Refugium and nuisance algae questions / help

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XLReefer525

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I have recently started my first refugium hoping to help with nutrient export and nuisance algae in my DT. It's only been running about 10 days, and my cheato has grown from about a softball size to volleyball-ish size. I'm also seeing lots of film algae starting in the fuge and I assume other nuisance algae isn't far behind - just like in my DT. My fuge light is doing just what it is supposed to do, and that is grow algae - nuisance or not, I guess.

Does everyone just let their refugium grow whatever type of algae takes hold in addition to their cheato / macroalgae? I assumed the cheato would outcompete everything and would be the only thing that would grow with any substance in the fuge - but I'm now thinking I was completely wrong on that. I didn't want a second tank growing nuisance algae that I have to clean and battle. Can anyone set me straight on this and what the norm is?
 
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New&no clue

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My refugium grows chaeto, GHA, bubble algae, and sponges. I typically just let it go. After a while, the GHA will start to grow over the chaeto and make a mat on top. I cut that part off when it starts to get too thick. Every once in a while, I will pull the GHA that grows on the sides of the glass.
 

Mikedawg

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Yep, +1. As long as my DT looks good I don't worry about what is growing in the refugium although I do vacuum up some detritus, trim chaeto when I change water. I do have a few snails to keep gha "manageable."
 
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XLReefer525

XLReefer525

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Thanks for the input. So if I start growing GHA like crazy in the fuge, I won't be making it easier to spread / thrive in the DT? I just wanted to be sure. Seems counter-productive and that it would just thrive everywhere?? But I guess I just don't understand!
 

Dkmoo

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Thanks for the input. So if I start growing GHA like crazy in the fuge, I won't be making it easier to spread / thrive in the DT? I just wanted to be sure. Seems counter-productive and that it would just thrive everywhere?? But I guess I just don't understand!
Think of it this way, every strand of GHA growing in your fuge is 1 less strand of GHA growing on your DT.

One benefit of having diverse algae growing in fuge is stability - like building your stock portfolio, diversity is king. Chaeto has the reputation of being "feast or famine" when tank is dirty they explode, when its clean, it melt. Having other algae can buffer this swing.

My fuge, for example, cannot keep chaeto no matter what I do - even have a fancy kessil 380H. So I finally gave up, added some mesh and egg crate, and let gha grow on it, basically turned it into a scrubber. Now I scrape off a sheet of gha every few weeks, serves the same nutrient export purpose and more stable than chaeto.
 
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Yes, I think it can move to your DT. However, I believe there are a few reasons it will not take off there.
  1. In your DT, you probably have some CUC and possibly some fish who will pick at algae that starts growing in the tank. Most CUC will eat GHA in their early stage.
  2. In your DT, you might have a small patch start, but in your refugium, you have a powerhouse sucking out the excess nutrient. As long as you don't increase nutrients through feeding or additives, it should stay balanced.
 

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