Beginner Questions: What plants for what purpose?

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#1
Hello Everyone,

First let me thank you for reading this and giving me any advice you have. I appreciate your help as I research and plan the future of my SW FOWLR Tank.

I was wondering about some plants. I have a CPR In-tank refugium with some Chaetomorpha and some copepods in it. The tank is only a month old and I started the refugium on day one, so I am hoping that's a good start, but i plan to add copepods every month or two to make sure I have a good amount breeding in there, so I may one day support the needs of a Mandarin.

Now for new stuff:

I was wondering about a marine plant that I can add that I might be able to put inside the sand bed of my tank and allow my fish to eat it. I understand if maybe I should put it in my refugium and then move the cuttings into the main tank, which would also be fine by me, I just would like something that my fish might eat as a treat, so that while i am on vacations their might be some supplemental dietary foods for them without much work.

I also was wondering what the proper setup for a mangrove is. I have the CPR small in-tank refugium, but would planting the mangrove in the main area of my tank be okay? Does the mangrove need to be sticking out of the water at first?

I have also read that mangroves are sensitive to the salinity of the water they were grown in, so how do I go about finding the right mangrove that will take to my tank well and not just die off?

I am also interested in know if other plants or macroalgae are okay to put in the main area of my tank that are not harmful to the fish if they eat it or the fish would just stay away from, but the plant would be able to thrive and help keep the water levels and nutrients from spiking too much. I think that planted tanks are really interesting but do not know much myself. I also love the idea of a natural means that's beautiful to remove the waste from ones tank. I am trying to set up my tank for the ability to be away for a month at a time if needed and have automatic feeders and my reefkeeper manage the day to day stuff. I think plants may help make sure that even though the tank is going to be under stocked, that I can go 4-6 weeks easily without fear without a water change. The tank is only 56G and sumpless, so I know I can only do so much to lengthen those maintenance habits, but it's not a laziness thing as much as a job need.
 

snakeblitz33

Well-Known Member
#2
There are several macroalgaes that people grow in tanks for the fishes...

Most come from the Caulerpa genus, such as C. mexicana, C. racemosa, C. prolifera and so on. Most tangs will eat C. mexicana.

There are calcareous algaes that are also fun to grow, such as halimeda, shaving brush, pinecones, and so on. Calcareous algaes aren't the easiest things to grow - and may need additional calcium, alkalinity and magnesium supplementation.

Mangroves grow very large - it's like having a tree growing in your tank. They also don't grow fast enough to really pull that much nitrate and phosphate out of the water column.

cheatomorpha algae grows dense, and prefers to be tumbled to keep detritus from clumping into the ball. Tangs also like to sometimes eat chaeto. (pronounced key-to-morpha)

Red algaes such as grascilleria and others prefer blue lights because the red pigments cannot properly process the red/yellow spectrum, since they are deeper water species of plants.

The two algaes that I would stay away from is dead mans hands and mermaids wineglass. Also, shaving brush and pinecones are hard to get started growing unless they have a decent root system attached before you plant.

There are other macroalgaes that might be beneficial in certain aquascapes / biotopes - such as seagrasses, kelps, and turtlegrass. I would research these thoroughly before considering them, as they require special planting conditions and parameters. (they are cool for garden eel tanks)


Leaving the tank that long on an autofeeder is not something that I would be comfortable with, but balancing the tank with plenty of algae may help out over the long term.


There are a couple of websites that just sell marine macroalgae that are pretty reasonable in prices and selection. Unfortunately, I can't post the links so you will have to do a little searching. Good luck, and if you need any specific advice, PM me. I have no idea when I will get back on the forum.
 
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnakeBlitz33 http:///t/397714/beginner-questions-what-plants-for-what-purpose#post_3546035
There are several macroalgaes that people grow in tanks for the fishes...

Most come from the Caulerpa genus, such as C. mexicana, C. racemosa, C. prolifera and so on. Most tangs will eat C. mexicana.

There are calcareous algaes that are also fun to grow, such as halimeda, shaving brush, pinecones, and so on. Calcareous algaes aren't the easiest things to grow - and may need additional calcium, alkalinity and magnesium supplementation.

Mangroves grow very large - it's like having a tree growing in your tank. They also don't grow fast enough to really pull that much nitrate and phosphate out of the water column.

cheatomorpha algae grows dense, and prefers to be tumbled to keep detritus from clumping into the ball. Tangs also like to sometimes eat chaeto. (pronounced key-to-morpha)

Red algaes such as grascilleria and others prefer blue lights because the red pigments cannot properly process the red/yellow spectrum, since they are deeper water species of plants.

The two algaes that I would stay away from is dead mans hands and mermaids wineglass. Also, shaving brush and pinecones are hard to get started growing unless they have a decent root system attached before you plant.

There are other macroalgaes that might be beneficial in certain aquascapes / biotopes - such as seagrasses, kelps, and turtlegrass. I would research these thoroughly before considering them, as they require special planting conditions and parameters. (they are cool for garden eel tanks)


Leaving the tank that long on an autofeeder is not something that I would be comfortable with, but balancing the tank with plenty of algae may help out over the long term.


There are a couple of websites that just sell marine macroalgae that are pretty reasonable in prices and selection. Unfortunately, I can't post the links so you will have to do a little searching. Good luck, and if you need any specific advice, PM me. I have no idea when I will get back on the forum.

I am still making my way through reading about more on your suggestions, but I mentioned mangroves because they were a plant I wanted to get a better understanding of. While they may not be the best nutrient export, I have been helping my friend with an aquaponics setup for vegetables and goldfish and kind of liked the idea of having an actual plant around a tank.

Mainly, does it multiply like bamboo outside does? How tall will it realistically get and is that dependent on the size room you have? and can't you just trim it? Lastly, when trimming, can I feed the fish safely with it?
 

beaslbob

Well-Known Member
#4
Mangroves are trees and grow to tree size. And they do not directly consume co2 and return oxygen in the tank water.
Macro algaes do all that.
there are a few actual plants like turtle grass and others that live underwater. But they are scarce, generally require a very thick substrate of at least 6" or so, and are very slow growing.
So back to macro algaes that live under water, grow fast, and are inexpensive.
my .02
 
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaslbob http:///t/397714/beginner-questions-what-plants-for-what-purpose#post_3546068
Mangroves are trees and grow to tree size. And they to not directly consume co2 and return oxygen in the tank water.
Macro algaes do all that.
there are a few actual plants like turtle grass and others that live underwater. But they are scarce, generally require a very thick substrate of at least 6" or so, and are very slow growing.
So back to macro algaes thaty live under water, grow fast, and are inexpensive.
my .02
So with that said, what MacroAlgaes would you recommend I look into? I am interested in macroalgae i can safely have in the main area of the tank, or are small enough for my refugium to be effectively used
 

beaslbob

Well-Known Member
#6
Quote:Originally Posted by Kenman345 http:///t/397714/beginner-questions-what-plants-for-what-purpose#post_3546070
So with that said, what MacroAlgaes would you recommend I look into? I am interested in macroalgae i can safely have in the main area of the tank, or are small enough for my refugium to be effectively used

Chaetomorphia (brillo pad) for the refugium or even in the main tank behind a partition. there are actually several good choices for a refugium environment. Ulva, gracilaria plus others.
I also like caulerpa prolifera (if I can ever spell that correctly LOL).
in the display area if you maintain reef lighting and calcium levels then halimedia is a good choice.
my .02
 
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