Mangrove Owners Needed! Lagoon tank build and stocking questions.

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by VSVP bet, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. VSVP bet

    VSVP bet Well-Known Member R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor

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    Hello All,

    I acquired around 5/6 mangrove pods from a recent trip to FL. The pods are growing out nicely in the refugium of my 90G tank. As I let them fully develop, I think it is best to look toward the future as they cannot permanently live in a sump. The solution, I plan on buying glass and constructing a breeder style AIO tank system to house my mangroves. The breeder style will hopefully create a lagoon, allowing the roots to grow down while providing space around them to house appropriate corals, inverts, and fish. The filtration will mirror something like my 33L build (Shown below). https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/33-long-build.366016/

    My questions are as follows. As mangroves live in estuaries, what conditions make them the happiest. Hoping some members with big mangroves can share pictures and condition info. Do water conditions need to vary based on the stage of the plant? (pod, seedling, juvenile, full grown, etc.).

    Also, what corals, fish, and inverts go best with mangroves. I do a lot of snorkeling/diving in the Gulf of Mexico, and I don't see many corals around the mangroves there. Regardless, what fish and coral species would mimic a natural mangrove reef. Please let me know.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018

  2. fish farmer

    fish farmer Well-Known Member

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    First off transplanting a rooted/leafed out shoot to a different system isn't recommended, I've read they don't handle movement well. It would be better to make your plan and then get pods.

    I've had better success with pods planted in shallow water vs deep water. My first experience with mangroves was in a 20 gal tall tank, most of the pod about 75% were under water. They did root, a couple did put out shoots, one did do best out of all, but didn't transplant well to my newer system.

    My current ones are in a 65 gallon island tank attached to my 29 reef, deep sand with maybe two inches of water over them. I think I started with 5 and they all rooted and put out leaves. My lighting isn't great, they did stretch toward the 90 watt PC. I have freshwater LED over them now. I aggressively prune and wire them, the tank is covered. I mist them maybe every other day with RO/DI water. I've had them alive for over 5 years. They grow really slow. Another thing to consider if you want corals below them....the mangroves will eventually shade them.
     
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  3. VSVP bet

    VSVP bet Well-Known Member R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor

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    The pods have been growing in my fuge for around 3 weeks and have small roots starting to sprout. I am going to put foam (filter sponge pads or something) below the pods to allow the roots to grow, but not truly attach to make transport easier. To avoid any shock upon transfer, I will remove around 20/30 gallons of water from my 90 reef, and use it to start the new tank. The whole system is probably around 120 gallons, so using 30 gallons to start the new tank will act as a water change. This should hopefully allow me to dodge any problems with a shock during transfer.

    As far as new tank construction goes. I am thinking 20-30 gallons. I will definitely make it shallow (as per your suggestion). How deep of a sand bed would you recommend, 2/3 inches? More? Less? Also, does any live sand do the trick, or are there substrates catered toward mangroves? (I know mineral mud exists, wondering if anyone has used this product.)

    Lastly, how important is spraying the leaves? I am assuming it helps remove debris, pests, and allows the plant to absorb fresh water. Is this correct?

    Thanks!
     
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  4. KristianS

    KristianS Member

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    If you already have a reef tank going, and youre making it a decent size, id either do it as a brackish predatory tank and have everglade species in there:

    Or, make it shallow and wide/long and do some rays
     
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  5. Flexin

    Flexin Well-Known Member

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    This is great info. What do you do if you are away for a week or two?
     
  6. VSVP bet

    VSVP bet Well-Known Member R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor

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    Are you suggesting brackish because that is what the mangroves prefer? I live in Connecticut and I kept a natural species tank that was brackish. What everglades species would you recommend? And as @fish farmer stated above, would a transfer from standard reef conditions to brackish water hurt the newly rooting mangrove pods?

    I am confused by the hardiness of mangroves. It seems that some hobbyists have classified them as bulletproof (I am assuming this means established plants in established systems) and others say they can be somewhat fragile. From my experience, it seems that mangroves inhabit bays, lower rivers, and estuaries. These conditions change daily due to the tide, weather, etc. Shouldn't mangroves be hardy then and used to varying water? Or are there different species of mangroves that inhabit different conditions in a local area.
     
  7. fish farmer

    fish farmer Well-Known Member

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    I'm usually not away for more than a week. I have yet to have our pet sitter spray the mangroves and I only see noticeable salt creep near the base of the trunks. There are times that I've neglected to spray them regularly and they are still putting out new growth. I'll post a pic when I get home.
     
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  8. Flexin

    Flexin Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. This give ma an idea for a shallow tank, another one and my wife will kill me :)
     
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  9. VSVP bet

    VSVP bet Well-Known Member R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor

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    Pics of plants and your system would be awesome!
     
  10. KristianS

    KristianS Member

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    Well generally when theyre purchased, they are a little grown out. I think it should be fine to transplant them.

    They would do fine in salt, the natural environmemt ive experienced them in is florida keys. Did some mangrove snorkeling. They like sandy dirt. Some cool fish if you do salt: mangrove snapper, mangrove jack, alligator gar

    The reason i say brackish is you could do seagrass,
    Some forgiving sponges/zoas/shrooms and still keep a gar in there that wouldnt do as well in reef salt levels
     
  11. VSVP bet

    VSVP bet Well-Known Member R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor

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    Sounds good. My knowledge of mangroves comes from fishing the flats of the Florida Gulf side. I will definitely continue research as they seem more complex than I originally thought. Seagrass would be a good idea, thanks for the info.
     
  12. vetteguy53081

    vetteguy53081 Well known Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    I have mine planted with miracle mud ( not a requirement) and they grow like a garden. I run an algae scrubber which uses a red light and those plants just took off PLUS they remove nitrates and feed off the detrious in the sump. My leaves are Green and Purple/green
     
  13. VSVP bet

    VSVP bet Well-Known Member R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor

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    Do you have pictures, Id love to see your setup so I can best plan mine out.
     
  14. Teddy Marshall

    Teddy Marshall Member

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    Interesting thread here, Ive considered doing mangroves in my sump but never a lagoon set up. Please keep this updated with your progress.

    Other contributors, photos and personal experience is always appreciated.
     
  15. Teddy Marshall

    Teddy Marshall Member

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    Intersting thread here, please keep this updated with your progress.

    Also, other contributors - photos and personal experience is always helpful.
     
  16. vetteguy53081

    vetteguy53081 Well known Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    FE27F843-BE44-4F75-9D2C-A60EF1BFE370.jpeg Best I can get with algae scrubber in the way
     
  17. ca1ore

    ca1ore Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award CTARS Member R2R TV Featured Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    I've toyed with a lagoon tank for years. It'd have to be possible to grow turtle grass in addition to mangroves, but I haven't seen it available for a long time. I do keep a couple of mangroves in my frag tank but they grow very slowly.
     
  18. fish farmer

    fish farmer Well-Known Member

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    Here's a pic of my three 5 year old plants. Over the years I've probably snipped off about as many leaf tops as I have growing. They would grow right up into the 90 watt PC and burn, they seem better with the cooler led fixture. I've also been wiring them a bit more now. They are running out of space so I may try a drastic prune on them. They are planted in about 3 inches of fine sand.
    IMG_7162.JPG

    This what they looked like at year one, in the right corner. Al's Atoll.jpg
     
  19. VSVP bet

    VSVP bet Well-Known Member R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor

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    Looks good. So 3 inches of sand... what is the depth of the water?
     
  20. fish farmer

    fish farmer Well-Known Member

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    They are in about 2 to 3 inches of water.

    Here's an inspirational photo for you, pic from John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo, Fla.
    mangrove1.jpg
     
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