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Old 12-17-2012, 10:16 PM   #1
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Rolling or Stationary Chaeto in a Refugium?

A couple questions on Chaetomorpha. I have a 75 Gallon Tank that I started in June with a 20 Gallon Refugium. I started with less than a half pound of Chaeto and it has been tumbling up until about 2 weeks ago. It has about doubled in size now and I would like some advise on the best method to use Chaeto.
1) Is it best to keep it trimmed at around 3/4 of a pound or so - it seems to roll fairly good in the refugium around this size or
2) Should I let it grow out and stay fixed (mannually turn every few days)?
How much should I let it grow if it is fixed? Should it be fairly thick and consume most of my refugium area? It seems that it would filter the water better if it is stationary and allowed to grow thicker. It will only tumble in the smaller mass amounts. I have about a 3" sand bed and a small amount of rubble rock (several - 10 or so small pieces of live rock) in the refugium. Any advise from experience would be appreciated.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:11 AM   #2
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No advise from experience. I am not sure if it even makes a difference whether tumbling or fixed.

Do whatever it takes to maximize its growth rate, so if its growing more tumbling then go with it. Trim once you notice the underneath layers not getting light or if the refugium is nearly filled up.

Edit: rolling chaeto is better. I get what you mean now.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:30 AM   #3
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It is difficult to keep the Chaeto rolling in the (my) Refugium - it was easier when it was a smaller mass. I have been trying to get it to roll or tumble as a larger mass but no luck.
I was wondering if anyone has any tips or found what works best - I might try to let it grow and consume my Refugium. Again just wondering if others have done this and the results from experience. I would think that it would be a great filter when it is stationary in the middle chamber and allowed to grow to consume the Refugium chamber.
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:51 PM   #4
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I would let it grow. The more you have, the more it will take in nutrients. I've never let mine tumble, as I want maximum exposure time between the water and algae. I generally will flip it once a to a get the bottom side to the surface and vice versa. I've only trimmed mine once in the past 7 months, and even then I only pulled out about 1/3 of the algae. Granted, that 1/3 was the size of a basketball...
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:39 PM   #5
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Thanks Qube!
I had some luck tumbling it for several months (although it was a pain sometimes to get it going after a water change - but once it started it would tumble good). Since it doubled in size it has been hard to get it to tumble again - I am going to try and let it consume most of my refugium or grow again as I trimmed it the other day (almost in half) trying to get it to tumble again. My light is on a timer and runs about 8 hrs each night (opposite of the DT). I change my filter socks about every 5 days - trying to hit 7 day rotation but seems 5 days is best for now. Do you flip it every couple days or how often? Each water change?
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:51 PM   #6
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I'd light the sump for a full 12-14 hours for cheato. That'll still let the sump rest for 10-12 hours (good for pods and other fauna) and allow the cheato to grow more. I also never tumble any algae. It's great for starting out when you only have a little but after it's gotten to be a larger mass it's not needed. I wouldn't worry one bit more about it honestly. If you want to flip it a couple of times a week that's not a bad idea but not essential.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:53 PM   #7
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I flip it once a week with each water change, sometimes more often if I feel like it. I've found my pod population really multiplying in my fuge, so I will flip it at night sometimes to shake loose some pods so they get sent up to the display tank. Seems to be working, as my scooters are fat and happy.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:06 PM   #8
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Rolling or not rolling really only makes a difference in regards to the amout of debris that accumulates in the mass. I never can get mine to roll, even with two nano hydors pushing it around in the fuge.

In regards to letting it grow, remember that you only remove nutrients from the tank when you harvest the algae (i.e. trim it). If you never trim it, you never remove those nutrients. Granted they are bound up in the chaeto, but if something happens, they will be released back into the system. Personally I split my chaeto balls about once every couple of months. In the growth of algae, bigger isn't necessarily better.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wy Renegade View Post
Rolling or not rolling really only makes a difference in regards to the amout of debris that accumulates in the mass. I never can get mine to roll, even with two nano hydors pushing it around in the fuge.

In regards to letting it grow, remember that you only remove nutrients from the tank when you harvest the algae (i.e. trim it). If you never trim it, you never remove those nutrients. Granted they are bound up in the chaeto, but if something happens, they will be released back into the system. Personally I split my chaeto balls about once every couple of months. In the growth of algae, bigger isn't necessarily better.
I just let mine grow untill its very thick then i just pull out a handfull every couple weeks it dont tumble theres no room for that i do rotate it once a week tho and i run mine on 24/7 lighting
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:34 PM   #10
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I appreciate the information and response to my questions. I will increase my lighting time (maybe even try 24/7) and trim every couple weeks
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