Going Bold with Coldwater Marine Aquatics

Discussion in 'General Reef Topics' started by Matt Rogers, Sep 24, 2014.

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  1. CMA Josh

    CMA Josh Plankton

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    and we like you as well Paul!
     
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  3. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Welcome Josh! :coolglasses: Glad to have you here and glad you like the site. You and Stu certainly have opened my eyes to the cold scene. I love it. Hey who made that tank you had at MACNA?

    Thanks for the awesome info! That is encouraging about coldwater anemones and the maintenance. Do you use a skimmer?

    And great to hear feedback as well. Thanks!

    matt
     
  4. CMA Josh

    CMA Josh Plankton

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  5. AquaticEngineer

    AquaticEngineer Plankton

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    Coldwater anemones are much easier to keep by far in my experience. There are very few that are photosynthetic, lighting almost optional really, so care for them is almost completely about feeding. Even the ones that do photosynthesize need very little light. Paul (Nemcrazy) has kept just at least 1 of almost every coldwater anemone that I have ever collected or imported from overseas, as well as coming to Oregon and collecting his own with us :) You could call him an expert in home aquarium keeping of temperate anemones by now ;)

    We've captively propagated:
    Aggregating Anemones (Anhtopleura eligantissima)
    Jewel Anemones (Corynactis viridis)
    Strawberry Anemones (Corynactis californicus)
    Short Plumose Anemones (Metridium senile)
    Beadlet Anemones (Actinia equina)
    Snakelock Anemones (Anemonia viridis)

    I'm actually working with 3 species of European temperate anemones for that very reason right now (one of them pictured in my first post)

    For an even more impressive list of coldwater species that have already been bred in captivity check out this link for the breeding program at the Vancouver Aquarium: http://www.vanaqua.org/act/research/fish/fish-research-propagation-project

    Most are not captive bred, however, we've already found a source for mari-cultured Strawberry anemones (Corynactis californicus) so we haven't harvested that species from the wild in almost three years now and are able to offer much larger colonies than we originally had. Many of the coldwater anemones readily divide through fission or pedal laceration when heavily fed, so captive propagation is the ideal way for most of them that we collect. The other anemones that we collect that reproduce sexually by casting off eggs and sperm into the water column we harvest sustainably by never collecting an area bare of anemones, and by rotating collection locations every time we go out.

    As for maintenance, you can compare keeping a coldwater tank along the lines of keeping a FOWLR tank or a chilled NPS tank, but then add in NEVER having to top off your water from evaporation (resulting in no salt creep), and not needing to dose any additives.

    The lack of evaporation isn't magic, or a gimic, it's just good old plain science :D Its physically impossible to evaporate cooler water into warmer air. So the only time you could conceivably have evaporation is if the room temperature of where your coldwater tank is drops below the water temp (55-60F) Since theres no evaporation your salinity rarely changes also, resulting in a much more stable system.

    The lack of needing to dose trace elements comes from the very little amount of trace elements utilized by the animals in your system. There are very few reef building corals in temperate waters, there are several stony corals, but most are either small solitary corals that grow in close proximity of each other or super deep water corals that none of us will probably ever own, lol ;)

    The above lack of dosing also leads into this next point of maintenance, water changes. If you are doing a regular partial water change on your system you are doing more than enough maintenance on it. Realistically, you want most of your waste product from excrement and excess food to be taken up by your physical, chemical, and mechanical filtration. So if that is all happening correctly than a small water change as needed will take care of any built up nitrates and also replenish any trace elements that would be needed. Carbon fueled nitrate reactors have proven to be the best solution for keeping larger heavily fed systems, but in addition to the above mentioned. With small systems (like the 7.2 gallon tank I have) water changes and a large amount of bio media to gallon ratio is almost bullet proof. I even run my tank skimmerless now and rely solely on water changes and fueling the biological with a carbon source (BioFuel made by Brightwell Aquatics)

    You should totally do it :) IIRC there is a long lost thread on the Manhattan Reefers web page that talks about collecting summer tropicals in the the Long Island Sound. I'll help you dig into the local regulations if you cant find anything readily available :D Best way to know what would keep long term and at a consistant cooled temperature is to go collecting after the winter as the spring begins so its only animals that have wintered over and limited amounts of animals that may have drifted north in the currents. Also check out NANFA.org, the North American Native Fish Association website, I seem to remember people going out for estuary fish out east like mummichugs (spelling?) and small gobies, and wrasses and such.
     
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  6. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Stu what fantastic news about breeding efforts and your collection methods sound complimentary. What a trip about evaporation. Your explanation makes total sense but it seems so strange coming from our reef systems.
    And I could get down with just water changes. My nano reef tank requires dosing just to keep the alk up.
     
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  7. Bob F

    Bob F Bristle Worm

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    Ok now I am a lot more than just intrigued. I will most likely be doing something cold water
    . Stu and Josh. Thanks for all this information and I still have a lot of reading to do but would like to come to you for advise I did check out you website today but had little time. Those nems are amazing and those a starfish are so cool. My daughter will be happy since she has been bugging me to do something like this but I don't take this responsibility lightly. Looks like you have another soon to be customer
     
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  9. AquaticEngineer

    AquaticEngineer Plankton

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    I get more evaporation from my little room temperature Oregon native paludarium than I do from our entire coldwater holding system :)

    The other cool benefits of coldwater tanks is that since the water is so cold it holds a super high oxygen content, and since there's not much calcium intake or trace elements being used like in a structure building reef tank, you wont get that dip in change in PH that you do with tropical tanks at night :)
     
  10. AquaticEngineer

    AquaticEngineer Plankton

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    Bob, just let us know how we can help :) I'll see what I can pull up on the local collection laws for you also. There's not much for easily accessible anemones on the east coast along tide pools but there are a plethora of other cool invertebrates and fish.
     
  11. AquaticEngineer

    AquaticEngineer Plankton

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    Bob, would you be collecting in the state of New Jersey or in other surrounding states? I know many of them have sportfishing licenses that extend to the other surrounding states.

    One of the things that got me to start doing this was the idea of taking my kids out collecting with me as they are old enough to go and be trusted near the surf and on the rocks. My oldest son is in first grade this year so I think its go time :D
     
  12. Bob F

    Bob F Bristle Worm

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    NJ only requires a saltwater registry license which is free ( for the time being) and will only be in jersey. Best days of my life is with the kids searching bays and Jetty's on beach for sea life. Just last week pulled up largest conch/welk I have ever seen here so take out your son. I will definitely be touching base Thanks for your help.