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Old 12-26-2006, 02:01 PM   #1
JeffDubya
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Default My Propagation Plan... INPUT APPRECIATED

So, I recently started up a 58 gallon prop system. No, there are things about it that are not optimal, but much of the parts were free, and I thought it would give me some good experience doing something along these lines before I had to commit to something larger and more expensive.

Small steps...

Here’s my ultimate goal on what I would llike to accomplish with this system.

Softies (mushrooms and zoanthids) seem to be the easiest corals to cultivate. They are also easier to keep for the average marine aquarium enthusiast due to water and lighting parameter issues, making them more commerically accessible to more people. No, I am not getting into this for money, but if I could at least cover my costs or fund a new tank project, it would be great.

So, I would like to grow 3-4 standard mushroom types and dabble in the ricordea Florida mushrooms as well. Then, I would like to put together some really nice live rocks with multiple species of mushrooms.

My thought is to get 6-12 individual mushrooms growing on reef plugs as my “brood stock.” I can take cuttings from these on a regular basis, leaving the foot and something that will grow back every time. From these cuttings, using the bridal veil method, I can slice and dice, and place these on live rocks. For the ricordea, I can either learn to raise them or find a good supplier, and just buy a batch every so often.

I will also be making some smaller rocks with encrusting flourescent green star polyps, which are really easy to propagate.

I am going to try some zoas too, but that’s not high priority right now for me.

I would love to get comments from anyone experienced with this type of propagation. I have an ideal of what I would like to do, but as I don’t really have any practical experience, I don’t really know how feasable any of this might be. INPUT APPRECIATED!
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Old 12-30-2006, 02:01 PM   #2
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Hey Jeffdubya,

Can you please give us a more complete list of your setup? That way it's easier to give you some advice on the setup.
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Old 12-30-2006, 03:43 PM   #3
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I have 2 standard 29 gallon tanks. The prop tank has acrylic wedges glued on the interior glass at 6 and 10 inches, making bases for egg crate shelves. Under those shelves I placed some live rock and a large powerhead for filtration and water movement.

It is lit by a 14K MH pendant 12 hours on, 12 hours off. The fuge is lit opposite with one of those full spectrum flourescents you can purchase at Home Depot. Inexpensive, effective. Wish I had one of those little coralife fixtures but we just had a baby and damn we're broke.

The sump underneath is also a standard 29 gallon tank. In section 1, I have my heater, and a coralife needle wheel skimmer. That is followed by three bubble trap baffles, and moves into my return zone. Honestly, I wish I had made this area smaller, but it is what it is. Then, I have a refugium that is approximately 1/3 of the tank with a deep sand bed, a chunk or two of live rock and then a ton of cheato. Right now there are two residents, a nassarius snail I got with a cup of live sand from my LFS to seed mine, and a mystery crab I am still trying to ID.

I'll take some photos and post them.
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:10 PM   #4
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Here are a couple photos:
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:14 PM   #5
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I have a bunch more, as well as my complete construction process available here:

http://www.palouseaquariums.org/showthread.php?t=428
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:23 AM   #6
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Looks like a good start. Do you have a good amount of circulation in the tank? I'm assuming the liverock is cured.

Well look to start placing the frags of the mushrooms on the lower shelf right after cutting them for about a week to 2 and make sure that they get plenty of water circulation.
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Old 01-03-2007, 03:40 PM   #7
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I'm glad you raised this topic, because it is one I am a tad concerned with.

At the time I put this together, I thought I had WAY more than enough circulation. Now, I am wondering, as I am seeing some crap settling on the egg crate and on the BV mesh. I think this must be from my phytoplankton feedings, because I am not putting anything else in the tank, save an extremely small amount of cyclopeeze (twice a week) for the candy cane coral and the hammer coral.

My main source of circulation is a Mag 5 500 GPH pump. I do not know how to calculate the loss of head pressure, but the distance everything needs to travel is 37" vertical and 16" horizontal in 1" pipe. Additionally, I have a "Via Aqua" powerhead (like I said, I inherited a lot of stuff for this project) Model VA 1300 (370 GPH)

So, assuming that the Mag 5 drops 25%, that's 745 GPH in a 29 gallon tank, for a flow rate of 25X which should be good, right?

However, there is the issue of flow positioning. As you can see from the photos, I have the return from my main pump channeled into loc line to break up the surface water as much as possible. The other powerhead really comes out at the level of the live rock, not the livestock.

The bowls I am using for the mushroom prop might be a little deep, but that's really a catch-22, isn't it? Too much flow, and they will never attach. Not enough, and they will die.

I considered putting in a Mag 7, but there is no way I can run more water into my system, my drain flow is at 100% capacity as things stand.

Input appreciated...
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Old 01-07-2007, 02:14 AM   #8
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I checked that Via Aqua pump last night and sure enough it was barely pushing any water. So, I cleaned up some of the sediment with a simple siphon, and then this morning went over to my LFS and purchased a Seio M820.

So, based on my earlier estimate, I am now moving 1170 GPH, just over 40x per hour.

Better?
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Old 01-07-2007, 04:12 PM   #9
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Sounds about right....
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Old 01-07-2007, 04:47 PM   #10
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BTW, for anyone who has never played with a Seio (for example, me - until yesterday) I was amazed at how many mounting options these things have right out of the box.

The damn thing practically came with an erector set of attatchment gear. These folks have really thought this through.

Now hopefully, longevity and performance are as good as the mounting options.
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