Chaeto stopped growing- Detailed info provided for suggestions

iggy

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I have a SPS dominated reef tank tha has grown chaeto well for years. Recently it has stopped growing and even receeded. The tank paramaters are carefully monitored and SPS growth is good with 17 small colonies not having current issues. Normally conditions below grow chaeto fast to medium growth. During issue I replaced older Kessil A 360 with new light Kessil A360 Refugium light. I have on growth option and 50% output at 200-300 par.

Alk - 8.5
Ca - 425
Mg =1350
Phosphate - 0.19 Hana
Nitrate - 8 ppm Hana

During issue I did have new Kessil on bloom instead of growth but have since turned light back to growth setting.

Chaeto is a dense dark green that almost looks vegitative or just staining itself. It generally grew typical fluffy sprials that were easily disposed of biweekly.

I have tried Chaetogro as an Iron suppliment and a few lps were not happy about it and disconitumed it's use. Aside from low iron the bloom mode may have caused the chaeto to stop growing. I am at point I may toss current batch out and start again in a month. I dose BRS TWO Part, Some kalk at night and use a weekly bit of Tropic Marin Reef Actif recently after chaeto slowed down. Remained of chaeto is crumbling a bit.

I may just assume bloom mode damaged it and start over with new handful next month.

Any suggestions aside from iron suppliment would be appreciated.
 
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Micro-Reefs Aquarium

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Tagging along, my cheato grew like very well, with nitrates in 20ppm. But after I pruned it down, and placed it back in media basket, I use the middle and bottom plate, the top grew out with the bottom cheato, hardly growth, nitrates that week went to 0.00 ppm and also 0.00 ppm of phosphate. It was like if the nitrates were used up and after that it melted with only a little left. It appears you need a balance of nitrates, cheato, SPS corals, fish to make all work in harmony. I tried increasing feeding to introduce more nitrates, but I was too late, the cheato had already died.

I did get a warning with lower nitrates and phosphates, as the cheato was saying something was wrong, top cheato grew bottom didn't and then I left it one more week and that is when it died, just tiny bit was saved and placed back in.

So, along with the OP, is there a food I can add to keep the balance? Sorry if I hijacked but very interested in seeing the response.
 

Micro-Reefs Aquarium

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IF there is no nitrate and no phosphate, I expect to see a massive slow down in chaeto growth. For many this is their end goal.
Wow,

That makes sense so much! I have small volume of water, 12 gallon AIO, 4 small gobies all small variants, 1, yasha, 1 barnacle blenny, 6 total feeding 1 time every other day frozen brine only what they finish.

With Nitrates at 40ppm, then did water change tank was cycling, I waited one month, then tested water, 20 ppm showed up. I added Cheato, reverse hours, 9pm to 6am, placed cheato in two separate sections of media basket.

After 2 weeks of letting it grow, it went from small golf ball to huge tennis ball, tested nitrates were within 5ppm and phosphate were just detectable ULR Hanna test. Pruned back the cheato to two golf balls.

Then I let it go 1 more week, tested again, zero and zero Hanna tester for Nitrate and Phosphate, Top cheato in media basket had grown to tennis ball and the bottom cheato no growth. I increased to feeding each day and when I made it to 1 week, pulled out media basket and the top tennis ball was half dead and the bottom cheato was also half dead.

Did a 50% water change and placed only what could be salvaged of Cheato, very small gold ball, let me report back my growth on Sunday, I do all test that day each Sunday.
 
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iggy

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I am having a different issue.

I may remove dwindling chaeto and and start over in 6 weeks with healthy sample from store. My phosphates and nitrates are in normal ranges, Tests are Hanna 0.18 PO4 and Hanna Nitrate 8 ppm. This should work!

I may start over with healthier chaeto in a few weeks under proper lighting conditions. On the positive side I eliminated all aptasia in refugium except one I will get tonight.

I really should add a photo later. Normally chaeto is light green and prolific. Right now mine is dense dark green and curly. I had A360 Refugium light on full blast with focus lense. Par reached 700 par on top. I since took off lense and put the light to 50% on growth setting (white/red). Par is normal 200-300 now. I probably caused an imbalance.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Trace elements can also be limiting to macroalgae growth. Some, like manganese and iron, can be depleted very fast.

If chaetogrow seems to cause issues, I'd try a different brand or DIY. Appropriate dosing of trace elements should not bother corals.
 
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iggy

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I suspect a two fold issue. Ater a year of vegatitive like growth the portion left is rather unhealthy and needs replacement, or arduous amount of effort to recover for something usually easy.

Usage of Chaetogro was rather excessive for 250 gallons and 15 gallon tall sump. I do not see this as sustainable. I will look as DIY for available iron. I am hoping an occasional spike of 0.05ppm is sufficient.

SPS are happier than ever so just need to address issue here! Thanks for comments
 

BiggestE222

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Tagging along, my cheato grew like very well, with nitrates in 20ppm. But after I pruned it down, and placed it back in media basket, I use the middle and bottom plate, the top grew out with the bottom cheato, hardly growth, nitrates that week went to 0.00 ppm and also 0.00 ppm of phosphate. It was like if the nitrates were used up and after that it melted with only a little left. It appears you need a balance of nitrates, cheato, SPS corals, fish to make all work in harmony. I tried increasing feeding to introduce more nitrates, but I was too late, the cheato had already died.

I did get a warning with lower nitrates and phosphates, as the cheato was saying something was wrong, top cheato grew bottom didn't and then I left it one more week and that is when it died, just tiny bit was saved and placed back in.

So, along with the OP, is there a food I can add to keep the balance? Sorry if I hijacked but very interested in seeing the response.
The issue with refugium sometimes is that a portion in the Chaeto gets shaded. Needs to be rolling or spinning to get even light. Also these animals are similar to corals so if using a long photo period consider your Iodine levels.
 
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iggy

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I solved the issue.

To repeat post I had 0.1 to 0.15 phosphate and 6 to 8 ppm nitrate. These values went up a bit when chaeto stopped growing. The issue may have truly started when my 6 year old Kessil refugium 360 light died. It was hard to catch at night. I replaced it with the newer A360X refugium light as it did well over all.

The new light was installed with narrow reflector and lit at 100% on bloom mode. The chaeto sort of stopped growing for a month and became dark green and dense. I have a tendency to only get chaeto locally in rare instances where I need it. LFS has had it mixed with calupera and a decent rescue yellow tang in same tank. I took them all!

So I threw a bunch of stuff at it.

1. Fresh chaeto from LFS with mixed in Calupera.
2. Dialed Kessil back to 250 par without narrow focus lense in grow mode (not bloom)
3. Filled refugium with 20lb of fresh ocean direct sand (I have a bare bottom tank)
4. Got small bottle of Ferrion and dose 5ml weekly to tank for 12 hrs disconnected from main display then turn flow back on. It has small recirc pump any way.

My anecdotal impression is chaeto seized up and would not recover from combo of too much light and too little iron. Calupera needs little or no iron.

Anyway it worked and I have a mini diatom bloom in refugium only. I liked idea of potentially adding ocean bacteria to tank if it lived. I would recommend Ocean direct sand as base for pods and microfauna. It is contained and easy to control if nutrients rise in future. Basics of plant growth are nutrients and light somewhat balanced. Iron should not be a limiting factor. It may develop slowly of time. Phosphate is dropping in process and back down to 0.1 from 0.15 over a few weeks. I have not decided if I will pick out calupera in future as it dies off on its own often. I do have consistent low levels of Iodide from using Tropic Marin Part C in a three part system. I do not think that played a role.
 
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iggy

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Yes definately. The focus lense that comes with A360X refigium light on 100% light and bloom did not make Chaeto happy. I reduced it to 250 par and nutrients are slowly lowering. It is an effort to tune in refugium without stripping it all out.

Chaeto has quadrupled and behaving normal. I use 5 ml/week of Ferrion on 250 gallon tank. I pinch off flow to refugium for 24 hours once a month to provide iron to just this location. I am not recommending it but seems to work with minimal cost or risk.
 
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LacViet

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When ever you see Chaeto with dark green, dense, and curly from normal growth, that is the sign of not enough light. When i put my "normal" Chaeto from 45gal tank sump to the back chamber of 13.4 gal Fluval Evo with smaller led growth light, that's what i noticed. They changed from stringy light green to dark green, curly.
 

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