Chaeto won’t grow

Hilltopreef90

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 23, 2021
Messages
534
Reaction score
174
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Jacksonville
I don’t know why the chaeto isn’t growing in my sump or what happens to it ‍♀️ It just slowly disappears. I wish regular algae would be as easily removed.
I’ve ordered more chaeto since I’m not ready to give up, if it dies off again I’m wondering what else I might try growing in my refugium?
as far as my current set up I have a basket set up positioned after my protein skimmer and before the return chamber, there’s rubble rock in the bottom of the basket as fish net material lining it so the chaeto doesn’t escape through the basket openings. A small nano power mead is running in the sump, I’m adding chaeto grow daily and running a 9 watt IM 2in one chaeto light from 8 pm to 8am.
I don’t know what I’m doing wrong and why it isn’t surviving
 
AquaCave Logo Banner

gbroadbridge

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
324
Reaction score
258
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Sydney, Australia
I don’t know why the chaeto isn’t growing in my sump or what happens to it ‍♀️ It just slowly disappears. I wish regular algae would be as easily removed.
I’ve ordered more chaeto since I’m not ready to give up, if it dies off again I’m wondering what else I might try growing in my refugium?
as far as my current set up I have a basket set up positioned after my protein skimmer and before the return chamber, there’s rubble rock in the bottom of the basket as fish net material lining it so the chaeto doesn’t escape through the basket openings. A small nano power mead is running in the sump, I’m adding chaeto grow daily and running a 9 watt IM 2in one chaeto light from 8 pm to 8am.
I don’t know what I’m doing wrong and why it isn’t surviving
What are yout NO3 and PO4 levels after you clean your tank of problem algae?

If the existing algae are sequestering nutrients there may be nothing left for the Chaeto.
Also, Chaeto often needs Fe (Iron) supplements depending on tank loading and water changes.

It also needs a lot of light and needs to be thin enough to get exposure, or tumble.

I found the whole exercise frustrating to be honest as it ended up growing algae in my skimmer, so I chucked it away and use Carbon dosing :)

Regards
Graham.
 

PeterC99

Can’t Remember What I Did Before Reefing?
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Messages
4,473
Reaction score
19,293
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
Location
White Plains, NY
Three things to grow Chaeto

1) Nutrients - which you have with your high PO4 & NO3
2) Proper lighting - which should be opposite tank lighting schedule
3) Proper flow

Seems like you have the basics, now they just need to be fine tuned. Have you tried changing the flow direction and intensity of the nano pump and is the light strong enough? I got much better chaeto growth when I switched from a generic 11 watt led grow light to a Neptune Gro light and increased the flow in my sump.
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting
OP
Hilltopreef90

Hilltopreef90

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 23, 2021
Messages
534
Reaction score
174
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Jacksonville
Three things to grow Chaeto

1) Nutrients - which you have with your high PO4 & NO3
2) Proper lighting - which should be opposite tank lighting schedule
3) Proper flow

Seems like you have the basics, now they just need to be fine tuned. Have you tried changing the flow direction and intensity of the nano pump and is the light strong enough? I got much better chaeto growth when I switched from a generic 11 watt led grow light to a Neptune Gro light and increased the flow in my sump.
It’s 9 watts, should I increase to something higher? Originally I thought the flow was too strong and I’ve adjusted that so it seems to only issue might be the lighting
 

hart24601

5000 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 18, 2014
Messages
5,798
Reaction score
5,515
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Iowa
Since you have detectable nitrate and phosphate my guess is you’re lacking another trace element. I couldn’t grow the stuff until I put chaetogro on a doser for just like 1ml a day, although one can manually add it. Night and day difference. From continual dying off to explosion in growth. Doesn’t need to be that brand but I suspect something like iron is limiting it.
 

jda

10K Club member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 25, 2013
Messages
10,033
Reaction score
14,663
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Boulder, CO
That nitrate is pretty high for chaeto to thrive, but it should grow. It will do better if you get it down.

Do you change water in any kind of good quantity? Most people don't have chaeto thrive because of iron deficiency. Changing water can help your tank and also get iron to your chaeto. You can dose iron, which will help - Ferrion from Brightwell works well. Sometimes you have to do both.

Later on down the road, you have to prune the chaeto and thin it out or it will slow down too.
 

gbroadbridge

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
324
Reaction score
258
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Sydney, Australia
That nitrate is pretty high for chaeto to thrive, but it should grow. It will do better if you get it down.

Do you change water in any kind of good quantity? Most people don't have chaeto thrive because of iron deficiency. Changing water can help your tank and also get iron to your chaeto. You can dose iron, which will help - Ferrion from Brightwell works well. Sometimes you have to do both.

Later on down the road, you have to prune the chaeto and thin it out or it will slow down too.
I thought the whole point of chaeto was to reduce nitrate and phosphate.

At least that is what I used it for.

how can nitrate be too high as that is a basic plant fertilizer?

Think NPK ratio on the fertilizers at big box stores
 
Corals.com

RyanHoan

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
293
Reaction score
322
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
San Diego
I got mine to grow by soaking it in nutrient rich water once a week during water changes. After siphoning the tank id add nitrates, phosphates, and coral food to the old water and transfer the chaeto over for a couple hours in the sun. Eventually the chaeto “ woke up” and now grows steadily without the soaks.
 
OP
Hilltopreef90

Hilltopreef90

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 23, 2021
Messages
534
Reaction score
174
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Jacksonville
I thought the whole point of chaeto was to reduce nitrate and phosphate.

At least that is what I used it for.

how can nitrate be too high as that is a basic plant fertilizer?

Think NPK ratio on the fertilizers at big box stores
I do weekly water changes of 15-20%
 
OP
Hilltopreef90

Hilltopreef90

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 23, 2021
Messages
534
Reaction score
174
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Jacksonville
I got mine to grow by soaking it in nutrient rich water once a week during water changes. After siphoning the tank id add nitrates, phosphates, and coral food to the old water and transfer the chaeto over for a couple hours in the sun. Eventually the chaeto “ woke up” and now grows steadily without the soaks.
Are you adding anything to the old water you’ve siphoned out or you just place the chaeto into the water and sit in the sun a couple hours ?
 

Dburr1014

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 8, 2016
Messages
1,333
Reaction score
849
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Haddam
For me, I died a couple times I added it. I had to wait until my tank was mature. I pull out 25% every couple weeks now, sometimes more. I don't add iron and I'm getting lazy on water changes.
 

jda

10K Club member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 25, 2013
Messages
10,033
Reaction score
14,663
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Boulder, CO
I thought the whole point of chaeto was to reduce nitrate and phosphate.

At least that is what I used it for.

how can nitrate be too high as that is a basic plant fertilizer?

Think NPK ratio on the fertilizers at big box stores
I cannot tell if this is serious or not. All building blocks are absolutely essential at low concentrations, but death when they get too high. Somewhere in the middle, growth starts to get limited. The growth limiting levels for all things is different, but about 5 for coralline and 20 for chaeto and growth slows down... not stops, so I don't need to hear about people whose chaeto grows in 50 ppb of Nitrate, it is just not growing as fast as it would if you had a lower number. Go ahead and put on too much of that box store fertilizer on your lawn and watch it die too.
 
Corals.com

AltitudeAquarium

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
250
Reaction score
369
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I had a similar problem with my Chaeto until I changed the lighting in my sump. I use a home depot led plant growing bulb on 24 hours a day. Also, I use mineral mud as part of the substate in the refugium. Also, I have snails as a CUC in the refugium.
 
OP
Hilltopreef90

Hilltopreef90

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 23, 2021
Messages
534
Reaction score
174
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Jacksonville
I just started mine a few weeks ago. Switched from IM light to neptune gro light today. Can't really see any growth yet but nitrate and phosphate numbers have come down nicely.
I’m going to switch the light and see what happens
I bought a Tunze waterproof led that I’ll be able to center over the chart
 

gbroadbridge

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
324
Reaction score
258
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Sydney, Australia
I cannot tell if this is serious or not. All building blocks are absolutely essential at low concentrations, but death when they get too high. Somewhere in the middle, growth starts to get limited. The growth limiting levels for all things is different, but about 5 for coralline and 20 for chaeto and growth slows down... not stops, so I don't need to hear about people whose chaeto grows in 50 ppb of Nitrate, it is just not growing as fast as it would if you had a lower number. Go ahead and put on too much of that box store fertilizer on your lawn and watch it die too.
Yes I was serious,

Just as an experiment, I poured a box of fertiliser on my lawn after your comment which is about 10x the recommended dosage

Lets, see what happens in a week, but I can tell you after 3 days the lawn is out control. I'll send photos tomorrow.

When you said 50ppb were you joking or was it a mistype? I could understand 50ppm but ppb really?

If you have a tank running 50ppb nitrate, your must be dosing something or all your coral would be dead.


Regards
Graham.
 
Maxout

Have you ever torn down a tank over an issue you couldn't seem to beat?

  • Yes! I have. (Tell us about what issue you faced in the thread.)

    Votes: 150 24.3%
  • No. Thankfully, I haven't.

    Votes: 319 51.6%
  • Nope, but it almost happened. (Share your experience in the thread.)

    Votes: 45 7.3%
  • Not yet, but I'm almost there. (Tell us what you're dealing with.)

    Votes: 52 8.4%
  • If you reef long enough, this will eventually happen to you.

    Votes: 41 6.6%
  • Other

    Votes: 11 1.8%
Reef Breeders
Top