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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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.

I have an older model, the 29g and use the intank media basket and fuge. Yours looks totally foreign to me.

do you have that light sitting right on top of it?

the flow from your overflow should be directed down the media basket. Then directed to the fuge basket which is open on both sides.

your cheato should be in there and not under the light but around it. You can put a small air pump (like for a freshwater tank) and run the hose to the bottom. The bubbles will cause the cheato to move.

it should be a wiry bright green mess if it’s healthy. It’ll get snotty as it’s health goes, or brittle and crumbly as it dies off.

once a week I cut out and toss a 2 x 4 inch hedge.
 
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Manny D. Mandarin

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When I first started, I was told nitrates are bad.....but now they're good? I'm getting dizzy. Lol!
Nitrate advise can be confusing because everyone's system is a little different in what works best for it! You ideally want a consistent low amount for your Chaeto and corals.
 
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Gtinnel

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When I first started, I was told nitrates are bad.....but now they're good? I'm getting dizzy. Lol!
As with many thing in life some is good but too much or none at all is bad.

I usually manually dose just enough potassium nitrate to keep mine consistent around 2.5. When it drops to around 1 I raise it back up.
 
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mistergray

mistergray

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I have an older model, the 29g and use the intank media basket and fuge. Yours looks totally foreign to me.

do you have that light sitting right on top of it?

the flow from your overflow should be directed down the media basket. Then directed to the fuge basket which is open on both sides.

your cheato should be in there and not under the light but around it. You can put a small air pump (like for a freshwater tank) and run the hose to the bottom. The bubbles will cause the cheato to move.

it should be a wiry bright green mess if it’s healthy. It’ll get snotty as it’s health goes, or brittle and crumbly as it dies off.

once a week I cut out and toss a 2 x 4 inch hedge.
I have 3 chambers in the back of my 32g biocube. Heater in 1st chamber, InTank Media Basket in 2nd chamber along with the InTank fuge. I have the tunze epic chic 8831 refugium light inside the InTank fuge with the chaeto; it's submersible.

I take it your refugium light is on the back section of the tank and not in the actual fuge as mine?
 
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mistergray

mistergray

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Nitrate advise can be confusing because everyone's system is a little different in what works best for it! You ideally want a consistent low amount for your Chaeto and corals.
Maybe my tank is too new for chaeto, is what I think I'm understanding. But you're right.....I'm getting confused at this point.
 
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mistergray

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As with many thing in life some is good but too much or none at all is bad.

I usually manually dose just enough potassium nitrate to keep mine consistent around 2.5. When it drops to around 1 I raise it back up.
I think I'm going to pack up my little chaeto section for now. It's one of those things I'm doing because it seems everyone else does it and I thought it was just a no-brainer....you do it because you can. But I'm not sure if it's something I need. I have happy corals, fish and anemone's.....so far. I do have a little algae on the sand. Rocks are fine because of my beautiful clean-up crew.

My true goal is to have a ritteri when I hit a year and I was hoping to get my water as pristine as possible. I felt like chaeto is one of the ways to get myself to that goal.

I'm truly confused with dosing. Everyone seems to be dosing all sorts of things and I really don't know why. Where's the "crying" emoji? Lol!!!!
 
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Gtinnel

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I think I'm going to pack up my little chaeto section for now. It's one of those things I'm doing because it seems everyone else does it and I thought it was just a no-brainer....you do it because you can. But I'm not sure if it's something I need. I have happy corals, fish and anemone's.....so far. I do have a little algae on the sand. Rocks are fine because of my beautiful clean-up crew.

My true goal is to have a ritteri when I hit a year and I was hoping to get my water as pristine as possible. I felt like chaeto is one of the ways to get myself to that goal.

I'm truly confused with dosing. Everyone seems to be dosing all sorts of things and I really don't know why. Where's the "crying" emoji? Lol!!!!
Photosynthetic corals and algea uptake some amount of nitrate and phosphate (among other things) when using light to create "food". Because of this there needs to be at least some small amounts of nitrate and phosphate in the water. Having either of those things at 0 is bad for the corals and algea. Most people use chaeto as a way of reducing nitrate and phosphate, if those aren't too high then you won't need chaeto. If your nitrate is at 0 then your chaeto was starving and dying, but the good news is that you don't need it.

I did the same thing as you and made a refugium and added a bunch of chaeto just to watch it melt away, which ironically added the nutrients people try to reduce with it into my water.
 
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176327

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I think I'm going to pack up my little chaeto section for now. It's one of those things I'm doing because it seems everyone else does it and I thought it was just a no-brainer....you do it because you can. But I'm not sure if it's something I need. I have happy corals, fish and anemone's.....so far. I do have a little algae on the sand. Rocks are fine because of my beautiful clean-up crew.

My true goal is to have a ritteri when I hit a year and I was hoping to get my water as pristine as possible. I felt like chaeto is one of the ways to get myself to that goal.

I'm truly confused with dosing. Everyone seems to be dosing all sorts of things and I really don't know why. Where's the "crying" emoji? Lol!!!!

conch are amazing at keeping the sand. Once I added two, and a week or so went by, sand is always clean now.

Your light is neat, but yeah, I opted to put a light on the glass. In your photos, I can’t even tell where the cheato is. I see the light, nothing else.

Edit: wait, did you pull the basket up to take the photo? Ahh I think I see what I was seeing now lol.
 
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