License to krill

Frags tiles

RandyC

Supporting Member
The best tiles are from this company in Wisconsin called Alternative Reef. They are thin, fired ceramic tiles and don’t leach anything. They are slightly convex so they kind of sit on their corners giving just enough space underneath for pods (if I turn one upside down, it’s coated with pods). They are thin and easy to bandsaw. If there is interest I can try to pool an order together.

I’ve tried 4” Home Depot travertine tiles but they leach something (probably iron as you would expect from travertine) that makes green algae grow a little more enthusiastically on them. And they aren’t uniformly smooth, and they are impractically thick for sawing up encrusters. But look natural and could work ok for acros or euphyllia.
I have around 100 3x3” travertine tiles in my growout tank and I haven’t experienced the same issue you describe with algae. Why do you expect them to leach iron? Untreated natural travertine should just be made of limestone.
 

Chromis

Supporting Member
I have around 100 3x3” travertine tiles in my growout tank and I haven’t experienced the same issue you describe with algae. Why do you expect them to leach iron? Untreated natural travertine should just be made of limestone.
When travertine is really pure it’s just aragonite or calcite, true. But if it’s off-white it means something else is in there, which is often iron. Having said that I guess it might be leaching phosphate or something else algae likes. Maybe BAR can sponsor a ICP test on water that Home Depot travertine tiles have been soaking in :)
 

Chromis

Supporting Member
Here, I just pulled these tiles from the same tank. That’s the difference between ceramic and travertine tiles - one is fairly clean and the other is supporting its own ecosystem of algae and emerald crabs lol
 

RandyC

Supporting Member
When travertine is really pure it’s just aragonite or calcite, true. But if it’s off-white it means something else is in there, which is often iron. Having said that I guess it might be leaching phosphate or something else algae likes. Maybe BAR can sponsor a ICP test on water that Home Depot travertine tiles have been soaking in :)
you can have my icp report. ;) I have to dose iron and my phosphate is typically less than 0.05.
 

RandyC

Supporting Member
you can have my icp report. ;) I have to dose iron and my phosphate is typically less than 0.05.
Here’s the growout tank in question with around ~100 travertine tiles. The top surfaces of my tiles are pretty much just covered in coralline and coral. Tank has been up for almost a year now (I think)

F4C26CF5-03EB-4027-883A-C43937F4CF11.jpeg

9DC84473-03C9-45C8-965D-C1C8AC720EED.jpeg

Here, I just pulled these tiles from the same tank. That’s the difference between ceramic and travertine tiles - one is fairly clean and the other is supporting its own ecosystem of algae and emerald crabs lol
Maybe the difference is in the ability of the algae to grab hold of the substrate? One is more porous or has a more course surface?
 

ofzakaria

Supporting Member
Here’s the growout tank in question with around ~100 travertine tiles. The top surfaces of my tiles are pretty much just covered in coralline and coral. Tank has been up for almost a year now (I think)

View attachment 14185
View attachment 14186


Maybe the difference is in the ability of the algae to grab hold of the substrate? One is more porous or has a more course surface?
Holly smoke man you have a mini farm ha ha..
Awesome growout setup
 

JVU

BOD
Staff member
Maybe the difference is in the ability of the algae to grab hold of the substrate? One is more porous or has a more course surface?
I was wondering the same. Fired ceramic (especially glazed) should have way less micro surface area vs travertine.

I like the emerald crab in that pic for emphasis :)
 

Chromis

Supporting Member
View attachment 14185

Maybe the difference is in the ability of the algae to grab hold of the substrate? One is more porous or has a more course surface?
Could be, similar to how coralline likes to grow on smooth acryllic surfaces. To complete the experiment I can give you a couple ceramic tiles and you can see which look better under daylight after a few months in your tank ;)

Great set up by the way and your corals look bright and healthy. What do you do for clean up crew? I imagine unless the tiles are touching it’s hard for snails or urchins to move across them.
 

RandyC

Supporting Member
Could be, similar to how coralline likes to grow on smooth acryllic surfaces. To complete the experiment I can give you a couple ceramic tiles and you can see which look better under daylight after a few months in your tank ;)

Great set up by the way and your corals look bright and healthy. What do you do for clean up crew? I imagine unless the tiles are touching it’s hard for snails or urchins to move across them.
thanks! Trochus, turbos and few nassarius. Also have a bunch of tangs and a fox face.
 

Solitaryensis

Supporting Member
Here’s the growout tank in question with around ~100 travertine tiles. The top surfaces of my tiles are pretty much just covered in coralline and coral. Tank has been up for almost a year now (I think)

View attachment 14185
View attachment 14186


Maybe the difference is in the ability of the algae to grab hold of the substrate? One is more porous or has a more course surface?
Off topic, but do you do anything special to force the SPS to grow up, instead of spreading over the disc? Thanks!
 

RandyC

Supporting Member
Off topic, but do you do anything special to force the SPS to grow up, instead of spreading over the disc? Thanks!
whisper sweet nothings to them when the moonlights are on! I swear it works.

real answer? I have no idea. I have had the exact same frag with no light changes start encrusting, then stop only to start growing new tips from the existing branch and then after a while start encrusting again then going vertical on the new encrusting portion.

I’ve tried putting it on a rock rubble with steep ledges to make it difficult to keep encrusting, but that doesn’t seem to matter.

I read some people have slightly scored/damaged a small piece of encrusting part and I tried it, but that didn’t really work for me.

I haven’t tried varying light intensities, but maybe that might make the sps grow vertical faster to get more light.

But overall, it just seems totally random to me.
 
Top