Keeping Chaeto Alive - Supplementation?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nutrition' started by dmw913, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. dmw913

    dmw913 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Once your reactor or refugium is doing its job and your nutrients are going down, at some point, do you need to supplement to keep the macro algae alive and doesn’t melt into nothingness? I know the folks at Pax Bellum have supplements that they recommend.

    It makes sense to me that eventually the algae will use up the nutrients and you’ll need to feed it.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!

    D
     
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  2. mcarroll

    mcarroll moved on R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    That could be possible. Basic N and P fertilizers would be required to grow chaeto (or really any fast growing green "plant") beyond the capabilities of your system.

    What are your levels like without the chaeto?
     
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  3. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Refugiums imo are for excess nutrient export.
    So if there is no excess. There is no need for export.
     
  4. Salty1962

    Salty1962 Wrasse and SPS Lover R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Adding I to your tank helps keep chaeto growing.
     
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  5. dmw913

    dmw913 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Salty, agreed but I don't want to have to keep buying/tracking down chateo starters when I get to low nutrients and it melts. Want to keep a small amount growing. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  6. dmw913

    dmw913 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    The no3 is under 10 and phosphate has bounced around. I use Phosphat-e in my top off to keep it in check. I'm looking for more natural stability.
     
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  7. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    It is possible to have a tank without a fuge is my point.

    I have one.
     
  8. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    The other option would be dose nitrates and phosphates
     
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  9. dmw913

    dmw913 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Yes, but you have skill and I'm a dolt!
     
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  10. mcarroll

    mcarroll moved on R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Manage the tank through additions, not subtractions.

    Skip the whole lantham-chloride-GFO-carbon-source-dosing-gotta-get-low-nutrients thing. There are innumerable organisms and microorganisms in your reef that are better at consuming dissolved nutrients than you are, but they still may need a little help in our imperfect enfironment.

    BTW, feed a healthy amount of the healthiest food you can, all the time.

    When you test...
    • If you see P rising, but not N – try adding a little N.
    • If you see N rising, but not P – try adding a little P.
    • If that doesn't work, another factor might be limiting algae/coral growth that should be consuming these basic nutrients.
    In that last case, try a water change to restore some level of trace elements to see if that makes even a short-term difference.
    Or possibly try an ICP test to look at a range of potential limiting nutrients – unfortunately, iron is one of the "more likely" limiting nutrients and apparently ICP does not test well at the low Fe levels we're interested in.
    Dosing some iron is also an option.
    And of course, re-check all your basics – flow, lights, etc – makes sure everything is at least normal.
     
  11. mcarroll

    mcarroll moved on R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    "Doing more" does not help this. Going slower is the only thing that will. :)
     
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  12. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Nope.
    I got dumb luck and went with it.

    Doctor it hurts when I do this.
    Don't do that.

    You got no food left for algae. Don't grow algae.

    Fwiw , I've found that some of the calurpa as do better with lower nutrients than Chato. So you could try something new.
     
  13. dmw913

    dmw913 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Mccarroll, solid advice! Thanks! I really like the bullet points. I feel like I'm getting close to what you're advising in that I don't run GFO or a carbon source on the reg. I have struggle with keeping phos low and the lanthanum in the ATO has been a solid option for me so far. It's 3 ml to 5 gallons of water with weekly testing so I'm not chasing the numbers too badly. That's also why I like the reactor - better to have some chaeto doing my work for me. :)
     
  14. dmw913

    dmw913 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    LOL! You guys crack me up!

    Agreed that the hardest thing in this hobby is patience! Some days are better than others for me.

    I felt my tank ran best when I had the reactor running at a constant level with a harvest every 9 days or so. Levels were stable, things looked great, etc. When the algae melted because the nutrients got too low, I got bouncing levels which were trending up and things looked just a bit more rough. Not terrible or dying, just noticeable.

    Can't a girl just grow some chaeto? Is that too much to ask???!!! <giggle>
     
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  15. mcarroll

    mcarroll moved on R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    +N! +P! +N! +P! +N! +P! +N! +P! :D

    Chaeto is a fast grower, not optimized at competing for nutrients at all....so limiting nutrients AND growing chaeto are mutually exclusive.

    Like @saltyfilmfolks said, another algae more suited to slower growth might work better. I've also seen Codium recommended.
     
  16. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Good thing about codium. You can make salad with it.
     
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  17. Pork

    Pork Active Member

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    I just feed everything in the tank as much as I can and my cheato grows great never had an issue
     
  18. pendraig

    pendraig Member

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    I had the same problem with chaeto. I am now on my 4th "seeding." I have been on the full Triton method for 2 months now. Chaeto is taking off and my nitrates and phosphates are within recommended ranges.
     
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  19. captainsmitty

    captainsmitty Active Member

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    I am setting up a reactor and am looking for a clean source of chaeto.
    Any recommendations? Im in the SF bay area.
     
  20. Bunnee911

    Bunnee911 Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Algae Barn
     
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