View Full Version : Refugium Help

11/08/2016, 07:29 PM
Since you guys are the experts on macro algae I was hoping I could get some advice. I have a 20 gallon refugium attached to my 120 reef. My refugium is about 3/4 full of water and has no sand. It is home to an amazing amount of life, so many pods that you can very easily see "clouds" of them swimming. My problem is that GHA is growing on my chaeto and is causing it to float to the surface forming a dense mat, which leaves all the space under the mat as wasted space where algae could grow. any suggestions on how to combat this? I'm thinking about adding sand and growing caulerpa instead so it can root down.


Michael Hoaster
11/09/2016, 12:04 PM
On one hand, your floating mat is doing what it's supposed to do-suck up excess nutrients. So you could leave it be. On the other hand, having green hair algae anywhere in your system could lead to it spreading into your display. So you probably want to remove it. If you do manually remove it, you may want to disconnect it temporarily, so none of the loose bits escape to the display. Your idea of using caulerpa instead and sand may help. If your lighting for the refugium is blue, you may want to change it to more daylight spectrum. Micro algae, like your GHA, can use blue light to access iron, more efficiently than macro algae.

I had GHA in my display (no sump). I just kept removing it, did more water changes and did a couple of four day blackouts. Eventually the macros took over and it was gone. Unfortunately, there isn't a clear consensus on the best way out of algetown. Just lots of little things, like feeding your fish less, using GFO, adding snails and other herbivores. Good, solid husbandry habits and serious determination will get you through it.

Best of luck and go Jags!

11/09/2016, 05:43 PM
How old is your light? Spectrum shift can benefit hair algae growth

11/10/2016, 06:18 PM
I have same problem. At first my chaeto grows fast with 24w white led, running 16 hours/day without sand. My light is just 3 months old. Now the chaeto stops growing because green hair algae cover it but there is no in display tank. My parameters are good, I'm dosing some NO3:PO4-X daily and NO3 & PO4 are undetectable. When manually removing, I take the chaeto out and rinse but it's broken, so the quantity is decreased and desreased. I'm worried my chaeto will die.

Michael Hoaster
11/10/2016, 07:32 PM
Tanthaitrung, I think your chaeto is shrinking because your parameters are good. Plants need nitrate. Stop dosing and let your chaeto gobble up nitrate and phosphate.

11/11/2016, 02:22 AM
Thanks so much Michael Hoaster