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Marine planted tanks

> From: "Heather Foy" <heatherfoy at rogers_com>
> Subject: re: Marine Plants
> I actually had JUST started branching out into keeping "marine planted
> tanks".....it all started with wanting to keep seahorses. Having come from a
> planted tank background, I wasn't content to just keep them in a tank with
> some dead coral and fake plants for them to hitch on.

While as previously mentioned, Seahorsies are rather difficult to keep/raise
etc. FW Mysis shrimp caught in local ponds work super. After about 2-3 weeks
of live, switch over slowly to frozen Mysis shrimp. You need to go out early
in morning once twice a week to get the shrimps. This feeding routine works
well and allows much more sane keeping of these and pipe fishes.

But back to the notion of marine plants.
There are many many species of algae and a few a seagrasses, about 50 or so
angiosperms total. Many get fairly tall but a number stay short. Mangroves
are also nice.
There are many species of Caulerpa, Halimeda, Udotea, Lorincia,
Bataphora,Penicillus, Rhipocephalus, Neomeris and about 50 more.

Thalassia testudidum
Turtle grass--Hydrocharitaceae--long, ribbon-like leaves, 4-12 mm wide and
10-35 cm long. 
Syringodium filiforme
Manatee grass--Cymodaceae--leaves 1 mm wide to 50 cm long.
Haludole wrightii
Shoal grass--Cymodaceae--blades 1-3 mm wide and 10-20 cm long, early
colonizers of disturbed sites

These are all pretty short.
Nice thing about marine systems, lots of herbivores and fishes to choose

Other great thing about SW, it is really easy, don't fall for the notion is
not. A very simple method will reduce the needs for dosing, Kalk additions
It's called a water change. Something SW folks hate with extreme prejudice.
Yea, salt cost money to mix for the water changes but it's not that much
unless you have big tanks and considering what these folks pay for Kalk
reactors, skimmers, electric bills for those lights and the electric bill to
drive those skimmers/dosing pumps etc, I think the cost of 10$-20$ a month
on a 55 gallon tank is not that bad. 60% weekly water changes makes corals,
algae etc do very well.

If folks have a 20 gallon mini reef, large water changes, like 60%, is easy
and it does not cost much(a 50 gal salt mix can be had on sale in many
places for 8-12$ or about 1.60$ to 2.40$ a water change). Your electric for
the pump running the skimmer will cost something plus the cost of the
skimmer. Skimmers are good to have but these 300$+ skimmers are not needed.
DIY if you have a big tank etc. Small units are easy to buy or make also.
Drips/dosing etc cost $$$ to maintain and run.
That's not including initial cost for the equipment.

There's too much stuff for avoiding water changes out there. SW and FW.
Doing regular water changes really makes life simple and provides for a very
nice tank. 

Tom Barr