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About Subsea

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  • Location:
    Austin, Tx
  1. This morning, it was 28 degrees with a dusting of snow. Quite beautiful here in Austin. The last two days were good for the ducks. My outside growout system consist of three 150G Rubbermade tanks buried in the ground. Plan was to grow temperature hardy macros and live food. In September, I received 90 lbs of live rock for a new build 120G tank, that is curing. Water in outside system was 69degrees with 900W heat input. I will put water into 120G new build on this Saturday. I like colorful sponges. I have four Red Tree, two Orange Encrusting and two Yellow Ball Sponges.
  2. Purpose of reverse flow is to not allow detritus to be pulled down into substrate. This allows for 100% aerobic conditions in sandbed. I personally feel that the void under sandbed should be left alone. The fact that oxygen rich water is pumped into void creates oxygen rich sandbed from bottom to top. There would be no reason to pump from Plenum.
  3. I am reducing sand bed depth from 6” to 2”,except for 1/3 of tank where large wrasse buries himself when sleeping. In two weeks, I am starting a 120G new build using a reverse flow under gravel filter with 3” of CaribSea “Special Reef Grade” aroggonite. I got some new Yellow Ball Sponges today from
  4. With my 75G Jaubert Plenum of 25 years, I also maintained a mud macro refugium. After discussions with Steve Tyree and my friend Timfish, I have gone over to the “Dark Side”, Cryptic Zone Refugium. If it works, I will write my own book. Three months ago, I turned out the lights in macro refugium and seeded with cryptic sponges. This week, I have siphoned out 50% of course substrate in 6” sandbed for Jaubert Plenum to eliminate de-nitrification and most importantly to export excessive muck in sandbed.
  5. After 45 years, it varies. My first criteria is that it is easy to tale care of. Chilli Coral is an exception to that rule. The second criteria is that it is either pretty or interesting. Third criteria is that it gets along with tank mates. To this point there is a kind of social order to be dealt with.. With LPS coral, you can move them out of sweeper tentacles range or in the case of noxious chemicals from softies being removed with GAC. Fish are more difficult. Once they are in the tank, it is difficult to effect their behavior.
  6. Invariable, I always return to the bold color of the Yellow Tang and invariable I eliminate the use of decorative macro algae’s in my display. Considering that I operated a 10K gallon macro growout system in a 20’ by 40’ greenhouse, I like macro algae. I use it as a vegetable filter to feed my tanks but ornamental macros like Red Grapes and Dragon’s Tongue, Halymenia digitata, always have a place in my display tanks. Within the last ten days, I lost both established Tangs in my 75G Jaubert Plenum. Scopas Tang was killed by toxic reaction to ammonia, my bad. Three years ago, I retired a 150G tank which included Aquaclear 110. At that time, I cleaned out box interior, including sponge, I thought. To increase flow rate and provide for chemical filtration, if needed, I started up HOB. Within 60 seconds Scopas responded by erratic jerking and fast breathing. Within 10 minutes, Scopas was dead. No other fish or coral showed any negative response. Last night, Yellow Tang died with a belly full. So, I still like yellow. Perhaps Yellow Wrasse. lights just came on
  7. I like bright colors as well. In my Jaubert Plenum display tank, greens are supplied by GSP, bicolor Hammer & Green Sinularia. Grape Caulerpa Tang feeding platform provides shade for my attempt at NPS with a Chilli Coral. Chilli is “fire engine red”. I have four other red inhabitants: two Red Tree Sponge, two Red Encrusting Sponge, Red Flower Anemone, three Flame Scallops and one Flame Angelfish. I decided that I wanted Christmas everyday in my tank. What better Christmas color, than red & green. The Gulf of Mexico farmed rock has some of the most diverse life forms and the prettiest coralline colors that I have ever seen: pink, mauve, yellow, red, green. Having been in “blue water for 17 years of a 35 year career in deepwater drilling, I have seen up close what lies in the deep. As the Senior Subsea Engineer, I conducted underwater blowout preventer inspections when BOP was on wellhead. When we moved into deep water with dynamically positioned ships, Oceeneering conducted inspections. On one well in 5000’ a large grouper had claimed the wellhead as it’s nest. Oceeneering ROV (remote operated vehicle) was sent to scare grouper off of wellhead. The grouper grabbed robot arm and shook it until camera picture went out. ROV was pulled to repair camera and was back down on wellhead in 6 hours. At a day rate of $500K, one grouper cost operations $125K. I am 30 days into curing 90 lbs of live rock that lay in 30’ of water 20 miles west of Tampa just four weeks ago.
  8. The Red Flower Anemone in last picture is a survivor. It came in on some live rock 7 years ago. Due to a stuck ATO valve, a 500G system was diluted to fresh water. The Flower was wilted then, not so today. I recently doubled light intensity in this tank for photosynthetic gorgonions. The flower is on the move. For three days he hid behind a rock.
  9. Three weeks ago, I received a Chilli Coral from Divers Den. It was beautiful in the shipping bag, flying its colors. Transfer was made to tank with colors still flying. I went to bed with Chilli “flying his colors”. When I woke in the morning, I was like a kid at Christmas. With my red LED I went to view Chilli. The rock ledge for shade had been dislodged by urchin bulldozers and covered Chilli. To prevent accumulation of detritus/algae, I put Chilli in unlit mud cryptic refugium for three weeks. Two days ago, I put Chilli back in display tank. This Thanksgiving morning, I saw Chilli flying his feathers.
  10. Same tank
  11. According to Russ Kronwetter, Red Grapes are collected between 60’-120’ of water. When I get it from Divers it is a dark maroon color. All to often, it is put under reef lighting conditions where it fades in color, loses its flotation berries and disappears. Red Grapes can grow in brighter light. I have had several tanks in which red grapes went sexual. The next year Red Grapes were coming up everywhere, including high light areas.
  12. I kept the Sea Apple for two years. While not “old age” it is an accomplishment. I can’t find any to buy. I am so much more prepared to handle filter feeders.
  13. I did zero water changes. Filtration was through a ug (undergravel filter) with 2” of crushed up oyster shells > 5mm in diameter with an air pump using uplift tubes to pull water down into the undergravel filter. Ten years later, when my ugly oyster shells were covered with the most beautiful dark purple mat, I was told by an experienced reefer that it was cynobacteria and that was a bad thing. It was so thick, I peeled it off like cardboard. For someone that wants a relaxing marine eco system without breaking the bank, a macro lagoon with invertebrate is a good “Laissez Faire” tank. Since that first Galveston Bay biotheme, I now have a 25 year old 75G Jaubert Plenum with a 30G EcoSystem Mud / Macro refugium. Three months ago, I turned out the lights, composted tomatoes with macro, added rock seeded with cryptic sponges and shifted this tank eco system to favor filter feeders. This vidio is about 5 yrs old.