Probably the dumbest question ever... can "too much air" kill chaeto? (Aka what's killing my chaeto)

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chaostactics

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TL:DR my chaeto keeps dying and I don't know why. Algae reactor traps a ton of air from skimmer.



Basically my macro reactor is constantly 100% of the time full of air because new generation skimmers are stupid as hell (can't direct the effluent).

At any rate my reactor has a TON of air bubbles in it all the time. All throughout the reactor chamber, I can tell because when I strike it massive amounts of air rise from the bottom to join the bubbles already collected at the top.

I digress. I've had my last few batches of chaeto die off completely and at one point I used to grow huge thick wads of the stuff in my tank.

I don't think my tank is "too clean" as I have a heavy fish bioload, feed 1-2xdaily, dose aminos daily, and feed reef roids a couple times a week. I have not dosed vibrant nor fluconazole in months. And I do have some amount of nuisance algae in my display

1. No I can't move my skimmer nor reactor to another chamber. (No room)
2. No I can't buy another skimmer, I'm on my 4th different one this time an escence 130. (No room, depth not adjustable enough, budget)

3. No I can't ditch the reactor (not enough room for loose macro, not enough room for a scrubber.) And it used to work very well for a while

20210719_223510.jpg
 
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gonzo620

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So I was having some bubble issues with my apex probes because of the skimmer. My solution has worked. Simply get one of those Mesh filter socks with the string tops. Tie it tight to skimmer outlet. Whalaa! Look out for the sock getting clogged up a bit. Takes a long time but the back pressure will affect the inner skimmer level.
 
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chaostactics

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So I was having some bubble issues with my apex probes because of the skimmer. My solution has worked. Simply get one of those Mesh filter socks with the string tops. Tie it tight to skimmer outlet. Whalaa! Look out for the sock getting clogged up a bit. Takes a long time but the back pressure will affect the inner skimmer level.
Can't because of the effluent design.
 
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chaostactics

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So I was having some bubble issues with my apex probes because of the skimmer. My solution has worked. Simply get one of those Mesh filter socks with the string tops. Tie it tight to skimmer outlet. Whalaa! Look out for the sock getting clogged up a bit. Takes a long time but the back pressure will affect the inner skimmer level.
Can't because of the effluent design. There
What skimmer is it? Can we see a sump picture?
There is now a reef essence 130 in place of the Avast Marine skimmer shown.
 

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chaostactics

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just asking, but have you tried the Brightwell Cheato grow? ….can’t hurt.
I haven't supplemented.for Chaeto in almost 20 years of reefing. Never had die off like this except when I treated a tank with vibrant while also running a fuge.
 

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From the pic it appears water drains in on the back right. Then moves forward to what would look like a sock holder. Then the water moves right to left, hitting the skimmer followed by the reactor both in the same sump compartment. If you’re set up like this maybe switch the skimmer and reactor position. With the skimmer down stream it may be less likely for the reactor to collect the bubbles.
 

hart24601

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You wrote you suspect plenty of nutrients but are you sure there is detectable phosphate and nitrate and are the tests accurate? Even with feeding a lot and some algae in the DT it’s very possible there are not enough nutrients.

I have not had a problem with hair in the chaeto but have never had that much, but my general go-to with growing chaeto is 1st ask for accurate, or close to as accurate as we can get, for phosphate and nitrate. 2nd is adding trace elements. In my older systems I never had to add anything, but in the system I’m running the past couple years I had to add chaetogro on a doser as my chaeto kept dying off until I added it. The change was dramatic.
 
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chaostactics

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You wrote you suspect plenty of nutrients but are you sure there is detectable phosphate and nitrate and are the tests accurate? Even with feeding a lot and some algae in the DT it’s very possible there are not enough nutrients.

I have not had a problem with hair in the chaeto but have never had that much, but my general go-to with growing chaeto is 1st ask for accurate, or close to as accurate as we can get, for phosphate and nitrate. 2nd is adding trace elements. In my older systems I never had to add anything, but in the system I’m running the past couple years I had to add chaetogro on a doser as my chaeto kept dying off until I added it. The change was dramatic.
So dumb question because I grew up as a reffee in the era of the only prop pumps were tunze, there were no name brand led lights, and needle wheels were a family new tech. If I'm not using chaeto an an additional nutrient sink what am I using it for?

Tbh it's been awhile since I measured for much past pH, Alk, Ca, and Mag.

Ill have to see what kits I have for the others.
 
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hart24601

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So dumb question because I grew up as a reffee in the era of the only prop pumps were tunze, there were no name brand led lights, and needle wheels were a family new tech. If I'm not using chaeto an an additional nutrient sink what am I using it for?

Tbh it's been awhile since I measured for much past pH, Alk, Ca, and Mag.

Ill have to see what kits I have for the others.

that is a good point and one not asked enough. If you look at many threads people are adding chaeto to tanks with 0 nitrate and 0 phosphate just because they feel they should. Of course that might not be the case here, it might be trace elements like mine was, but for the former tanks it’s not needed for nutrient control although some like chaeto for pods
 
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chaostactics

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that is a good point and one not asked enough. If you look at many threads people are adding chaeto to tanks with 0 nitrate and 0 phosphate just because they feel they should. Of course that might not be the case here, it might be trace elements like mine was, but for the former tanks it’s not needed for nutrient control although some like chaeto for pods
That makes more sense. My chaeto did stop growing well after my tank had matures for a while. It's one of those things I was doing because "I always did it that way". But I also never used filter socks and my skimmers probably weren't nearly bas high quality. There's probably about a 3% chance that pods would make it out of the algae reactor, though the sponge bubble trap, into my return pump, through the manifold branches, and into my display any way
 

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Whats your no3 and po4 levels at? Very possible you already have a "heavy in heavy out" mature system and a small ball of chaeto just can't out compete everything else in yiur tank that uptakes no3 and po4.

Chaeto is very finicky. When there is abundance of leftover no3 and po4 they explode, when there is not enough they will quickly melt.

The other possibility is that you lack iron or other trace elements.

They also can't seem to out complete GHA if you already havea lot of gha in DT

I can never keep chaeto after many tries. My no3/po4 is constant at 0.25ppm and 0.02ppm, respectively and this is with heavy feeding and overstocked tank. Whenever I try to feed even more, I just see more nuisance algae growing even while the chaeto melts on the fuge. It just seems there is way too many live things in the DT that will quickly absorbe any extra available nutrient in the mature system.

Now I just leave it be - my fuge is growing gha that I remove every few weeks. Serves same purpose..
 
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Ramdude4G

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Whats your no3 and po4 levels at? Very possible you already have a "heavy in heavy out" mature system and a small ball of chaeto just can't out compete everything else in yiur tank that uptakes no3 and po4.

Chaeto is very finicky. When there is abundance of leftover no3 and po4 they explode, when there is not enough they will quickly melt.

The other possibility is that you lack iron or other trace elements.

They also can't seem to out complete GHA if you already havea lot of gha in DT

I can never keep chaeto after many tries. My no3/po4 is constant at 0.25ppm and 0.02ppm, respectively and this is with heavy feeding and overstocked tank. Whenever I try to feed even more, I just see more nuisance algae growing even while the chaeto melts on the fuge. It just seems there is way too many live things in the DT that will quickly absorbe any extra available nutrient in the mature system.

Now I just leave it be - my fuge is growing gha that I remove every few weeks. Serves same purpose..
Interesting concept. And makes sense. I fear this is why my chato is slow growing and constantly shedding inch long pieces.
 
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chaostactics

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Interesting concept. And makes sense. I fear this is why my chato is slow growing and constantly shedding inch long pieces.
I am very much still having this issue because of my poorly designed @CoralvueDon Reef Essence 130 skimmer and I really wish there a way to fix it.


Another contributing factor though is that my Nitrates and Phosphate are very low
 

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@chaostactics brands do make iron test kits. Not to say its just iron either but a test could rule some things out. They need sulfates/nitrates/phosphates/iron etc... I can say the air wont kill some macros. A lot of them are from tidal areas exposed to hours of sun and air in a day. I have a huge lump growing and a lot of its out of the water. I have to manually turn it over from time to time. Still alive a long while now. Not being outcompeted by gha in sump either( a bunch of it) at around 5 nitrate and less at times.
 

DrZoidburg

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I do see maybe 3 options if your convinced its air. Some of which could be being produced by the plant itself. 1: Turn the pump entrance of reactor away from skimmer and skimmer outlet away from reactor. 2: maybe run a silicone hose from reactor entrance to area that has less air bubbles. 3: Some diy make a bleeder valve at the top for the air so it just drips a little water out. If you cant get it to drip restrict the reactor exit.
 
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chaostactics

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@chaostactics brands do make iron test kits. Not to say its just iron either but a test could rule some things out. They need sulfates/nitrates/phosphates/iron etc... I can say the air wont kill some macros. A lot of them are from tidal areas exposed to hours of sun and air in a day. I have a huge lump growing and a lot of its out of the water. I have to manually turn it over from time to time. Still alive a long while now. Not being outcompeted by gha in sump either( a bunch of it) at around 5 nitrate and less at times.

I have my iron level, there's plenty haha
 

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