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View Full Version : Ordered 5 macroalgae - need guidance and best practices


Newms118
09/21/2017, 07:56 PM
So I just ordered the following from Reef Cleaners:

1) Chaeto


2 and 3) Christmas Tree (https://www.reefcleaners.org/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&view=productdetails&virtuemart_product_id=79&umk=59bd96ce1727d4.9462134059bd96ce1)

Pencil Cap (https://www.reefcleaners.org/aquarium-store/pencil-cap-small)
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=11567&pictureid=78587


4) Grape Caulerpa
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=11567&pictureid=78586

5) Ulva
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=11567&pictureid=78588

Bonus penny algae (a freebie), some sort of red algae).
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=11567&pictureid=78591

Here is a view of the refugium showing the two light sources, a clip on lamp with a 6500K CFL bulb and a side LED grow light that should also be 6500K.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=11567&pictureid=78589

You can see that the chaeto ball is underneath the side lamp. The big piece of Ulva is floating at the top but in a corner, away from being directly underneath the clip on lamp. The christmas tree and pencil cap are sitting on an upside down soap holder while sitting in cut pieces of PVC to keep them upright. The red algae is kind of shoved into holes on the top of the soap holder. The Grape caulerpa looks kind of the worst. It smelled bad when I opened the back and it seems like its on its way out. I still am giving a chance and have it stuck in one of the holes of the soap holder to keep it from laying on the ground.

Here is a top view.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=11567&pictureid=78590

You can see the chaeto ball pretty well now in the above pic.

So what are some tips for these macroalgae?
Do the pencil cap and christmas tree have to sit in the sand bed or can I keep them as shown here?
Should i just pitch the grape caulerpa or give it a try?
Is it a good idea to let the Ulva float at the top or should i sink it and hold it in place with a rock?

Subsea
09/22/2017, 10:12 AM
https://www.reefcleaners.org/stocking-the-sump-refugium
,
Ulva, caulerpa and chaeto are all fast growers, let them compete with the survival of the fittest. Let the Ulva float. If your grape caulerpa disintegrates, it may release spores into the bulk water. I grow grape caulerpa in one of my display tanks. It requires frequent prunning. I find that the holdfast are not as agressive as other caulerpas.


Not sure about the Christmas tree and Pencil Cap, but I think that they are pulse growers as described in the above link

Good luck on your refugium..

Newms118
09/22/2017, 08:06 PM
https://www.reefcleaners.org/stocking-the-sump-refugium
,
Ulva, caulerpa and chaeto are all fast growers, let them compete with the survival of the fittest. Let the Ulva float. If your grape caulerpa disintegrates, it may release spores into the bulk water. I grow grape caulerpa in one of my display tanks. It requires frequent prunning. I find that the holdfast are not as agressive as other caulerpas.


Not sure about the Christmas tree and Pencil Cap, but I think that they are pulse growers as described in the above link

Good luck on your refugium..

Thanks for the link. So I had to pitch the caulerpa, it wasnt pulling through. My pencil cap is also bent with a gash in stalk. Do Pencil caps regenerate their stalk if not completely severed?

Subsea
09/22/2017, 08:19 PM
Not familiar with Pencil Cap. However, IMO, all macro can regenerate from a microscopic speck. Just leavbe it alone and see what it does.

Newms118
09/22/2017, 09:51 PM
Not familiar with Pencil Cap. However, IMO, all macro can regenerate from a microscopic speck. Just leavbe it alone and see what it does.

Will do. I at least got two plastic cups, filled them with sand, and planted the pencil cap and christmas tree in the sand. So maybe thatll spur some regrowth.

Michael Hoaster
09/22/2017, 10:09 PM
Chaeto and ulva are two of the best 'fuge macros to get, in my opinion. Those should work well for you.

Newms118
09/22/2017, 11:11 PM
Chaeto and ulva are two of the best 'fuge macros to get, in my opinion. Those should work well for you.

Hopefully the chaeto will start growing soon. After I took it out of the bag, it shed a ton of chaeto pieces.

Newms118
09/23/2017, 06:56 PM
Ok so I've re-did the refugium a bit. I have now filled two plastic cups with sand and planted both the Christmas tree and Pencil Cap.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=11567&pictureid=78613

Here you can see the Christmas Tree (top) and Pencil Cap (bottom). Also you can see a red algae that I've fed through one of the soap dish holes to support it.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=11567&pictureid=78615

Here's an overhead shot. Small pieces of ulva and red algae are also sitting in the cups for support and to keep track of them.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=11567&pictureid=78614

The two main pieces of the ulva are floating on the left and right side of the box. On the left, the ulva is attached to the vent through suction of the water going to the return pump.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=11567&pictureid=78616

The other piece is more in the light since I'm not sure how much light any of these guys like. A piece of the chaeto ball is also in direct light from the side LED light.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=11567&pictureid=78617

Heres a close up pic of a piece of the ulva being fed through a soap dish hole for support.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=11567&pictureid=78618

One thing I'm worried about is the amount of light for the ulva. Some of the pieces have kind of fallen apart and I'm seeing sections that are clear. Here is a pic of a piece in the sand cups. If you look near the rock thats hold it in place, you can see some of its leaf is becoming clear. Is this a sign of too much light? Should I cut back on the amount of light or the time of photo period???

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=11567&pictureid=78619

Subsea
09/23/2017, 10:04 PM
IMO, Ulva will grow in most light conditions. Obviously, it will grow faster in intense light. When Ulva turns white, it is dieing. When the tips of red macro turn white, it is growing fast.
If some Ulva has already attached to return pump piping, then you have a source for all the Ulva you will ever want.

Michael Hoaster
09/23/2017, 10:16 PM
I say give them all the light you have. They are shallow water plants. But light alone is not enough-they need nutrients. Is the display tank for this 'fuge producing enough for fast growing macros? If not, maybe a slower growing red macro would work better.

Newms118
09/23/2017, 10:43 PM
I say give them all the light you have. They are shallow water plants. But light alone is not enough-they need nutrients. Is the display tank for this 'fuge producing enough for fast growing macros? If not, maybe a slower growing red macro would work better.

No I think my tank has a lot of nutrients, I'm having serious hair algae in the DT that I spent a good hour tonight scrubbing off the rocks. Plus before I put the macros in, I had that refugium on with just the lights, got a ton of thick algae growing on it plus a good amount of cyano. I cleaned up the walls to remove as much algae and cyano a possible so that all the nutrients should be going to the new macros.

I have those macros on 13 hours of light with both lights on. I can keep the light on longer if the ulva turning clear is a sign of not enough light.

Newms118
09/23/2017, 10:46 PM
IMO, Ulva will grow in most light conditions. Obviously, it will grow faster in intense light. When Ulva turns white, it is dieing. When the tips of red macro turn white, it is growing fast.
If some Ulva has already attached to return pump piping, then you have a source for all the Ulva you will ever want.

It shouldnt be an issue with not enough nutrients bc if you see from my other post, I was having a ton of nuisance algae growing. I've been getting my DT fully stocked finally and since I have banggai cardinals (that refuse to eat anything beside live black worms) i have to feed alot of those critters, so lots of nutrients in the tank. My only guess would be the trip to my apt for 3 days bothered the Ulva and now the plants just need to get more light.

Subsea
09/24/2017, 06:47 AM
For maximum nutrient export, it is not necessary to grow multiple species of macro. In fact, I have found single species macro refugiums extremly effective. Just as in a "climax forest" one species will become dominant. Let that dominant species perform nutrient export by prunning and removing.

Newms118
09/24/2017, 07:57 PM
For maximum nutrient export, it is not necessary to grow multiple species of macro. In fact, I have found single species macro refugiums extremly effective. Just as in a "climax forest" one species will become dominant. Let that dominant species perform nutrient export by prunning and removing.

Oh I agree, I figured I would try a bunch of different ones to see which performed the best. I have had a TERRIBLE time getting macroalgae to grow in my tank a while back bc I had only 3 fish and frankly not enough nutrients. Now that I have a lot of fish, and feed a good amount, the algae and cyano is really getting too much down there.

I originally tried chaeto but it always died. So i tired different lights, different photo periods. etc etc. I really dont know what works or what algae will work. So far the Ulva seems to still be dying and the Chaeto is starting to open up (be less of a dark tight ball). My first reaction for the chaeto is that its getting too much light. But then again i see people put their CFL bulb right next to the chaeto and it grows like wild fire.

So tell me, is a tight ball of dark green chaeto better than a more loose ball of lighter green chaeto?

Also, should i do a chemi-clean treatment and get rid of the cyano now, since it may start growing on the macroalgae?

Last thing, only sigh of growth ive noticed from anything is the christmas tree has had a few of its spindle leafs grow a little bit taller, so its atleast alive.

Subsea
09/24/2017, 09:38 PM
I think that a loose ball of chaeto is better than a tight ball which impedes penetration of the light. On a side note, I have seen a tight ball of chaeto grown in a tumble culture which allows light penetration from top, bottom and sides. I have grown chaeto in an outside 150G Rubbermade tank under 1800 PAR in the Texas summer. It grew a loose matrix that was loaded with pods. You can not put too much illumination on chaeto. However, it is possible to sun burn chaeto if you move it from low to intense lights. In that case it would bleach white, but it would grow back.

With respect to light and dark green, I would assume that iron is the issue. In articles that I have read, it is difficult to add too much iron. Marine maco like many land plants have a mechanism to store excess iron. This iron is metabilized when iron is not available in the bulk water. On turf grasses, iron is added to green up the lawn. I have used iron and iodin to brighten up red macros and green up green macros.

Newms118
09/26/2017, 07:15 PM
I think that a loose ball of chaeto is better than a tight ball which impedes penetration of the light. On a side note, I have seen a tight ball of chaeto grown in a tumble culture which allows light penetration from top, bottom and sides. I have grown chaeto in an outside 150G Rubbermade tank under 1800 PAR in the Texas summer. It grew a loose matrix that was loaded with pods. You can not put too much illumination on chaeto. However, it is possible to sun burn chaeto if you move it from low to intense lights. In that case it would bleach white, but it would grow back.

With respect to light and dark green, I would assume that iron is the issue. In articles that I have read, it is difficult to add too much iron. Marine maco like many land plants have a mechanism to store excess iron. This iron is metabilized when iron is not available in the bulk water. On turf grasses, iron is added to green up the lawn. I have used iron and iodin to brighten up red macros and green up green macros.

Thats good to know. So far I think the death of the macroalge is slowing down. Thing is the cyano is still around. I plan on adding some chemi-clean to get rid of it so it doesnt latch on the plants.

Michael Hoaster
09/27/2017, 10:50 PM
After re-looking at your pics, your plants look pretty weak and dinky. Who sold you those? Reef cleaners? I ordered from them once-not impressed. If you want to be impressed, get your plants from GCE at live plants dot com. One order of ulva was almost too much for my 180! They also have the lowest shipping cost.

I'm sorry to see you're having to start out with such marginal plants. If you have success with those, you've got us all beat!

Subsea
09/28/2017, 04:36 AM
After re-looking at your pics, your plants look pretty weak and dinky. Who sold you those? Reef cleaners? I ordered from them once-not impressed. If you want to be impressed, get your plants from GCE at live plants dot com. One order of ulva was almost too much for my 180! They also have the lowest shipping cost.

I'm sorry to see you're having to start out with such marginal plants. If you have success with those, you've got us all beat!


+10 to what Michael said. I have been consistantly disappointed by RC. However, information articles on their website are informative and I use it as a resource for information.

Newms118
10/03/2017, 08:27 PM
After re-looking at your pics, your plants look pretty weak and dinky. Who sold you those? Reef cleaners? I ordered from them once-not impressed. If you want to be impressed, get your plants from GCE at live plants dot com. One order of ulva was almost too much for my 180! They also have the lowest shipping cost.

I'm sorry to see you're having to start out with such marginal plants. If you have success with those, you've got us all beat!

Reef cleaners did indeed sell me these plants. Never heard of liveplants.com before so maybe I can check them out. So far the plants are still all growing, not sure which is doing best. I did two rounds of chemi-clean and the cyan is still not completely gone. Add two days of darkness as well. Now I'm hoping the plants just get a ton of light and that sucks up the nutrients more. Ill take some pics of everything so you can see what I'm dealing with now in a bit and post it here.

Edit: Ok I tried "www.liveplants.com" and nothing comes up. Can you post a link to the site you buy from?

Michael Hoaster
10/03/2017, 09:50 PM
It's live-plants.com. Gulf Coast Ecosystems.

I like to combine 4 days of dark with chemiclean, when it gets nasty. Everyone gets the algae phase. Just keep removing it and try to favor the macros. A larger macro algae bio mass is like a bigger mouth, to compete with micro and cyano. Get some fast growing ulva from GCE. They give you a large portion. I'm glad to hear your plants are holding up! Impressive!