *sighs* I'm pretty sure they're in there though, just outsmarting me with my net and their opaque environment. I wish I knew a way to wipe out the greenwater. If only I could find the mandarins I could stick them in the bottom tank, which is clear and swarming with copepods.
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