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Re: Skimmers

> Tom said:
>> You can do it without the live rock if you want.
>> A refugium can be veryu effective with nothing more than the Caulerpa.
> Do you mean a refugium with  caulerpa _and_ aragonite?

Yes, or dolomite etc. 2 - 3 inches is good. Some add laterite to the very

> Would you need a skimmer/skilterr for that setup to take out
> the more complex organics?

No. That's the whole idea behind the Leng system.
Plants do the filtering. No skimmer.

> If you mean only caulerpa, then I don't understand something:
> what does the caulerpa suck out of the water?

Dang near everything. It's a weed.

Isn't the point of
> live rock/aragonite (that have lots of great habitat for bacteria)
> to break down ammonia --> nitrites --> nitrates, and it's the
> nitrates that get sucked up by caulerpa? Or can caulerpa also
> remove ammonia and nitrites or other broken-down organics.

It can remove NH4 and other nutrients directly.
Live rock and substrates for denitritification is another method but plants
are better at removing ALL the nutrients, not just NO3.

This very low nutrient environment is great for coral and it's internal
The algae get the N from the animals and critters the corals catch and the
corals get the carbohydrates from the algae.

More nutrients will favor the weeds and they will reduce the nutrients
surprisingly fast. Then you are back to where you want to be for a coral
Planted marine folks would likely need to add more nutrients like KNO3,PO4,
traces, Ca++, KH etc.

> Obviously, I'm chemistry-challenged! It would be nice to get a
> clear explanation about how all this works for a marine tank.

Well in many ways things are not that much different as far as the plants
go. Just remember that Corals are not plants. Some have algae inside but
they are use to living on food the animal catches to supply the N to the
algae and the algae supply the coral with carbohydtrates.
So you need to feed them and also take care of the algae.
The algae in corals needs far less than the algae in FW to grow well.

> Calling Dr. Tom....  :-)

Do I hear the squawk of the Blue Footed Booby?:-)

I'll tell you this much. I'm very pleased with my marine planted tank. Most
things melted back but the rebound is very healthy.

Oh, yea, the shrimps are much neater than FW shrimp. Same for the snails.
Picked up 3 species of Sea hares, a number of tube worms, even some
Dictyota( a brown alga).

The Penicillus are doing great and have sent out about 2 runners. These are
very cool since they look like "Mini Trees". I can see some neat aquascapes
with these.

The Seagrasses are also doing well, I have two species both nice.
Avrainvillea is also very neat and not as picky about Ca levels as Halimedas
and Udotea's. Both of these are very nice plants.

Tom Barr
> cheers,
> sg