The journey to a 55g mangrove tank
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:50 PM   #1
Kirbybtf
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The journey to a 55g mangrove tank


I picked up this tank for 50$ and it was in rough shape. I refurbished it and have been slowly setting it up for a mangrove tank! Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the refurbish but I will begin journaling my progress. I plan on planting red mangroves in the water, black mangroves near the shoreline, and white mangroves on the shore. A few other plants in the water body as well, possibly java fern, leather fern, or whatever else strikes my fancy as I build! 1 Archerfish will be in the main tank along with 2 Mudskippers which will migrate from water to land as they see fit. And some sort of crab, not sure which type yet. Hopefully y'all enjoy the show!

UPDATE: Will be taking a 1300 mile road trip home this week, while I'm there I will be picking up a beautiful metal halide light setup and will be hanging it with chains above the tank. Will also be picking up a reef ready 30gal setup with sump! But thats off topic :]


This was about a week after the refurbish finished and I began the cycle. About 20 guppies in the tank helping the cycle along. One lonely strand of misc. grass.


This I just finished today, added another 100lbs of sand to create the beach. Moved the filter to the side so the ripples will help form the beach into a more natural look. Added the rocks to quiet the filter while I find something else that looks better. But I may keep it, looks pretty neat! I'm thinking I may need to move the beach a little so the footprint is a little larger for the mudskippers.

I would love to hear your input on how I could make my setup better! Or just chime in and tell me how you think its going. Any and all input is appreciated :] Will be updating as soon as I implement something new!
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:47 PM   #2
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This sounds like a fun project!

I think that you might want to consider growing the mangroves in flower pots or in riparium planters. Mangroves grow very dense and strong root systems and they can eventually break the seems on a tank. They also grow into pretty cool little plants and you wouldn't want to have to rip them out of the tank later on. Mangroves don't like to have their roots disturbed and that sort of damage can kill them. If you keep them in some kind of pot it will be easy to move them around later on and they won't break your tank. I have kepr mangrove trees in riparium planters for years and they grow very well. You can control the size to a certain degree with light pruning. Here is one of my white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa).



You might also consider an alternative kind of beach are for the mudskippers. That sand slope will tend to settle and flatten out fast, especially with mudskippers hoping around on it. You could instead make some kind of floating basking feature for them, or just use a large driftwood stump sticking mostly out of the water for them to climb around on.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:16 PM   #3
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Good idea! I will definitely get some pots for my mangroves. I was really hoping to be able to keep the sand slope, I love it! Built my tank around that idea. Is there any way to make it work?
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:27 PM   #4
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I thought about doing this, but it seemed a bit to daring for my first tank. Can't wait to see how yours turns out!
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirbybtf View Post
Good idea! I will definitely get some pots for my mangroves. I was really hoping to be able to keep the sand slope, I love it! Built my tank around that idea. Is there any way to make it work?
I really think that that sand slope is going to settle and flatten pretty quick. I suppose you could just try to keep scopping sand from the lower are back up onto the beach.

Another potential issue with very deep sand like that is that it will have a deep anoxic (oxygen-poor) area and that might cause trouble.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:46 PM   #6
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Hmm...so the mangroves on the beach are going to have a hard time getting the oxygen they need. Damn! How do people make this work! There has to be a way, and I'll hang on to that hope. More research to be done!
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:50 PM   #7
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Mangroves are adapted to grow in oxygen poor substrates. The trouble with very deep sand is that it can lead to build-up of hydrogen sulfide over time. Like I mentioned, it would be better to plant mangroves in some kind of pot rather than in the substrate in the bottom of the tank.

I saw a real nice mudskipper setup once that just had a big manzanita stump in the middle. The fish crawled all over it.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:53 PM   #8
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I just googled Manzanita Stump and they are beautiful! I will be ordering one of those ASAP. And maybe plant my mangroves in pots (or the riparium planters you mentioned) around the stump!
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:04 AM   #9
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Hydrophyte, I just found you on another forum selling Manzanita Stumps! Do you currently have any available? I searched Manzanita on your website and returned nothing.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:09 AM   #10
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I have just one extra stump here right now. I can PM you with a pciture of it.

There are a couple-three sellers from California who use the SNS here and post many real nice manzanita pieces for sale. Check out the search results that this returns...

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/se...archid=9375562
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:12 AM   #11
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I have an additional observation on combining the mangroves with mudskippers. I have never kept mudskippers, but I have watched them at the LFS and they really do crawl all over the place. If you have them in with small mangrove seedlings the little plants will get trampled and uprooted. It would be best to either wait until the trees grow up to 10" or so tall before adding the fish, or protect them with a little fence or something.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:12 AM   #12
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Yes please do Pm me with the picture, I'll check out the link right now :]
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:13 AM   #13
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Im going to try and get the mangroves at a decent size already. I've found some on Amazon that are about 5-6 inches already. In packs of 10 for only about 3$.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:32 AM   #14
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When I want to create a slope feature in my aquariums I build up the hill with large stones and back fill with sand. On my current setup I buried a UGF panel in the dirt to help keep a slope which seems to be working well. Although its not as steep of an incline as yours.

You could also silicone stone steppes together that would keep the sand in a slope. As part of that slope feature you could incorporate planter boxes for the mangroves.

Or do a lighter version with an expanding foam build like they do for frog hangouts. And form in 'cup holders' for the planter cups.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:35 AM   #15
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Red mangroves would be fine with the mudskippers because the propagules are already tall and stiff before they even start to sprout.

White mangrove and black mangrove start out as small little plants.
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