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Any marine planted tank experts here?


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I'm considering converting a tank over to marine planted with pipefish, but I'm finding helpful information to be scarce.


Does anyone here know a thing or two about the subject and can help me out, or at least point me in the right direction?

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I am planning on doing the same thing. I want to breed the dragonface pipefish, so most of my research is about the dragonface pipefish. I had to compile a lot of information from forums but you have to really search through them.  Here are a few sites I have visited. You probably have already seen these sites. The first two sites are about macroalgae and they are really helpful. You may want to think about culturing copepod just in case. 







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Here is my planted tank that I kept seahorses and then pipefish in.




I would recommend getting one fast growing macro alage for "nutrient control" and then as many other as you want. You can pruin the fast grower to keep up with the needs of the tank.


When I went to pipefish there was a 29g refugium underneath the tank that was basically a ball of cheato and a return pump.


Macro's do like their nutrients, but the easiest way to control is to limit either nitrate or phosphate. Most alage consumptions are between 20:1 and 50:1 nitrate:phosphate. I always picked to control the phosphate, because if needed I could just turn on the GFO reactor.


Most of my macro's came from John at Reefcleaners.org. On his forum there are some other fun planted tanks.



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When I went to look at my tank, I remember a few facts about Macroalgae. These are "not to worry" facts. Light intensity can have some interesting effects on red Marcoalgae. If the algae gets more intensity light than it needs, it starts to change color. I found that it is not dying but adopting to the light. The red macroalgae products less pigmented cells and more green photosynthesis cell. So, the red macroalgae starts looking more pale yellow to pale green. This happened to my blue ochtode. It color back up when I moved it away from the light. Halimeda becomes pale when the lights go out and colors back up when the lights turn on. If it is pale with tiny green dot, it is a warning sign. The Halimeda just went asexual and is about to release spores.  

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Sweet tank, Kevin!


Alright guys, I'm reading and I'm learning:)


Would a 30 cube with a HOB refugium and a power head or two make an adequate environment for a mixed softie and macro tank for pipefish without culturing pods? Unfortunately, culturing phyto and pods is out of the question right now:(

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IME I'd go big n the water movement. When the algae grows in you will need a lot of movement. The tank above turned over between 40 and 100x an hour depending on the time of day. I ran it through a closed loop and then to spray bars that were rock supports. I'm guessing a gyre or a couple of Jeabo's could do the trick now.


For pipefish I'd go with ones that eat mysis. You won't be able to breed enough pods for them, I would t even try IME. Pipes are like seahorses, no stomachs, just a folder intestine. They will eat any pod they see, if they are I to them. I kept alligators and dragons and both took mysis.. You can ask the guys on seahorse.org for ones they have luck with or Tami over at Fusedjaw is pretty smart on stuff syngnathid.


Eclipse made a good point on the macro coloration and going sexual. You can see in the top left of my tank pic that the boctylacodia (spelling) is white on top. It wasn't going sexual, just how it grew closer to the light.


Another good thing to keep in mind with macros going sexual is pruning. Basically with species like prolifera or racemosa everything attached to a vine is like one cell. If part of it goes, everything attached goes. But if you clip the runners between the leaves you will only loose the one section.


With some species going sexual can be a good thing. I had a hard time with sargassum, until I killed it in a plastic bag, and poured the soup into my tank. That's the only way I got it to take off. Same with red ulva, IME.


Hit me up if ya have any questions as ya go





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Lots of water movement, be prepared to trim if there are warning signs of going sexual, make sure the pipefish will take mysis. Okay, can do.


What is the likelihood I will find a pair of dragon face that will take mysis, and is a 30 cube big enough to house them?

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I have found dragonface to accept frozen readily, in my experience, and even dry food on one occasion. I don't know if dragon pipes are captive raised, but wild caught can be weaned over to frozen mysis from live brine usually in a few days. I kept 6 dragons in a 10gallon  once at a store I worked in, and the dragons seemed to enjoy each other company. :)

Edited by JManrow
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The good news: You guys have gotten me totally pumped about this tank. I've actually decided to break down my CO2 injected planted freshwater 40br that has been running for 7 years to convert to the pipefish tank.


The bad news: this project is actually going to involve refinishing one stand, rebuilding another, rebuilding a light fixture and drilling the 40. It will be fun for sure, but it is going to be a considerable amount of hours before water goes in the tank.


The worse news: The wife has refused the funding for this project until after we have set up our wills, retirement accounts and life insurance.

I don't know what the heck is wrong with her sense of priorities;)


So, be on the lookout for a build thread sometime next year:p

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By liking it I mean... I had 30 years of marriage and I totally understand this brother!

Get the worst out of the way, and then you will only have the bad to deal with! As soon as that is done, all is good!

In the meantime you have us! Stay in touch with the club, and hope to see you on the 15th!

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