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COVER AND INDEX
LAST MONTHS ISSUE | HOME | DECEMBER ISSUE PAGE 1 | DECEMBER ISSUE PAGE 2

NEW FARMER OF THE MONTH | GROWING AN ENTIRE REEF FOR A PROFIT
UPDATE - MANGROVE USAGE FOR REFUGIA FILTRATION | LACE ROCK UPDATE


Reef Aquarium Farming News
Online Newsletter for Reef Aquarium Propagation Research

ISSUE # 12 page 3 DECEMBER 1997



NEW FARMER OF THE MONTH - Doug Coverdale

I remember my first 10 gallon saltwater tank 18 years ago. Back when undergravel filters and a healthy growth of algae was a sign of a healthy tank. My wife and I thought that it was exotic to have a damsel and a condylactis anenome in our living room. I remember going to our local fish store and seeing an orange sponge. It was not for sale because the owner said that it was impossible to maintain.

Maybe in the future I will have a greenhouse for farming
all types of marine life. Here in rural central Indiana we
are surrounded by cornfields.
My Grandfather was a farmer
in this area and I am
continuing the legacy ..... but in a different way.

Well, a lot has changed since then and after a long period of time since keeping any type of aquarium we decided to set up a marine fish-only tank. After spending what seemed like a small fortune, we had a 44 gallon pentagon tank in our living room. We enjoyed our little "fish tank", but after poking around on the Internet I started to read about reef tanks. Words like "kalkwasser" and "redox" were foreign to me. It was time to graduate to a reef tank.

After installing a plenum, adding live rock and removing the bio-balls from the sump we added our first coral - an open brain. Over the next two years we have filled our reef with many invertebrates. After reading about coral propagation on the Internet I decided to give it a try. My first attempts to propagate my green finger were partially successful and I caught the propagation bug. My local stores were my first supplier of propagation material, but I soon wanted to look elsewhere for corals to propagate.

I decided to visit Tropicorium since it was only four hours away. After arriving there I was struck by the size of the operation - 12 HUGE tanks approximately 35' by 15' and 4' deep. Natural sunlight is used on these tanks filled with a wide variety of SPS and soft corals. I wanted to meet the owner, Dick Perrin, but he was not there that day. I did not get a "behind the scene" tour of filtration etc., but I did come home with a few different types of Xenia to start my little propagation venture.

Five months ago I set up a 75 gallon propagation tank in which I am currently nursing my babies which will be my future mother colonies. So far I have cuttings of Colt, a nice florescent green finger, yellow leather,green star polyps, Xenia, and a few Pocillapora from my 44 gallon tank. I have found that some of the most useful information on propagation has come from the Internet. Not only from GARF's web site, but other sites as well as the reef newsgroup and attending weekly meetings of reefchat.

I currently maintain my 44g "show" tank, a 10g reef in my office, my 75g propagation tank and a 5g "penalty tank" for any misbehavin' critters like the serpent star I found munching on a colt cutting. By the way, The 10g tank in my office with a Skilter 250 is the only tank I have that consistantly measures 0 nitrates! Go figure. Who knows? Maybe in the future I will have a greenhouse in my backyard for farming all types of marine life. Here in rural central Indiana we are surrounded by cornfields. My Grandfather was a farmer in this area and I am continuing the legacy.....but in a different way.

I hope to share the details of my propagation tank
with you in the future.
Until then - Happy Reefing!

-- Doug Coverdale
Broadband Services
Serving the CATV industry with over 18 years of design experience.
coverdale@iquest.net
voice/fax 765-534-4912


GROWING AN ENTIRE REEF FOR A PROFIT

This article will explain how you can set up a reef aquarium display at a retail store to create a demand for your aquaculture products. In most market areas the average person in the hobby has no idea what can be done using captive grown live rock and corals. We have had success introducing this product to the people who have watched our tanks grow into full, lush reefs. These aquariums were started using AragocreteTM rocks and cuttings. As the customers see what can be done they want to try this kind of aquarium at home.
This picture shows some of the most popular shapes that you can make your AragocreteTM rocks. We make these pieces in three sizes. We will explain how the pieces in this picture can be put together to make a great looking aquaculture reef aquarium. We used these 7 medium sized rocks along with several smaller coralline covered rocks called coralline eggs to start this aquarium.

This reef aquarium has a compound plenum made with egg crate light grid and plastic geofabric. The black plastic geofabric forms a loose netting over the plenum that keeps the sand that falls into it loose and protected from being disturbed. You can set up the same type of aquarium using any plenum. We have also set this kind of reef aquarium up using no plenum and live sand.The live sand is made from CaribSea gravel and GARF GrungeTM and they have worked very well.

These shapes can be arranged in many ways to give this reef a good open shape. The arches allow us to build the reef so only a few places on the sand are covered with rock.

Reef Aquarium Farming News

These shapes have been used in this reef to create many places to glue cuttings. A tank like this is a good place to grow your first brood stock corals. When the reef is first set up we use the compound plenum as an undergravel filter for several months. This reef is still using a slow flow UG filter. The newest reefs that we are doing have a new combination of 1/2 plenum and 1/2 no plenum. The half of the tank that has a plenum can be at one end or in back 1/2 of the tank. The aragonite gravel is thicker over the plenum and it slopes to the glass that is on the other side of the tank. We have learned that different types of bacteria populate the gravel that is over the plenum and the gravel that slopes from 4 inches to 1 inch deep.

Reef Aquarium Farming NewsWhen the reef is first set up we use two 40 watt lights - a Triton and a Blue moon work very well. After the Aragocrete gravel and the Grunge is in the tank we add coralline algae that we scrape off of the glass in one of the other reefs.

The more coralline that you add at this time the better the growth will be. We turn off the power head for several hours to allow the chips of coralline algae to settle on the rocks. This 55 gallon has two power heads - a Maxi-jet 750 on the UG fiter and a Maxi-jet 1000 in the top corner.

The coralline algae has grown best on all of rocks that have the plastic in them. This is the third reef we have set up this semester that has done this. The plastic filled rocks are very porous and the coralline algae is attracted to the plastic. We have been adding some plastic to all of the new rock we are making.

Reef Aquarium Farming News

This gif shows the way this reef was put together using the rocks we made and the small coralline covered aquaculture rocks. By using the UG filter and the Grunge we were able to start adding cuttings the next day. After a month we added two more lights and a month later we changed one set of 40 wat lights for a set of VHO bulbs. The reef is now ready to have the next power head and two more VHO bulbs. We are now adding sps coral cuttings. We have already been able to harvest soft coral cuttings for new reefs.

Reef Aquarium Farming News


This close up view of this reef shows some of the coralline that has grown on the rocks. One of the most important things we added to this reef is the 80+ janitors we use to keep the micro algae from taking over. When you are growing tank raised aquaculture rocks it is very important to control unwanted algae. This reef has NO skimmer and we have only changed about 8 gallons of water.

During the next few months we will add a skimmer and more pumps. This reef will become a brood stock tank for sps corals. We will post pictures of the reef we call the old man tank during the coming year.

The only products we added to this reef are SeaChem's Reef plus, Reef complete, and Reef Calcium. We use Pickeling lime, SeaChem's Reef Builder and Reef Advantage in all of make up water. I am certain that we would not have the success we do if we used any salt other than Ocean Pure.

Reef Aquarium Farming News



Reef Aquarium Farming News
This cave rock shows how an aquaculture rock looks after it has been in a reef aquarium for 3 months. We put 3 cuttings on this rock when we put it in the reef and they have grown into nice colonies. This type of rock is very popular in the retail market.

We are doing a large number of these caves with blue and purple mushrooms. The mushrooms grow inside of the caves. We are certain that any caves with two bright colored mushroom colonies will be very good sellers. If you grow any aquacultured live rocks we would like to publish pictures of them.

The final picture in this article shows a retail display reef that was made in 5 gallon hex tank. It is very important to display these reefs that use nothing from the ocean so people will want to do reef aquariums like these at home.

This is a new market and it is up to each of us to build the interest in aquacultured reef products.

THE AMAZING 5 GALLON REEF AQUARIUM

Reef Aquarium Farming News

LEROY HEADLEE

MORE NEXT TIME

UPDATE - Mangrove Usage for Refugia Filtration

Tim L. Weidauer

Today I was asked by Leroy to update my "Mangrove Usage for Refugia Filtration" article which is in the November issue of The Reef Farming News. After looking over the new information that has been added this month by Leroy, I am at a loss for words. If you have not read the articles on page #1 and #2, you are missing out on a highly informational "pile-o-info".  I do have some updated information on the progress of my reef and a few pointers to keep in mind when setting up a reef with a system that is similar to mine.

The roots are growing toward their food source.
My point in this observation is that the mangroves
are apparently extremely efficient at taking up waste
from the water and are a great filter medium

A few days ago, I was curious about the root growth of my Red Mangroves throughout the substrate in my refugia's, so I very carefully uncovered a section in the small system which is a 55 gallon reef and uses nothing but a plenum and one 16" tall Red Mangrove for filtration. NO SKIMMER!

What I found when I uncovered the roots was quite surprising. The roots had spread along the bottom of the rubbermaid container and throughout the substrate up to 8" away from the main stem. The roots varied from hair fine to almost 1/4" thick. I thought this was a good amount of growth. No Prop-roots have formed yet.

Tonight, I went ahead and did the same inspection of my larger 100 gallon system that contains two of the same type and size mangroves. I have never uncovered the roots in this system and the mangroves are protected by several aragonite rocks which are piled around the base. Upon removing the rocks, I was pleased to see that they have both formed Prop-roots all around and are beginning to take the traditional form of mature Red Mangrove trees. The roots had spread out from the main base quite a bit further than in the other system, but this is to be expected since it is older. The roots made a much thicker mat also.

Now what was very interesting in both systems is that all the roots tend to grow towards the source of water flow. Now since the water flow is the return from my aquarium, and it is also skimmed from the waters surface, it will be fairly nutrient rich water. The roots are growing toward their food source. My point in this observation is that the mangroves are apparently extremely efficient at taking up waste from the water and are a great filter medium. I imagine a test filter with a sump containing several baffels which direct the water flow though a long channel, like a maze, and throughout this long channel there are several to many mangroves planted one after another. It would be interesting to see the difference in growth rate from the first to the last plant. I am not sure what this would prove, but it could possibly make a more efficient filter and show how long it takes to clean up the water flowing through the filter.

Upon removing the rocks, I was pleased to see
that they have both formed Prop-roots all around
and are beginning to take the traditional form of
mature Red Mangrove trees

If you set up one of these filters, be aware that I have the feeling that I am running too much water flow through the main refugia. The mangroves seemed to grow better before I more than tripled the water flow by adding a large RIO pump to replace the powerhead that I was using before. The smaller system still uses less flow and the mangrove is the dominant plant and has choked out all but a few small pieces of caulerpa. The main refugia has slowly allowed the 3 kinds of macro algae (2 types of caulerpa and red turf algae) to gain in population and the mangrove growth has slowed down considerably. I may bypass some of the flow and see if I get better results.

The next step for me is to modify one of the refugia's into a "Glow-in-the-dark" Mud Filter with several types of mangroves. Make sure you read these articles if you want to get a taste of the next generation of diversity in our reef systems.

"Save A Reef... Grow Your Own!" and teach a kid about the ocean by showing them your aquarium. Contact your local school and invite a class to go on a field trip. The kids love it.

Tim L. Weidauer President - Wasatch Marine Aquarium Society - Salt Lake, Utah

VP - Wasatch Aquaculture -http://www.rotifer.com - "Live Plankton!"



Lace Rock Update

Karen Holt

One of the difficulties associated with Aragocrete and Aragonite based reef rock is curing . The new rock can have a high pH. This can effect the reef aquaium.

Andrei and Elida made rocks to go in the aquarium.
Josh was the cave maker,
Elida made a shelf and
Andrei made some Tonga branch.

We often cure the new Aragocrete/crushed oyster shell rock in a container changing the fresh water daily for 30 days or longer until the surface pH falls to 8.2-8.3. These levels are safe for reef aquarium. A vinegar bath or Muratic acid both will aid in the curing process.

ALL OF THIS ARAGOCRETETM HAS BEEN CURED IN FRESH GEOTHERMAL WATER
- IT IS READY FOR SALE AT GARF

Reef Aquarium Farming News

THIS ROCK IS MADE WITH CARIBSEA GRAVEL
SO IT IS MUCH EASIER TO CURE

THIS ROCK IS SO SIMPLE TO MAKE KIDS COULD DO - AND THEY DID Karen Holt and Family

Josh age 8 years, Andrei age seven, and Elida age six years have watched the 90 gallon reef tank in our family room with much interest.
The big tank was set up in June of 1997 and they have had a hard time keeping their hands and toys out of it. They have trailed into fish stores learning from the many varieties of reef life and have asked "Can this me mine?"

Okay kids, this reef is YOURS!

KIDS- ART

The base is an old used stereo cabinet picked up at the second hand store for ten dollars. The top has been treated with a spray on sealer to protect the wood. The aquarium is a used acrylic 55 gallon tank.
The plenum will be of crushed coral from Caribe Sea. The salt shall be Ocean Pure, of course! And children will set it up.

There will be a watching, hinting, observing parent and a story for you.

KIDS- ART

During the summer and fall the children have watched me in the backyard making my first Aragocrete rocks. They sat and watched as I made my first lump in a beach box and brought the neighbor kids over to see it as it cured. "Look what my Mommie made!"

The third batch was to make a glove rock as described on GARF. The kids literally sat under my arms as I sat on the step and made the glove cave cement rock. I had perhaps fifteen children examine the cave before it was set up.

That cave rock has been taken to Show and Tell day at school by each of my three children in backpacks. Since it is a very large rock, the boys have carried it for Elida. They have shown it with much enthusiasm and pride.

When I announced that the kids were to have their own reef tank, they chimed in in unison and loudly said that THEY wanted to make rocks too!

We started by getting fish boxes from our fish store and made a combination of about four parts Riverside white cement and crushed oyster shell. We added just enough water to hold it together. The cement mixture was placed into hollows in moist oystershell in the bottom of the fish box. There was a lot of laughter and giggling as the kids put their hands into the wet and cold mixture. Things could have gotten a little physical if it hadn't been for a watching parent : )

The kids wanted to check on the pieces frequently so I had them check instead on a piece that I had poured so they would not disturb the actual pieces and let them set up for 48 hours. They were back about once an hour to put their fingers in the cement and to show the neighborhood children what they had done.

They were very exicted when it it was finally time to take them out of the beach box. Yes, of course they wanted to take them to school. The rocks are a little worse for the wear for that experience, but we will make more rocks for the aquarium.

Josh, Andrei and Elida made rocks to go in the aquarium. Josh was the cave maker, Elida made a shelf and Andrei made some Tonga branch.
Other rocks will be made as the weather and temperature will permit.

KIDS- ART

Josh cut the PVC one inch diameter pipe with a hand saw. Elida helped me cut the egg crate and Andrei cut the fiber glass screen from the hard ware store with a pair of utility scissors.
The PVC pipe is placed first into the bottom of the cleaned aquarium. (Do not use soap or detergent products, just clean water.) The pipe is placed at even intervals at the bottom of the tank.
No effort is made to secure them to the egg crate that will be placed just above.

KIDS- ART

Fiber glass screen is cut just slightly larger (about an inch) than the bottom of the tank. The screen in placed over the egg crate and gently tucked in. The crushed coral is placed about and inch and half deep over the egg crate and screen.

A second piece of fiber glass screen in then placed over the crushed coral to keep the sand stirring creatures from entering the plenum below. Another inch to inch and a half of crushed coral is placed on top of the screen.

KIDS- ART

Live sand and GARF Grunge are placed on top of the final crushed coral layer after the aquarium is filled with Ocean Pure salt water to a specific gravity of 1.024 to 1.025. Remember to have an accurate specific gravity the water must be 78 to 80 degrees and well aerated. Make up water ( fresh water) should be added

daily to make up for evaporation. Draw a line on the tank and add water every day to that mark. The water should be added very slowly and be the same temperature as the tank. Marine life does not tolerate wide swings in specific gravity or temperature. A fifty five gallon tank is the smallest tank to have easy control of these and other nitrogen cycle parameters. The temperature in the tank should be maintained at between 76 to 80 degrees.

The water will need an air pump and air stone to keep the oxygen in the water high enough to sustain life. The air pump should be held above the level of the water for maximum function of the pump.


INDEX OF OUR RESEARCH
ALGAE CONTROL CENTRAL
REEF JANITORS ALGAE CONTROL CENTRAL

Use this site to solve your reef aquarium algae problems, and help support our research!!!


Learn how you can grow a wonderful reef aquarium like the one we visit in this May 1997 special feature

Learn to set up your own fantastic reef aquarium like
Sally Jo's

You can learn how a reef aquarium grows into a mature sps coral reef

Sally Jo's 55 gallon reef is starting to mature into a small polyp stony coral aquarium

We will add more about this aquarium each month

JOIN THE RESEARCH FOUNDATION

You can support our research and learn more about reef aquariums and wetlands


1997 WINTER - SPRING NEWSLETTER Our foundation is growing - Please visit our Newsletter


REEF AQUARIUM FARMING NEWS

Newest information on reef aquarium farming


CORALLINE ALGAE PROPAGATION

Learn to grow coralline algae on your reef aquarium live rocks


COMBINATION ROCK PROPAGATION

Learn to grow combination reef aquarium live rocks


COMBINATION ROCK BASE ROCK SELECTION

Learn about base rock for combination reef aquarium live rocks


COMBINATION ROCK SPECIES SELECTION

Learn about selecting species for combination reef aquarium live rocks


LOW COST BULLET PROOF REEF AQUARIUM

Learn to start an inexpensive reef aquarium


55 GALLON INSTA REEF
Visit Rachel's 12 week old Bullet Proof Reef Aquarium


MORE PICTURES OF THIS REEF AQUARIUM


Geothermal Aquaculture Research Foundation,Inc. online tour

Learn why we call it Geothermal


Super glue research page

We teach you the Super Glue method of invertebrate propagation

Super Glue evaluation page

Our researchers rate many brands of super glue


Geothermal Aquaculture Research Foundation Feed Back page

E-mail input so we can make these pages better


Natural Algae Control

Reef Janitor Order Page - red leg hermits, snails, grunge.


THIS IS WHAT OUR HAPPY REEF JANITOR CUSTOMERS SAY ABOUT THEIR NEW JANITORS AND OUR SERVICE

NEW

Research page for Xenia and related soft coral propagation

Learn to propagate xenia. Please enter any data you have about these corals.


Soft Coral Propagation Page

Pictures and details of soft coral propagation


Stony Coral Propagation Page

Pictures and details of small polyp stony corals


Mushroom Anemone Propagation Page

Pictures and details of mushroom propagation


Zoanthid and palythoa Anemone Propagation Page

Pictures and details of Sea mat propagation


Image Page for Zoanthids and Palythoa


Learn to construct a 140 gallon plywood and epoxy reef tank

This is one of our most popular pages. Many people have made their own reef aquarium.


Learn to construct an aquarium stand


WETLANDS SAVE THE WORLDS REEFS FROM ALGAE DESTRUCTION




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COVER AND INDEX
LAST MONTHS ISSUE | HOME | DECEMBER ISSUE PAGE 1 | DECEMBER ISSUE PAGE 2

NEW FARMER OF THE MONTH | GROWING AN ENTIRE REEF FOR A PROFIT | LACE ROCK UPDATE