Sudden random death of established Chaeto -- Shrimp the cause?

Discussion in 'Macroalgae (all types of desirable algae)' started by eddius_maximus, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. eddius_maximus

    eddius_maximus Member

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    I've had some established chaeto in my sump for many months now. I've pulled tons of it out consistently on a weekly basis.

    I also had a major aiptasia invasion in my refugium. I'm talking hundreds and hundreds. I added 6 peppermint shrimp and within two weeks they're all gone. Amazing! Yet the strangest thing happened - my chaeto suddenly died. Just lost color and started melting away.

    It's been going strong for a very long time. It has flow. It has light (Kessil h380). It has iron dosing.

    Could it possibly be the introduction of the peppermint shrimp? Is that even a thing?
     
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  2. Katrina71

    Katrina71 Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Do you think so much die off of aiptasia caused it?
     
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  3. eddius_maximus

    eddius_maximus Member

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    I suppose that's possible, but that would be really surprising to me!
     
  4. eddius_maximus

    eddius_maximus Member

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    So bizarre. Does chaeto consume alkalinity? I was under the impression that it mainly consumed magnesium, not alk.

    I test alk daily and Apex dose hourly. It's been in lockstep for months and months. I'm two days into running this system without chaeto and my alk has spiked from 9 to 9.5 yesterday, and 9.5 to 9.9 today. My dosers have been adjusted to try and accomodate for the fluctuation but I have no idea what's going on in this system the last few days.
     
  5. AlgaeBarn

    AlgaeBarn Active Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    Peppermint shrimp will not affect chaeto adversely.

    Chaeto is not a big alkalinity consumer.

    Can you answer these questions and I can help you more

    • What is your pH?
    • What are your nitrates and phosphates?
    • What is the light cycle on the chaeto?
    • Are you running nopox, gfo, or carbon dosing?
     
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  6. eddius_maximus

    eddius_maximus Member

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    How funny! My replacement chaeto just arrived from you guys last week. It was beautiful and healthy, but it seems to be suffering the same fate. No growth, no death, just slowly rolling around.

    It's the strangest thing, it's like my tank just started rejecting chaeto overnight. I used to harvest tubs of it weekly. And slowly but surely, now that chaeto is no longer the dominant algae in my system, my refugium is slowly filling up with hair algae. I'm also starting to see tiny patches of HA in my display - the first time in six months I've had nuisance algae in the display. Perplexing problem.

    My pH is typically around 8.1
    Nitrates 10ppm, phosphate 0.02. And I feed *heavy*, several times a day. No GFO, no carbon, I try to keep it simple.
    Light cycle is 14 hours on overnight from a Kessil H380.
    Not running anything, I resorted to the K.I.S.S. method quite a while ago.
     
  7. AlgaeBarn

    AlgaeBarn Active Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    • pH is fine.
    • Nitrates and phosphates seems to be fine.
    • Maybe try moving your kessil a little higher and reducing the photoperiod.
    • How big is your tank and fuge? If its big enough, you may want to try sea lettuce.
     
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  8. eddius_maximus

    eddius_maximus Member

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    Your help is much appreciated. I'll move the Kessil up a bit and reduce the photoperiod a couple hours and see how it goes. Are there any drawbacks to sea lettuce? I've never used it before!

    My tank's a Reefer 450. Display is 100g, sump is 25g and my refugium takes up the majority of it.
     
  9. AlgaeBarn

    AlgaeBarn Active Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    For larger tanks like yours, we tend to recommend sea lettuce. It grows faster than chaeto, can be fed to tangs and foxfaces, and tends to like higher lighting. It doesn't need to be tumbled for high grow rates.

    Potential drawbacks:
    • Just like any other macroalgae, it can spread to your display tank(if you have any algae eaters, they will take care of it) - very low probability
    • It tends to float, and you will need to make sure it can't make its way to the return pump (egg crate is an easy way to block it)
    • It may cause your nitrates and phosphates to drop to 0. You have 3 main routes to address this
      • Feed the tank more :)
      • Dose your tank with nitrates
      • Prune the sea lettuce more often and reduce it to a smaller clump

    FYI, we are currently OOS on sea lettuce. We should be releasing another batch for sale this Thursday.
     
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  10. eddius_maximus

    eddius_maximus Member

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    I have two tangs and a foxface. They eat everything. My fuge is very solidly partitioned. I'm overstocked and I overfeed so I don't think nitrates/phosphates dropping to 0 will be a possibility. Sounds like I'll be placing an order on Thursday.
     
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  11. AlgaeBarn

    AlgaeBarn Active Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    Sounds perfect! We will also have red ogo in stock at that time. I would recommend trying some of that too! Fast growing (sea lettuce is faster) and tangs feast on it like crazy.
     
  12. Travis Warren

    Travis Warren Active Member

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    I agree. I run all 3 macro algaes and feed a lot. No issue. Sea lettuce and red olga algae grow good and cheato floats on top. I cut a hole in the cheato so light can get to the other algaes.
     
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  13. cracker

    cracker Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    This Sea lettuce & Ulva look similar .is it the same stuff? I have some ulva growing in my fuge is why I'm asking.
     
  14. AlgaeBarn

    AlgaeBarn Active Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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  15. Chaz D

    Chaz D Member

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    potassium
     
  16. eddius_maximus

    eddius_maximus Member

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    Heya Chaz, good call. But I do dose both potassium and iron - both are in Red Sea Trace Colors ABCD (I dose daily)
     
  17. eddius_maximus

    eddius_maximus Member

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    Thanks again for the info - order for sea lettuce has been placed.
     
  18. Subsea

    Subsea Well-Known Member

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  19. roberthu526

    roberthu526 Valuable Member

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    Is sea lettuce better suited for big tanks? I have a 300 G tank with 125G sump/refugium set up and running just over three months. I am thinking about adding some macro algae in the next months or so. I don’t have any fish in the system yet but do have quite a few Acro and monti growing. I will be adding fish around Thanksgiving and it is going to be heavily stocked eventually. Any suggestion would be much appreciated!
     
  20. roberthu526

    roberthu526 Valuable Member

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