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Old 05-03-2010, 07:50 PM   #1
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Can chaeto "crash"?

Hello all,
I got some chaeto to help battle my "zero phosphates and nitrates". I say zero, because they show up as zero on my tests, yet I have brown whispy algae that forms on the sides of the tank every few days as well as on some of the rocks.

I am currently running Clearmax in my Fluval 305. (Removes nitrates and phosphates via GFO). The algae problem has improved big time! I recently added a small ball of chaeto to a little egg crate refuge that drops into the top of the tank (in the back). The output of my Fluval blows right into this chaeto basket. (160-185GPH). Sound good? There is a 100W CFL screw in bulb above this basket for light.

I was wondering if this chaeto could die due to lack of nutrients, and if it does, could it cause a crash in the tank? I added it because I dont want to keep buying Clearmax.

Thanks,
Matt
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:03 PM   #2
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It needs light. As long as it has light, it will stay alive. People keep caulerpa and chaeto in their tanks all the time, and none of it dies when phos and nitrate drop to zero. Plants are photosynthetic.. which means they get most of their nutritional needs from the sun/light.

As long as you have a light on the chaeto, it will live. Also, how old is your tank?
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:39 PM   #3
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Thats good to know! I am aiming for zero phosphates and nitrates with JUST the chaeto in there as the filter.

Tank is 11months old.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:58 PM   #4
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Yeah.. that's pretty old. I wonder why you still have some nuisance algae in there.. ??

Do you run RO water?

And yeah.. chaeto is a pretty good nutrient exporter. Caulerpa is better.. but with caulerpa you need 24/7 lighting otherwise it goes sexual and turns you water white lol.
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:09 PM   #5
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Well no deep sand bed to deal with nitrates, so that is handled by PWC and trying to go easy on feeding. Phosphates come from the food. (Even DI water rinsed mysis has phosphates).

I use DI water for everything.

The algae isnt bad, its just that ANY little bit of that rusty brown color causes the tank to look brown due to the reflections off the sides. So I am hoping the chaeto will take over when the Clearmax runs out. (Says to change it every 6-8 weeks, and its 2 weeks old now). After just a few days of light and strong water flow I notice growth from the chaeto! So I take it thats a good sign! (Takes nutrients to grow).

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Old 05-03-2010, 10:25 PM   #6
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Well anything that grows is a good sign lolol.
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Old 05-05-2010, 12:31 AM   #7
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Yea, this stuff is really growing! Reaching all out of the basket now. There is more sitting in a bucket of tank water, but it has all this clear jelly stuff throughout it. The seller on ebay thinks its grape caulpera, but this doesnt look anything like the grape caulpera. I hope its not, as I dont want anything going, sexual on me.

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Old 05-05-2010, 03:53 PM   #8
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Chaeto can crash if there is not enough flow between the branches/lets causing excessive detritus build-up. It should also be trimmed periodically. I haven't seen reduced lighting to crash stable plant colonies, but definitely halt it and minimize overall density. All of the above can cause immediate crashes in unsettled additions.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:10 PM   #9
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So, what would be considered as good flow? My fluval 305 can do up to 185GPH when empty (no filter media). Its full right now, so its likely to be much less. I have the output nozzle pointed right into the mass of chaeto. Sound good?

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Old 05-06-2010, 09:41 AM   #10
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As long as you don't have detritus building up you'll be ok. You may have to clean the branches by shaking the clump in a bucket of sw
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