OK... I think I'm ready


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OK... I hope to have the 'Eel run' installed this weekend so I'll have plenty of DSB surface. I have Macro's growing fast and happy. My Cyano in the Lagoon is only on the glass and some small sections of the sand (2). I added another 65w CF light - so now have a total 0f 130w on a 24"x12" section of 10" deep water.... Iron and NO3 dosing seem reliable and predictable.

I think I'm ready for Seagrasses.

I'd like to minimize the orders placed to maximize money spent on shipping. I would also be interested in trading if that's an option.

My Goal is to have a dense area of seagrass for the eel. I hope to intruduce crabs/shrimp, etc. that he can actively hunt in the grass/Mangrove roots as a suppliment for his normal food.... and also because Seagrasses are just plain cool :D The space is potentially 42" long by 12" wide (all ~10" of water). but the 18" section will have mangroves in it as well.

So... my original plan was for Turtle grass. But, I'm concerned that it may grow too slowly. Maybe something with broad leaves would be better complimented by Shoal grass and Turtle?. I plan to keep the Macro's until they get phased out by incroaching seagrass so at least I'll have a start of green while the seagrass dies back from transplant.

What seagrass would you recommend?

Thalassia testudinum (Turtle grass) I still expect to get some of this just to try it out (as soon as Billsreef.com gets more). But I'm not sure that I'll go species specific bed as I had originally thought.

Other options:

Ruppia Maritima (Wigdon grass) is out as I think it'll be too thin/tall

Halophila Wrightii (Shoal Grass) is a possibility... surely in conjunction with another type.

Halophila Ovalis (Spoon Grass) probably nice as the oval leaves could provide hiding spots. Also, would compliment the Mangrove with similiar leave structure.

Halophila decipiens (Paddle Grass) looks interesting - not sure about finding any to get though :D

Halophila engelmannii (Star Grass)... I dunno.... Sarah? what do you think about density near the sand bed?

Halophila johnsonii (Johnson Seagrass)... structure is like a cross between the Halo Ovalis and Thalassia.

Syringodium filiforme (Manatee grass). I dunno... They are all starting to look the same LOL

Here's a pretty nice side-by-side comparison:

Fish & Wildlife Research Inst.: Seagrass



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The shoal grass is Halodule genus, not Halophila. That's the one I have the most of. Thin, not too tall (6") in my tank, moderately resistant to grazing. Seeks deeper sand in the open areas of my tank, seems to benefit from fairly high current. Better choice for tanks with higher current, IMO.

I had manatee grass up until the tank move. At a glance it looks like shoal grass, but the blades are round instead of flat. In my tank it grew over 2' tall. Resistant to grazing. Seeked the deepest sand where the most detritus settled in my tank. For a low-current, tall, hexagonal tank like for seahorses, IMO this would be the ideal grass. Sends up shoots in low light and high light areas.

Star grass is a nice looking and quick gowing grass. Stays in the dimmer areas of my tank, maybe because the shoal grass out-competes it for the brightly-lit real estate. Fragile and grazable. Is OK with comb-tooth grazers like Kole tang in my tank. Siganus lo will whipe it out in a few days.

Turtle grass can be testy to establish IME. I failed twice and have given up for now. You need to protect the blades from overgrowth while the roots establish. If the turtle grass eventually "takes", I think it will come to dominate. May take a couple of years, though.

I'd get a variety of grasses and sand bed algae. Star grass and Udotea should take off quickly and give you some greenery in the short term. Over months and years the other guys may fill in. Its the shipping costs, especially this time of year, thats the killer. So I just order everything that can get stuffed into one box when I get stuff shipped.


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Halodule Wrightii... Correct - must have gotten carried away in my posting/linking mess :D

Thanks for the correction.

I do have some macro's now that are growing well, so I'll have 'visual appeal' while the Seagrass grows out. I do like the idea of mixing the low growth of the spoon grass with the contrasting form of the shoal grass. The height of the manatee grass pretty much scratches it off the list. Because of the height of the lights above the mangroves, that section of the tank is much dimmer. I wonder if I supplimented the light with a focused flood from above/behind to bring the light level up in that area some, if I could use that section for low light macro's and star grass.

Tank is medium current and I may be adding a dump bucket w/ laminar surface flow to supliment the static flow/rotation from the sump return after the grasses take hold.

Hrm....Udotea .... I had that (Udotea conglutinata) in this DSB several years back under much lower light and before I was using Kalk (so my Ca/Alk levels were very inconsistent depending on how many hours I had to work that day)... It sprouted a single blade from the original but both succumed to micro algae. I think this would be a nice addition with the stable/high levels I have now (reactor) and very low calcification demand by the rest of the system...
I'd love to get ahold of some Udotea cyathiformis this time around.

How does one go about getting specific items? I guess I'll dig through some online vendors and see what I can find - also send my LFS an email about it. They have been good about finding odd things for me in the past.

Thanks again,


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H. ovalis, H. decipiens, H. johnsonii.. all unavailable from anyone at the moment. H. johnsonii is a real issue, its technically got protection from the US govt, but like other Red List items here in the states, it only seems to have protection from being shipped to other countries and there isnt a lot of legislation written for it at the moment.

It is a VERY delicate little grass. You hear peircho and I sometimes mention that stargrass (H. engelmanni) can be delicate, stiff, easy to crush or bruise sometimes.. that goes about quadruple for H. johnsonii. I had a small colony (which I thought was H. decipiens initially) that never did anything but mock me, even in tissue culture. I havent given up on the little guy (ps: they are about 1/3rd the size of even the relatively small stargrass) but dont know how to get them besides smashed colonies from seawrack.

I think Thalassia, stargrass, shoal grass are your best bets. Manatee gets too tall really. Shoal and star will do a nice job of filling in once they grab hold after transplant.. turtle grass should fill in eventually. You have effectively the same amount of light that I do, so I dont know if you'll do better with turtle grass or not.. it may not be a light thing, maybe its current. Argh. :)

One day soon I'll have H. decipiens in my clutches. Mwhahaha. Til then I'm just trying to revive the stargrass (still have a tiny section that's green in tissue culture.. we'll see).



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Anyone else?

Also - what about adding one other fish (maybe something that's active during the day) and doesn't mind sharing a room with the Snowflake? oh... and of course, one that wont mow down my macro's/Seagrass.

Maybe a Trigger?