View Full Version : Macro advice for display fuge

07/29/2016, 09:58 AM
I'm in the process of plumbing a 20H to my system. I'd like to use it as a display fuge. I've built a rock wall and it has ~2.5 sand bed. The rock wall will be the only "structure" in the tank so the sand bed is open space. I'm trying to put together an order GCE.

I would like to have C. Prolifera and C. Paspaloides growing on the sand. I'd like establish various colors of macros on the rock wall along with xenia.

C. Prolifera
C. Paspaloides
Red sampler
Hypnea Pannosa (rock wall)
Chondria (rock wall)

I'm new to macros and looking for advice or comments.

07/29/2016, 10:57 AM
You list sounds pretty good. I actually just received my order from GCE yesterday, and I have no bad things to say about them. They are a great place to order from.

I got the Caulerpa sampler, and I got multiple Caulerpa Prolifera and Caulerpa Paspaloides plants. You might just want to get the sampler if you want both those species, and maybe some others.

One thing to be aware of is how much they ship. They send some of their plants in pints, which are pretty big. I ordered the Caulerpa, Red, and Halimeda sampler, which filled up my 65 gallon. I can see your 20 high easily getting filled up if you don't limit how much you order

The red sampler has a pretty good diversity of plants, I got around 3-4 species. But again, it is pretty big. Because of your size tank, I would personally just order some individual reds. They sell the reds in smaller sizes, like 3"-4" pieces, instead of huge pints.

07/30/2016, 09:23 AM
Consider this link to see a macro display nano tank.


07/30/2016, 09:32 AM

Without a doubt, for reefkeepers that are not scientist, this is written for you.


07/30/2016, 01:41 PM
Thank you all.

I looked into buying the reds individually but most of them are out of stock, they want to send them in 1 pint, and it would be cheaper to buy the sampler. If I order to many I have an area in my sump to put the extras.

What kind of lights should I use for good growth? (T5, CFL, halides)

07/30/2016, 02:01 PM
I always recommend T5 using actinic and 6500 daylight lamps to a color of. 10K. About 2W per Gal.

I also grow red grapes under blue & white led at a 12K. Lamp was rated for 100W but it used 50W of AC. About 1W per gallon.

It really depends on the macro. They are better to be dimly lite than sun scolded..

07/30/2016, 02:08 PM
I have a 165w mars aqua led box. Would this work?

07/30/2016, 03:04 PM
I have a 165w mars aqua led box. Would this work?

Works no problem, I grow most of what you listed with a cheap home depot 5000K PAR30 LED bulb. Great growth when I dose nitrates.

07/30/2016, 03:29 PM
I have a 165w mars aqua led box. Would this work?

Yes, it would work. Just be sure to have the spectrum somewhere between 6500k and 10k, because that is what plants like. As said above, it depends on the macro. If you want more blues and reds, you spectrum should be closer to 10k.

07/30/2016, 05:15 PM
I have a 165w mars aqua led box. Would this work?

That is a lot of watts over a 20G tank. That fixture allows rheostat control over each channel. Depending on the macros, you can emphasize white or blue. With respect to chlorophyll A & B, they each have peaks in red and blue spectrum. White LED are a combination of R/G/B. That fixture at 100% on each channel will look to be 12K. The red macros are very attractive under white and reflect back some of the red spectrum. When blue light predominates, the Reds and yellows are washed out.

Michael Hoaster
08/04/2016, 12:59 PM
If you are plumbing into a low nutrient reef system, you may not have enough nutrients for the faster growing macros. Trying a variety and seeing what likes the conditions present is a good strategy.

08/05/2016, 07:53 AM
Thank all of you for the replies!

I received my order yesterday and there is good and bad news. Good news the macros I received look healthy to my untrained eye, the xenia came attached to several types of red algea, and several snails erupted from the live sand when I released it into the aquarium.

The bad news is most of the xenia did not ship well, the aquarium isn't cycled so the snails are going to have a rough week, and I forgot to order the red sampler pack. I was looking forward to the red macros the most. I guess I'll order it next week. :rolleye1:

Now on to my many questions, I'll number them so they are easy to keep track of.

1. The roots are not long enough on the caulerpa to hold it in the substrate. Can I leave it floating around until the roots develop?

2. The only flow in the tank is from a maxi jet, the water isn't still but it also isn't moving very quick. Should I add a different pump for more flow?

3. Can I use plastic toothpicks/swords to hold the macros on the foam wall? I just want to loosely thread them through the macros not through the tissue of the plants.

4. Can I "frag" the macros to help spread them around more? If so, how should I go about it?

I'm sure I'll come up with more questions, but I dont want to scare anyone off.

Michael Hoaster
08/05/2016, 09:55 AM
Yes, to all your questions. You can wait awhile on adding more water movement, since you are trying to get them "rooted", if you like. Cycling the tank with plants will make it easier on the snails. You can add a sturdy fish too. If the xenia doesn't make it, at least the nutrients released will benefit your macros. Good luck!

08/16/2016, 09:32 AM
I've come up with a few new questions.

I split the palm calerpa onto 3 colonies and on two of them the stem has turned white but the leaves are still greenish. I thought they were going sexual and put them in a separate container probably a week or two ago and they are still in one piece. Could I put them back?

The hypenna seems to be dieing off. I split the colony in two to hopefully increase my odds of some of it making in. Any advice on where I should put it, high or low flow, high or low light? Or should I split it into as many pieces as I can and scatter it everywhere and hope for the best?

Michael Hoaster
08/16/2016, 01:26 PM
Caulerpa going sexual is no big deal in a planted tank. Definitely put it back in. Scattering the hypnea is a good idea, I think. It's scattered around my tank, in varied light levels.