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 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:03 pm

Got two new males. I will make this work.

Update: The males transitioned to their new tanks well. One is in the top tank (backup male), which has recovered its population of copepods and is no longer cloudy. The other is in the bottom tank with the female. I'm adding microworms to both tanks every day as the mandarin dragonettes do seem to eat them. They don't really enjoy grindal worms. I think it's because the grindal worms die within seconds of touching the salt water while the microworms stay alive and wriggling for a day after being added to the tank.
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:59 pm

Update: The male in the bottom tank died (again mysteriously, looked completely healthy. Maybe it was an acclimation problem?) so I put the female in the top tank with the surviving male. That tank has a better moon light. They like one another.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpWdqJlq ... el&list=UL

Moon light:
moonlight.jpg
moonlight.jpg (31.85 KiB) Viewed 11629 times
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:51 pm

Oh, by the way, I'm not sure if I ever officially said this or not, but the tanks are fully functional Walstad style aquariums. Their nitrite is at 0 ppm and nitrate is <20 ppm (the lowest my test kit reads). They have never, ever had a water change. I feed the tanks with about a spoon of microworms daily and one to two cups of dissolved yeast (about 3 spoons' worth) every 1 to 3 days. The macroalgae ('plants') are growing well.

Zoom in:
mandarins.jpg
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Full image:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/ ... mbnail.jpg

Now the pair of mandarins (male #4) is in the top tank, eating the many many copepods and also snacking on microworms. The timer is set so they've got nine daylight hours and at 9 pm a moonlight comes on to represent night. Hopefully they spawn soon :)
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:09 pm

Update :)
There are no babies yet. But there are also no deaths. So, overall, yay. They're looking very fat and happy, so babies could happen at any time. Also, the plants are so happy that they're bubbling.
Thumnails (smaller images. Larger images available by clicking on the hyperlink)
mandarin_resiZe.jpg
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tank from the side_resize.jpg
tank from the side_resize.jpg (17.55 KiB) Viewed 11569 times


Larger versions:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/ ... /025-4.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/ ... heside.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/ ... heside.jpg

Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k9chQeT ... k9chQeTZgk
Erica Wieser
 
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:01 pm

Update:
copepods in marine aquarium resize.png
copepods in marine aquarium resize.png (177.64 KiB) Viewed 11380 times

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9bOYmBI-mo&list=UL
Erica Wieser
 
Posts: 170
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:43 am

I just figured I'd post an update:
One month since the last post, everything's going well. The male and female are both fatter than they were (and hopefully closer to spawning). The copepods are numerous. There was a bit of a problem with the heaters not heating the tank up to 80 F, but with two 300 watt heaters in each 75 gallon tank and better water circulation, that's less of an issue now. Now I'm just waiting and hoping they'll spawn.

Oh, also, I have started blendering up wakame seaweed and adding it to the tank. It's full of omega-3 fatty acids. In the wild the copepods would be eating that, not yeast, so I figured it might help. Also, wakame is dirt cheap and is very cost competitive with yeast.
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:49 am

I just got back from vacation and the fish did fine without me. It's no surprise; I don't do very much for it. No water changes, weekly feedings, lights are all on a timer. Yeah, they didn't even notice I was gone.

Video of the female hanging out near the front:
http://youtu.be/CzX1Py3VODs
screenshot of mandarin dragonette female in caulerpa prolifera resize.png
screenshot of mandarin dragonette female in caulerpa prolifera resize.png (123.15 KiB) Viewed 11180 times


It's not exactly the prettiest tank, though. I'm going to have to figure out how to trim this macroalgae or do something with it to make it prettier.
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:20 pm

I ordered some more sargassum and a red sampler pack from liveplants.com. They shipped really good stuff last time; I think the sargassum died because of those months of greenwater (d'oh). So I'm going to try it again now that the tank's life support is more stable and see if I can't make this aquascape a tad more contest-worthy. Will I win? Ha ha ha no. But I want to submit something that makes people go, "You can plant a saltwater tank? Wow. I want to do that." Tanks like these ones:
http://cdn.saltwaterfish.com/c/c6/c6d2b ... etank2.jpg
http://www.thesaltybox.com/forum/attach ... re0001.jpg
http://cdn.saltwaterfish.com/3/36/36c9e ... oAlgae.jpg
They're so pretty!
Erica Wieser
 
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Jerrytheplater » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:38 pm

Those tanks you just gave links for reminded me of what Tom Barr is posting in his "something or other" tank. A real kaleidoscope of color. viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1474

By the way, you are really on your way. Good for you.
Jerry Smith, Bloomingdale, NJ USA
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:48 am

Jerrytheplater wrote:Those tanks you just gave links for reminded me of what Tom Barr is posting in his "something or other" tank. A real kaleidoscope of color. viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1474
Such a beautiful tank! Such skill! I hope one day I can trim and arrange plants like that :) Right now I'm settling for not killing them XD but I'll see if I can't get this tank arranged a little better.
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:46 am

Status update:
The first batch of macroalgae arrived stinky and melted. But Gulf Coast Ecosystems is a really awesome, quality vendor, and they sent me a second, living batch for free.

The mandarinfish look very healthy, although no spawning yet. The copepods are many in number. The caulerpa prolifera is healthy. It's starting to grow up the tufa rock wall.

Here is a current photo of the tank, taken a few minutes ago:
marine aquariums on 1.26.13 resize.jpg
marine aquariums on 1.26.13 resize.jpg (43.25 KiB) Viewed 11124 times

Both tanks: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/ ... 71191b.jpg
Top tank zoom in: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/ ... 260d50.jpg

I found an excellent deal on ebay, 25 Hippocampus zosterae for < $100. These fish are normally $40 each before shipping on liveaquaria, so I had never expected to be able to afford adding a breeding group to this macroalgae aquarium. Once I saw that excellent deal on ebay, I bought it immediately. H. zosterae are part of the caulerpa prolifera ecosystem that is native off the North Carolina Atlantic coast where I live, so I am going to try to document their breeding progress on the North American Native Fishes Association forum, http://forum.nanfa.org/index.php/topic/ ... -zosterae/
I think that they will get along well with the mandarinfish. To copy and paste what I wrote on the NANFA forum:

I think S. splendidus and H. zosterae would be fairly compatible with one another, and I know the mandarinfish will accept microworms should the copepod population ever be depleted (past experience). There seems to be fairly little to no risk to buying some seahorses and adding them to the mix.

Potential pitfalls and possible solutions:
1. What if the mandarinfish spawn? Will the seahorses pose a threat to the baby mandarinfish? If the mandarinfish ever do get fat enough to spawn, I'll scoop their eggs off the surface and put them in the bottom tank. The eggs float for the first few hours after being laid and are easy to remove. Fry will be safe in the separate 75 gallon tank, which is set up and ready for them. There will be no chance for the seahorses to eat the baby mandarinfish.
2. What if the mandarinfish eat the baby seahorses? I really doubt this will happen. Mandarinfish mouths are very strangely shaped. Even though the fish can reach four inches long, they will not accept food larger than what you'd feed to your smallest fry. My mandarinfish eat microworms with gusto but find grindal worms to be too large. I don't think the baby seahorses are in danger of being eaten by the mandarinfish.
3. What if that's too many fish in the tank and the copepods disappear? This is the worst case scenario: complete copepod extinction. But at the same time it's not the end of the world. If the seahorses eat all the copepods in the top tank, I'll add microworms to keep the mandarinfish well fed. Mandarinfish readily eat microworms and I think they might even prefer them. They perk up and start hunting whenever I add microworms to the water. If the seahorses refuse to eat microworms, I can sell or give them to a new home that does have copepods so that they don't starve to death. Everybody loves seahorses and it will not be hard to find them a new home. Also, I will financially not be taking a big loss for this investment. It was <$100 for the 25 seahorses, a ridiculously good deal that is the main motivation making me finally decide to take the plunge and buy them. They are $40 each without the cost of shipping on liveaquaria.com , so although I had wanted to add them from the time the tank was initially set up, buying the 5-6 animals minimum for a breeding group would have been too expensive. Anyway, to get back to my point, there are copepods in the bottom tank so I can sell off the seahorses, reseed the top tank with copepods from the bottom, and call it a no-financial-loss experiment.
Erica Wieser
 
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:09 pm

Mmm, also, while I'm posting updates. This is the bottom tank:
http://youtu.be/6dSdIV4cwyw
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Jerrytheplater » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:33 pm

I wish you well with the seahorses.
Jerry Smith, Bloomingdale, NJ USA
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:49 pm

They arrived!

Video:
http://youtu.be/EjWllPvzMjQ

Picture:
screenshot 1.30.13 resize for AGA forum.png
screenshot 1.30.13 resize for AGA forum.png (245.82 KiB) Viewed 11120 times

http://gallery.nanfa.org/v/members/Eric ... e.png.html

I'm also discussing them on the NANFA forum, http://forum.nanfa.org/index.php/topic/ ... ge__st__20
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Re: Saltwater Walstad?

Postby Erica Wieser » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:35 pm

Video: http://youtu.be/2zbgklKLxcg and http://youtu.be/KhPk50SrbfM
thumbnail.png
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