Why is my Chaeto melting / disintegrating?

BigOC

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I have tried to have Chaeto in a refugium a couple of times to fight the hair algae in my DT. But in both cases, after a month or two it starts breaking apart and of course, it creates a mess in my DT

Setting: I have created a separate compartment in my Reefer 170 sump with a Kessil H80 for lighting. Initially the light was on 24hr/day, but I have also tried 8hr/day for a while. Nitrates are around 4ppm (Redsea Nitrate Pro test kit) and Phosphates are at around 0.01ppm (Hanna ULR checker).

I change about 10% of the water weekly and add only some Alk and Ca as needed, I don’t have a lot yet, other than a few zoas and softies (Alk ~8 dKH, Ca ~450ppm and Mg ~1400). Not sure if also a factor, but with the arrival of the warm weather, the water is getting to 80F during some parts of the day, I typically keep it at 77F.

Finally, I am adding Vibrant as it helped me fight the hair algae a few months ago, but since it was not as effective this time, I wanted to try the Chaeto. Are these two approaches conflicting?

Why is my Chaeto melting while the hair algae is still happy?
 
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uhgster1

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Vibrant does not play well with chaeto. There’s the problem.
Your chaeto has to outcompete the green hair algae. Leave the light on in the refugium longer. I had mine on 24/7 for the first 6 weeks until it established itself. And unless you plan on manicuring the sump don’t freak out if hair algae starts down there. Better in the sump than the display.
 

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Vibrant can be tough on macroalgae especially Chaeto. I would remove as much hair algae by hand and siphon what you can then give chaeto another shot to work for you naturally without adding any chemicals.
 
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mdb_talon

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As others have said....Vibrant. you are dosing a chemical that eliminates algae while trying to grow algae. Vibrant does not know or care which algae you like unfortunately.
 
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BigOC

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Thanks all for your quick responses, it is what I suspected. I'll stop the Vibrant and give the Chaeto another try. One follow up question

Your chaeto has to outcompete the green hair algae. Leave the light on in the refugium longer. I had mine on 24/7 for the first 6 weeks until it established itself. And unless you plan on manicuring the sump don’t freak out if hair algae starts down there. Better in the sump than the display.
I will definitelly try the adaptation period and see how it goes, I absolutely prefer the hair algae in the sump

One follow up question, can the low phosphate level (0.01ppm) also be weakening the Chaeto?
 

Eagle_Steve

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Thanks all for your quick responses, it is what I suspected. I'll stop the Vibrant and give the Chaeto another try. One follow up question


I will definitelly try the adaptation period and see how it goes, I absolutely prefer the hair algae in the sump

One follow up question, can the low phosphate level (0.01ppm) also be weakening the Chaeto?
You more than likely do not have low phosphate, the gha is just consuming it so fast it tests low.

As @AlgaeBarn said, remove as much gha as possible then add cheato.

A neat trick is to pull big clumps by hand and then zip tie an old tooth brush to the end of a hose and scrub while siphoning into a filter sock in the sump. Saves water and lets you remove the small bits of gha.
 
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BigOC

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You more than likely do not have low phosphate, the gha is just consuming it so fast it tests low.

As @AlgaeBarn said, remove as much gha as possible then add cheato.

A neat trick is to pull big clumps by hand and then zip tie an old tooth brush to the end of a hose and scrub while siphoning into a filter sock in the sump. Saves water and lets you remove the small bits of gha.

I'll work on that and see how things evolve the next few weeks. I have used the tooth brush a lot, but I never thought of returnig the water to the sump, that gives me a lot more time to remive the algae.
 
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Vibrant does not play well with chaeto. There’s the problem.
Never used it, but it’s my understanding it’s algaecide... cheato is algae...

do you have flow for the cheato? It’s not like necessary, but it helps a lot. I only have a modded biocube, but the cheato grows crazy fast back there and if I don’t harvest it weekly, it starts to die (get crumbly etc). There’s good flow through the fuge, but not enough to agitate or move the cheato. I put in an air line with a stone (like for freshwater) and it makes the cheato move more. I don’t have to harvest it as often. I also do opposite 12hr from the DT for the photoperiod.
 
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BigOC

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Never used it, but it’s my understanding it’s algaecide... cheato is algae...

do you have flow for the cheato? It’s not like necessary, but it helps a lot. I only have a modded biocube, but the cheato grows crazy fast back there and if I don’t harvest it weekly, it starts to die (get crumbly etc). There’s good flow through the fuge, but not enough to agitate or move the cheato. I put in an air line with a stone (like for freshwater) and it makes the cheato move more. I don’t have to harvest it as often. I also do opposite 12hr from the DT for the photoperiod.

There is plenty of flow and when for the first few weeks, it tumbles very nicely. But it does not grow, it just shrinks over time and once it is about half the size of what it was at the begining, it starts to break apart ....
 
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There is plenty of flow and when for the first few weeks, it tumbles very nicely. But it does not grow, it just shrinks over time and once it is about half the size of what it was at the begining, it starts to break apart ....
Yeah, if it’s tumbling that’s a good sign. It doesn’t sound like it’s crowding itself either. I think like other’s said. The vibrant is probably not doing the cheato any favors.
 
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BigOC

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What about the coralline algae? The tank has been setup for more than a year now and everything seems happy / healthy, but the coralline is not there yet. There are some very small pieces growing in the back wall and a bit also around the MP10s. Is it possible that the Vibrant is also delaying en growth of the coralline?
 
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What about the coralline algae? The tank has been setup for more than a year now and everything seems happy / healthy, but the coralline is not there yet. There are some very small pieces growing in the back wall and a bit also around the MP10s. Is it possible that the Vibrant is also delaying en growth of the coralline?
From the Radom guy on the Internet, I’d say algae is algae. If something kills algae it must not be helpful growing algae.
 

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