Chaeto not growing

JediCruz

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So I’ve been having a problem with my fuge. It would not grow with a Luxbird fuge light from Amazon. I upgraded to a Kessil H80 set to 100% intensity and 50% in color. I run it from 8pm to 8am (12 hours). At the same time, I added a powerhead to have it tumble. All I’ve noticed is the parts of the Chaeto break off and get on the powerhead. No growth. In fact, it now looks smaller since pieces have broken off of it. May nitrates are super high, 80ppm, and phosphates are at 0.25ppm. I keep seeing many say to dose ChaetoGro. Should I do this? Are my light settings correct? What am I doing wrong?
 
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I had this problem when my tank was very young, around a year old. There something in your system the chaeto needs that is missing. Others with this problem have dosed iron and that caused growth. I would want to test for iron first before trying though. I think chaetogrow is an iron supplement... see what the bottle ingredients say.
 
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JediCruz

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Yeah, I had the skimmer off. No change. I’ll see about getting iron tested. I know my LPS were struggling until I started dosing iodide. I’m probably missing something for sure.
 
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So I’ve been having a problem with my fuge. It would not grow with a Luxbird fuge light from Amazon. I upgraded to a Kessil H80 set to 100% intensity and 50% in color. I run it from 8pm to 8am (12 hours). At the same time, I added a powerhead to have it tumble. All I’ve noticed is the parts of the Chaeto break off and get on the powerhead. No growth. In fact, it now looks smaller since pieces have broken off of it. May nitrates are super high, 80ppm, and phosphates are at 0.25ppm. I keep seeing many say to dose ChaetoGro. Should I do this? Are my light settings correct? What am I doing wrong?
I have the EXACT SAME SITUATION!

I hope to find answers in this thread
 
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JediCruz

JediCruz

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Ok. So, so far what I’ve gotten is try the ChaetoGro since you can’t really test for iron (outside of an ICP test, I presume). I’ll get that and report back in.
 

chadfish

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Ok. So, so far what I’ve gotten is try the ChaetoGro since you can’t really test for iron (outside of an ICP test, I presume). I’ll get that and report back in.
Turns out ChaetoGro is mostly potash. I have some of that and will try that first
 

theMeat

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Could be magnesium too
If doing regular water changes there should be plenty of trace elements for macro.
Could be hair algae or something growing on cheato, blocking its light
Would try a few dif types macro.
 
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Suohhen

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How long has this been? It is totally normal for new chaeto to look like it is not growing and to have pieces come off when tumbled. Normally it can take months before you see any increase in volume as the algae will typically mass up before it expands. Weighing the algae is the only way to be sure. There are also different types of chaeto. Two completely different varieties are commonly seen in this hobby. One grows fast, expands quickly and stays lighter, us stringy, and loves to be tumbled while the other grows more slowly, looks like a brillo pad, tends to mass up and doesn't expand fast, and does not like being tumbled.
 

Suohhen

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Turns out ChaetoGro is mostly potash. I have some of that and will try that first
Potash is potassium. Which can be depleted by macro but generally isn't the cause of slow growth. The reason it is in such higher abundance than iron is that these are the natural levels in seawater. It only takes a very tiny bit of iron which is one reason why it is so hard to test for. Be careful what you use, any chemical that isn't pharmaceutical or lab grade is likely to have contaminants. I use Kent Iron and Randy Holmes Farley has his own recipe you can find here.
 

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Ok. So, so far what I’ve gotten is try the ChaetoGro since you can’t really test for iron (outside of an ICP test, I presume). I’ll get that and report back in.
Looking at your build thread I would be totally amazed if anything in your water is depleted to an extent that photosynthesis is halted. You’ve also got a YT and presumably your feeding that nori or summit. That alone should elevate elements required for photosynthesis. Just looks like you’ve got a crappy piece of Chaeto to me. I would throw it out and get a new piece, or go a different route. How have you managed to get nitrates so high?
 
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JediCruz

JediCruz

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Looking at your build thread I would be totally amazed if anything in your water is depleted to an extent that photosynthesis is halted. You’ve also got a YT and presumably your feeding that nori or summit. That alone should elevate elements required for photosynthesis. Just looks like you’ve got a crappy piece of Chaeto to me. I would throw it out and get a new piece, or go a different route. How have you managed to get nitrates so high?
Excellent question. I don’t have the Yellow Tang anymore as he’s passed away due to my stupidity. But yeah, I have nutrients high even after dosing bacteria. I don’t get it. Might have to do some major water changes.
 
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JediCruz

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With those nitrate levels he should have enough nutrients to grow Chaeto. The H80 should have adequate spectrum. Maybe not enough par.
So my friend who owns an LFS thought it might be because I a bunch of pods and Mysis shrimp in the sump. Could be that they’re eating it.
 

BiggestE222

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Doubt it could be pods. I have a Algae reactor with hundreds of pods and I have to remove Chaeto from my Pax Bellum weekly. Not sure about the shrimp. That seems unlikely
 

Suohhen

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Pods shouldn't be the problem but there are many different types so I could never say for sure. My main recommendation anytime anyone has trouble keeping something alive that should be easy to keep is to try another supplier. It could be the stuff your getting likes lower light, not being tumbled or the like. Because yes as Garf said if your feeding anything that is algae based your adding a lot of elements and your current bioload simply can't be stripping them fast enough to cause chaeto to suffer. This is a common issue with chaeto, you end up with a different strain or something that has been kept under much different lighting, flow, and water parameters.
First things first though you should do some water changes to get nitrate more in line, not because of the nitrate but whatever is allowing the nitrates to get that high is concerning. Also check the nitrate levels with a different kit because it is pretty common for false readings to be really high like your seeing.
 
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JediCruz

JediCruz

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Pods shouldn't be the problem but there are many different types so I could never say for sure. My main recommendation anytime anyone has trouble keeping something alive that should be easy to keep is to try another supplier. It could be the stuff your getting likes lower light, not being tumbled or the like. Because yes as Garf said if your feeding anything that is algae based your adding a lot of elements and your current bioload simply can't be stripping them fast enough to cause chaeto to suffer. This is a common issue with chaeto, you end up with a different strain or something that has been kept under much different lighting, flow, and water parameters.
First things first though you should do some water changes to get nitrate more in line, not because of the nitrate but whatever is allowing the nitrates to get that high is concerning. Also check the nitrate levels with a different kit because it is pretty common for false readings to be really high like your seeing.
Nitrates being that high, after discussing this with my friend he says that it could be the old rock that I used from an old freshwater tank that’s leaching it. I think that’s true. The only thing suffering at this point is the Chaeto so I’m going to go overboard with water changes right now. All my LPS corals are nice and fluffy and the 2 SPS seem to be doing fine thought they’re still newish to the tank so I’m keeping an eye on them. Everything’s pretty stable so I’d like to keep it that way. Let nature take care of things. I’ve tested with strips and they seem to align with my kit.
 

Suohhen

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Nitrates being that high, after discussing this with my friend he says that it could be the old rock that I used from an old freshwater tank that’s leaching it. I think that’s true. The only thing suffering at this point is the Chaeto so I’m going to go overboard with water changes right now. All my LPS corals are nice and fluffy and the 2 SPS seem to be doing fine thought they’re still newish to the tank so I’m keeping an eye on them. Everything’s pretty stable so I’d like to keep it that way. Let nature take care of things. I’ve tested with strips and they seem to align with my kit.
For sure that would make sense. If it is the case then that certainly explains why you're seeing high numbers with no apparent affect on the coral as it is generally a filtration/biodiversity issue to raise nitrates to such levels and why I call nitrate and phosphate more of a barometer than a target.
For sure if the theory is correct I'd recommend to take it slow, small and balanced water changes as hard coral most definitely appreciates stability.
 
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