Chaeto Question

Discussion in 'The Reef Tank' started by Redfish, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. Redfish Koran Angel

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    Guess I am on a roll with my questions lately ,, I am thinking the answer to this one will help a few of us understand Chatto a bit better,,, I set up the Chatto reactor,, I am running the lights opposite of my display tank lights for the most part,, there is a bit of a overlap,, Before I sit the reactor up,, I had my Chatto in a tray sitting in my sump tank with a light over the tray,, the right light,, more or less ,, BRS said in one of their videos,, not the best light ,, but will do ,, had to shield my skimmer from the light ,, was getting a lot of Corline algae growth inside the skimmer.

    So ,, here is the question ,, when the Chatto was in the tray ,, I got good growth ,, till I didn't any longer ,, ,, and also now that the Chatto is in the reactor,, I am getting no growth,,, pretty much none at all,,, I am thinking its becoming a waste of the electricity being used to run the reactor,, I had heard from someone locally and a post or two on R2R,, hinted that this lack of growth would be coming and is normal,, that was pretty much all that was said on the R2R post ,,, not a post of mine,, I was just researching the topic ,,,

    So,, am I wasting my time with this reactor,, I have Nitrates in my tank,,, they are steady at 10 on my Salifert test kit,, so the Chatto had food ,,, but doesn't grow,, would I be better served with some type of refugium,, I would like to control Nitrates with just more than water changes,,, takes a lot of water changes to have even a minimal a drop in Nitrates,,, whats the best way to go here?
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
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  2. BluewaterLa

    BluewaterLa LARC Boil Master Administrator LARC Supporter

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    We love questions as much as any other post including pictures to check out and drool over LOL.
    There must be a few things for cheato to grow rapidly or get good growth.
    Stronger the light the more it can grow but it does need good flow and nutrients.
    You have a decent light I would assume and you definitely have the nutrients for it to eat.
    The last thing would be flow and a good source of Carbon Dioxide for the cheato to consume as it is a plant and limited Co2 can affect its growth.
    This would be the reason for it to be placed in the front part of the sump where water is crashing into it and being more loaded with Co2.
    If you have all three it should be growing.
    I would suspect the light if the Power / Par is not up to spec and also if the spectrum is not optimal for plant growth as this would cause slower growth too.

    What model reactor do you have ? is there good reviews from users of the same model ??
    If its a unit you built then what Lights did you use ?
     
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  3. Redfish Koran Angel

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    I am using a NexReef MR1 reactor,, its a awesome reactor, very well built, I think the company has went out of business though :( I have a email into BRS now, trying to get some 4 inch replacement sponge filters for it and the smaller Shorty NexReef reactor I have that I use for GFO ,,, both use the same sponge filter.

    I am feeding the reactor with water from a separate pump in my sump,, water isn't blowing thru the reactor,, but its a steady flow,, the pump I am using,, the intake for the pump ,, is really close to my drain line from the display tank,, the Chatto should be getting all the food it needs ,, I am running a filter sock though ,,

    I am using a LED strip, ribbon, type light that wraps around the reactor,, its a light others on R2R are using to supply light to their reactors,, and having good luck with this lighting. Supposedly lol according to a post I read on R2R ,,, the red LED is supposed to be better for growing Chatto over the white LEDs.

    The Co2 part of your answer ,, I have no clue if my Chatto is getting enough of that,, maybe that is the reason my Chatto has stopped growing ,, it looks healthy ,, and has had a bit of growth,, but its not much,, according to the results that I have seen others get ,, with their reactors,, and the amount of time I have had my reactor online,, mine should be jammed full of Chatto by now.

    The R2R post I read,, I would have to find the post and reread it to be sure of all of this,, there is a overseas company that makes a "super" Chatto reactor ,,, that is high $$$ ,, the American company that has the rights to sell the reactor in the US ,, doubled the price over nite for this system,,, that is what spawned ,, from what I gather,,, this poor mans ,, anybody can build it in a spare reactor ,,, Chatto reactor ,,

    I had read something along the lines of,,, Chatto grows good up to a point,,, then you have to chunk it and reseed with new Chatto when it stops growing ,,, I don't know about all of that ,, if it isn't dead ,, you would think it would continue to grow as long as its getting food ,,, mine isn't growing much at all though,,, and that's why this post,, I wanted to be able to understand whats going on with it,,, If this Chatto reactor isn't going to get the job done,, I was thinking about a Algae Turff Scrubber,,, Chatto reactor is the cheaper way to go ,, only if it works though,,,
     
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  4. The GOB

    The GOB Harlequin Tusk

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  5. Redfish Koran Angel

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    That's great,,, are you still running the Pax Bellum reactor? I really don't want to have to dose something else to the tank :( I want to keep the tank ,, as much as I can,, not sure the word I am looking for :) lets just say ,,, a more naturally run system,,,I may just take the Chatto Reactor off line,,, if it won't grow with out dosing something for it,,, I had a algae scrubber,, I wasn't using ,, let a friend use it for his system,,, he didn't set it up,,, so I may see about getting that back and putting that back online,,,
     
  6. The GOB

    The GOB Harlequin Tusk

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    I sold it when I upgraded to a 300. Seems like I remember reading that dosing was a must with the reactors as growth was so accelerated that it depleted iron content which is why growth stalls out.(pretty sure it was iron but can't say for certain)
     
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  7. clsanchez77

    clsanchez77 Reefkeeping Extremist Global Moderator

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    I have always been dubious of chaeto reactors. A few people use them here with claimed success, but I have no idea. As @BluewaterLa stated, in the sump is the best place. You get great air exchange (missing in the reactor) and you can provide better lighting. For me, chaeto lighting was a big deal. I wanted to maximize PAR specific to the chlorophyl A without adding unnecessary heat to the system. I read up on LED lighting for algae scrubbers and it is very much applicable. I even have a heated exchange or two on here regarding the subject. I rest easier now knowing BRS did a few vides on the subject and I feel vindicated...as if I cared :D

    I use a Trigger Emerald 34 sump and I light it with a DIY strip using a 1.6" heat sink, 8 Photo Red LEDs, 2 Royal Blues and 1 Cool White. My PAR measures close to 200 at the surface and I only use 22 watts. My chaeto growth is great! I have run this both 24/7 and currently 18/6 daily cycle. This was because of an argument that chaeto needs a diurnal cycle. I think I had better growth without that cycle honestly.

    I take all my chaeto out every few months, rinse (to save some pods) and shake out the water. I let it drip dry in a bucket then I weigh it. So I have been tracking my growth and so far it seems very consistent. I grow about 13 grams a day on average. I plan to do this for a year and then provide a write up on it. I don't know of anyone else doing this for chaeto, just turf scrubbers.

    The only other maintenance is I add a capful of Seachem Flourish Iron (Plant Supplement) to the refugium whenever I manually turnover the chaeto to prevent yellowing. I do this "weekly" as in every Sunday I actually have time to get to it.
     
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  8. BluewaterLa

    BluewaterLa LARC Boil Master Administrator LARC Supporter

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    @The GOB had mentioned supplements for the cheato and @clsanchez77 also mentions adding flourish as a supplement to iron for the plant growth.
    This is important and should be an experiment for you to run on your own system.
    Cheato does grow fast and uptake a ton of things from the water, in this growth the plant mass will consume trace elements needed for its continued growth in our closed systems so supplemental doses may be needed to spark a growth period in your reactor.
     
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  9. Redfish Koran Angel

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    I will see about getting some of the Seachem Flourish Iron ,,, see if it will help ,, should be interesting :) The thing I didn't like about keeping the Chaeto in the tray I was using in my sump , I didn't have an enclosed section of my sump to keep it in ,, thats why the tray ,, was pieces of the Chaeto would come out of the tray and get into ,, either the return or manifold pumps ,, the Chateo reactor prevented this from happening.

    I think the reactor would have worked out fine for me ,, had I not used up all the iron in the system ,,, when I first started keeping the Chateo in the tray ,, I was getting awesome growth in that tray ,, till I wasn't ,,, Have t ordered :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
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  10. Redfish Koran Angel

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    My supplement arrived last night by UPS,, I didn't buy the Sechem product ,, BRS didn't carry it ,, I bought a Julian Sprung product line that BRS carried ,, Dosing is one capfull per 25g of tank water ,, once a week ,, I got the tank dosed up,, now will sit back and see if it helps :) my only concern is with my Chaeto ,, its been its been in the reactor for several weeks with almost no growth ,, but alive and green, well maybe not a deep rich dark green, but green none the less ,, I was thinking I might need some new, fresh Chaeto stock ,,, I will give what I have a shot and see what happens ,, will be kinda interesting to see if the Iron Concentrate can revive my current stock of barley growing Chaeto :)
     
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  11. clsanchez77

    clsanchez77 Reefkeeping Extremist Global Moderator

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    Not familiar with the Spring additive, but yea I get the seachem products from Marine Depot. The dark green is indicating the chaeto has everything it needs. The supplements are needed if you are getting light green or less density. I would speculate, almost willing to argue, that if you have dark green thick growth, but slow, then you are lighting limited, not nutrient limited. If you were nutrient limited and light saturated, you would see a lighter green and lesser dense growth. Over light saturation will cause it to yellow. So I would see if you can increase the lighting before adding nutrients.
     
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  12. Redfish Koran Angel

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    I am pretty confident that y'all have this pegged right as a nutrient problem,,, my Chaeto is a light green ,, I was getting awesome growth under the lighting I was using when I had the Chaeto in the tray in the sump,,, I even had to remove some at one point because it grew so well ,, after that removal ,, it stopped growing ,, when the nutrients ran out I am guessing. It was at that point that I put the Chateo into the LED reactor ,, it pretty much stayed the same in the LED reactor ,, as it was in the tray,, very little growth ,,, now that we are dosing the additive ,, things should turn around :) I will give it a couple of weeks,,, see if things improve ,, if not,, I will get some fresh Chaeto ,, and see what that does,,,
     
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  13. Redfish Koran Angel

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    I can't tell yet wither or not the Chaeto is growing again ,,, what I do know is ,, I have some Pods growing in the reactor as big as Mysis shrimp :)
     
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  14. clsanchez77

    clsanchez77 Reefkeeping Extremist Global Moderator

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    Probably gammarus shrimp...great regardless. My fish LOVE them. You can't culture mysis in our tanks because they are cannibalistic (as it was explained to me). Whenever I change out my filter socks, I pluck the lucky ones off and throw them in the tank. The "Lucky" ones are eaten quickly. The unlucky ones seek shelter, then get picked off by my hawkfish :D When I can save the little ones, I put them back in the refugium.
     
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  15. Redfish Koran Angel

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    Good news ,,, the Flourish Iron has seemed to work ,,, the Chaeto is back to growing again :) :) :)
     
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  16. BluewaterLa

    BluewaterLa LARC Boil Master Administrator LARC Supporter

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    'dance2music''happydanceg''dance2music''gimmedap'
     
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