MACROALGAE MASTERPIECES!! What are some questions you have for these guys with stellar macroalgae tanks?

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tamanning

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Hi all,

Both of these folks are exactly what I was thinking (not like that would mean anything, I am also thinking about unicorns :))

From the water quality side. I think we should take a step back and look at it like a lawn. I have said soooooo many times, our tanks need to replicate an environment. Different algae have different requirements like cold season grasses are different than florida Bermuda grass. They can work together if properly done.

From a feeding standpoint, my tangs love Cheeto (did that on purpose to see if you reading). My thoughts again are if we are putting a macro in our tank we want it to have the environment to survive, but also serve a purpose.

Anyway, I reached my rambling limit. Hope I made sense;Bored
Correct me if I'm wrong but is it not the same thing as having them in your sump? The idea of having corals and macros in our tanks is done with the idea that corals eat certain nutrients from our tanks but not all so we supplement with a refugium and macro algae to take up more of them. Having them planted in a display is not a concept I really like the idea of but I think water quality would be quite good.
 
BRS

Greybeard

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Many years ago, I was doing Seahorses. Always kept some Caulerpa (racemosa, sertularioides) with them. Made for a good looking, horse safe hitching post. Mix in a bit of kenya tree, some corky gorgonians, made for a nice display. Had to prune it back pretty regularly, but it wasn't ever a big deal. Aside from the Caulerpa, I tried some shaving brush, never had much luck with it, and some seagrass, which I kept going for years, but it never really took off. Kept mostly under VHO florescent, one tank had a 150w 10k halide... macro always grew well in that tank.

These days, I've got chaetomorpha in a macro reactor. Toss about 2 gallons of it in the back yard every other month.
 

Belgian Anthias

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About the use of macro algae a lot of research has been done. A lot of algae are cultured for commercial purposes, a lot different species are cultured for filtration of marine aquaculture systems. A lot have been subject of extensive research and their needs and growth rates ( nutrient take up) are well known. Chaeto is not often used in commercial systems, it can not be used as a food source and the growth rate is low compared to other possible candidates for filtration purposes. Reef aquaria are low nutrient systems and do not need a high filtration capacity. Chaeto does not release toxins as does Caulerpa, often used in the 70 ties. I prefer algae which I can use for both, for filtration and as a food source.
For the use in reef aquaria it is best to use a disconectable refugium. Most reefers use the passive method, they just bring in the algae and then expect the algae are going take up nutrients. They do, to a certain level. They grow and the needs increase until a certain capacity is reached . To survive they will limit growth, and may release more as 30% of their body weight back to the water to permit some new growth can be maintained. The algae will add nutrients to the water and will release a lot of ammonia and phosphate. They turn safely stored nitrogen, nitrate, into ammonia.

In aquaria using a skimmer it is very difficult to manage the growth rate and it is very important to harvest in time, a passive algae filter may become a producer instead of a user of nutrients. In such a filter the algae biomass may reduces to less as 50% before the algae start to die off

To prevent this we use active algae management, active aquarium management ( AAM). We start an algae filter in a separate tank and feed it f2 or other media. We learn how to mange the growth and growth rate in the filter tank and install a certain filtration capacity based on the daily nitrogen take up ( feed) Now we have a filter with a known carrying capacity which we easily can adjust to the needs. The filtration tank is then connected with the system to become a refuge. If we want the filter to clean the system water we reduce the feed and increase the flow rate to the refuge. The minimal growth rate of the algae is maintained by feeding at all times. This way we also easily can adjust the balance of the nutrient reserve. if we only want to reduce the reserve of safely stored nitrogen ( nitrate) we just have to leave it out of the feed. This for any nutrient.
ref: MB CMF De Haes 2017-2021
 

tamanning

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About the use of macro algae a lot of research has been done. A lot of algae are cultured for commercial purposes, a lot different species are cultured for filtration of marine aquaculture systems. A lot have been subject of extensive research and their needs and growth rates ( nutrient take up) are well known. Chaeto is not often used in commercial systems, it can not be used as a food source and the growth rate is low compared to other possible candidates for filtration purposes. Reef aquaria are low nutrient systems and do not need a high filtration capacity. Chaeto does not release toxins as does Caulerpa, often used in the 70 ties. I prefer algae which I can use for both, for filtration and as a food source.
For the use in reef aquaria it is best to use a disconectable refugium. Most reefers use the passive method, they just bring in the algae and then expect the algae are going take up nutrients. They do, to a certain level. They grow and the needs increase until a certain capacity is reached . To survive they will limit growth, and may release more as 30% of their body weight back to the water to permit some new growth can be maintained. The algae will add nutrients to the water and will release a lot of ammonia and phosphate. They turn safely stored nitrogen, nitrate, into ammonia.

In aquaria using a skimmer it is very difficult to manage the growth rate and it is very important to harvest in time, a passive algae filter may become a producer instead of a user of nutrients. In such a filter the algae biomass may reduces to less as 50% before the algae start to die off

To prevent this we use active algae management, active aquarium management ( AAM). We start an algae filter in a separate tank and feed it f2 or other media. We learn how to mange the growth and growth rate in the filter tank and install a certain filtration capacity based on the daily nitrogen take up ( feed) Now we have a filter with a known carrying capacity which we easily can adjust to the needs. The filtration tank is then connected with the system to become a refuge. If we want the filter to clean the system water we reduce the feed and increase the flow rate to the refuge. The minimal growth rate of the algae is maintained by feeding at all times. This way we also easily can adjust the balance of the nutrient reserve. if we only want to reduce the reserve of safely stored nitrogen ( nitrate) we just have to leave it out of the feed. This for any nutrient.
ref: MB CMF De Haes 2017-2021
For the reasons you state we grow the algae ,trim it back and thus remove nutrients from our tanks. in my case I've run a deep sand bed for close to nine years. I outgas nitrogen and the macro algae help as well. the difference is most people don't have the micro fauna to take care of the sand bed and it becomes a time bomb. Worms pods and other critters are present as well as snails crabs and fish digging in the sand keep it moving in a natural way and keep it clean. I guess what I'm getting at is no one part of a system can do it all. diversity is key.
 
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I’ll add some questions in here as I’m always curious to other peoples ways of successful macro keeping. Hopefully these questions can help people set up a macro tanks in the future (not just hide them in a refugium :p)

What’s your ideal temp for macros, as high heat (from personal experience) tends to make them melt?

Does regular trimming create more robust and vigorous growth?

Besides caulerpa, which is know to go sexual in certain tank situations, what’s one macro you would recommend for both aesthetic appeal and nutrient control?

What was your biggest hurdle when starting a macroalgae tank?

When do you add your macros to the tank? Before or after the cycle and why?

What sort of clean up crew do you recommend?

Will water changes suffice or do macros need supplementation of major and minor trace elements like corals through dosing?

Can too bright of light burn macros? (Similar to our point source leds being too powerful for certain corals and certain intensities)

What should I do if my macro goes sexual? Will it nuke my tank?

Are there easier macros to take care of that you would recommend to a novice or even someone that just wants to add a little color to their display tank?

How much flow does a macro dominated tank need and why?

What equipment is necessary and what equipment can be left out in a macro dominated setup?

I think that’s all I have so far. I’ll try to think of some more
 

MamaP

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Following. Been thinking about a plant tank myself! Just bought my second macro (CUC made quick work of my first one). -.-
 

LRT

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I'm on a quest to replenish macro algae that came on my gulf rock. Lost it all cycling my rock and not putting adequate lighting over it to begin with.
I hoping to restore natural balance for nutrient export export on my reef and figuring going with what naturally grows on the rock to begin with will help with that.
That being said do specific macros export specific nutrients better like whats the best Nitrate reducer?
What about co2? Am I looking for something that creates more oxygen or is there a macro that absorbs co2 better or both?
And so on and so forth.
 

Belgian Anthias

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A mixed reef system is a low nutrient system .
One does not need the best nitrate reducer as the carrying capacity is based on the capacity to reduce ammonia .
Algae , as most organisms, prefer ammonia as a nitrogen source, but they are able to use both nitrogen sources the same time, which most bacteria can not. All macro-algae take up more nitrogen if the N/P ratio increases but some are better performers. The choice must be the most reliable one , not the best performer. I prefer to use a macro algae which is also a desirable food source.
Almost all have a yearly or seasonal growth and life- cycle which one has to untherstand and follow up.. ref: MB CMF De Haes 2017-2021

One can start a macro algae culture in a separate tank which later can be used as filter.
Active aquarium management ( AAM) is something one has to learn by personal experience.

One can get this experience before starting up the main system and one will be able to install the carrying capacity which will be needed later long before starting up the main display system. A newbie not able to install and maintain the carrying capacity in mind using an algae tank better not invests in a mixed reef tank. The algae culture can be connected to the main system when the display tank has been cycled properly, Then it is time to add the primary producers and consumers.

For example, one can install and maintain a carrying capacity of 5ppm nitrogen weekly at 50% capacity. This will be sufficient for most systems. This means one has to harvest weakly leaving at least 50% off full capacity.

A skimmer is not needed, a remineralization filter can be used in combination to keep DOC at a natural level.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

AlgaeBarn

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I’ll add some questions in here as I’m always curious to other peoples ways of successful macro keeping. Hopefully these questions can help people set up a macro tanks in the future (not just hide them in a refugium :p)

What’s your ideal temp for macros, as high heat (from personal experience) tends to make them melt?

Does regular trimming create more robust and vigorous growth?

Besides caulerpa, which is know to go sexual in certain tank situations, what’s one macro you would recommend for both aesthetic appeal and nutrient control?

What was your biggest hurdle when starting a macroalgae tank?

When do you add your macros to the tank? Before or after the cycle and why?

What sort of clean up crew do you recommend?

Will water changes suffice or do macros need supplementation of major and minor trace elements like corals through dosing?

Can too bright of light burn macros? (Similar to our point source leds being too powerful for certain corals and certain intensities)

What should I do if my macro goes sexual? Will it nuke my tank?

Are there easier macros to take care of that you would recommend to a novice or even someone that just wants to add a little color to their display tank?

How much flow does a macro dominated tank need and why?

What equipment is necessary and what equipment can be left out in a macro dominated setup?

I think that’s all I have so far. I’ll try to think of some more
I'll answer a few of these for ya :)

Trimming can create a more robust/favored look much like pruning trees or shrubbery- it just depends on the macro.

Red Ogo is a popular display algae because of it's coloration/pattern and does a great job at removing nutrients. If you have a display refugium most tang owner prefer it as a free food source when they go to prune it back.

Usually water changes will suffice, but it will depend greatly on what other livestock (and the the amount) you may have in there.

Light can definitely be a factor in the coloration of a macroalgae's brightness and too much light can melt your algae away :-(

Macros should be added after the tank has cycled or is on the very tail end of it without ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are on the low end.
 

Schraufabagel

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I'll answer a few of these for ya :)

Trimming can create a more robust/favored look much like pruning trees or shrubbery- it just depends on the macro.

Red Ogo is a popular display algae because of it's coloration/pattern and does a great job at removing nutrients. If you have a display refugium most tang owner prefer it as a free food source when they go to prune it back.

Usually water changes will suffice, but it will depend greatly on what other livestock (and the the amount) you may have in there.

Light can definitely be a factor in the coloration of a macroalgae's brightness and too much light can melt your algae away :-(

Macros should be added after the tank has cycled or is on the very tail end of it without ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are on the low end.
How do lighting needs differ between red and green macro algae? What spectrums are important for each?
 

Belgian Anthias

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Macros should be added after the tank has cycled or is on the very tail end of it without ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are on the low end.
One is able to install the carrying capacity needed later using macro algae long before the tank is cycled for the first time. One can use an other smaller tank which one can connect later to the system and use it as a refugium, active algae management ( AAM).
 
BRS

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