View Full Version : Macro Algae as ONLY Filtration?

06/24/2016, 03:45 PM
I've been looking more and more into macro algae dominant systems and I'm sold by both the natural, unorganized look they tend to have, but also of course the low maintenance that goes along with a tank that's meant to keep only fish, algae, and soft corals. Right now I'm running a 60g cube that houses a variety of macros (c. prolifera, tufted joint, cheato, ulva, red gracilaria etc.) and I'm loving it so far. This leads me to my next point, which is an idea I had to set up a 6' 125g low tech macro dominant "easy reef", with the only equipment being the LEDs suspended over the tank, a powerhead on each end of the tank, and my Tunze ATO. As far as fish, the largest would be a long nose butterfly (excluding my zebra moray), along with an assortment of other small, mostly tank-bred fish (harem of flame angels, orchid dotty back, kamohara, cardinals, docile damsels etc.). Would simply pruning, doing the occasional water change, and dosing when necessary be sufficient? Thanks guys :dance:

06/26/2016, 07:54 PM
With a heavy fish load it sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Once the macro reaches a point when it can't use up all the excess nutrients you are going to get nuisence algae and other bad things.

I am not saying it is impossible but you have no margin of error if things go bad.

06/26/2016, 09:29 PM
Take a look at Michael's Caribbean tank. All his filtration is his macro. He doesn't have a very heavy bio load, but it does work. Just be sure to have macros that grow really fast (like caulerpa) because they can uptake nutrients extremely fast

Michael Hoaster
07/03/2016, 10:26 PM
Well thanks jraker!

Macros are amazing nutrient absorbers, and grow better with more fish and food. Don't forget the detrivore community, to help process the poo 'n stuff. Pods, worms, snails, in live mud and live sand are your friends. Lower tech and higher nature is a great way to go!

07/03/2016, 11:08 PM

I just resurrected a thread from 2006 which I think was important for people to see, here is the link, http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=760973 I think this might help you to better manage your Macro tank, I know it will mine.