Greetings from Spain

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by borjam, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. borjam

    borjam Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hi :)

    Just registered several days ago. I'll be mostly in read only mode, as I don't keep any cephalopods and I'm not planning to keep them, either. But they are curious creatures and the forum seems to be a very interesting read :)

    I keep a reef aquarium and a small nano with a goby/alpheus pair, and I like deep sand beds a lot.
     
  2. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    :welcome: to TONMO Thanks for checking out the site!
     
  3. DeepBlueWonders

    DeepBlueWonders Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    :welcome:
    Although you said you don't plan to keep cephs, hopefully reading on this forum might just convince you to change your mind :wink:
     
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  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    :welcome: DeepBlueWonders gave my intended greeting :wink:. Please consider editing your profile to add something (at least country) to your location display. This is helpful for US members but especially helpful for international members to locate and help each other with regional information.
     
  5. borjam

    borjam Cuttlefish Registered

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    Considered... And done ;)

    I said I'm not planning to keep cephs because 2 tanks are enough :)

    Anyway, regarding a couple of posts about the lack of success with hatchlings... Has anyone tried with tanks with a high population of microfauna like, for example, those with deep sand beds? Maybe the diversity present in those tanks would provide that essential first food.
     
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  6. DeepBlueWonders

    DeepBlueWonders Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Cuttles would make wonderful additions to a reef :wink: :wink:
     
  7. borjam

    borjam Cuttlefish Registered

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    Around 300 litres, several fishes, including a tang and a Centropyge? That would be WW3 I'm afraid...

    Anyway, who knows? Maybe one day ;) For now, the forum is an interesting read about some really cool creatures :)

    I'm curious, how much does a hatchling eat? Maybe a well populated DSB like this would sustain one well.

    https://vimeo.com/42478464
     
  8. GPO87

    GPO87 Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    Welcome to Tonmo Borjam.:welcome:
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    For the pelagic animals we don't have enough success to know. The most common partial successes have been in the main tanks (ie they have lived the longest) vs in a separate small tank where people have experimented with flow and kresel style setups. The few actual successes have been with flow through sea water systems and crab zoea. Unfortunately the reported successes have been so few that isolating positive influences has not been finite. I want to experiment with a separate DSB (not in the display and not in the sump) for help with nitrates in older tanks and your thoughts might be enough to re-motivate me into experimentation since the tank I am considering currently has no primary resident.
     
  10. borjam

    borjam Cuttlefish Registered

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    According to Dr. Shimek, and I agree with him, a DSB isn't just a nitrate reduction system, but a whole ecosystem. The critters are an integral part. They process wastes, and also can multiply and become food. I mentioned it because, for instance, my system (the video is a shot of my own tank) has plenty of amphipods (less than 1 cm long), 5 mm mysiids, 4 mm tanaids, ostracods...

    Maybe a well populated (and well fed) DSB would provide a lot of useful food. I will make an edited guess: I would try a large main tank DSB together with a large refugium to replenish DSB animals. The DSB should have sugar-sized sand (mine is 0.1 - 0.5 mm) so that small amimals can establish themselves.

    I think it would be worth a try. DSBs (yes, I love them) can sustain an amazing biodiversity.

    Anyway, remember that a DSB needs a lot of and surface to be effective. Mine is in the main tank, and I left 60 - 70 % of the sand surface exposed.
     
  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    If I experiement, it will be in a separate tank. They get too disrupted (and take up too much room in a shallower tank) in an octo tank. If I were to replumb my 4', 122 cm tank (that is only 16" , 40 cm dia), it would likely benefit hugely (and I would not have to clean the bottom 8" , 20 cm :grin:).

    Not something I have plans for at the moment but you have me thinking. A separate refugium and separate DSB are a combination I would like to try on one particular tank. Sitting here thinking, I realized I CAN try one or the other with little cost ... Now which one to try. The tank has a sump but it was designed with a built-in that is empty. I could easily add 8" (20 cm) of sand but the surface area would be minimal. A small fuge would only required lighting ... hummm, I don't know why I have not thought about using this area before :oops:
     
  12. borjam

    borjam Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hmmm. You really need a lot of surface for it to be effective. A small so-called rDSB in a bucket may help with nitrates, but it won't sustain a lot of life apart from bacteria.

    You just need 10 - 12 cm of sugar-sized sand (more won't really help). The good thing is, in more than a year I haven't had to clean the bottom of the tank. Whatever falls on it is quickly consumed by worms, crustaceans and several Nassarius snails.
     
  13. DeepBlueWonders

    DeepBlueWonders Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    How did you seed the sand bed?
     
  14. borjam

    borjam Cuttlefish Registered

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    All the critters came with the live rock. Got it from three different sources. Of course you have to be very careful with predators. Usual sand dwelling animals such as Archaster are verboten. Crabs must be removed.

    Maybe it was the newbie's luck, but one can expect to find lots of small critters in reasonably good live rock. Provide them with a suitable home, feed them and refrain from adding more animals until they have had the chance to breed and populate the tank (I waited for three months before I added fish.

    Once it's done, propagating isn't that hard. I've shared critters with a friend just by putting several pieces of blue filter sponge on the sand and leaving it there for a week. When it's full of critters, you bag it, of course acclimate it carefully to the destination tank, and there you are :)
     
  15. DeepBlueWonders

    DeepBlueWonders Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Very cool! I think I might look into this. Amphipods are usually a second food (after mysid shrimp) to cuttlefish hatchlings and you seemed to have quite a few in your 'bed, along with many other similarly sized crustaceans. To me, this seems like something that could very well support cuttle hatchlings, with some research. I don't imagine it could be too efficent though. To do this, it is my assumption that a very large, and probably inconvienently sized sand bed would be required in order to replenish itself faster than the hatchlings consume it. Either that, or only a very small amount of cuttles could be raised. I currently have no experience with DSBs (so my ideas of efficiency could be completely incorrect), so I have much research ahead of me. I will definitely be looking into this, as this seems like something I am very interested in experimenting with.

    Also, what kind of sand do you use in your sand bed and where did you aquire it?
     
  16. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    DBW,
    Do note Borjam's locality, sourcing sand similarly won't be affordable :grin: (now you see why I try to have members list their local). He did mention it was sugar sand (very fine).

    With my own experiment (intended for nitrate control), when I do my 2 year (over due) sand removal and replacement (very thin layer on this tank), I will put the old argonite in the bottom and buy some fine sand for a top layer but I want to do more reading to see if this little overflow will be suitable. I think it will work though but my last small DSB took about 4 years before I saw results and then I removed it because it was a PITA (it was in the sump). I'm actually kind of excited about trying this and don't know why I have not already experimented :roll:
     
  17. borjam

    borjam Cuttlefish Registered

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    It would be nice to find out how many hatchlings per square foot of sand surface can be raised in this way :) Also, adding rock with plenty of nook and crannies, and maybe protecting a portion of the sand behind a net would allow the critters to have a safe haven to breed.

    I used Nature's Ocean aragonite. I used two variants: the so-called "live" sand and the dry one. My plan was just to buy dry sand, there's no reason for the so-called "live" sand to be better, but the grain size of the so-called "live" is 0.1 - 0.5 mm, while the dry one is 0.1 - 0.7, so I added several bags of the pricier, "live" sand to favor a smaller grain size.

    I didn't wash it either. The finest particles eventually settle (in a week or so) and when bacteria colonize it, the sand tends to stay together unless you point a pump to it directly.


    Nature's Ocean is available everywhere, I think ;) Anyway, according to Shimek, you don't even need aragonite sand. Silica based fine sand from a beach works the same.

    A year and a half since I set up the tank, I have never cleaned anything on the sand. And it's full of critters.

    Have a look at Ron Shimek's website and his book about deep sand beds. People tend to think of this in "technical" or "chemical" terms, I mean, thinking about sand composition, thinking about nitrate reduction... And it's actually biological stuff. I mean, a deep sand bed, well fed and with a suitable population of critters provides live food, the critters consume feces and food remains... and, as a side effect, the oxygen gradient on the sand bed (together with the water circulation caused by the sand dwellers) eases nitrate reduction.

    Remember, fine (sugar-size or oolitic) sand. Turns out many critters are unable to live on larger particle sizes.
     
  18. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I'll definitely take a look at the website. Neal has already started thinking of a way to baffle the flow to get maximum exposure.
     
  19. borjam

    borjam Cuttlefish Registered

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    My little grasshopper: You might be approaching it in the wrong way already. These are biological processes that really work better with a laid back, hands-off approach. I think you are beginning to think too much about the technical issues ;)

    You need:

    - Sand of the right grain sizes (aragonite or silica)

    - Enough sand surface exposed to the water

    - Seed it with live rock, maybe borrowing critters from someone with a DSB

    - Time to make sure the populations are well established

    - Food, but I guess that, cephs being messy eaters, plenty of food will go around the tank

    Some experimentation would be useful to find out the best way to maximize the population of mysiids and amphipods, though.

    An example: this is around 30 minutes after turning off the lights.

    http://vimeo.com/47300618
     
  20. DeepBlueWonders

    DeepBlueWonders Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    There are amphipods all over the place! Awesome!
     

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