Aquaponic Gardening

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So, in the future I am hoping to set up a crayfish, catfish pond for basil and other such greens in freshwater. A duck a ponics for fodder for the ducks. And I am doing active turning of my compost pile from the rabbits we have and chicken clean up. However Right now I am only doing saltwater tank o ponics? ( growing seaweeds/greens in our refugium)- we do chem free, we have a small 55gal tank with a 10gal tank for the refugium, with natural syphoning-besides the pumps. We use a lot of live rock, and a lot of sand substrate(sorry to post this here but I figure some of yall might just be able to help- more than a lot of the "reef" websites that all try to tell you to chem your tank out.) We had most of our corals recently get decimated by fire worms, however we have a vicious tank- one huge serpent brittle star that eats most dumb fish ( we still have 5 that live with it though- including a clown fish that sleeps next to it oddly enough, guess hes not too slow). We have been told arrow crabs, a snail, clams, wrasses- however all these things get eaten in our tank, we had a cone snail, clam,and crabs- all gone. no wrasse yet but the guy at the fish store said we didnt want it cause the brittle star will most likely eat it. I would like to blame the disappearance of the coral on the water but its not how it went down. My horticulture teacher used to always go off about how aquaponic seminars usually are frequented by salt water coral enthusiasts so I figure give it a shot. Please any able to help? Good designs for traps for em? Thanks for your time-

 

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What do you need help with?  It looks like you need to get rid of that brittle star!

I think I need to start a new tank and leave that one to brittle stars and other things that can duke it out. I dunno ideas about removing fire worms mainly would be cool. other peoples experience with salt water tanks and using refugiums and natural means of filtering versus the traditional chem method for salt water aquariums. There is no way my wife would let me get rid of anything out of that tank. Its hard enough to keep her from spending way too much just to feed it in hopes that the food may live.... aye aye aye.. anyways.

It is a shame that our tropical reefs are being raped and robbed to feed your brittle star. There is an active aquarium fishery here on the Big Island. Our fish and reefs are disappearing to be sold in all the aquarium stores across the country. I think it should be outlawed!!

I think I would start with some test numbers. Go buy a quality saltwater test kit like Salifert and do the following tests.

Nitrate

Ph

Salinity (Use a refractometer)

I think if your water is bad then the tests should show it. As far as catching your star, get a coke bottle and put some food inside and turn off the lights. The star will get in there within the hour and you simply close the lid and take it off the tank.

Vishnu

Ha! are you Daft? Since when has outlawing things really helped? If anything, maybe set up demands on the people who farm  the oceans reefs on preserving it. How about stopping stupid people from moving and being a tourist in them.  Actually the store we frequent buys mainly from farmed corals in tanks- small polyps. I know it all originally comes from the ocean- so do the fish you farm with- once come from a stream- do I yell at you about how fishing should be outlawed?. What about humans living on islands next to them ruining them with their pollution???? If you want it to be a sanctuary- don't have humans live with all their trash right next to them- unless they are constantly working on ways to help their growth. Thanks, the brittle star isnt what is eating the coral, its the fire worms- another natural thing from the ocean. Tourism is much bigger of a killer to "our" reefs (this is one earth here buddy) than I believe people who are trying to create a sustainable ecosystem of salt water. I was refering to the fish the brittle star eats- not coral, however now we just keep it fattened up on shrimp from the grocer-



Chris Smith said:

It is a shame that our tropical reefs are being raped and robbed to feed your brittle star. There is an active aquarium fishery here on the Big Island. Our fish and reefs are disappearing to be sold in all the aquarium stores across the country. I think it should be outlawed!!

 Thanks for that, we do chem tests, its all fine,  same with salinity, and pH (a wee low but still ok). Its really the fire worms eating the coral. I think we will move the monster out of that tank- we stopped  buying corals until we resolve the worm issue.  Gonna get a wrasse and see if it can help. 

moonyguy said:

I think I would start with some test numbers. Go buy a quality saltwater test kit like Salifert and do the following tests.

Nitrate

Ph

Salinity (Use a refractometer)

I think if your water is bad then the tests should show it. As far as catching your star, get a coke bottle and put some food inside and turn off the lights. The star will get in there within the hour and you simply close the lid and take it off the tank.

Vishnu

I'd second the idea of getting a wrasse.

I also had a big worm issue with my live coral tank. The worms were attacking my red mushroom and even had the stones to attack my shrimp when he would be sleeping. Unfortunately I was running a 10Gal so I couldn't support a wrasse with my size.

The solution for me was to take out 50% of the live sand and I made a 110 F degree bath at a higher salinity than my normal tank. From what I could tell it killed about 80% of my worms (they float to the top of the water when they die) and helped me to lower some of my waste levels. It was pretty extreme and labor intensive but IMO better than chemical treatments which can even be hit or miss.

After putting the sand back on a screen to drain off a lot of the overly salty (and waste filled water [the worms mess themselves as they die]), I returned the live sand to the tank and repeated the process with the second half a few weeks later.

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