Does anyone have/know about coldwater marine aquariums?

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eatyourpeas

eatyourpeas

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Out exploring the possibilities. I have identified a few rocks to start with as well as macro algae. Next trip will be with a bucket to bring a little sample of the sound. There is a lot of life attached to these rocks, so studying up on what I may end up with to make sure I am not going to harm anything. If the weather cooperates, I'll take pictures and post them.

Time for a temporary study tank. :rolleyes:
 

Colin_T

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If you plan on getting marine algae, keep them in the ocean until you are ready to go. Then put them in a big bucket of sea water and hop in the car and drive. Don't have the heater on in the car and keep the water cool.

Take enough sea water to fill the tank when you grab the algae. That way the algae will remain in he water it has lived in and the temperature will be the same.

Marine algae don't tolerate sudden changes in temperature (especially if it goes from cold to warm), and they don't tolerate sudden changes in salinity (salt level). Setting the tank up with sea water when you grab the algae, will give the algae the best chance of survival.
 
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That makes perfect sense. Was planning on it but am now even considering the sea water for water changes.

Also, looking at double pane for front of the tank to deal with condensation.
 
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Today was a great day! Visibility was awesome, water temp 50F so the expedition was quite comfortable (hats off to whoever invented dry suits!). Preliminary tank tester has been set up.

Parameters:
Ammonia: 0, Nitrites: o, Nitrates: 0, Salt water pH: 7.0, temperature: 55F GH: higher than 180 ppm, KH: 120ppm

I need to get a saline refractometer so I can measure salinity, but for now, mother nature is keeping everything in check for me.

I plan on daily water changes from the ocean for now. Also, need to identify the inhabitants. Algae, amphipods, snail (yes!), barnacles, etc.

The tank
1614117513745.png

Happy barnacles
1614117582068.png 1614117637814.png

The snail
1614117679154.png 1614117780699.png 1614117805727.png

Algae:
1614117854957.png 1614117900487.png

More to come...
 
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And so far I seem to have:
Sarcodiotheca gaudichaudii, Cladophora columbiana, Prionitis lanceolata

As the tank clears I'll be able to get a better sense of what is in there. The snail could be an invasive periwinkle or Ilyanassa obsoleta, which would be bad.
 

Colin_T

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You don't need to do a water change every day.

If you put a line on the tank (with a permanent marker) where the water level is, you can simply add freshwater to top up any evaporation. Just add fresh water to get the level back up to the line. This means you won't need a hydrometer or refractometer straight away.

If you go to the beach at night when it's calm, shine a torch on the water in one spot and leave it there for a few minutes and lots of plankton will gather under the light. Then scoop them up and put them in the tank. You get all sorts of cool stuff doing that.

You can also buy light floating plankton traps from Ebay. They float under the surface and have a light on them. The light attracts the plankton and it goes into a plastic holding container. Then you pick it up and put the plankton into a bucket.
 
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You don't need to do a water change every day.

If you put a line on the tank (with a permanent marker) where the water level is, you can simply add freshwater to top up any evaporation. Just add fresh water to get the level back up to the line. This means you won't need a hydrometer or refractometer straight away.

If you go to the beach at night when it's calm, shine a torch on the water in one spot and leave it there for a few minutes and lots of plankton will gather under the light. Then scoop them up and put them in the tank. You get all sorts of cool stuff doing that.

You can also buy light floating plankton traps from Ebay. They float under the surface and have a light on them. The light attracts the plankton and it goes into a plastic holding container. Then you pick it up and put the plankton into a bucket.
You, my dear, are a wealth of information! Thank you!

I will do that with the water top off. Is Prime ok to use to treat the freshwater?

Will try looking for plankton as soon as we get high tide at a decent hour in the night.
 

Colin_T

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You can use any dechlorinator for the top up water.

You don't have to look for plankton on a high tide. If the water is more than 2 feet deep, you can get plankton any night.

Insulating the back and sides of the tank is a good idea. It will help keep the cold in and heat out so the chiller unit doesn't have to work as hard. :)
 
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You don't have to look for plankton on a high tide. If the water is more than 2 feet deep, you can get plankton any night.
Ah, that is the caveat. During low tide it can go out about 100 feet, and impossible to walk on the soft sand (muck). As it is, we had a massive hail storm this afternoon that left about 1" of ice on the ground. Visibility is going to be shot tomorrow :(

I will find a good time to do that. Temperature stable at 55F last I checked.
 

Colin_T

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Ah, that is the caveat. During low tide it can go out about 100 feet, and impossible to walk on the soft sand (muck).
gotcha :)

I'm spoilt then. I used to go to Woodman's Point and there was a nice calm bay there. You could walk out 100meters and the water was only 2-3 feet all the way out. It had nice sea grasses growing there and all sorts of wonderful things living in the sea grass. It has nice white sandy beaches and white sand going out to sea.

The dogs loved going there but only one went in the water. She had a field day and would bounce around like a porpoise. I was scooping a weed bed when she come bouncing through the water and deciding to jump up on my back. Needless to say we both went in the water.

She even knew how to hold her breath underwater and she spotted an octopus or squid and took off after it. There were black ink patches popping up everywhere and the dog bouncing around in the water. They were great animals, pity they don't live very long :(
 

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Woodman's Point and there was a nice calm bay there. You could walk out 100meters and the water was only 2-3 feet all the way out. It had nice sea grasses growing there and all sorts of wonderful things living in the sea grass. It has nice white sandy beaches and white sand going out to sea.
Is that the one south of Freo? If so, I believe I've been there. A very nice place indeed!
 

Colin_T

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Yeah a little way south of Fremantle. It has a lime manufacturing plant there, which is gross but the bay is a short distance from it and reasonably clean.
 

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