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  #1  
Old 08/16/2004, 11:04 AM
Cearbhaill Cearbhaill is offline
Bah Humbug!!
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: South Florida USA
Posts: 1,997
Can't grow Macros to save my life!!

Why is the world can't I get macros to grow in my refugium??

The refugium area of my sump is 15 gallon, 16x18x12, and is lit with a Coral Life strip reflector 28W 50/50 bulb. It contains rock rubble (and larger pieces) two banished serpent stars and one decorator crab. It has also had added various live mysid shrimp, pods, sand booster packages, etc. since the tanks setup.
Could one tiny crab be eating all this algae??

Since setting up this system 1-1-04 I have purchased four or five batches of chaetomorpha- all of which have slowly wasted away.
I have also purchased all colors of Tang Heaven macros- they also all wasted away. Even caulerpa disappears.

This refugium is fed by water returning to my display in a slow but steady flow. At first I was sure there wasn't water movement enough so I added a Maxi 400 powerhead to the fuge, got a new batch of chaeto- and it is wasting away also.

I am so stumped. Today I took off the 50/50 light and put on a regular old normal floursecent 40w striplight just to see if that helps. Should I maybe lay the spare one along one end to add more light?
I've tried 24 hour lighting as well as 12 on 12 off.

This mornings readings are

SG 1.025
CA- 450
Alk 11.2 dKH/ 4.0 meq/L
temps 81-83ºF
pH 8.1 AM- 8.3 PM
NH3- 0
NO2- 0
NO3- 0

Could my water be too clean (of nitrates) to support macros?
Is that even possible?

I have fish doing great, and all manner of corals (even difficult species) doing very well in my display. I do feed frequently (but sparingly), change maybe 10% bi-weekly, and skim heavily.

I am just stumped.
Everyone else seems to grow it no problem nd I can't even get it to live!
For more details of the setup click my red house.

Thanks for any comments or suggestions.
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  #2  
Old 08/16/2004, 11:43 AM
needyreefer needyreefer is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
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dont know much about it but a supposedly good supplement for macros is iron........ Kent sells it
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  #3  
Old 08/16/2004, 11:46 AM
threeheaddog threeheaddog is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: ellensburg WA 98926
Posts: 269
sand sand sand
24 hr light
no current.
no velonia...
  #4  
Old 08/16/2004, 11:46 AM
Scuba Dog Scuba Dog is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: El Dorado Ar
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could be that you already have super low nutrients in your tank which is an exclent thing, do you have any nunsance algae in the display as in hair alge or some cyno? if any of those two are present then you have some nutrients in the water...one thing you can do if your running a Ca Rx is to have the effulent drip in to the fuge that way the macros will bennifit by the trace amounts of Co2...
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  #5  
Old 08/16/2004, 11:58 AM
Cearbhaill Cearbhaill is offline
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Location: South Florida USA
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needyreefer- I really hesitate to dose anything I'm not testing for. Do lots of folks really dose iron??

threeheaddog- what?

Scuba Dog- I do have very small amounts of cyano in the display. Originally I had it only in the refugium, but since I added the powerhead it relocated into my display.
And I wondered if CO2 could be part of it. The water discharges into the fuge well below the water line. Would letting the water "fall" into the refugium or throwing in an airstone help?

No calcium reactor.

Edit: I use RO/DI water and Instant Ocean salt mix.
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Last edited by Cearbhaill; 08/16/2004 at 12:34 PM.
  #6  
Old 08/16/2004, 12:13 PM
Hobster Hobster is offline
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Location: SW Florida
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Cearblhail

I remember reading a thread alsmost exactly like yours in the Chemistry forum. It was actuall Dr Randy who switched lights and started having problems with his Chateo. Then switched lights again. He was discussing it with a plant expert. It was a long thread, you might find it interesting. HTH
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  #7  
Old 08/16/2004, 12:17 PM
capt. insano capt. insano is offline
Huh???
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Whats the matter w/ KS?
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I couldn't get my Chaeto to grow for the life of my and the other 4 or 5 varieties of macros weren't growing very fast. I was only using a HD LOA light over the sump.....and then added a spiral pc over the sump and they took off! The second light is extremely yellow and not very pleasing to look at, but it sure makes the chaeto grow like crazy! It doubles in size at least every week.
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  #8  
Old 08/16/2004, 03:01 PM
Cearbhaill Cearbhaill is offline
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Since this morning it has visibly shrunken!!
Really- just that fast!
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  #9  
Old 08/16/2004, 03:41 PM
Randy Holmes-Farley Randy Holmes-Farley is offline
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Location: Arlington, Massachusetts
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Here' the Chaeto/lighting thread mentioned above:

http://archive.reefcentral.com/forum...hreadid=216369
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  #10  
Old 08/16/2004, 05:31 PM
threeheaddog threeheaddog is offline
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Location: ellensburg WA 98926
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this souds crazy but it might work.

your stock culture may not be lage enough for exponential growth.

start colony seperate from main tank in high nutrient water.
it will take off.

then just transfer colony when large enough.

yes it is difficult to start macro algae frags. too small.

as for spec. requirements uv blu and red just like land plants.
  #11  
Old 08/16/2004, 06:20 PM
sjvl51 sjvl51 is offline
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Location: Hillier, ON, Canada
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Here is Randy's article on Iodine and macro algae - http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issu...l2003/chem.htm

Here is his article on Iron and macro algae - http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/aug2002/chem.htm

Macro algae need nutrients and lights to grow. It sounds like you only have one light. Try a second light (even a NO plant light might help). I have my algae grow out tank (macro algae wasn't growing fast enough in the refuge/sump to feed my tang) on a window sill that gets the afternoon sun. Some people use their old MH bulbs to get the macro algae growing. I will be using my old VHO bulbs as soon as I find a couple of cheap ballasts.

I add Kent Iron weekly which helped the growth. Other than that there is not much you can do in your system. Do keep your flow high so that the cyano and slime algae don't get a foothold in your refuge.

Vickie
  #12  
Old 08/27/2004, 01:28 PM
Cearbhaill Cearbhaill is offline
Bah Humbug!!
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: South Florida USA
Posts: 1,997
Thanks everyone- I do believe you/we/I have solved this one.
It was the lighting.

And here I thought I was doing so well by using a marine specific bulb- I was using a Coral Life 50/50 purchased especially for my refugium.

I put a small table lamp beside the fuge every evening, and I now have green chaeto as opposed to the greyish melting crap I had previously. There's precious little left, but at least I resolved the issue and feel oh so much better about buying more!

So incandescent lighting did it for me.
I am doing the happy dance!
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  #13  
Old 08/27/2004, 04:42 PM
Randy Holmes-Farley Randy Holmes-Farley is offline
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So incandescent lighting did it for me.

Me too. Congrats
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  #14  
Old 08/27/2004, 05:25 PM
capt. insano capt. insano is offline
Huh???
 
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its funny that in a hobby where equipment can go for thousands of dollars.....sometimes what does the job best is only a couple of bucks
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  #15  
Old 11/20/2005, 03:24 PM
killagoby killagoby is offline
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My nitrates are at 0, so are my phosphates. I have nusance algaes growing all over the place in my main tank, but I can't seem to grow Cheateo or Carulpa in my fuge. I'm afraid to dose anything because it might help the nuisance algae grow. Any suggestions?
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  #16  
Old 02/02/2006, 08:06 AM
Augy Augy is offline
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Can someone point me to a specific light at Home Depot that works for a refugium? I have seen the spiral PC bulbs, do they require a special socket/lamp and does HD sell those? Do the short flourescent tubes work?

Sorry if these are obvious questions, just get a little overwhelmed when I go to HD and look at the lighting section.
  #17  
Old 02/02/2006, 08:53 AM
old salty old salty is offline
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I can't get fuge algae to grow either. I've purchased two different LOA lamps trying to sort it all out. Guess I will be trying a third.
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  #18  
Old 02/02/2006, 09:35 AM
dirtyvegas dirtyvegas is offline
Moved On
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Rosa Rita Ocean Side
Posts: 103
Quote:
Originally posted by Augy
Can someone point me to a specific light at Home Depot that works for a refugium? I have seen the spiral PC bulbs, do they require a special socket/lamp and does HD sell those? Do the short flourescent tubes work?

Sorry if these are obvious questions, just get a little overwhelmed when I go to HD and look at the lighting section.
bump^^^^^..?

dv
  #19  
Old 02/03/2006, 12:08 AM
dirtyvegas dirtyvegas is offline
Moved On
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Rosa Rita Ocean Side
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IM NOT SURE BUT I THINK THEY ARE REFERING TO THIS BULB ITS $5 AT HOME DEPOT. HERE A PHOTO OF THE LIGHT AND THE BLUB OVER MY FUGE, IT HAS A REDISH TEMP TO IT AND HIGHLY RESEMBLES HIGH PRESSURE SODIUM BULBS.. I JUST GOT THE BULB TO TRY SO IM NOT SURE HOW GREAT IT WORKS BUT ILL KEEP AN UPDATE HERE ON ITS SUCCESS OR FAILURE. WISH ME LUCK.



  #20  
Old 02/03/2006, 10:52 PM
Shoestring Reefer Shoestring Reefer is offline
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Location: Westerly, RI
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I use old flourescent lights (from a 55) and get decent growth. It's nice when the cheap stuff works.
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