Not sure if my chaeto is dead, alive or in a coma

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mistergray

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I have no idea if my chaeto is happy or not. It’s difficult to get into the small refugium area of my intank refugium in the back of my Biocube. I reached down into the area with a sand rake to try and lift it and it fell apart, a little. Is it normally that delicate or did I break it? What should I expect when handling it? Should it always be treated carefully? How do I know it’s happy? When I pulled it out of the water it appeared green. How do I know if it’s doing its magical thing and cleaning my water? All the reading I've done about chaeto and I still feel like I know nothing. Ugh!

Additionally, I don’t see any of the copepods I put down there. Either they all left and went into the main tank or they’re hiding extremely well.

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mistergray

mistergray

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The pics looks like the cheato is mush. If so, then it's a goner
Jeez, I just got it last week. It didn’t look like mush until I pulled it out of the water. Is there some trick? I have the refugium light going for 12 hours at night. Not sure what else I should be doing.
 
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Gtinnel

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I tried keeping chaeto once and I struggle with low nitrates so the same thing happened to me. Then I realized if my nitrates are low I have no reason to need to keep chaeto.

Also, I would work on getting your nitrates up from zero. Chaeto needs nitrates to survive, but even more importantly is that corals do too.
 
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Mibu

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My nitrates are 0. I don’t have a test for phosphates. Guess I need to get one.
I should have asked. Do you have bad algae problems to begin with? Or, is one starting?

I only add chaeto to help export nutrients, and my tang actually loves to eat the stuff.
 
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dank reefer

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Might not sound ideal, but remove your filter socks if you're running them, and let the cheato have a feast.
Do you have any visible algae growing in your tank at all? If you do, then the algae might be masking your NO3 readings.
 
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mistergray

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I tried keeping chaeto once and I struggle with low nitrates so the same thing happened to me. Then I realized if my nitrates are low I have no reason to need to keep chaeto.

Also, I would work on getting your nitrates up from zero. Chaeto needs nitrates to survive, but even more importantly is that corals do too.
When I first started, I was told nitrates are bad.....but now they're good? I'm getting dizzy. Lol!
 
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mistergray

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I should have asked. Do you have bad algae problems to begin with? Or, is one starting?

I only add chaeto to help export nutrients, and my tang actually loves to eat the stuff.
I have bits of algae here and there on the sand. My cleanup crew does a great job on the rocks and glass. I haven't quite found the right critter to handle my sand yet. I do stir the sand from time-to-time on my own. About once during my weekly water change. Perhaps my little 32g doesn't need chaeto at all.
 
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mistergray

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Might not sound ideal, but remove your filter socks if you're running them, and let the cheato have a feast.
Do you have any visible algae growing in your tank at all? If you do, then the algae might be masking your NO3 readings.
I do have algae on the sand. It's not horrible, but not pleasing to the eye either. I have filter floss in back of the tank.
 
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