I just wanted to report on the wonderful fun and success I've been
with a very simple bare-bones Florida marine reef tank.
It's been surprisingly easy to obtain the critters. These days, live
maricultured in south Florida. The rock from my LFS are from the Gulf
side waters, so everything that grows on it are considered "native."
can also order this rock by mail. One place to try is Gulfview, at
I've never ordered from them but have heard good reviews.
All I have is a 20g long, with 35 W of lighting (Powerglo, I plan to add
an actinic blue light bulb to encourage coral growth). I will upgrade to
more lighting soon, as soon as the red cyanobacteria is brought under
control--almost there! The tank also has 2 Aquaclear 150s, a powerhead
that provides circulation and runs a cheapo protein skimmer. (I didn't
want my protein skimmer to be too efficient--that would rob the water
of too many nutrients that the critters and algae need.) There's about
35 -40 lbs of live rock in the tank.
The first thing you notice about the tank is the coralline algae. It
the rock and has gorgeous hues of red, orange, and purple. There are
loads of small feather duster worms all over the rock. I have three
anemones that came with the rock that I've not identified yet. (I just
them the Ugly Brothers.) Bob Bock gave me a beautiful Ghost Anemone
from the Chesapeake, and it's been very happy among the Floridians.
And yesterday, I got a Rock Anemone. There are a few orange and black
sponges around too. Another very interesting thing, some kind of
macroalgae, is a bunch of deep green transparent bubbles that grow in
clusters. Very attractive! I've not found it in my field guides
a myriad of small marine snails in the tank as well, all from the same
where the rock was cultured. I've not had a chance to identify them yet.
Then, there's the macroalgaes. I've got two species of Caulepera (not
about the spelling), and a couple more species that's yet to been
Other inverts I've found are spiny sea urchins (they were removed
they graze on coralline algae), and my beloved Mr. Fuzzy.
Sometime, soon, I hope, I'll take a picture of the tank and post it
somewhere.We often associate reefs with exotic tropical locales. But
of these critters can be found right here at home, in Florida. It's
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