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Author Topic: Reef Diversity Bingo  (Read 2486 times)

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Offline Ashlar

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Reef Diversity Bingo
« on: May 05, 2012, 14:52:40 »
I was recently talking with Dr. Shimek on his MD forum about critters I see in my sand / tank, and we got talking about diversity.


Quote from: Dr. Shimek
Hi,

You wrote: "what do you think about boosting that diversity from time to time?"

I think it is an absolute necessity. Your other questions indicate that you have followed that train of thought to the appropriate station.

"Do our little glass boxes move toward a.. not a monoculture, but a 'fewer-o-culture'?"

Yes. There is a tendancy over time for the diversity to be lost. While some of the species in our systems can reproduce just fine, the majority can't. These latter species might have a planktonic larvae that needs special foods, or stays in the plankton too long, or.. or... or whatever.

"Is there any danger in having fewer species who fit a particular niche?"

Yes, when the diversity gets too low, there is tendancy for the community, for example, that in a sand bed, to lose the capability of efficiently processing some nutrients and there gets to be a build up of excess organics and that is followed by the parade of nuisance algae that we are all at least passingly familiar with.

As a result, when asked - or sometimes, even when I am not asked - I recomment yearly, or thereabouts, purchasing of some detrivores either as a "detritivore kit" or as an assemblage purchased by the aquarist picking out what s/he thinks is necessary. I have normally recommended to get such critters from two firms, either Inland Aquatics (www.inlandaquatics.com) or Indo-Pacific Sea Farms (www.ipsf.com) as both aquaculture the majority or all of the things they sell, and they have a good diversity of products. Unfortunately, they also have some prices that may be prohibitive. Now,, I do understand why prices are high, labor costs, etc., etc. But... that having been said, it might be worth it for anybody who wants to purchase some of thes critters to scout the web. I don't know of any other good sources for such things, but there may be some out there in the realm of "the great unwashed...electrons."

And if there are, I hope anybody who shops there lets us know of their experiences.

That got me thinking about something I've wondered about before..

Quote from: Ashlar
I have to wonder if that lack of diversity, especially in mature tanks where folks aren't actively replenishing the diversity intentionally or unintentionally- I wonder if that is one of the things that contribute to 'old tank syndrome'. Fewer species available to deal with normal changes (normal for glass box'o'water keeping at least). I've talked to a lot of folks whose 3-5 year old tanks have crashed, and one thing I remember hearing repeatedly is something along the lines of, "I hadn't added anything in a long time / Things were just starting to fill in / the tank was on auto-pilot with no changes and a regular maintenance schedule .."

I like to pick up a piece of uncured live rock from an LFS once a year or so and drop it in my sump, and I used to go to the Texas coast and collect glass shrimp, ulva and sargassum algae, and a scoop or two of mud/sand.

To which he responded..

Quote from: Dr. Shimek
Hi,

I strongly suspect you are right. I think that as parts of the system, either or both the live rock fauna or sand fauna, become depauperate, the odds of something happening that cause a serious problem with either rise pretty rapidly. Also, another thing contributing to the problem is middle-aged tank aquarist boredom wherein an aquarist has their system going, it looks good, but all of the early "thrills" are gone. As the small and hidden fauna becomes less and less diverse, the aquarist tends to become less and less observant of their system. Finally... something small happens and triggers some sort of cascade effect - and kazowie! the tank suffers from "old-tank syndrome" aka lack of regular relevent maintenance.

So here's my idea.. Reef Diversity Bingo.

If you can't make a 'bingo' with an hour of observation of your tank and / or refugium, think about adding critters to boost your diversity.


Offline micki

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Re: Reef Diversity Bingo
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2012, 09:05:57 »
Very interesting!  I need to see if I canmake BINGO!

Offline The WuSue

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Re: Reef Diversity Bingo
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2012, 13:13:13 »
Ashlar, as always you make a very informative and interesting post. I'll be looking into adding some detrivore kits to the dsb when i get back home from texas. The bingo idea is very creative, ill have to sit down and look up all those buggers (i have no idea what half of those look like).

Much obliged.

Offline Ashlar

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Re: Reef Diversity Bingo
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2012, 13:32:44 »
Hehe, thanks. I just threw it together, I'd say realistically if you can find 50% of them, you're probably good.

Offline Ashlar

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Re: Reef Diversity Bingo
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2012, 23:13:45 »
I added some pictures / descriptions..

http://rowelab.com/fish/bingo.html

Offline micki

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Re: Reef Diversity Bingo
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 09:14:00 »
Thank you that helps out a ton!  :)

Offline Boonjob

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Re: Reef Diversity Bingo
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2012, 09:38:02 »
Great write up, Stickied.
God is great, Beer is good, and People are crazy...

Life is a beach, I'm just playing in the sand.


http://www.ustream.tv/channel/boonjob-s-reef-tank

Offline charlieweaver

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Re: Reef Diversity Bingo
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2013, 01:02:05 »
Wow well I can say I have a new tank and I have like 80% if not more that are harder to notice lol.

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Offline Steve

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Re: Reef Diversity Bingo
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2013, 18:02:40 »
[
Ashlar, as always you make a very informative and interesting post. I'll be looking into adding some detrivore kits to the dsb when i get back home from texas. The bingo idea is very creative, ill have to sit down and look up all those buggers (i have no idea what half of those look like).






I can see some time on wikipedia coming up, by the way I have always loved the micro fauna and have burnt many AAA batteries to prove it, thanks for the idea

Offline Delerium

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Re: Reef Diversity Bingo
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2014, 14:37:22 »
I LOVE this thread! Super helpful :)

 

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