BACTERIA AND OTHER ORGANISMS FROM THE FINEST MARINE AQUARIUMS THAT WE HAVE KEPT DURING THE LAST TWENTY YEARS. WE ADD TO THIS GENETIC POOL OF FILTER ANIMALS EACH TIME WE RECEIVE LIVE ROCK FOR OUR RESEARCH.
GARF GRUNGE* HAS A VERY LARGE NUMBER OF CORALINE ALGAE SPECIES IN IT.
NO WILD LIVE SAND CAN HAVE THE BIODIVERSITY FOUND IN THIS ACTIVATOR!
$5.00 PER POUND
WE NOW HAVE THREE TYPES OF GARF GRUNGETM:
GARF GRUNGE - Used for starting and recharging live sand beds.
GARF GRUNGE PLUS - used to Reef aquariums require a large variety of organisms to filter the water properly. Aquarium habitat is very different from ocean habitat.
Live Sand from a natural reef is good for starting marine aquariums, but each location on a reef has a limited number of species. Poor packing and shipping methods further deplete this fragile wild population.
We have been keeping an unbroken chain of successful reef aquariums in Idaho since 1977. Several times during this period we have had over 100 aquariums. We have researched captive breeding of such diverse species as Chambered Nautilus and Acropora coral.
LIVE ROCK RESEARCH
Our continuing research into the commercial production of tank raised live rock has allowed us to purchase tons of prime live rock and live sand. We select species from the rock for our live rock genetic bank.
During the last year I was able to purchase over 1000 lbs. of the live sand and rubble from the bottom of the live rock holding tanks at several of the most famous live rockers.
This mixture was much more than just live sand!! Hundreds of invertebrates from the tons of live rock held in these tanks are now reproducing here in Idaho.
RESEARCH COLLECTING TRIPS This mixture is now being added to by myself and Sally Jo. We are collecting sand stirrers and filter organisms on our research trips. We have made several trips to Mexico during the last two years looking for a site for a live rock farm. We are able to select various types of live sand for our experiments.
Last year Tom Frakes and I Explored Coronado Island in the Sea of Cortez. We found a bay with sand made up of branching coraline algae fragments. This coraline is the fastest growing dark purple and blue types I have found.
TRY LIVE SAND ACTIVATOR
GARF GRUNGE $5.00 LB.
0NE POUND FOR EACH THREE GALLONS WILL ACTIVATE TWO INCHES OF ARAGONITE SAND
ADD ONE POUND PER 10 GALLONS TO IMPROVE WILD LIVE SAND!
The most important part. This is "Grunge" from G.A.R.F. What the stuff contains is a culture of sand, coral rubble, small reef rocks, macro-algae, annelid worms, small pieces of sponges and corals, snails and crabs that is some of the coolest stuff I have ever seen!
I still keep seeing different things I didn't see before. We got 10 pounds about a week after the system was set up and mixed it in with the top layer of sand. This really gave the reef a pleasing natural look since it is very coarse and has a lot of color to it *
Letter from The Sea Star
A monthly publication
I am naming some of our products the way I am so that we remember 'THAT THIS IS A HOBBY - HAVE FUN'
GARF GRUNGE LITE tm is now available for you mud filters and you refugiums.
per gallon of tap water.
In my fossil reef there is a dry sea cave that must have filled with sediment 8 million years ago. I am certain no one has farmed within 15 miles of there in modern times. In 1968 I started using the fossil sea dirt to make filter mud. It has always worked great! I have needed adult brine shrimp several times during the years to do a research project. The mud layer always allows me to crowd the shrimp so much that during the late 60s I sold them wholesale. I had 16 garbage cans full and I harvested them as adults in 10 days. The original recipe said to just put a 100 watt bulb 1/2 way underwater and leave it on 24 hrs a day. This grows algae and keeps the water warm. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME :)
THIS IS RIGHT SIDE VIEW OF THE FIVE YEAR OLD MUD FILTER BANK
THAT WILL FILTER THE 320 GALLON SPS CORAL BROOD STOCK AQUARIUM
During the past several years I have collected mud for my filter research. Some of the animals in our GRUNGE come from the Mexican mud. I have been buying all of the different types of mud I can get from several rock collectors in Florida for 3 years. I think they thought I was nuts because I bought over nine hundred pounds of the MUD from the bottom of their rock vats.
THIS UNIT HAS 15 CHAMBERS WITH DIFFERENT
MIXTURES OF MUD AND INVERTEBRATES
My mud is used to grow a great collection of micro inverts. I have grown all types of food animals for 30 years and I have never seen anything like the 24 hr mud filters. The most important thing about any natural filter method is the mix of organisms that make up the substrate. We have over 40 chambers in our lab that we culture the GRUNGE in, and we have been adding to this unbroken chain of organisms since 1976. In the left end of each group of chambers there is a pump chamber that collects the fine silt from the system. I collected all of this small particle silt and the invertebrates that were in it to add to the ocean mud we have been buying and collecting.
RETURN THE WATER TO THE 320 GALLON REEF AQUARIUM
This sps coral reef will be filtered by this mud filter for several years so we can collect data on the water quality. GARF is committed to sharing as much information as possible. We hope to help start both ocean and land based reef aquaculture projects so we can remove some of the demand our hobby has for wild collected invertebrates.
The return water is full of plankton from the filters and it is feeding the sponges and filter feeding invertebrates in this end of the system.
We are now selling GARF GRUNGE LITE tm for $5.00 a lb. and it will be very full of life. I am naming some of our products the way I am so that we remember 'THAT THIS IS A HOBBY - HAVE FUN' GARF GRUNGE LITE tm is now available for you mud filters and you refugiums.
You can see the Cerith snails under the mud in this picture.
We are now getting to use many of the Macro algae that
I am very sure that some of the strains of bright red Macro algae
We have reports from people who are using dry MudTM from Carib Sea and they are very pleased. We are currently collecting as many filter organisms as possible to use to inoculate Mud filters with life. This approach goes back to our firm believe in the DIVERSITY = STABILITY rule of Biology and Economics.
YOUR MUD FILTER WORK IS THE INTRODUCTION OF MUD ORGANISMS
A teaspoon of mud from an Australian mangrove stand contains more than 10 billion bacteria. These densities are among the highest to be found in marine mud anywhere in the world and are an indication of the immensely high productivity of this coastal forest habitat. We have added new mud collections from two parts of Mexico, Hawaii, and Florida. Each of these collections have added to the population of filter organisms in our systems.
MANGROVES A NATURAL MODELThe Mangrove ecosystem traps and cycles various organic materials, chemical elements, and important nutrients. Dissolved substances are used by plankton, bacteria,and fungi. This material, in nature, is deposited over the seabed. Here bacteria densities are almost as high as those in the mangrove mud and they do much the same job, breaking down the litter to be consumed by botom-living fauna.
Mangrove roots act not only as support and physical traps but provide attachment surfaces for various marine organisms. Sponges are very common in these areas. Many of these attached organisms filter water through their bodies and, in turn, trap and cycle nutrients.
MANGROVES - HOW DO THEY LIVE IN SALTWATER?Do mangroves have to live in saltwater ? NO. Some species have been kept in greenhouses where they grew and flowered regularly when given only fresh water. However best growth occurs where the plants live in brackish sea water. So how do mangroves thrive in an environment which would kill most other plants'.' The first way many mangroves cope is to stop much of the salt from entering at all by filtering it out at root level. Some species can stop more than 90 per cent of salt in sea water. The leaves of many mangroves have special salt glands which are among the most active salt-secreting systems known.
TO GROW MANY OF OUR MANGROVES
This Mangrove is probably the most well-known. It typically grows along the water's edge. The red mangrove is easily identified by its tangled, reddish roots called "prop roots." These roots have earned mangroves the title, "walking trees." The mangrove appears to be standing or walking on the surface of the water.
Members of the Rhizophoraceae family (Rhizophora, Bruguiera and Ceriops species have an intriguing method for successfully reproducing themselves. The fertilised seeds do not drop from the plants but begin to germinate, growing out from the base of the fruits to form long spear-shaped stems and roots, called propagules. They may grow in place, attached to the parent tree, for one to three years, reaching lengths of up to one metre, before breaking off from the fruit and falling into the water.
The production of live seedlings (known as vivipary) is very rare in plants other than mangroves and a few seagrass species and the reason for it is unclear. It is possible that the well-developed seedling has a greater chance of surviving, once it has taken root, in a situation where it is likely to be battered by water-bourne objects.
This Red Mangrove is growning many complex roots in the filter substrate. The water quality is higher than when Tim used large skimmers. The sps coral growth is very good. The polyp extention is better than before.
FUTURE RESEARCHNumerous medicines are derived from mangroves. Skin disorders and sores, including leprosy, may be treated with ashes or bark infusions of certain species. Headaches, rheumatism, snakebites, boils, ulcers, diarrhoea, haemorrhages...and many more conditions are traditionally treated with mangrove plants.
It was 02:00 in the morning and a light rain had just stopped falling. The gravel road was wet as I started to climb down the house size boulders that made up the harbor where the shrimp boats were docked. Sally Jo was sitting in the Jeep with the doors locked, and I planned on only going into the mud flats as far as I could stay in sight of the Jeep.
It was an odd seeing the giant shrimp boats lying over on their side in the mud because earlier they had been floating in 20 ft. of water. I had chosen this location for collecting mud because I had noticed a thick layer of fine silt as the tide started to go out earlier. I had supposed that the silt and mud would be particularly rich in this location because they had been cleaning fish and shrimp and dumping the remains in this man made harbor for fifty years.
I had put on a brand new pair of tight socks and I double-checked to make sure I had strapped my reef shoes on extra tight before I started wading into the thick sticky mud.
My destination that rainy night was the place just below the fishing pier that I had seen earlier. I was certain that the mud would be particularly rich right there because on this moonless night the tide was at its lowest and I hope that mud would be exposed that would be underwater over three hundred and sixty nights a year.
With my goal in mind at I didn't mind trudging through the 1 ft. thick sticky mud until I happened to turn around to make sure I could still see the Jeep. I was startled and somewhat unnerved by the sight that I saw. Trailing back behind me and getting lighter as they headed toward the shore were my footprints glowing in the dark with phosphorescent algae and bacteria. That was not particularly upsetting until I looked at my legs and noticed that the mud looked like fluorescent glowing green blood dripping onto my now black socks.
It was 03:00 in the morning now it was really raining. I was cold, and I decided that this was the perfect place to collect mud and head back for the Jeep as fast as possible.
Watch for PART#2 - Hot Springs Mud Hunt
RESEARCH MANGROVES IN MUD FILTERS
TREVER STUDIED MANGROVES IN FLORIDA THIS SUMMER
The instructions did say to be certain to submerge the light bulbs before turning them on or they would explode , and as long as you were very careful you could live through the experience. I gave up the ingenious light bulb heaters before we entered the 70's but I had always remembered the affective mud filtration.
Almost thirty years later I started hearing about mud filtration again and I was glad that I had kept the culture of bacteria alive in the GARF Grunge tanks. In 1996 Sally Jo and I embarked on a series of adventures looking for glow in the dark mud, mud from Geothermal hot vents, and interesting mud creatures from southern Baja.
There has been a lot of attention given to mud filters in the trade and I was certain that there would be an availability of dry mud from different vendors soon. Because of my research in sand filtration and live sand activator I knew that beneficial bacteria, worms, another micro fauna that live in mud would be an important research topic.
I do have to relate one story and a warning about collecting mud from Geothermal vents in Mexico. Early one morning while Sally Jo's sleeping I got up before sunset and headed to the lighthouse Point in the town we were visiting.
I had heard that there was a Geothermal hot springs and I wanted to see it for myself at as low as possible tide. The sun was just coming up over the tidal flat as I drove through the small village.
The fishermen were loading their boats with all the equipment they would need for catching fish about 30 miles from shore. I pulled over by the sea wall to watch the local dogs chase the pickup trucks that were driving through the sandy tide flats. A group of about six dogs were barking and chasing each truck as it drove through the shallow water. I had watched these dogs fishing in tide pools several days earlier, and I was amazed at how good at fishing they had become. The tide chart had been right when it predicted an extremely low tide just after sunrise.
I was certain that there would be interesting and unique micro fauna in the mud and I was right. I was also very lucky that I knew a lot about exploring Geothermal phenomenon.as I was wading out to the mud in about 1 ft. of salt water I felt that the water was particularly warm in one area. It seemed like an easy place to walk to until I saw that the bottom look like a seltzer glass.at exactly the same time I noticed the bubbles rising from the sand I felt the sand had hardened into a crust.
I stepped back on to my other foot and pulled back because I knew what happened when you fell through a crust into boiling hot geothermal water. Because I hadn't been injured I had fun throwing a small rocks through the crust so I could watch the bubbles rush to the surface. I was able to collect a bucket of mud from a small series of tide pools that never dried out at the lowest tide.
The small tide pools contained a very rich layer of find dark colored mud. I decided to set on a smooth Lava boulder that was half buried. From my perch on the Boulder I could see both the small tide pools and the beautiful sun rise. It was very interesting to watch the surface of the mud because as the tide dropped the surface was absolutely smoothe. Within a few minutes many small creatures started to leave microscopic footprints and tracks in the fresh mud. As I watched many tiny worms poked their heads above the surface of the mud. These worms started undulating to set up a slight current that would carry organisms into their reach .
Many minute shrimp came to the surface of this fine silt and I swear it looked like they were shaking off the mud before they ran off to do whatever they had to do. The last invertebrates that joined the hunt were many small snails that live just under the surface of the mud. As I watched, tiny siphons were extended above the surface, and a few seconds later the snails would break the surface of the mud and crawl rapidly away. After only about ten minutes the surface of this tiny mud flat was crossed and recrossed with thousands of tiny tracks.
I collected two buckets of mud from the small tide pools of warm water. After securing both buckets in the back of the Jeep, I drove back to the village for a wonderful Mexican breakfast and some hot black coffee at my favorite restaurant on the beach.
Mud hunting in this tropical paradise is hard duty -but someone has to do it :)
The Geothermal Aquaculture Research Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization dependent on sales of quality products and our special Annual Events to support our eduacation programs. These projects sustain our service programs and ongoing research we provide to our Community and the World.We are an Idaho Non Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the knowledge of reef keeping. Our live rock aquaculture research has produced many new techniques for sustaining marine life and propagating corals. We are currently growing many species of sps corals, mushrooms, etc. The Foundation is building a genetic bank in Idaho with collections from around the World. We specialize in reef janitors, and have shared this research with many people who need to control algae in land-based live rock aquaculture tanks.
Geothermal Aquaculture Research Foundation
1726 Merrill St.
CALL TODAY AND YOU CAN MIX AND MATCH ANY AMOUNT OF SNAILS AND HERMITS FOR ONLY $1.00 EACH. LeRoy
Use this site to solve your reef aquarium algae problems,
and help support our research!!!
SAVE A REEF - GROW YOUR OWN