As you will discover in Orion's Briefing: two key elements play a very important role in the cycling of an SBMarine Biological System. Zooplankton and Algae (micro & macro). Our first two decontaminated tanks have finished this cycling process but are not Stabilized yet. In the next few months you will witness the process of controlling green hair alga infestation. Ultimately a Balanced environment will be established.
The AEGIS tank:
The EOS tank:
Two types of Copepods show on glass: one smaller greyish and a round white spot kind with a second smaller segment.... The blurred streaks in background are tiny air bubbles. The smaller species walks about a lot like the specimen shown on top of previous page. The round white spots can lay motionless a long time and then suddenly jolt in a dash and spring into the water column: they are not amphipods however but appear to be swimmers same as amphipods... They could be anything and maybe TiggerPods... (to be continued). These Pods graze on all types of algae from the beginning of your cycling process to a well established tank... and at this stage in particular the adults start grazing on the green hair alga (GHA) contributing to the stabilization process.
Two types of Alga are represented here: GHA (what EOS calls ugly green shag) and Calcified Macro Alga known as Green Banana or Finger Algae (Neomeris Annulata... to be specific). The GHA have served their purpose from day one: but it's now time for them to recede. That's where eradicators step in... The palette is quite impressive: Green Emerald Crabs - Zooplankton - Surgeon Fish and Angels - Green Mandarins - Turbo Snails - Ocellaris - Urchins... Oups no !! Not Urchins !! They will eradicate the Good Algae too... I'm just illustrating the possibilities here: for example, the Urchin would be fine in the AEGIS tank because Siganus is an algae-eater too eating good and bad algae indiscriminately. However if there were Halimeda in the AEGIS tank then a Mithraculus Sculptus (Green Emerald Crab) would not be suited since they spend days simply picking on them and chiseling them down to the ground.... Only goes to show how important the selections you make and knowledge you have of Marine Life are important.
Calcified Algae are fantastic because they engage a chemical war with parasite algae. But above all they are probably the most reliable indicator that water conditions are appropriate for LPS and SPS Corals !!!
Green Star Polyps
Day one: The colony sits on top of 3/4 inch plug without covering it entirely. Photograph taken a few hours after their introduction.
25 Days later: Colony now covers entire plug and has reached the rockwork. Dozens of new polyps appeared in the process. GSP corals are as prolific as Anthelia.
Now meet AEGIS: Siganus Vulpinus
Same as above: two types of Alga are engaged in Chemical Warfare. When pollutant levels are low, Caulerpa (left) wins !! You must know that True Green Algae can not develop or live in polluted waters. This is why they can only thrive in a SBM sytem after the zooplankton have consumed at least 95% of Dynoflagelates in a tank !! (as a rule of thumb)
Copepod Colonies are easy to spot since they mostly graze Dynoflagelates and Bio-Film in Circles. A good 5X/10X loupe is all that is needed to watch them up close or a HD Camera...
Now meet EOS: Cephalopholis Argus
EOS grew up in a Anthelia & Rhodactis tank at SBMarine: no wonder he's allergic to Green Hair Alga today... ;D)