Mangrove Tank - Tidal Retrofit - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Mangrove Tank - Tidal Retrofit

I've had this 20 long dirted brackish mangrove tank for about a year and a half. I made the mistake of putting the propagules directly in the substrate, so they never developed any stilt roots.

It is my understanding that, once rooted, the only other way to get mangroves to grow stilt roots is to stimulate tides. I really didn't want to strip this tank down, drill an overflow, buy solenoids, etc., so I came up with the below tidal retrofit hack.

A pump in the 20 gallon display tank sends water into the 10 gallon reservoir. When the reservoir is full, a bell siphon activates, emptying its contents back into the 20 gallon via a (very poorly made) diy spray bar. The full tidal cycle is only about 15 minutes.

By design, this system does not replicate the timing and flow of a real world tide. In the interest of reducing cost, time, maintenance, and failure risk, I did not want to build anything with pumps and timers, and I just don't have the information to know how (if it's at all possible) to build a bell siphon that drains a tank over the course of 6 hours.

My hope is that mangroves will grow stilt roots when agitated by changing water level, regardless of the timing. I will come back and let you guys know if anything comes of this hope ~6 months from now (omfg mangroves grow so slow...).


The setup still needs some improvements. The temporary water intake I made is completely hideous, and you have probably already noticed some rather sketchy, unattractive measures taken to increase the height of the reservoir. Would also like to adjust spray bar to not agitate the water so much - I am likely losing a lot of carbon from this. Will post more pictures + video soon.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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Adding some photos. The tank hasn't been scaped at all - it's really more of a nursery than a display tank. Might change that in the future.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 01:17 AM
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So the technical know how to do a bell siphon isn't that elusive. The bigger the siphon tube, the shorter the drain time, the smaller the tube the longer it is.

So either a piece of airline tubing as your drain so it drains very slowly or a ball value to decrease for to a trickle will cause your low to high tide period to be longer

And a bypass on your pump that returns most of the water to the tank again with a ball valve) will be able to show do the refill of your tide tank lengthening the period from high to low tide

All mechanical, no timers or anything fancy... Only disclaimer is I haven't tried it, though the theory is sound

Edit: an aqualifter would probably move about the required amount of water per hour into the upper tank if you're rather go that route


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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So the technical know how to do a bell siphon isn't that elusive. The bigger the siphon tube, the shorter the drain time, the smaller the tube the longer it is.

So either a piece of airline tubing as your drain so it drains very slowly or a ball value to decrease for to a trickle will cause your low to high tide period to be longer

And a bypass on your pump that returns most of the water to the tank again with a ball valve) will be able to show do the refill of your tide tank lengthening the period from high to low tide

All mechanical, no timers or anything fancy... Only disclaimer is I haven't tried it, though the theory is sound
This occurred to me but yeah, I just don't have experience with small bell siphons. I wanted to stay in my comfort zone, seeing as so much of this is already an experiment.

In my limited experience, there is often a lot of trial and error in making sure a bell siphon activates in a timely manner. This is not a big deal with a 15 minute cycle, but with 6 hours... it just sounded like a lot to me.

Anyway, the current rig is sort of fun - one big flood every 15 minutes gives the system a sort of wave simulation.


Quote:
Edit: an aqualifter would probably move about the required amount of water per hour into the upper tank if you're rather go that route
I did not know about this product. I was having trouble finding small water pumps. This looks very useful. Thank you.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 01:42 AM
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Anyway, the current rig is sort of fun - one big flood every 15 minutes gives the system a sort of wave simulation
If you'd like to carry on down the path of the wave, take a quick Google a salt water surge tanks. Basically your setup sized up to simulate the current generated by the tides moving through a reef. Even if not very partial for your mangroves they still look cool


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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If you'd like to carry on down the path of the wave, take a quick Google a salt water surge tanks. Basically your setup sized up to simulate the current generated by the tides moving through a reef. Even if not very partial for your mangroves they still look cool
Those were some fun youtube clips
Thanks!


It is my impression that, in addition to respiration, mangroves grow prop roots for support. Perhaps my waves will act as a little encouragement?

Here are some pictures of the setup before adding the tidal system:



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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 11:08 PM
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-12-2016, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Update: the system worked great for producing tides, but I'm breaking it down anyway. The reservoir just takes up too much room. I would rather have another tank than a reservoir.

I purchased some new propagules so I can grow out prop roots by teasing them, the conventional way.

I will be selling the tidal system on Craigslist after my exams are over, probably around early January.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-13-2016, 05:08 AM
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nice project, mangroves are tight


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-26-2016, 03:39 AM
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Idk if you have heard of it but there is a type of algae turf scrubber that you could use to create this effect. I can't exactly recall what it's named but if you search on YouTube for Inlad Aquatics they use it on their tanks. They are based in Terre Haute, Indiana I believe.

It's basically a kind of triangle shaped container, so it is deeper on one side than the other. Like a paint holder for a roller. It sits on a hinge like a seesaw above the tank, you pump water into it and it fills up the deep side, slowly raising to the shallow side until it tips the scale and dumps the water, and then falling back empty because the deeper side is heavy again.

Pretty ingenious and simple system. You may not be able to produce huge waves with out enough space to make a large dump bucket, but it may help.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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I am now giving away this system! It worked great, but I just don't have the room for it. Please contact me if you are interested. I don't think it would ship very well, so you should probably only get in touch if you are planning on passing through the NYC area.

Included: 10 gallon specially drilled a plumbed tank. Stand. Plumbing.
Note included: 20 gallon mangrove tank. lights.

Totally Free! You just need to come pick it up. I'm on the UWS of Manhattan.
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