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Old 02-22-2010, 09:29 AM   #1
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Lighting/tumbling for chaeto

Hi. How are you?

I have some chaeto algae in a 20G High refugium that isn't really growing. There are plenty of nitrates for it to feed off of, the two things I want to improve on mainly are lighting, and "tumbling"

Right now, I have a regular clip-on desk light with one of those "energy saver" light bulbs in it. It seems to be growing some nice brown algae along everything that light touches, but the chaeto could be doing better. If I can remember I'll post a picture of the setup when I get home tonight. I imagine I need more light intensity here. What type of lighting to people use on refugiums like this to best get the light to the macroalgae? The main problem I face is that usually the water level is about 1/2 full in this refugium tank (about 8" from the top) but if the power should ever go out, it might fill up almost to the top. What wattage should I be aiming for here?

Next, how would I set up a powerhead in this tank to best achieve the "tumbling" effect people talk about with chaeto? I've tried a couple of things but I haven't gotten much to work. In fact, I've never seen this effect and I'm not really sure how it works, i.e, what it's supposed to look like when it is "tumbling." Any info on this would help a lot. Thanks,

Have a nice day.
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:51 AM   #2
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I use a 15 watt 50/50 flurescent bulb (I got from Wal-Mart) over my chaeto and it is growing very fast, I can't get a tumble affect do to my setup so whenever i do any work around that area I just use my thong to stirr it up a bit.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:10 AM   #3
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You can get a simple clip on refelctor and grow light at Home Depot, or you can get a fancy power compact. Chaeto does not have high light requirements.
It does need some slow though it it does not need to tumble. Chaeto is not the fastest growing macro though it is one of the safest.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:11 AM   #4
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OK, so do you think the difference between your 50/50 flourescent bulb and my "12 watt = 60 watt" compact flourescent bulb could be the cause here? I put some foil over the back of the bulb to try and reflect most of the light towards the refugium, but I don't know how much of a difference that makes. I usually turn the algae over manually every couple of days with tongs.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:02 PM   #5
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I used a clip on reflector that you can find at a animal feed store aka country store...the type they use fto give chicks some added heat. The spring clip and the aluminum reflector is good enough and safer then foil.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:56 AM   #6
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Well I did some looking and I found out that some people have their chaeto lights on 24/7 and others have them on at night. Mine have been on at night so I'm going to see if keeping them on all of the time helps. If not, I'll have to upgrade the lighting.

I also stuck a small powerhead in there and rearranged the rocks and at least there's *some* movement. I'll see if it stays that way until tonight and if so, I'll probably take a video and post it.
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:51 PM   #7
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caulerpa (sp) is the macro that people usually leave the lights on 24/7 so that it does not go sexual and throw out babies all over the place. In your DT...everywhere...not a pretty site...
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:12 PM   #8
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Do you think that I should switch the lighting back? I haven't even turned the main tank's lights on yet, so the only light in the whole setup is in the refugium. I was under the impression that in this case, the more light the better...
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:20 PM   #9
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YouTube - 150G Tank and sump/refugium setup
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:33 PM   #10
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Your chaeto is getting much more movement than mine. I just have a higher bio load so there's more nutrients for it to grow. If I feed less it dies back. If I feed more I have to remove some.

What are you tank water parameters?
Temp
pH
Ammonia
Nitrite
Nitrate
Phosphate
Any thing else you can test for.
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