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  #1  
Old 01/05/2008, 10:04 PM
Fischer's Angel Fischer's Angel is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Atooi
Posts: 42
Question What kind of macro algae for nutrient export

I live in the tropics and am unable to import or find "Chaeto". I would like to use some kind of macro algae for nutrient export in a 55 gallon tank that I am planning.
I can use the macro either in the display tank itself, or in a DSB I will be placing in my 30 gal. sump.
The only macro I can find in my area somewhat easily is Caulerpa Racemosa. Will that work for me?
Should I use it in my display,or in the sump? If in the display would the two 48" T-5 (1 daylight,1 actinic) be enough to keep it thriving in a 20" deep tank?
How often do I need to prune the caulerpa to keep it from "crashing", and do I need to add any kind of supplements to the water, or would 25% monthly water change replace the needed trace elements?
Thanks for the replies!
  #2  
Old 01/08/2008, 10:15 PM
piercho piercho is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Puget Sound
Posts: 2,166
C. racemosa is a competitive algae in high to moderate lighting. Your T5 lighting will work fine. It can be fast growing, it generally creeps across rockwork or sand by runners, is difficult to control, and is near impossible to eradicate once established IME. I would not introduce it to a tank where branched stony coral like Acropora will be kept as it tends to get into the branches where it is difficult to remove. It is better suited to a tank with massive stony coral or soft coral, and you still will need to work to keep it off of the coral. The variants of racemosa I've encountered were not preferrentially grazed by rabbitfish, tangs, or long-spined urchins that I've kept. It can spread from tank to sump or vice versa, I'm not sure wether by spores or fragments. Harvest is by pulling out what you can, it tends to grow prostrate to the rock, is well anchored to the rock, and fragments readily. I would pull out what I could every 2-6 weeks. Watch out for thick clusters of algae where light and water flow are restricted, as this is likely to induce sporalation.

Other choices might be Halimeda or Sargassum. Honestly, where you live there are hundreds of choices. My preference for an export algae that should be found in most Hawaiian islands is Acanthophora spicera, a red branching algae invasive in Hawaii. Most tangs and rabbitfish eat it, I don't know about small angels like a fischer's, I doubt it. It tends to grow in an upright bunch from a single holdfast making it easy to harvest. However, it spreads readily by fragmentation so it can be difficult to control if you don't have a tang in the tank. It likes high flow and high light and can grow gangbusters, outcompeting and smothering many other macroalgae.

I got this nice book of Hawaiian algae from the UofH. Nice photos, also has ID keys. A great book for the price, IMO.
Huisman, J.M., Abbott, I.A. and C.M. Smith. 2007. Hawaiian Reef
Plants. University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program. / ISBN 1-929054-04-1
http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/seagrant/communication/HRP/
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  #3  
Old 01/09/2008, 01:59 AM
Fischer's Angel Fischer's Angel is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Atooi
Posts: 42
Thanks for the heads up piercho! I'll send for the book.
Oh, and if I did find and use the Acanthophora spicera in my sump would it also migrate to my display tank? I would prefer to sump it as a 55 gal. too small for tang control, would need to control manually.

Last edited by Fischer's Angel; 01/09/2008 at 02:56 AM.
  #4  
Old 01/09/2008, 10:42 PM
piercho piercho is offline
Mackerel
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Puget Sound
Posts: 2,166
Yes it will probably wind up in the display tank. I only coarse-filtered my sump pump intake water so anything up to 3/16" could pass up in my tank. If you use a fine filter (a sponge intake filter) that might help contain Acanthophora to the sump but that would also put a hurt on your pump output flow and prevent desirable bugs, etc from migrating up from the sump. In my tank Acanthophora algae would start growing out from the maxijet intake filter screens (loved the high flow around the powerheads), but also from the rock or and anyplace a tiny floating fragment might get lodged where there was good light and current. But even then A. spicefera grows in a clump from the origonal holdfast, making it easier to contain IME than Caulerpa or Halimeda that spreads laterally. Sargassum tends to be easy to control in the main tank for the same reason as Acanthophora, it grows up from a single holdfast. Sargassum also does not spread readily by fragmentation, in fact we were debating on here a while back if fragments could actually generate a true holdfast. There are Sargassums native to Hawaii, not sure how they would fare in you lighting regime and flow regime. I grew Sargassum hystrix under 250W 6500K Iwasakis and it grew great for a while then stopped. Sargassum is also a good candidate for the sump where mine grew well just floating.
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