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  • Mesocosm Farming

    Farmer Gary



    This looks like a very interesting project! Would love to learn more about what is what and how it works and what kind of yields you are getting!
    400 gallon reef, Bubble King 300, I~Spin, 2 x 10,000K BLV 400W, 2 x 20,000K Radium 400W, 2 x 6,400K Osram 400W, Schuran Jetstream 1, AquaController Pro

  • #2
    very interesting~ What is this?

    www.spsholic.com

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    • #3
      Greetings All !

      very interesting~ What is this?
      The picture is what evolved into the first of several "live food" systems that I've began fooling around with two years ago. Its original purpose was to maintain and to propagate Gracilaria gracilis, aka "Ogo" and "Tang Heaven." But something "funny" began to happen ... massive populations of copepods, amphipods, myssids, detritovorous flatworms, detritovorous bristleworms, unspecified marine annelids, and a variety of marine ciliates emerged.

      I'm a biologist and former HS teacher ... I LOVE IT when unexpected things happen during experiments ...

      ...

      So, of course, obssessive googling began ... and I came across stuff that included this ...

      Mesocosm systems are culture systems for fish larvae with a water volume ranging from 1 to 10,000 m³. In these large enclosures a pelagic ecosystem is developed, consisting of a multispecies, natural food chain of phytoplankton (diatoms, flagellates, Nannochloris,...), zooplankton (tintinnid ciliates, Synchaeta and Brachionus rotifers, copepods,...) and predators (fish larvae). Intensification of mesocosms is determined by the initial load and by the level of exogenous compounds (fertilizer,...). Fish larvae are stocked in the mesocosms when prey densities have reached appropriate levels ...

      Link: http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/003/W3732E/w3732e0u.htm
      I became interested in "live food web" establishment and culturing ... as opposed to simple macroalga culturing ... and decided to try to downsize "mesocosm culturing" ecosystems so that a "typical" reefkeeper can produce useful amounts of live food organisms with a minimum of time investment.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
      Hunter S. Thompson

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      • #4
        Gary, this is a fascinating area which may be reproducable & sustainable for our livestock. Plz. if you could, detail this when you have time. Thnx. Bob
        "There might be something to this ZEOvit"

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        • #5
          I enjoy these "project" tanks/systems more (almost) than a display.

          SteveU
          “People are very open-minded about new things - as long as they're exactly like the old ones.”
          ...Charles F. Kettering

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          • #6
            is the red stuff macro alage ????
            Nick
            Nick
            180G SPS Mainly
            10 Bulb T5 Starfire
            Calcium Reactor
            3 Tunze 6105's
            Profilux Controller
            ATB Return w/ wavysea
            ATB M External Skimmer


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            • #7
              Mesocosm,
              I'd love to hear the details of the setup. I'd love to be able to propagate ogo. It never does very well in my 'fuge. Looks like PC lighting and are those powerheads to get the stuff to tumble?
              Chuck
              10x3x2 FOWLR (for now)
              BK400ext
              RD12 return, 2 RD12 closed loop, wavebox with extension
              MRC kalkmixer
              IKS

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              • #8
                Don't the powerheads hurt the pods?
                400 gallon reef, Bubble King 300, I~Spin, 2 x 10,000K BLV 400W, 2 x 20,000K Radium 400W, 2 x 6,400K Osram 400W, Schuran Jetstream 1, AquaController Pro

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                • #9
                  Greetings All !

                  This stuff hits a nerve, so a little background info is in order ...

                  Step into the Way-Back Machine, Sherman ... set controls to early 2004 ...

                  I'd just finished Dr. Shimek's online DSB course.. the benthic marine ecosystem stuff is amazing. I was just starting to fool around with hybridizing DSBs, algal turf scrubbing and the introduction/establishment of zooplankton populations with Berlin-style systems. Macroalgae and zooplankton culturing is where my reefkeeping addiction-passion was focused in early 2004 ... go figure ... until my interests were diverted when Madison stumbling in one day and started jibbering ... yes, jibbering ... about a new German "thing" called "ZEOvit" ... no live rock? ... zeolithes that "work" in saltwater? ... viable bacterioplankton strains with non-disruptive carbon sources? ... economical, replicable microplankton filtration? ... phosphate export without the use of synthetic resins/materials? ... sustainable, legitimate low-nutrient microcosm generation? ... I felt sorry for him, poor Madison ... I thought he'd been duped by yet another clever marketing scheme (Anyone else remember Wilkens and the first Combisan?) ... BUT, the connection between what I was focused on, and what Madison was talking about was immediately apparent ... and then I started to take a serious look at Thomas Pohl's methodology ... life just hasn't been the same since.

                  ... this is a fascinating area which may be reproducable & sustainable for our livestock.
                  ... ...


                  The creation and establishment of "semi" self-perpetuating live food "webs" presents some extremely interesting and powerful opportunities for application within both classical Berlin-style and ZEOvit systems ... not to mention "specialty" tank husbandry (... and the captive propagation of marine ornamentals, BTW). I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to share this stuff with the Zeo Community. I was actually stupid enough to try and present some of this stuff in "the other cyberspace" ... and was promptly and sarcastically laughed off the threads. I didn't think anyone else was really interested in this stuff ...

                  Stay tuned ... much more to follow ...

                  ... Plz. if you could, detail this when you have time.
                  Hehe ... be careful what you ask for, Bob ...

                  I enjoy these "project" tanks/systems more (almost) than a display.
                  I'm right there with you ... until the fatal "SPS bug " reactivated, I actually enjoyed "project" tanks more ... LPS and Softies tanks had become boring ... go figure.

                  is the red stuff macro alage ????
                  The red stuff is a red macroalgae (Rhodophyta) named Gracilaria gracilis. It's marketed by folks like IPSF as "Tang Heaven".

                  ... I'd love to be able to propagate ogo. It never does very well in my 'fuge. Looks like PC lighting and are those powerheads to get the stuff to tumble?
                  It never did very well in any of my "plumbed into a main display" refugia either, but the "dedicated" propagation tank worked pretty well. The major "problem" was that the amphipod populations grew to large that they began consuming the Gracilaria faster than it grew. The lights are 4 X 96W PC in an ABS hood with built-in fans. Water movement is definitely a key, and the powerheads are there for multiple currents for tumbling (... also to help prevent Gracilaria buildup which tends to jam the pumps and overflows ...).

                  Don't the powerheads hurt the pods?
                  This is one of those "myth-information" things. Even Adney and Lovelace write that the pressure and shearing kills zooplankton ... that hasn't been my experience. Is there some mortality? ... sure, but it's not a death sentence. IME, zooplankton can definitely be introduced into a display from a refugium through a return pump. Even MUCH larger creatures can survive the ride ... in the saltwater resale system in the store, there's a gold neon goby swimming around in the rapid sand/fluidized bed of a 6 foot RK2 column ... he went right through a 3/4 HP RK2 pump ... and he's not the first ... go figure.

                  I have alot to say about this stuff ... those who have asked for more info may live to regret it ...

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
                  Hunter S. Thompson

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                  • #10
                    ... until my interests were diverted when Madison stumbling in one day and started jibbering ... yes, jibbering ... about a new German "thing" called "ZEOvit" ... no live rock? ... zeolithes that "work" in saltwater? ... viable bacterioplankton strains with non-disruptive carbon sources? ... economical, replicable microplankton filtration? ... phosphate export without the use of synthetic resins/materials? ... sustainable, legitimate low-nutrient microcosm generation? ... I felt sorry for him, poor Madison ... I thought he'd been duped by yet another clever marketing scheme (Anyone else remember Wilkens and the first Combisan?) ... BUT, the connection between what I was focused on, and what Madison was talking about was immediately apparent ... and then I started to take a serious look at Thomas Pohl's methodology ... life just hasn't been the same since.
                    Gary, most people do not do the second step, you did, after hearing first about the system. They rash decide it must all be marketing. Sometimes it really makes me wonder what all the so called experts know about corals.

                    Please go on with further remarks.

                    Thanks, G.Alexander

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mesocosm
                      I didn't think anyone else was really interested in this stuff ...
                      I sure as heck am!!

                      This is good stuff, keep it coming!
                      400 gallon reef, Bubble King 300, I~Spin, 2 x 10,000K BLV 400W, 2 x 20,000K Radium 400W, 2 x 6,400K Osram 400W, Schuran Jetstream 1, AquaController Pro

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                      • #12
                        Madison stumbling in one day and started jibbering ... yes, jibbering ... about a new German "thing" called "ZEOvit" ... no live rock? ... zeolithes that "work" in saltwater? ... viable bacterioplankton strains with non-disruptive carbon sources? ... economical, replicable microplankton filtration? ... phosphate export without the use of synthetic resins/materials? ... sustainable, legitimate low-nutrient microcosm generation? ...
                        I think I said something like "...and it makes your corals look awesome"

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                        • #13
                          Greetings All !



                          Sorry about the poor text quality ... anyone know why this JPEG isn't translating properly? Thanks !

                          More to follow ...
                          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
                          Hunter S. Thompson

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Is this tank connected to a sump now and is this sump connected to another system or is this a standalone tank?

                            Is the function of the empty space only for other species of algae or does it have another function as well?
                            400 gallon reef, Bubble King 300, I~Spin, 2 x 10,000K BLV 400W, 2 x 20,000K Radium 400W, 2 x 6,400K Osram 400W, Schuran Jetstream 1, AquaController Pro

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                            • #15
                              OK here's a specific question for you, Gracilaria is not available in my country, and rotifers are harder to get than hens teeth. But I am wanting to set up some way to raise some of the eggs my perc clowns lay.
                              I was thinking of setting up a tank with a DSB, no fish or predators, and "seeding" it with stuff from rock pools to try to get a micro organism population going.
                              Then in time, dump the clown larvae in.
                              What do you think? Any chance of success.
                              An interesting thing, I have a friend who is new to marines, he set up a 6 foot tank, with a DSB, and the only fish are two maroon clowns he purchased as a breeding pair. Anyhow, they spawned, and around 30 or so of the larvae have survived in the tank and are now inch or so long juveniles. I can only assume that the tank must contain sufficient tiny critters to have nourished them, although none is visible.

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