Will chaeto drop nitrate and phosphate to zero?

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DeNovice

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I have been consistently getting 0 on Nitrate and Phosphate. I have chaeto in a back chamber that’s literally doubling in size in about a weeks time. I give it 18 hours of light which I’d read was recommended. I also have green hair algae forming on the sand. As of yesterday, my ammonia level was .5, granted it was an api test but it still makes me nervous to feed super heavy. Should I pull the chaeto? I’m concerned that the algae would go nuts if I do that. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

lpsouth1978

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I have been consistently getting 0 on Nitrate and Phosphate. I have chaeto in a back chamber that’s literally doubling in size in about a weeks time. I give it 18 hours of light which I’d read was recommended. I also have green hair algae forming on the sand. As of yesterday, my ammonia level was .5, granted it was an api test but it still makes me nervous to feed super heavy. Should I pull the chaeto? I’m concerned that the algae would go nuts if I do that. Any advice would be appreciated.
How long has the tank been running? If it has cycled and has fish and corals, then I HIGHLY doubt there is any ammonia in the tank and you are seeing a false positive from API. Rather than pulling the Chaeto, why not just reduce the time you are lighting it. In effect you would be "tuning" the chaeto to your needs. It is 100% possible to strip N03 and P04 with chaeto.I would start with 8 hours opposite your main lights. See how that does and increase or reduce depending on the tanks needs.
 
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DeNovice

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How long has the tank been running? If it has cycled and has fish and corals, then I HIGHLY doubt there is any ammonia in the tank and you are seeing a false positive from API. Rather than pulling the Chaeto, why not just reduce the time you are lighting it. In effect you would be "tuning" the chaeto to your needs. It is 100% possible to strip N03 and P04 with chaeto.I would start with 8 hours opposite your main lights. See how that does and increase or reduce depending on the tanks needs.

Thanks. It’s been going for 3 months. It’s still young but it cycled. I used mollies and live sand, they said the rock was live but it’s the artificial purple stuff that’s “seeded” with live bacteria. Either way, it cycled and and fish and corals are doing well. Only a few softies and one clown, ywg and cleaner shrimp. All my cuc are still alive so I figure they’d be the first to go if anything. I’ll start reducing the light for the chaeto. Should I keep feeding heavy to raise my levels or just give the light time to have an effect?
 
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reefinnewb

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Going through this now. I've had next to no coral growth lately and thought I had perfect parameters. 430 Ca, 9alk, 1400mg, 0 nitrate, 0.04 phosphate. Then I read that you need some nitrate. I've been in this hobby a long time. Things change so often its hard to keep up with. So I reduced my light cycle on my cheato to just 6 hours a day and started feeding more. I gave it a week and still 0 nitrates but 0.07 phosphates. Took the Cheato out and now have same phosphates but now 1-2 nitrates. The cheato was apparently decimating my nutrients. If / when I'm happy with where I'm at, I may eventually add some cheato back.
 
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jmichaelh7

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Going through this now. I've had next to no coral growth lately and thought I had perfect parameters. 430 Ca, 9alk, 1400mg, 0 nitrate, 0.04 phosphate. Then I read that you need some nitrate. I've been in this hobby a long time. Things change so often its hard to keep up with. So I reduced my light cycle on my cheato to just 6 hours a day and started feeding more. I gave it a week and still 0 nitrates but 0.07 phosphates. Took the Cheato out and now have same phosphates but now 1-2 nitrates. The cheato was apparently decimating my nutrients. If / when I'm happy with where I'm at, I may eventually add some cheato back.
I’m dealing with Lightly form of Dino on my sand bed now.

sucks because before i attempted chaeto I never had issues a year long.

the chaeto stripped nutrients down to 0, nitrate and phosphate.

I think Chaeto does work with a good light
 
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