500-gallon Pelagic Tank Concept

BRS

WheatToast

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 18, 2021
Messages
3,563
Reaction score
4,153
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Bay Area
While I do not have the space, time, or money to care for a system of this scope, a I feel a 500-gallon pelagic tank would be a unique concept to explore. I am pretty unfamiliar with larger equipment, though a surge device and high-intensity, full-spectrum lighting seem ideal for the Sargassum.

The tank would be rectangular in shape. There would be no rockwork or substrate and the background would have a plain blue coloration.

Macroalgae:
Broadleaf gulfweed (Sargassum fluitans)
Narrowleaf gulfweed (Sargassum natans)

These would float at the water’s surface attached to plastic fishing line hanging above the aquarium, so said macroalgae could not clog inlets/pumps.

Fish:
Sargassum triggerfish (Xanthichthys ringens)
Pelagic porcupinefish (Diodon eydouxii)
Lookdown (Selene vomer)
Juvenile golden trevally (Gnathanodon speciosus)
School of silversides (Menidia sp.)

Would such a system be feasible?
 

vetteguy53081

Well known Member and monster tank lover
Review score
+5 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
69,129
Reaction score
149,372
Review score
+5 /0 /-0
Location
Wisconsin - Florida delayed due 2 hurricane damage
For me - bigger is better for chemistry, available room and maintenance
I as many know am a big tank owner and if I ever leave work and make it to Florida, will be going to a 1500g
 

davidcalgary29

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
2,470
Reaction score
2,992
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Peace River, Alberta
I think I'd need more information about the hydrology of the North Atlantic Gyre. How strong is water flow in the middle of the Sargasso Sea? Is it a nutrient-rich environment? How easy would it be to replicate lighting levels? And how good is sargassum as a nutrient export system? I'd think the answer to that would be "very", which makes me think that you'd end up requiring some sort of fertilizer...which might throw off params in a closed system. And there would be special challenges in replicating this type of biome, as you'd essentially be growing a giant vat of alga, with the hopeful bonus of piscine hitchhikers. Making algal growth the priority in an aquarium is, I have to say, a unique goal for the amateur reefkeeper, and something that you'd only find with someone trying to replicate a kelp forest.

I can maybe see a round tank with an external current around the edge with a calmer inner center; it'd have to be fairly deep, as the sargassum mats in which I've found myself at the shore are about a foot thick. I'm not sure how mats of sargassum would effect visibility of the subsurface of the alga. It sounds lovely, but not if you can't see the fauna in amongst the alga.

I do think it's a great idea doing something other than a reef tank, although it would be difficult to execute. I've casually thought about doing something similar over the years (including a coldwater kelp biome), but came to the conclusion that a tidepool tank is probably the most feasible tropical marine biome to replicate in the home aside from the standard reef setup.
 
Last edited:

GARRIGA

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Messages
1,120
Reaction score
804
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
South Florida
I’m taking a similar approach for a different reason. Hoping the sargassum can remove CO2 and raise my ph plus it’s something I’ve considered doing as a filter since the 80s or early 90s.

Ordered an XR15 G6 Pro hoping that’s enough par at the surface but don’t think it will be at the bottom of the mat and perhaps I’ll just trim the parts not getting enough light or just flip them over periodically.

Flow is a concern and will have to see how that works. I can adjust mine and current build has no concerns of the weed plugging outlets.

What I’ve researched about the open ocean where the weed is found being it’s nutrient poor and I’m assuming it’s getting it requirements from the life living within this ecosystem. However, it must be able to grab large amounts of nutrients since we are experiencing a large influx of weeds along many coasts due to nutrient run off to the point there is now a new sea of sargassum that has developed between Africa and Brazil.

My biggest hurdle might be lighting and perhaps using several Kessils that punch deeper will solve my issue in reaching the deeper portions of the mat.

My plan is to capture that floating off my south Florida coast. No clue what airfield it is but will also bring some of the endemic life on it.

The idea of a round tank makes sense and something to consider.
 
BRS

Can you identify clams?

  • I can ID most types of clams

    Votes: 28 13.0%
  • I can ID a few types of clams

    Votes: 61 28.2%
  • I can tell it’s a clam, but don’t know what type

    Votes: 125 57.9%
  • Wait, you can put clams in a saltwater aquarium?

    Votes: 2 0.9%
Subscribe to ReefStache so you don't miss out!
Top