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Thread: Eric Borneman

  1. #1
    ijo
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    Eric Borneman

    It was a fairly involved lecture but mostly centered around carbon and nitrogen cycles on reefs. Basically, corals are able to get over 100% of their carbon requirements throught photosynthesis and according to Eric, modern light sources such as metal halide and VHO lighting have made this requirement easily met. In contrast, however, corals are generally unable to meet their nitrogen requirements under current captive conditions. Therefore, we need to find methods of feeding appropriate phyto and zooplankton substitutes without degrading the water conditions to the point that the system becomes eutrophic and algae predominates(bearing in mind of course that our systems lack the enormous number of herbivores found on a typical reef). Eric feeds his system heavily and does not rely on protein skimming to remove nutrients. Instead, he uses several systems linked together each of which duplicates a specific habitat in and around a reef. For example, large refugium and seagrass habitats which remove alot of the excess nutrients while
    providing living foods for the feeding of invertebrates like corals.

    In summation, he believes work needs to be done to find acceptable phyto and zooplankton substitutes because the growth and reproductive potential of most corals in our systems is limited without food. Corals cannot build new tissue without sources of nitrogen. some nitrogen can be absorbed directly from the water, some derived from DOM, some from detritus and some from aggregates of bacteria, however, most nitrogen comes from zooplankton eaten by the corals. Of all invertebrates, corals have perhaps the largest amount of body structures devoted to prey capture and food assimilation so it stands to reason they need to be fed.

    During the question and answer period, Eric responded to questions regarding things such as Miracle Mud, algae, caluerpa and various other topics. Hope this helps. If you pick up his book, most of the topics will be found within its pages.


  2. #2
    ijo
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    Re: Eric Borneman

    According to Eric, miracle mud is indeed just that - mud. Its taken from a local source in California and is no different than regular mud. It and any mud contain minerals and organic nutrients which the caulerpa use to grow. The mud also becomes a haven for bethnic zooplankton which also help to remove nutrients. He feels the end result is good but can easily be accomplished through the use of any fine silty substrate without the high cost.

    With regard to Caulerpa in general, he is not a fan. According to him it can be a very destructive algae as it secretes acids which enable it to get strong holdfasts in the rock. This means it can be difficult to remove and I have seen myself how it is able to pierce the tissue of soft corals and grow right through them. Actually, he is quite rabid about his dislike for caulerpa. He feels that sooner or later, despite 24 hour lighting, it will start to reproduce sexually and possibly become a problem in the display tank. His preference is for macroalgae such as Halimeda and species from the genus Enteromorpha (which is like a brillo brush and can be easily dislodged and removed in clumps).

    He briefly talked about how to establish seagrass habitats and the problems encountered when the plants are not shipped with their roots still embedded in substrate. Apparently there exists a mutualistic relationship between the seagrass roots and some microgranisms in the substrate that can be difficult to recreate in aquaria.

    Many other topics were touched on but my memory isn't that good. His presentation was great and he himself is an excellent speaker with a good sense of humor. According to one of his analogies, to recreate the volume of water available to corals on the reef in a aquarium would require an olympic sized swimming pool containing a single pinky-sized branch of Acropora. So all in all, he feels we are doing quite well considering how many species of coral actually grow in our aquaria.

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    If you remembered all that from hearing him talk your memory is not all that bad.

  4. #4
    ijo
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    haha... wow... this is an old thread(back in Dec 2002)... I doubt this came from memory... more like came from the computer paste function

    IJO

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    Thats what I thought. I was reading all the old stuff. Gives me something to do while waiting for clients. Good read though.

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