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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Jason Yahr

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No nitrates = dead Chaeto. Think of nitrates as food for your Chaeto without it Chaeto will die. Brightwell sells Chaeto grow which works pretty well by feeding your Chaeto the nutrients it needs
 
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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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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

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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