ISSUE # 11 page 2 NOVEMBER 1997
Sally Jo has learned more about the reef business and the reef aquariums in 3 years than many of my friends in the industry who have been at it for 20 years. Her background in the Botanical Garden industry gives her a unique outlook and understanding.
We hope that many of you will plan to visit Idaho next year during one of our Reef aquarium farming seminars. We will have at least 3 next year. I have just talked to Jerry Heslinga and he is going to tell us when he will be on the mainland so we can plan a weekend with him here.
|The lectures at Boise State University were well attended.
Steve Tyree and Dana Riddle both gave great talks on coral farming. We were very pleased that they shared so many details about how they grow sps corals. About 45 people attended both lectures.
The slide shows were very well done and the students all were able to take many valuable notes.
The foundation has committed one more year to supporting my intense program of reef farming research. It has taken me 3 years to finally find the questions that need to be answered. One of them is how do you spawn and raise thousands of bright new color morphs of Mushrooms. The other two are related to marketing and helping to define several models that small farmers can use to build a profitable reef aquarium farming company here and in the tropics.
One of the main goals of GARF is to build working relationships between tropical reef farmers and small scale reef Farmer/Marketers here and in other consumer countries. The chance for reef conservation to be valuable to people living closest to the reef may have a lot to do with there being a strong market for reef farming products. Our future seminars will be set up to introduce people in this country to people who live on the reefs and need to market their products in a nontraditional manner. Very often the people who can grow the the best reef products do not understand the rapidly changing aquarium hobby market.
BOTH STEVE TYREE - center - AND DANA RIDDLE WERE AVAILABLE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ALL WEEKEND
|Dana Riddle - striped shirt - was very open about all of his research on lighting and water flow. Dana shared new data on the flow rates of many pumps and power heads. He showed us many graphs that explained how both pumps and lights funtion in our systems||One of the important topics this weekend was sps color and both Dana and Steve answered all of our questions. Many of our talks centered on the importance of feeding sps corals to increase the color and speed the growth. We all were able to take home some rotifers and green water for our reefs,|
DANA RIDDLE SHOWED US MANY SLIDES OF THE SYSTEM HE WORKS WITH AT AQUATIC WILDLIFE COMPANY
The Aquatic Wildlife Company offers cultured and selectively harvested marine wildlife and ecologicaly-balanced aquarium systems. Our marine wildlife and aquarium systems are an outgrowth of the work of The Mariculture Research Project. This 24,000 gallon saltwater laboratory nestled in the foothills of The Blue Ridge Mountains is dedicated to the captive propagation of marine organisms and the conservation of our coral reef environments. Your purchases help support our work, a portion of the proceeds from every purchase help fund the efforts of The Mariculture Research Project.
For a personal tour of The Mariculture Research project, please contact Vanessa Clark at The Aquatic Wildlife Company.
Tenessee - 5200 North Lee Highway Cleveland, TN, 37312-4519
Arizona - 15042 North Moon Valley Drive Phoenix, AZ 85022-3664
Dr. Marc & Vanessa Clark, owners
Dana Riddle, Director of Invertebrate Culture
John Walch, Director of Research & Development
Jeff Bartenfeld, Retail & Shipping Manager
|We all were very happy listen in when experts like Mr. and Mrs. Jones debated the latest methods they are using to propagate corals in Salt Lake City.
Jay Kanrich allowed us all to visit his home and see his 120 gallon reef. This is one of the finest aquariums I have EVER seen. Jay is the most important member of our genetic bank. Many wonderful corals have survived in this reef and now they are being kept by many other aquarists in several states.
|This reef has 6 - 4' VHO bulbs and a large skimmer in the sump. It has a reverse daylight sump with Idaho aragonite. The entire reef structure is made from Idaho Aragonite and the tank was started with GARF Grunge about 2 years ago.|
STEVE TYREE AND DANA RIDDLE WERE AMAZED BY THE COLORS AND VIGOR OF THE SPS CORALS.
This reef produces some of the finest invertebrates we ever receive here at the foundation. Jay has taught us all the finer points of reef keeping!!
His system is the best example of craftmanship I have seen in this hobby. Jay built Sally Jo's famous 55 reef and I am certain that has had much to do with her success.
|Chris Butterfield won the VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH AWARD for his great coral cutting . Chris can remove a Fiji Zoanthid Rock from under a pile of sps corals, remove strips of polyps, and then return the rock and 40 finished reef plugs to the aquarium. I can think this job up but I can't watch him do it.
Steve Tyree and Chris discuss his 45 gallon reef during our visit to his home. Chris had over 70 guests during the tour.
Mr. Steve Tyree has maintained saltwater aquaria for 20+ years.
Current accomplishments include writing articles for Aquarium Frontiers, Das Aquarium, Aquatica and hobbyist newsletters. He has posted numerous articles on the Internet and Compuserves Fishnet.
Photographs have been published in _The Reef Aquarium_ (Delbeek and Sprung) and _The Modern Coral Reef Aquarium_ (Nilsen and Fossa). Steve also gave a presentation at Macna VII in Louisville.
The company, Dynamic Ecomorphology, was started by steve in late 1995. This company has produced 1000's of captive grown fragments for the retail market. Consultation was provided by the company to exporters shipping corals from wild habitats.
About 8 species of corals have sexually spawned in the authors captive reefs. Steve also helped start the Scleractinian Stony Coral Challenge Series being run through the Breeder's Registry.
Consultation has also been provided to Ecosystems Aquarium the inventors of a new mud and macro- algae based filtration system. This consultation concerned the application of the system to support Reef Building Stony Corals.
Current interest include captive scleractinian stony coral research and propagating captive grown corals via fragmentation, budding or sexual reproduction. Steve has also made presentations to various local clubs and associations located throughout North America.
A book about Reef Building Stony Corals is currently being written and will be available in the latter part of 1998. This book will contain cutting edge information never presented to the hobby before. The presentation will be written in a manner easily read by intermediate hobbyist and will be accessable to the begginner
|Tim Weidauer - the president of the Salt Lake City Marine Society and owner of Wasatch Aquaculture Company Gave several talks on rotifers and green water. His company donated 5 gallons of each so all of students could take home some for their reefs.
|Tim supplies automatic shipments of these products to reef keepers around the country. You can reach Tim at rotifer.com|
HERE IS PART OF WHAT TIM HAD TO SAY ABOUT ROTIFERS
Each quart contains over 50 thousand live Rotifers in the same form as found in the worlds oceans. The creatures in our oceans eat live plankton as a primary portion of their diet.
While rotifers are nutritional themselves, they are better thought of as a "Sack" for carrying other more nutritional foods such as Velvet Green (Phytoplankton Algae).
Rotifers have a short lifecycle and will begin to breed in your tank immediately but will be eagerly eaten by your tank inhabitants. Rotifers are a natural Zooplankton which are optimum in size and nutrition for the rearing of marine fish and invertebrates from larval through adult.
We recommend the addition of
approximately 1 quart per 50 gallons every two weeks directly to the
tank. Note: Rotifers are essential for keeping certain "hard to keep"
species such as Seahorses, Gorgonians, Mandarinfish, Etc. plus any other
species that rely on plankton as a primary food source.
Also, it is possible to tank culture rotifers as long as you feed Velvet Green on a regular basis since this is the primary food source of Zooplankton. Rotifers are visible with the naked eye and will cling to the glass. Look for a pinpoint sized creature that has a tail & moves around the glass.
Our findings are that you will see an incredible increase in coral growth and your fish and crustaceans will never look happier than while you are feeding Velvet Green and Rotifers.
JOIN THE RESEARCH FOUNDATION
You can support our research and learn more about reef aquariums and wetlands
as well as our ongoing research.
All you have to do is make a check out to GARF
1321 Warm Springs Boise, ID
REMEMBER THAT THIS IS A HOBBY AND HAVE FUN!!!!
by Tim Weidauer
By popular demand, I have put together a simple description including the attached pictures of how I have used mangrove trees to filter my 100 gallon reef aquarium, this also describes the usage of my plenum filter. I will include a fairly long history of the aquarium setup which shows the changes over the past three years.
to share the good info out there with those who need it. The society
was quickly introduced to LeRoy Headlee of GARF in Boise, Idaho who
pretty much adopted us. He showed us how to save the oceans by
propagating in captivity with natural sustaining systems.
The aquarium was originally set up with a wet dry trickle filter when I didn't know any better 3 years and 2 months ago. It very rapidly became a sea of green hair algae and I was ready to tear it down. I started the Wasatch Marine Aquarium Society because I was frustrated and could not get reliable information, so I figured I could get people together to share the good info out there with those who need it. The society was quickly introduced to LeRoy Headlee of GARF in Boise, Idaho who introduced us to plenum systems and pretty much adopted us. He showed us how to save the oceans by propagating in captivity with natural sustaining systems. We grew rapidly, became quite knowledgeable and always willing to try new things that could make the hobby easier, cheaper, and more natural and stable. I proceeded to break down my tank and install a plenum system.
I set up the plenum system on the first day of 1995, 4 months after it was set up to become a hair algae farm. We transferred the livestock and the half dead live rock to buckets and assembled the plenum with egg crate, pvc pipe, screen, coarse aragonite for the bottom layer that I crushed myself and which was mined in the Boise area, and Carib-Sea Reef Sand for the top layer which we seeded with "GARF Grunge" and some sand from a friends tank.
Dana Riddle, LeRoy Headlee, Albert Thiel, John Walch, Rick Greenfield (of Carib Sea)
and all of them have given us great information, but what affected me the most was the
close evaluation of John Walch's systems
We replaced the livestock and added a homemade skimmer that only worked mediocre at best. After a few months a new skimmer replaced the old one and the tank became beautiful except for a few ups and downs. One of the biggest problems with the early stages of the plenum system was the use of Kalkwasser and buffer which binds up the aragonite and keeps it from dissolving and also greatly reduces the efficiency of the plenum. The other secret to successful plenum use is the addition of plenty of scavenger organisms such as small detritus eating worms (commonly mistaken for fire worms, but they are not!), GARF Reef Janitors (Mexican Red Legged Hermits, Nerite snails, Cerith snails, and Turban snails), and encouraging the growth of plankton such as copepods, rotifers, Etc.
We have had many wonderful guests at our club meetings which include Dana Riddle, LeRoy Headlee, Albert Thiel, John Walch, Rick Greenfield (of Carib Sea) and all of them have given us great information, but what affected me the most was the close evaluation of John Walch's systems that were being used at C-Quest fish farm and the basics of that system which carried over to his retail systems he sells through Aquatic Wildlife. All of the systems use the Reverse Daylight Refugia and turf scrubber filtration systems. I was impressed with the systems, even with the controversial articles surrounding turf scrubbers that are out there. The same type of articles slam plenum systems, but that never scared me and I am glad I doubted the skeptics. (NOTE: I am fully aware of the controversies about plenum systems. I am positive that they work if you follow certain rules. The concerns are valid, but are avoidable.) A couple of us in the club decided to add a reverse daylight refugia system to our existing setups.
including long, flat leafed caulerpa, red turf algae,
and three newly sprouted Hawaiian Red Mangrove shoots
that I acquired from LeRoy Headlee's Hawaiian honeymoon.
The Mangroves were an experiment initially.
Here is what you have been patiently waiting for... In February of this year, I added a rubbermaid tub of about 10 gallons which a placed and inch or two of carib sea reef sand, a little bit of sand from my tank, a Maxijet 1000 that feeds back to the main tank, and a standard overflow box which returned water to the sump. Within this sump I placed a couple handfuls of various macro algae's including long, flat leafed caulerpa, red turf algae, and three newly sprouted Hawaiian Red Mangrove shoots that I acquired from LeRoy Headlee's Hawaiian honeymoon. The Mangroves were an experiment initially. There is no other filtration on this aquarium! Using a 2' long plant grow lamps and a smaller standard fluorescent tube, I lit the sump on the opposite cycle as my reef. This maintains a nice PH stability and oxygen level since photosynthesis is constantly in process whether it is in the main tank in the day or in the refugia at night.
The shoots quickly sprouted when they were only 2/3 submerged and floated in the sump with a foam collar until the roots started growing. I planted the roots the same as you would a tree in your yard and protected them with several medium aragonite rocks around the base. Soon the leaves began growing. One, then another, then another started popping out and the roots which spread throughout the substrate and along the bottom of the rubbermaid tub. I got gutsy after a couple weeks and started turning off my skimmer. After I was convinced that the refugia was working, I removed the skimmer completely. This was 3 weeks after the Refugia was added. The 4' tall skimmer still sits in my garage to this day.
It has been 8 months since the refugia was set up. I have moved the smaller of the three Mangroves to my 55 gallon secondary tank where it is doing a fine job of filtering the aquarium. The Mangroves in both tanks have dominated the macro algae's and the macro algae's barely grow. They definitely do not spread and do not have to be harvested as in a turf scrubber system. The tank has never been even close to as beautiful as it is now! The corals that were not doing well, which in my opinion was from over skimming and lack of nutrient, have all blossomed into very healthy creatures. This is especially true with the soft corals. There is no nuisance algae growth in the main aquarium except for the same old Diatom problem I have always had from the silicates in my supply water. Just a light dusting on the front glass every week however.
10 cc's Reef Calcium and 10 cc's Reef Plus, twice a week.
I also add powdered Idaho Aragonite ("Magic Dust")
I have not changed more than 20 gallons of water in the 8 months since the refugia was added. I only run a small bag of Coconut Carbon every once in a while to reduce the effect of chemicals released by the corals. In this 100 gallon reef, I use 20 cc's of Seachem Reef Complete, 10 cc's Reef Calcium and 10 cc's Reef Plus, twice a week. I also add powdered Idaho Aragonite ("Magic Dust") which comes from GARF in Boise, Idaho. I add 1 tablespoon per 50 gallons every week. I mix this with tank water and a hand blender then just dump it and the leftover sediment directly into the sump. It clouds the tank for a couple hours then it becomes startlingly crystal clear. I add 1 quart of Velvet GreenTM Phytoplankton throughout the week, and every other week I add a quart or so of Rotifers to help replenish the natural Zooplankton population. I am a partner in Wasatch Aquaculture and we produce this Plankton for retail shipping. I feed the 8 fish about once every 5 days with a variety of frozen and dry foods. REMEMBER... my tank has a huge population of Plankton and the fish are fed based upon their visible need. They get their food from natural plankton within the tank and the sand bed. If you feed like I do in the majority of tanks, the fish will starve!
This reef aquarium features mainly tank raised species with a few exceptions. It supports at least 20 varieties of soft corals, 4 or 5 LPS stony corals, 6 varieties of Acropora, 3 varieties of Xenia, a large Gorgonian, 1 large and 1 small Crocea clams, and a rock flower anemone. The Acropora are all growing extremely well under 4 - 96 watt power compact lights. The large green Acropora in the attached picture was a fragment the size of your index finger in April and it is now as big as your hand! There is a cylindrical Porites that was fragged by Mike Palletta at the coral farming school in Boise this spring which has grown 3 inches and branched 4 times. Remember that this is a system without Kalkwasser. This type of system has its limits I am sure and probably could not support a huge population of calcifying corals. If what you want is an SPS only tank, then you probably should stick with the traditional methods for now.
I am sure you will hear controversy about my systems, but I know this works. Other systems work too. Other systems are more efficient for growing certain types of corals. Our goal was to run systems that we can show to a new reef keeper and they can operate for minimal expense with minimal or no equipment and minimal maintenance. Our club has helped at least 30 people start plenum systems and recently have helped 10 or so set up a reverse daylight refugia. Because of the great results that several of us have had, more people here in Salt Lake City are deciding to give it a try every month, but there is only one other person here that is trying mangroves and they have not sprouted yet. A final note on Mangrove shoots... they sometimes take a VERY long time to sprout. They may look dead, but unless they have rotted out, just leave them be. Some places that sell them are recommending you totally submerge the shoot under water. This will most likely keep it from sprouting. You should keep them only 1/2 submerged and be careful of the roots.
Take care and... "Save a reef... Grow your own!"
Tim L. Weidauer - President - Wasatch Marine Aquarium Society - Salt Lake, Utah
VP - Wasatch Aquaculture - http://www.rotifer.com - "Your live plankton source!"
I have been using mud to grow out brine shrimp since 1967, I found a sure fire recipe in a TFH article. I think Spotte may have written it. It said to use:
1 - cup rock salt
1 - tbsp epson salt
2 - tbsp baking soda
1 - cup nontreated dirt
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 :)
Mike Paletta was our guest this Spring and we talked about the filter in California. He could not say much so I had to wait for his articles. 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. Jerry Heslinga is collecting some mud for our Trocus shipment this week. I have been buying all of the mud I could 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.
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.
This sps coral reef will be filtered by this mud filter for several years so we can collect data on the water quality. I am hoping to develop an inexpensive method for people who live near the reefs to use in their reef aquaculture projects. GARF is committed to sharing as much information as possible next year, during the International Year of the Ocean. 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. During the next year we will working with filter feeding soft coral from Palau, and this system may allow us to propagate them in Boise. When I lived at MMDC in Koror, Palau I fell in love with this type of solt coral because of all of bright colors.
I now have 6 types of small mud burrowing snails - one great one about 1/4" long that erupts from under the sand when I feed the sps corals. It made me laugh when I first saw them do it. They stick their siphon tube, it is longer than they are, out of the sand and then shake all of mud off and crawl away looking for some food. They have blue shells and they crawl faster than any snail in our collection.
Dana Riddle was very helpful when I had questions about the lighting. We dicussed the use of 24 hour light and I will keep him informed on our progress.
I am working on a dry fossil mud to send UPS ground to be mixed with the MUCKTM. The problem is getting the buckets to the top of the cliff. We are digging in the 3rd deepest canyon in the U.S. and it is a bit of a problem getting it to the truck.
We will be selling GARF MUCKTM 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' The muck and the filter dirt will be available for research and we need people to test these types of systems.
You can see the Cerith snails under the mud in this picture.
I will be posting pictures of each chamber as they grow and change.
We are now getting to use many of the Macro algae that
Jerry Adamson has been collecting for several years.
I am very sure that some of the strains of bright red Macro algae
will be very good filters and they sell very well to people with
reef aquariums. These filters can be used to produce many reef
products that can add to the income of small scale reef farms.
This Trocus snail is the finest MUD Snail that we have tested.
Just think about 1000s of incredible tank raised American giant clams in colors you have only dreamed of. Jerry will have them soon and if you purchase Trocus now he will have your phone number when the clams are ready:)
I have been dreaming about the buckets of baby one inch clams I helped carry when I lived at MMDC.
More later, Leroy
I recently called LeRoy to tell him that my answer to the rock challenge would be a little late. I had made up the rock and left it out over a cold Utah night. The results were, in short, cement "crumbles." LeRoy chuckled. He changed his request to what had happened since that first posting two months ago on GARF.
Perhaps a short but sincere history is in order to set the stage. Three years ago I took my three small children, the eldest just starting kindergarten, to a local pet store to broaden their look at the world. There we met a wonderful, kind woman named Melissa who spent over an hour with them showing them turtles, snakes and hedge hogs. The kids squealed, giggled and had a great time. On the way home I accidently walked through the salt water section and saw my first yellow tang. We went home and as the kids thought about what to call the hedge hog, 'I' thought of the yellow tang.
Over the next 30 months I made many such trips into pet stores and asked a lot of questions about salt water tanks. The responses were very inconsistent and strange. "It is too complicated, too expensive, you really have to know what you are doing, and just not done." WRONG! (Not done by whom?) "I" took organic chemistry in College, I knew about the nitrogen cycle, okay, what was so hard?
When I gained access to the internet, marine aquaculture was one of the first things I researched. Walla! I found a host of knowledgable authorities who did know what they were talking about and though they did not always agree, their differing viewpoints were sound. I found GARF, read and reread every word. I found answers to my questions. Hard, not really; difficult, not really. Interesting? VERY! Doable, YES.
In March of this year I purchased, on a whim, a used, leaking 45 gallon tank and began the great adventure. It was followed in June by a 90 gallon tank and sea horses. After setting it up I went back to GARF to learn more. ARAGOCRETE seemed like a logical answer to the live rock question..... simple enough to make in the backyard, inexpensive and functional. The first batch was not remarkable. The second slightly more interesting. As the third batch hardened I was beginning to understand the medium of Aragocrete and wrote a note to LeRoy. To my great surprise it was placed on the website!
LeRoy of GARF has whispered secrets of Aragocrete in my ear AND wanted a sample of MY humble rocks! Can it get any better than this? I don't think so! I have knowledgable, experienced, published mentors to gently direct me. I have daily contact with acknowledged experts who are anxious to guide me out of tank crashing disaster into great water conditions.
My kids still want the hedge hog. In your Dreams! Kids.
Karen (The Rocker)
Use this site to solve your reef aquarium algae problems, and help support our research!!!
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Image Page for Zoanthids and Palythoa